Bukchon is a working village of historic homes, called “Hanok”, near the center of Seoul, South Korea. It’s a great place to experience Korean architectural styles and experience their tightly clustered communities, designed around small, twisting alleyways that were designed well before anyone was concerned with making room for automobiles.

It’s surprisingly well-insulated from the hustle and bustle of downtown Seoul, and it was a quiet, peaceful way for us to spend a morning there. (Traveling from the U.S., jet lag made it crucial for us to get all our touring done before mid-afternoon in order to remain awake for it! But this helped us avoid the busy foot traffic that is common to Seoul’s touristy areas.)

Bukchon village architecture

Although some of the properties in this region have been converted into cafés, shops, and small museums of folk arts, many still remain residential in nature, so the area has a rather simple, homey feel to it.

Bukchon is built on a hillside, so many of the alleys can be quite steep; walking from one end of the other left us a bit winded, but it was well worth it.

Hanok building in Bukchon village

We encountered one or two sites that were being renovated or maintained, and much attention to detail was given to preserve the historical design and architectural feel.

Bukchon renovation

The traditional Korean Hanok building style featuring gentle roofline arcs, supported by wood and log accents underneath, makes for a unique appearance. Bukchon was a fun spot to visit and experience a bit of historic Korea.

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