How To Go To Bukchon Hanok Village | What To Visit | Where To Stay
Bukchon Hanok Village is a fine example of how the highest class of Korean society in the Joseon dynasty used to live. The beautiful traditional style houses made out of wood, clay, stone and hanji paper are a must visit when in Seoul. Read on to find out more about the history, how to get to Bukchon Hanok village, what to visit and where to stay.
What To Know About Visiting Bukchon Hanok Village
- Residential area: Bukchon is a residential area, people are currently living there. Be sure to keep it quite and don’t just go opening front doors of old hanok houses.
- Seoul Itinerary: Including Seoul Bukchon Hanok Village is a must in any Seoul or Korea itinerary. Check the best Korea itineraries here to get you started planning the perfect Korea trip.
- Getting Around: To get around Seoul using public transport a T-Money transport card is needed. This top-up card can be used on buses, subways and even taxis.
- Activities In Bukchon: there are loads of activities to do in Bukchon village. Sites like Klook or Trazy offer exclusive foreigner discounts to these places.
- Pedicab Tour: Discover the wonderful Bukchon hanok village Seoul in the back of a pedi cab! Just sit back, relax and enjoy the wonderful views. More info here.
Overview Of Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Village literally translates to ‘the north village‘ as it is located in the North of historic center of Seoul. It is conveniently located between Gyeongbukgung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace as inhabitants of the village worked for the royal court. They could be summoned late at night or early mornings by the court, so the location allowed them to reach the palace quickly.
Before the Japanese occupation the village contained many more hanok houses spread over 6 neighbourhoods and 1,13 square meters of land. When Korea was occupied by Japan in 1910, all these noblemen lost their job at the royal court and had to sell there houses to the Japanese. Most of these places where then taken apart and sold piece by piece on the up and coming antique market of Insadong.
1. Bukchon Village Rehab Project
In the year 2000, the Korean government invested 12 million US dollar into the neglected village and restored or reconstructed around 900 houses that are now galleries, little shops, hanok guest houses, cafes and restaurants.
This project won the UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage award for cultural heritage conservation in 2009 and is now one of the biggest tourist attractions in Seoul.
How To Go To Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon village is located in the north of Seoul at the food of Bukak mountain. It can only be reached by foot, no buses are running through the village. Directions to the hanok village are quite straightforward.
1. Bukchon Hanok Village Nearest Subway
The nearest subway station to Bukchon village is Anguk station on subway line 3 (orange line). Leave at subway exit 2 and walk straight for 600 meters until you reach Bukchon-ro 11 Gil at the left side or Bukchon-ro 12 Gil at the right side. Both streets lead to a part of Bukchon village. To reach the main view points, walk along Bukchon-ro 11 Gil.
2. Where Is Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Village is located in the North of Seoul between the two main palaces, namely Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changdokgung Palace.
3. Gyeongbokgung Palace To Bukchon Hanok Village
There are a couple option on how to go to Bukchon Hanok Village from Gyeongbokgung Palace, but the easiest on is by walking.
3.1 On Foot
To walk from Gyeongbokgung Palace to Bukchon Village, the first step is to exit the palace from its main gate on the north side, called Gwanghwamun Gate. From there, take a left and walk towards the intersection with Sejong-daero Boulevard. Turn right and follow the street for about 300 meters until you reach the entrance of Bukchon Hanok Village on your left. Once you enter the village, you can explore the traditional Korean houses and alleyways while enjoying the unique atmosphere of the area.
The walk should take approximately 15-20 minutes, and it is a great way to experience the historical and cultural richness of Seoul.
3.2 By Subway
To go by subway from Gyeongbokgung Palace to Bukchon Village, first, you need to head to Gyeongbokgung Station, which is located on Line 3 of the Seoul Subway. From there, you should take the subway in the direction of Daehwa Station and get off at Anguk Station. Once you exit the station, you will be only a few minutes away from Bukchon Village. You can easily walk to the village or take a taxi for a quicker ride. The subway ride will take approximately 10-15 minutes, and the entire journey from the palace to the village should take around 20-25 minutes in total. Don’t forget your T Money Transport card!
3.3 By Taxi
By taxi it is very close by, many taxi drivers might not be willing to take you for such a short distance. As the taxi driver to drop you off at Gahoedong Catholic Church (가회동성당 ), 57, Bukchon-ro. This is just around the corner of the village.
4. Myeongdong To Bukchon Hanok Village
From Myeongdong it is recommended to take the subway to Bukchon village. Get the subway at Myeongdong station line 4, and transfer at the next stop, Chungmuro station to line 3. Get off 2 stops later at Anguk Station and leave exit 2.
What To Do In Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village is quite big as it coveres 6 different neighbourhoods. On a fine spring or summer day it is highly recommended to walk around the fascinating hanok village.
1. Bukchon Hanok Village Walking Map
The best course to follow is starting at Anguk station exit 3, go straight and turn left at the first side street. This is the start of the Bukchon Hanok Village walking trail. Along the way you’ll see sights like the Bukchon Traditional Culture Center, Choong Ang School, Bukchon Hanok Hall, the Old Fragrance Museum and the Asian Art Museum.
