Exploring Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul

Bukchon Hanok Village

Bukchon Hanok Village is one of the last three remaining traditional villages in all of South Korea.

The village combines both the ancient and the modern in an area surrounded by Gyeongbokgung Palace to the west, Changdeokgung Palace to the east, and Mt. Baekak to the northwest.

Exploring Bukchon Hanok Village

Bukchon Hanok Village

After stepping off of the subway, I made my way over to the Bukchon Jae-dong Tourist Information Center to pick up a free tourist map of the neighborhood so I could navigate my way around it.

I was informed by the officials that the best route to take would be through the east side of the village up Gyedong-gi alley, through a miniature neighborhood featuring traditional Hanok houses. From there, I was told to make my way across Gahoe-ro street to the east side of the village and through the neighborhood until I made my way Samcheondong-gil alley.

Bukchon Hanok Village Alley

Bukchon Hanok Village

Bukchon Village

Many of the houses on the west side of the Village had been beautifully restored and quite a large number of the shops and restaurants on the main street catered to tourism.

People ducked in and out of the alleyways with cameras in hand trying to find spaces that were not mobbed with tourists so that they could capture the perfect shot of the traditional houses.

The west side seemed a bit too crowded and touristy for me, so I decided to leave the neighborhood and make my way across Gahoe-ro street to the east side of the village.

Bukchon crowds

On the east side of the village, I decided to climb up a steep hilly road to escape the masses, and when I did I found solitude.I was able to explore some of the hidden alleyways and get a feel for the village without dealing with the multitudes.

(Tip: wander around the alleyways where there are no people to get the true ‘Hanok’ experience).

Bukchon Hanok Village Alley

I concluded my walk on the eastern outskirts of Bukchon Village overlooking the shops and cafes in Samcheong-dong.

Overall, I found Bukchon Village to be a nice place to see some traditional-style Korean homes right in the city of Seoul. If you are looking to see another traditional Korean village, I recommend taking a day trip down to the larger Jeonju Hanok Village in the city of Jeonju, about three hours outside of the city (see how to get from Seoul to Jeonju here).

Bukchon Hanok Village Door

Take a virtual journey through Bukchon Hanok Village in this video…

Practical Information

Directions | Take Subway Line 3 to Anguk Station and get out at Exit 2. Walk straight and turn right at the Myungin Museum.

Have you been to Bukchon Hanok Village before?

By |2017-07-30T01:10:10+00:00June 3rd, 2014|South Korea|9 Comments


  1. Francesca @onegrloneworld Jun 3, 2014 at 2:01 pm - Reply

    Wow love the pics! I never really had much interest in Asia until now, and I love places like this! Did you eat any traditional food there?

    • Chanel Jun 3, 2014 at 9:57 pm - Reply

      Hi Francesca, thanks for stopping by. I ate a lot of traditional Korean food when living there, I actually will be discussing that more in depth in a future blog post 🙂

  2. Francesca @onegrloneworld Jun 3, 2014 at 2:02 pm - Reply

    Love your blog btw!

  3. S. Smith Jun 3, 2014 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    Hey, How is Seoul for people of color? I would love to travel to different places but 1: I most likely will have to travel solo(I don’t have adventourous friends) and 2: I am scared because I am an African American women (double negative). What tips would you give. You can also email me! Thank you!

    • Chanel Jun 3, 2014 at 9:58 pm - Reply

      Hi S. Smith 🙂 Seoul is full of all different people and nationalities. A great group I suggest you visit is ‘Brothas & Sistas of South Korea’ on Facebook. Seoul is very solo-travel safe!

  4. Franca Jun 7, 2014 at 2:42 am - Reply

    What a lovely village, I love the narrow alleys and the characteristic houses, shame we missed it whilst in Seoul 🙁

    • Chanel Jun 7, 2014 at 5:24 am - Reply

      Yes it was quite lovely! When you return you should definitely visit! 😀

  5. Kristine Tecson Jan 31, 2017 at 8:32 am - Reply

    Hi! How far is the information center from subway exit 2? After I turn right at the myungin museum, will I immediately see it?

    • Chanel | Cultural Xplorer Feb 22, 2017 at 11:11 am - Reply

      Hi Kristine! The information center is a short walk from the subway exit, only a couple of minutes. You will see it automatically. Enjoy your trip!

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