Last Updated on June 21, 2023
Night markets are a quintessential part of Korean culture. Locals and tourists alike can experience the vibrant energy and taste the delicious street food of the country. From the traditional atmosphere of Jeonju to the modern flair of Seoul and the coastal charm of Busan, each city has its own unique take on the night market experience. Shop for souvenirs and try out a variety of Korean street food. Soak up the lively and energetic atmosphere that is synonymous with Korean nightlife. There is so much to do in night markets in Korea. Let’s check out the best ones here and find out how to get there.
- Uncovering the 10 Most Unusual Korean Delicacies
- Seoul Itinerary and Attractions
- The Best 3 Day Busan Itinerary
- The 15 Most Beautiful Temples in South Korea
Best Night Markets in Seoul
Dongdaemun Night Market
Experience the buzz and excitement of the Dongdaemun Night Market in Seoul. It is a must-visit destination that promises an unforgettable night market experience. Bursting with activity and energy, this massive market boasts a plethora of vendors. They offer everything from trendy fashion items to tantalizing street food.
The sheer size and variety of Dongdaemun Night Market set it apart from other night markets in Seoul. With hundreds of stalls spanning several blocks, shoppers can browse through endless fashion finds, ranging from vintage clothing to unique accessories.
But it’s not just fashion that draws crowds to Dongdaemun Night Market. It’s a foodie’s paradise too. Korean street food classics like tteokbokki and hotteok, as well as exotic eats such as silkworm pupae. International cuisine is also available, including Vietnamese pho and Turkish kebabs.
Beyond shopping and eating, Dongdaemun Night Market is also a cultural destination. You can catch live performances, ranging from traditional Korean music and dance to modern K-pop acts. While you are there be sure to check out the Dongdaemun Design Plaza. It is an architectural wonder that’s a must-see for anyone interested in Korean design.
- Address: 272 Jong-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, Korea
- Open hours: 8 PM – 3 AM daily, some stalls open till 5 AM
- How to get to Dongdaemun Night Market: By subway: Take subway lines 2, 4, or 5 to Dongdaemun History and Culture Park, exits 1, 2, or 3. If you are staying on subway line 1, exit at Dongdaemun stop, exit 7 or 6.
Check Out the Best Market Tours!
Food & Drinking
Korean Night Dining Tour – Food & Drinks$87
Food & Drinking
Noryangjin Fish Market Food Tour$74
Food & Drinking
Drinking and Eating at Seoul Alleys$74
Food & Drinking
Seoul Street Food Tour with a Local$47
Korean Cooking Class with Local Market Tour in Seoul$48
Food & Drinking
Jagalchi Fish Market & Korean Food Market Tour in Busan$27
Myeongdong Night Market
The Myeongdong Night Market is the ultimate hangout spot in the heart of Seoul! You’ll find everything here. The latest Korean fashion trends and unique accessories at affordable prices to mouth-watering street food will leave you drooling.
Fashionistas will love the endless options for trendy streetwear and traditional hanboks. Foodies won’t be disappointed either – you can feast on local favorites like tteokbokki, tornado potatoes, fruit cocktails, and hotteok. The market’s lively atmosphere and aromatic smells are sure to tantalize your senses.
If you’re looking for entertainment, Myeongdong Night Market has you covered. There are live performances that range from traditional Korean music and dance to modern K-pop acts. If you need a break from all the shopping and eating, treat yourself to a foot massage or check out Korean skincare products.
- Address: Seoul, Jung-gu, Chungmuro 2(i)-ga, 8-3ga
- Open hours: 5 PM – 1 AM daily
- How to get to Myeongdong night market: By subway: Take subway line 4 and get off at Myeogdong stop to get to Myeongdong. The nearest exits to the market street’s main entrance are 6 or 7, so turn toward those.
Top Things To Do in Korea!
Bamdokkaebi Night Market
The name “Bamdokkaebi” literally translates to “night goblin.” It is quite fitting for this lively night market that comes alive after the sun sets. The Bamdokkaebi Night Market is known for its distinctive ambiance and varied locations. Unlike other Seoul night markets that are set up in one fixed location, the Bamdokkaebi market takes place in multiple locations. This unique approach allows visitors to experience different neighborhoods and cultures while enjoying the festivities.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government organizes Bamdokkaebi Night Market to support small businesses and promote local culture. The vendors at the market offer an array of food and drinks, including Korean street food, international cuisine, and craft beer. You can also shop for souvenirs, accessories, and clothing from local artisans and vendors.
