Insa-dong (인사동), located in the heart of the city, is an important place where old but precious and traditional goods are on display. There is one main road in Insa-dong with alleys on each side. Within these alleys are galleries, traditional restaurants, traditional teahouses, and cafes.
The galleries are the heartbeat of Insa-dong. There are about 100 galleries in the area and you can see every example of traditional Korean fine art from paintings to sculptures. The most famous galleries are Hakgojae Gallery, which functions as the center of folk art, Gana Art Gallery, which promotes many promising artists, and Gana Art Center.
The teahouses and restaurants are the perfect complement to the galleries. At first they might be hard to find, but if you take the time to stroll around the twisting alleyways, the window shopping in itself can be very entertaining. The shops in Insa-dong are very popular among all age groups, because each one is unique.
Every Saturday from 14:00 – 22:00 and Sunday from 10:00 – 22:00, some streets are blocked off from traffic and it becomes a cultural space. Stores set up booths outside and others set up shops (Korean candy merchants and fortune tellers.) There are traditional performances and exhibits as well. Insa-dong is especially popular with foreign tourists. This is where they can experience and see traditional Korean culture firsthand, and also purchase pieces of fine art. On the street you can eat Korean taffy and traditional pajeon (Korean pancake), and see many foreigners lost in all the joyous festivities of the street.
How To Go There:
Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6.
– Go 100m straight, then turn left.
Jonggak Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 3.
– Go straight 300m, and turn left at the 4-way Intersection.
– Go straight 100m, and take the left road towards Insadong-gil Road.
Take any bus bound for Jongno 2-ga or Jongno Police Station.
Jongno 2-ga: 101, 103, 143, 150, 160, 201, 260, 262, 270, 271, 273, 370, 408, 470,
471, 601, 708, 710, 720, 721
Jongno Police Station: 109, 151, 162, 171, 172, 272, 601,6011, 708