Seoul Photo Tour: Insadong

We’d like to start a new series where we introduce some of Seoul’s best areas with photos. With this Seoul photo tour, we’ll be focusing on what makes each area so special and unique. And for our  first Seoul tour, here’s one of Seoul’s most iconic tourist zones: Insadong.

Note: Click on images to see gallery.

Art Galleries in Insadong

Starting from the 1950’s, Insadong became an area of Seoul focused on art and cafe life. It was the mecca for creative thinkers and painters. And to this day, Insadong is an area filled with numerous art galleries.

 

Antiques and Crafts in Insadong

During the Japanese occupation, the wealthy residents were forced to move. And when they did, they sold off their valuable antiques, sparking Insadong’s antique trade. Now it is Korea’s center for antiques as well as many of Korea’s traditional crafts. Antiques are for sale and workshops allows visitors to make crafts.

 

Tea Houses in Insadong

South Korea is one of the greatest commercial cities in the world, and you’ll find a plethora of chains and commercial shops in many parts of Seoul. But Insadong is home to many independent cafes and tea houses that are quaint, unique, modest and traditional.

 

Unique Streets

It seems like every street corner in Seoul has new modern commercial buildings being built. Korea’s beautiful traditional architecture, hanok, are quickly being phased out, and the uniqueness of Korean streets are being lost. Luckily, Insadong is one of Seoul’s last bastions for traditional architecture and unique streets.

Street Food

Street food is part of the Insadong experience. We’ve covered some of the best hotteok in the Insadong area in this video. But there are more traditional and more famous eats too.

쌈지길 (Ssamzigil)

Ssamzigil is one of the newest parts of Insadong. It’s a square that has many independent shops that sell hanboks for dogs, encourages graffiti writing on its walls, and spurs lovers to proclaim their love. There are tons of things to do!

 

That was just a quick tour of Insadong, Seoul. We’re looking forward to doing more of these as the weather warms. If you have a request for a certain place, leave us a comment!

Special thanks to Robert Lee for the great photos and taking the time to tour!

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Contributing Photographer: Robert Lee

Follow his 365 Project on Instagram (@giradon) for a beautiful perspective on locations all around Seoul.
You can also check out his High-Res images at www.flickr.com/rl-studio.
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Keith
Keith
Keith Kim is a Korean-American who has been living in Korea for almost a decade. Being in a unique position as both a Korean and a non-Korean, he's put all his experience and knowledge for surviving in Korea in Survival Korean . Read it to learn how you can survive in Korea. Follow him on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.

5 Comments

  1. Ajay says:

    How does one get to Insadong….I stay at Sunae in Bundang.

    • Aram says:

      You can take the subway to line 3. Anguk station.
      SO~~~ to break it down for you….
      From Sunae, you’d have to go to Jungja station first and hop on the new shin bundang line and hop off on Yang jae station… switch to line 3 (heading toward Daewha) and get off at Anguk station. It should take you anywhere from 50-60mins.
      Hope that helps~~~ ^__^

  2. Anja says:

    Loved this article as I love your blog.
    Just spent a day in the area and in Ssamzie-gil; very artistic and cool!

  3. Audrey says:

    One of my favourite parts of Seoul! I visited Insadong right before I left Korea, and stocked up on all sorts of souvenirs to remind me of my time there.

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