Several vendors selling various street foods at the Myeongdong night market as many tourists and locals explore

Myeongdong Night Market in Seoul: Ultimate Guide

Myeongdong Night Market has become Seoul’s most popular evening destination, drawing crowds seven nights a week with its vibrant atmosphere.

This bustling street food market features 100-150 stalls offering an array of tasty Korean and international street foods, unique souvenirs, and more! 

Visiting the night market, you can expect diverse street foods, from grilled chicken skewers, charred steak cuts, seafood options, Korean fried chicken, and many desserts.

Surrounding the Myeongdong Night Market are many bars and restaurants to visit!

Goods-wise, you can find many souvenirs at the night market in Myeongdong, from keychains to plush toys, stickers, and various souvenirs.

Myeongdong is the most touristy area in Seoul and resembles the city’s center, which is why it’s become one of the most popular night markets in Seoul today. Locals refer to this market as the Dong Night market, by the way!

several sweets being sold by a vendor at the night market in Myeongdong

Where is the Myeongdong Night Market

Located right in the heart of Myeongdong, you can find the Myeongdong Night Market at this exact intersection:

Myeongdong 10-gil & Toegye-ro

The intersection mentioned above is exactly where the Myeondong Night Market begins; you can walk down the extensive street and explore the rest of the market.

As you make your way through the market, you will also notice a few side streets with stalls as well!

Opening time for the Myeongdong Night Market is 4:00 PM; if you show up slightly earlier, you will notice a few vendors setting up their stalls.

But if you show up too early to the intersection mentioned above, you may not see any stalls and think you’re possibly at the wrong location; well, you’re not; you’re just earlier!

TIP: Walking around, Google Maps doesn’t work; you’ll need to download Kakao Maps

Myeongdong Night Market Opening Times

The Myeongdong Night Market opens at 4:00 PM every day, but sometimes, you will notice some vendors set up as early as 3:30 PM.

Closing time is 10:00 PM every day, but sometimes you’ll notice fewer food vendors after 9:00 PM.

For those who’re coming late, having gone many times, the latest I’ve seen food vendors out is close to 11:00 PM.

a crowded busy street full of locals and tourists in the evening visiting the Myeongdong Night Market

Food at Myeongdong Night Market

If you don’t know already, Korea is popular for its street food, and this is precisely why night markets are popular in Korea.

It’s not possible to list all the street food you’ll find at the Myeongdong Night Market, and there are too many foods to try.

But here’s a short list of famous Korean street food you should prioritize trying when visiting!

Grilled Meat Skewers:

Whether you’re at a night market in Korea, Thailand, or anywhere else in Asia for that matter, you’re guaranteed to find flaming, tasty grilled meat skewers.

As you make your way through the night market, you’ll spot several meat skewer stalls, from grilled chicken to lamb and more. It’s hard to avoid the smell when walking by!

Depending on your order, a single meat skewer will cost around 5,000 to 7,000 KRW.

Korean Fried Chicken:

One of the most popular foods in Korea is Korean Fried Chicken. The difference between regular fried chicken and the Korean kind is the Korean version is double-fried with extra crispy chicken skin, served with a wide variety of tastebud-punching flavors.

You’ll spot many types of Korean fried chicken at the Myeongdong Night Market, from the traditional spicy option to sweet flavors like coconut coated.

Star Chicken is a famous vendor at the night market offering Korean fried chicken in savory-sweet flavors.

popular Korean fried chicken vendor selling his street food at the Dong night market

Lobster & Cheese:

A sizzling lobster with melted cheese right on top? Need to say more? This is an absolute must-try food at the night market and was possibly my favorite Korean street food.

Most nights at the market, you’ll spot at least three vendors selling their version of grilled lobster with cheese on top; it’s hard to miss them with their large fake lobster decorations used to promote their stalls!

The best part about the lobster and cheese at Myeongdong market is the price! It’s only for around 15,000 KRW!

Fried Mini Crab:

These small buckets full of fried crabs served with a sauce of your choice are delicious. They’re deep-fried, so you can chew right through the shell, and you don’t feel it whatsoever.

