The streets of Insadong are alive with traditional culture. The area that is now known as Insadong has been the center of culture since the Joseon era. Over the years a wider variety of arts have continued to move their way into this neighborhood making it one of the best places in the world to find diverse genres of art. In 1997, car traffic was banned on the main street of Insadong making it friendlier for visitors and improving the overall general atmosphere.
Forty percent of all antique stores in Korea can be found in Insadong. That is quite an astounding number for just one small neighborhood. But as you begin to explore the tiny alleys shooting off from the main street you start to realize that this is only the beginning. As you continue to wander around the alleys and byways of Insadong you will find stores selling old books, pictures and calligraphy. You will also undoubtedly find old photographs, pottery, wooden containers, jewelry, ceramics and earthenware.
While some of the authentic antiques will be out of the price range of most tourists, there is no shortage of stores selling souvenirs and facsimiles of traditional Korean cultural items. These stores and the restaurants and cafes that cater to international pallets by providing the finest in Korean and international cuisine make Insadong a fun place for anyone.
On the weekends the streets, so recently freed from automobile traffic, spring to life with cultural festivities like parades, traditional wedding processions, traditional musical and dance performances, etc. making it a hot spot for audiences, both domestic and foreign. As you wander from shop to shop and immerse yourself in the long and storied history of Korea the time will just fly by.
Take subway line number 1 to either Jonggak Station or Jongno 3-ga Station. You may also take the subway line number 3 to Anguk Station.