Insadong Guide 인사동: Best things to do and hot places

📍62, Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 종로구 인사동길 62🚆 Subway Line 3, Anguk Station, Exit 6
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☎️ +82-2-734-0222
✍🏻 Cheongyecheon Stream, Gyeongbokgung Palace, and Ikseondong Hanok Street are nearby.

Nestled in the heart of Seoul, Insadong is a renowned neighborhood that is a must-visit for a complete Seoul experience. Insadong is a vital showcase for traditional goods, with its main road flanked by alleys hosting galleries, traditional restaurants, teahouses, and cafes. This is where you can have a firsthand experience of Korean culture and an opportunity to purchase fine art. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the enchanting streets, historic sites, and vibrant cultural experiences that make Insadong a must-visit destination.

How to get to Insadong

Address: 62, Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 종로구 인사동길 62

How to Get to Insadong Culture Street

Insadong is on the street from Jongno 2-ga to the Insadong intersection. You can easily walk to Insadong from Anguk Station, Jonggak Station, and Jongno 3-ga Station, but the route from Jongno 3-ga can be confusing. If you’re not good with maps, starting from Anguk Station is easiest.

To get to Anguk Station, use the Seoul Subway Line 3. Walk straight from Exit 6 until you come to a Tourist Information Center before the Insadong Intersection. Make a left there to reach the main Insadong Street.

If you come from Incheon International Airport, take the AREX to its final stop, Seoul Station. Transfer to the Line 4 subway at Seoul Station. Take Line 4 to Chungmuro Station, then Line 3 to Anguk Station. It would be easier to take a taxi from Seoul Station.

There are several bus stops at Anguk Station, including 272, 171, 7025, 109, 151, 162, and 172. If you come from ICN, use the airport bus numbers 6005 and 6011.

Seoul city bus
By official website

The Seoul City Tour Bus is a convenient way to reach Insadong, allowing you to explore Seoul at your leisure and visit places beyond just the street. With the pass, you can hop on and off the bus any time during the day’s circular journey.

We recommend trying the Downtown Palace Nansan Course on the tour bus, which covers 15 locations such as Gyeongbokgung Palace, Insadong, Myeongdong, N Seoul Tower, and Dongdaemun. For additional information, please refer to their official website.

  • Ticket: 24 USD for adults | 15 USD for children


  • Don’t just stick to the main street; explore the narrow alleys and side streets for hidden gems.
  • Insadong is a pedestrian-only area, so you’ll be doing a lot of walking. Wear comfortable shoes so you can enjoy your exploration.
  • Some shops in Insadong may not accept credit cards, so bringing some cash with you is a good idea.
  • The ideal times to visit Insadong are Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. when vehicles are prohibited.
  • Try the Free Walking Tour in Insadong to get an insider’s look into the beautiful neighborhood.

Best things to do and attractions in Insadong

Ssamzigil Shopping Spree

Ssamzigil, a specialized craft shopping mall inaugurated on December 18, 2004, is famously known as the “New Insa-dong within Insa-dong.” This four-story building hosts about 70 stores, offering various handicrafts, accessories, souvenirs, and more. On the top level, a wonderful rooftop area is ideal for snapping photos.

Alongside the shopping experience, the mall features a food court with restaurants and cafes serving popular Korean dishes. With indoor and outdoor stores, Ssamzigil provides a comfortable shopping experience, especially recommended for those seeking refuge from the humidity while exploring the area.

Ara Art Center
By Instagram of Ara Art Center

Insadong’s art scene differs from places like Cheongdam or Samcheong-dong. It’s more local and diverse, with many galleries nearby. You’ll find a mix of artwork – from a hobbyist’s photography with friends to groundbreaking pieces by new artists from Taiwan. When wandering the alleys, check out the art galleries. Some may charge, but most are free, offering a varied artistic experience.

Here are some popular art galleries you can refer to:

  • Insa Art Center: 41-1, Insadong-gil, Seoul
  • Ara Art Center: 26 Insadong 9-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
  • Gallery La Mer: 26 Insadong 5-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
  • Kyung-in Museum of Fine Art: 30-1 Gwanhun-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Daeungjeon of Jogyesa Temple
  • Address: 55 Ujeongguk-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
  • Open hours: all year round
  • Website:

Jogyesa Temple is the main temple of the Jogye order in Seoul, making it the center of Korean Buddhism. The temple is known for its beautiful lantern displays during Buddha’s Birthday, a summer lotus flower garden, and changing courtyard decorations throughout the year. It’s a must-visit to experience the beauty of Korean Buddhism and is one of the most famous and popular temples for tourists in Seoul.

