Seoul is a city of markets. From Majang Meat Market to Namdaemun Market. There is a market that specialises in nearly everything.
While most of these markets specialise in souvenirs, food, or traditional goods, Yongsan Market is quite the opposite.
Rather, Yongsan Market is famous for being the largest electronics market in Seoul. As long as it involves electronics, nearly everything that you can imagine can be found at Yongsan Electronics Market.
Housing over 5000 electronics stores, this market is a wonderland for anyone who loves technology. If you wanted to explore the whole market, it would take days. It’s that big!
Yongsan Electronics Market Information
The electronics market can be found outside exit 3 of Yongsan Station on Line 1 (dark blue line). The market itself is quite large and from exit 3 it takes a few minutes to enter the main market malls.
Exiting from exit 3 of the station will take you across a bridge which crosses the railway. From this bridge, turn left and follow the path along the side of the mall.
You will soon come across another bridge (on the right). This bridge will cross another road and take you into another building. Continue straight and you will be taken to an intersection. This intersection is at the heart of the market!
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What better way to advertise monitors than with cute koalas?
Every part of the market has different hours. It really depends on the store in question (and which mall it is located in). However, the market hours are from 10 am until 8 pm.
If you visit during the later hours (after 5 pm), you will find that some of the stalls begin to close. For this reason, I recommend visiting earlier in the afternoon if possible. If you are desperate, parts of the market will be open until 8 pm.
The market is open every day of the week except for the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month. If you are visiting on a Sunday make sure to check which day it is!
Yongsan Market Map from the Korea Tourism Organisation.
The market itself isn’t really a market by anything other than the name. Rather, the ‘market’ is located across a few malls which each hold hundreds of different stores. These stores specialise in everything from cameras to PC cooling fans.
Even if you aren’t interested in shopping, the market is a sight to behold. If you are even slightly interested in computers and technology you will find Yongsan a wonderland.
Yongsan market isn’t laid out like a traditional market with stalls. It is more like a shopping district, with a few malls housing a variety of different stores inside. Each of the malls/floors usually has a theme such as cameras, video games, PC components, etc.
There are a few main buildings at Yongsan. Electronic Land, Najin Shopping Center, Seonin Shopping Center, Wonhyo Shopping Center and Terminal Shopping Center. Each of these buildings contains different products and they are all worth exploring.
The malls are spread out within a short walking distance of one another. From the station, it takes about 5 minutes to walk to Electronics Land (the first mall). From there, it’s a few more minutes of walking to reach the malls.
- Seonin Mall is famous for computer components and accessories.
- Terminal Mall is famous for all kinds of cameras and radios. From broadcasting cameras to point and shoot!
- Najin Mall is most well known for mobile phones.
- Electronics land usually houses most of the official brand stores. If you want an official Canon or Sony store, this is the place to look.
Yongsan Electronics Market Prices
Cameras, cameras, and more cameras!
Price-wise Yongsan is comparable to online retailers in Korea. If you are visiting from a country such as the US and expecting to find cheap parts then you will be disappointed.
However, Yongsan does hold some good deals for locals. As someone who lives in Korea, I have often managed to find cheaper deals at Yongsan than online. In fact, most of the retailers at Yongsan are the same as those that you will come across on shopping sites such as Gmarket.
If you are interested in purchasing something at Yongsan then make sure to compare the prices to those online first. Also, remember to shop around. Although the vendors may tell you that the prices don’t vary much, they do.
It’s easy to save 10-15% just by shopping around. It’s definitely not hard when there are hundreds of stores right next door to one another! Really, the hardest part is remembering which store had the best store… It’s easy to get confused with so many stores nearby!
Where Yongsan Electronics Market shines is in second-hand parts. The market is a treasure trove of second-hand components and electronics. The parts tend to be cheaper than second-hand websites (at least Korean second-hand sites). It’s also nice to be able to test the parts before purchasing.
