Bukchon, meaning “North Village” is a traditional village located in between the two palaces Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung. During the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), many yangbans (people from the ruling class) lived in these 900 hanoks (traditional house).
On my first day in Seoul, I decided to visit Bukchon Hanok Village, a few minutes walk from my hotel, Ibis Ambassador Seoul Insadong. Going around the village is pretty easy as long as you follow the tourist map ( I got the map from the tourist centre on my way back to the hotel, go figure). The map directs you to the 8 views which highlights the beauty of the village. It starts with the panoramic view of the Changdeokgung Palace to the stone stair alley of Samcheong-dong.
The village is a centre for culture and the arts. It has a number of art galleries and museums. Hanok restaurants, guesthouses and craft workshops which provide hands on experience for the traditional Korean way of life. The Bukchon Traditional Crafts Experience Centre offers tourists, for a reasonable price, training with knot making, folk fan painting, handkerchief dyeing and even Dak (native Korean tree) Paper (hanji) doll making. They have different schedule during summer (1000-1800) and winter (1000-1700). According to the Bukchon guide it is open 365 days except on the Chuseok (is a major harvest festival and a three-day holiday in Korea celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar as per Wikipedia) and the Lunar New Year’s day. Open 365 days! Peace.
There are a number of cafes and shops selling souvenirs, clothes as well as Kpop memorabilia. Wifi spots are conveniently located around this area (Like really! They are everywhere). Just look for the red Wifi signs. Tourist guides are also available for distraught tourists like me. They are wearing red hats and jackets. You will find them in pairs.Very helpful. Good job Seoul!
How to get to Bukchon:
- 37 Gyedong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
- Line 3 at Anguk Station, Exit 2 & 3, 5 minutes walk
- Lines 1, 2 & 5 at Jongo 3-ga Station, Exit 6, 10-minutes walk
- 109, 151, 162, 171, 272, 601, 7025
An advisory from Visitseoul.net:
Due to the increasing amounts of visitors to the Bukchon Hanok Village area, the number of complaints from residents living in the village about disruptions in their neighborhood has increased.
Unlike Namsangol Hanok Village or other folk villages, Bukchon Hanok Village is not meant to be a tourist attraction. Although many of Seoul’s hanoks can be found clustered together in this area, Bukchon Hanok Village is a residential neighborhood where people actually live.
Please keep this in mind and follow the precautions below when visiting Bukchon Hanok Village:
– Please keep noise levels to a minimum (e.g. no loud voices, horsing around, filming, etc.)
– Please do not litter
– Please keep group visits to a maximum of 10 people
– Please do not use microphones or loudspeakers
– Please do not take photos or film the insides of houses, even if the door is open
Please note: The heavily residential areas of Bukchon Hanok Village (31 Gahoe-dong, 33 Gahoe-dong, etc.) will no longer be offered as part of the Seoul City Walking Tours.