Bukchon Hanok Village serves as a historical treasure nestled in the bustling city of Seoul.
Encircled by the majestic Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, and Jongmyo Shrine, the village boasts hundreds of traditional hanoks or houses that hark back to the Joseon Dynasty. Once a residential area for nobility and high-ranking officials, it continues to be a living neighborhood, with many hanoks now functioning as cultural hubs, guesthouses, eateries, and tea houses.
In contrast to the ultra-modern vibe of Seoul, Bukchon offers a refreshing change. It feels like stepping back in time, offering a tranquil and slower-paced environment that provides a peek into Seoul’s life 600 years ago.
Situated just a stone’s throw away from the fashionable Samcheongdong-gil Road, Bukchon is a scenic neighborhood of winding lanes lined with hundreds of hanoks.
Although many hanoks have transitioned into business and cultural venues, Bukchon primarily remains a residential district. We kindly remind visitors to respect the local inhabitants by keeping noise levels low.
Learning that hanoks pioneered eco-friendly architecture is fascinating. Their design carefully considers their location, the environment, and seasonal changes. Reportedly, the optimal hanok construction places a mountain at the rear and a river at the front.
Considering Korea’s chilly winters and sweltering summers, builders construct hanoks with an ondol (underfloor heating system) for winter warmth and usually include a spacious daecheong (front porch) for summer cooling. Many homes today use these traditional heating and cooling methods because of their proven efficiency.
Bukchon Hanok Village utterly charmed me. It offers a tranquil retreat from the frenetic pace of contemporary Seoul, making you feel like you’ve stepped onto the set of a historical Korean drama.
Bukchon Hanok Village’s proximity to Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung palaces allows easy exploration of all three sites in a single day. Bukchon was more appealing due to its smaller tourist crowd than the palaces. The houses were a delight to photograph, and navigating the maze-like alleyways was an exciting adventure. It felt like wandering through a maze of traditional Korean homes. In my view, it’s an incredibly fantastic experience and a must-visit.
Bukchon Hanok Village, Seoul, South Korea
37, Gyedong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
서울특별시 종로구 계동길 37 (계동)
Hours of Operation: Mon-Sun, 24 hrs
Suggested Length of Visit: 1-2 hrs
To reach by subway, alight at Anguk station (line 3), taking exit 2. Continue walking straight for approximately 500m to reach Bukchon Hanok Village. As Bukchon is a residential area, there are no distinct entrance gates or boundary lines. As soon as you spot the hanoks, feel free to venture into any alleyway.
For helpful advice on visiting Seoul, please take a look at our Explore Seoul: Your 2023 Comprehensive Guide to South Korea’s Travel Destinations
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