Bukchon is popular for a few reasons. The main one being it’s the best photo spot in Seoul.
Here are a few more reasons to like it.
Tucked in between two of the most iconic palaces in Korea (Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung) Bukchon Hanok Village is a must when visiting Seoul.
Even without doing a photoshoot, Bukchon is worth a visit (don’t worry, I’ll cover the photo ops in detail!).
It truly is like going back in time. There’s no place like it.
There’s also plenty to enjoy once you get a new profile pic.
What to know
- It’s an actual neighborhood where people have lived for 600 years
- You can take pics anywhere, but the most photogenic spot is Gahoe-dong on the west side of the Bukchon-ro (the main street)
- There’s plenty to do after a photo shoot including posh tea houses, cosmetics shops, and old school Korean restaurants
- The area is full of small, inexpensive but charming museums
Read on for some lesser-known ways to enjoy Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul.
When to go
Bukchon Hanok Village is great year round.
If you want the best spots to yourself, 7am to 9am is the right time to go.
Fall is a bit extra special because the crimson and orange foliage will make the surroundings pop just a little more.
There aren’t many cherry blossoms in the alleyways, probably because they would be too beautiful to handle. That being said, they’re around in spring, mid-March to early-April.
Winter is nice too when snow covers the roofs just right.
How to get to Bukchon Hanok Village
You can take subway line 3 to Anguk Station exit 2 and walk north along Bukchon-ro for 600 meters.
If you’re like me and want to avoid walking, take subway line 1 Jonggak Station exit 3 and jump on the Jongro 02 maul bus for 7 stops and get off at 북촌 한옥마을.
Or, jump in a taxi and say “Bükchon Hahnok Ma Eul Ga Joo Say Yo” and you’ll be off.
Where to stay
Hanok stays are a great experience, but Bukchon Hanok Village doesn’t offer great value. Here are the best budget and luxury options.
Mini Hotel Insa
A short walk from Bukchon Hanok Village, Mini Hotel Insa offers decent rooms for the budget-conscious traveler. You’ll enjoy a traditional setting without breaking the bank.
26 Insadong 14-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Rakkojae Seoul Main Hanok
If you want to wake up in the middle of luxury hanok buildings and money is no object, this is the best place to do it.
Some say Rakkojae is overpriced for what you get, but it’s still the best in the area.
218 Gahoe-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
What to do
As someone who needs more than pretty views to go out in public, Bukchon Hanok Village has a lot to offer.
I like to break up trips to Bukchon by dividing it in half between west and east. Pics and sightseeing in the West, lunch and coffee, then finish in the East.
You can rent a hanbok at one of the many shops around the neighborhood to get into the spirit.
It’s a bit tricky to find the best views and photo spots because the streets are from a time when addresses weren’t a thing.
Luckily, there are maps on the street covering the 8 main viewpoints. If you get there after 9am, you can also just follow the crowd.
Here are my favorite ones:
The most iconic spot is on the west side of Bukchon-ro and requires a brief uphill stroll. I’d go here first in the morning.
This one’s great from the bottom, top, and the middle. On a clear day you can see Namsan Tower from the summit of the hill.
A quieter spot where you can enjoy the unique architecture.
13 Dalmaji-gil 62beon-gil, Haeundae-gu, Busan, South Korea
Insider Tip: Check out the west side of Bukchon Hanok Maul in the morning then have lunch and coffee in the center. Finish with the east side to see Changdeokgung and take a tour of the secret garden.
Can’t miss a chance to see one of the 5, and arguably the most beautiful, iconic palaces from a different angle. Changdeokgung Palace can be seen in all its glory from here. You can save this one for last.
A small but well-maintained and tranquil cultural center that’s free.
37 Gyedong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Established in 2002, its collection includes over 1,500 items, including folk paintings, amulets, all sorts of cool old stuff.
52 Bukchon-ro, Gahoe-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Bukchon Asian Cultural Art Museum
Come for the art, stay for the coffee and view.
A bit hidden up the hill around Gahoe Alley, this place offers a stunning view of Bukchon Hanok Village. There’s an art gallery full of traditional pottery and paintings as well.
76 Bukchon-ro 11-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Bukchon Traditional Crafts Center
A must for craft lovers. Make your own hanji (paper dolls), ribbons, and any Korean craft you can think of.
24-5 Bukchon-ro 12-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Samcheong Park is a secluded forest north of Bukchon Hanok Village. It’s the quickest way to get out in nature from there.
If you make it to the top of Samcheong Park Malbawi Observatory, you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view of central Seoul. Just head north on Bukchon-ro and you can’t miss it.
Samcheong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
What to eat and drink
A hole-in-the-wall place that has been making dumplings and kalguksu the old-fashioned way for three generations.
Started by a family fleeing the war in North Korea, they’ve been serving delicious, home cooked meals for 60 years.
The owner lady is a character and will make you feel welcome.
10 Bukchon-ro 4-gil, Jae-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
I’m a sucker for O’sulloc tea houses.
They have the most consistent quality and service, among heartless conglomerate brands. Even the restrooms are nice with futuristic toilets and portals into the past.
The fact that each branch has their own location-appropriate set just makes it so much more special.
45 Bukchon-ro, Gahoe-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Insider Tip: Food allergies are not taken seriously in Korea, so proceed with caution.
26 Bukchon-ro 11na-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Where is Bukchon Hanok Village?
Bukchon Hanok Village is just north of Anguk Station exit 2.
Do I need to tip here?
No need to tip anywhere in Bukchon Hanok Village!
Did we miss anything?
Let us know your thoughts about Bukchon Hanok Village!