Having been to Korea a couple of times, wearing the traditional costume is a first, to own one is costly. Costume rentals are readily available in central areas of Korea, especially near the palaces and traditional houses (Hanok). There are many Hanbok rental stores in Itaewon, Gwanghwamun and Anguk.
You can choose to rent it for 4 hours or a full day if you need to stock up an album of your Hanbok portraits. Wearing the Hanbok not only make you stand out from the crowd, it also entitles you to free admission to the palaces in Seoul, which includes:
- Gyeongbukgung Palace
- Changdeokgung Palace
- Changgyeongung Palace
- Deoksugung Palace
- Gyeonghuigung Palace
However, if you want your photos to break the net, you’ll have to go to these touristy places which is all nearby one another!
1. Baek-In Jae Old House (백인제 가옥)
It was a pity I could not get to tour the house because it is closed on Mondays, but for more information, you can check out here. This house was closest to our Hanbok rental location, and it is actually on the way to the Bukchon Hanok Village, a must-go destination for all tourist regardless you are wearing Hanbok or not!
2. Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon is a place with high visitor traffic, which can be disturbing to the residents there. Thus, do be considerate and lower your volume if you are exploring the houses. The Bukchon Hanok village holds 600 years of history, despite the fact that most of it have been modernised and converted to art galleries, cafes and shops. There are 8 photo spots around the Hanok area, do look out for the signs on the floor when you are exploring the village!
The slopes here are high, do come in your most comfortable shoes! Most tourists would take pictures at the iconic slope where the Hanok houses can be seen on both sides and at the back, city view of Seoul. Do try your best to block them if you do not want to have photo bombers in your shot, it is going to be hard.
3. National Folk Museum of Korea (국립민속박물관)
This museum is not to be confused with the National Museum of Korea (located in Ichon), with over 120,000 artifacts installed, the museum displays to visitors items used during the early days of Korean age. If you are not much of a history person, or you think Korean dramas have instilled you enough, just a shot with the building will do!
The museum is just on the way if you are heading towards Gyeongbukgong Palace from Anguk.
4. Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁)
This is surely the must-go place for every tourist on a South Korea trip! I never missed this spot on any of my trips to Korea because the place provides an unique experience, different from the urban city life. Just ahead of Gwanghwamun, it holds the first royal palace built in the Joseon Dynasty. The Gyeongbokgung is the largest among the other five palaces I have listed afore.
During the Japanese occupation, the palace was significantly wrecked. Since then, restoration works have been conducted for a duration of 40 years to fully restore the palace to its full glory. The detailed paintings on the pillars and roofs are stunning.
This would be the least awkward place to be if you are walking around in Hanbok. Of course you would still be welcoming onlookers’ stares from group tours, but you’ll feel at home. Or at least, at ease. Regular admission prices to the palace go for 3,000 won per adult, but dressing up in Hanbok gives you free admission! What other reason to wear your Hanbok and walk around!
4 Hours Rental – 15,000 Won
24 Hours Rental – 28,000 Won