Insadong picture
BIKEWORLDTRAVEL/SHUTTERSTOCK

Key Info

Insa-dong Jongno-gu

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Shopping, Free, Neighborhood/Area Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.3

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Food Scene
  • 4.5Atmosphere

In this quaint central-Seoul neighborhood, you can find everything from hanbok (traditional Korean clothing) to herbal teas to calligraphy supplies. About 40 percent of Korean crafts are exchanged in Insadong, though ceramics are the prized goods here. Insadong's alleys, which are lined with street vendors, wooden tea houses, galleries and restaurants, stretch from the Anguk-dong Rotary to Tapgol Park. By shopping here, you'll be contributing to centuries of Korean history – Insadong was central to painters during the Joseon Dynasty and continues to be a hub for artistry today.

Recent visitors lauded Insadong as a great place to buy cultural souvenirs, but they also appreciate its fun atmosphere. Guests say there are always lots of people coming to and fro as well as street performers and artists hanging around, waiting for interaction. For a trip back in time, visit Insadong on the weekends when motor vehicles are prohibited on its winding streets, adding to its quaint, Old World vibe. While the atmosphere is undoubtedly fun, visitors suggest those wanting to experience Insadong without crowds come during the weekdays. 

You can reach Insadong via the subway from either Anguk Station on Line 3 (exit 6) or from Jonggak Station on Line 1 (exit 3). For more information about Insadong, visit the Korea Tourism Organization's official website.

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Time to Spend
#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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