Insadong is frequently mentioned as one of a few notable locations to shop in Seoul. However, a few minutes walk from Insadong is the neighborhood of Ikseondong. Though popular with Seoulites, the neighborhood is gaining popularity among tourists as well. I recommend taking a journey into Ikseondong for a more “Korean” experience.
Ikseondong’s pathways are small and you may feel like you have stumbled upon a bustling alleyway in the middle of Seoul. Ikseondong is packed with young, hip locals. The area offers many options for shopping and for eating. You will also find that Ikseondong, though popular with the hip crowd, has a traditional feel and that is because Ikseondong is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the center of Seoul, according to visitkorea.or.kr. It recently became trendy as young artists and business entrepreneurs began to infiltrate the area. New and trendy stores and cafes opened in the area. The neighborhood features traditional hanok himes from the 1920s that are still in use today.
Recommendations (Total Time: 3 hours):
1) Wander around Ikseondong’s alleyways.
2) Go to Teterot Salon and shop for some modern hanbok items.
3) Have tea at a traditional tea shop such as Midamheon.