5 Things to Do in Myeongdong (Seoul, Korea)
Photos shot by Lisa Linh - FILM - Yashica T4
Myeong-dong is one of the primary shopping districts in Seoul. The two main streets meet in the center of the block with one beginning from Myeong-dong Subway Station (Seoul Subway Line No. 4) and the other from Lotte Department Store at Euljiro. Many brand name shops and department stores line the streets and alleys. Common products for sale include clothes, shoes, and accessories. Unlike Namdaemun or Dongdaemun, many designer brands are sold in Myeong-dong. In addition, several major department stores have branches here, including Lotte Department Store, Shinsegae Department Store, Myeong-dong Migliore, Noon Square and M Plaza. The department stores carry many premium labels and other fashionable goods at reasonable prices.
Myeong-dong also has family restaurants, fast food, plus Korean, Western and Japanese dining options. Many restaurants in Myeong-dong specialize in dongaseu (pork cutlet) and kalguksu (noodle soup). Other businesses in the area include hair salons, banks and theaters.
Whether you’re only in Seoul for 24 hours or for a few days, do not skip over Myeongdong! I was in Seoul recently for an influencer trip and was only given one free night to explore as I pleased, so of course I made sure to spend that entire time in Myeongdong.
Known mainly for their shopping and street food, Myeongdong is always alive with tourist and locals roaming the streets in search of a good time. From cat cafes to beauty shops galore, there is literally something that will catch your eye as you walk around. While I spent less than 6 hours roaming Myeongdong, I did make it a point to do the following 5 things before I retired back to our hotel.
Address: South Korea, Seoul, Jung-gu, Chungmuro 2(i)-ga, 충무로2가 66-4
Ok, this mainly for my cat lovers. You honestly can’t miss the cafe, as you’ll see a couple big furry cat mascots walking around, showing you exactly where the cat cafe is. I’ve gone to cat cafes in Bangkok, Quebec, and Los Angeles, but I believe Myeongdong’s cat cafe has the most cats I’ve ever seen in one place. The sign says there’s 50 of them but I think it’s more around 30-35, unless the rest were hiding some where. We spent a good 45 minutes in here and yes, there is a small entrance fee and you must purchase a drink but it was so worth it.
Slippers are provided, as well as protective bags for your shoes and purses. You can also buy cat treats to feed the kitties and the ones with blue neckties around them aren’t to be touched (because they get anxiety).
There are plenty of boba spots to choose from in Myeongdong, but the one I tried was Tiger Sugar (51 Myeongdong 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea).
I went with #1, which I believe is the milk tea with brown sugar and one of the most popular drinks they have. I will have to warn that they do use real milk and you are unable to adjust the sweetness/sugar level. While it was good, I found it hard to finish because it was way too sweet for my taste (I typically do 25% sugar). I’m also lactose intolerant but had brought the drink back to the hotel to try. The boba itself was fresh and soft, but the milk tea could’ve been better (IMO).
However, there are plenty of boba shops to choose from as you’re roaming around Myeongdong so you can also go with other options!
Shop at Style Nanda Hotel
Address: 37-8 Myeongdong 8-gil, Chungmuro 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
The cutest shop you’ll ever see. This hotel themed/styled store has 4-5 levels to shop from, including a rooftop and coffee shop. We spent probably an hour going through every floor, as each has a different theme and category of clothing. The first 2 levels are dedicated to beauty supplies. Not only are the prices decent, their variety of looks are also great and so we were able to all buy something we love (and there were 5 of us girls shopping). While I am sad there’s not one in LA, they do ship worldwide so you can bet I’m going to be shopping there from time to time now.
Eat street food
This one is a given! The street food in Myeongdong is clean, delicious, and affordable. There’s a great variety to choose from, including spicy rice cakes, fried shrimp, fried cheese, lobster tail with butter, desserts, and much more. Just be sure to have cash on you!
We tried the tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), gimbap (sushi roll), and fried shrimp. Really wish I had the chance to try more but you know what happens when you get overly excited and eat a bunch of things at once right? You get full too fast! Hah. Highly suggest skipping restaurants and eating street food here. You’ll love it so much more and it’s such an experience.
Don’t forget your beauty goods!
Okay, you can’t go to Korea and not buy beauty products right? There’s a beauty shop every few steps, so you don’t have an excuse not to go into one. Korea is known for beauty and skincare, they literally have everything for anything, for all types of body masks and creams. Best of all, they’re all decently priced.
I went a little nuts and bought hand and foot masks for my friends, some eye masks and these amazing hydrogel patches for your legs. They are the best remedy for after long flights and I’m so mad that I did not buy more than 1 pack because I cannot find them online now. But anyways, make sure to stock up when you’re there — otherwise you’ll majorly regret it.