Sam­cheong-dong / 삼청동

LUXE City Guides - Seoul - - Shopping Itineraries -

Just east of Gyeong­bok­gung (Palace) is a neat colony of gal­leries, fash and cafés. Tie it up with a visit to the Palace (see Ac­tiv­i­ties/Site See­ing) or the Na­tional Folk Mu­seum (see Ac­tiv­i­ties/Mu­seum Mo­ments) and you’ve got a de­light­ful af­ter­noon. Ei­ther way, start out­side the Na­tional Folk Mu­seum /국립민속박물관. For the movers and shak­ers of con­tempo Korean art, cross di­rectly over the main road and bear right. About 200m down on your right are Kumho Mu­seum of Art / 720 5114 / closed Mon / and Gallery Hyundai / 734 6111 / gallery­hyundai.com / with Du Ga Hun (see Rest./Re­laxed) be­hind. Exit Hyundai right, trot back up the main road to find the Na­tional Mu­seum of Mod­ern and Con­tem­po­rary Art / 3701 9500 / mmca.go.kr. Just around the cor­ner is noo­dle queen Buk­chon Kal­guksu / 739 6339, while to the right is ArtSonje Cen­ter / 733 8945 / closed Mon / artsonje.org / on the cor­ner. The one-way street ad­ja­cent is filled with as­sorted street snacks like tteok­bokki and oden, plus dar­ling lit­tle cus­tom sta­tionery and let­ter­press stu­dio Port­fo­lio (see Adv. Shop.) a few steps along on the left. Re­trace to ArtSonje and turn right, over and down the small hill to Jae­dong Tourist In­for­ma­tion Cen­ter / 2148 4160 / at the three­way cross­road. A few min­utes walk left takes you to the en­trance of his­toric vil­lage Buk­chon (see Ac­tiv­i­ties), and up the gift shop and gallery-lined street you’ll spy ce­ramic col­lec­tions by lo­cal artists at Yido / 722 0756 / yido.co.kr. Re­trace all the way to the main road fac­ing the Palace and spin right. On your right are Gallery Sun Con­tem­po­rary / 720 5789 / closed Sun / sun­con­tem­po­rary.com; and Kukje Gallery / 735 8449 / kuk­je­gallery.com / which ad­joins smar­ty­pants The Restau­rant Café / 735 8441 / with gorgey chocs and pas­tries. Exit right, and the road splits in two − take the right fork onto Sam­cheong-dong. Be­yond Café aA (see Brunch) and the po­lice sta­tion are clus­ters of bou­tiques that just scream the need for orig­i­nal de­sign, hav­ing cho­sen to copy rather than cre­ate. 50m on you’ll find trad jew­eller Ye­jibang (see Adv. Shop.), and next to Woori Bank ATM is mad-hat­ter Luielle on 3/F / 720 0309 / luielle.co.kr. Famished? Carry on past the Jill Stu­art out­let / 756 5612 / and opp. the Korean Bank­ing In­sti­tute is Soson­jae (see Rest./Ca­sual); or fur­ther up at the three-way junc­tion is porky bar­be­cue Maple Tree House (see Rest./Ca­sual). All done? Dou­ble back to­wards Jill Stu­art for some live jazz (8.30pm-11pm) at La Clé / 734 7752; or sweet-tooths can dig home­made dessert at Café Yung / 736 7652 / tucked be­hind Korean mus­sels resto Cheong­su­jang / / on the main drag.

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