Since spring flowers bloom in the southern regions in Korea, metropolitan city Seoul is also ready to embrace the new season in its own way. In addition to spots for cherry blossoms in April during the day, the capital presents Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market for your evenings! With its huge success year by year, Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market has become a go-to place to enjoy the evening breeze.
5 locations in Seoul hold this market with unique features at each of them. Based on my visits to one of them, here are 10 reasons why I think you should include Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market in your itinerary, especially Banpo Romantic Moonlight Market. You may find different gems at the other locations, in which case feel free to leave comments on this post (i.e. more reasons to visit the night market)!
Bustling Seoul vibes
As mentioned earlier, Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market is attracting more and more people who seek for cool cultural venues. A lot of couples, friends and families flock to this outdoor night market for dates, gatherings or just chillaxing. Come and feel how Seoulites (or Seouler) spend their Friday evenings and weekends.
Food trucks tempting your empty stomach
It’s impossible to imagine Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market without a dazzling array of food trucks! Some trendy menu may overlap between a couple of trucks, but mostly they serve various international foods to try. Choose your pick as your stomach tells you! Cash and card both are accepted.
Fried chicken delivered to your lap
When you enter the area, with a high chance, you’ll encounter some guys distributing leaflets to advertise food delivery services. If you want to give a go or already a huge fan of chicken & beer (a.k.a. chimaek), this is it! Order and wait wherever you settle down at the market site, and soon Korean-style fried chicken will be on your lap.
Convenience stores nearby for beers
Got your chicken from food delivery or a series of freshly cooked food from the food trucks? Then, beers and/or other drinks come next in order to enhance this cultural experience. Convenience stores sell not just Korean-branded beers and alcohols, but also imported brands at reasonable rates. If you don’t like to drink alcohol, you could try some other non-alcoholic beverages uniquely found in Korea. 😉
Cycling along the river
One of the famous things about the Han river and river parks is the cycling routes along the Han. With that, you could arrive at the park a little earlier than the sunset and pedal a bike! After cycling, recharge yourself with tasty food and drinks, which sounds refreshing and nice to wrap up your day in Seoul.
Night view of the river and the city
For Seoul is distinctively divided by the Han river, taking a view of the city with the river into your memory is a must when you’re in Seoul. How to appreciate the landscape is the following question, to which Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market is a clever answer. The contrast between the dark river and the sky, and the bright light on city buildings and sellers’ tents presents a great night view.
Handmade goods under bright-coloured tents
What may strike your first sight as you reach the night market is a row of tents with a vivid colour, shining in the dark night (or during the sunset if you’re an early bird). Each tent is a shop where sellers boast their beautiful handicrafts. It’s just fun what kind of offers are on the table across the tents, and getting something here is a sweet way to remember your night in Seoul.
Rainbow fountain show on a bridge
This is a special feature of Banpo Romantic Moonlight Market. The Banpo bridge has a record of the longest bridge fountain in the world, which spans 1,140m with 380 nozzles. Though the music choice may not be the most up-to-date, the movement of water columns with the colorful light projection creates a beautiful outdoor entertainment, while you appreciate the food and the evening breeze.
- Date & Time
- Spring & autumn: 31 March~June & September~October 2018 – 12:00pm / 7:30pm (weekend) / 8:00pm / 8:30pm / 9:00pm
- Summer: July~August 2018 – 12:00pm / 7:30pm / 8:00pm / 8:30pm / 9:00pm / 9:30pm (weekend)
- Duration: 20 minutes
- Website: http://english.seoul.go.kr/service/amusement/hangang/6-banpo/
Live music band
Scrumptious food and a night view of the city & the river. Hmm… if you feel something is missing, then it must be music! Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market presents various live band music and performances, which will stimulate your sense of hearing besides smell, taste, and sight. Yes I know, you cannot afford getting bored at this night market!
Various picnic sites making Seoul more romantic
At Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market, more than just a few great spots are available for where to eat. Mark your favourite space depending on your preference, sit and lie, eat, and chat with your buddies!
