In Northern Seoul sits the quiet neighborhood of Buam-dong, a getaway from the standard hustle and bustle of downtown Seoul. Lined with boutique clothing stores, coffee shops and galleries, Buam-dong is a peaceful area to explore on a date or to simply to take a leisurely stroll through one of the more charming districts of Seoul.
Changuimun is one of the Eight Gates of Seoul's Fortress Wall, which surrounded the city during the Joseon Dynasty. Visitors can even walk inside the gatehouse that sits atop the Gate. From here, you can make your way to a special section of the fortress wall.
This section of the fortress wall has some impressive views of Seoul and is also the site where the 1968 North Korean Blue House Raid took place. Look carefully and you can still see remnants of the attack in the form of bullet holes. Make sure to bring an ID for this section of the wall, as security is quite high.
The Whanki Museum in Buam-dong houses the work of one of Korea's most acclaimed artists, Kim Whan-ki. This year marks the 100 year anniversary of the renowned painter's birth. Attached to the museum is a quiet little coffee and gift shop.
Sanmotungi is probably best known for its use in the hit Korean drama "Coffee Prince". Now a lovely coffee shop, step outside to take some great photos of some outstanding views of Seoul and the surrounding mountains.
Just down the road from Sanmotungi is a section of Baeksasil Valley. A refreshing getaway in the middle of the city, walk along a small creek to the remains of a nobleman's house from the Joseon Era and a serene pond.
Traditionally tiled roof tops and quaint restaurants will line the road back down to the relaxing Seoul neighborhood of Buam-dong.
- Address: Cheongun-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
- Getting there: Gyeongbokgung Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 3. Take Bus 1020, 7022, 7212 and get off at Buam-dong Community Service Center or Buam-dong Office Bus Stop.
- Jongno-gu homepage: http://english.jongno.go.kr/englishMain.do (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
☞ Nearby attractions: Changuimun Gate (Jahamun Gate), Baeksasil Valley, Whanki Museum, Sanmotungi Gallery & café, etc.
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☞ 1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)