[english.visitkorea.or.kr] Korea’s four distinctive seasons might be appealing to visitors from a country with a tropical climate year-round; however, cold winds in winter or the sudden downpours during the rainy season in summer may cause varying levels of inconvenience in having a pleasant shopping experience in Korea. This is precisely why Korea Tourism Organization has prepared a list of the top five underground shopping malls in Seoul, where one can go and fully enjoy shopping, without being restricted by the whims of weather. These underground malls boast a large number of shops and offer more reasonable prices than stores at famous touristic shopping zones such as Sinsadong Garosu-gil Road or Myeong-dong. Plus, these malls are near public transportation, allowing you to visit the malls and enjoy shopping while keeping your feet dry even in the middle of a rain storm.
Express Bus Terminal Underground Mall, Goto Mall
Goto Mall, a contraction of gosok teomineol, meaning "express bus terminal," was newly renovated in 2012, and is often called a shopping heaven for women. The 880-meter-long alley consists of 600 stores, making it the largest underground shopping mall of its kind in Seoul.
The latest clothing trends, accessories, cosmetics, interior products and whole sale flowers - you name it, Goto Mall has it.
At the end of the mall, restaurants and food courts are available for shoppers to ease their hungry stomachs after a big shopping spree. Goto Mall offers relatively cheaper deals than Dongdaemun and Namdaemun markets, which are frequently visited by foreign shoppers. Do not miss out on the fun of bartering for great deals on great products.
Yeongdeungpo Underground Mall
Yeongdeungpo has long been a hub of public transportation in Seoul that is always crowded with people coming and going. Since the opening of Times Square, a mega shopping mall in 2009, it has been drawing even more traffic. Yeongdeungpo Underground Mall offers a variety of products marketed to different age groups from teenagers to seniors.
The underground mall can be divided into three major sections. The area near Yeongdeungpo Market is popular among seniors. The middle area features a variety of stores and the area in between Yeongdeungpo Station and Times Square has shops for teens and young adults.
Yeongdeungpo Underground Mall mostly caters toward menswear but is also near Shinsegae Department Store and Times Square for a variety of shopping options.
Gangnam Terminal Underground Shopping Center
Gangnam has recently become quite popular among international travelers, and the new underground shopping mall is where affordability meets quality.
Gangnam Station, on Line 2 of Seoul Subway, boasts the greatest concentration of clothing, cosmetics, and telecommunications stores, making it easy for shoppers to do price comparisons before making purchases. Also, the Sinbundang Line Underground Shopping Center, which is attached to Gangnam Station, features low- to mid-priced brands and franchised coffee shops spread out over a large area, offering one of the most convenient and comfortable underground shopping experiences. For those who are determined to do a big shopping spree, try walking through Gangnam Underground Shopping Mall all the way to Sinnonhyeon Station, and exiting out on to Gangnam-daero Road. The much-loved Gangnam-daero Road is known for its sprawling shopping district.
Jamsil Underground Shopping Center
Another shopping center in the heart of Seoul is located at Jamsil. This underground shopping mall is rather small in scale, yet the 135 stores housed here offer sufficient options for shoppers. Jamsil Underground Shopping Mall is connected to Lotte World and Lotte Department Stores, offering the chance to enjoy exquisite Korean cuisine at a variety of restaurants. With the recent grand opening of Lotte World Mall, the shopping center has begun to draw in more and more traffic with each passing day.
COEX Mall recently went through a huge renovation and reopened with the theme ‘unfolding sky,’ featuring a wide open space and bright lighting that flatters the many brand stores located in the mall.
A movie theater, aquarium, duty-free shops, casino, Seoul InterContinental Hotel, and department stores are all delightfully connected to the underground mall, making it possible to enjoy shopping and cultural experiences without leaving the building. Famous restaurants and trendy dessert cafés, along with character pop-up stores and kid’s cafés provide a fun day for all generations.