A tour begins at the Seoul Folk Flea Market a two-story, 5,000-square meter warehouse where you’ll find over 900 merchants hawking just about everything under the sun, from rare antiques and high-end booze to, well, just plain junk. The flea market got its start in the 1950s, just after the Korean War. In 2004, some of the sprawling outdoor market was moved to Dongdaemun Stadium to make way for the restoration of the Cheonggyecheon Stream, and in 2008, it was moved to its current home to make way for Dongdaemun Design Plaza.
The new indoor market may look spiffy and modern from the outside, but venture inside and you’ll find a chaotic and delightfully claustrophobic space where you’ll find a truly vast variety of things for sale. Broadly speaking, you’ll find clothing, sundries and antiques on the first floor, with more clothing and sundries, souvenirs and a regional goods corner on the second floor. If you take your time, you’ll discover some extraordinary and intriguingly random items for sale – this writer came across a wooden cigar store statue from Newark, New Jersey, complete with walrus mustache and Turkish fez. One can only imagine how that wound up in Korea. If you’re looking for antiques, you’ll find plenty of old furniture, old paintings and even old money. You’ll find plenty of old movie and campaign posters, too.
Address: 109-5 Sinseol-dong, Seoul
Have fun and enjoy the Seoul Folk Flea Market 🙂