In addition to food and shopping, the Bamdokkaebi Night Market features live music performances and other forms of entertainment. The market is a popular spot for young Koreans and tourists looking for a fun night out in Seoul.
There are exciting plans for the 2023 Seoul Bamdokkaebi Markets. They expect to take place in four or five locations, including a possible Christmas market. If you’re planning a trip to Seoul, be sure to add Bamdokkaebi Night Market to your itinerary. Make sure to follow their website to catch up with the latest information.
- Address: (inside Han River Park), 330 Yeouidong-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, Korea
- Open hours: 5 PM – 10 PM from Friday to Sunday
- Website: bamdokkaebi.org
- How to get Bamdokkaebi night market (Yeouido Han River Park): By subway: Yeouinaru on subway line 5 is the nearest subway stop. Exit at exit 2 and proceed to the river.
Are you ready for an unforgettable adventure that will tickle your taste buds and awaken your senses? Look no further than Gwangjang Night Market in Seoul. This bustling hub of Korean tradition and culture is not just a tourist destination. It’s a feast for the senses that will leave you with lasting memories.
From the moment you arrive at Gwangjang Night Market, you’ll be enveloped in a world of sights, sounds, and smells. The market is always packed with visitors and locals, and the air is filled with the tantalizing aroma of sizzling street food. It’s an atmosphere that’s both electric and intoxicating, and you won’t be able to resist getting caught up in it all.
Speaking of street food, Gwangjang Night Market is famous for its bindaetteok. These crispy, savory pancakes are made from mung bean flour and mixed with vegetables and meat, creating a delicious snack that’s a must-try. And if you’re feeling bold, you simply must try the mayak gimbap. These tiny, flavor-packed rice rolls will have you hooked after just one bite – hence the name “mayak,” which means “drug” in Korean.
But Gwangjang Night Market isn’t just a place to satisfy your hunger. It’s also a fantastic destination for anyone interested in Korean traditional culture and handicrafts. You can find a wide variety of handmade textiles, such as scarves and bags, as well as traditional Korean clothing like hanbok. And if you’re looking for unique souvenirs, check out the antique cameras, Korean ceramics, and other one-of-a-kind items.
- Address: 88, Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea
- Open hours: Charity stores 9 AM – 7 PM, Food street 9 PM – 23 PM daily
- How to get Gwangjang Night Market: By subway: Exit 8 from Jongno 5-ga Station on Seoul Metro Line 1 or Exit 4 from Euljiro 4-ga Station on Seoul Subway Lines 2 and 5. By bus: Take Blue Bus routes 101, 103, 106, and 107 or Green Bus Routes: 111, 2014, 2112, and 7212 to Bus Station at Jongno 5(o)-ga Station.
Namdaemun Night Market
The Namdaemun Market is the largest traditional market in South Korea. It has been a center for commerce and trade since the Joseon Dynasty and remains a hub of activity to this day. The market is especially bustling at night when the Namdaemun Night Market comes alive.
The night market, open from 11 PM to 5 AM, offers a unique shopping experience for visitors looking to browse the countless stalls selling everything from traditional Korean goods to the latest fashion trends. As you wander through the narrow alleys, you’ll find a wide variety of street food vendors offering delicious Korean snacks and meals.
Be sure to try some of the famous Korean street food like Naengmyeon (cold buckwheat noodles), tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), mandu (dumplings), and hotteok (sweet pancakes with honey and nuts). The market also offers a variety of Korean souvenirs, including traditional hanbok clothing, Korean pottery, and Korean ginseng.
Aside from shopping and eating, visitors can also take part in the lively atmosphere of the market. Street performers and live music add to the energetic ambiance of the market, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. Whether you’re looking for a unique shopping experience, delicious food, or a taste of Korean culture, Namdaemun Market is definitely worth a visit.
- Address: 21 Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, Korea
- Open hours: 24/7 (night market opens at 10 PM)
- Website: namdaemunmarket.co.kr
- How to get to Namdaemun night market: By subway: Take the 4th metro line, exiting at Hoehyeon Station. By bus: Take Green Bus routes: 0013, 0014, 0015, and 7011 or Blue Bus routes: 130, 104, 152, 162, and 163 to arrive at Namdaemun Market and Hoehyeon Bus Station.
Best Night Markets in Busan
Bupyeong (Kkangtong) Market
If you’re looking for a unique and lively night market experience in Busan, then the Bupyeong Market is the place to be! This market, also known as Kkangtong (tin can) Market, has a fascinating history – it used to be the main supplier of foreign goods in the country.
