Since you have arrived in Korea, don’t you want to experience Korean culture and feel the mood of the old days of Korea? If so, Insadong (Insa neighborhood in English) in Seoul would be the proper place to visit. Let’s find out why!
Insadong is a well-known place for preserving Korean traditions and showing Korean identities, located in Jongno-district, where the old towns of Seoul used to exist. Hence, it is one of the preferred foreign tourist attractions in Seoul. That’s why Korean people also desire to visit here to enjoy a relaxing time at traditionally antique-designed teahouses, restaurants, cafés, and handicraft shops.
Insadong consists of one main boulevard(Insadonggil) and several maze-like alleyways including ssamziegil, which is a famous slightly-spiral building for displaying items and shopping. You’ll have fun looking around charming and cute little gift shops, stores, and cafés along these alleyways.
Besides, the art galleries are the center of Insadong’s reputation. There are more than 100 galleries big and small here with various exhibitions ranging from Korean paintings, prints to sculptures. Some of the most famous galleries are Kyung-In Museum of Fine Art, Ara Art Center, and so forth.
Happy news for tourists is that Insadong nearby is designated as one of the ‘car-free streets’ in Seoul every day from 10:00 to 22:00. Due to this measure, Insadong is a nice environment for cultural activities to take place and to enjoy street food freely not to mention no need to suffer from being cautious of cars.
The scent of the old days lingers around Insadong. There are lots of activities to join at traditional handicraft workshops and institutions below. Don’t worry about language barriers, since Trazy provides you with classes and experiences in English.
Participate in DIY Handicraft Classes
1. Make your own stamp
In the past, Koreans have been using stamps for various purposes including writing signatures. Why don’t you try making a stamp? You may choose to make your own and then use it in real life or give it to someone as a gift. Selecting how to engrave your name and pattern, and decorate it with your heart would be a memory. Don’t worry about not being skillful at all, as instructors will guide you.
2. Korean Calligraphy & Hanging Scroll Making Class
Experience traditional Korean calligraphy crafts and make a hanging scroll with your calligraphy on it. Not only you can enjoy a calm and relaxing experience writing using Korean traditional brushes and inks, but you can also make a one-and-only hanging scroll with your own handwritten calligraphy message and drawings on it.
3. Make a One-of-a-kind Souvenir with Korean traditional paper ‘Hanji’
Do you want to get some special souvenirs? Or do you often have a hard time deciding which gift to buy? Then how about making gifts with Korean traditional paper ‘Hanji’ instead of purchasing it? Hanji is a tough and durable material, which you can transform into various shapes and forms. The gift receiver will be touched by your sincerity and sense. You will have an opportunity to learn from one of the Korean master artisans.
4. Traditional Korean Calligraphy Class
The Korean alphabet, Hangeul, is acknowledged for its scientific and convenient system. Give yourself a chance to learn traditional Korean Calligraphy with Four Treasures of the Study(brush, ink, paper, and inkstone). You can also write your name in Hangeul! The letters you learn and write on paper will twinkle for the rest of your life.
Surround yourself with Korean art & food
5. Insadong Art & Food Half-Day Walking Tour
Discover the iconic Insadong Street, a unique fusion of Seoul’s historic past and its artistic present. On this tour, you’ll get to enjoy traditional Korean food along with the antique and art tour held on Insadong Street. With a local guide, learn about the history behind this charming street as you navigate your way through the narrow alleyways lined with craft shops and teahouses!
- Tour Course: Have Korean food for lunch → Explore Ssamziegil → Tteok (rice cake) tasting → Visit a traditional teahouse
- Explore Insadong with Insadong Half-Day Walking Food Tour!
6. Insadong & Ikseondong Hanok Village Makgeolli & Food Tour
Join a walking tour of Insadong & Ikseondong that engages all your senses, hearing, sight, and taste! Start the tour by experiencing Korean traditions firsthand and learning about local folk music. Next, go cafe and bar hopping to various traditional cafes, bars, and diners, where you’ll sample traditional Korean tea, alcohol, and delicious snacks in Ikseon-dong.
Learn Korean Traditional Martial Arts
7. Korean Martial Arts Taekkyeon Experience
Taekkyeon, a traditional Korean martial art is designated as one of the intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2011. Taekkyeon is made up of fluid, dance-like movements. Try learning Taekkyeon and train your mind and body with noble Taekkyeon spirits.
Head to the Trendiest Place in Insadong
8. Color Pool Museum
Color Pool Museum is near Anguk subway station (Line 3) and it’s a fun and creative indoor playground. It’s definitely the trendiest Instgrammable hot spot in Seoul that consists of 9 different themed zones and more than 30 photo spots. You can also find your own personal color by taking pictures with the background of all different colored walls.
Learn How to Read Hangeul (Korean Alphabet)
9. Hae Rang’s Magic Korean Class
If you are interested in learning Korean, participate in ‘Hae Rang’s Magic Korean Class’, where you can learn how to read most of Hangeul in a short period of time. You’ll be taught by the poet Geum Hae Rang, who majored in Korean literature and has published 3 books. Why don’t you understand the Korean culture and history through Hangeul?
Find out the latest and trendiest things to do in Korea at Korea’s #1 Travel Shop, Trazy.com!
Photo Credit: Visit Seoul Net Official