Seochon Hanok Village is a village full of traditional Korean-style homes. There are few hanok villages these days sprinkled throughout South Korea. Still, Seohon Hanok Village is one of the most centrally located ones if you’re looking for a convenient hanok village experience.
Located just west of Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seochon Hanok Village has a history rich in politics and culture. The most well-known historical figure to have resided in Seochon Hanok Village would be King Sejong, arguably the most famous leader in Korean history. He was the father of the Korean alphabet and assisted in turning the wheels of Korean politics and the military to lead it to where it lies today.
Seochon Hanok Village was also the location where court officials resided back in the Joseon Dynasty. The lack of modern developments in the area means that you feel as though you’ve taken a step back in time and thus can truly imagine life as it were centuries ago.
In saying that, whilst the exterior has been maintained to preserve the look and feel of olden Korea, many shops and cafes have taken over the interiors of Seochon Hanok Village buildings. You will be surprised just how unassumingly vibrant the cafe culture is here. Restaurants are always brimming with locals and tourists looking to sample their next delicious Korean meal.
Unlike Bukchon Hanok Village, Seochon Hanok Village is still flying under the radar, despite its equally as beautiful architecture. Because of this, you’ll feel as though time runs a little bit slower in this relatively peaceful and whimsical hanok village.
The Best Things To Do In Seochon Hanok Village
If you’re looking to experience a hanok village but want to avoid crowds and not have to travel too far from the city center, look into a day at Seochon Hanok Village.
Let’s have a look at some of the activities Seoshon Hanok Village has to offer.
- Eat at Tongin Market, Korea’s Traditional Lunchbox Market
- National Palace Museum of Korea
- Gyeongbokgung Palace
- Eat Samgyetang at Tosokchon
- Eat Eggs Tarts at Tongin Sweet
- Visit Daeo Bookstore
- Visit Cheongwadae Sarangchae
- Eat Buckwheat Noodles at Jalpajin Buckwheat Seochon
- Eat at Seochon Gyedan-jip Seafood Restaurant
- Try Baked Goods at Tori Bakery
Here’s the location of each place we recommend you to visit in the map below.
1. Eat at Tongin Market, Korea’s Traditional Lunchbox Market
Tongin Market is one of the most culturally creative and unique markets we’ve ever heard of.
From the outside, it looks almost like every other food market in Korea: bustling vendors, stalls brimming with food options, loud conversations, and the deliciously addictive smells of all types of food being cooked.
However, the experience is quite different! The proper way to experience this market would be to exchange your money for a set of coins unique to the market and an empty black tray. It costs 500 won to do this. You can then use these unique coins to ‘purchase’ food items from the market.
Once you’ve exchanged money, head to the ground level and start perusing the stalls for food items to make up your next meal. Fill up your tray, head to the second floor, grab a drink and you’re ready to eat! Hence, the ‘lunchbox’ market!
One thing to note is that certain vendors are not participating in this coin exchange for a food experience. You can still purchase food from them; simply use real money. Look out for stalls with the “通 도시락 cafe” in front.
- Address: 18 Jahamun-ro 15-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
- Hours: 7:00am-9:00pm (Closed on Sunday)
2. National Palace Museum Of Korea
The National Palace Museum is not only a fantastic place to visit in Seochon, but it’s one of the most popular destinations in all of Seoul!
The National Palace Museum is located near Gyeongbokgung Palace and is home to more than 20,000 royal antiques that originally belonged to the families of the five palaces.
When you visit the National Palace Museum, make sure to allocate enough time to explore a whopping 10 different rooms, all of which focus on a different aspect of historical royal life in Korea.
- Address: 12 Hyoja-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
- Hours: 10:00 am-6:00 pm (Closes at 9:00 pm on Wednesday and Saturday)
3. Gyeongbokgung Palace
How can we mention Seochon Hanok Village without mentioning a visit to the popular Gyeongbokgung Palace?
It should not need an introduction, but for the uninitiated, Gyeongbokgong Palace is the main palace where royalty resided during the Joseon Dynasty. Its internal and external architecture has been carefully maintained and is as gorgeous today as it was centuries ago.
