Located in the hidden alleyways of Jongno, is a location that has been attracting many young people and foreigners. Its name is Ikseon-dong. Filled with traditional style cafes, bars, and restaurants, it attracts many people interested in the Korean traditional vibe.
Ikseon-dong offers the vibes of a historic Korea during modernization, also known as Gaehwa-gi in Korean. There are many little shops ranging from cute antique stores to vintage cafes selling delicious desserts and fresh coffee.
Here are a couple of features of Ikseon-dong.
1. Trendy Cafes with Desserts
All of the cafes in Ikseon-dong are designed to give off a classic vibe of Korean tradition mixed with the atmosphere from the West. Along with the vintage atmosphere, the photogenic sceneries outside, as well as inside, will provide everyone with an immersive experience in traditional Korean culture.
One extremely popular bakery is Dongbaek Bakery. Their top menu is fluffy soufflé pancakes. There’s usually quite a long line at this famous cafe, but it’ll be worth it in the end. The smell of freshly baked pancakes will instantly make you hungry.
2. Gaehwa-gi Clothing
One of the most popular experiences that you can have is wearing traditional Korean clothing. Travelers venturing to South Korea for their first time usually tend to rent Hanbok, or basic Korean traditional clothing. But in Ikseon-dong, there is a slightly different style of clothing that people from the 19th century Korea started to wear, also known as gaehwa-gi clothing. It’s a mix between Korean Hanbok and the influence of western clothing, which includes frills and gloves.
A popular store that rents out clothing is Ikseon Boutique. Their rental fee is 30,000 won for 3 hours and 45,000 won for the entire day. There are more options and conditions so be sure to ask the staff about additional information.
Wearing these special clothing has become more popular ever since the showing of “Mr. Sunshine” and “Hotel Del Luna,” which are popular Korean TV dramas. If you want to hang on to some special memories, then definitely try on these special clothes and walk around Ikseon-dong.
3. Accessories and Knick-knacks
Ikseon-dong is also a place that provides multiple shops selling accessories and knick-knacks, perfect for souvenirs. Shops here mainly sell aroma diffusers, candles, and other antique items.
Vintage Bonnie is one of the many shops there selling unique items. Their specialty in antiques and vintage items, including clothing, accessories, and more, attracts people who love collecting or wearing unique handmade items.
With all the vintage and trendy cafes and restaurants, Ikseon-dong is pack full of people on days with perfect weather. It’s full of hidden alleyways, so it might be difficult for first-time visitors to navigate. But that’s also the fun of exploring Ikseon-dong. You may find hidden restaurants that not most people are aware about.