Traditional Activities & Programs

Hanbok Programs

Photo: Hanbok at Bukcheon Hanok Village【 Photo: Hanbok at Bukcheon Hanok Village 】

While traveling throughout Korea, there are many ways to get a glimpse of the nation’s traditions and culture; trying the food or visiting ancient buildings to name a few, but nothing compares to trying on hanbok, the traditional clothing of Korea. Although hanbok is generally only worn on special occasions or during national holidays, it is growing in popularity among young couples and international visitors. The eye-pleasing combination of straight and curved lines suits all body types. Visit cultural centers like the ones featured here to try on a beautiful hanbok! The styles of hanbok available and the rental fees will vary by each program so be sure to check in advance!

K-Style Hub LINK

  • Photo: Hanbok experience program at K-Style Hub
  • Photo: Hanbok experience program at K-Style Hub
【 Photo: Hanbok experience program at K-Style Hub 】

K-Style Hub is a one-stop complex that has the information to meet all tourists' needs, from a tourist information center to various experience zones, exhibition halls and more. The most popular activity is found on the fifth floor and it is none other than the hanbok fitting experience! Whether it is the typical royal hanbok, or the recent trendy fusion-style hanbok, a diverse selection of hanbok designs is available for you to choose from. The experience is free of charge but limited to 30 minutes per session. The hanbok can only be worn within K-Style Hub, but there are photo zones set up for pictures.

  • Address: K-Style Hub 5F, KTO Seoul Office, 40, Cheonggyecheon-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul
    (서울특별시 중구 청계천로 40 한국관광공사 5층)
  • Directions
    - Jonggak Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 5. Walk approx. 5min.
    - Euljiro 1(il)-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), Exit 2. Walk approx. 3min
    - Gwanghwamun Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 5. Walk approx. 11min
  • Participation guide (Hanbok experience): Operated on a first-come, first-served basis for individual visitors. Receive a experience coupon from the exhibition hall on the third floor. / Group visitors must make a phone reservation in advance.
    ※ Phone reservations not accepted on weekends or public holidays
  • Operating hours (Hanbok experience): 10:00-18:00 (Last fitting 17:30) / Open all year round / 16 fittings per day, 6 people per fitting
  • Participation Fee: Free
  • Inquiries: +82-2-729-9433 (Korean, English, Chinese)
  • Website: english.visitkorea.or.kr (English)

Insa-dong PR Center LINK

  • Photo: Beautiful hanok, Insa-dong PR Center
  • Photo: Beautiful hanok, Insa-dong PR Center
  • Photo: Beautiful hanok, Insa-dong PR Center
【 Photo: Beautiful hanok, Insa-dong PR Center 】

The Insa-dong PR Center is a living museum of modern history and Korean culture. The hanok was originally built as a private residence for Prince Uichin (1877-1955), the fifth son of Emperor Gojong (1852-1919). Newly added features include on-site commentated tour guides and assistance in multiple languages (English, Japanese and Chinese available) in order to promote the understanding of Korean traditions and history among locals and international visitors alike. In addition, tourism leaflets, diverse cultural events such as trying on traditional clothing and musical performances are offered, as well as wireless internet access provided free of charge for all visitors. The center has a particularly wide selection of hanbok designs, including ones that were worn at the royal court, which feature colors favored by high-level officials, as well as lines representing various social classes of Korea’s past. Photos taken here have the added benefit of a beautiful hanok background to really complete the image.

  • Address: 19, Insadong 11-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 종로구 인사동 11길 19)
  • Directions
    - Jonggak Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 3-1. Walk approx. 7min.
    - Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6. Walk approx. 5min.
    - Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 1, 3, 5), Exit 5. Walk approx. 8min.
  • Participation info (Hanbok experience): Available in first-come, first-served basis on-site (Max. of 10 participants per session)
    ※ Advanced phone reservations only available for groups of 10 people or more
    ※ Experience only allowed within the center
  • Operating hours (Hanbok experience): 10:00-17:30 (Last fitting 17:00) / Open all year round
    ※ Hanbok experience not available during lunch hour (12:00-13:00)
    ※ Hanbok experience available in first-come, first-served basis, rental time limited to 20 minutes
  • Participation fee: 3,000 won (rental limited to one hanbok per person)
  • Inquiries: +82-2-737-7890~1 (Korean, English, Japanese)
  • Website: www.hiinsa.com (Korean, English)

Seoul Global Cultural Center LINK

Photo: Child wearing hanbok at Seoul Global Cultural Center (Credit: Seoul Global Cultural Center) 【 Photo: Child wearing hanbok at Seoul Global Cultural Center (Credit: Seoul Global Cultural Center) 】

The most popular place for visitors to partake in a hanbok fitting experience is the Seoul Global Cultural Center located in the heart of Myeong-dong. Choose from a guard’s uniform just like those worn at Deoksugung Palace Royal Guard-Changing Ceremony, the formal dragon robe of a Joseon Dynasty king, a royal serving girl or any of the other hanbok designs that catch your eye. The center also has a variety of traditional accessories such as kkotsin (flower embroidered shoes) and a Korean bridal crown to go along with your selection. The hanbok are not allowed out of the center, but you can take snapshots of your experience before the large-scale photographs of the main rooms at palaces and traditional hanoks.

