Korean skincare and street food shopping guide in Myeongdong

The shopping paradise of Seoul, South Korea

Myeongdong is a must-stop when you in Seoul. Especially for people addicted to k-beauty and other Korean skincare and makeup brands. Since Korean is not an easy language and people can easily get lost with the mixture of a new language, a new alphabet, and an immense abundance of new flavors and beauty products, I’ve decided to create a small shopping guide in Myeongdong.

Shopping guide in Myeongdong: but what is Myeongdong after all?

Myeongdong is definitely one of the busiest districts in Seoul and can prove this claim with statistics. It is estimated that about two million people walk the area every day. A good part of this crowd is buyers who roam the neighborhood after amazing products and deals. I know that in 2020 this can trigger fear in us, but with the vaccine around the corner in some countries, I believe that tourism can become something like it. What do you think?

And if you do too, Seoul should be on your list. Save this shopping guide in Myeongdong for future references.

shopping guide in Myeongdong
shopping guide in Myeongdong
shopping guide in Myeongdong

Cosmetics and skincare shopping guide in Myeongdong

pokemon k-beauty cream - shopping guide in Myeongdong

Pokemon hand cream illustrating this shopping guide in Myeongdong

While sophisticated retail stores like Lotte Department Store and Shinsegae Department Store are nearby, Myeongdong’s main attraction is the abundance of Korean skin products and cosmetics sold by retail stores and street vendors. The range of options in this category ranges from top brands to bargains, and some permanent stores have their own brands that you can check out.

When you are there, the best tip I can give you is to keep an eye open for promotions like 1+1 or similar. Several of the street shops in Myeongdong have sweet deals to lure customers in. I got a lot of skincare face masks from Pokemon, paying close to nothing in Euros. If you are willing to get packages of 10, the discounts are insane.

Myeongdong can be overwhelming for those not really familiar with Korean brands, so I want to give you some names for you to keep your eyes open in case you see them. Those brands are a mixture of things I bought myself and l-o-v-e-d, recommendations from some friends like in Seoul, and from my research before I went there.

Some of the brands you can expect to find in Myeongdong include:

I really want to give Skin Food a shoutout because they are still the best facemasks I ever tried. I’m writing this post in 2021, and I went to Seoul in 2017. Skin Food is still the unbeatable champion of skincare, according to my very picky and sensitive skin.

pokemon - shopping guide in Myeongdong
skincare and k-beauty - shopping guide in Myeongdong
shopping guide in Myeongdong

Local street food in Myeongdong

And now that we covered beauty, let’s talk about the best part of all travels: trying the local street food.

When you finish carrying your heavy shopping bags filled with skin products for you and as a gift for your friends and family, be sure to stroll the streets of Myeongdong and look for some of the neighborhood’s delicious street foods. You won’t be disappointed. South Korea was one of the most delicious countries I ever visited.

The average you will spend is around KRW 4500 or KRW 6000 per item, about 3,5 to 4 euros. The prices are super friendly for people like myself that spend their whole money on makeup 30 min before. Most Myeongdong stores stay open until 10:00 pm, and some of the smaller stores can remain open until midnight if there is movement, so you will have plenty of time to do your shopping and eat all the delicious things you can find there.

My favorites were gyeran bbang, which is bread with an egg inside that will give you instant happiness. If you can handle spicy, go for tteokbokki and thank me later. For sweet lovers, hotteok is what you want. Tteokbokki are rice cakes in a super delicious and flavorful spicy sauce that only Koreans can make. And hotteok is a sweet and sticky pancake that is to die for.

Making HoDduk

I know it was a very short and straight-forward post. If you need any other question answered, leave a comment that I will do my utmost to answer correctly.

I also want to reinforce the message that traveling during a global pandemic in the second wave is a horrible idea, and nobody should do it. Save this post for later, and stay safe!

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