OWL Magazine Korea

Seoul Namsangol Hanok Village

In Seoul, you can find several hanok villages. Among them, the most famous is “Bukchon Hanok Village,” situated to the east of Gyeongbokgung Palace. This area was known for being heavily inhabited by high-ranking officials in the past.

To the west of Gyeongbokgung lies “Seochon Hanok Village,” which can be described as a bit more modest and tranquil compared to Bukchon Hanok Village.

If you descend a bit further south from Bukchon Hanok Village, you’ll come across “Ikseon-dong Hanok Village.” Here in Ikseon-dong, you’ll find various unique and distinctive restaurants.

Continuing southward to Chungmuro, you’ll find “Namsangol Hanok Village.” Namsangol Hanok Village differs somewhat from the hanok villages mentioned earlier. While the former is inhabited by people leading their daily lives or houses commercial establishments, Namsangol Hanok Village, on the other hand, is a park-like space. It’s not actually inhabited, but rather transformed into a park.

“Namsangol Hanok Village – Transformed into a Park”

Originally, Namsangol Hanok Village was a military protected area where the Headquarters of Capital Defense was stationed. However, in 1989, as part of Seoul’s movement to restore Namsan’s original appearance, the Seoul Metropolitan Government purchased the land in consultation with Subungsa Temple, revoked the military protection area, and officially opened it in 1998 after restoring five traditional hanok buildings along with various folk materials.

This place is adorned much like a park. In addition to hanok buildings, you can find a park that harmonizes with nature. Towards the back, you can also discover Seoul Millennium Time Capsule Square and Namsan Korean Music Hall. Admission is free, and while it’s closed every Monday, you can still explore everything except the interiors of the hanoks on days when it’s closed.

“How to Get to Namsangol Hanok Village”

Namsangol Hanok Village is close to Chungmuro Station. After exiting from Exit 3 or 4 of Chungmuro Station, walk a short distance south, and you’ll find the entrance to the hanok village.

Once you enter, you’ll cross a small bridge and discover a spacious square-like field. Heading left from here, you’ll find the preserved hanok buildings. Traditional weddings are sometimes held here on weekends, and there was indeed a traditional wedding ceremony happening on the day I visited.

The traditional hanok houses you can find at Namsangol Hanok Village are as follows:

  • Ogin-dong Yoon Family House
  • Haepungbuyongun Yun Taek-yeong Jael
  • Gwanhundong Min Family House
  • Owi Jang Kim Chun-yeong House
  • Dopyeonsu Yi Seung-yup House

“Various Experiential Events at Namsangol Hanok Village”

At Namsangol Hanok Village, various experiences are offered. These include wearing hanbok, making and shooting arrows, making hanoks, crafting with hanji (traditional Korean paper), experiencing herbal medicine, and participating in traditional games, among others. On the day I visited, I saw many children participating in these diverse experiential events.

“Seoul Millennium Time Capsule Square”

After passing through the hanok village and descending further south, you’ll find Seoul Millennium Time Capsule Square. Created in 1994 to mark the 600th year since the move from Gaegyeong, the capital during the Goryeo Dynasty, to Hanyang in the Joseon Dynasty, the time capsule will be officially opened by descendants in the year 2394, marking 1000 years since the move.

In this square, a bell-shaped object, inspired by the Bosingak Bell, was buried. It has been vacuum-sealed to prevent corrosion, and it contains various everyday items and relics from 1994.

“Seoul Namsan Korean Music Hall”

In the heart of Namsangol Hanok Village, you can find Seoul Namsan Korean Music Hall. This impressive space, with its hanok building and a green lawn, serves as the venue for various performances at Namsan Korean Music Hall.

For details about the performances, you can refer to the Namsan Korean Music Hall website.

Namsangol Hanok Village is a beautifully landscaped park and a great place for a stroll. It’s also an excellent spot to take photos with Namsan Tower in the background. Keep in mind, however, that it’s more extensive than it may seem, and there’s a gentle slope leading up to the Millennium Time Capsule Square from the entrance. It’s good to be aware of this before visiting.

“Seoul Namsangol Hanok Village”

  • Address: 28 Toegye-ro 34-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
  • Phone: 02-2261-0517
  • Operating Hours: (Tue-Sun) 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Closed on Mondays (However, you can still visit the hanok interiors even on closing days)