Tapgol Park
  • Address: 99 Jong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
  • Open hours: 9:00 – 17:00 daily
  • Entrance fee: Free

Tapgol Park, found at the end of Insadong Street, is a small park with interesting features. Inside, you’ll discover the Ten-story Stone Pagoda of Wongaksa Temple Site, Palgakjeong Pavilion, the March First Independence Movement Monument, and Son Byeong-Hee and Han Yong-Wun statues. The pagoda, National Treasure No. 2, was completed in 1476 and commissioned by King Sejo after being amazed by the Sarira incarnation.

There are also stone tablets displaying artwork depicting the March 1st Movement, a significant event in the fight for Korean independence from Japan. Besides all the history, it’s a great spot to chill on a bench after exploring Insadong Street.

Kimchi class at Museum Kimchikan
  • Address: 35-4, Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul 
  • Open hours: 10:00-18:00 daily
  • Website:

If you’re a kimchi fan, check out the Museum Kimchikan! It’s a special place dedicated to kimchi and the traditional kimjang process, acknowledged by UNESCO. CNN named it one of the world’s top 11 food museums in March 2015. You can discover the history of kimchi and taste various types, and they provide audio guides in English, Japanese, and Chinese. They also offer guided tours at specific times, and you can conveniently book online through the museum’s official website.

Alive Museum Insadong
  • Address: 12, Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
  • Open hours: 11:00 – 18:00 (Last admission 1 hour before closing)
  • Ticket: From 13,000 won ($9.7)
  • Website:

Alive Museum, which opened on March 6, 2014, offers a unique blend of fun and education in art. Unlike typical art museums, you can touch and take photos in various zones here. The exhibitions showcase optical illusion art and digital media, with over 100 pieces exhibited on basement levels 1 and 2. With a mix of fun, cute, and traditional artworks, the museum provides an enjoyable experience for all ages.


Best restaurants, cafes, and tea houses in Insadong

Insadong Sujebi
By Instagram of loveat._._
  • Address: 14-1, Insadong 8-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
  • Open hours: 11:30 – 20:50 daily | Break times from 14:30 – 17:00
  • Phone: +82 2-735-5481
  • Price range: 8,000 won – 17,000 won ($6 – $12.7)

Sujebi is a delicious hand-pulled dough soup that includes seafood and vegetables. Served in a traditional Korean ceramic pot, it features an abundance of seafood and comes with various side dishes. The menu also offers Korean treats like seafood pancakes and fish dishes. If you’re a seafood enthusiast, this is a must-try.

Sanchon Temple Cooking
By official website
  • Address: 30-13 Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
  • Open hours: 11:30 – 21:00 daily
  • Phone: +82 2-735-0312
  • Website:

If you’re in the mood for vegetarian and tofu dishes, consider trying Sanchon Temple Cooking. Priced at 29,000 Won (22 USD), the set offers a range of vegetable and herb dishes, a soy sauce stew, rice, strawberry tea, and a Korean-style puff cake. The restaurant features lovely decor with plants and an art gallery, complemented by live piano music. The owner and server are fluent in English and provide a warm and friendly atmosphere.

Insadong maneul bossam
By official website
  • Address: 12-5 Insadong 8-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
  • Open hours: 11:00 – 22:00 daily
  • Phone: +82 2-735-7885
  • Price range: From 6,000 won per dish ($4.5)
  • Website:

This restaurant in Insadong lives up to its promise, offering thick slices of boiled pork generously coated in garlic. Enjoy your pork by wrapping it in the refreshing white kimchi or the spicy red variety, creating a delightful blend of meat and flavors. The restaurant also serves delicious side dishes like binddaetteok (mung bean pancake), making it a great choice for groups looking to share various dishes.

Imun Seolnongtang
By official website
  • Address: 38-13 Ujeongguk-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
  • Open hours: 8:00 – 21:00 daily | break from 15:00 – 16:30
  • Price range: From 13,000 won ($9.7)
  • Phone: +82 2-733-6526
  • Website:

Established in 1904, this restaurant holds the distinction of being the oldest in Korea. Despite its age and well-worn appearance, it remains renowned for serving some of the finest ox bone soup in the city. The ox bones undergo a meticulous 17-hour boiling process, producing a rich milky broth. Unlike many spicy or robust Korean dishes, this soup offers a milder taste, making it suitable for most tourists. If you find yourself in the Insadong area, it’s an essential dining experience.

