[Seoul] Immersing in Korean Traditional Culture at Bukchon Hanok Village (북촌한옥마을)

Just like any other metropolitan cities in the world, the streets of Seoul have been invaded by skyscrapers and high-rises. You could barely find the city’s historical footprints. Except one place…

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Bukchon Hanok Village, “the street museum in the urban core.”

Surrounded by the two palaces, Gyeonbokgung and Changdeokgung, Bukchon is a residential district packed with over 900 hanoks (traditional Korean wooden houses) in Seoul. It is named ‘Bukchon,’ which literally translates to ‘northern village,’  due to the fact that the village lies to the north of the two significant Seoul landmarks, Cheonggyecheon Stream and Jongno.

Nestled in the midst of the bustling city of Seoul, you don’t have to go too far to explore these traditional Korean homes. Simply hop on to the subway (line 3) and get off at Anguk station exit 2. Bukchon Hanok Village is a mere ten minute walk away!

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The alleys in Bukchon wind and twist between houses. Keep an eye out for those alleys that have beautifully restored architectural features like small courtyards, patterned walls, and dark tiled roofs.

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For those who’s afraid of getting lost in the maze, follow the route of the Bukchon 8 Views (see the camera icons #1~8 on the map below) that takes visitors to the best photo spots in the Bukchon Hanok Village! To get a copy of the map, head towards the Tourist Information Center at Jaedong Elementary School, on your way to Bukchon Hanok Village. Or visit the website to get a detailed walk-through of the site.

Map of Bukchon

Map of Bukchon

Since Bukchon Hanok Village is an important area for culture and the arts, you will pass by numerous museums, craft workshops, historic landmarks, art galleries, and even quaint cafés and restaurants!!

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Certain photo shots are swarmed by tourists. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t get a picturesque view. Talk a walk away from the suggested route – the view is equally beautiful 🙂 Just remember to be respectful of the residents there and keep your voice down.

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The tiled roofs contrasting with the modern building in the distance reflected the changes brought by urbanization.

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On a clear day, you could even enjoy the view of Namsan and N Seoul Tower from the alley!

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As you arrive at Bukchon View #8 on the map, climb down the stone stairs alley and enjoy a relaxing stroll along the main street of Samcheongdong. Lined with cafes, museums, antique shops and a number of famous art galleries, the street is famous for its thick forest and scenic views.

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stone stairs alley near Bukchon View #8

Samcheongdong

Samcheongdong

If the walking tour alone cannot suffice you, you can look into guest houses and hanok-themed restaurants in the area to fully immerse yourselves in the Korean traditional culture! It is definitely one of the top things to do in Seoul! For more information on getting a unique Bukchon experience, please visit the Hanok Homestay website.

How to get to Bukchon Hanok Village?

Get off at subway line 3 Anguk Station, exit 2. Walk straight for about 300m to arrive at Bukchon Hanok Village.

About Bukchon Hanok Village (북촌한옥마을)

Address: 37, Gyedong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul  (서울특별시 종로구 계동길 37)
Hours: Open all year round
Admission: Free
Website: http://bukchon.seoul.go.kr/eng/index.jsp

 

 

 

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7 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. Wow- wish I had found that suburb when I ws in Seoul! I only went to Insadong- still interesting, but perhaps not as old?

    • Hi Roshan! We went to Insadong as well, it is definitely more commercial than Bukchon Hanok Village. If you went to Insadong, maybe you visited the artisan building called Ssamziegil there? I loved that place and bought some useful products made by local artists!

  2. What a find! I’d love to walk through the village. It seems just a tad eerie with no people. I remember fondly walking through Kyoto’s historic village early in the morning as vendors swept and prepared their shops. Like stepping back in time.

    • Nice, I loved Kyoto too – a stunning historic town! In fact, the village in Seoul was swarmed with tourists (I tended to avoid people when shooting photos). You could tell that the neighbours were irritated by the noisy tourists that they even put signs on their door warning tourists to keep their voice down. That has always been a problem in tourist attractions though.

  3. Korea has always held great interest for me – and has firmly been on the list of places to go. Thank you for sharing your insights and this gem of a place! I’ve bookmarked your link for when I get around to planning my trip.
    Happy Travels 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by Vicki! There is so much culture & history in Korea, not to mention the food & fashion! Hope you get to visit there soon! Let me know if you need any recommendations 🙂

  4. Gosh, i do love how Seoul can be so modern but still maintain it’s historical context rather well. i was here in Bukchon a few times as I have lived in Korea for a few years. Great post and I think it’s a must for anyone visiting Seoul for the first time.

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