Anguk Station is the nearest station to Gyeongbukgong (Royal Palace), Bukchon Hanok Village (Korea Traditional Village), Insadong (Traditional Street), all the major must see, must go sites of Korea.
How to go from Big John’s Place Guesthouse to Anguk Station ?
Via Bus : 1005-1 Nonhyeon Station (논현역) → Get off at Jogyesa Temple 조계사 정류장. (35mins, 2,400won)
Via Train : Line 9 Sinnonhyeon Station ( 신논현역 )→ Line 3 Express Bus Terminal (고속터미널역 )→ Get off at Anguk Station (안국역) . (51mins, 1,350won)
Via Cab : 28mins 13,000won.
Where to go from Anguk Station ?
Insa-dong (인사동), located in the heart of the city, is an important place where old but precious and traditional goods are on display. There is one main road in Insa-dong with alleys on each side. Within these alleys are galleries, traditional restaurants, traditional teahouses, and cafes.
If you take the time to stroll around the twisting alleyways, the window shopping in itself can be very entertaining. Insa-dong is highly recommended for buying souvenirs and experiencing the traditional side of Korea.
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 neighborhoods that the village lies north of the two significant Seoul landmarks, Cheonggyecheon Stream and Jongno. Today, many of these hanoks operate as cultural centers, restaurants and tea houses, providing visitors an opportunity to experience, learn and immerse in Korean traditional culture.
Highly recommended to trek up to the outlook area and gain a birdeye view of the surrounding area. But please remember to be quiet and not disrupt the people still living in the neighbourhood.
Built in 1395, Gyeongbokgung Palace is also commonly referred to as the Northern Palace because its location is furthest north when compared to the neighboring palaces of Changdeokgung (Eastern Palace) and Gyeongheegung (Western Palace) Palace. Gyeongbokgung Palace is arguably the most beautiful, and remains the largest of all five palaces.
The entrance fee to the palace is 3,000won but if you wear a hanbok in, the entrance fee is waived !
Samcheongdong-gil goes through the middle of the city, but is a peaceful, quaint area. The street is lined with cafes, museums, antique shops and a number of famous art galleries. Since each art gallery building along Samcheongdong-gil has its own unique architectural design, taking a walk and appreciating the buildings is a journey in itself. Many galleries have their own cafes, restaurants, or craft shops, allowing visitors to enjoy art, shopping, and lunch all under one roof.
Where to eat ?
Tongin Market dates back to June 1941, as a public market set up for Japanese residents near the Hyoja-dong neighborhood when Korea was still under Japanese rule. After the Korean War the nation experienced a swift rise in population, which led to a natural increase in consumption and demand. As a result the area’s street vendors and stores used the former Tongin Market area as their marketplace. Now, Tongin Market consists of 75 stores, most of which are restaurants and grocery stores.
If you pay 5,000won, in exchange for a plastic container and olden days coins, you can go around the marketplace exchanging the coins with food. A one stop to trying all the Korean food you need in one day on a budget.