5 Things You Should Buy When in Korea
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 them anywhere else. Here are the most important must-buys!
1. K-Beauty Products
Korean beauty products have become my absolute favorite! They are of high quality, yet 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, COSRX, Innisfree and Dr. Jart.
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!
For those outside of Korea, you can also purchase the best K-beauty products on my two favorite sites: Olive Young and Bemused Korea. Olive Young is a leading drugstore chain in Korea that now also sells its products online worldwide. Bemused Korea is a
Another big thing in Korea is stationery. You might wonder what might be so special about a bunch of papers and pens but Korean stationery 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!
Also read: Ultimate Korean Gift List For All Korea Lovers
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 cute.
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4. More K-Fashion
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
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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.
Kyobo Bookstore (교보문고) and YP Books are two yery big chains for books in Korea. You should be able to find one of these in every bigger city.
Also read: 40 Travel Gift Ideas for EVERY Traveler and ANY Budget
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Well, as I havent been in Korea yet I cant really say what my favorites are. However, those couple clothes, are they any better/ less ridiculous looking that the Chinese version? I have few couple clothes together with my wife but they are so horrible and in so bad quality that we dont even dare to look at them in our closet!
About beauty products, I am just happy that I never had to buy anything for my wife as she worked for Christian Dior and got loads for free + from other brands through seminars :p (I must be a very lucky guy I think!)
that’s cool! yeah, they do look better but you can get them in all variations 😀
My female friends went on their first trip to Korea 5 years ago. From then on, Korea trip is an annual affair for them. Everyone goes with 1 big empty suitcase and returns with the suitcase full of beauty products. It seemed pretty crazy for us guys 😀
haha not crazy at all! i totally get it 🙂
Last time when I went to Korea I brought stuff from The Face Shop for my colleagues. There were very happy hahaha.
you didn’t get any for yourself? :O
No… I don’t use many beauty products and I guess at that moment I already had everything I needed at home… 😀
So true! I always bring a luggage full of stationery from Artbox and Kyobo; lots of beauty products and phone cases, cover or accessories to pimp up your mobile ^^
ahh yes! Artbox and Kyobo are great and I also love Daiso!!! 🙂
I bought all of those when I went to Korea, plus tons and tons of plum tea. XD
I’d love to go back for cosmetics and stationeryーyou can buy the former here in Japan, but it’s more expensive, and as for the latter, the designs are pretty different. And I love stationery. It’s almost a sick addiction. 😉
It’s funny you mention the couple clothingーeven when looking at Japanese site, their products all seem to be from or made in Korea. ^^
cool! never tried the plum tea! do you have a link for that? i love the Korean citrus tea and just recently discovered Yunnan buckwheat tea!
yeah, couple clothes are a big thing in Korea! they really show off that they belong together. I heard in Japan, couples aren’t like that and they keep it much more private.
I can’t read Korean (although I’m still thinking about studying it one day…) so I can’t find a direct source, but it’s number 11 on this list (with info on where to buy, too!): http://travel.cnn.com/seoul/drink/20-best-korean-drinks-741087
thanks! wow, there are so many other Korean teas i need to try! thanks for the list!
Yeah, I didn’t know about most of the ones on this list either, so I’m going to try some of those too. 🙂
OMG! Yes! I love Korean beauty products. There is a store close by me that sells them and they are amazing. Although it’s overpriced, I know what I like and I can’t wait to go to Korea and try them out. Also, I’m a tan girl. Do you know if they sell BB cream or cover up for girls with tanner skin in Korea? I’ve been having this struggle in Japan.
I see! I think it is kind of hard to find darker make-up in Asia since they all want to be white but I saw some darker tones in stores like Innisfree, the Face Shop, Holika Holika, Etude House!
Thanks!! Great blog; I will be going to Seoul and this is very helpful!
glad I could help!! Cool maybe we could meet up some time!!
Books, Stationery, Skincare and Clothes (in that order!) are always on my list! Couple stuff, not so much – but getting togged up while you’re getting loved up looks like a lot of fun! Although I’m having a strange mental image of the couple stuff in Outback Australia where I normally hang out – that would be REALLY weird!
I really want to get some eyebrow gels from the Korean beauty brands as those seem to have them tinted, well priced, and so convenient!