Looking for a cute place to shop in Seoul? Right in front of the famed Ewha Women’s University is an area referred to in general as Edae 이대 ( The school name 이화 대학교 shortened to = 이대) which is a cluster of small shops weaving and twisting through many streets around the campus front gates.
Edae Women’s University was founded in 1866 by the American Missionary Mary Scranton, today it is considered one of the top schools in Korea to attend along with Seoul University.
이대 can also refer to the college itself, but for this post we are talking about “Edae” as in the shopping area outside the station!
Since this shopping area is right in front of a large college the shops are pretty trendy with a range of tastes and styles, and since its right next to the popular Hongdae and Shinchon university stations (the trend trinity!) it is a given that this area is usually packed with younger people shopping and having a good time on the weekend.
Edae has its fair share of the usual Korean brand makeup shops and chains scattered around (Face shop, Etude, Tony Moly, Holika Holika, etc) but the main characteristics of this area are the range of affordable girls clothing in VERY modern, feminine, or earthy/hippie-style/relaxed styles. Yes, if you want to be up with the latest looks this is a great place to shop and grab what you need fairly cheaply here!
Soft girly styles are the most popular currently in Edae, but don’t worry~ they sell lots of other things as well!
Edae’s side shopping streets setting up in the early morning before the masses flood in.
The best shopping is in the back streets to the left of the main road~ they are small, crammed, and weave in every direction so its fun to explore and things are always changing. This is my favorite place to wander around because you just never know what you will find, and chances are you may not see it again if you pass it up!
If I am looking for a current trend in magazines this is one of the best places to find it first and for a cheap price!
Clothing prices vary here, but generally for girls they are quite cheap! Most racks are FILLED with things in the 5,000-20,000 won range ($5-$20) fancy shirts or tops can go for a bit more though. I usually expect prices from 10,000-40,000 won on clothing items when I look at the tag, since its an area for students they keep the costs reasonable. The cheap racks are great places to get trendy pieces or basics for layering!
If you like bolder colors and prints you can often find some choices here as well! Overall the style is a bit more soft and feminine, but fun pieces and slightly bolder colors do appear here from time to time!
Edae also has many unique boutique-style stores that are not as cheap as the mass-rack shops, but are the ones that you can usually find something extra pretty or special! Its not the *quite* same flavor or brand fame, but it reminds me of a lot of the little special shops you find in Harajuku in Japan. These shops have items made special for them or things have been thoughtfully selected based on the store theme and style/taste they are appealing to.
Edae is also a great place to go bag and backpack shopping! They have several large stores with TONS of choices in a range of colors! Most of the backpacks are more boyish vs ultra girly so guys will enjoy shopping here as well.
Men’s Clothing in Edae ♥
Yes, Edae has plenty of Men’s shopping as well! This is one of Nara’s favorite places to shop since they have several dedicated men’s shops that carry basics and often a unique stylish piece or two, it is a lot less intense vs shopping at the larger shopping centers and not quite as overwhelming! Men’s clothing can be a tad overpriced here in terms of quality for what they are asking, but sadly it is a common issue in Korea so just use your best judgement!
Shell out that mulah Nara!
The style for men is a range of preppy (aka “Dandy”), urban, sleek, and we have found several very sharp jackets here for about 80,000 won! In fact, if anything~ for guys this is a great place to look for unique jackets. You will not get them for cheap, but you are paying for the style ♥
Men’s shops are scattered around and some are down the quite back streets, so make sure you wander around the area a bit if you are shopping around!
What about haggling in Edae? Can you do it?
Haggling used to be a lot easier in this area 10 years ago, now they are a lot more firm with prices + most stores just refuse unless its a small little place dealing with cash usually. The unwritten rule in Korea is if the price is marked or posted, do not haggle.
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Honestly, as a tourist or someone who can not speak Korean, don’t even bother unless you are buying shoes (maybe bags from bag shops), or shopping in a smaller street shop and buying a several things. They get LOTS of traffic and don’t want to bother bargaining with you unless you plan to spend a lot~ even then they only knock a $ or two off so its almost not worth the debate… seriously, is it worth saving $2 on a $70 thing? Save your energy~ overall the prices are already quite low here.
Sale table outside with great deals~ $10 shoes / 10,000 won
Another great thing to shop for in Edae is SHOES!! They have several stores stuffed full of all sorts of styles!
This is my favorite shop for cheap shoes in Edae.. well they are cheap AFTER I get the price down.
(lol have I captured the tone of haggle friendly shops well enough with this pic?)
Shoes is something I always tend to haggle for here, but only at specific shoe shops….once you get used to seeing them they are easy to identify~ for beginners, generally they are run by middle-aged men, have LOTS of choices piled up, and have no visible prices.
^^ For more info on JUST shoes in this area~ yeah I shop a lot hahaha ^^
Accessories are another amazing find in this area if you look closely and wonder a bit away from the main streets.
