Destinations

Ikseondong and Insadong: Must visit neighborhoods in Seoul

Most tourists visit the major neighborhoods in Seoul, such as Gangnam, Itaewon, Hongdae, Meyongdong, etc., and less visit Ikseondong and Insadong, where actually you can be surprised and find other beautiful sides of South Korea. You can take amazing pictures in Ikseondong and Insadong, because of there are various photo zones and cozy places there.

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Ikseondong

Located in Jongno-gu, Ikseondong is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Seoul. It has a lot of charming streets, where the traditional Hanok village style mixed with Modern trendy style. Ikseondong is attractive for cafes and shops with traditional elements, art galleries, handmade jewelry shops, etc. I explored this neighborhood for some times, and my every visit was full of interesting things and beautiful views. I am used to walk along the cozy alleys and then have lunch or dinner. Today, “Donburi Pasta” is a famous place among locals and tourists.

Donburi Pasta

Their menu consists of 16 dishes and some drinks. The main highlights of menu are: Spicy stir-fried chicken cream, Mentaiko cream, Sous-vide pork/beef steak, Garlic pork donburi rice. We tried Spice chicken cream and Donburi rice and liked it very much.

The Spicy stir-fried chicken cream is a cream pasta topped with Korean spicy stir-fried chicken marinated in Gochujang sauce and what’s more, topped with ice-cream corn with cheese. It is not too much spicy, but if you worry it will be spicy for you, ask them to make less spicy. The taste of pasta is incredibly delicious. Garlic pork donburi rice is a Chinese style fried rice with stems of garlic, pork and chili. It tastes amazing too. The plate where they served dishes are also looks fabulous.  

Location: 33-10 Supyo-ro 28-gil, Ikseon-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Price: 10,000~20,000 WON

Mil Toast house

After lunch, we decided to have a cup of coffee and chose the nearest café. Actually, Mil Toast house is famous for its “steamed” bread. The most beautiful part of café is ceiling. It is transparent, especially amazing when sun is shining. Another point, that windows facing the outside attract people’s interest, because it easy to the the inside view of super decoration and bakers. The good point, that menu of drinks and bread is in English, so there are not be any problems for foreigners.

Location: 30-3 Supyo-ro 28-gil, Donui-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Price: 7,000~18,000 WON

How to get to Ikseondong?

Subway Line #1, 3, 5 Jongno 3-ga station

Read More: Ikseon-dong Hanok Village

Insadong

Located in Jongno-gu, Insadong is one of the must visit places in Seoul. As Ikseondong neighborhood, Insadong also has a long history and nowadays it represents the “culture of the past and the present”. Insadong began 500 years ago as an area of residence for government officials. Today Insadong is famous for street food, cozy restaurants and cafes, antique shops and art galleries. That’s why Insadong is a mixture of historical and modern atmosphere. Walking along the main street you can find handicrafts, pottery, tea shops and unique tourist souvenirs. Visitors can see daily calligraphy demonstrations and Pansori dancing performances there. Moreover, Insadong is famous for museums. 

What more interesting you can find in Insadong? Do you like pets? Have you ever been to cat café in Seoul? In the middle of Insadong, there are two cat cafes, where there are cute cats. Today I would like to tell about “2 Cats” café.

2 cats

People usually visit this place after a long day of exploring Insadong, so the café gets busy on the afternoon and evening. “2 Cats” is on the third floor of the building. The big windows facing the outside attract the interest of people, because it possible to see cats from outside.

There are 18 cats in café, and the café features different breeds of cats: Munchkin, Canadian Sphynx, Scottish Fold, Korean Short hair, Russian Blue, Persian Chinchilla, Turkish Angora, Bengal, American short hair.

Cats are friendly and healthy. The interior is incredibly amazing. Too much pictures on the walls and shelves on the walls. Cats climb and run around.

The staff gives some tips, how to interact with cats and keep them safe. Also there are notices on the walls and tables.

Cats love snacks. They can be fed by visitors^^. There are two kinds of snacks: Chicken breast (=2000 WON) and Ciao Chyuru (=3000 WON). 

Every cat has own toy to play. Ask staff which one is more suit for cat and try to play and make cats amused.

There is no time limit, every visitor can still with cats as long as want. The admission fee is 12,000 WON, including a drink. They offer coffee, tea, soda.

Service, staff and atmosphere are good.

Location: 11-1 Insadong-gil, Insa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Open Hours: 11:00 am – 21:00 pm

How to get to Insadong?

  • Subway Line #3 Anguk station, Exit 6
  • Subway Line #1 Jonggak Station, Exit 3

I hope this post was informative and you enjoyed it. Don’t forget to comment if you have any more recommendations or tips related to this post. Thanks for reading and have a nice trip!

🇰🇿 Urazbekova Ainur

23 years old, currently living in South Korea, enjoy writing about experiences of studying abroad, living in different cultures and traveling.