samcheongdong culture street

Exploring Samcheongdong 삼청동: Art, Culture, Cuisine

📍107, Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 종로구 삼청로 107
🚆 Anguk Station Line 3 Exit 1
🕒 24 hour 
₩  Free
✍🏻 Bukchon Hanok Village, Gyeongbokgung Palace, and Cheongwadae are all nearby.

Samcheongdong is a trendy neighborhood in Seoul, just beyond the stone walls of Gyeongbokgung Palace. Its name, “Samcheong,” translates to “fresh” or “pure,” reflecting the pristine natural surroundings and the artistic spirit it’s known for. Despite the city’s usual hustle, Samcheongdong exudes a calm and creative vibe, making it a magnet for artists and those seeking a peaceful escape. This guide explores what makes Samcheongdong special, including its vibrant art galleries, delicious restaurants, and cozy cafes. Let’s dive into it!

How to get to Samcheongdong

How to get to Samcheongdong street

To reach Samcheongdong, hop on Subway Line 3 and disembark at Anguk Station (Exit 1). From there, head straight toward Gyeongbokgung Palace. Once you spot the palace walls and Dongsipjagak Watchtower, take a right turn and follow along the palace wall. Keep walking until you reach Kukje Gallery. Then, veer right onto Samcheongdong-gil Street. Follow this path, and you’ll soon find yourself immersed in the charm of Samcheongdong!

Things to do in Samcheongdong

Samcheongdong Cafe Street

Samcheongdong Cafe Street stretches for about 1km along Samcheong-ro 11-gil. You can explore near the Trail of Korean Independence Activists, close to Kukje Gallery, and wander northwards toward the Samcheong-dong Government Complex.

Samcheongdong Cafe

This charming street is dotted with cute little shops, vibrant murals, cozy cafes, tempting eateries, and intriguing art galleries tucked away in narrow alleys. Unlike other bustling areas, you won’t find towering buildings here, allowing for an open view of the surroundings, including a glimpse of Bugaksan Mountain in the distance.

Paperdollmate Atelier
By official Instagram
  • Address: 45-1 Seoulsup 2-gil, Seongdong-gu, Seoul
  • Open hours: 12:30 – 20:00 daily
  • Instagram: paperdollmate_atelier_

If you’re seeking a one-of-a-kind shopping adventure, head over to Paper Doll Mate Atelier! This trendy gift shop offers an array of collectible dolls and charming stationery. As you stroll past Paper Doll Mate Atelier, you can’t miss its eye-catching baby pink signage and décor. Step inside, and you’ll find a treasure trove of delightful items, from adorable baby figurines to retro gift cards and vintage sticker designs.

Jeongdok Public Library in Spring
  • Address: 48 Bukchon-ro 5-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Despite being a library in spring, Jeongdok is a hotspot for locals who flock to its courtyard to enjoy cherry blossoms. The best time to catch these blooms is from late March to mid-April, with early April being best.

Seoul cherry blossoms at Jeongdok Public Library

Jeongdok Library often hosts outdoor concerts like “Spring Greetings” this season, making it a perfect destination for a spring outing. The cherry blossoms against the backdrop of the library’s old architecture are a sight to behold. Check this spot out if you find yourself in Seoul during spring!

A walk along the stone wall from Gyeongbokgung Palace to Samcheongdong is a must in autumn. From mid-October to early November, this area bursts with vibrant shades of gold and crimson. 

It’s a photographer’s paradise during this time, with visitors flocking worldwide to capture the stunning scenery. The contrast between the golden leaves and the traditional Korean architecture creates a unique sight. Plus, many cafes and restaurants in the area have outdoor seating, so you can relax and enjoy the view while sipping tea or coffee.

Best art galleries in Samcheongdong

Gallery Hyundai
  • Address: 14, Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
  • Open hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10:00-18:00
  • Contact: +82 2-2287-3500
  • Admission: Free (except certain special exhibitions)
  • Website:

Gallery Hyundai is one of Korea’s top art galleries, and it’s been around for over 50 years. It’s been a big part of promoting Korean contemporary art, introducing famous artists like Park Su-geun, Lee Jung-seop, and Kim Hwan-gi to the world. Today, it still hosts many cool art exhibitions. 

