CONTRIBUTED BY AMY HICKERSON
I’m pretty sure that when you first hear the location “Express Bus Terminal” (EBT), you do not think shopping mecca. Well let me tell you, it is another amazing market shopping experience here in Seoul!
Spread out between two buildings AND an underground maze, there is a plethora of fun shopping and food here.
This photo shows the two buildings that make up the EBT area. The brown building on the right is the Shinsegae Department Store/Central City Mall. The white/grey building to the left of it is the flower market building.
EBT is a subway stop, but depending on where you are starting on your trek driving or taking the city bus is much faster (there is no direct route from post, and considering that it’s only about 3 miles away, taking the subway there with a transfer takes about 30 minutes!) If you decide to drive, there are two parking options: inside the Shinsegae garage (a little pricier, but making a purchase at the department store or food court will offset the cost), or the outside lot between the Shinsegae and the flower market building.
I usually take the city bus, either 143 or 401 from the Commissary/Gas Station/Kimchi Pot gates side of Yongsan. The bus takes you across the Banpo Bridge and voila, you’re there in 10 minutes!
Here is a photo I took at the stop right at the EBT showing that there are many buses to choose from if you are going to go that route (this photo only shows a small amount of buses, there are many more!):
Once you get there, as mentioned above, there are two buildings that make up the EBT experience. In the older grey building on the left is a fabulous flower market on the 3rd floor. You can get tons of flowers really cheap! But come early in the day – they close at 1pm.
On the other side of the flower market floor is a home décor market (this is an amazing Christmas market during the Christmas season).
If you choose to go to the Shinsegae/Central City Mall side, there are two components there: above ground and underground. Above ground is a small mall, the cornerstone being the Shinsegae. Other than that, there are a handful of other shops and restaurants for between the Shinsegae and the actual bus terminal.
The real fun, though, is underground. Again, I usually take the city bus, so when I get off the bus I cross the street and head down into subway exit 8.
At the base of the stairs here, if you turn right,you’ll enter the Shinsegae food court which has many yummy choices. Johnny Rocket’s, Dean & Deluca, and more!
If you go left at the base of the stairs, and do a U-Turn, you’ll come to the Gangnam Terminal Underground Shopping Center. Notice the “gate number” on the door, this is to help you remember where you came in, so you can find your way back out (there are many entrances on this long hallway market.)
This underground mall appears to go on and on and on…
But never fear, if you get tired, there are some places to sit down and enjoy a little rest break. There are also little Korean restaurant food courts on either end if you are looking for a bite to eat.
In between the two above-ground buildings, there is another underground market. You can browse through these stores by either choosing B1 when you come down from the flower market, and head toward the Shinsegae. Or, when you come from the subway or Shinsegae food court, do not u-turn down into the Gangnam Terminal Mall.
There are rows of market stalls like this, but also some regular stores and restaurants.
I have to say that my very favorite part of EBT browsing is that there are a lot of fun shirts that have really random words and phrases on them like this:
What are you waiting for? Head out to the EBT and have fun browsing through all the fun things it has to offer!