Seoul night market lights up city with delicacies, performances

By Jie Ye-eun

Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market in five locations in metropolitan city offer a wealth of entertainment for nightly visitors

  • Published : May 23, 2017 - 15:28
  • Updated : May 25, 2017 - 18:17

The nightscape of Seoul offers a wealth of pleasant surprises, one of which is Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market, a special weekend market being held in five locations throughout the city.

The night market set up at Seoul Color Park in Yeouido encourages visitors to explore multiple facets of the metropolitan city. It consists of food trucks, handmade craft stores and unique performances.

Visitors enjoy the Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market at Seoul Color Park in Yeouido on weekends. (Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market)

Visitors to the market will find the sounds of a band’s mellow yet exciting performance growing louder as they approach. They will also find a mix of delicious food from some 45 food trucks.

From Korean street food, such as tteokbokki (stir-fried rice cake) and chicken skewers, to Thai and Japanese food, people often wait in long lines to try the wide range of food available.

“No matter what type of food you like, there are many options you get to choose from,” said Iman Mohamed, 28, an American who teaches English and lives in Seoul. “A person who is indecisive like me might have a hard time choosing what to eat first.”

Even late into the night, visitors enjoy Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market at Yeouido Seoul Color Park in Yeuido. (Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market)

But the market is also popular with local residents as it is a great place to buy goods. Yu Jin-sil, 24, said that she enjoyed buying handmade crafts at the market. “They sell such cute handmade items, such as passport holders or coin purses. I wanted more but I just bought two of them.”

Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market does not have a long history. It began in October 2015 for a week as a pilot project, before being launched in March last year.

The festival takes place in five locations: Yeouido, DDP, Cheonggyecheon, Banpo and Cheonggye Plaza.

Visitors of Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market line up in front of food trucks and look at handmade crafts. (Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market)

“Nearly 40,000 to 50,000 people make visits to the night market in Yeouido. Combining all five markets, about 100,000 people are expected to enjoy the atmosphere at the venue,” said Shin Ji-hee, the project leader of the market.

Shin said she wanted to provide a place where families, friends and couples can enjoy their weekends in Seoul.

“I wanted to create a market that will become one of Seoul’s great attractions,” she said. “I visited various popular night markets both in and out of Korea to see how I can make it a better place.”

Shin recommended first-time visitors to visit the Seoul Color Park in Yeouido to experience the unique atmosphere of the market. Since the five markets take turns to shift around every three to four weeks, visitors are advised to check performance schedules and food truck menus on the night market’s website or mobile app in advance. The app will be available soon. 

Some visitors show interests in handmade dreamcatchers at Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market in Yeouido. (Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market)

“They can take a virtual world tour through traditional music, dance performances and food from Korea and other countries in Asia, Europe and America. At the same time, (they can experience the) remarkable view of the nightscape of the Han River,” Shin said.

The organizers of the market are planning to offer new citizen participation programs such as book classes, handmade crafts classes and marriage proposal events.

The market is open Friday to Sunday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. (varies depending on the location) until Oct. 29. For further information, visit the market’s official homepage at

By Jie Ye-eun (