Built in 1395, the beauty of Gyeongbokgung Palace will transport you back to a time when princes and princesses were real and life was confined to stunning palace grounds and walls.
It’s an absolute must if you’re staying in Seoul, especially if you’re visiting Seochon Hanok Village. If you can, plan your trip around 10:00 am or 2:00 pm daily to witness the popular changing of the guard ceremony.
- Address: 161 Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
- Hours: 9:00am-6:00pm
4. Eat Samgyetang (Ginseng Chicken Soup) at Tosokchon
Tosokchon has been claimed to offer the best samgyetang in all of Seoul. It’s a huge declaration, we know, but if the 8400 (and counting!) reviews on google mean anything, it’s that this place is the place to be for samgyetang.
Samgyetang is a traditional Korean dish of ginseng chicken. It pretty much ticks all the boxes: super nutritious and healthy, hearty, and flavorsome.
This restaurant has been around for a while and has racked up a staggering number of local and famous fans. The late South Korean President Mr. Noh Mu Hyun was such a fan, he would frequent this restaurant quite a bit during his term, and there’s even a story about how he’d get it delivered to the Blue House!
If you’re planning to visit, just know that there will be a long line and a bit of a wait. Don’t let that deter you though, because it’s worth it.
Once inside, there are four types of samgyetang you can order – but we recommend going with the original. You’ll receive some kimchi side dishes, and a mini glass of ginseng-infused liquor, and then the main dish will arrive.
The most notable thing about samgyetang at Tosokchon is that once you tear into the chicken, you’ll bear witness to a generous amount of glutinous rice, crunchy nuts, and spices that elevate the dish.
- Address: 5 Jahamun-ro 5-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
- Hours: 10:00am-9:00pm
5. Eat Eggs Tarts at Tongin Sweet
Egg tarts are often overshadowed in Korea, with their vast offerings of unique and delicious sweets such as bungeoppang, patbingsu, and tteok. However, the egg tarts at Tongin Sweet deserve all the praise.
Their egg tarts are described as having the perfect amount of sweetness, with the most delicious crust encasing. There are a few varieties of tarts in store, but their original one still reigns king. It is so popular that it often sells out, so make sure you get in early if you’re super keen!
The cafe has various indoor and outdoor seating arrangements, and it makes for a wonderful option to take a break during the day.
- Address: 10 Jahamun-ro 7-gil, Tongin-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
- Hours: 11:00am-10:00pm (closes at 12:00am on Fridays & Saturdays)
6. Visit Daeo Bookstore
If you’re a little bit of a history buff, you’re going to love this one. Daeo Bookstore, located in Seochon Hanok Village, is considered the oldest bookstore in all of Seoul!
The exterior and interior of the bookstore have been preserved to keep their original structure, and it was declared a municipal heritage building by Seoul City back in 2014.
These days, the store is home to an adjoining cafe and plays host to small events throughout the year. You can simply order a drink at the cafe and sit down to enjoy the quiet ambiance of the shop, or you can purchase a souvenir (around 3000 won) and/or drink and go for a quiet, free tour of the bookstore itself.
- Address: 55 Jahamun-ro 7-gil, Cheongunhyoja-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
- Hours: 11:00am-10:00pm
7. Visit Cheongwadae Sarangchae
Cheongwadae Sarangchae is a special modern exhibition hall that showcases materials and tells the stories of past government affairs and the responsibilities of Cheongwadae, the official Korean presidential residence, and executive office.
It is located just in front of the Blue House. The first floor hosts temporary exhibitions that constantly change (meaning there’s always a reason to return!), whilst the Cheongwadae Hall hosts the permanent exhibition. There is also an interactive experience center for visitors.
The cafe onsite is quite popular, and the exhibition hall is set on expansive green grounds, making for picture-perfect opportunities.