By official Instagram
  • Address: 19-11 Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
  • Open hours: 11:30 – 20:00 daily
  • Price range: From 7,000 won ($5.2)
  • Phone: 02-735-6678
  • Instagram: tea_story_insa

If you’re passionate about tea, this place is a must-visit – a combination of a museum, store, and café. They showcase tea items from Korea, China, and Tibet, and if you’re there to enjoy, there’s an extensive selection of over 130 teas to explore. 

Housed in a hanok building, it boasts a fantastic atmosphere. The range of teas includes clear options like comfrey and sejak and sweet varieties like jujube and yuzu. Additionally, they offer Korean desserts such as shaved ice and rice cakes.

Cafe kotton Seoul in Insadong
By official Instagram
  • Address: 17 Insadong 12-gil, Gwanhun-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
  • Open hours: 11:00 – 20:00 daily
  • Phone: +82 2-737-5865
  • Price range: From 5,000 won ($3.75)
  • Instagram: kotton.seoul

Kotton is a hanok cafe blending traditional architecture with modern elements. A highlight from Kotton is Tarae, a unique coffee creation featuring americano, cream, peanut, and sil-tarae (dragon’s beard candy). To fully experience its layers, start by scooping up the sil-tarae before savoring the distinctive flavors of the coffee. Kotton also offers a variety of other drinks, including vanilla latte, americano, and cookies.

Cafe True Us Insadong
By Instagram of rrari_17
  • Address: 11 Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
  • Open hours: 10:00 – 22:00 daily

Cafe True Us in Insadong has a unique retro vibe, standing out from the traditional Hanok-style cafes. The warm lights and wooden decor take you back to 70s and 80s Korea. If you’re in the mood for fluffy pancakes with fresh fruits and whipped cream, it’s a great spot to consider!

Nearby attractions

Cheonggyecheon stream light festival in Seoul
  • Address: 1 Taepyeongno 1-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul

Cheonggyecheon Stream is a famous retreat from city life, perfect for a noon walk. Originally neglected, it’s now a vibrant 11-kilometer green space harmonizing nature and culture in the city center. Strolling along, you’ll discover a mix of art and nature, offering a serene escape. At night, the stream lights up magically, and especially when the annual December Light Festival is held, the stream transforms into a dazzling wonderland of lights – worth a visit!

Things do to in Ikseondong - best place to visit near Insadong
  • Address: 21-12 Supyo-ro 28-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Ikseon-dong Hanok Street boasts a collection of traditional hanok buildings lining a narrow street, providing a special fusion of traditional and modern Korean aesthetics in the city’s heart. This unique location, filled with charming restaurants and coffee shops, offers a delightful experience to indulge your visual senses and appetite. It’s also a hotspot for photography, so ensure your camera is fully charged to capture the moments.

Gyeongbokgung palace - best place to visit near Insadong
  • Address: 161, Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 종로구 사직로 161
  • Open hours: 09:00-17:00 | Closed on Tuesdays
  • Phone: +82 2-3700-3900

A visit to Gyeongbukgung is an absolute must. Constructed in 1394 by Taejo, the first Joseon king, it is the largest among the five palaces and was the main palace during the Joseon dynasty. Exploring this historical site offers a beautiful glimpse into traditional Korean culture. Trying on a hanbok and strolling around the palaces, capturing amazing photos, is an experience every visitor should indulge in. Plus, wearing a hanbok gives you a free admission ticket. Find more details in our ultimate guide on Gyeongbokgung.

  • Address: 185, Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 종로구 창경궁로 185
  • Open hours: 09:00-21:00 (Last admission 20:00) | Closed on Mondays
  • Phone: +82-2-762-4868

Changgyeonggung Palace is a delightful spot to visit. Initially constructed by King Sejong as Suganggung Palace for queens and concubines. The unique thing is that it’s open at night all year round. So, if you’re curious about how a royal palace looks at night, head there.

In conclusion, whether you’re a history enthusiast, an art lover, or someone seeking unique experiences, Insadong promises to captivate your senses. Your Seoul experience won’t be complete without delving into the allure of Insadong, so plan your visit now and let the cultural wonders unfold before you.

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