  • Address: 5F, M Plaza, 27, Myeongdong 8-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 중구 명동 8길 27 M플라자 5층)
  • Directions
    - Myeong-dong Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exit 8. Walk approx. 3min.
    - Euljiro 1(il)-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), Exit 6. Walk approx. 7min.
  • Participation guide (Hanbok experience): Available in first-come, first-served basis on-site (Max. of 6 participants per session) / Advanced reservations not accepted
    ※ Reservation will be automatically cancelled in the case of being more than five minutes late
    ※ Experience only available to foreign visitors
  • Operating hours (Hanbok experience): Daily 10:00-17:00 (Last fitting 16:30)
    ※ Unavailable on days when the center is closed.
    ※ Rental time is limited to 10 minutes.
    ※ Experience not available during lunch hour (12:30-13:30)
  • Participation fee: Free
  • Inquiries: +82-2-3789-7961 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
  • Website: seoulculturalcenter.com (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

Deoksugung Palace’s Daehanmun Gate LINK

  • Photo: Hanbok experience at Deoksugung Palace’s Daehanmun Gate
  • Photo: Hanbok experience at Deoksugung Palace’s Daehanmun Gate
【 Photo: Hanbok experience at Deoksugung Palace’s Daehanmun Gate 】

A traditional changing of the guards ceremony takes place every day of the week, excluding Mondays, in front of Daehanmun Gate at Deoksugung Palace, a palace of the Joseon Dynasty located in Seoul’s Jung-gu. In addition to viewing the fascinating progression of the changing of the guard, visitors can also try on traditional guard uniforms and other hanbok for free. Visitors must sign up online to participate in the “I am Also a Chief Gatekeeper” program, which includes a short training before donning the guard uniform and joining in the ceremony. Visitors who are looking for something less involved can visit the hanbok rental booth in front of the main gate to try on traditional guard uniforms and other hanbok for free. Just sign your name on the list and wait your turn, then the staff at the booth will help you try on the item of your choice. Given the opportunity to both witness the changing of the guard ceremony and pretend you’re a guard as well, it’s a popular attraction among international visitors.

Hanbok rental booth

  • Address: 99, Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 중구 세종대로 99)
  • Directions: City Hall Station (Seoul Subway Line 1, 2), Exit 2, 12. Walk approx. 2min.
  • Participation guide (Hanbok experience): Available on-site / Advanced reservations not accepted
    ※ Not available in the case of heavy rain or snow, or during periods of extreme cold
    ※ Experience only allowed in the courtyard before Daehanmun Gate at Deoksugung Palace
  • Operating hours (Hanbok experience): Tuesday-Sunday 10:00-16:00
    ※ Closed during lunch break 12:00-13:00 / Not available on Mondays
    ※ Hanbok experience available in first-come, first-served basis, rental time limited to 5 minutes
    ※ Canceled in the case of protests in front of Deoksugung Palace
  • Participation fee: Free

I am Also a Chief Gatekeeper

  • Address: 99, Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 중구 세종대로 99)
  • Directions: City Hall Station (Seoul Subway Line 1, 2), Exit 2, 12. Walk approx. 2min.
  • Participation guide (Guard experience): Limited to two participants per day (first-come, first-served basis)
    ※ Participants must come to the guard waiting room by 13:00 in order to receive guard uniform and training before the ceremony.
    ※ Ceremony and experience subject to cancellation due to adverse weather (Participants wiell be contacted in the case of cancellation)
    ※ Canceled in the case of protests in front of Deoksugung Palace
  • Operating hours (Guard experience): Tuesday-Sunday 14:00 / Not available on Mondays
  • Participation fee: Free
  • Website: royalguard.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

Unhyeongung Royal Residence LINK

  • Photo: Unhyeongung Royal Residence & hanbok experience
  • Photo: Unhyeongung Royal Residence & hanbok experience
【 Photo: Unhyeongung Royal Residence & hanbok experience 】

Unhyeongung Royal Residence, located in Anguk-dong, functioned as the personal residence of Heungseon Daewongun, a politician and the father of King Gojong. The building serves as a wonderful example of the housing used by the aristocracy in the late Joseon Dynasty (1820-1898). A hanbok experience program is available in the exhibition hall, located opposite the tourism information booth. You can try on gwanbok, which was worn by officials, dangeui, a formal dress for women, or even hanbok for children. There are a plethora of gorgeous places for photos within the grounds of the palace. Customers can choose whatever clothing item they’d like to try, or ask for recommendations from the staff, and get about 20 minutes of wearing the clothes before they need to be returned for the next customer.

  • Address: 464, Samil-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 종로구 삼일대로 464)
  • Directions
    - Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 4. Walk approx. 2min.
    - Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 1, 3, 5), Exit 5. Walk approx. 7min.
  • Participation guide (Hanbok experience): Available in first-come, first-served basis on-site / Advanced reservations not accepted
    ※ Must purchase hanbok experience ticket from the ticket booth
    ※ Experience only allowed within Unhyeongung Royal Residence
    ※ Bag and personal item storage unavailable
  • Operating hours (Hanbok experience): Tuesday-Sunday, April-October 10:00-18:00, November-March 10:0017:00 / Closed Mondays (Operating as normal in the case of a public holiday falling on a Monday)
    ※ May be unavailable due to circumstances onsite
    ※ Hanbok experience not available during lunch hour (12:00-13:00)
  • Participation fee: 3,300 won (rental based on one hanbok per person)
  • Website: www.unhyeongung.or.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

This page was last updated on August 7, 2018, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here.