Walking in, you’ll naturally find your way to the lobby and the main exhibition hall, a bit lower than the entrance. There’s also an underground exhibition hall you can see from upstairs. Most exhibitions at Gallery Hyundai are free, but sometimes they have special ones you need to pay for.

Kumho Museum of Art
By official website
  • Address: 18, Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
  • Open hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10:00-18:00
  • Contact: +82-2-720-5114
  • Admission: Prices vary with each exhibition
  • Website:

The Kumho Museum of Art is a great place to see modern Korean art. Its striking granite facade and meticulous architectural details offer a visually stunning experience. Inside, you can discover a diverse range of artworks by both emerging talents and established artists.

The museum’s layout is thoughtfully organized, with the B1 floor showcasing new artists, while the 1st and 2nd floors feature project exhibitions and invitation-only showcases. They even bring in foreign artists sometimes. Plus, there’s a small concert hall on the 3rd floor called the Kumho Recital Hall, and on the 1st floor, there’s a coffee shop and art shop that stay open even when the museum is closed. So, if you’re there on a day when the museum is shut, you can still enjoy a coffee and check out some art!

National Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Address: 30, Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
  • Open hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday 10:00 ~ 18:00 | Wednesday, Saturday 10:00 ~ 21:00
  • Contact: +82-2-3701-9500
  • Admission: Free admission on Wednesdays and Saturdays during late opening hours (6 PM to 9 PM) and the last Wednesday of every month, known as “Culture Day.”
  • Website:
National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Seoul (MMCA)

MMCA Seoul, part of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, opened in 2013. It’s a city branch of the original MMCA in Gwacheon, established in 1986. The Seoul venue stands out with its traditional “madang” courtyard, providing a space for people to gather. 

National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Seoul (MMCA)

When you view the museum from Samcheong-ro, your attention naturally shifts to the brick building, the large lawn plaza, and the education building with its light yellow terracotta tiles. It’s not just about exhibition halls; it’s more like a city connected to surrounding alleyways, with the central lawn plaza as its focal point. Inside, you’ll find facilities like a reference center and multipurpose hall.

Hakgojae Gallery
  • Address: 50 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea
  • Open hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10:00-18:00 | Closed on Sundays and Mondays
  • Contact: +82 2-720-1524
  • Website:

An art gallery housed in a hanok building? Why not! That’s exactly what you’ll find at Hakgojae Gallery in Samcheongdong. Inspired by The Analects of Confucius, Hakgojae Gallery embraces learning from the past to create something new. This unique space seamlessly blends traditional Korean architecture with contemporary art. The hanok’s red brick walls and classic roof tiles evoke a sense of history and culture, while inside, you’ll discover a vibrant display of modern artworks.

Best restaurants in Samcheongdong

Samcheongdong Sujebi
By official website
  • Address: 101-1 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
  • Open hours: 11:00 – 20:00 daily
  • Contact: +82 2-735-2965
  • Price range: 4,000 – 22,000 KRW ($3 – $16)
  • Website:

“Samcheongdong Sujebi” in Samcheong-dong has been a local favorite for years. It serves traditional hand-pulled noodle soup known as “Sujebi.” This six-time Michelin Guide restaurant has been making waves since its establishment in 1982. Renowned for its thin, flappy, hand-pulled noodle bits infused with the savory aroma of anchovy soup, Samcheongdong’s Sujebi is a top choice, especially on colder days. 

Additionally, their gamjajeon, Korean-style pancakes made from potatoes ground on steel plates, are incredibly delicious and worth a try. You better hurry up because this spot is always packed with people waiting to taste their “sujebi.”