2. Bukchon 8 Views
If you are looking for the best instagrammable spot in Seoul, the definitely check out the 8 views of Bukchon. The map above also indicated the 8 viewpoints. Most of these are located on the walking trail, whereas for other you need to go a bit more of track. The viewpoint included Changdoekgung Palace view, Wonseo-dong alleyway, Bukchon-ro 11 and 12 Gil, Gahoe-dong alleys and the Samcheong-don stone stairs.
3. Bukchon Hanok Village Hanbok Rental
Travel back in time and enjoy the hanok village dress like a true Joseon Noble. A hanbok were the traditional clothes worn more than 100 years ago before the Japanese occupation. These clothes can be renter per hour and are great for taking pictures around the village. Below is a list of the best rental shops.
- Bukchon Oneday Hanbok Rental Experience
- Hanbok Rental Experience
- Ikseon Boutique Korean Retro Clothing Rental Experience
- Hanbok Photoshoot
4. Bukchon Hanok Village Walking Tour
Why not take a walking tour with a guide of Bukchon village? The tour goes past all the highlights of the village and during the tour you’ll learn about the history and highlights of the village. More info here.
5. Other Things To Do In Bukchon
There are lots of small museums and craft workshops located in the village. Perfect for an afternoon of fun.
- Korean Cooking Class: Learn to make your favourite Korean dishes in a 1 hour cooking workshop. Dishes could include bibimbap, bulgogi or pancakes. More info here.
- Traditional Tea Ceremony: During this one hour workshop learn about making Korean tea and tea snacks. At the end of the program you’ll receive a tea foot and hand bath. More info here.
- Bukchon Culture Center: This cultural center is located in a stunning hanok which used to belong to the family of the last queen. This size of building was for the more wealthier families.
- Dong-Lim Knot Museum: The Dong-Lim knot museum and workshop is a tiny place that focuses on traditional Korean knots (maedeup). The workshop is owner by a certified knot master who learned the craft from her father. At the museum you can learn to make your own knots. Find more info here.
- Tote And T-shirt Making Workshop: Decorate tote bags or t-shirts with traditional Korean patterns. During the workshop you’ll learn about the deeper meaning of different symbols and patterns. More info here.
- Gahoe Museum: Learn about the Korean folk traditions at the Gahoe Museum in Bukchon. The hanok museum has a wide collection of ancient books, paintings and more. Drawing and painting courses are also offered at the museum.
Below is practical information about the bukchon hanok village.
1. Bukchon Hanok Village Entrance Fee
The village is free to enter, it is a residential area in Seoul filled with traditional hanok houses, so not a preserved open museum.
2. Bukchon Hanok Village Opening Hours
There are no closing or opening hours for the hanok village. People are still living in the village, so it is accessible at all times.
Bukchon Guest House
Staying in the Bukchon area in a traditional Korean hanok is the ultimate experience to have in Seoul. It is great to do with kids or as a couple. Below is a list of the best places to stay.
- Rakkojae: The stunning Rakkojae was the first hanok hotel in the whole of Korea and is one of the only hanoks featured in the Michelin Guide. The hanok was features in numerous Korean dramas and movies like ‘My Name Is Kim Sam-Soon. In the Andong Hahoe Village, you’ll find another Rakkojae hanok. More info here.
- Sky Guesthouse: One of the highest rated hanok guesthouses in the Bukchon area. The host is very welcoming and homemade breakfast is served in the mornings. More info here.
- STAY256 Hanok Guest House: Looking for a bit more comfort, then this hanok is the place to stay. Friendly hosts, simple breakfast and located in a quiet street of the village. More info here.
- A House: Not a hanok, but a modern and comfortable guesthouse. If sleeping on the floor is not your thing but still want to stay in the hanok village than the A House is a highly recommended accommodation. More info here.
- Cheong Yeon Jae Hanok Hotel: A wonderful hanok, with complimentary hanbok rental during the stay. A big breakfast served with coffee or tea. Tip: don’t book the cheapest room, as that is really small. More info here.
- Sohyundang Guesthouse: The excellently located hanok offers a sumptuous Korean breakfast in the morning. The guesthouse is located along the east wall of Gyeongbokgung Palace. More info here.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best way to get to Bukchon Hanok Village is by taking the subway. You can take line 3 and get off at Anguk Station, then take exit 2 or 3 and walk for about 10 minutes to reach the village. Alternatively, you can take a taxi or a bus to get there.
You can spend anywhere from 1-2 hours exploring the village, depending on your interests. If you want to take a leisurely stroll and admire the traditional architecture and beautiful scenery, 1-2 hours should be enough. However, if you want to visit some of the museums or cultural centers in the area, you may need to plan for a longer visit.
Some of the must-see attractions in Bukchon Hanok Village include the Bukchon Traditional Culture Center, Gahoe Museum, and the Han Sangsu Embroidery Museum. You can also visit some of the traditional tea houses, restaurants, and shops in the area to get a taste of the local culture. Additionally, walking along the narrow alleys and admiring the traditional hanok houses is a must-do activity.