OWL Magazine Korea

Seoul Insadong ‘Ssamziegil’

One of Seoul’s most renowned tourist destinations, especially well-known internationally, is the vibrant neighborhood of Insadong. It attracts artists who make sure to stop by and purchase souvenirs when they come to Seoul for concerts. Insadong exudes a distinctly Korean atmosphere, adorned with diverse Korean signs throughout the streets and shops selling unique and antique items. It’s a place where you can find various Korean-themed souvenirs.

“Ssamziegil in Insadong”

Insadong boasts a distinctive architectural gem called ‘Ssamziegil.’ Although it’s an old building, it continues to draw attention, and anyone visiting Insadong is encouraged to explore it. The term ‘Ssamji’ translates to ‘pocket’ in pure Korean.

What makes Ssamziegil unique is its design featuring a gently sloping ramp, allowing visitors to ascend slowly. Unlike typical buildings with divided floors, Ssamziegil doesn’t have distinct levels. By leisurely strolling along the gradual slope, you can eventually reach the top. The path forms a square (‘ㅁ’ shape), enabling you to explore the small, charming stores found along Ssamziegil.

“Stores Selling Various Crafts at Ssamziegil”

Throughout Ssamziegil, you’ll encounter small shops offering a range of products. From stores selling Korean-themed items to curated shops, it’s a place where avid shoppers can enjoy browsing or purchasing souvenirs. As many shops focus on selling Korean items, Ssamziegil is an excellent destination for those looking to acquire unique Korean souvenirs.

“Ranked 3rd Among South Korea’s Representative Buildings”

At one point, Ssamziegil was ranked third among South Korea’s representative buildings. It has become a distinctive space in Insadong, not only representing the area but also standing out for its unique design.

For those living in Seoul, Insadong is a place they visit multiple times. Especially when introducing Korea to foreigners, Insadong is a must-visit location. I personally visited it several times – initially exploring Seoul after coming from a province, later bringing foreign friends during my university days, and recently visiting with students from Hong Kong’s HKCT University.

One fortunate aspect is that the atmosphere of Ssamziegil remains relatively unchanged between my first visit and my most recent one. It seems that, by continuing to preserve Insadong, Ssamziegil will maintain its status as a representative architectural landmark of Korea.

“Seoul Insadong Ssamziegil”