The other Insadong

Arts & Culture

The less mainstream places to look up in Insadong

Stay at Insa Hostel if you want to be near Insadong Neighborhood in Seoul. We think Insa Hostel is one of the cleanest and well managed hostels we've ever seen - and you literally cant be any nearer the major attractions in Seoul.

Everything is within walking distance from here. All the five palaces are walkable, Insadong and all its major attractions, Bukchon cultural village, The President offical house and much much more.

This place is a hidden gem in the sidestreet off the main Insadong Street! Just imagine sitting on the roof terrace after coming back from some sightseeing and drinking a cup of tea before wandering out for dinner nearby.

Roof terrace, Insa Hostel

Most people don't know, but Nakwon Arcade is home to one of the largest musical instrument shopping grounds in all of Seoul with more than 200 shops specializing in instruments spread all over the 2nd and 3rd floor.

If you want a pink guitar or a guitar shaped as a toilet seat then you've come to the right place. The arcade also sells high quality instruments and rare finds, so it's definetely worth a vist if you're a music lover.

In the basement of the arcade you'll find foods and traditional herbs plus lots of other quirky items and accessories and on the 4th floor there's an arthouse cinema screening independent movies!

The market is right be the South Itaewon Street entrance. You can't miss it, it is a large complex building.

Nakwon Arcade

Right by Anguk Station exit 5 you can take Korean cooking classes every hour on the hour from 9am - 5pm everyday. Sign up for Kimchi World's premium cooking course here.

The course only takes one hour and you will learn how to make kimchi, deokbokki, and sample makgeolli rice wine! The cost is about 25,000KRW a person. A great way to spend an hour.

Kimchi World also runs a shop where you can buy healthy Korean foods such as Kimchi, sauce, dried seaweed, salted seafood, pickled vegetables, and rice wine all available at discounted prices and there is free delivery to Incheon Airport if your purchase is 30,000KRW or more.

Kimchi World

The Knife Gallery is a knife specialty shop in Korea. If you want a custom made knife of any sort you can have it made here and you may observe the entire manufacturing process.

The gallery displays over 6,000 knives from all over the world. It includes traditional Korean and Japanese knives, Chinese knives, decorative knives, knives by famous artists and knives shown in movies.

There are a variety of knives for both daily and decorative uses. Not the type of gallery you would expect in Insadong!

Knife Gallery and Shop

Insadong has a lot of street food but after trying 'Hoddeok' at Sambodang's street cart, you will know why there is such a long line in front of this place.

Hoddeok is a small dough cake made with glutinous rice and stuffed with black sugar and peanuts. It's perhaps the most popular sweet street food snack in Korea, and Sambodang does it best - and at only 1,000KRW a cake it's also very afforable!

Sambodang sells 'Hoddeok' from 10:30am - 8:30pm and are closed every first and third Monday of each month.

Sambodang is located in the main Insadong street junction, about halfway on the main street.

Sambodang Hoddeok snack

Tobang on Insadong main street is widely known through word of mouth to serve the best jjigae's (stews) in the area.

A must-try here is the kimchi jjigae or the sundubu jjigae. But the korean savory pancakes with maekkeolli is also worth a try!

This place mostly serves locals but foreigners and tourists alike are also beginning to discover this little unassuming place.

All prices are all around 5,500KRW.

Tobang folk restaurant

Yukuijeon Museum is a small, interesting museum built on top of an old market place excavation site. Once you enter you will see a huge glass floor that covers the excavation site and it gives a great view of the layout and design of this market place.

A few years ago the building was demolished for a new building to be built and the remains of the old market place was discovered.

This museum explains how these market places were built off of the main road because most people did not like to spend much time on these main roads due to some of the difference in class customs people had to follow.

The main road was often traveled by high class citizens making it bothersome to the lower class.

The museum is located near Tapgol Park, next to Insadong.

For more info visit their facebook page.

Yukuijeon Museum