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Seoulites' Picks

Cinematic Seoul: Photogenic Spots at the Heart of Seoul

Published Date : Nov 03, 2020 / Edited Date : Oct 14, 2022
Cinematic Seoul

If Seoul was to be made into a movie, what kind of genre would it be? First off, from an outsider’s perspective, Seoul might have that science fiction or action kind of look to it, but those who know Seoul best will likely associate the city with that of a drama or romance. For many years, the heart of Seoul has been adored by people from all walks thanks to all the beautifully tucked away nooks and alleyways. And with just a look back, the N Seoul Tower stands tall to remind me of where I am. Anyway, now that we’re growing deeper into the autumn season with the aroma of fallen leaves taking to the air, let’s explore the more romantic side of Seoul, shall we?

Cinematic Seoul Logo
Scene #1 From Ssamji-gil in Insadong to Newtro Cafes & Eateries


Reminiscent of the ambiance found in traditional Korean culture, Ssamji-gil, located at the entrance of Insadong, resembles that of a day at its height in mid-afternoon. It’s a place where the sounds of people gathered in chatter naturally blend in with the surroundings. Most commonly, it’s known for its modern reinterpretation of traditional Korean crafts. In fact, the crafts shops of all the numerous creative designers in the area are perhaps the source of Ssamji-gil’s vibrance. It’s like a massive workshop where shopkeepers set their creative talents free on the street, filling it with the different colors of the traditional Korean five-color spectrum called “obangsaek.” With the assortment of crafts, pictures, and other items, it’s as if the street was ripped from the scene of a comic book movie backdrop!


  • Address 44, Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul (Ssamji-gil)
  • Tel +82-736-0088


Alive with tradition, Insadong is constantly evolving despite maintaining the image of being seemingly changeless. The traditional crafts hung up on display along the street reveal the details and craftsmanship of Korean handiwork. Trekking throughout the different nooks and corners of this maze-like area will take you on a time travel adventure back into the Joseon Dynasty to witness the remnants of what once had been. And as we travel in the present along a street of the past, it’s almost as if we’re living out the script of some time-travel sci-fi film. So, head on out as your adventure awaits!


  • Address Insa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul


Compared with the long history of Insadong, Ikseondong conveys a more recent, modern impression of Korea. With its light, flowing vibe, Ikseondong is like a perfectly laid canvas for a movie set with each beautifully set alleyway. The hanok alleyway has a variety of shops offering French cuisine, soufflé shops, and more, but the area as a whole is as Korean as it gets! It almost symbolizes the very nature of Korea’s ability to maintain and preserve tradition while coming to embrace newly-formed culture. This makes Ikseongdong, in its own way, a sort of pioneering trendsetter that continually is on a path of preservation of the old and creation of the new. It’s a picturesque aesthetic that closely resembles a scene from a historical film that brings a specific point in time back to life.


  • Address Jongno 1(il)-ga-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
    Jongno 2(i)-ga-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
    Jongno 3(sam)-ga-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
    Jongno 4(sa)-ga-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Cinematic Seoul Logo
Scene #2 Euljiro Oraegage Street, Cheonggyecheon Stream & Sewoon Shopping Center

#Cheonggyecheon Stream

As one of Seoul’s downtown leisure spots that is shared by multiple city districts, Cheonggyecheon Stream is home to a quaint ecological environment with ducks and fish galore, making you forget that you’re smack-dab in the middle of the city. The stream stretches a span of 10 km, but once you start walking along, it becomes difficult to gauge exactly how long the course actually is. If you peek close enough at all the buildings, big and small, lining the Cheonggyecheon Stream, it all seems busy and active, yet from a distance, it’s like watching a silent movie play out. Take a little time out of your day and come on by for some refreshing meditation to help appease and empty your mind.


  • Address Changsin-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
  • Tel +82-2290-6114

#Sewoon Shopping Center

The “sewoon” of Sewoon Shopping Center is an expression meaning, “A place where the energy of the world gathers.” In 1968, following the shopping center’s completion, it can’t be said whether it was able to gather the world’s energy, but it certainly has become the meeting place for younger generations. Chairs made from signboards, artistic graffiti blending naturally into the background, and other unique traits of the area give off a much different vibe than all the tightly-knit, newly-constructed buildings. All the shops and centers located downtown that sprung up over the past several decades without much of a blueprint on hand make for some fascinating treasure hunting of a sort. What kind of sounds, smells, or landscape was it that could have lured all these young entrepreneurs to the Sewoon Shopping Center? It’s almost like that of a classic movie recalling the nostalgia of a generation that has yet to be born!


