Seoul is famous for its thriving markets, where locals and visitors alike can wander the stalls, bargaining for food, fabric, housewares, and clothes. In Seoul, different markets are known for various specialties, but Gwangjang Market is one that’s not to be missed.
Established in 1905, the market consists of over 5,000 stores selling fabric, bedding, handmade crafts, ibaji (Korean wedding food), and hanbok (traditional Korean dress). It’s also a great place to grab a bite, as it is home to multi-generational noodle restaurants and famous for its bindaetteok (mung bean pancakes) and mayak gimbap (vegetable seaweed rolls).
We hope this post will serve you as a guide to some of what Gwangjang Market has to offer.
The Food Market
Gwangjang Market is well known for its delicious and inexpensive food. Be sure to try the bindaetteok pancakes, which are made from ground mung beans and made to order. These fried pancakes are flavored with onions, beef, pork, kimchi, and seasonings and come with a small cup of chili-spiked soy sauce for dipping.
Also try some bite-sized mayak gimbap for about 2,500 won. Their name translates loosely as “drug gimbap,” because you probably won’t be able to just have one! But that’s OK, because these delicious snack rolls are healthy. Rice is rolled with pickled radish & carrot in a seaweed wrap and served with a dipping sauce of mustard and soy.
Hanbok and Ibaji
Gwangjang Market’s selection of high quality & affordable traditional Korean garments (hanbok) make it a great place to pick up souvenirs and gifts. Korean tradition extends to Gwangjang’s culinary offerings as well.
The Market is the perfect place to sample the dishes a Korean bride traditionally brings to her in-laws’ home after her honeymoon. These dishes are collectively known as ‘Ibaji food’ and include relishes, rice cakes, small side dishes, and snacks. At Gwangjang, Ibaji can be had in its traditional preparations and presentations, as well as in more modern adaptations.
Gwangjang Market’s vintage clothing marketplace can be found on the 2nd floor of the Textile Gallery Joong Ang Building. A hundred clothing stores offer vintage clothing imported from all over the world and it’s a popular shopping spot among Korea’s fashion set.
Market: 9:00am-6:00pm, closed Sundays
Vintage Sangga: 9:00am-7:00pm, closed Sundays
Food Market 9:00am-11:00pm
Jongno 5-ga Station (Subway Line 1), Exits 7 and 8
Euljiro 4-ga Station (Subway Line 2), Exit 4. Walk 100m.