Seoul’s long-standing commercial district, Dongdaemun and Jongno, Course 5

Seoul’s long-standing commercial district, Dongdaemun and Jongno, Course 5

Dongdaemun is dong (east) + dae (big) + mun (gate) in English. The original name of this gate is Heunginjimun, but it is usually called Dongdaemun.

Dongdarmun Market was formerly meant as a market along the Cheonggyecheon stream next to this gate, but now refers to the entire area, including large-scale clothing shopping malls such as Migliore, Doota and Apm. 

Also, Dongdaemun and Jongno are old commercial districts, so there are many attractions that travelers should like.

• Estimated travel distance: 2.5 Km
• Estimated time: 3~5 hours

Course Map

Course 5 map

P1. Then, let ‘s go to the flea market in front of exit 3 of Dongmyo subway station (line 6).

Dongmyo Flea Market

Dongmyo flea market 1
On the left is the Dongmyo, a shrine dedicated to General Guan Yu in the Three Kingdoms period of China.
Dongmyo flea market 2
There are quite a variety of things from antiques to used clothes.

Dongmyo → Dongdaemun

Dongdaemun street view 1
Dongdaemun street view 2

There are many street vendors in Dongdaemun and Jongno, so it is fun to walk.

Dongdaemoon Stationery and Toy Market

Stationery and Toy Market 1

You can see a pencil-shaped structure as you go toward Dongdaemoon. This alley is a stationery, toy wholesale market.

Stationery and Toy Market 2

10:00 – 18:00 (Nov – Feb: 17:00) • 390-29 Changsin-dong Jongno-gu, Seoul •

Here you can buy the latest korean toys, sports goods, albums, art calligraphy, party supplies and old toys at wholesale prices.

Dongdaemoon Gate

Dongdaemun gate 1
Do you see the Dongdaemun gate in front?
Dongdaemun gate 2

You can choose one of three directions here. This blog introduces the course going straight to Jongno.

Shopping area

If you want to shop, go left. There are many shopping malls like Doota, Migliore and APM, including Dongdaemun Market near Cheonggyecheon Bridge. Also, there is Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP), a complex cultural space.

Dongdaemun Market view 1
Dongdaemun DDP

Interesting exhibitions often take place in the DDP. Check the homepage.

Seoul Fortress Wall & Ihwa Mural Village

If you want to go to Ihwa Mural Village and Naksan Park along Seoul Fortress Wall, go to the right.

Dongdaemun Seoul Fortress Wall 1
Dongdaemun Seoul Fortress Wall 2

It is the Naksan section of Seoul Fortress Wall, which was built in the early Joseon period and surrounded Seoul. Of course, it is a restored castle wall, but you can see old castle walls here and there. .

Daehangno Ihea Mural Village 7

If you go about 1km, you will see Ewha Mural Village and Naksan Park. And the area below is Daehangno.

Daehangno is a cultural center where most plays are performed in Korea and is similar to Hongdae where young people gather. Travelers who think Hongdae is complicated may prefer Daehangno more.

Now, let’s continue straight in the direction of Jongno.

Dongdaemun street view 4

Cross the street in front of Dongdaemun gate. Walking a little, you can see street food stalls. Find out what street food is popular.

Jongno street view 1

Keep following the road. Then cross the street when you meet the subway Jongno 5-ga Intersection.

Gwangjang Market

Gwangjang Market 1

If you go about 100 meters further, you will see the main entrance of Gwangjang Market. This market is more than 100 years old like Namdaemun Market, and there are Hanbok stores, wholesale stores, textile shops, general stores and popular large food courts.

Gwangjang Market 2
Gwangjang Market Food 1

There are a variety of foods, but the “Sun-hee-ne bindaetteok (Mung bean pancake)” is the most famous.

Gwangjang Market Food 2

This is the shop. In the past, it was only here near the entrance, but now there are four places in the market.

Yukhoe Alley

Gwangjang Market Food 3

After 50 meters past the main entrance, you will see a Yukhoe (Korean-style raw beef) alley. 

Gwangjang Market Food 4

Yukhoe is one of the famous foods of Gwangjang Market. There are restaurants registered in Michelin Seoul in 2018, but it is not much different from other restaurants.


Seoul Jongmyo 1

P11. About 400 meters further, there is Jongmyo Shrine across the street. 

Opening hours
♦ 09: 00-17: 00 (June-August 17:30, November-January 16:30),
♦ Only guided tour available (about 1 hour)
   – English – 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00
   – Japanese – 09:00 09:40 10:40 11:40 12:40 13:40 14:40 15:40
   – Chinese – 11:00 13:00 15:00
♦ Saturday is free to see without guide, Closed on

Seoul Jongmyo 2

Jongmyo was built in 1395 as a shrine for the royal tablets of the Joseon Dynasty. Afterwards, it was destroyed during the Japanese invasion, but it was reconstructed in 1608.

Korea’s Jongmyo has its own building style and ceremony, which is why it is registered as a UNESCO heritage site. Even now, every year on the first Sunday of May, it reproduces a great ceremony here.

Seoul Sewoon building

If you have time, it is a good idea to go to the roof of this building before crossing the street.

Seoul Jongno view

This rooftop, created as a resting place, will give you a good view of Jongno area.

Jongno-3ga Station

Jongno 3ga

P13. The end of course 5 is Jongno 3-ga intersection. If you go straight, you will get Jongno 2-ga, Jonggak, and Gwanghwamun. Then turn right and you will see the gate of Changdeokgung Palace at about 800 meters.

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