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Stand beneath the arch of an ancient city gate, then lose yourself in the labyrinth of a traditional Korean market in the bustling Jung district of Seoul.

Namdaemun is a small and historic area in Jung-gu, the heart of Seoul. The area mainly comprises an ancient city gate and a sprawling traditional market. Both are fascinating, easy-to-reach and popular tourist attractions in central Seoul.

First visit the iconic Sungnyemun Gate (the Gate of Exalted Ceremony), also known as Namdaemun Gate. The gate stands on a grassy knoll in a traffic circle, surrounded by the urban jungle of modern Seoul. Time your visit with the changing of the guards, an impressive daily ceremony that involves music and guards in robes with swords.

Sungnyemun Gate was constructed at the end of the 14th century as the southern gate in the city’s old fortress wall and was declared “National Treasure No.1” in 1962. In 2008, the wooden pagoda on the top was severely damaged by an arson attack, but this has been fully restored. Imagine how the gate must have looked during the days of the Joseon dynasty.

When it is time for lunch, make your way over to the Namdaemun Market and explore the pedestrian-only lanes and malls that make up this modernized version of a traditional Korean market. Follow the maps or little signs as you make your way through to find yourself a bargain or two in the themed sections of the market. There is no end to the clothing, accessories, souvenirs and yummy snacks you can buy here and it’s not expensive either.

It’s nice to return to Namdaemun in the evening to see how its star attractions transform at night. Sungnyemun Gate is lit up like an antique jewel and stands in stark contrast to the halo of modern city lights surrounding it.

The market remains busy in the evenings and it’s hard to resist the mouthwatering aromas coming from the street food stalls after sunset. Sample some of your favorite Korean dishes or let the vendors entice you to try something new.

Namdaemun, between Seoul Station and Seoul Plaza, is easily reached by subway, bus and taxi. Hoehyeon Station is the most convenient metro stop to aim for.

Popular places to visit in Namdaemun

Top things to do in Namdaemun

Top hotels in Namdaemun

ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun
ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun
4 out of 5
36, Sejong-daero 11-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, Seoul
The price is £48 per night from 21 Jan to 22 Jan

Located in Jung-gu, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Sungnyemun Gate and Deoksugung Palace. Cheonggye Plaza and Dongdaemun History and Culture Park are ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (1,847 reviews)

"It was perfect except one thing, the desk stand lamp was out of order."…"

Reviewed on 12 Jan 2021

ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun
Four Points by Sheraton Seoul Station
Four Points by Sheraton Seoul Station
3.5 out of 5
37-85 Dongja-dong, Youngsan Gu, Seoul, Seoul
The price is £56 per night from 21 Jan to 22 Jan

Located in Yongsan-gu, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Lotte Outlets - Seoul Station Branch and Sungnyemun Gate. Namdaemun Market and Deoksugung ...

4.3/5Excellent! (1,444 reviews)

"Convinient location for sightseeing and room size is cozy but well interior."…"

Reviewed on 2 Jan 2021

Four Points by Sheraton Seoul Station
Millennium Hilton Seoul
Millennium Hilton Seoul
5 out of 5
50, Sowol-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, Seoul
The price is £116 per night from 25 Jan to 26 Jan

This family-friendly Seoul hotel is located in a regional park, just steps away from Seven Luck Casino Millennium Seoul Hilton Branch and Namsan Park. Namdaemun ...

4.3/5Excellent! (975 reviews)

"The Millennium Hilton was first class in every aspect. The staff took every precaution during a Covid outbreak in Seoul without sacrificing their impeccable service. Check in was very quick even though there was a crowd of people checking in. The lobby was elegantly decorated for Christmas. The breakfast ..."…"

Reviewed on 14 Dec 2020

Millennium Hilton Seoul
Koreana Hotel
Koreana Hotel
4 out of 5
135, Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul, Seoul
The price is £51 per night from 21 Jan to 22 Jan

Located in Myeongdong, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Cheonggyecheon and Seoul City Hall. Deoksugung Palace and Lotte Department Store are also within ...

4.2/5Very Good! (1,530 reviews)
Best location for shopping, eat and go sightseeing

"Best location. Easy for go shopping, eat and go sightseeing."…"

Reviewed on 11 Feb 2020

Koreana Hotel
Fraser Place Central Seoul
Fraser Place Central Seoul
4 out of 5
78, Tongil-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, Seoul
The price is £83 per night from 21 Jan to 22 Jan

Located in Jung-gu, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul City Hall and Namdaemun Market. Myeongdong Street and Lotte Outlets - ...

4.3/5Excellent! (988 reviews)
Comfort and joy

"Everything was perfect and staying in the Fraiser gave me a great comfort and joy as always. And also they gave us upgrading :)"…"

Reviewed on 4 Oct 2020

Fraser Place Central Seoul
Shilla Stay Seodaemun (Seoul Station)
Shilla Stay Seodaemun (Seoul Station)
4 out of 5
76, Chungjeong-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, Seoul
The price is £43 per night from 10 Feb to 11 Feb

Located in Namdaemun, this hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Seoul Museum of History, Namdaemun Market and Seoul City Hall. Myeongdong Street and Lotte Outlets ...

4.1/5Very Good! (1,316 reviews)
고궁이 도보가능한 거리에 있습니다.

"가성비 매우 좋습니다. 고궁, 미술관 등 도보로 갈만한 곳이 많습니다. 다만 밤에는 변기에서 냄새가 납니다."…"

Reviewed on 11 Oct 2020

Shilla Stay Seodaemun (Seoul Station)
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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