Going to the old town of Insadong Seoul is one of the must-do things to do in Seoul, because here you will be transported back to the distant past of the capital of Korea. Visiting famous tourist spots, walking through antique shops and sipping a cup of tea in traditional Korean teahouses are must-try experiences.
Introduction to Seoul Insadong street
Insadong, located in the city center, is an important place to showcase old but precious traditional items. There is a main street in Insadong with alleys on each side, within which are galleries, traditional restaurants, tea houses and cafes.
The galleries are the centerpiece of Insadong, with around 100 galleries in the area offering every example of traditional Korean art from paintings to sculptures. The most popular galleries are:
- Hakgojae Gallery, which functions as the center of folk art.
- Gana Art Gallery, where many promising artists are promoted.
- Gana Art Center.
In addition, the teahouses and restaurants are the perfect complement to the galleries. They are hidden deep in the winding alleys, creating the feeling of a treasure hunt. The shops in the old town of Insadong Seoul are very popular for all ages, as each store has its own unique style. Every Saturday from 14:00 to 22:00 and Sunday from 10:00 to 22:00, the main street prohibits traffic and it becomes a unique cultural space.
The shops set up stalls outside, you can easily find Korean sweets shops, there are also traditional performances and exhibitions taking place. Insadong attracts international tourists because it is a place where they can experience and see traditional culture, and can also purchase take-out works of art.
How to go to the old town Insadong Seoul
- Arrive by bus: get off at Anguk station, Jongno police office or Insadong bus stop.
Green Bus: 7025
Blue Bus: 109, 151, 162, 171, 172, 601
Maeul Bus: Jongno02
Airport Bus: 6011
- Arrive by subway:
Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), exit 6. Go straight 100 meters, then turn left.
Jonggak Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 3. Go straight 300 meters and turn left at 4-way Interchange, continue straight 100 meters on the left street towards Insadong-gil Road.
What to see and do in Insadong?
Enjoy tea and snacks at Shin Old Tea House
One of the best cafes in Seoul, Shin Old Tea House is a stop away from the bustle of Insadong. This cozy Insadong teahouse has a long history. It attracts its customers with its rustic hardwood floors and wooden shutters. You will also find traditional pillow-top floor seats here.
Shin Old Tea House serves several dozen types of traditional Korean teas. In winter, enjoy ginger tea that warms the body. Or escape from the dazzling summer heat of Seoul with a cool fruit iced tea. In addition to drinks, there are also delicious snacks from ribs or Korean sticky rice cakes that are popular in Seoul.
Visiting Kyungin Museum of Fine Arts
The museum attracts and gives an artistic vibe. Opened in 1983, it exhibits works by local artists and sculptors. The works are displayed between 5 galleries and galleries, and the museum’s architecture is also very impressive for you to visit when visiting Insadong Seoul, Korea.
Throughout the complex, carefully trimmed natural light and flora, blending modern and traditional elements create a contrast between past and future. Once you’ve fallen in love with the art and architecture of Kyungin Museum of Fine Arts, visit its traditional teahouse where you can enjoy herbal tea with a refreshing fruit ice cream.
Explore modern Korea at Tapgol Park
This is the first modern urban park in Seoul, captivating visitors with a variety of historical sites. In fact, the park’s long past set the stage for Korea’s independence in the post-World War I era. The park’s centerpiece is Wongaksa Temple, dating back to 1467. Wongaksa Temple is a unique relic. Most survived from the 15th century of Wongaksa Temple. In modern times, it remains an important cultural relic of Korea.
Explore the world of tea at the Beautiful Tea Museum
You don’t have to be a connoisseur of tea to get here. A museum and tea shop in Seoul Insadong old town is located inside a beautiful hanok (traditional Korean wooden house). Here, you will find displays of traditional ceramic tea cups and plates. Several exhibitions, detailed descriptions of tea traditions from different countries in Asia are also worth a visit.
Shopping at Ssamziegil
If you want to escape the branded streets in Myeongdong, the shopping mecca Ssamziegil is the ideal destination for you. This popular Seoul shopping spot impresses with its unique spiral-shaped outdoor courtyard walkway. In terms of architecture alone, it has become one of the top attractions of interest in Insadong. Opened in 2004 with more than 70 stores.
Walking through Ssamziegil, you will buy everything from crafts to delicious Korean food. It’s a place that surprisingly blends Insadong’s traditional aesthetics and spirit. When visiting Ssamziegil, don’t miss visiting the Sky Garden located on the rooftop of the 4th floor, offering sweeping views across Insadong and Seoul.