Insa-dong and Ikseon-dong are two of the most famous and popular areas in Jongno, always crowded with tourists and frequented by visitors of all age groups.
Insa-dong is a precious space where old yet valuable traditional items are exchanged. Narrow alleyways branch out from the main road, intertwined with one another forming a maze. Along these maze-like alleyways, uniquely distinctive ateliers, traditional craft shops, tea houses, restaurants and cafes draw in tourists and locals alike The main road of Insa-dong transforms into a pedestrian-only street on weekends, turning into a stage for traditional cultural performances as well as a marketplace for traditional food, such as taffy. Insa-dong is a well-known tourist site for experiencing and enjoying the charm of Korea’s tradition in the heart of the city.
Connected by a crosswalk from Insa-dong, Ikseon-dong exudes the beautiful charms of traditional Korean hanok architecture along old alleyways. Ikseon-dong has recently gained popularity among tourists—photos of Ikseon-dong’s trendy cafes and restaurants on social media are leading to a boost in both consumer spending and cultural activities in this neighborhood.
Let’s take a look at some photos of Insa-dong and Ikseon-dong, the neighborhoods where Korea’s traditional culture meets contemporary culture to create “newtro” (new + retro) trends.
Location: Insa-dong and Ikseon-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul