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Ikseon-dong Hanok Alley goes beyond tradition and is embracing exotic styles as the hotspot where old Seoul and hip Seoul coexist

Old and Familiar, yet Trendy, a New Mecca of Newtro


Ikseon-dong Hanok Alley located in Jongno, Seoul, is the oldest hanok village in Seoul. The alleyways with about 110 hanok houses standing in rows, preserve the memories of faded and old times. However, when stylish commercial spaces were added to artistic ambience, alleyways with a unique vibe that cannot be found anywhere else were born. Ikseon-dong Hanok Alley goes beyond tradition and is embracing exotic styles as the hotspot where old Seoul and hip Seoul coexist. Let’s take a trip to the Mecca of newtro (new + retro) where the new era is layered on top of an old landscape.

Unique Spaces Added to a Century of History

©Seoul Tourism Organization

Entering this alley near Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station, you’ll find a scene that’s hard to imagine in downtown Seoul. You’ll still see skyscrapers around when you just look up, but in front of you, you’ll see tiled roofs, wooden front doors, red brick walls, and telephone poles unfolding along the narrow alleyway, a familiar scene that has become unfamiliar with the passing of time. The is Ikseon-dong Hanok Alley, which was developed as a hanok village in early 1920s and has been preserved for more than 100 years.

However, this area does not dwell in the past. Along the alleyways, there are spaces brimming with charm, such as old hanok converted into characterful cafés, exotic restaurants, and hip clothing stores.

With the quietness of the old hanok and flamboyant charms, Ikseon-dong Hanok Alley is rising as a destination for marvelous time travel in Seoul, a high-tech city.

A Hotspot Full of Unique Charms and Endless Fun


The hanok you see in the maze of narrow alleys may all look alike on the outside, but the special concept and luxurious interior of each place will amaze you as you walk through the gate. Pass the splendor of the colorful traditional umbrellas and take a trip back in time through stores that exude the vibe of the modernization period, and feel the freedom in the plaza-like open spaces created by demolishing walls. All the shops in the alleys offer unfamiliar yet refreshing excitement in partially remodeled hanok while preserving their traditional grace, such as a restaurant with a stream that cascades like a waterfall.

The fun never ends in Ikseon-dong Hanok Alley, which has become a playground of sights, tastes and fun for everyone, regardless of age or nationality.

Time Travel along a Winding Path

©Seoul Tourism Organization

©Seoul Tourism Organization

Ikseon-dong is like an island in a concrete jungle, and also an area with unexpected charms. It’s at the center of the metropolitan city of Seoul, but there is a palace nearby with a deep history, and dense rows of old hanok alleyways right inside of the busy streets. Although they are hanok alleys, the ambience is exotic, with people from all over the world gathering here and a mix of fusion and traditional food. All the alleyways in Ikseon-dong are open spaces and pathways, where tradition and modernity, culture and art, come together in harmony. In Ikseon-dong, time no longer stands still.

Here, the clock is ticking again on top of old times and new styles have been woven into tradition.

Address│Ikseon-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Way to go│2-minute walk from Exit 4 or 6 of Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station, Seoul Subway Line 1, 3 or 5




Changdeokgung Palace



Dongdaemun Design Plaza



'Gwangjang Market



Cheese Industry


A hanok was converted into a very cheesy café. The farm-themed interior, and the variety of cheesecakes and fancy baked goods will delight the eyes and mouth.



In an alley of Ikseon-dong is a railroad where no trains run. The railroad leads to the front yard of Nak-won, a hanok repurposed into a café. Their signature menus include Maple Cream Coffee and Peanut Cream Latte.

Soha Saltpond


This salt pond-themed café has recreated both a salt pond and a water wheel. Their most famed menu is the variety of salt breads, such as classic Salt Bread, Corn Salt Bread, Basil Tomato Salt Bread, and Caramel Salt Bread.

Art Monster


This craft beer brewery sits in a modernly renovated hanok. Art Monster’s craft beers have competed with craft beers from around the world and won numerous awards and medals.

Teafference Seoul


This is a concept store of Teafference, a premium purple tea and skincare brand. It houses an art gallery and café on the 1st floor, a beauty salon on the 2nd floor, and a rooftop with 360° views of Ikseon-dong on the 3rd floor.



This is a scent shop and tea café. The perfume studio operated by a professional perfumer offers perfume, diffuser and candle making classes. Their bottled milk tea is quite popular.


Supyo-ro 28-gil
If you cross the street in front of Exit 4 of Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station, there is an alley between Geobuk Supermarket and CU convenience store that leads to the Ikseon-dong Hanok Street. All the famous stores are clustered on Supyo-ro 28-gil. There is also an alley in front of Exit 6 of Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station that leads to the Pork Skirt Alley.

©rawkkim on Unsplash

©Seoul Tourism Organization

©Korea Tourism Organization

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