Bukchon Hanok Village picture
Mathieu Thouvenin/Flickr

Key Info

105 Gye-dong, Jongno-gu

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Free, Neighborhood/Area Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.5

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Food Scene
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Bukchon Village occupies the hilly neighborhood between Gyeongbok Palace and Changdeok Palace in north-central Seoul. The neighborhood has the largest collection of privately owned hanoks, or traditional Korean homes with tiled roofs and stone floors, in Seoul. Not only that, but these 900 hanoks date all the way back to the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). While a stroll through Bukchon Village may feel like a trip through the ages, the neighborhood is not frozen in time. Some of the hanoks are still private homes, but others have been converted into tea houses, coffee shops, cafes, art galleries, inns and museums. It is not uncommon to see a Korean couple on a date in a hanok-style restaurant or for tourists to stay in a hanok guesthouse (like the Anguk or the RakKoJae). Even if you're not bedding down in Bukchon, recent travelers strongly recommend a visit regardless. 

Travelers found the neighborhood to be picture-perfect and a lovely stroll. Make sure to bring sturdy walking shoes though, as the site is pretty hilly and takes a couple hours to cover in its entirety. Some reviewers say that because of Bukchon Village's popularity, it's best to visit early in the morning or late at night to avoid crowds. Regardless of what time you visit, keep in mind that this is still a residential area, so you'll need to heed the signs posted around the village about noise. To get the most of Bukchon Village, stop by the Bukchon Traditional Culture Center for information on walking tour routes and attractions to see within the village.

A visit to Bukchon Village is free of charge, though some of the attractions within the neighborhood do have admission fees; they also feature independent hours of operation. You can easily reach Bukchon Village via Line 3 on the subway (exit at Anguk Station). For more information about attractions within the village, visit the Bukchon Traditional Culture Center's official website.

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#1 Namsan Park and N Seoul Tower

Home to five warning beacons and a protective city wall during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), Mount Namsan now hosts a park and a smattering of tourism sites like an aquarium, a library and a bevy of beautiful walking trails.

But most people visit Namsan Park for its panoramic views of Seoul. To scope it out for free, visit Palgakjeong, an octagon-shaped viewing pavilion that boasts alluring vistas of the city. For an even more breathtaking sight, shell out a few won to get to the observation platform atop N Seoul Tower, Namsan Park's real showstopper. Recent visitors said that on clear days, the view from 1,574 feet up is spectacular. Out on the sky deck, you can't miss the thousands of padlocks attached to the fence; couples lock them there as symbols of everlasting love (bring your own lock if you're feeling romantic). For an extra-special experience, reserve a table for dinner in the rotating French restaurant, n.GRILL, on the tower's top floor. 

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