Several ADORABLE shops are in this area with handmade pieces that are little works of art, its like having etsy.com sellers right in front of you. Often they are similar to the things you can buy from the larger stores, but customized or hand-crafted to make them extra pretty. Predominantly the boutique shops are very girly crafty pieces~ softer colors and cute things like bows, birds, bunnies, charms, flowers etc.
Along the main road you can find a seller or two that often has very “Japanese-friendly” styles~ things a bit more pop and fun or crazy! Many of these pieces we see in Harajuku for double the price when we go to shop in Tokyo, so sift around for the good stuff if this is your style!
The back street shops are off the busy path and great places to find badges and awesome bracelets!
This is one of our favorite shops which I will feature and give directions to very soon! She has EVERYTHING, so you never know what awesome treasure you will find ♥
Son Goku is at your service!
If you are on a budjet, Edae also has several cheap accessory chains like Naughty Cat and Red Eye among others! These are huge shops filled with cheap goodies and are my favorite place to get basics if possible!
I’ll take one in every color please!!
This shop is a great place to stop by if you want Japanese snacks, little toys, beauty products, or clothing!
The large AM PM building in the very center (its hard to miss it on your left as you walk down the road towards the school) is also a booth style shopping mecca that is common here in Korea, but honestly I find most things inside to be a bit overpriced or uninteresting compared to the street shopping so I hardly ever step foot inside this place. This branch is suffering like many of the others outside Dongdaemoon, they are filled with more empty booths VS full nowadays, but occasionally an owner will have a nice sale rack or two.
On the very last street before the Edae gate you can find the large Kosney store with its iconic giant pink shoe! This place has a Codes Combine store on the top floor, cute housewares on the bottom, but the ground level is the best because it has a huge stationary section complete with a giant Choo Choo Cats area! They used to have a lot more brands and a great vintage clothing section, but those got removed over the summer~ if anything you should swing in to buy stationary items though!
A very noticeable thing as you wander the streets of Edae is the amount of hair salons and nail salons they have on some streets….well it is a GIRLS university area after all. lol! Edae has some of the more trendy hair salons and has dozens of places that offer hair extenshions for very low cost… but sadly this is only if you have black or dark brown hair usually, I found specials for about 100,000 won ($100) a head some weeks.
Nail salons are hit or miss, I have only had so-so art done and found it overpriced honestly. The nails above are very basic and cost me around 28,000 won ($28) which is not that impressive… for deco gel nails the prices start at almost 100,000+ ($100) which is not BAD, but the art is not always impressive. Just like most places, it really depends on the shop~ so when I find a good place worth the money I will be sure to recommend it to you guys ♥
Hungry? Edae has plenty of places to chow down!
The main road as you walk towards the college usually has assorted Korean street food, these vendors are usually really good! I have not had a bad stick of street food yet in this area, you don’t mess around with college kids I guess haha. Giant Kabobs, Egg Bread, spicy ricecakes, ice flakes, all sorts of things are sold on the street around here for just a few won!
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If you want to sit down in a cafe or eat a proper meal you can find plenty of places scattered through the area, mainly on the very back road closest to the school or quieter side streets. Its quite a range of lower cost student food in this area since that is the main demand~ Tonkatsu, kimbap, spaghetti, ramen, curry, and a few chains like Dunkin Donuts, Quiznos, Sorrento, Blacksmith, etc ♥ plus a slew of cafes of course. I love the curry you can get here, they have several delicious Japanese-style curry places worth stopping by for sure + Marron crepes made with yummy fresh cream! Search for “Edae” in my search bar on the top of this page to see what places I have blogged about in this area!
Directions to Edae | Ewha Woman’s University
Edae Shopping Area
Styles- Young, feminine, trendy, fun
Bags, shoes, socks, jewelry, accessories
Men’s clothing + Women’s Clothing + Unisex
Price range: Student prices, girls will find lots of cheap deals here.
Shopping Hours: Shops open up around 11am-noon, area comes to life by 1pm. Closes around 9-10pm.
Taking Seoul Metro Green Line #2 is the best way to reach Edae in the city!
Assuming you are not too far outside Seoul, getting to Edae/ Ewha Woman’s University is VERY easy because its right on the metro line! Line #2 aka the green line is the oval shaped route that runs through the center of Seoul in a big circle. Just get on the green line using the best route possible and ride the green in the correct direction ^^
When you arrive at the metro station you want to look for exits #2 or #3 those will let you out right around the main street which will lead downhill towards the university. That is the main road you will want to follow~ Shopping will be mainly to the streets (and mini side streets) on your left and most of the cafes will be on the right side street parallel to this main one. This is a great area filled with all sorts of little shops, so make sure you wander around and enjoy!
and here is a kinda basic idea for you of the areas of interest (pink overlay) in Edae ♥