Today, the market may have shrunk in size due to the import of foreign goods, but it still offers an exciting range of stalls selling various items. You can find everything from Korean street food to international cuisines like Japanese and Filipino dishes. Various foods are available for affordable rates between 2,000 and 4,000 won (1.5 – 3.06 USD). Plus, the market is also home to clothing and accessory vendors, so you’re sure to find something to take home with you!
And the fun doesn’t stop there – as you make your way through the market, you’ll be greeted by bright LED lights and a range of entertaining performances. Catch a magic show or guitar performance twice a day, located at the market entrance or at the four-way intersection inside the market.
- Address: 39 Bupyeong 1-gil, Jung-gu, Busan, Korea
- Open hours: 7:30 PM – 11:30 PM daily
- Website: bupyeong-market.com
- How to get Bupyeong (Kkangtong) Market: By subway: Exit 7 at Jagalchi Station (Busan Metro Line 1). Continue straight, then take your first left. Move approximately 340 meters straight. Turn left and walk approximately 115 meters to locate it on your right.
The Gukje Market, also known as International Market, is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a vibrant shopping experience in Busan. This market has a rich history dating back to the Korean War era. This was when it was the central hub for foreign goods that were difficult to find in the country. In fact, the market’s name “Gukje” translates to “International,” highlighting its significance as the main supplier of foreign products in the city.
Nowadays, the market is a bustling hub filled with an array of stalls selling everything from traditional Korean handicrafts to trendy fashion items. Street food is also a major attraction. The iconic eomuk (fish cake) and hotteok (sweet pancake) are some of the most popular dishes.
In addition to shopping and eating, visitors can also immerse themselves in Busan’s culture and history as they wander through the market’s alleyways. You’ll find traditional Korean medicine shops and even stalls selling Korean musical instruments, giving you a unique glimpse into the city’s heritage.
Don’t forget to put your bargaining skills to the test – haggling is the norm at Gukje Market, and it’s always fun to see if you can get a great deal. The market’s central location makes it easily accessible by public transportation, making it a convenient destination for tourists.
- Address: 25 Gukjesijang 2-gil, Jung-gu, Busan, Korea
- Open hours: 9 AM – 8 PM daily (Business hours differ by store). Closed on the first and third Saturdays of each month.
- Website: gukjemarket.co.kr
- How to get Gukje market: By subway: Exit 7 of Metro Line 1 at Jagalchi Station or Exit 1 of Metro Line 1 at Nampo Station. By bus: Take Bus numbers 15, 40, 86, 126, and 186 to Gukje Market; No 40, and 81 to Bosudong Book Street.
Best Night Markets in Jeonju
Jeonju Nambu Night Market
The Jeonju Nambu Night Market is a foodie’s dream come true and a cultural hotspot all rolled into one! It’s in the heart of Jeonju and is an exciting place to experience traditional Korean culture and feast on delicious street food.
As you step into the market, the mouth-watering aroma of various street foods will captivate your senses. From sweet pancakes to spicy rice cakes and Korean-style pancakes, there’s a range of scrumptious dishes to indulge in. The most popular dish at the market is bibimbap, a traditional rice bowl from Jeonju.
Apart from the food, the market also offers a delightful shopping experience. You can buy handmade crafts, trendy fashion items, and souvenirs to bring back home. Moreover, the market frequently features traditional performances and cultural events to educate visitors about Jeonju’s history and customs.
Jeonju Nambu Night Market has a charming ambiance that’ll make you feel at ease. With a lively atmosphere full of locals and tourists, it’s the perfect place to mingle with new people and experience Korean hospitality first-hand.
- Address: 19-3 Pungnammun 1-gil, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do, Korea
- Open hours: 6 PM – 12 AM every Fri and Sat
- Website: jbsj.kr
- How to get to Nambu Night Market: By bus: Take Bus No. 684 or 61 from Jeonju Intercity Bus Station Bus Stop and get off at Pungnammun Gate Bus Stop. Stroll for about 115 meters.
Whether you’re in Seoul, Busan, or Jeonju, the night markets are a great way to experience the local culture and cuisine. From delicious street food to unique souvenirs, each market has its own unique charm and atmosphere that will leave you with unforgettable memories. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore these vibrant and exciting destinations on your next trip to Korea.
IVK’s Top Picks – Day Tours, Tickets, and Travel Activities