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Rainy Day In Seoul: Underground Shopping in Gangnam


If you’ve ever lived or made the error of visiting Korea during monsoon season then you know the woes of rain-induced cabin fever can test the limits of even the most zen-like of homebodies. When I lived in Korea there was only one thing I dreaded more than jangma or 장마 (monsoon season) and that was really just trying to find a taxi cab after the subway stopped running. In Seoul both jangma and taxis after 1 am are the worst.


Jangma and trying to get home after 1 am in Seoul have one thing in common: no one is going anywhere. Embrace it.

Finding ways to still have fun and get out of the house when every single droplet of water that ever dreamed of becoming rain seems to be falling down on you can be a real challenge. Thankfully, there are places in Seoul that are made to stand up to the inclement weather and today I’m going to share one of my favorite jangma shopping destinations: Gangnam Station. Yes, you heard me, a subway station.


You have to remember though, I’m talking about GANGNAM station, as in yes, that Gangnam.

We are talking about one of the most affluent and wealthiest areas of the city and even its subway is a must-visit fashion destination. I never passed up a chance to shop the fashion-forward areas of Seoul and Gangnam station was a little treasure for me that I could easily get to. The last thing I ever wanted to worry about during monsoon season was running for a bus when I had an arm full of bags so the fact that I could avoid going outside altogether was amazing. There’s also the fact that subway stations in Seoul are not the things we think about in general, especially in America.

Subway stations in Korea are clean, full of amazing restaurants to eat at, places to get your hair and nails done, bookstores, and yes, are the perfect place to get the most on trend clothes you could ever hope to find. Gangnam station is perfect for finding cheap alternatives to pricier name-brand clothes and you’ll be amazed by the 10,000 won racks that seem to rule this place.

I mean just take a look at some of the stuff up for grabs!


My favorite thing about Gangnam station (other than than the fact that I can stay underground like a little groundhog) is that things are usually around 10,000 won, which is less than 10 bucks. If you really want something special the going rate is 20-30 dollars and you won’t regret your purchase. Gangnam is a place obsessed with being on trend and very much in the now of fashion so you can bet that a version of whatever you just saw sashay down a runway this season will be lurking in Gangam station and at a bargain.

So here’s the info on getting your shopping on at one of my FAVORITE indoor shopping destinations in Seoul.

You are going to need to get to the green line or line number 2. The 2 is basically just a mini loop that runs inside of Seoul’s larger network of trains and Gangnam is located right after a major connecting station, Seoul National University of Education. If you are connecting to the green you’ll most likely use line 3 or 4.


Follow these babies to a jangma free shopping zone.

Once you get off the train at Gangnam just make your way towards the bulk of exits 1,2,3,4,11&12 because the shopping center is set smack dab in the middle of these exits. If you came to Gangnam on the red line or the Bundang line then make sure follow the exits to the green line because the shopping is way better by the green line.


In between these exits is some great shopping!

I hope that this post gives anyone stuck indoors during jangma some ideas on breaking up the monotony of bbq places and norebang, because you can only eat so much jeyuk bokeum, drink so much soju and makgeolli, and sing so many 90’s pop songs. Ok, that’s a lie, you can never do too much of any of those things, but here’s to spending some cash on looking good while you do it.

tumblr_ma5oieFuUv1rwq9q8o1_r2_500Psy is wise in all things. Shop till you drop, baby.

  • http://emthennowwhen.blogspot.com/ Emily

    I have very little knowledge about Korea and Korean culture in general, but find it so interesting! I love that their subway stations are so much more! How great is that!? Thanks for sharing!

    • http://www.thehappytype.com/ Crystal Turpin

      You’re very welcome! I was blown away by the subways when I got there and at first I was dreading having to use them….and then I realized that I could shop, get a mocha latte and fresh pastries. Then it was love.

  • http://www.kayliwanders.com Kayli Schattner

    Wow, so cool! I think it’s so fascinating to see how other cultures do things…I bet if we had shopping at our subway stations, they’d get a lot more revenue. Great post, Crystal!

  • http://heleneinbetween.com/ Helene

    this is awesome! and i love LOVE cheap!!

  • http://mariellegreen.com/ Marielle

    I loved the underground markets! I walked past the one in Seomyeon, Busan everday on my way home and I usually ended up buying some 10,000 won bit of awesomeness. Though honestly, some of those shoes did not last the month. Still, worth it.

  • http://the.pyreflies.org/ Jessica

    I didn’t even know about underground shopping! if I ever make it to Korea I’ll have to remember to do this!!


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  • http://ticket2takeoff.com Tori @ Ticket2TakeOff

    Thank-you!! This has just saved our rainy day in Seoul! :D Off to explore in about an hour and we were at a total loss for a rainy Monday here. xx