Wanting to see another side of Seoul? Bukchon Hanok Village is a traditional Korean village in the Gye-Dong neighbourhood. This 600-year old village from the Joseon Dynasty has been preserved and though it is now a destination for tourists, many locals still live in the historic houses along the various narrow alleyways. This was one of my favourite sights in Seoul – the village has history, cute houses, intriguing alleyways, and is just all-around really interesting.
Bukchon Hanok Village is close to Gyeongbok Palace and Changdeok Palace, so you can check off a few popular sights within a few hours. The hanoks within the village are either occupied by cultural centers, tea houses, restaurants, or are actually inhabited by locals who still live there (there is a sign at the entrance way asking visitors to be mindful of this fact).
You’ll probably spend an hour or so walking around the village – each hanok is quite different, so there’s lots to explore. If you can make your way up to the highest point in the village, you’ll be able to look down and see all the old tile roofing of the hanoks.
This stop should be a must on your list while in Seoul!