7 Uniquely Korean Souvenirs To Pick Up In Seoul
Drop the postcards and Ppeppero! Bring home something unique and memorable from Seoul without blowing your budget. Whether it is a gift for a loved one or yourself, these seven souvenirs need to be on your shopping list!
1. Osulloc Tea
Osulloc’s tea is grown and packaged on Jeju Island, where the sunshine there is meant to make the best tasting tea. And while the brand made its name on their green tea, their seasonal teas are perfect unique gifts. With each season comes new teas dressed in gorgeous packaging, and best of all, you can taste any flavour you want before buying it!
After you buy your gifts, be sure to head to the in-store cafe and treat yourself to one of their famous desserts.
2. Korean Ceramics
Ceramic art has always been an important part of Korean culture, and lucky for us, the craft is still practiced today. Head to Insadong where you will find small shops selling everything from large vases to the tiniest chopstick holders.
A small bowl or vase makes a beautiful souvenir and since most items are handmade by the shop owner themselves, you can guarantee its authenticity. Some shop owners will even offer you tea to drink out of the tea cup you purchased!
3. Original Artwork
Hand-made crafts and artwork are not hard to find in Seoul thanks to the growing popularity of flea markets. Hongdae’s Free Market is a great place to find unique and original work by young Korean artists. Ranging from jewelry to woodwork to clothes for your pet, there is something for everyone. This is a great way to support the local art scene and get a souvenir that no one else has.
Han-ji is a paper-making technique that dates back to 3rd century Korea. It is thick, colourful, and can be used in hundreds of ways. Grab a few blank sheets in all colours to use as stationery, or find a traditional print brushed onto a large sheet of Han-ji for a traditional piece of Korean art.
If you’re bringing gifts home, you can even buy han-ji in pieces that you can use for wrapping paper.
5. K-pop Stuff
If you’re heading to Seoul, chances are you know about K-pop. It’s one of the country's biggest exports and it just wouldn’t be right to return home without some Gangnam Style socks or Big Bang stickers.
Myeongdong is the best place to find all your K-pop and K-drama gear. For the best deals, check out the booths in the subway station first!
6. Face Masks
Korean beauty products are affordable, easy to find, and they actually work! So head into any skin care shop and pick up a handful of Korean sheet masks. They come with all sorts of different ingredients to lighten, tighten, moisturize, or tone your skin. Innisfree, Nature Republic, and many others even offer value packs so you can buy in bulk.
For extra fun, look for unique options snail cream masks or sheet masks with animal faces.
7. Quirky Korean Fashion
For the latest trends, head to Åland, where you can find men and women’s clothing, accessories, and even some household items. The clothes here are higher quality than what you would find from street vendors, but still have delightfully nonsensical English sentences on shirts, huge comfy sweaters, and the cutest new dresses.
There are multiple locations, but the four-story Garosugil store is the best place to find everything they have to offer. They also have a vintage rack for one-of-a-kind finds!