Korea isn't only about K-Pop, kimchi and computer technology. It is also a haven for antiques and, in Insa-dong, Seoul has the perfectly quaint neighborhood in which to shop for them.
The focal point of Korean traditional culture and crafts, Insa-dong specializes in a variety of goods traditional to Korea, such as hanbok (traditional clothing), hanji (traditional paper) and a myriad of other Korean folk crafts.
The Insa-dong area itself is ancient, too, although back in the Joseon period, beginning in the late fourteenth century, it was more known for painters. Today Insadong is famous for many art events and festivals.
Insa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, +82-2-737-7890-1 Subway Line 3
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Itaewon is known for being the foreigner's district in Seoul, mainly due to its proximity to one of Seoul’s major U.S. military bases. In this expat haven of western-ness, visitors can find plenty of comforts from home. The Frypan fried chicken and beer is the Korean version of KFC (except with alcohol) and is packed late into the night.
The Wolfhound Irish Pub is known for a strong pint. Posh wine bars like Kabinett and Naos Nova serve up the best of California and Chile. And live music reigns at Woodstock and Reggae Pub.
Tip: Come early in the evening to nosh at one of the area’s many international restaurants. You'll find Thai, Indian, Greek, Mexican, American, Irish, Chinese, Italian...
Exit at Itaewon subway station.
The Wolfhound, 128-6 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu. Naos Nova, 448-120 Huam-dong, Yongsan-gu. The Frypan, subway exit 2, walk straight for two minutes.