Dating from the 14th century, Itaewon was formed as a major trading area. With the American Army base right next to the shopping street, Itaewon attracts thousands of foreign shoppers with most of the vendors being able to speak English and Japanese, and most stores will accept Dollars and Yen. As Itaewon is the haven for foreigners in Seoul, many of the shops sell Western sized clothing. There is also a large amount of quality leather goods for sale.
There are many foreign restaurants in the area so after shopping you can go to eat cuisine from all over the world. There is also a large number of bars, with Foreigner only bars, as well as a large Mosque.
Location: Subway Itaewon Station, Noksapyeong Station and Hanganjin Station, Line 6.
Opening Hours: 9:00am to 9:00pm. Hamilton Shopping Center is closed on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. Itaewon market is closed every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month.
Useful Information: It is commonly known that foreigners "do not know Seoul, but know Itaewon" and it is home to many of the Foreign Embassy's so if you feel like you want a break from Seoul and all things Korean, Itaewon is the place to go to get away from Korean Culture for the day. The atmosphere here is very, very different to the rest of Seoul.
Hongdae-ap, more commonly known as Hongdae, is the area surrounding Hongik University 홍익대학교 and the university from which it got it's name. The university is considered one of the best Art and Design universities in the country and has a strong influence on the surrounding area. Hongdae is full of unique cafes, artist graffiti, art galleries and live music! There are many shops and stalls as well as a weekly market and all of the famous Beauty/Skin care stores have a branch in Hongdae.
Location: Subway Hongik University Station, Line 2. Hapjeong Station, Line 2 and 6.
Useful Information: Every Saturday (except in Winter) there is a flea market held in the playground! Be sure to check it out!! Hongdae gets very busy in the late afternoon and evening, so if you want to do some serious shopping, go earlier in the day to avoid the huge crowds! The level at which store workers speak languages other than Korean, is a lot lower here than in Myeong-dong despite having the same popular stores (i.e Etude House), if it is your first time shopping and you are likely to need advice it is best to go to Myeong-dong where the store staff will be able to speak your language to advise you