Mukshidonna Samcheongdong
By official Instagram
  • Address: 90-1 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
  • Open hours: 10:30 – 20:00 daily
  • Contact:+82 2-723-8089
  • Price range: 6,000 – 22,000 KRW ($4.3 – $16)
  • Instagram: mukshidonna_official

“Meokshidonna” in Samcheong-dong, Seoul, is a beloved spot famous for its mouth-watering “tteokbokki” (spicy rice cake) cooked right on a hot stove. Unlike the bustling street stalls, you can sit back and enjoy your meal in a cozy space here. They offer various “tteokbokki” options, from classic to creative, like cheese, seafood, and sausage variations. You can customize your dish with noodles, dumplings, or other tasty extras (2,000 KRW for each topping). And don’t miss out on their delicious fried rice (3,000 KRW) made with leftover sauce—it’s the perfect way to wrap up your meal with a Korean twist!

Seoulseo Duljjaero Jalhaneun Jip
  • Address: 122-1 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
  • Open hours: 11:00 – 20:30 daily
  • Contact: +82-2-734-5302
  • Price range: 5,000 – 8,000 KRW ($3.6 – $5.8)

Craving a sweet pick-me-up? Swing by Seoulseo Duljjaero Jalhaneun Jip for their renowned red bean porridge, Danpatjuk. This delightful dessert is a comforting blend of red beans, chewy glutinous rice cake, and sweet chestnuts, offering just the right amount of sweetness to lift your spirits. 

Traditionally enjoyed during winter, it’s the perfect treat to warm you up on chilly days. They also offer traditional teas like ssanghwatang (herbal tonic tea), which contains seven medicinal herbs; sujeonggwa (cinnamon punch), which has a blend of cinnamon and ginger flavors; and sikhye (sweet rice punch), a drink known for aiding digestion.

Darakjeong Samcheongdong
By Instagram of jen_sinclar_23
  • Address: 131-1 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
  • Open hours: 11:00 – 21:00 (Last Order 20:00)
  • Contact: +82 2-725-1697
  • Price range: From 10,000 KRW ($7.3)

“Darakjeong” in Samcheong-dong is where Pyeongyang-style mandu (Korean dumplings) is based. Since ’91, they’ve been serving up delicious soup and mouthwatering mandu. Each mandu is like a little flavor bomb, packed with seasoned meat, tofu, and veggies, all wrapped up in a thick, chewy dough. If you’re dining solo, try their Manduguk (boiled dumpling soup)—it’s a warm and satisfying choice. The combo of savory mandu and sweet, spicy soup is just perfect. Plus, they’ve got a unique bean-paste mandu soup. You won’t want to miss it!

Best cafes in Samcheongdong

Deus Café Samcheongdong
  • Address: 134 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
  • Open hours: 11:00 – 21:00 daily
  • Contact: +82 2-722-7767
  • Price range: 5,000 – 7,000 KRW for drinks ($3.6 – $5)
  • Instagram: deuscafe_korea

Deus Cafe is a traditional Korean hanok cafe with a modern twist. Amidst the wooden pillars and curved clay tiles, you’ll find futuristic metallic decor that creates a unique ambiance. Deus Cafe’s blend of traditional and contemporary elements makes it stand out—the old-world charm of the hanok fused with sleek metallic textures like exposed aluminum padding and steel frames. 

Deus Café Samcheongdong
By official Instagram

Plus, a cozy courtyard with outdoor seating is under a shady tree. You can sit there and enjoy the serene atmosphere. Regarding the menu, they have baked goods, coffee, tea, and other juices.

Cafe Joconde in Samcheongdong, Seoul
  • Address: 90-3 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
  • Open hours: 11:00 – 19:00 on Wed, Sat, Fri | 11:00 – 20:00 on weekends | Closed on Mon, Tue
  • Contact: +82 70-7763-0929
  • Price range: 5,500 – 8,000 KRW for drinks ($4 – $5.8)
  • Instagram: cafe_joconde

Joconde Coffee is a cozy café in a renovated traditional Korean house, perfect for unwinding despite its small size. From the café’s second floor, you can enjoy a picturesque view of the Samcheongdong street scene, which is incredibly serene and beautiful. The café’s interior exudes warmth, with soft afternoon light creating a perfect photography ambiance. 

