Insadong is Seoul’s cultural and artistic hub—the place to shop for local crafts, visit a traditional Korean tea shop, or catch an impromptu street performance. The neighborhood, located in the Jongno-gu district, offers one of the largest antiques and craft markets in the country, with many shops and cafés housed in historic buildings.
Insadong is one of the Korean capital’s most popular neighborhoods. Locals and foreign visitors alike come here for its shopping, art scene, and traditional Korean teahouses. Most sightseeing tours of Seoul make a stop in this neighborhood, along with nearby Changdeokgung Palace. Insadong is also one of 22 stops on the Seoul hop-on hop-off bus.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Insadong is a must-see for art lovers, shoppers, and first-time visitors to Seoul.
- Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces; some of the streets are cobbled.
- Come hungry; Insadong has some of the best street food in Seoul.
- Combine your visit to Insadong with a stop at either Gyeongbokgung or Changdeokgung Palace; both are nearby.
How to Get There
Insadong is centrally located and easy to reach by taking one of several public bus lines, or by riding the metro to Anguk Station (Line 3) or Jonggak Station (Line 1).
When to Get There
Insadong comes alive on the weekends, when the main street is blocked off to vehicle traffic and the pedestrian area fills with vendors, fortune tellers, and buskers making the most of the weekend crowds. Many of Insadong’s shops and galleries are closed Monday.
What to Buy in Insadong
The markets and shops of Insadong are some of the best places in the city to pick up gifts and souvenirs to take back home. Favorites include traditional Korean masks, decorated chopstick sets, calligraphy scrolls, handmade paper and stationary, or personalized stamps with your name in Korean letters.