Traditional meets modern at Bukchon Hanok Village, Seoul

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Bukchon Hanok Village

Stepping back in time at Bukchon Hanok Village, Seoul

 

Hanok houses are a step back into a traditional Korea and visiting them is like taking a step back into time.  It’s a shame that Koreans are replacing them with bland high-rise apartments. However, there are places where you can stroll through the walled mazes and see them well-preserved, such as Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul.

The history behind Bukchon Hanok Village

Seoul in Winter

Seoul in Winter: Overlooking Samcheongdong from Bukchon

Once a village of aristocrats during the Joseon Dynasty, Bukchon Hanok Villages rests in the hub of Seoul, connecting to Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace and downtown Seoul.

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Two traits of a hanok house is that it’s eco-friendly and made of all natural substances, such as wood, straw, dirt and wood pulp.  This makes the house breathable and free of chemical substances. The other trait is its ondol floor heating system, where the heating in the house is emitted from a system under the floor. The floor is an important part of Korean homes, because it is where Koreans traditionally used to sleep or eat.   The ondol is a favorite of Koreans and you’ll still find ondols used in places like jjimjilbangs and modern apartments.

Bukchon Hanok Village seoul, Hanok Village seoul, hanok houses seoul

hanok village rooftops

Tiled rooftops on hanok houses signify persons of privileged classes

A modern day Bukchon village

Today, the hanok houses at Bukchon are still inhabited with families. But the area is both traditional and contemporary. Some houses are converted into restaurant cafes or art galleries and workshops which teach and preserve traditional arts and crafts. The village area is also a favorite film location for popular Korean dramas.

A trip to Bukchon village, you can take an embroidery or knot-making workshop, take selfies next to your favorite Korean drama house or simply follow the streets and let them momentarily, whisk you back in time.

Read Top Neighborhoods in Seoul

Bukchon Hanok Village houses a lovely artisan community

Bukchon Hanok Village houses a lovely artisan community

Bukchon Hanok Village arts

Bukchon Hanok Village has a artisan community of cafes and artist workshops

 

Experience a Hanok House Stay in Seoul

You can experience a hanok stay during your visit in Seoul and there’s several options to choose from:

Charm Hanok Guest House  A popular hanok choice for travelers is Charm Hanok Guest House in Jongno. Hosts are pleasant, the house has a courtyard and is location convenient to Changdeokgung Palace and Gwangjang Market. Stone’s throw from Bukchon village. Metro: Anguk

Buckchon Sonsjunjae Hanok Guesthouse  Location convenient to Gwanghwamun, Insadong, the hanok village. Metro: Anguk

Nagne House (boutique hanok stay) With Nagne, the traditional hanok house gets an overhaul in design to a more lively boutique flair. Metro: Gyeongbukgung

Gowoondang Hanok Guesthouse  A simple and earnest quality hanok stay located conveniently near Gyeongbokgung Station with access to many sights.

Getting to Bukchon Hanok Village

By Subway:
To get the Bukchon Traditional Culture Center, get off at Anguk Station (Line 3), Exit #4, walk towards Gahoe-dong Office past the Constitutional Court.

By Bus:
Red #9710, Get off at Anguk Station, walk towards Gahoe-dong Office past the Constitutional Court.

Other Hanok Villages to Visit

There are several hanok villages open to the public:

 Naganeupseong Folk Village (Seoul)  is a living museum park, with five houses, a pavillion and performance area and a variety of shows and exhibitions set up in the village. You can take a guided tour. Admission: Free . Located: near Donguk University/Daehan Theater. Chungmuro Station (Seoul Subway Line 3 & 4), Exit 3 or 4.  Nearby accommodations: PJ Hotel (review)

Jeonju Hanok Village (Jeonju): 15-20 minutes by taxi from Jeonju Station or Jeonju Bus Terminal to the Jeonju Hanok Village.

Andong Hahoe Folk Village (Andong) It is a UNESCO site. From Andong Bus Terminal, take bus 46 to Hahoe Village (하회마을). I recommend visiting during the Andong Mask Festival as there will be live mask performances there),

Namsangol Hanok Village is in Suncheon and has a town palace.

Information

Bukchon Hanok Village Seoul
Hours:  Mon~Fri (9:00 ~ 18:00)Sat~Sun (9:00 ~ 17:00) Open all year round
Pick up a walking map at the Bukchon Traditional Cultural Center.
Website:  http://bukchon.seoul.go.kr.

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8 Comments. Leave new

[…] in the backdrop, reminding you of a distant time! Into Samcheondong’s hilly climb sits the Bukchon Hanok Village (constructed in the 1930’s during the Joseon Era) where you can feel the old world charm […]

Reply

Love your photos. Makes me miss Korea!

Reply

For my last trip, I stayed at one of these hanok. It’s awesome! For the first time ever seeing the room’s door connected to the kitchen was lock by a spoon??! Hahah! Really love this place!!

Reply

Now then, these actually look gorgeous! I’ve always shied away from visiting before, but now I’m VERY tempted. Next time I’m in Seoul, for sure 🙂

Reply

    @Tom: Would it entice you to know that there are funky shops and restaurants occasionally tucked in there? I think some even house craft classes or something like that. I enjoyed seeing them- I had to make sure I actually knew what a hanok village was and now that I have, I see this village in many k-dramas!

    Reply
Avatar
Laura in Cancun
April 22, 2011 12:47 am

Gorgeous! love those roofs

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