Bukchon Hanok Village Walk (Self Guided), Seoul

Bukchon Hanok is a well-preserved Korean traditional village found near downtown Seoul. The place is famous for its numerous narrow alleys and old houses preserved in a 600-year-old urban setting.

A hanok, traditional Korean house, was designed and first built in the 14th century under the Joseon Dynasty. Ancient Korean architecture was heavily influenced by Chinese Feng Shui teaching which emphasizes the positioning of a house in relation to its surroundings. A preferred location for the house is that with a mountain at the back and a river at the front.

Bukchon Hanok Village is set on a hill near the Changdeokgung Palace. The village was once home to the nation’s nobility and many of its houses are built with the hill at their back. On this self-guided tour, you will start from the Changdeokgung Palace and walk your way through the ancient settlement, stopping at several house museums featuring well-preserved traditional Hanok dwellings and other facets of Korean heritage. Prepare yourself for a truly mesmerizing travel back in time!
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Bukchon Hanok Village Walk Map

Guide Name: Bukchon Hanok Village Walk
Guide Location: South Korea » Seoul (See other walking tours in Seoul)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
Author: emily
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Changdeokgung Palace
  • Baek In-je's House Museum
  • Dong-Lim Knot Museum
  • Gahoe Museum
  • Bukchon Hanok Village
  • Bukchon Art Museum
1
Changdeokgung Palace

1) Changdeokgung Palace (must see)

Changdeokgung Palace, also known as Prospering Virtue Palace, has a beautiful setting in one of Seoul's parks. The palace enjoys status as one of the Joseon Dynasty's Five Grand Palaces. One of the noteworthy things about this 15th-century palace is that it blends into the natural topography in a way not commonly seen in other buildings.

The Donhwamun Gate and Geumcheongyo Bridge are two of the oldest structures on the property built in the 15th century. Injeongjeon Hall served as an area for coronations, as well as the reception of envoys. Seonjeongjeon Hall was the location for daily meetings with the king and government ministers, while Juhamnu Pavilion was once the royal library.

Huijeongdang Hall, a residence for the king, and Daejojeon Hall, the queen's residence, are also noteworthy. Yeon-gyeongdang Residence is an 1827 audience hall. Huwon is a garden consisting of 78 acres in the back of the palace.

Changdeokgung Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Why You Should Visit:
Although sometimes referred as a 'backup' palace to Gyeongbokgung, the interior is actually more complete. As such, you will be able to have a better understanding of how life in a palace is like. The "Secret Garden" is a must-see.

Tip:
Those wearing 'hanbok' can enter the palace free. You can also buy the Royal Palace Pass that gives you free entrance to 5 palaces (including the 'Secret Garden', which is a highlight of this palace visit).
2
Baek In-je's House Museum

2) Baek In-je's House Museum

Baek In-je's House Museum is a cultural heritage site that is also a museum. This home belonged to Baek In-je, who fought for Korea's independence from the Japanese occupation. In addition to being a Korean patriot, Baek was a physician dedicated to studying blood disorders and rickets, making significant contributions to research on these conditions.

This house is an example of a modern hanok-style home that also boasts modern touches. One of the most exciting attributes the house has is a view of Bukchon Hanok Village. Another feature that visitors love is its spacious garden.

Connected men's and women's quarters contain many of the original furnishings. Visitors who tour this property will have a whole new perspective on what life was like during the Japanese colonial period. The architecture is also worthy of your time, as it reflects what was once a popular style in Seoul.
3
Dong-Lim Knot Museum

3) Dong-Lim Knot Museum

Dong-Lim Knot Museum celebrates knots and their place as a part of Korean home decor and clothing. Korean knots are different from others because of their use of single strands of silk. The techniques used for creating these knots result in three-dimensional images, making them stand out from traditional macrame-based knots.

The knots that you can see here reflect four generations of this craft. You'll have the chance to see examples of what can be done with these knots on display. In addition to seeing the finished products, you'll also have the opportunity to watch the knot tiers at work.

You can buy some of these creations to take with you. Another exciting treat that awaits is the chance to take a workshop that allows you to create a Korean knot. Some of the examples of items you can create using these knots include cellphone "jewelry" and bracelets.
4
Gahoe Museum

4) Gahoe Museum

The Gahoe Museum features Korean folk art, which was initially part of Yoon Yeolsu's private collection. The collection includes folk paintings, as well as religious amulets. The painting collection includes over 2,000 pieces, giving visitors an excellent representation of the different forms at work in Korean folk art.

One of the advantages that this museum offers is its suitability for all ages. Regardless of whether visitors are with a group that includes kids, other adults, or traveling alone, they will be sure to get something from the experience. One of this museum's primary missions is to help preserve local culture, and the collection of art available helps demonstrate the artwork's importance.

Visitors can also take folk art painting lessons at the museum. The painting style uses a variety of shapes and colors in unique ways. Taking part in a painting class is one of the best ways to gain an appreciation for this art form first-hand and express your creativity.
5
Bukchon Hanok Village

5) Bukchon Hanok Village (must see)

The Bukchon Hanbok Village represents construction methods over 600 years old. The location is on a hilltop, with Changdeok Palace Gyeongbok Palace, and the Jongmyo Royal Shrine surrounding the site. In addition to the hanok-style houses, the village also boasts a network of alleys.

One of the attractions in the village is the Baek In-je's House Museum. This house museum allows you to easily see how these hanok houses are designed and appreciate the traditional features. The museum is easy to tour in 15 to 20 minutes, leaving you with plenty of time to enjoy the rest of the village, filled with exciting photo opportunities.

These houses feature an architectural style not seen in modern homes. Many of these buildings house businesses that are important to the cultural life of the village. Some of these buildings serve as restaurants where you can sample traditional foods, including dishes with ingredients fresh from nearby farms.

Tea houses are also an essential part of local life that you will not want to miss. When you visit a tea house, you can witness tea served in a traditional style. These locations are an essential part of local social life and provide another exciting glimpse into local culture.

Why You Should Visit

See the centuries-old, unique architecture and take part in unique cultural experiences, a definition of a living history exhibit.

Tips

Remember that Bukchon Hanok Village is an inhabited residential area today and that not all of the buildings are open to the public. But since many hanoks have been converted to restaurants and tea houses, you can pop-in to order a tea or a meal while enjoy the traditional architecture.
6
Bukchon Art Museum

6) Bukchon Art Museum

Bukchon Art Museum is an art museum that boasts one of the most diverse collections of Asian art. In addition to 150 modern Korean art pieces, the museum has 2500 documents from the Joseon Dynasty. History enthusiasts fascinated with this era will enjoy the document collection.

There are also 200 Chinese art pieces as part of the collection, helping to increase the pieces' overall diversity. The collection of Chinese art highlights how different cultures have influenced Korea throughout its history. Seeing such a broad range of art in one location is a good way to appreciate Korea's culture.

In addition to being a museum, this location is also a tea house where you can enjoy tea and coffee. You can also enjoy antique tea pottery here, along with the main art collection. Some of the oldest pieces of pottery date to the fifth and sixth centuries. A balcony provides excellent views of the city's skyline.

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