Samcheong-dong / 삼청동
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.