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“market food!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Gwangjang Market

Gwangjang Market
6-1 Yeji-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea (Gwanghwamun / Jongno)
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Ranked #36 of 614 things to do in Seoul
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Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Though known as a market for clothes, for those in-the-know, this market is actually a foodie’s dream. Gwangjang offers a cornucopia of cheap, traditional Korean snacks and “street foods.” Try the giant mung-bean pancakes for an authentic, affordable treat.
Seoul, Seoul, South Korea
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“market food!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

Traditional Korean food on offer, albeit it is all market style.
You may have to sit outdoors, on wooden planks, but it's still all a part of the experience. Gotta go atleast once. That may be enough though. haha

Visited September 2012
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404 reviews from our community

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Seoul, South Korea
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“History of Seoul since 1904”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

Gwangjang Market located in central Seoul, next to Chungae stream.
It's really crowded and busy place except on Sunday.
You can buy Korean traditional dresses, shoes, clothes etc..and enjoy yummy food!

To buy Hanbok, traditional Korean dress, Go upstairs where wholesalers located!
you can buy Tailored Korean silk dress set by 1/2 price to Gangnam area.
(it took for 3-5 days for express, normally 7-10 days)

Visited November 2012
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Top Contributor
144 reviews 144 reviews
31 attraction reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
“Fascinating Traditional Market”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

We visited this market as part of a tour we recently did and quite enjoyed our brief visit. We visited on a Sunday, so some of the vendors were closed, but the place was still a hive of activity. This market has a bit of everything from shoes to clothes to food to traditional wedding gifts. It's clearly a hot spot for local dining with the seats at all the food stalls packed with hungry people.

Go to check out the local scene. It's not touristy at all (save for all the tourists checking it out). You can get a good feel for it in 30 minutes or so, but it is quite large and you could easily lose track of time taking in all the sights.

Visited January 2013
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Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
“Energized Food Bazaar”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

Owing to protective trade policy, Korea has the highest food price in all OECD countries. Some fancy restaurants, of western or Korean cuisine alike, serve amature overpriced dishes. Thus you start developing hunger for hearty food. As one can read in the restaurant reviews at Tripadvisor, some good restaurants in Seoul cater to economically minded cosmopolitans. There are well priced Korean restaurants hidden in back alleys. Neither of these two are really easily accessible to short-term travelers. Here is a good exception: Gwanjang Market. It used to be for poor people and be not so hygienic. However, with economic development and the consequent elevation of public health, it is loved by all classes of Koreans. It is close to a subway station Jongro 5 Ga, and, literally, is widely open to everybody.

It has a long history, and a good reputation. Many food stalls have been there for a very long time. A great fun place to look around and to see what kind of snacks Koreans love to eat: Duk-bok-gi, Soon-dae, Hue or sashimi, Noodles, etc.

There are many to try. A first-time and thus timid traveller can start with the "Soon Hee Ne"(a common name of a Korean girl; meaning a friendly sister) Bin-dae-duk (meaning pancake). Order Bindaeduk ($4) and Gogi Wanja(flattened meat balls; $5) along with Mag-gol-ri or rice wine. It will make you forget about all your hunger for hearty food since your arrival in Seoul. Do not be confused between market food, like this, and street stall food elsewhere, which would not give any warrantee for hygiene.

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mountain View, California
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
23 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
“Worth going to see”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2012

We wanted a traditional market experience which is what we got at Gwangjang. In the evening after work people stream there to buy things for their households or for dinner or for gifts for weddings or birthdays. Thus you see all kinds of goods in one place. We didn't have much to buy since we got all our souvenirs in Insadong. Instead we wanted to sit at a food stall and snack. There are so many to choose from that your best strategy is to find a stall that has on display what you want to eat and hope the quality and prices are comparable. We had pig trotters, mung bean pancake and jap chae, not any better than elsewhere, nor cheaper either.
But the experience of sitting crunched between tired out working guys and giddy gals headed to a party (judging by the fancy cake box they carried) while being served by a no-nonsense lady
working behind a shelf full of pig parts was really the closest we ever got to a genuine Korean experience all trip. Worth going to see, even if you choose not to eat

Visited November 2012
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