Myeongdong (명동) is a shopper’s paradise come-to-life. The Seoul government came up with a survey and Myeong-dong is the most searched among other areas in South Korea. It is an area filled with many cosmetics shop, clothes, restaurants and street food. I have compiled a list of the best things to do in Myeongdong:
1. Shop for make-up
Myeongdong is really known for rows and rows of shops that sell make-up. Actually, the competition is very stiff for these shops because the sellers are outside luring customers with free stuff just for them to step inside their shop. That’s why you might end up with 4 or 5 different free face mask from those shops so if you like make-up, this is the place for you.
2. Shop for clothes
Just like make-up, Myeongdong is also filled with so many clothes shop. Top brands like Zara, H&M, Forever 21, Uniqlo have multiple branches in this area. Check out Korean brands like Top Ten, 8 Seconds and even the small unbranded shops for unique finds.
3. Eat Korean BBQ
I like meat. There I said it. Don’t get it twisted honey! Just meat, particularly Korean BBQ. You couldn’t walk a few feet and not stumble on a Korean BBQ restaurant in Seoul especially in Myeongdong.
4. Eat Korean street food
Your visit to Myeongdong is not complete without trying Korean street food. This is one of the items in my 15 Best Things To Do In Seoul article and highly recommended for anyone visiting Myeongdong.
5. Visit the Myeongdong Tourist Information Center
If you want further information about Myeongdong, the best place to go is the Myeongdong Tourist Information Center. They give out maps, directions, and recommendations for tours, reservation for performances and many more.
6. Have a selfie with LINE Friends
LINE is a call and messaging app that is famous here in South Korea just like Kakao Talk and Whatsapp. Some of the characters are Cony, Brown, Moon, and James and they have a store in Myeongdong with a giant Brown stuff toy in the middle. People line up to get their selfies with this cutesy!
7. Watch a movie at CGV Movie Theater
Fancy watching a Korean movie in an actual movie theater? You got it at CGV Theater! It’s not all Korean movies, they also show English movies. Typical ticket cost about 9,000 to 10,000 won.
8. Visit Myeongdong Cathedral
If you are Catholic, might as well visit Myeongdong Cathedral. It is one of the largest Catholic Cathedrals in South Korea and is frequented by visitors and tourists. If you are non-Catholic, you are still welcome to visit and marvel at the structure of the building, as the Myeongdong Cathedral church is one of the earliest and most notable examples of Gothic Revival architecture in Korea.
9. Eat a 32cm-long ice-cream
This ice-cream is mouth-watering, especially during summer!
10. Check out Olive Young’s Perfume section
I love perfume (hint: Christmas gift) and Olive Young is a beauty supplies store which has a whole wall of perfume and you can try them out and see what works for you. I’m not sure if the prices are much affordable in Seoul than in other places but the store offers discounts most of the time.
11. Marvel at 8 floors of Daiso
Daiso is store for cheap finds for household wares and trinkets and usually, their stores would be 2-storeys. Well, they opened this year (2017) an 8-storey building in Myeongdong! Incredible!
12. Eat at VIPS
This is one of my favorite steakhouses and their salads are divine!
13. Scour for great outfits at Zara and H & M
I just had to single out these two because they are my fave. They each also have 2 branches in Myeongdong.
14. Eat at Mom’s Touch
If you had your fill of Korean food and would like to try something else like fast food, I would certainly recommend Mom’s Touch. They have a sumptuous cajun chicken and their burgers are delicious. There’s also KFC and McDonald’s in Myeongdong.
15. Experience Nanta Theater
Nanta is a non-verbal performance combining Korea’s traditional rhythm, comedy, and drama watched by 8 million people all over the world. It is in the 3rd to 5th floor of the Unesco Building in Myeongdong.
16. Learn something at the Seoul Global Center
Wouldn’t your vacation be memorable if you experience something unique? Like learning to cook Korean cuisine, learning how to dance Kpop, or enhance your make-up skills? Seoul Global Center offers that and so much more. They are located on the 5th floor of M-Plaza in Myeongdong.
17. Visit Boots for all-in-one shopping for make-up and skin care
Boots is the newest multi-level shop for hard to find makeup and cosmetic products. At the height of my cosrx products craziness (where other shops don’t have them), this was where I found them.
18. Hoard on K-pop idol merchandise
Korea is where Kpop started (duh!) and people are crazy about them (who isn’t?) So it’s no surprise that Kpop merch can also be found everywhere in Myeongdong!
19. Try Ginseng Chicken soup at Baekje Samgyetang (백제삼계탕)
Samgyetang is a milky broth chicken soup with a whole chicken on it. Baekje Samgyetang has been around for 40 years and this restaurant is packed most of the time.
8-10, Myeongdong 8-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 중구 명동8길 8-10 (명동2가)
20. Visit the Myeongdong Underground shopping area
Who thought that you can shop underground? Brilliant!
21. Visit Style Nanda Cafe
One of the coolest and stylish cafe in Myeongdong, Style Nanda is not to be missed. You can go to rooftop and chill in their cool lounge. Just hope it doesn’t rain.
22. Be fascinated with Myeongdong Theater
Right in the center of Myeong-dong is this grand theater that features a wide-range of performances such as theater plays, non-verbal performances, musical festivals, acting contest, etc.
23. Visit the top department stores
As if I haven’t told much about shopping, there are more options for you to shop. There’s the Lotte Young Plaza, Shinshegae Department Store, and Migliore Store.
24. Ask for direction
A little lost? Don’t worry, help is here. They are not Santa, but they are wearing red. You can see them in the middle of the streets of Myeongdong. Most of them speak English and Chinese but I don’t know the other languages.
25. People watch
After all that shopping and munching food, it is just so convenient to just relax and people watch in Myeongdong. This area is the No. 1 most visited and searched in Seoul so people really flock here.
How to get to Myeongdong:
Take the metro and get off at Myeongdong station line 4 exit 6 or Euljiro 1-ga station line 2 exit 5.
Disclaimer: Prices quoted here may change without prior notice. This blog is not an affiliate of any of the shops mentioned.
So in summary, here are the 25 best things to do in Myeongdong:
- Shop for make-up
- Shop for clothes
- Eat Korean BBQ
- Eat Korean street food
- Visit the Myeongdong Tourist Information Center
- Have a selfie with LINE friends
- Watch a movie at CGV Movie Theater
- Visit Myeongdong Cathedral
- Eat a 32cm-long ice cream
- Check out Olive Youn g’s perfume section
- Marvel at 8 floors of Daiso store
- Eat at VIPS
- Scour for great outfits at Zara and H&M
- Eat at Mom’s Touch
- Experience Nanta Theater
- Learn something at Seoul Global Center
- Visit Boots for all-in-one shopping for make-up and skin care
- Hoard on K-pop idol merchandise
- Try Ginseng Chicken soup at Baekje Samgyetang
- Visit the Myeongdong Underground shopping area
- Visit Style Nanda Cafe
- Be fascinated with Myeongdong Theater
- Visit the top department stores
- Ask for direction
- People watch
Which activity did you like best? Would you like to add something to this list?
Please let us know in the comments section below.