  • Address 159, Cheonggyecheon-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
  • Tel +82-2271-2344

#Euljiro Alleyways

Once a forgotten street along with the retro trend it was home to, Euljiro has made a comeback as of late! And that isn’t because of the trending retro movement in the area, it’s actually simpler than that. Euljiro remains intact despite the passage of time. Once you enter the surrounding alleyways, large wheel carts and scooters are everywhere to be found with their sounds adding vibrance and life to the alleyways. If you walk around long enough avoiding the passing bicycles and people, you’ll find yourself at the doorstep of shops founded by young entrepreneurs that had once chased after their dreams in their youth. I wonder if they knew at the time that their lives would turn out to be the stuff movies are made of.


  • Address Euljiro 129 Euljiro 3-ga Station Line 3, Jung-gu, Seoul

#Cheonggyecheon Market

Embodying the lives of expert craftsman from the past and present day, the sounds of equipment in operation along the Cheonggyecheon Market street represents Korea’s development throughout modern history as the people sped forward into the future. And for all the crowded signage and bustling businesses, ironically, the use of English wording is sparse. With the shops set in shaded areas under a canopy to boot, the street emanates a dark, greyish look even during the day! But the vibe is alive and kicking with all the interaction and passers-by that come around. Despite potentially facing an eventual expiry date in the future, the market itself captures that of a raw, human documentary, tossing aside the aesthetics of doctored social media content.


  • Address 124, Cheonggyecheon-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul
Cinematic Seoul Logo
Scene #3 Bongje Street & Changsin-dong Cliff Village

#Bongje Street

Korea is known for its stylish fashion and witnessed a great deal of pertinent history dramatically unfold within the fashion capital of Seoul. Within this historical timeline, there have been many efforts made behind the scenes amid the development of the fashion industry. One of the locations of all that heart and effort exhibited is Bongje Street, located in Changsin-dong. Following the Korean War, the labor going into each sewing machine has continued on up through the present day in this narrow alleyway busy with the coming and going of scooters. It’s the only spot in the city where you can experience the weirdly unfamiliar sounds of sewing machines dressed in the aroma of fresh laundry. Despite the simplicity of the street’s vibe, it’s the perfect recreation of an indie film that clearly prioritizes artistic value.


  • Address 24-1, Changsin 4ga-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul

#Changsin-dong Cliff Village

The high-elevated village with its meandering street leading up to it is set atop a granite cliffside. And despite the village structures that look dangerously at risk of tumbling off the precipice, they have kept their ground for several years. The further you climb up the hill toward the village you can catch a glimpse of rooftops and yards growing smaller in view, giving you a gorgeous overlook across a wide breadth of land. Once you reach the top, the panoramic of Seoul with all the tiny housing below is breathtaking. Even the narrow, unpaved street you had to venture up in order to get to the village at the summit looks beautiful from up at the top! It’s like one of those coming-of-age movies where we’ve come so far yet must continue onward to see what the ‘morrow brings!


  • Address 23-322, Changsin-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul

#Changsin Alley Market

Is there anyone out there that possibility could dislike the alleyway and market culture? Savory aromas of different foods fill the air of Changsin Alley Market, a market particularly known for its spicy jokbal. It’s all too easy to get stopped in your tracks as you pass by the stacks of jokbal along the market aisle. These foods that lay out on display waiting to be served really add something to the market dynamic. There is nothing that the market doesn’t offer when it comes to food either! Whether it’s things to see, foods to eat, or just bustling crowds of people, Changsin Alley Market will surely resemble some kind of rhythmic musical with all the activity the more you look at it. Stop by and enjoy the sounds, sites, and smells of tradition!


