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.
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 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.
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!
Contributing Photographer: Robert Lee