The area around Dongdaemun, the East Gate of old Seoul, has been a popular shopping location for nearly a century. Mainly the heart of a traditional market, the area has developed over the years and is currently known for its all-night fashion shopping. It was designated as a Special Tourism District in 2002 and is one of the must-see places when visiting Seoul. This is the second post of the Shopping in Dongdaemun series posted here on the Korea Blog.
Multiplex fashion mall Doota. Doota is short for “Doosan Tower”; thusly named because it is situated in Doosan‘s headquarters and main building. Doota opened in 1999 and has been steadily popular as a one-stop shopping mall.
Doota’s logo blatantly expresses what the shopping mall is all about: written in a bold orange font, the mall’s name ends with an assertive exclamation point. Their motto “Fast & First” is also printed above the logo, emphasizing their commitment to the everchanging fashion trends.
The shopping mall consists of 10 floors in total, from B2 to the 8th floor. It is spacious with high ceilings, natural light spills into the building’s frontside where most of the cafes are situated.
You can enter through the front doors to the 1st floor, or take the escalators in the front plaza to get to B1. Floor B1 has casual womenswear, innerwear, and designer shops. There is also a small stationery shop.
One floor below on B2 are the well-known local and international sportswear brands. Outdoor casual and denim brands are also on this floor. Clothes alterations are available on this floor as well.
Now to head up to the 1st floor “Designer Gallery”. Designer shops for clothes and various accessories are on this floor.
No matter what shopping mall or department store you visit, womenswear will take up most of the shopping space. Doota isn’t an exception, the 2nd floor is also for womenswear: “Young Career”.
Shoes, bags, and imported goods can be found on the 3rd floor.
Menswear is on the 4th floor. Korean men are quite the fashionable bunch (at least the younger generation, who haven’t fallen into the “ajeossi look” yet) with diverse styles.
One floor up on the 5th floor are accessories, cosmetics, eyeglasses, living goods, and souvenir shops. If you’re a foreign tourist, you can apply for a tax refund by filling out the documents at the office here. Important: be sure to ask for the “tax free receipt” when making your purchase. There is a seperate receipt that is used and the tax refund office will not accept any other.
The 6th floor is for childrenswear, and for the soon-to-be moms, maternity wear. A nursing room is also available on this floor.
Although Doota has cafés and restaurants on each floor, the 7th and 8th floors is the “Food Gallery”. From coffee shops to fast food joints and proper restaurants, there is a wide selection of establishments to choose from. A rooftop garden gives you a breath of fresh air in the warmer seasons.
Doota is quite vast, so be sure to pick up the store floor guide when you enter. The guide also includes a short shopping phrase page written in Korean, English, Japanese, and Chinese to aid your shopping. Besides the tax free shopping, the store offers various services including money exchange, baby carriage rental, foreigner service, and clothes alterations.
Doota has a strict fixed-price policy so no haggling is accepted, but if you happen to buy a lot at a single shop, the shop owner might just give you somethig extra. Unless at a specific designer shop, when you find something you like, look around the section first to make sure the same item isn’t being sold at a different price.
All photos were taken with permission.
Metro station Dongdaemun History & Culture Park (recommended)
- Line 2, exit #14 : walk straight out of the exit towards Dongdaemun
- Line 4 and Line 5 : take exit #14 of Line 2 (the lines are linked within the station)
Metro station Dongdaemun
- Line 4, exit #8 : cross the bridge towards the Dongdaemun History & Culture Park on your left
2,000 won for first 30 minutes and 1,000 won for additional 15minutes
Parking vouchers are available upon purchase amount, be sure to ask when shopping.
Opening hours : 10:30 am ~ 5:00 am (open all night)
Closed : Sunday 11:00 pm ~ Monday 7:00 pm
Tel : (02) 3398-3333
Official site (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Special Tourism District Dongdaemun Fashion Town site: