The Top 10 Things To Do and See in Insadong, South Korea

One of the many food stalls in Insadong that are worth a visit
One of the many food stalls in Insadong that are worth a visit | © SFL Travel / Alamy Stock Photo
Insadong is a must-visit destination for all first-timers in Seoul. Best known for its extensive array of shops and restaurants, the area is also good for museums, tea houses, and even a tea museum. Here’s our top 10.

Insadong Area | Dong Bin Kim / © Culture Trip

Eat Street Food

Insadong has some of the tastiest food vendors in all of Seoul. One of the main street-food delights is King’s Dessert, aka Dragon’s Beard Candy – 16,000 strings of honey wrapped multiple times with a flavouring of either almond, peanut or chocolate inside. Another popular street food is the corn cookie, which isn’t actually a cookie but a twisty ice cream cone with sweet fillings. There are also gooey pancakes and spicy Korean dumplings to sample.

Shin Old Tea House

Tea Room, Korean
The Shin Old Tea House is tucked away down an alley, far from the hustle and bustle of the main street. It’s small, with only floor seating, as you’d expect to find in a traditional Korean tea house. The lighting is dim and provides a relaxing aura, while the tea list is extensive and boasts some fantastic regional specialities.
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Ssamzie-gil Market

Shopping Mall, Market
Ssamzie-gil Market is part mall, part outdoor bazaar. Comprising more than 70 shops, it sits on the main road of Insadong so it’s easy to find. If you’re looking for one-off clothes, ceramics, furniture, food and traditional Korean item, it’s all here – a great place for retail therapy or souvenir hunting.
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Wear a Hanbok

Building
At the Insadong Tourist Information Center, for a small fee you can try on a hanbok, a traditional Korean piece of clothing worn since the Joseon era. They come in a variety of colours and styles and there are designs for men, women and children. Even though this was clothing worn by Koreans throughout history, actual hanboks now cost upwards of $500.
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Korean BBQ

Restaurant, Korean
BBQ places are a popular option for eating out in Korea. Not only do they serve delicious food, they are a great spot for meeting, chatting and drinking. Insadong is home to many BBQ restaurants, one of the most popular being Cha Iyagi, meaning “tea story”. The interior looks like the inside of a hanok (a traditional Korean house) and the food is delicious.
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Eat Like a Royal

Along with Korean BBQ, Insadong has some restaurants that serve royal Korean cuisine. Royal meals contain about twenty different courses of traditional Korean delicacies. JinJinBara is one of the few places that gives the royal dining experiences in Insadong, and comes highly recommended.

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