When I first discovered Seoul, capital of South Korea, I was shocked by its modernity, technology but at the same time, I found a soul to the city. It’s kind of unexplainable but Seoul is one of the big cities where despite the new buildings you will find some areas full of charm. I would say that there is a lot of places in Seoul with this soul but the one I really liked were Hongdae, Insa Dong and Buckeon …
1- So, the first place I want to talk about is the area of Hondgae. This place is very well known at night because of its many bars and night clubs. However, I also liked this place during the day which is really rare for a place where night life is present(not the morning though because everything is close) . What I particularly liked I think was that this area was much more “alive” than what I could see in some parts of Seoul. There are a lot of restaurants, street food sellers, clothe shops … If you are going there be aware that there is nothing to visit there, you just have to enjoy the atmosphere of Hongdae. At night, the place is becoming more than alive, all the bars are full, there are some musicians in the street playing performances, crowded streets…
2- Another place that I loved in Seoul was Buckeon village. Buckeon is surprisingly next to big buildings, famous palaces. After crossing one street you’re in the middle of a new Seoul. This area is full of little streets typical of the old Korea. The rooftops are nicely curved, the walls of the houses are white and brown. I can’t really explain the architecture of the houses but you can see on the bellow pictures that they are really typical of Korea.
In this area you shouldn’t be afraid of going into the small streets, most of the time this is where the most beautiful houses are. Moreover, you can go in some of these traditional houses and visit them.
One of the most beautiful parts of these houses are in my opinion the doors. All the doors are really different and really stunning. They can be golden, with drawings, silver… Whatever, they all look beautiful and match into the spirit of Buckeon.
Walking into the streets of Buckeon also means seeing a lot of Koreans dressed with traditional clothes, signal saying “be quiet please, people are living here” and also a lot of art on the wall of some houses. I was really surprised to see some street art in this traditional area. However, this street art is soft, sensible, beautiful. The drawings are really matching with the atmosphere of the place and it gives more charisma.
Buckeon is a small part of Seoul that should be seen by people who want to see more than the modernity of the capital.
3- The last place that I find charming in Seoul was the area of Insa Dong. The place is really near Buckeon so you can see both areas in the same time. What I particularly loved there was the little streets full of shops, cool restaurants, weird food, street art…
So let’s take that in order: Insa Dong had so many small restaurants and shops. In the smallest streets, you’ll find the cutest places.
The other thing to know is that in the biggest streets the area is more for tourists, so you’ll find souvenirs and more expensive restaurants.
In Insa Dong, some buildings are open, full of wonderful things inside, art, love locker, shops, or just a place to walk in and enjoy.
Lastly, Insa Dong has some weird but good food. I tried two snacks that I liked and found really pretty (or just funny). So the first one was an amazing fairy floss, it was so beautiful that I couldn’t resist to buy one.
The other thing was a Korean pancake filled with either chocolate or red bean paste. The thing is that this pancake was shaped like a poo. It was really funny and pretty good.
Insa Dong is a good place to spend time in you want to have fun in a cool area of Seoul.
So here are my three areas of Seoul that I really found charming and where I could spend more time if I get bored during an afternoon.