1. Grassy bits for a conventional-style picnic
This is a typical but reliable choice as a picnic site. You can even set up a tent if you feel like adding a luxury element, as long as you take it down before 11pm!
2. Riverside for the up-close view
While grassy areas offer plenty of spaces for picnickers, you might want to fully absorb the river and the city. In that case, settle down at the riverbank! Because the ground feels harder, take a picnic mat if necessary. 🙂 Also, one strange but rather fascinating scene you may observe at Banpo Romantic Moonlight Market is a tidal change of the Han river! When this happens, security staffs turn up to tell people to clear the space and to come up to the higher steps. If you’re going to dine here, please make sure to take away with you what you’ve been eating. Otherwise it all goes to the river as floating rubbish, and I saw a lot of it sadly…
3. Tubester floating on the river (Banpo)
If you fancy having supper at an even more special location, get on sturdy Tubester that can take max 6 people and float on the Han river. Take the food and drinks on board from the food trucks, nearby convenience stores, or even from the delivery service, and become part of the river view. For your information, the operator of Tubester does warn that it is highly likely to have a long queue in the evenings of summer.
- Location: Some Sevit (세빛섬) at Banpo Hangang Park
- April ~ November (weather-dependent regarding the exact season end)
- Duration & Rate:
- 30-minute ride: 30,000 krw
- 1-hour ride: 50,000 krw
- The rate is per tubester, not per person, which can accommodate up to 6 people.
- How to book:
- First come first served
- Queue and book at the dock
- Website: http://www.somesevit.com/en/business/gavit/tubester.do
Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market 2019
While I’ve only been to the Banpo one (first on the list below), there are other locations for Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market. Each place offers different looks and atmospheres, so feel free to take your own pick depending on your preference and the area!
- 5 Apr ~ 27 Oct 2019
1. Banpo Romantic Moonlight Market (반포 낭만 달빛 마켓)
- Opening Hours: Fri & Sat 6:00pm~11:00pm
- Location: Dalbit Plaza in Banpo Hangang Park, 40, Sinbanpo-ro 11-gil, Seocho-gu (서초구 신반포로11길 40, 반포 한강공원 달빛 광장)
- Closest Subway Station: Express Bus Terminal (Line 3, 7, 9) Exit 8-1
2. Yeouido World Night Market (여의도 월드 나이트 마켓)
- Opening Hours: Fri & Sat 6:00pm~11:00pm
- Locatioon: Mulbit Plaza in Yeouido Hangang Park, 330, Yeouidong-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu (영등포구 여의동로 330, 여의도 한강공원 물빛 광장)
- Closest Subway Station: Yeouinaru Station (Line 5) Exit 2
3. DDP Youth Runway Market (DDP 청춘 런웨이 마켓)
- Opening Hours: Fri & Sat 6:00pm~11:00pm
- Location: Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP), 281, Eulji-ro, Jung-gu (중구 을지로 281, 동대문디자인플라자)
- Closest Subway Station: Dongdaemun History & Culture Park (Line 2, 4, 5) Exit 1 or 2
4. Cheonggyecheon Time Slip Market (청계천 타임슬립 마켓)
- Opening Hours: Sat 5:00pm~10:00pm & Sun 4:00pm~9:00pm
- Location: Gwangtonggyo Bridge area of Cheonggyecheon Stream & Cheonggye Plaza, 1, Taepyeong-ro 1-ga, Jung-gu (중구 태평로1가 1, 청계천 광통교 일대)
- Closest Subway Station: Jonggak (Line 1) Exit 5
5. Culture Tank Forest Picnic Market (문화비축기지)
- Opening Hours: 3 weeks during May – Sat & Sun 4:00pm~9:00pm
- Location: 87, Jeungsan-ro, Mapo-gu (마포구 증산로 87)
- Closest Subway Station: Digital Media City (Line 6, Gyeongui Jungang, Airport Railroad) Exit 2 or World Cup Stadium (Line 6) Exit 2
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