If one wants to feel the spirit of Korean culture and tradition in a short period of time, they are usually sent to visit Insadong – an iconic shopping and cultural street in central Seoul. Located near some of Seoul's major sightseeing spots, the street is more popular with foreign tourists than with Seoullites. Despite being criticized by the locals as a purely touristic attraction, Insadong is a great spot for foreign visitors to buy otherwise hard to find souvenirs, try traditional Korean tea and cuisine in cafes and restaurants with English-language menus, and comfortably experience Korean culture in many museums, galleries, and centers scattered around the area.
Souvenirs are quite hard to come by in Korea. If you love to travel and collect small trinkets to remember your adventures, Insadong is the only place in Seoul with a big enough choice of various gifts. Traditional clothes, statuettes, stamps, porcelain, and arts and crafts of all kinds can be found on the main street of Insadong.
Despite the glaring commercialization of the district’s main street, an exploration of Insadong’s back alleys reveals plenty of hidden gems, such as barbeque restaurants and makgeolli houses, more frequented by locals. There are tons of beautiful, well-maintained hanok in the area and the surrounding neighborhoods in these back alleys as well. Insadong's surrounding neighborhoods are a bit of a throwback to 1960’s and 1970’s Korea, still instilled with the sort of grittiness that has mostly disappeared from Seoul’s main districts over the years, and there are tons of historical sites to check out within its small area.
62 Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea 62 Insadong-gil
Take Line 3 to Anguk Station and go out Exit 6. -> Walk straight about 40 meters towards the intersection then make a right and you will arrive at the entrance to Insadong. Take Line 1 to Jonggak Station and go out Exit 11. -> Walk straight about 70 meters and turn left at the corner. -> Walk straight then bear left and you will arrive at the entrance to Insadong.