Apart from palaces, one of the must-visit places in Korea is hanok villages. Besides the iconic architecture which you might have seen in Korean dramas, hanok villages also house interesting shops and restaurants. One of the most famous hanok villages in Seoul is none other than Bukchon Hanok Village. I’ve had the opportunity to visit this place twice – once in winter, and another time in summer.
Bukchon Hanok Village reflects 600 years of Seoul’s history. The village is situated between Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace, and its streets are lined with traditional hanok. Unlike other hanok villages (such as Namsangol Hanok Village), Bukchon was not created for tourists and it is a residential village inhabited by Seoulites. The best place within Bukchon to experience the old hanok atmosphere may be Gaehoe-dong. Here, hundreds of hanok sit shoulder to shoulder.
Plus point: This was the filming location for “Personal Taste”!
Yes, you read that right – this is a residential area! There are actually people still living in the hanok, which is incredibly fascinating. That also means, of course, that tourists are expected to be mindful of the residents here and be careful of trespassing into people’s hanok by accident.
These photos were from winter:
And these from the most recent summer!
We rented hanboks to wear for 1 hour, and took photographs around Bukchon in them! We even had a tourist come up to take photos with us because she thought we looked cute in our hanboks and she didn’t want to go and rent… I’m not sure where the logic is but it was an interesting encounter haha. I think renting hanboks is a very good experience, but not all shops are very cheap, and they usually charge different rates based on the type of hanboks you rent. The one we went to was in a corner up the slope, so there weren’t many customers – which is a good thing because it means you don’t have to wait as long to get fitted.
Besides admiring the houses and taking photographs, you can also do a bit of shopping around the area. I bought a few sweaters here in winter, and when I went back in summer, the shop which I bought the sweaters from was selling shirts and blouses instead. You can also buy socks and bags here from some of the shops. Most (cheap) socks in Korea sell at about the same price (1 pair for 1000 won), and are pretty cute, so definitely worth buying.
There is also one ice cream shop that I’d strongly recommend! I ate this grape ice cream in winter and took a photo of it against a pretty pink wall:
And ate it again in summer!
It’s really sweet and refreshing, and comes in a variety of flavours. I personally really like the grape flavour so I stuck with it, but maybe I’ll try other flavours next time.
Address: 37, Gyedong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 종로구 계동길 37 (계동)
Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 1 or 2.
– Go straight for about 300m to arrive at Bukchon Hanok Village.
Get off at Bukchon Hanok Village Bus Stop.
– Maeul Bus Jongno 02