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Stepping Back in Time with Bukchon Hanok Village

9 mins. read

Huddled bang in the middle of the bustling modernity of South Korea’s city of Seoul lies a charming neighbourhood that offers a unique glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of South Korea. Dating back centuries, to the days of the famed Joseon Era, the Bukchon Hanok Village is nothing short of an oasis, providing a much-needed relief to one’s senses from the skyscrapers, and large roads of uptown Seoul. Ranked as one of the top things to do in Seoul, the small but well-preserved Hanok Village will be well worth your time, with its Instagram-worthy spots, unforgettable bakeries and the famous Hanoks (traditional Korean houses) that are still used as residences.

Things To Do in Seoul’s Bukchan Hanok Village

Paying tribute to what is traditional; the Bukchan Hanok Village stands as a testament to Korea’s ability to seamlessly blend the past with the present. As you book your South Korea package from India, make sure to plan it in a way that you have at least a day set aside for the Hanok Village and its surrounding areas. Although small, the history that is enfolded within its streets is vast, offering its visitors a lot of interesting stories to take home. From Gyeongbokgung Palace near Bukchon Hanok Village to old-world tea houses, the village will not leave you wanting more.

Best Things to Do in Bukchan Hanok Village

Here are the top 10 things to do in Bukchan Hanok Village: -

  • Stroll through the streets of the Hanok Village
  • Discover a new way to drink tea at Cha-Tuel Teahouse
  • Enjoy a Panoramic View of Downtown Seoul
  • Explore hidden Cafes and Bakeries
  • Try your hand at art in Craft- Making Classes
  • Visit the famous Baek In-je’s House
  • Get a glimpse of Royalty at the Gyeongbok Palace
  • Spend time at the Bukchan Traditional Cultural Centre
  • Immerse yourself in Korean culture by donning a Hanbok
  • Try Korean spirits at Seoul’s only Rice Wine Distillery

Stroll through the streets of Hanok Village

The charm of the Bukchon Hanok Village lies in its picturesque Hanoks. The architecture in this village is worth observing as it showcases the ingenuity of ancient Korean builders, with tiled roofs, intricate wooden detailing and serene courtyards.  One of the most incredible aspects of the houses is that each Hanok reflects the personalities of its owners. While some houses in the Hanok Village are private residences, others have been converted into guest houses. In fact, it may be a good idea to stay at one of these traditional guesthouses for those looking to experience Korea in the most authentic manner.

Discover a new way to drink tea at the Cha-Teul Tea House

Tea is an integral part of Asian culture and South Korea is no different when it comes to serving tea in its own unique way. The Bukchon Hanok Village has many shops that offer traditionally prepared tea and one can stop by at any of these places for a quick rejuvenation amidst the sightseeing. The Cha-Tuel Traditional Tea House is one of the most popular tea houses in the village where you can try authentic Korean tea along with a breathtaking view of the sunset. Keep in mind that the Tea House is open from Tuesday to Sunday and timings are from 12:00 noon to 9:00 pm.

Enjoy a Panoramic View of Downtown Seoul

As scenic as the village is, one cannot miss a view of Downtown Seoul from the higher alleyways of the Hanok Village. The Namsan Seoul Tower can be spotted from the village and it affords a glimpse into where ancient meets modern. Pro Tip: Be sure to catch the view during sunset and do not forget your camera

Stroll through the streets of Hanok Village

Explore Hidden Cafes and Bakeries

Although Seoul is full of all kinds of eateries, you will be missing out if you do not visit the cafes and bakeries hidden inside the Bukchon Hanok Village. Staying true to the old-world theme of the village, the cafés are also small and quaint with a limited and specialised menu. The Onion Café is one of the most aesthetic cafes in the village and is built inside a traditional Hanok. Café Layered is another place that is a must-visit especially for its baked goods and appealing interiors.

Try your hand at art in Craft-Making Classes

Out of all things, spending some time to learn a traditional craft is one of the most interesting things to do in Bukchon Hanok Village, and will immerse you further in the traditional Korean way of life. The Dong-Lim Knot Museum is a small shop that offers a variety of decorative Korean “maedeup” (knots) in the form of belts, pouches and other accessories. They even teach you and let you make your own knotted design.

Visit the famous Baek In-Jae’s House

Perhaps one of the most well-preserved Hanoks which is open to the public in the Bukchon Hanok Village is the famous Back In-Jae’s House. Baek In-Jae was a former Korean Patriot and a doctor who fought for Korean independence and contributed greatly to society. In the present times, the House sits as a cultural heritage site in the middle of Bukchon Hanok Village. The opening hours of Baek In-Jae’s house are from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and the site is shut on Mondays.

Get a glimpse of Royalty at Gyeongbokgung Palace

The Gyeongbokgung Palace near Bukchan Hanok Village is a grand structure spread out over several acres which served as the royal family home during the Joseon Era. Destroyed and rebuilt several times, the grand structure adds to the glorious history of Bukchon Hanok Village. If one gets down to exploring the entire grounds, one will need more than a day, but one cannot miss the centuries-old Changing of the Guard Ceremony that happens every day at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. Another highly recommended activity around the palace is visiting the HyangwonJeong Pavillion for stunning photographs.

Spend time at the Bukchon Traditional Cultural Centre

If you are curious to know about the history of Bukchon Hanok Village then the Bukchon Traditional Cultural Centre should be on top of your itinerary. Ideally, paying a visit to this centre should be one of the first things to do in Bukchon Hanok Village. Entry is free and the centre has all the information on the Hanok’s historical context, the architecture and the cultural importance of the village.

Immerse yourself in Korean Culture by donning a Hanbok

One of the key experiences of Bukchon Hanok Village is renting traditional Korean clothing called “Hanbok”. In fact, this activity is so popular that one will find a clothing rental shop in almost every corner of the village and the majority of the tourists visiting the village can be found wearing one. The Hanboks are available for both men and women of all ages and sizes, and make for some memorable photo-ops. One of the most popular rental shops is called Ikseon Boutique Clothing Rental Shop.

Try Korean Spirits at Seoul’s only Rice Wine Distillery

The Samhaesoju Brewery and Distillery is Seoul’s only distillery that makes its famous rice wine in a traditional manner. The owner, Taeksang Kim is one of the most well-known crafters of distilled Korean spirits and joining him for a tour of the elaborate process including a tasting session is considered to be one of the most fascinating experiences.

Undoubtedly, Bukchon Hanok Village stands as a reminder of South Korea’s historical roots and its culture’s ability to stand the test of time. As you plan your visit there, one of the things to remember is that while there are no specific opening hours of Bukchon Hanok Village as it is a residential neighbourhood, the ideal time to visit would be between normal working hours so as to not disturb the residents. With its beautiful alleyways and warm-hearted locals, a visit to the Hanok Village will definitely be one of the most memorable aspects of your trip to South Korea.

July 24, 2023

Author

Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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