Seoul’s tall shiny buildings, business people in suits chain smoking on the corners, and busy street crossings can you make you feel like you are in any other big city in the world, it is not until you step foot in the stunning Bukchon Hanok Village that you can fully grasp that you have in fact made it to Korea!—at least it felt that way for me.
During the three months that I got to live in Seoul, the Bukchon Hanok Village became my little escape from the city, even though is right there, close to the action, stepping into the village feels like taking a day trip into a smaller Korean town, with its winding little pedestrian-only streets full of shops, cafes and hidden gems at every turn.
The Bukchon Hanok Village should undoubtedly be at the top of your list of things to do in Seoul, and in this guide to visiting the Bukchon Hanok Village, we hope to give you all the information you need to ease your visit there, from how to get there, what to do, what to eat in the area and more.
So let’s jump into it:
Visiting the Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul: A Complete Guide
What is the Bukchon Hanok Village?
Nestled between the city’s main palaces, Gyeonbokgung to the west and Changdeokgung to the right, the Bukchon Hanok Village is an area in Seoul that is home to hundreds of picturesque traditional Korean houses, or hanoks, that display how life in the city used to be around 600 years ago, during the Joseon dynasty.
The most popular attraction of the Bukchon Hanok village is this one particular street of gorgeously preserved hanoks that lines up perfectly with the famous Seoul N Tower as a backdrop, definitely a photograph-worthy spot, however, what I find even more fascinating than the view in this street is the fact that normal Korean citizens still live in that street, they live their everyday lives inside these insanely picturesque traditional houses in the middle of this massive buzzing city. How cool is that?!
As popular as this street might be, do not be fooled into thinking that this one street is all the Bukchon Hanok Village is, the village itself is actually the whole neighborhood around it as well, where you will still find hanoks sprinkled throughout, housing cafes, modern-day brand stores, and cute boutique shops, so make sure to take your time to wander and get lost in the small Buckhon Hanok Village alleys.
Is there a fee for visiting the Bukchon Hanok Village?
Visiting the Bukchon Hanok Village is free of charge since it is just another neighborhood in the city, there is no gated entrance to it or anything like that, so enjoy!
However, one thing that is worth noting is that one of the most popular areas of the Bukchon Hanok Village goes through a residential area, so it’s important to be mindful of noise levels and respect people’s private property by not walking up the steps of their home for photos, but besides that, the area is free for people to wander through.
How to get to the Bukchon Hanok Village?
The closest metro station to the Bukchon Hanok Village is the Anguk Station Line 3, from there is a very enjoyable walk up Bukchon street, which is lined by cozy cafes and cute shops.
What to do around the Bukchon Hanok Village?
Dress in hanbok
Besides walking around the area and marveling at the beautiful traditional houses, one of the most popular activities for visitors to the Bukchon Hanok Village is to dress up in Hanbok, the traditional ethnic Korean clothes, and take photos using the gorgeous village as a backdrop.
You will easily find a variety of shops in the neighborhood that rent beautiful traditional clothes for a few hours, we found this little shop, studio KJD, where the lovely woman took the time to individually help us pick the pieces and colors that went well together as well as styling the hair of 5 of us girls.
Visit a museum
If you are anything like me, walking through the historical Bukchon Hanok Village will not fail to leave you with a burning curiosity to learn and understand more about the culture and history of beautiful Korea, which is why visiting a museum is the perfect activity during your trip there.
The Bukchon Hanok Village offers a variety of museums and cultural centers that aim to educate their visitors on the rich culture and history of their country. My favorite museum close by is the National Folk Museum, first of all, is free, and second of all, it’s a great place to learn more about Korean culture and values, from birth to death.
Other museums in the area:
- National Palace Museum of Korea
- Seoul Education Museum
- Bukchon Museum
- Seoul Museum of History
- Seoul Museum of Craft Art
Have tea at a tea house
Another activity that you can add to your visit to the Buckhon Hanok Village, especially if it’s cold outside, is to enjoy a warm cup of tea in a traditional tea house, like Cha-teul which looks stunning!
Or, if like me, you need a kick of caffeine throughout the day, there are plenty of adorable coffee shops housed inside traditional hanoks as well!
Do some shopping
Whether you are looking for high-quality souvenirs or a pair of comfy New Balance, you can find it all in the Bukchon Hanok Village.
Some of my favorite shops in the area:
- New Balance: Very popular in Korea and this shop is housed in a beautiful Hanok
- Pleats Mamma: Korean brand of bags and accessories created with recycled plastic (close to the Blue Bottle Samcheong)
- Sulwhasoo: Popular high-end Korean skincare brand
- Olive Young: Korean skincare heaven (Like Korean Sephora but way cheaper)
- De art: Local artist selling postcards and prints inspired by Seoul
What to eat around the Bukchon Hanok Village?
The whole area surrounding the Bukchon Hanok Village is so lively and there are so many things to see, such as the palaces, the Village itself, museums and more, so to be able to peacefully spend a day here you will need some fuel to explore, here are our favorite places to eat around the Bukchon Hanok Village:
Breakfast in Bukchon Hanok Village
- Thanks, Oat: Delicious greek yogurt bowls with fruit to start your day.
- Salt 24: The best croissant and pain au chocolate in the city.
Coffee in Bukchon Hanok Village
- Sudal Cafe: Cute coffee shop in a renovated Hanok.
- Blue Bottle Cafe Samcheon: Three stories tall chain coffee shop that takes its coffee seriously. One of my favorites!
- Komfortabel Cafe: Moody coffee shop with a Scandinavian vibe.
- Cafe Lowroof: Clean-aesthetic coffee shop conveniently located one street before the start of the Bukchon Hanok Village main street.
For more coffee shops in Seoul read: Best cafes in Seoul for good coffee
Sweet treats in Bukchon Hanok Village
- Cafe Knotted Anguk: The most popular donuts in Seoul, a must-try!
- Layered Bukchon: A British-inspired spot for cakes and scones.
- Little Butler: European-styled cafe focused on Viennese coffee, which Korea is obsessed with.
- Waffle Shop: Adorable tiny shop with tasty crunchy waffles, in a variety of flavors.
Lunch and Dinner
- Noodle Shop: An interaction-free restaurant offering simple, yet comforting dishes; a few options of noodle soups and meat rice bowls. If you can handle spicy, definitely try their Kimchi pork rice bowl.
- Oreno Ramen Insa: This is not Korean but nonetheless is delicious and in the area, and it has even been recognized by the Michelin guide as being a small restaurant offering great quality food consistently.
- KKangtong Mandu: A highly popular dumpling place with a line of locals always eagerly waiting outside.
- Salt house deli: If you can’t even look at a dumpling anymore, Salt House Deli is your safe haven, offering a variety of sandwiches with high-quality cold cuts.
- Kiwa taproom: A cozy and relaxed bar serving Korean craft beer inside a beautiful Hanok.
Hope you found this post useful and it answered all your questions about visiting the gorgeous Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul, but if you still have any doubts please don’t hesitate to ask away in the comments. Have you been to Seoul yet, or are you planning a trip anytime soon?
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