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Bukchon Hanok Village

북촌 한옥마을

北村韩屋村

北村韓屋村

Surrounded by Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace and Jongmyo Shrine, Bukchon Hanok Village is home to hundreds of traditional houses, called hanok, that date back to the Joseon Dynasty. The name Bukchon, which literally translates to "northern village," came about as the neighborhood lies north of two significant Seoul landmarks, Cheonggyecheon Stream and Jongno. Today, many of these hanoks operate as cultural centers, guesthouses, restaurants and tea houses, providing visitors with an opportunity to experience, learn and immerse themselves in traditional Korean culture.

Bukchon Observatory

북촌전망대

北村展望臺

北村展望台

This is a small private observatory, but it offers the best view in Bukchon. Photographers often visit here when they want to take stunning pictures of Bukchon.

Changdeokgung

창덕궁

昌德宫

昌徳宮

Changdeokgung Palace is set within a large park in Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It is one of the "Five Grand Palaces" built by the kings of the Joseon Dynasty (1392–1897). As it is located east of Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeokgung—along with Changgyeonggung—is also referred to as the "East Palace" (동궐, 東闕, Donggwol). One such element is the fact that the buildings of Changdeokgung blend with the natural topography of the site instead of imposing themselves upon it. It, like the other Five Grand Palaces in Seoul, was heavily damaged during the Japanese occupation of Korea (1910–1945). It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997. The UNESCO committee stated the place was an "outstanding example of Far Eastern palace architecture and garden design" being exceptional because the buildings are "integrated into and harmonized with the natural setting" and adapted "to the topography and retaining indigenous tree cover." Portions of the palace were used to film the hugely popular Korean drama Dae Jang Geum in the first decade of the 21st century.

Insadong Street

인사동

仁寺洞

Nowhere exudes more local and traditional charm than Insa-dong, a quaint neighborhood in the center of Seoul that transports visitors back to a time when women wore hanbok and men rode horses. With its wooden tea houses, boutique galleries and street vendors selling traditional snacks, a stroll through Insa-dong is mandatory for all visitors, especially on Sundays when the streets become traffic free and come alive with street performances, buskers and throngs of young and old who have come to experience one of Seoul’s most fascinating and creative neighborhoods. While the entertainment here is free, Insa-dong is also one of the best places in Seoul to purchase traditional Korean art, products, and other souvenirs, as it is filled with antique shops, art galleries, traditional stationery shops, handicraft shops, pottery and porcelain shops, bookstores, and art supply stores. Insa-dong is also home to many traditional restaurants and tea houses.

Insadong Ssamziegil

쌈지길

人人廣場

サムジギル

Ssamziegil is a colorful shopping and culture complex in Insadong that features cafes, galleries, and workshops that mix modern and traditional Korean styles. The complex opened in 2004 and now is a destination in itself and an important centerpiece of Insadong. Ssamziegil may be modern, but it is construction blends wondering into the surrounding traditional neighborhood.

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