Joconde Coffee Samcheongdong
By official Instagram

Their extensive menu offers everything from tea and coffee to smoothies and cakes. Be sure to try their delicious Lemon Pound Cake and refreshing Passion Fruit and Strawberry Smoothie—it’s a must!

Rosso Coffee Samcheongdong
By official Instagram
  • Address: 81-12 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
  • Open hours: 11:30 ~ 21:00 daily
  • Contact: +82 2-722-2622
  • Instagram: caferosso_official

Cafe Rosso, nestled in the heart of Samcheong-dong in Seoul, is a warm and inviting spot with a charming old-school vibe. Step inside, and you’ll be greeted by cozy décor and an eclectic mix of knick-knacks, all set against the backdrop of soothing Japanese piano melodies. With sunlight streaming through large windows, it’s the perfect place to capture Instagram-worthy moments. When it comes to treats, they’ve got you covered with delicious options like grilled cheese sandwiches and orange cake, along with a variety of coffee and tea choices.

CafeRosso in Samcheongdong, Seoul

If you’re into K-dramas, you might recognize Cafe Rosso from “The Glory.” It was featured as “Café Gyodae,” where the main characters Moon Dong-eun and Joo Yeo-jeong were regulars. 

Nearby attractions

Cheongwadae 청와대 blue house in Seoul, Korea
  • Address: 1 Cheongwadae-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
  • Visiting Hours: March-November 9:00 – 18:00 (Last admission for indoor viewing at 17:30) | December-February 9:00 – 17:30 (Last admission for indoor viewing at 17:00) | Closed on Tuesdays
  • Admission: Free
  • Website:

Like the US White House, South Korea has its iconic residence and office for the president, known as the Blue House or Cheong Wa Dae. For an impressive 74 years, from 1948 to 2022, this historic complex has been the heart of South Korean governance. Situated against the scenic backdrop of Bugaksan Mountain in Seoul, it has witnessed key moments in Korean history. 

By official website

Now, this symbol of national leadership is open to the public for free, but you have to go on an official tour. Check out our guide (here) for more details on planning your visit.

  • Address: 37, Gyedong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Bukchon Hanok Village is like stepping into a tranquil oasis right in the heart of Seoul. Nestled between two majestic palaces, Changdeokgung and Gyeongbokgung, this village boasts traditional stone and clay houses that transport you back to the Joseon era. Strolling through its streets, you’ll discover charming galleries, cozy cafes, and quaint museums, perfect for a leisurely exploration. And don’t forget your camera – every corner is picture-perfect for your Instagram feed!

Gyeongbokgung palace
  • Address: 161, Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul 
  • Open hours: January-February, November-December 09:00-17:00 | March-May, September-October 10:00-18:00 | June-August 09:00-18:30 | Last admission 1 hour before close | Closed on Tuesdays
  • Fee: Adults (Ages 19-64), 3,000 KRW ($2.1) |  Group admission (10+ people) 2,400 KRW ($1.7)

Visiting Gyeongbokgung Palace is a must for anyone traveling to Korea. As the largest of Seoul’s five Joseon Dynasty royal palaces, it boasts stunning architecture and expansive grounds perfect for relaxation and sightseeing.

Free Walking Tour Gyeongbokgung Palace

Exploring this historical site offers a captivating glimpse into traditional Korean culture. For an extra special experience, consider wearing a hanbok while wandering the palace grounds and taking photos—it’s a favorite activity among visitors. You’ll even receive a free admission ticket if you wear a hanbok!

In conclusion, if you’re seeking an adventure off the beaten path in Seoul, look no further than Samcheongdong. Its cozy cafes, art galleries, and historic charm make it the perfect destination for a leisurely day out. Bring your friends and get lost in this area!

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