Buying souvenirs for yourself or gifts for friends and family back home is always an enjoyable part of the travel experience. For those of you who are looking for authentic Korean souvenirs or things that are not in your country, consider this your guide.
Check out the list below to see which keepsake souvenirs and gifts you should buy before leaving Seoul! 😉
1. Electric Rice Cooker
An electric thermal rice cooker from “CUCKOO” is what every Korean housewife have on their wish list. Made by a top Korean household appliances brand, this magical thing has a voice function and it can make not only rice but also stews! It is pricey but absolutely worth it to buy one and take it home.
If you want to get this high-tech rice cooker, try to drop by the Lotte Mart directly connected to Seoul Station before you make a transfer to Incheon Int’l Airport.
2. Hangover Cure Products
It’s a quite well-known fact that Koreans are one of the heaviest drinkers in the world. That is why you can find plenty of hangover products, such as a hangover-fighting ice cream bar called “Gyeondyo-bar” and a variety of hangover recovery drinks. You can easily find them in convenience stores like GS, CU, and 7-Eleven.
3. Sanitary Napkin
Acknowledged for high quality, Korean sanitary napkins are what all ladies must bring back home. Look for them at convenience stores and grocery stores. Sometimes you can even find sanitary napkin vending machine inside the public restrooms in subway stations.
4. Ramyeon (Instant Noodles)
Koreans love these instant noodles called ‘ramyeon’, after rice. They come in various kinds and tastes and they are extremely convenient because it takes less than 5 minutes to cook them. They also come in a cup-type but we recommended you buying a pack or a 5-in-1 pack since cup noodles take a lot of space in your carrier.
5. Soju & Makgeolli (Korean Alcohol Drinks)
One of the things many foreign visitors in Korea bring back home is of course, Korean alcohol. Soju and Makgeolli are relatively cheaper than those outside the country. So try to fit one of these bottles into your carrier no matter what!
6. 777 Nail Clipper Set
Did you know that the world’s best nail clipper brand is a Korean brand? Boasting high-quality nail clippers, “Three Seven 777” is a top brand of nail clippers! You can find an offline store located on the fifth floor of Dusan Tower (Doota) in Dongdaemun district.
7. Korean Beauty Products
Korea’s BB Creams, cushions, facial packs and mask sheets are some of the most beloved beauty products that gaining worldwide popularity. You can find them at drugstores like Olive Young and GS Watsons and beauty brand stores such as Innisfree, Etude House and Skin Food, all of which are clustered in Myeongdong district.
Read more: 101 Guide to 11 Must Have Korean Cosmetics
8. K-Pop & K-Drama Goods
If you are a huge fan of K-Pop or K-Drama, there are stores around Seoul where you can find every kind of K-Pop related goods such as posters, paintings, autographed stills, T-shirts and many more.
While there are ordinary stores, there are also souvenir shops run by major entertainment agencies. For instance, SMTOWN operated by SM Entertainment is where fans can find a wide collection of goods related to the artists under SM. To find out more, check out Where to get K-pop Goods in Seoul.
Drop by stationery or design shops where you can find from simple to unique and hip design products. They are usually located inside large bookstores such as Youngpoong Bookstore and Art Box. See more Best Stationery & Design Shops in Seoul.
10. Korean Red Ginseng
As one of the 10 food items to enhance the immune system, Korean red ginseng or ‘hongsam’ in Korean, is very popular among foreign visitors. They are expensive but worth buying it as a gift for significant ones back home.
The most famous Korean red ginseng brand is called “Cheongkwanjang” and it also runs a spa named “Cheongkwanjang Spa G“, where you can experience a premium red ginseng therapy and massage. For details and directions, click here.
If you want to find out more about this wonderful spa, check out Travel Review & Tips: Korean Red Ginseng Treatment at Cheongkwanjang Spa G.
11. Gim (Dried Seaweed)
‘Gim’, or a paper-like dried seaweed with a bit of salt sprinkled and spread with sesame oil, is full of calcium, vitamins and carotenes. Inexpensive and with relatively little weight, many foreign visitors take the delicious dried seaweed home.
12. Traditional Handicrafts
You certainly should buy at least one of the many traditional handicrafts Korea has to offer.
In these traditional neighborhoods, there are several workshops where you can experience making traditional handicrafts. In Insadong, there is a popular workshop where you can make flower lamps and jewelry boxes out of ‘hanji‘, a Korean traditional paper.
13. Character Socks
Cute and unique, buy a few pairs of these character socks! Wearing these socks with famous cartoon and movie characters and celebrities on them, you can become a humorous person in your group. 😉
14. Korean Snacks
Once you try Korean snacks, you will definitely want to share them with your friends and family back home. If you want to know which are the most popular snacks, check out Top 10 Korean Snacks You Must Taste! 😉
15. Phone Cases
Looking for unique and stylish phone cases for yourself and your friends? Then you are at the right place! Since Korea has a huge population of mobile phone users, you can find tons of mobile phone cases or covers and accessories for smartphones of all shapes and sizes. You can easily find them in Seoul such as Myeongdong,
You can easily find them in Myeongdong, Hongdae and Gangnam districts in Seoul.
16. Dojang (Korean Traditional Stamps)
You can find numbers of workshops or stores in Insadong, where designers create traditional style “Dojang”, or a stamp in Korean, such as Todok Gongbang.
17. Packet Soup & Ready Meals
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Whether you’re in Seoul or anywhere else in Korea, you will be able to find plenty of ready-to-eat foods such as soup in a packet and packaged rice since most of the Koreans live busily. Get one of these at the grocery stores and enjoy Korean meal when you are back in your country.
Buying a Korean traditional dress, ‘hanbok’, is totally worth the money. Stop by Jongno Shopping Center. Here, not only you can find hanbok shops, you can also buy traditional ornaments and accessories as well.
Since Hanbok can be relatively expensive, try to drop by several shops and compare the price before you buy it. If you have bought one, show off your pretty Hanbok to your friends! They will absolutely be jealous.
Get one of these tumblers with Korean traditional design. They are the most practical items that you can use in your everyday life. You can easily find these Korean-style tumblers at gift shops in most of the museums such as the National Museum of Korea.
20. Korean Clothing & Fashion Items
If you are into K-fashion, or Korean fashion and clothing, visit Dongdaemun Market or Namdaemun Market. If you are looking for more hip and high-end designer brands, Garosu-gil and Apgujeong would be the perfect place for you.
For shoppers who want more of unique and one-of-a-kind design fashion brands, Style Nanda in Hongdae district can be a great place to shop.
See more Cheap Shopping Spree in Seoul.
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