- Address: South Korea, KR 45 45, Hyoja-ro 13-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea
- Hours: 9:00am-6:00pm (Closed on Tuesdays)
8. Eat Buckwheat Noodles at Jalpajin Buckwheat Seochon
Buckwheat noodles is a dish that doesn’t get as much hype as it deserves; but if you’re a fan of home-style wheat noodles in a simple, flavorsome broth topped with a smattering of delicious toppings, give this place a go!
The noodles are made with 100% buckwheat here, and you can choose from a variety of toppings to go with your dish. Some popular topping options to name would be abalone or simple pork. However, for the creme de la creme, we highly recommend the dumplings option!
- Address: 4 Jahamun-ro 11-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
- Hours: 11:00am-3:00pm, 5:00pm-9:30pm (closes at 9:00pm on Sundays)
9. Eat at Seochon Gyedan-jip Seafood Restaurant
In the mood for fresh seafood? Seochon Gyedan-jip Seafood Restaurant guarantees that you’ll have the best time sampling their abundance of fresh seafood from their expansive menu.
From abalone to octopus, to clams, oysters, scallops and sashimi, you’ll be hard-pressed to select only enough for your stomach – there will be too many seafood dishes to choose from!
They offer sashimi-style seafood, steamed seafood, or seafood cooked in broth. Either way, pair your food up with a few bottles of ice-cold soju and you’re set for a great night.
- Address: 15 Jahamun-ro 1-gil, Naeja-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
- Hours: 4:00pm-1:00am
10. Try Baked Goods at Tori Bakery
Baked goods are always in style in Korea, and Tori Bakery is exactly what you’d picture a pleasant, popular, and picturesque bakery in Seoul to be.
The brick and wood exterior encases a huge glass window that showcases the delicious baked bread of the day. Inside, you’ll be blown away by the smells of freshly baked goods, sweet sugar dusting, and the aromas of various flavors from the goodies displayed.
A recommendation would be to try their makgeolli bread, a bread that is infused with traditional rice wine. It’s pleasantly sweet and aromatic.
- Address: 30-3 Ogin-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
- Hours: 11:00am – 8:00pm
Where To Stay Near Seochon Hanok Village
Hide & Seek Guesthouse
If location and price are a few of your biggest qualms, then look at staying at Hide & Seek Guesthouse. This centrally located guesthouse is a stone’s throw away from restaurants, shops, and transport, and cost not nearly enough as it’s worth.
Most rooms are relatively large, and some even offer kitchenette options to cook your meals. There is a common lounging area, a common kitchen, and free Wi-Fi.
Book It Now: Hide & Seek Guesthouse
NagNe House (Boutique Hanok)
The friendliness of the host is the utmost memory that most people have when they recall staying at NagNe house. This beautiful boutique hank accommodation offers a simple and clean accommodation option. Sunlight-filled rooms, a picturesque garden, and floor heating are just some of the things you can expect to experience here.
It’s located within a walkable distance of stations, restaurants, bars, and various attractions.
Book It Now: NagNe House
Four Seasons Hotel Seoul
The Four Seasons Hotel should need no introduction. Boasting sweeping views of Seoul, it features a state-of-the-art facility center, 5-star in-house dining, sauna room facilities, and 24-hour reception.
Attractions such as Gyeongbokgung Palace are located within a 10-minute walk. Whilst it’s not exclusively located in Seochon per se, it’s close enough to walk to and from.
Book It Now: Four Seasons Hotel Seoul
How To Get To Seochon Hanok Village
Seochon Hanok Village is relatively close to many attractions, and it’s easily walkable if you’re exploring Seoul, particularly anywhere around Gyeongbokgung Palace.
However, if you’re planning to public transport there, simply take the train to Gyeongbokgung Station (line 3). Take exit 2 and start walking along the main road.
We hope you enjoyed our detailed article about the best things to do in Seochon Hanok Village! As you can see, this wonderful cultural village offers much to explore that you’ll find it difficult to fit in all in one day. To best plan your Seochon Hanok Village itinerary, look at activities that you enjoy and foods that you like to eat first, and build it around that.
If you can squeeze in a visit to Gyeongbokgung Palace on the same day as well, that would round off your trip!