Seoul, All About Shopping

See & Do Tours


Seoul, All About Shopping

Just as each person has his or her own distinct personality, so do they each have their preferences when it comes to shopping. Some look for the very best bargains, others look for high-quality items, and still other shoppers look for the most unusual items. Seoul is a city that will satisfy all of these personalities. Introducing Seoul, a veritable shopper's paradise where every kind of shopping is possible.



Four Seasons and Four Big Sales

In Seoul, new seasons begin together with shopping. Spring, summer, fall, winter - the four distinct seasons of Korea - are the defining characteristics of Seoul's fashionistas and shoppers. As each new season approaches, so does the need for more shopping, since trends change every year. However, it isn't just the new items that receive all the spotlight : shoppers who chase the latest trends take the opportunity to look for new items for the upcoming season, while bargain shoppers wait until the end of the season so they can take advantage of end-of-season prices. Shoppers looking to complement their own personal styles say that their favorite season is between seasons because it is the 'sale' season.

- Main department stores and shopping centers hold gigantic sales four times per year
- The longest sales take place before and after the Lunar New Year and Chuseok holidays
- In the summer there is a Seoul Summer Sale, and in the winter there is a Korea Grand Sale
- There are very big sales for cosmetics in December


Smart  Shopping in Seoul


In Seoul, there could be a thousand opinions on how to buy a single item. There are also many outlets where shoppers may find high-quality brand goods at a discount. The outlets mostly sell end-of-season goods at up to 70% off regular prices. They are ideal for hardcore shoppers that like to compare prices and bargain, since outlets are organized like a big department store featuring individual boutiques within.

- Know your Korean size before shopping for clothing (see p94)
- Bargaining can be a fun part of shopping. Try it at traditional or wholesale markets
- Shop for electronics, cosmetics and accessories and explore specialty markets where such goods can be found - Visit traditional markets where you can shop, experience local culture, and dine all in the same place


VAT (Value Added Tax) Refund Service for Foreigners
Conditions for refund

- For purchases on any item priced above 30,000 won at tax free shops
- For tourists staying in Korea for less than six months or for overseas Koreans (green card holders with Korean passports) staying less than three months
How to receive refunds
1. Be sure to get the receipt form for purchases on any item priced above 30,000 won at participating Tax Free stores in Seoul
2. Present your goods and passport at customs and receive the official stamp on the receipt form
3. Upon receiving confirmation from customs for exports, use the automated machines at the airport or request the refund through the Internet

Refund Counters at Incheon International Airport
- Global Blue : Third Floor Duty Free Zone near Gate 28, Open 7am to 9pm
- Global Tax Free : Third Floor Duty Free Zone near Gate 28, Open 7am to 9pm
- Ktis : Passenger Terminal Third Floor, Gates 1-4 near Customs, Third Floor Duty Free Zone near Gate 27, next to Plus Palm Pharmacy/Open 24 hours