Things To Do In Myeongdong
Myeongdong, literally translates to ‘bright tunnel’, is one of the most famous districts in Seoul. You’ll find it listed as ‘number one’ among places to go in Seoul. That’s indeed the best area to go shopping for souvenirs and is a great area to stay in as it is close to most touristic places and you’ll find the cheapest deals to exchange your money. Read on to find out more about things to do in Myeongdong.
- Background About Myeongdong
- What To Know When Visiting Myeongdong
- Things To Do In Myeongdong
- 1. Visit Myeongdong Cathedral
- 2. Nanta Cooking Show
- 3. Mud Spa Experience
- 4. Line Friends And Kakao Store
- 5. Shopping In Myeongdong: K-Pop, Socks And Cosmetics
- 6. Myeongdong Food Market
- 7. Themed Cat Cafe
- 8. Grevin Museum Myeongdong
- 9. Hanbok Experience
- 10. Myeongdong Shooting Range
- 11. Make Your Own Perfume
- 12. Korean Cooking Class
- 13. Other Things To Do In Myeongdong
- How To Go To Myeongdong
- What To Eat In Myeongdong
- Where To Stay In Myeongdong
Background About Myeongdong
Located in Jung-gu district in Seoul, Myeongdong is very central. Packed with guesthouses, restaurants, shops, easy to reach by public transport, it is a good place to enjoy the whole Seoul. Myeongdong is an old district and has been known as a popular young district since the 70’s when many shops opened there. Since 2000, even the official tourist bus of Seoul stops there. More than 2.000.000 people pass by Myeongdong everyday. Why do you have to be one of them? Because you’ll never get bored in Myeongdong.
What To Know When Visiting Myeongdong
- What to wear: this depends on the time of the year you’ll be visiting Seoul. Make sure to pack appropriate for the season. More info here.
- Tipping in Myeongdong: Korea has a no tipping culture, except for taxis and tour guides.
- Best restaurants: not only is Myeongdong known for its street market, there are some great restaurants in the area too. Check the best restaurants in Myeongdong here.
- Foreigner discounts: sites like Klook and Trazy offer lots of special discounted entrance tickets, only for foreigners.
- Public transport pass: buy a T-money card to get around Seoul, this can be used on the subway, bus and in taxis. More info here.
- Itineraries: make sure to include Myeongdong in your Seoul itineraries. It is recommended to book accommodation in this area and use Myeongdong as a base to discover the rest of Seoul.
- Getting to Myeongdong: getting from Incheon Airport to Myeongdong is quite easy. There are 4 transport options: trains, subway, bus and taxi. Check how to get to Myeongdong here.
Things To Do In Myeongdong
Historical sightseeing, Korean products shopping, relaxing in themed cafes, wandering in markets, eating snacks, there is nothing you can’t do in Myeongdong. Below listed are the best things to do in Myeongdong.
1. Visit Myeongdong Cathedral
Interested in history and architecture? Myeongdong’s Cathedral is unique. It was built in the end of 19th century with bricks in a French Gothic style. It is the Korean National Treasure n°258 because of its historical and architectural story. The cathedral is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Myeongdong during the Christmas season. Tip: on the left at the entrance, you can also have a look at the cave of Bernadette Soubirous.
Entrance Fee: free
Opening Times: Daily 10 am – 6 pm
2. Nanta Cooking Show
At the Nanta theater, you can attend a great show filled with comedy, music and acrobatics based on cooking Korean food. It has been the longest running show at a theater in Seoul and is a must have experience in Myeongdong. More info here.
3. Mud Spa Experience
Massages, mud masks, sauna… take time to take care of yourself, body and soul. At the Myeongdong Mud Sauna, you can relax and get various treatments for your skin with natural mud from Boryeong, a beautiful part located in the South West of Korea. Get the complete Korean experience and enjoy getting scrubbed and massages in a safe environment. This is a spa for women only and it is one of the best things to do in Myeongdong, especially in the evening after a long day of sightseeing. More info here.
Opening Times: Daily 9:00 am – 1:00 am (last admission at 11 pm)
4. Line Friends And Kakao Store
If you have a Korean friend, you probably know Kakaotalk. It is the Korean “what’s app” or “viber”, and everybody use it in South Korea. The app uses very special and cute characters. You can find these characters at the Kakao Friends Store in Myeongdong mall. It is a great shop to visit, even if you’re not planning on buying anything. There are multiple photo spots around the store and you’ll find loads of goodies.
Line Friends Flagship Store is the main competitor of the Kakao Friends Store. It is also very popular and you might have to queue to be able to take a picture with a welcoming giant “Brown”.
5. Shopping In Myeongdong: K-Pop, Socks And Cosmetics
If you are a fan of k-pop, Myeongdong shopping street is the place to be. There are shops everywhere packed with CDs, goodies, posters of all k-pop idols, from the most famous ones to the underground ones. You can also go shopping underground in Myeongdong, there you’ll find a dozen of music and souvenir shops.
Tip: even if you’re not a fan of k-pop, there are music shops who offer an amazing collection of 60’s pop and rock’n’roll LPs. It’s probably the only place where you get a chance to hear some different kind of Korean music!
Socks are very popular in Korea. You can buy them in many of the shops for only 1000 krw. These socks have all kinds of characters on them. From Avengers to Adventure Time, Monster Academy and cute kittens. These are also a perfect gift to bring back home for friends and family as they are cheap, light, cute and useful.