On the side, you’ve got a choice of many sauces to flavor up your deep-fried deformed crab!

I’ve enjoyed this in many night markets throughout Asia; it’s one of my favorite street food eats. The small bucket of crab sells for 5,000 KRW.

Grilled Scallops:

Blowtorched scallops are always a good idea, especially for those who love seafood! You’ll find a few scallops and oyster vendors selling their seafood delights.

All offer their unique sauces served on top of the seafood to flavor things up!

Syrup-Coated Fruit:

As soon as you spot these sugary syrup-coated fruits under a bright light, you’ll instantly find yourself curious, wondering what it is.

Known in Korean as Ddalgi Satang, these are skewered fruit coated in a hard sugar coating, and they’re delicious, but be careful; they’re addicting!

On the outside, it’s a hard, sugary exterior, but after licking it, you can bite through the sugary shell and expect soft fruit on the inside; strawberries and grapes are used to make this sugary, sweet dessert.

rows of sugar glazed sweet fruits at a vendors stall at the Myeongdong Night Market in Seoul, Korea

Korean Pancakes:

Referred to as “jeon” or “buchimgae,” in Korean, Korean pancakes are a popular appetizer or snack made up of a mix containing wheat flour and eggs.

They’re enjoyed in many ways, depending on the choice of toppings. You can expect a delicate, fluffy, sugary pancake with a brown sugar filling in a sweet Korean pancake.

But in a savory type of Korean pancake, expect toppings like minced fish, meat, green onions, and other veggies.

Both pancakes have the same wheat and egg base, but they couldn’t taste any different!

Korean Taffy:

Commonly known as Dragon’s Beard candy, this popular Korean Taffy is made from thousands of ripened honey/malt strands.

Walking along the night market, you’ll notice this mild-tasting dessert instantly because of its unique white color and enclosed cover placement.

Unfortunately, vendors don’t sell just one piece but a fairly sized amount; the taffy sells at around 10,000 KRW per portion.

vendors making Korean taffy in an enclosed box from their stall at the night market in Myeongdong

Grilled Squid:

No matter where you visit in Asia, all things squid are popular: pancakes, dried squid, and grilled squid!

Known as one of the more Korean street foods, several vendors at the Myeongdong Night Market sell fresh grilled squid. Koreans love the taste of grilled fishy squid!

Expect to pay around 12,000 KRW for a portion of grilled squid.

Grilled Cheese:

No, this isn’t your average western-known grilled cheese sandwich with toast, which many know and love.

This is simpler but just as tasty, and it’s a dense, creamy Korean cheese, finely grilled until it has a perfectly brown grilled exterior—slightly crunchy cheese on the outside, followed by soft melting cheese on the inside.

food stall selling his perfectly grilled cheese skewers at the night market in Myeongdong

Shopping at Myeongdong Night Market

Now let’s discuss the other stalls at the market that don’t sell street food, because there’s quire a few selling various goods!

Commonly spotted items to buy at the Myeongdong night market are the following:

  • K-Pop related items
  • Korean cosmetics/skincare items
  • Socks
  • Sweaters
  • Korean souvenirs

  • Jewelry
  • Electronic accessories
  • Counter Handbags
  • Luggage suitcases
  • Korean dessert boxes

TIP: If you’re looking to shop for any of the following products listed above, I strongly recommend you visit Myeongdong shops during the day before 3:00 PM.

During the day, the streets of Myeongdong aren’t nearly as busy as in the evening. You can shop in peace without the crowds, and a lot of the items sold at the shops here are sold by night market vendors.

Come in the day for shopping, but for the street food, you’ll have to show up during opening night market hours!

several locals and tourists walking at night in the Myeongdong area in Seoul, South Korea

Where to Stay in Myeongdong

Myeongdong is one of the most popular areas to stay in in Seoul, South Korea. The area is often referred to as Seoul’s Times Square, meaning Myeongdong is the city’s heart.

Choosing to stay in Myeongdong is a convenient choice, especially for first-time visitors. If you enjoy vibrant evenings, Myeongdong is the place for you at night!

