Face to Face with Korean Tradition: Bukchon Hanok Village

See & Do Tours

가장 한국스러운 골목: 북촌한옥마을
 Face to Face with Korean Tradition: Bukchon Hanok Village

Bukchon Hanok Village not only represents Seoul, but the entire country of Korea. There's a reason for why this area has become so popular amongst foreigners; there's no other area that quite shows the spirit of the Korean people and the ways of the past.

Bukchon is situated in between Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, and Jongmyo Shrine. This area is designated as one of the main places in Seoul where there is a large concentration of traditional Korean homes (hanok). Many historical sites and cultural properties are also packed in this area, automatically making it a street museum of sorts. "Bukchon", which means northern village, was named this way because it is located north of two very significant landmarks, the Jongno area and the Cheonggyecheon (Stream). Currently, Gahoe-dong, Songhyeon-dong, Anguk-dong, Samcheong-dong, Sagan-dong, Gyedong, Sogyeok-dong are considered a part of the Bukchon area.


Bukchon was not only the center of Hanyang (old Seoul), but it is an excellent location geographically. It follows the Korean rules of feng shui, where the mountains loom in the back while the river flows in the front. Naturally, many ancient wealthy and influential families chose to reside in this area. According to a 1906 population survey of Bukchon, 43.6% of the 10,241 people living in the area at that time were aristocrats, noblemen, government officials. Bukchon's status carried over into Korea's "enlightenment period" and the Japanese colonial period. Influential figures such as Park Yeong-ho, Kim Ok-gyun, members of the enlightenment party, and other independence fighters lived in this area.


However, after the Japanese colonial period, Bukchon continued to modernize and in 1990, a big number of hanok homes disappeared. Due to how these homes were disappearing at an alarming rate, and the original Bukchon scenery changing so drastically, experts, locals, and the city of Seoul came up with a policy to preserve the Bukchon area. Residents voluntarily began a hanok registration system and began to come up with ways where the original architecture of the Bukchon village could be preserved and fixed while still accomodating to modern changes.



① Just like the name Bukchon Hanok Village suggests, rows of hanok line the streets and alleys.

② Hanok after hanok are packed in tightly together.

There are so many nooks and crannys that are worth seeing that you need to take a whole day to see it properly. Aside from the 5 historical sites, 4 Seoul Folklore materials, 3 tangible cultural properties, and 1 cultural property, there is also Gyedong-gil, Seokjeong "Full Moon" Well, and the Gwang Hye-won (widespread relief house). To get a proper introduction on Bukchon Hanok district, visit 11 Gahoe-dong, 31 Gahoe-dong, and 33 Gahoe-dong (street names).


③ Traditional craft items made by artisans.

④ Flowers colorfully decorate the rooftops.

⑤ Retaining its form from 250 years ago is Gyedong-gil.

Must-visit Locations



Gyeonggongjang workshop : Gyeonggongjang refers to artisans who were responsible for royal cuisine, embroidery, and other traditional crafts. Visitors are welcome to see exactly how these traditional items are created.

Bukchon Cultural Center : This center will help you explore more Bukchon more thoroughly and carries a wide range of information related to Bukchon.


Extra Information

Subway : Line 3, Anguk Station, Exit 2

Buses : 151, 171, 172, 272, 7025

Hours : Monday - Saturday, 10:00 - 17:00 (Closed Sunday)

Seoul Hanok


Inquiries: +82-2-2148-4160

Related Places

Museum of Korean Buddhist Art 

View all kinds of art related to Korean buddhism!

Jeongdok Public Library Jeongdok Public Libary Website (Korean) 

Located on Bukchon-ro 5-gil, it was originally Gyeonggi Highschool, but in 1976, the city of Seoul took over and reopened it as a library in 1977. Not only does it have value as a library, but it is also famous for its fountain, water mill, and pond. It was the setting for several popular movies including "Conduct Zero" and "Heartbreak Library."

※ Measures to Take When Visiting Bukchon Hanok Village

Although Bukchon Hanok Village is Seoul's representative hanok village, it is home to many average Seoulites. Unlike Namsangol Hanok Village or other folk villages, Bukchon Hanok Village was not built to be a tourist attraction. The area is a residential neighborhood where people actually live. Please keep that and the following measures in mind when you visit the village. We ask that you make your trip to Bukchon a quiet trip.

- Please keep noise levels to a minimum, (e.g. no loud voices, horsing around, filming, etc.) especially in the 31 Gahoe-dong area
- Please do not litter
- Please keep group visits small, with a maximum of 10 visitors
- Please do not use microphones, megaphones, or loudspeakers
- Please do not take photos or film the interiors of houses, even if the doors are open

The cultural tours of the Bukchon Hanok Village area, (Gahoe-dong 31, 33, etc.) will be phased out. Please keep that in mind when taking the Seoul City Walking tours.