  • Address 142-33, Changsin-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul

#SewoonShoppingStreet #ChangsinAlleyMarket #ChangsindongCliffVillage #Insadong #InsadongSsamziegil #SeoulFunThingsToDo #NewtroCafe #SeoulRetroTravel #Ikseondong #SeoulTravel #EuljiroAlley #Cheonggyecheon #SewingStreet #SeoulTour #Seoul #CheonggyeToolShoppingStreet

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  • 해설 진행 시 발생하는 안전사고에 대해서 도보관광 사무국과 서울문화관광해설사는 책임을 지지 않습니다.
  • 미세먼지 비상저감조치 발령 및 기타 기상악화(폭염, 태풍, 폭우 등)로 인해 도보관광 운영이 어려운 경우 모든 예약은 일괄 취소됩니다. (관광일 전날 기준)
예약 전 안내사항
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    ※ 중증(1~3급) 동반인 포함 2명 무료
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  • 희망하시는 날짜 및 코스에 활동가능한 해설사가 없는 경우 예약은 취소될 수 있습니다.
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    (최소 5일~한달 전)3회 이상 전화통화가 이뤄지지 않을 시 예약이 취소될 수 있습니다.
  • 해설 진행 시 발생하는 안전사고에 대해서 도보관광 사무국과 서울문화관광해설사는 책임을 지지 않습니다.
  • 미세먼지 비상저감조치 발령 및 기타 기상악화(폭염, 태풍, 폭우 등)로 인해 도보관광 운영이 어려운 경우 모든 예약은 일괄 취소됩니다. (관광일 전날 기준)
예약 전 안내사항
  • 예약은 관광일 기준 최소 1주일 전까지 가능합니다.
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Read before Reservation
  • Reservations must be made at least three days prior to the tour date.
  • Group reservations up to 3people are being accepted on the line.
  • Additional reservations are?permitted for pre-existing reservations that do not exceed the limited number of three people per group and may be made one day prior to the tour date by 5 PM.
  • Reservations for the following month are available from the 15th of the current month.
  • Masks are required for participation in all tour programs.
  • Please refrain from participating in any tour programs should you be experiencing any symptoms, including fever, coughing, congestion, muscle pain, stuffy nose, and/or sore throat.
  • Temperature readings will be conducted for all participants prior to the tour. Those with a reading over 37.5°C are prohibited from tour participation.
  • Reservations for tourists 14 years & under without an accompanying adult or guardian shall be canceled on site.
  • [As of one day prior to the tour date] All reservations shall be canceled in the event of emergency particulate matter reduction measures taken and/or inclement weather conditions, including excessive heat waves, typhoons, heavy rain, and more, that may impede Seoul Guided Walking Tour operations.
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Read before Reservation
  • Reservation shall be made at least 1 week before the tour day.
  • The course is for tourists with mobility problems (Senior, people with disability, stroller user).
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    ※ At least one assistant shall accompany a tourist with mobility problem
    ※ In case of electric assisting device users (electric wheelchair, electric scooter users), one assistant may accompany up to 4 tourists with mobility problem