You’ll also find yourself near many of Seoul’s most famous tourist attractions, museums, and parks and close to Seoul Station, which can take you to Incheon International Airport.

The best part is Myeongdong’s subway station, which can take you anywhere you’d like in the city.

Here is a short list of the best hotels in Myeongdong, starting off with a guesthouse-style hotel, budget-friendly option, mid-range, and luxury option! – All hotels listed below are near subway stations

Myeongdong Sunshine Guesthouse Located right in the heart of Myeongdong, steps away from the night market, this guesthouse offers private rooms with washrooms at a budget-friendly price

Moxy Seoul Myeongdong Seoul modern-style hotel; rooms aren’t too spacious, but the hotel’s price/location is well worth it

ibis Ambassador Myeongdong A comfortable mid-range hotel in a great location, close to the Myeongdong night market, restaurant, and plenty of shopping

The Plaza Seoul A prestigious modern hotel located on the edge of the Myeongdong area, near many parks and must-visit tourist sites

the stunning pond at the Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul, Korea on a beautiful Fall afternoon
Gyeongbokgung Palace

How to Get Around Seoul

Subway/Train: To get to Myeongdong Night Market from anywhere in Seoul, take Line No.4 to the Myeong-dong Station and leave at Exit 8

Bus: You can use the local Bus in Seoul to get around, though the subway is much quicker

Kakao T: Similar to Uber/Grab, Kakao T is a ridesharing app, and you can order a car to your service for a ride, download the app, set it up, and be on your way

Regular Taxi: There are several taxis around Seoul, they’re usually white; when you take one, make sure the driver uses the meter, the meter starts at 4,000 KRW

popular street in the Myeongdong area full of bright coloured signage for restaurants and businesses

Seoul Tips

  • Most places accept cards but always have at least some cash with you always.
  • Use KakaoMaps app for directions when walking / GoogleMaps doesn’t work
  • Get a reloadable T-Money card to use for Subway/Buses; get it at convenience stores like GS25 or 711.
  • Some points in the city you cannot cross; you’ll need to use an overpass or underground cross paths.
  • Google Translate is okay, but Papago offers a more accurate translation from English to Korean.
  • Make sure to show up early when taking the train from Seoul Station to Incheon International Airport; tickets sell out.
  • Don’t tip in Korea. It’s considered rude and offensive. There’s no reason ever to tip in Korea.
nice architecture and spacious street on the aesthetically pleasing designed main street in Itaewon, Seoul

Myeongdong Night Market — Final Thoughts

The famous Myeongdong Night Market is an absolute must-visit when you’re in Seoul. it shouldn’t be missed, especially for those who love street food!

There are plenty of Korean street foods to try and plenty of goods to shop for, and it’s a good way to see some of the local nightlife besides bars/nightclubs.

After visiting this night market, it doesn’t mean your night needs to come to an end; near the night market are many excellent bars and restaurants to check out!

Make sure to bring cash when you visit the night market, and try to come with an assortment of bills.

So come visit the Myeongdong Night Market, try many different Korean street foods, buy a souvenir or two to take home, and enjoy!

Other areas in Seoul you should check out are HongdaeItaewon, and Gangnam. Just slightly north of Myeongdong is Insadong, another great area to explore in Seoul!

crowded intersection in Myeongdong full of locals and tourists visiting the local night market
How do I get to Myeongdong Night Market?

Take the subway from anywhere in Seoul, take Line No.4 to the Myeong-dong Station, and leave at Exit 8. Otherwise, take a taxi to the night market.

What time does Myeongdong Night Market start?

The Myeongdong night market officially starts at 4:00 PM, but most vendors aren’t officially set up until 5:00 PM!

Which night market is the best in Seoul?

Myeongdong Night Market is the best-known night market in the city and should be visited when in Seoul.

Why is Myeongdong famous?

Myeongdong is famous for its night market, shopping, restaurants, bars, and modern area layout. Many refer to Myeongdong as the “Times Square” of Seoul.

Happy & Safe Travels

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