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Best Markets in Gwangju

What are the best markets in Gwangju? In this article we highlight the best markets in Gwangju.
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Gwangju, the sixth-largest city in South Korea, is a vibrant hub of culture and commerce. Known for its rich history, artistic community, and delicious cuisine, Gwangju also boasts a variety of markets that cater to the needs and tastes of expats and digital nomads. From traditional Korean markets to modern shopping experiences, these markets offer a glimpse into the local lifestyle and provide a unique shopping experience. Whether you’re looking for fresh produce, handcrafted goods, or the latest fashion, Gwangju’s markets have something for everyone. Here are some of the best markets in Gwangju that you should not miss.

Yangdong Market

Location: 21 Yangnim-dong, Nam-gu, Gwangju
Type of Market: Traditional Korean Market
Open: Daily, 9 AM – 7 PM

Yangdong Market is one of the oldest and largest traditional markets in Gwangju. It offers a wide range of goods, from fresh seafood and produce to clothing and household items. The market is a labyrinth of stalls and vendors, each offering unique items and a glimpse into the local culture. It’s a great place to experience the hustle and bustle of Korean market life and to find some traditional Korean snacks and ingredients.

We Recommend: Trying the freshly made Kimbap, a popular Korean snack similar to sushi rolls, which is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

Daein Art Market

Location: Daein Market, Chungjang-ro 5-ga, Dong-gu, Gwangju
Type of Market: Art and Crafts Market
Open: Saturdays, 2 PM – 10 PM

Daein Art Market is not your typical market; it’s a cultural space where local artists and craftspeople come together to showcase their work. Here, you can find unique handmade items, from jewelry and accessories to paintings and sculptures. The market also hosts various cultural events and performances, making it a lively spot for art lovers and those looking to support local creators.

We Recommend: Picking up a piece of handmade pottery or a unique painting by a local artist as a memorable keepsake from your time in Gwangju.

Geumnamno 4(sa)-ga Market

Location: Geumnamno 4(sa)-ga, Dong-gu, Gwangju
Type of Market: Traditional Korean Market
Open: Daily, 9 AM – 6 PM

Geumnamno 4(sa)-ga Market is a bustling market known for its affordable clothing, accessories, and household goods. It’s a great place to find bargains and to experience the local shopping culture. The market is also famous for its street food stalls, where you can try a variety of Korean snacks and dishes.

We Recommend: Sampling the Tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), a popular Korean street food that is both delicious and affordable.

Chungjangno Street

Location: Chungjangno, Dong-gu, Gwangju
Type of Market: Shopping District
Open: Daily, 10 AM – 10 PM

Chungjangno Street is a vibrant shopping district in the heart of Gwangju. It’s lined with a mix of international brands and local shops, offering everything from fashion to electronics. The area is also known for its cafes and restaurants, making it a perfect spot for a day of shopping and dining.

We Recommend: Exploring the various K-beauty stores to find high-quality skincare and cosmetics that are popular in Korea and abroad.

Jangseong Saturday Market

Location: Jangseong County, a short trip from Gwangju
Type of Market: Local Farmers Market
Open: Saturdays, 6 AM – 1 PM

While not located directly in Gwangju, Jangseong Saturday Market is worth the short trip for those looking for an authentic local experience. This farmers market is where local producers sell their fresh fruits, vegetables, and other homemade goods. It’s a great opportunity to support the local economy and enjoy some of the freshest produce available.

We Recommend: Buying some of the locally produced honey or homemade gochujang (Korean chili paste) to add a touch of authentic Korean flavor to your cooking.

Mudeung Traditional Market

Location: Near Mudeungsan Mountain, Gwangju
Type of Market: Traditional Korean Market
Open: Daily, 8 AM – 6 PM

Mudeung Traditional Market is located at the foot of the famous Mudeungsan Mountain and is known for its fresh produce and meat products. The market has a friendly atmosphere, with vendors often willing to share recipes and cooking tips. It’s a great place to find ingredients for a traditional Korean meal or to simply enjoy the local flavors.

We Recommend: Trying the locally made sundubu (soft tofu), which is a specialty of the region and is incredibly fresh and flavorful.

These markets in Gwangju offer a diverse range of shopping experiences, from traditional Korean goods to modern crafts and art. As an expat or digital nomad, exploring these markets can be a delightful way to immerse yourself in the local culture and find unique items to cherish during your stay in Korea.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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