Explore Bukchon Hanok Village Where Joseon Dynasty Nobles Once Lived

Historical Kdrama fans are going to find Bukchon Hanok Village a gem that satisfies their Hallyu culture-loving hearts. That said, this place is also one of the best historical places in South Korea where tradition is preserved and culture speak volumes.

It’s also one of Korea’s famous landmarks and a tourist hub where travellers can explore the area, see traditional art, enter houses turned museums, and even stay in a Korean hanok for a unique experience. You can also rent hanboks and have a professional photo shoot with the traditional houses as the backdrop making it look like you are in a historical Kdrama!

You can take a private tour of just the village or if you are pressed for time, you can take a private Seoul city tour with Bukchon as a stopover for a couple of hours.

Interesting Bukchon Hanok Village History

Joseon Dynasty houses in Bukchon Hanok Village
Joseon Dynasty houses in Bukchon Hanok Village

Bukchon, meaning “northern village” was built 600 years ago and is tucked between two famous palaces in Seoul – the Gyeongbok Palace, and the Changdeok Palace. It was due to the proximity of these castles that the village was originally occupied by the wealthy and prestigious Joseon dynasty officials.

Around 900 houses with their beautiful traditional architecture line up the street today, and the surrounding sight is a treat to the eyes with lush forests and towering hills, almost making you feel that you’ve traveled to the past where you’ll see a Joseon official turn the corner and casually stroll along the roads. This alone makes it one of the must-visit places in Seoul.

Girls dressed in traditional Hanboks while walking in the village
Girls dressed in traditional Hanboks while walking in the village

The hanok houses were built with designs that compliment the surrounding topography while the interiors were made to withstand and provide natural heat during the chilly winter months.

While the village was once known for its nobles, societal changes eventually saw commoners occupying these once-wealthy homes. Further modern developments caused the hanoks to be torn down to make way for high-rise buildings but luckily, conservation efforts pushed for the protection of this historic site with the remaining 900 houses still intact as if they were built just yesterday.

Things to do in Bukchon Hanok Village

Changdeokgung Palace

A gigantic palace that stretches on for miles, Changdeokgung Palace is worth the visit as much as the village itself. Before 1868, this palace was where all government officials gathered and the royal court saw to stately affairs. With stunning architecture and dazzling decor, the palace was said to be part of the ‘Five Grand Palaces’ that the kings of Joseon Dynasty had built and remained as a favorite of the Joseon princes.

Gahoe Museum
Paintings in the Gahoe Music
Photo credit: Korean Cultural Organization

See artifacts that were made and used in Buchkon village 600 years ago in the Gahoe Museum. This place is a hanok turned museum that holds more than 1500 artifacts including classical books, folk paintings, amulets and other cultural items from the Joseon Dynasty. Sometimes they also hold a Gahoe Folk Painting Workshop for art enthusiasts who would love to get an insight into that certain style of painting.

Seoul Intangible Cultural Heritage Center
Girls doing traditional dance wearing a Hanbok
Girls doing traditional dance wearing a Hanbok

Listen to the beats of ancient rhythms and watch traditional dance and art performances at the Seoul Intangible Cultural Heritage Center. This place usually holds several events and conferences where musical groups wow the audience with traditional Korean acts.

Stay in a hanok guesthouse
A traditional hanok in the village

Experience the centuries-old hanok house by booking a room in a guesthouse like the Bukchonmaru Hanok Guesthouse. This particular guesthouse has been taken care of and run by descendants of the same family for 30 years! Get treated with typical South Korean customs and culture and explore the traditional rooms and beautiful courtyards that the high-ranking officials once lived in.


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