Bukchon Hanok Village (북촌한옥마을) is an old Korean village in Seoul. The name Bukchon translates as “northern village” as it is situated to the north of Cheonggyecheon Stream and Jongno, 2 important landmarks in Seoul.
Bukchon Village is known for its narrow alleys and streets lined with hundreds of hanok houses. Many of these old residences have now been converted into restaurants, tea shops, and cultural centers offering visitors a fully immersive experience.
What’s more, the village is still a residential area so it offers a glimpse at what family life is like in a South Korean village. That said, it is important for tourists to show respect towards the local residents and avoid disrupting their daily lives.
The guide below explains how to go to Bukchon Hanok Village from Seoul, what there is to see and do plus other practical information.
How to Get to Bukchon Village
Bukchon Village in the north of Seoul, on a hilltop between Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, and Jongmyo Shrine, the latter 2 of the UNESCO World Heritage in South Korea.
As there are no bus services to the center of Bukchon Hanok village, visitors should take the subway to the nearest station and complete the journey on foot.
Anguk station, a stop on Seoul subway line 3 (orange), is the nearest underground station to the village. The subway is one of the best ways to get around in South Korea with frequent connections and modern trains.
Option 1: take Anguk station exit 3, walk straight ahead then turn left, the start of Bukchon walking train is around 200 meters away.
Option 2: take exit 2 and walk 600 meters to the main entrance to the village.
The journey from the center to the village takes under 30 minutes, depending on the starting point in Seoul.
What is there to do in Bukchon Village?
There is plenty for tourists to see in Bukchon Hanok villages as it is made up of 6 different neighborhoods.
This old Korean village is the perfect place to find out more about South Korean customs and traditions whilst getting an insight into Korean village life.
Bukchon Hanok Village walking trail and guided tours
The best way for visitors to enjoy the village is by following the Bukchon walking trail. The trail begins a short distance from Anguk station exit 3.
The walking map takes sightseers around the main points of interest including:
- Choong Ang School: a gothic style building used as the setting for popular Korean TV drama Winter Sonata
- Bukchon Hanok Hall: an exhibition space in the village
- Gahoe Museum: the Korean folk museum
- Bukchon Traditional Culture Center: educational information and workshops
Travelers who want to learn more about the village’s history can take a guided tour.
Hanbok rental in Bukchon Hanok Village
Tourists in Bukchon village have the opportunity to hire and wear a hanbok. This traditional Korean item of clothing was worn during the Joseon dynasty period and is now reserved for festivals and special events.
Hanboks are brightly colored and come in a variety of designs. Shops in Bukchon have the outfits and accessories for rent and many have stylists to fix hair and makeup.
Some are also a studio with professional photography equipment whilst others have the option to rent the hanbok for up to 24 hours and wear it around the village.
Tourists traveling to South Korea with children will find cute outfits that the little ones will enjoy wearing.
Hanbok rental starts from around 7,000 KRW (6 USD) for dress hire alone, photography packages are more expensive.
Museums and tourist attractions in Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Traditional Cultural Center
To learn more about South Korea’s heritage the Bukchon Traditional Cultural Center is worth visiting. In addition to offering educational information, the center holds workshops for the public. Some of the most popular include:
- Tea ceremonies and tea-making classes
- Traditional calligraphy workshops
- Korean crafts classes
The Bukchon Traditional Cultural Center is open Monday to Friday from 9 am till 6 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 9 am till 5 pm. Entrance to the center is free.
Dong-Lim Knot Museum
This small museum is dedicated to traditional Korean knots that have been used throughout history to decorate clothing and ritual items.
The knot master at the museum does demonstrations and visitors can have a go at making their own knots that they can take away with them as a souvenir.
Dong-Lim Knot Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. The price for accessory making ranges from around 7,000 KRW to 10,000 KRW (6 to 8 USD).
Over 2,000 paintings and craftworks are on display at this Korean folk art museum. It is a great place for anyone interested in Korean culture and art in general. Folk painting lessons are also held at the museum.
Gahoe Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday:
- March to November from 10 am till 6 pm
- December to February from 10 am till 5 pm
The adult admission fee is 2,000 KRW (2 USD) and 1,000 KRW (1 USD) for children.
Can You Walk from Gyeongbokgung Palace to Bukchon Hanok Village?
The easiest way to get from Gyeongbokgung Palace to Bukchon Hanok Village is in on foot:
- Leave Gyeongbokgung Palace through the main exit and turn left
- Walk along the main road as far as Anguk subway station
- Turn left at Anguk subway station exit 2
- Walk 600m to Bukchon Village Main entrance
It takes just under 10 minutes to walk from Gyeongbokgung Palace to Bukchon Hanok Village.
Tourists who do not wish to walk all the way to the village can take the subway from Gyeongbokgung station, getting off at Anguk station which is the first stop.
Bukchon Hanok Village Food
There are several restaurants, cafes, and tea shops in Bukchon village where diners can enjoy traditional Korean meals, drinks, and snacks.
For the most authentic experience, visitors can enjoy lunch or dinner at family-run eateries serving noodles and other typical South Korean food. In addition, Bukchon offers some fine-dining options run by top chefs.
Tourists who want a taste of home will find a good diner serving burgers and fries in Bukchon Village.
Light refreshments are served at numerous tea houses distributed throughout the village.