  • Reservation may be canceled when a guide is unavailable on the desired date and course.
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    (At least 5 days~1 month before tour day) Reservation may be canceled when Seoul Guided Walking Tour Office cannot reach you for more than 3 times.
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  • All reservations are canceled when Seoul Guided Walking Tour is unavailable due to Particulate Matter Reduction Measure or other weather conditions (heat wave, typhoon, heavy rain). (As of the date before the tour day)
  • 観光予定日を基準として最小3日前まで予約可能です。
  • 最大3名様までお電話やメールでご予約をお願いいたします。
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  • 翌月の予約は前月の15日から可能です。
  • 解説プログラム参加時は、必ずマスク着用をお願いします。
  • 発熱または呼吸器症状(熱、咳、痰、筋肉痛、鼻づまり、喉の痛み等)がある場合は、解説プログラムへのご参加はお控えください。
  • 解説プログラムの開始前に検温を実施しています。体温が37.5度以上の場合はプログラム利用が制限されます。
  • 保護者が同伴しない満14歳未満の観光客は、現場でキャンセルとなります。
  • PM2.5非常低減措置の発令およびその他の気象状況の悪化(猛暑、台風、豪雨等)により徒歩観光の運営が難しい場合は、すべての予約が一括キャンセルされます。(観光予定日の前日基準)
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  • 予約は観光日を基準として少なくとも1週間前まで可能です。
  • 本コースは、移動弱者(移動が不自由な高齢者、障害者、ベビーカー利用者など)のためのコースです。
  • 補助人(或いは同行人)を伴わない場合は利用できません。
  • ご希望の日付及びコースに活動可能な解説士がいない場合、予約はキャンセルされることがあります。
  • 予約を確認するため、徒歩観光事務局(02-6925-0777)で確認のための連絡が行われます。
  • 解説を進行する時に発生する安全事故に対し、徒歩観光事務局とソウル文化観光解説士は
  • PM 2.5(ピーエムにてんご)の非常低減措置発令及びその他の気象悪化(猛暑、台風、暴雨など)によって
  • 观光日基准最少3日前方可进行预约。
  • 最多可以预约3个人。
  • 在已登记的预约团体中,只接待不超过预约人数的团体,可在前一天17时前追加预约。
  • 下个月的预约可从前一月15日开始。
  • 参加徒步观光解说活动时必须佩戴口罩。
  • 如有发热或呼吸道症状(发烧、咳嗽、痰液、肌肉痛、鼻塞、咽喉痛等),请避免参与解说活动。
  • 活动开始前将进行体温测试,超过37.5度者将被限制参与解说活动。
  • 无保护者随同的未满14岁儿童游客,会在现场取消解说活动。
  • 因发布微尘紧急低减措施及其他气象恶化(暴热、台风、暴雨等)无法运营徒步观光解说活动时,所有预约会批量取消。(观光前日基准)
  • 对于解说活动中发生的安全事故,首尔徒步解说旅游事务局和首尔文化观光解说社不予负责。
  • 观光日基准最少1日前方可进行预约。
  • 本线路是为了行动不便者(行动不便的高龄者、残疾人、婴儿车利用者等)的路线。
  • 无辅助人员(或同行人)伴随时,不可利用。
    ※ 步行不便者1名至少需要1名以上的辅助人员陪同。
    ※ 电动辅助器具(电动轮椅、电动独轮车等)使用者时,每一位辅助人员最多可陪同 4名步行不便者。
  • 希望观光的日期及线路上无解说员时,预约有可能被取消。
  • 为了确认预约,徒步观光事务局(02-6925-0777)会致电进行确认。
    (最少5日~一个月前) 3次以上无法连接时,预约将被取消。
  • 进行解说时,对于有可能发生的安全事故,徒步观光事务局和首尔文化观光解说员概不负责。
  • 因发布微尘紧急低减措施及其他气象恶化(暴热、台风、暴雨等),无法运营 徒步观光时,所有预约会批量取消。
  • 最晚請於預約日期3天前完成預約。
  • 最多可以预约3个人。
  • 已完成預約的團體若人數超過限制,可於前一天下午5點前追加預約。
  • 每月15日將開放下個月的預約。
  • 參與解說觀光時請務必佩戴口罩。
  • 若有發燒或呼吸道症狀(發燒、咳嗽、咳痰、肌肉酸痛、鼻塞、喉嚨痛),請避免參與本活動。
  • 活動開始前將進行體溫測量。若體溫超過37.5度,將無法參與本活動。
  • 未有保護者同行的未滿14歲兒童遊客,會在現場取消參與資格。
  • 因發布微塵緊急降低措施及其他天氣惡化(暴熱、台風、豪雨等),無法進行徒步觀光時,所有預約將取消。(預約日期前日基準)
  • 進行解說時,對於有可能發生的安全事故,首爾徒步解說觀光事務局和首爾文化觀光解說員概不負責。
  • 觀光日基準最少1日前方可進行預約。
  • 本線路是為了行動不便者(行動不便的高齡者、殘疾人、嬰兒車利用者等)的路線。
  • 無輔助人員(或同行人)伴隨時,不可利用。
    ※ 步行不便者1名至少需要1名以上的輔助人員陪同。
    ※ 電動輔助器具(電動輪椅、電動獨輪車等)使用者時,每壹位輔助人員最多可陪同 4名步行不便者。
  • 希望觀光的日期及線路上無解說員時,預約有可能被取消。
  • 為了確認預約,徒步觀光事務局(02-6925-0777)會致電進行確認。
    (最少5日~壹個月前) 3次以上無法連接時,預約將被取消。
  • 進行解說時,對於有可能發生的安全事故,徒步觀光事務局和首爾文化觀光 解說員概不負責。
  • 因發布微塵緊急低減措施及其他氣象惡化(暴熱、臺風、暴雨等),無法運營 徒步觀光時,所有預約會批量取消。 (觀光前日基準)