What to Buy at Yongsan Electronics Market
Korea isn’t known for cheap electronics. While Yongsan provides prices that are often competitive or better than other Korean retailers, they aren’t as cheap as many other countries.
While Korea is known for technology, it’s far from a great (or cheap) country for electronics shopping. However, compared to the rest of the domestic market, Yongsan provides decent prices.
If you are planning on doing some electronics shopping while travelling, there are many better countries. For example, camera shopping tends to be much better in Japan.
However, Yongsan is fantastic if you are someone living in Korea. It is also worth visiting as a visitor because there are definitely good deals at times – just keep in mind that Korea isn’t exactly a country for cheap electronics.
Yongsan is fantastic market because it has everything closely located and it has a massive variety. Especially when it comes to second-hand goods.
Just remember to keep in mind that if you are coming from a country such as the US, you will probably find better prices locally. But, that isn’t to say that deals can’t be found at Yongsan.
Many tourists visit Yongsan and are disappointed at the prices. Don’t expect Korea to be cheap – especially Seoul!
PCs on display in Seonin Mall.
So, what should you buy at Yongsan? Well, there are a few items that it is ideal for.
- Firstly, it is fantastic for the Korean brands. You may not know, but Korea has a few fantastic electronics brands. Especially when it comes to computer peripherals and components.
There are a few great Korean monitors that can be found. It’s possible to find 144hz 1080p monitors for under 100,000KRW if you find the right deals! Korean monitors are gradually becoming more popular and for good reason.
There are also some great keyboard/mouse brands that are based in Korea. If you are looking for peripherals, then Yongsan is a great place to look.
In regards to PC components, RAM is usually well priced due to a lot of it being produced by Samsung. The same goes for SSD drives (made by Samsung).
- Secondly, for second-hand goods. As I have already mentioned, Yongsan is great for second-hand goods. I have purchased two DSLR cameras, multiple lenses, and a TON of PC parts there. I have never had an issue!
Of course, you can never guarantee the quality of second-hand products or how long they will last. However, being able to physically test them before purchasing is a big bonus. On top of that, the prices are decent and the variety is fantastic.
- Thirdly, Yongsan is a great place to purchase smaller/odd electronics. For example, if you need to purchase a few SATA cables or a new Display Port cable. This also stands for items such as monitor stands, external SD card readers, and electronics of that sort.
Often purchasing these smaller items online will include a shipping cost more than the actual product. If you would prefer not to pay more than double for shipping, Yongsan is the best place.
Tips for Shopping at Yongsan
Bring cash – As with other markets in Korea, many vendors at Yongsan will add a 10% surcharge to anything purchased with cards. It doesn’t matter if you use a credit or debit, it will cost more. While there are ATMs around the market, it’s easier to bring cash. The ATMs at Yongsan are few and far between and you may end up paying more than you want.
Shop around – Despite what others may say, there are most definitely price variances in Yongsan. If you know what you are interested in I highly recommend shopping around to look for the best price. Even stores located adjacent to each other can have very different prices!
Bartering – Typically the prices aren’t negotiable at Yongsan. However, there is an exception to this for second-hand goods. If you are interested in a second-hand item then I would recommend at least trying to bargain. In the worst case, you will pay the initially stated price. In the best case, you will get a bargain!
Bartering in Korean markets can be a bit difficult to get used to. If you are looking for some basic pointers, check out this article on how to barter at Namdaemun Market.
Why You Should Visit Yongsan Market
However, as a photographer and PC enthusiast myself, I have come to love Yongsan. The prices are decent (especially if you can lower them a bit), and the aisles upon aisles are fun to explore and to see what you can find.
While there are warnings online that the vendors will try to overcharge you, I’ve never experienced this. But, it’s something to keep in mind and look out for. Make sure that you know the price of what you are looking for beforehand and make sure to check prices online before purchasing anything.
As long as you shop wisely and take precautions that you always should, you can find some great prices at Yongsan. Even if you don’t end up purchasing anything, it’s great fun to explore!