Another thing you’ll find in Myeongdong is cosmetic stores. Korean beauty products are famous all over the world and Myeongdong has all the main brands including Innisfree, Etude Maison, Skinfood and many more. In front of each store are sales (wo)men giving away free samples like face masks.
Tip: Korean masks are another great gift to bring back home. There are some really funny masks with animal prints like panda or tigers that will make you look beautiful and cool.
Myeongdong also has its own duty free shopping mall. Items purchased at the duty free can be picked up at the airport when leaving Korea. Get FREE voucher for N Seoul Tower when purchasing items at the duty free.
6. Myeongdong Food Market
Walking all around Myeogndong will make you hungry for sure. Myeongdong night market is the street food heaven. Try tteokbokki, roasted chestnuts, sweet potatoes or the more original street food like omelettes cooked on the spot or fresh sea shells. Myeongdong night markets starts around 4 pm and stays open till 11 pm. It is one of the best things to do in Myeongdong at night. There are a couple of other night markets in Seoul but Myeongdong is by far the best place to go in Seoul at night for trying street food.
7. Themed Cat Cafe
If you want to take a break and or wonder what to do in Myeongdong then visit a themed cafe and relax. Korea is famous for its themed cafes, with cat cafes being the most popular one. Godabang Cafe is a great cat cafe. There are two branches, in Myeongdong and Hongdae. Rules are quite strict to ensure the well being of the animals. Upon entering, you must wash your hands and agree to a few rules like not running to catch the cats or not disturbing/touching them while they are asleep. But don’t worry, most cats will come easily to you, even more if give them some treats that are sold separately at the shop, so you can pet and spoil them as much as you want!
Entrance Fee: 9000 krw including a free drink.
Opening Times: Daily 1 pm – 10 pm
8. Grevin Museum Myeongdong
Yes, you can have fun in a museum! The Grevin Wax Museum in Myeongdong is the place to be if you love Korean idols. The museum covers everyone from Joseon kings to Korean athletes, K-pop idols and actors. Other foreign people include the American presidents, Queen Elizabeth, Einstein and many others. The museum is very interactive and offers digital games, it is a great place to when coming with kids to Seoul. Find more info here.
Opening Times: daily 9:30 pm – 7 pm
9. Hanbok Experience
Try on the traditional Korean hanbok and do a photo shoot! Putting on the traditional Korean clothing has to be on your bucket list. If the weather is bad and you can’t enjoy walking around the sunning palaces while wearing a hanbok, try this indoor hanbok experience and photo shoot. The professional photographers will capture this beautiful moment with your friends or family. More info here.
10. Myeongdong Shooting Range
Always wanted to try shooting a real gun on targets? Well, look no further and enjoy shooting at Myeongdong shooting range. This is a truly unique thing to do in Myeongdong as you’ll have to change to learn shooting with 100 different firearms from category A or B guns. More info here.
11. Make Your Own Perfume
Learn how to make your own perfume at the Myeongdong G.N perfume studio. Choose from over 150 different base scents and 20 natural flavours. At the end of the class you can take your personalized bottle home, which will be a unique souvenir of your Korea trip. More info here.
12. Korean Cooking Class
Learn to make your own kimchi and tteokbokki at the Myeongdong kimchi school. The class takes around 1 hour and is a great experience for anyone who wants to make their own Korean food. More info here.
13. Other Things To Do In Myeongdong
How To Go To Myeongdong
Myeongdong Subway station is located on line 4 which is easily accessible from any subway station in central Seoul. Check the Seoul subway app for the best route. From most of the tourisic districts in Seoul there are direct buses running to Myeongdong. Check live bus times on theKakao Map App.
1. Incheon Airport To Myeongdong
By Subway (1h20) : Take the Airport Line until Seoul Station. Then change to line 4 (direction Danggogoe) and get off at Myeongdong station (2 stations).
By Taxi (45min): just tell the driver to go to Myeongdong. The taxi fare shoud be around 60 000 krw.
By Bus (1h40): the bus 6015 will take you directly from Incheon T.1 to Myeongdong.
What To Eat In Myeongdong
Apart from the Myeongdong street food night market, there are loads of great restaurants and cafes in the area.
Our top pick to try a bingsu is the Red Mango and Cacao Green Café. Bingsu is a traditional Korean dessert. The dessert cafe offers homemade delicious ice flakes which are first very instagrammable, and the bingsu is very tasty and seasonal! Another must try at the cafe is the chocolate.
Another great place to eat is Myeongdong Kyoja. This authentic Korean restaurant serves the best noodle and dumpling soup.
Where To Stay In Myeongdong
Myeongdong is the place to stay in Seoul. It is very well connect to the rest of Seoul and some of the best hotels are located in this area.
- Budget: Citil House is a great budget accommodation in Myeongdong. The owners are extremely welcoming and will provide you with any information necessary about the hostel and Seoul. More info here.
- Mid-range: Step Inn Myeongdong 2 is the highest rated accommodation in Myeongdong on booking. A simple breakfast and nice clean hotel rooms are some of the perks at this hotel. More info here.
- Luxury: G2 Hotel Myeongdong is an amazing hotel in the heart of Myeongdong. Staff is extremely friendly and the breakfast is yummy. This hotel will leave you all relaxed, ready to enjoy a full day of sightseeing in Seoul. More info here.
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Are you planning on visiting Myeongdong, Seoul? Do you have any questions about the best things to do in Seoul? Have any suggestions on things to add to this places to visit in Myeongdong blog post? Let me know in the comment section below.
Written by Alexandra Prévôt