Samcheongdong is one of Seoul’s top attractions and here’s an in-depth look at what to expect and look for in this popular neighborhood.
One of the easiest ways to access Samcheongdong is via Anguk Station. From either the station’s exit 1 or 2 you can head northwards to explore equally charming Angukdong which is often confused to be the same as Samcheongdong. The Yulgokro 3-gil street, which runs between Duksung middle and high schools, is especially beautiful in all four seasons and a popular backdrop for movies and television dramas. There’s plenty of eateries and cafes around but that’s not all though as the nation’s Constitutional Court is found here issuing important rules related to Korea’s constitution.
The Jeongdok Public Library is a historic library which also holds a language and literature room, children’s room, toddler’s room and more that bibliophiles will enjoy. The peaceful library grounds is also beautiful to take a stroll around. Just a bit northwards from here you can access Bukchon Hanok Village which is famous for the many traditional Korean hanoks that have been converted into restaurants, shops, and cafes. It’s especially a popular place for photo taking and a recent trend is to rent a colorful hanbok, or traditional Korean clothing, from a shop and stroll around this old neighborhood while wearing them for SNS-worthy shots.
Samcheongdong has a long range of sit down restaurants specializing in everything from pasta and steak to Korean dishes like kalguksu and ddeokkalbi and popular for couples and tourists alike. A number of famous snack restaurants serving everyday favorite treats such as ddeokbokki, ramen, and dumplings are also hot draws. For those with a sweet tooth, there are a number of cafes here including character-themed cafes but if you prefer something tamer, there are a number of traditional Korean tea cafes that are housed in beautiful traditional Korean homes that shouldn’t be missed.
Of course, Samcheongdong is also a popular draw for its plentiful shopping options. From jewelry and handmade crafts stores to clothing boutiques, stores are scattered all around. Traditional Korean crafts and souvenir shops are also found in this area. If you prefer a less commercialized part of Samcheongdong, check out its western side in the neighborhood of Palpandong which still holds many shops and eateries that aren’t global brands.
If you rather prefer a natural setting, the Samcheong Park is less visited by tourists and a wonderful quiet oasis. It’s great to walk around especially in spring as the trees and flowers will be in full bloom. Southeast of the park, Choongang High School is a beautiful and historic building which you may recognize from numerous Korean television movies and dramas.
Samcheongdong is also a great place for art lovers. The Museum of Modern Contemporary Art is the biggest art museum of the region and features works by Korean and international artists. If you want to enjoy the museum for free you can visit between 6 and 9PM on Wednesdays and Saturdays for free or on the last Wednesday of every month during Korea’s monthly ‘Culture Day’. Along Samcheong-ro, the same street as the museum, there are a number of smaller, private art museums that regularly features artwork and are usually free.
If history and culture is more of your interest, head to the National Folk Museum in the northeast corner of Gyeongbokgung, just next to Samcheongdong, for a detailed look at how Koreans lived in the past. And, of course, Samcheongdong is between two royal palaces, Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung, so take advantage of both or all three sites for a nice day!