Shopping in Seoul: Electronics
You can travel all over the world in search of new gadgets, but perhaps nowhere else on the globe gives you more shopping opportunities than Seoul, the capital of Korea. Anyone planning to come to Korea can shop for great souvenirs including some of the most advanced electronics on the planet.
No matter what you buy in Korea, you may not be able to use it back at home depending on your nation’s power sockets. South Korean electronics run on 120 volts, not 110 volts like some of the rest of the world. A television bought in South Korea may not compatible with American or UK sockets, for instance, requiring visitors from either country to purchase power adapters. Smaller adapters also allow you to charge your phone on South Korean power sockets. They can be found at nearly any electronics store, as well as in airports and major shopping centers.
By far the largest and most famous place in Seoul to purchase any electronics, from electronic keyboards to video games, is the Yongsan Market in the downtown shopping district. This behemoth spreads over a huge area as 5000 shops straddle twenty different buildings. International brands rub shoulders on every shelf, but be careful of cheap knock-offs, as they may be lower in quality or even outright defective. Take the subway to the Yongsan Station and follow the English-language signs to the market. If you can speak Korean passably well, you can haggle down a price by a few thousand won, but many merchants are famous for losing their English language skills once customers begin to negotiate.
On the eastern side of the city is another large, multi-building complex called Techno Mart. Cross the Han River or get off the subway at the Gangbyeon station to get to the second-most famous electronics shop in Seoul. They too possess both brand names and imitation products although they have a better reputation for honest goods than the Yongsan Market. What’s more, it also features all the stops for your other errands, including a clothes store, movie theater, restaurants, and even a fitness center.
Off The Shelves
If you want a quick phone adapter or a laptop charger, you won’t need to go to the busiest section in town. Smaller stores called Lotte carry a variety of electronics — although there’s a fixed price here like all department stores. You can find one in nearly every central neighborhood around Seoul, featuring the additional home products you would find at any department store about the world.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about shopping in Seoul.