Namdaemun Market & Namdaemun Kalguksu Alley

Friday, 19 February 2016



Namdaemun Market (남대문시장) is known as the oldest and largest traditional market in Korea. It sells many items at affordable prices, such as jewellery, clothing, ginseng, and imported goods—in fact, Namdaemun Market was where we bought all our ginseng products for our family as souvenirs. After walking around for a bit, we went to have dinner at the Namdaemun Kalguksu Alley (남대문 칼국수골목), which was located in the market itself. Look for Gate 5 of the Market, walk down for about 20 metres, and you'll find a clear door your left. It's easy to overlook (like we did a couple of times), but if you're in need any help, just look for the tourist guides in red.

Upon entering, be prepared to feel like the most popular person ever because ahjummas will be calling for you from all corners of the alley to eat at their store. One ahjumma even tried grabbed me by the arm because she was so eager for a customer! Flustered, I kindly refused (because we still wanted to walk into the alley) and eventually chose a store towards the end of the alley on the left.

We each ordered a bowl of rice and barley with vegetables (boribap 보리밥) and a bowl of noodles (kalguksu 칼국수) each. But those two dishes also came with "side dishes" of cold and spicy mixed noodles (bibim naengmyeon 비빔냉면) and soy bean paste soup (doenjangguk 된장국), so it was basically 4 dishes each! We were stuffed by the end of the meal and it only cost us 16,500 won in total, which is about about AUD$20! It was definitely the cheapest meal we had in Seoul (not including the street food).

Finally, we completed our visit to Namdaemun Market by checking out Sungnyemun Gate (숭례문), Korea's National Treasure No. 1 and one of the remaining gates in the Fortress Wall of Seoul. Sungnyemun Gate looks best in the evening, so I suggest going after dinner or some time during the evening.

























Namdaemun Market (남대문시장)
21 Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
서울 중구 남대문시장4길 21

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