Before I moved to Korea, I visited twice and always left with a second suitcase. Korea truly is a shopper’s paradise, no matter what you are looking for. There are certain things that you should absolutely buy when in Korea since you can’t find it anywhere else. Here are the most important must-buys!
1. Beauty Products
Korean beauty products have become my absolute favorite! They are of high quality and reasonably priced. Korean makeup and skincare is the newest trend on a global scale. “We’re seeing so much innovation come out of Korea and with globalization it’s coming a lot faster,” Erin Flaherty, Marie Claire’s health and beauty director said.
My favorite Korean brands are Skinfood, The Face Shop, Holika Holika, Aritaum and Innisfree.
No matter what Korean city you are in, you can find these store in every pedestrian street! I love the variety in products and the high quality each of these brands offer.
If you are in Korea, make sure you stop by these stores and stock up your beauty inventory! Make sure to check my beauty product video for more information.
Another big thing in Korea is stationery. You might wonder what might be so special about a bunch of papers and pens but Korean stationary might be the cutest and most fashionable you have seen.
You can buy the cutest birthday and valentine’s cards, paper with envelopes in all shapes, sizes and colors and pens in all variations in Korea.
Korea’s largest stationery store is ArtBox 아트박스 with over 100 locations all over the country. Stop by and wander around the several floors and I am sure you will not leave empty-handed!
3. Couple Stuff
Being in a relationship and showing it to everybody in public is a very big thing in Korea. I am not talking about PDA but rather signaling being in a relationship through the couple’s appearance. In Korea, this is especially done by wearing couple clothes! Matching T-Shirts, shoes or entire outfits are popular fashion items for Korean couples who want everybody to see who they belong to.
In the beginning, I had to laugh about couple clothes but now that Jeongsu and I also have a set in our closet, I kind of think it’s super cute.
Wander around Seoul’s shopping areas and you can find couple items everywhere! Other popular items are couple socks, rings or cellphone cases.
If you don’t have a special someone or you don’t want to wear couple clothes all the time, you should still go clothes shopping in Korea. South Korean fashion is famous all over the world and suits everybody.
When I was in Korea this time, I discovered a brand called “8 Seconds” which I really love! Their fashion is really beautiful and the price is reasonable.
If you are looking for a bargain, the area around Myeongdong and Dongdaemun in Seoul are most suitable for you! Underground shopping offers the most opportunities to catch a good deal! Don’t forget to haggle!
Every time I go to Korea, I stock up with books. These are mostly books for studying Korean since you have a lot to choose from here. This time, I got a nice book especially for the TOPIK Korean language exam, called TOPIK MASTER. If you are studying Korean or you are planning to, you should definitely stock up with some books for studying. I recommend getting a basic book to learn the basics, like the one I bought the first time in Korea.
Kyobo Bookstore (교보문고) is a very big chain for books in Korea. You should be able to find one of these in every bigger city.
What are your favorites when in Korea?