Tourist Haven, Samcheong-dong (삼청동)

Seoulites’ favourite hangout spot.

Samcheongdong (삼청동), located to the east of the national palace Gyeongbokgung and near the Changdeokgung Palace, is a fascinating place. It is one of the most unique and frequented places in Seoul among both Koreans and tourists. What draws people to this place is its fusion of Korean tradition with modern art. Here at Samcheongdong, you can find many traditional Korean houses, or hanok preserved from the past, as well as modern style cafes and shops. In fact, one of the most popular tourist spots, the Bukchon Hanok Village is located here at Samcheongdong. The houses have been well maintained, retaining the beauty of Korean tradition. Visitors are also drawn to the many chic cafes, galleries, restaurants and accessory shops that have sprung up in recent years, selling artistic and fashionable accessories that may be hard to find elsewhere.

There are also plenty of European style cafes and restaurants whose designs blends in nicely with the environment. As the area surrounding the palaces are designated cultural immersion areas, you will notice that most of the shops there, including western brands like Starbucks and various other cafes, uses Korean alphabets for their naming at the front of their stores.

All in all, Samcheongdong makes for a perfect spot for the weekend stroll, shopping, café hopping or to experience Korean tradition!

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Visitors throng the beautiful Samcheongdong on a weekend.
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You might also find this wall mural very familiar.
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Such a colourful shop!
A sweet day.
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Shopping for handmade accessories.

Walk along the streets of Samcheongdong and you will find plenty of distinctive and eye-catching cafes. Samcheongdong has one of the highest concentration of cafes in Seoul, and it is no wonder so as its location at the foot of various mountains provides patrons with a fascinating view out of the windows.

Samcheongdong is located at the foot of a mountain.
Plenty of cafes offer a fantastic view of the area.
A particular hanok style cafe.
Walking along cafe street.

With all these cafes located within walking distance of each other, you do not have to worry about the availability of seats at any time of the day. After your shopping in the area, take a coffee break at these cafes while enjoying the breeze and the view. Most of the cafes have similarly priced menus as well.

It is quite common to bump into people wearing hanbok.

You many also bump into people wearing the Korean traditional costume, or hanbok while at Samcheongdong. Many of these people are here at Samcheongdong to take pictures of themselves in hanbok against the many pretty backdrops of Samcheongdong. Be it the colourful alleyways, the mountains in the background, the Korean traditional houses or the many colourful shops, you are definitely going to get many pretty pictures at the end of the day!

View during sunset.
Tourists and locals aplenty.

Another reason to visit Samcheongdong is for the famous Bukchon Hanok (Korean traditional houses) village located there. Here at the Hanok village, you get to see an actual living neighbourhood made up of mostly traditional Korean houses. On one of the higher grounds, you can even get a great view of the houses lined up side by side with the N Seoul Tower in the far distance!

The main attraction spot of Bukchon Hanok Village.
There are various shops offering hanbok rental here.
A couple exploring the area of Bukchon Hanok Village.
A very pretty must-visit destination!

We highly recommend Samcheongdong to visitors to Seoul, in fact, we think that this is a definite must-visit place for anyone coming to Korea! With plenty of picture opportunities and pretty cafes to check out, most visitors usually spend an entire day just at Samcheongdong and the Bukchon Hanok Village alone!

  • Nearest subway station: Anguk Station, Line 3, Exit 2

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