An Afternoon in Insadong

Authored by:
Nina L.

Nina L.

Since coming to Seoul, one of my favorite districts to explore has been Insadong. Located near the famous Gyeongbokgung Palace, the area is known for its many tea houses, art galleries, and craft stores. It’s also only around a fifteen minute bus ride away from the SK Global Dorm, making it the perfect place to explore when you’d like minimal travel time. 

My friend Abby and I did just that this past Sunday! Here are some highlights from our adventures:

1. Cheong Su Dang Cafe (청수당) ​​

We both saw TikToks about this picturesque spot and knew we wanted to visit. It is definitely just as beautiful as it appears online, if not more so! The table we sat at had a small stream with tiny fish swimming in it, making it a very unique place to enjoy a mid-day pick-me-up! We ordered a strawberry souffle, matcha drip tea, and matcha milk tea. All our treats were delicious and beautifully presented. Before leaving, we made sure to take pictures at the gorgeous entrance, which has a stone path illuminated by pretty lights. 

2. Photoism Photo Booth 

After passing multiple photo booths in Insadong, we realized that neither of us had ever gotten pictures taken in one of Seoul’s many unmanned photo booth shops! We were surprised at this, given that these are easily found all over the city. With the help of Papago for quick translations, the machine was very easy to use! We used animal headbands for props and took ten pictures. We were able to choose four images to be printed on our photo strips. The pictures turned out great, and now we have new souvenirs! 

Note: I couldn’t find a Naver Maps link for this spot, but you should have no trouble finding a photo booth around the Cheong Su Dang area. This specific one was a minute walk away from the cafe.

3. YG Place

 YG Entertainment is one of the “Big Three” K-pop agencies in Korea. Its artists include Treasure, G-Dragon, BIGBANG, and my personal favorite girl group, BLACKPINK! This store sells merchandise for Treasure and BLACKPINK. I was impressed by the wide-range of items available, from albums to airpod cases! I was tempted to buy many of the BLACKPINK items, and ended up purchasing two stickers and an album.

4. Marujayeonsik Kimbap 

Marujayeonsik Kimbap is one of my favorite spots for vegan food in all of Seoul. Its street food is cheap and tasty, and the staff is always so kind. This time we stopped by to pick up some fried tofu kimbap to-go. If you’re interested in reading more about Marujayeonsik Kimbap and other veg restaurants in Seoul, check out my post all about vegan food in Seoul.

Overall, It was a great Sunday in Insadong! I highly recommend checking out the area, as there’s so much to do! Other popular spots nearby that I’ve yet to visit include the Color Pool Museum and the Jogyesa Buddhist Temple. There are so many beautiful cafes and shops in the area, though, so even if you come to the area with no specific plan, you’re sure to stumble upon something fun to do. Happy adventuring! 

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