Seoul Shopping: 5 Cheap Pasalubong Ideas from Korea

Cheap things to buy in Korea are aplenty which is good news because traveling on a budget in Seoul can be a challenge. Here’s what to buy in Seoul.

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Christmas in Korea can be enchanting, but expensive. And with all sorts of gifts and pasalubong to shop for, we’re sure you’re on the hunt for great, cheap finds. To help you sort through the overwhelming amount of products Seoul offers, and to make sure you pick up perfect pasalubong, here are 5 great, cheap things to buy in Korea. 

Cheap Gift #1: Socks

Cheap Gifts from Korea: Socks
Cheap Christmas Gifts: Socks (Flickr/Chelsea Marie Hicks)

Socks are always a safe gift, and Seoul is a great place to find high-quality yet inexpensive socks. Find colorful patterns and playful prints. At around  USD$1.00 a pair, you can afford to stuff everyone’s stocking.


Cheap Gift #2: Cosmetics

Cheap Gifts from Korea: Cosmetics
Cheap Christmas Gifts: Cosmetics (Wikimedia/Teemeah)

Have you mastered all 10 steps of the Korean Skincare Routine? Korea is famous for their sheet masks—an essential part of the routine—and luckily, they’re cheap. Grab a stack, and gift it to your BFF who’s obsessed with beauty. Head to Korean beauty stores like Tony Moly, Hollika Hollika, The Faceshop or Etude House, and pick up other inexpensive goodies like lip gloss, hand creams or masks in super adorable packages.


Cheap Gift #3: Soju

Christmas Gifts from Korea: Soju
Cheap Christmas Gift Ideas: Soju (Wikimedia/Beatlehoon)

Another safe (although slightly more adult) gift is liquor, and Korea’s Soju is great value for money. Stuff a few bottles of soju in your shopping bag for those last-minute gifts you always seem to need, or bring one along to liven up your next Christmas party.  You can find Soju at any convenience store in Korea for about USD$3.00 a bottle, which means it will be a very merry Christmas.


Cheap Gift #4: Accessories

Cheap shopping in Seoul doesn’t get better any better than shopping for accessories. Hats, totes, purses and costume jewellery are a steal in Korea. A tote and a necklace won’t break the bank, which is perfect if you’re looking for gifts for a large group of friends, nieces or cousins.  Best of all, a lot of these cheap finds are classy and fashionable—no one will know you bought them at a steal!


Cheap Thing #5: Everything K-Pop

Christmas Gifts from Korea
Cheap Christmas Gifts: K-pop Merchandise

Got a friend who loves all things K-pop? Head to Seoul for some cheap shopping of K-pop paraphernalia. Score pens, stickers, fans, posters, pins and more plastered with your favorite K-pop stars. If you’ve got a little more room in your budget, you can also purchase the albums, or even gift them an incredible K-Pop Dance Experience!


Cheap Thing #6: Korean Snacks

Christmas Gifts from Korea
Cheap Christmas Gifts: Snacks (Flickr/Benson Kua)

Gift your loved ones a literal taste of Korea with a sample of their cheap and tasty snacks. Drop by one of Korea’s many duty-free stores and collect chips, candies and snack cakes. Or check out the grocery for a number of any snacks that you can bring back home (READ: Korean Food to go with Your Next KDrama Marathon). A box filled to the brim of salty and sweet deliciousness makes an amazing Christmas present.

With amazing finds and things to buy in Korea, there’s no reason to be overwhelmed by your Christmas shopping list. The hardest part won’t be finding great gifts for friends and family, it’ll be resisting the urge to keep everything for yourself!  

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