Shinsegae Department Store-Former World’s Largest


This weekend, I took my husband to the last place any self-respecting husband wants to go. I took him to the mall — the Shinsegae Department Store in Busan. But it’s not just any mall. We went to the biggest mall in the whole world. And why not? Who doesn’t want to say they’ve been to the largest mall in the world? It is the proverbial “destination within a destination.

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20160118_110821 Shinsegae Department Store-Former World's Largest

Shinsegae Department Store

The Biggest Mall in the World is Located in Busan, Korea

The Shinsegae Department Store is located in Shinsegae Centum City. The mall covers so much space it has been in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest retail space since its construction in 2009.

The moment you walk into the mall from its stop on the Metro, everything is grand, from the marble floors to the replica of the Trevi Fountain at the entrance at Centum City Station (Subway Line 2). You walk out of the station into this cavernous space decorated with white-on-white marble and stone.

If you’re thinking that Minnesota’s Mall of the Americas is bigger, you are correct. However, the ranking at Guinness is based on the retail space and not the overall square footage — which is why Shinsegae is the current record-holder.

Guinness Book of World Records

Opened in 1992, the mall receives over 40 million visitors annually, more than any other mall worldwide. The MOA is located on the site of the former Metropolitan Stadium, where the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Twins played until the Metrodome was built in 1982 with 3.77 million square feet (4.2 million square feet overall).

Do you think this is an appropriate distinction to make? Don’t facilities like spas, movie theaters, and food courts add to the overall mall experience? Walk past the fountain into double revolving doors into yet another space and an escalator that finally takes you into the mall.

20160118_110849 Shinsegae Department Store-Former World's Largest

Food Court & Restaurants

It’s hard to believe this place can become hard to navigate; there is so much open space. But on any given day, especially on weekends and holidays, I’m told even supersized malls like Shinsegae are standing room only.

Thankfully, today is not one of those days. There is a basic layout for malls here in Korea. The first floor you enter from the Metro is usually the Basement. Shinsegae is no different. We rode the escalator up to the B1 level to check out the food court for one reason: we were starving. And neither one of us would enjoy walking through the world’s largest mall on an empty stomach.

20160118_111310 Shinsegae Department Store-Former World's Largest
20160118_111616 Shinsegae Department Store-Former World's Largest

Shinsegae Department Store Restaurants

There was plenty to choose from, but we decided to check out the 9th-floor restaurants before deciding. We got off the elevator and were perplexed. There were signs on the walls, but we couldn’t read them. All we saw was something called Zooraji. Zooraji was a dinosaur park on the rooftop 9th floor where you can enjoy a great view of Busan and the iconic Gwangandaegyo Bridge.

20160118_125323 Shinsegae Department Store-Former World's Largest

Blow Fish

It was cold outside, so I took a few pictures and retreated to the other side, where the restaurants were located. There are ten cafes and restaurants on this level. One of the more interesting is the restaurant specializing in the Asian delicacy of blowfish. We skipped that one because, well, we just aren’t that adventurous. Blowfish, known as pufferfish, have a deadly toxin in their organs that can result in death if disturbed or punctured. We opted for the Macaroni Grill, a much tamer option of East meets West, a light lunch of Korean Beef, and a sizzling hot pot of chicken and vegetables.

20160118_113730 Shinsegae Department Store-Former World's Largest

Fun for Non-Shoppers Too

After lunch, we attacked the mall floor by floor. And there is a lot to see at Shinsegae. A multiplex movie theater and a large bookstore sell English language books. I wish they would put all their books in plastic wrap. The plastic makes it hard to read them, lol. There is an ice rink, a huge musical fountain, a kids’ cafe and play area, a spa with thermal baths, and a restaurant called Cine de Chef where you can enjoy a meal and watch a movie while lying in a Posturepedic bed. There is a three-story driving range on top for anyone interested in golf.

Shopping at Shinsegae Department Store

Like most malls worldwide, there’s shopping in Shinsegae, too. And most of it is high-end. Jimmy Choo, Givenchy, Bulgari, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Dior Homme, Gucci, and Dior are top designers with retail space in Shinsegae. There is an H&M Store for the more budget.

-minded like me. The Husband headed for the luxury shops while I checked out what H&M had to offer. But if you plan to buy anything, take your passport with you. As an American, I am exempt from paying the 10% VAT (Value Added Tax) on purchases greater than 30,000 KRW (around USD 30).

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How to Get to Shinsegae Department Store

If you’re visiting Busan and want to check out the largest mall in the world, here’s how to get to Shinsegae Centum City:

  • By Metro: Take Line 2 and get off at Centum City Station. The mall is connected to the station.
  • By Bus: You can take buses 139, 141, 142, 239, 240, 1003, or 1003-1 and get off at Centum City Bus Stop.
  • By Car: If you’re driving, the address is 1495 U-dong, Haeundae, Busan, South Korea.


Visiting the Shinsegae Department Store in Busan, Korea, is not just a shopping experience; it’s an adventure. This mall has something for everyone, from its record-breaking size to its wide array of amenities. Whether you’re a shopaholic, a foodie, a movie lover, or simply looking for a fun day out, Shinsegae has got you covered.

So, the next time you find yourself in Busan, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the largest mall in the world. You’ll be able to boast that you’ve been to the “destination within a destination” and enjoy a memorable day exploring all that Shinsegae Centum City has to offer.

Have you been to Shinsegae or any other massive malls? Share your experiences in the comments below!

Shinsegae-Mall-519x692 Shinsegae Department Store-Former World's Largest


    1. duffelbagspouse

      We were there for roughly four hours and that was cursory. We rode the escalator from top to bottom. WE only investigated a few things. Theres no telling if you are actually shopping how long it would take.

  1. Marta

    Oh wow, what a place! It looks immense, I can see how also non-shoppers would find it interesting too. One thing picked my curiosity over all the rest: what is blow fish??The funny one that blows up like a ball?

    1. duffelbagspouse

      It is huge. We were lucky to go on a weekend when it wasn’t too too crazy inside. That blowfish is deadly in the hands of an untrained sushi chef. Several people have died.

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