Melissa C. Koh

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A Hidden Gem: IkSeon-Dong

South Korea

Apart from all the well-loved Instagram worthy cafes that you most probably have heard about or have came across during your research for your upcoming Korea trip, we would like to share with you this hidden gem – IkSeon-Dong, that we happened to chance upon during our trip!

IkSeon-Dong is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Seoul and was redeveloped by a group of young artists who transformed the traditional hanok buildings to cafes, restaurants and cultural buildings.  The essence of the hanoks were retained during the renovation but present elements was displayed in the Instagram worthy cafes, restaurants and boutiques. IkSeon-Dong is located in Insadong to the west, Jongno 3-ga station to the south, and Jongmyo-dong to the east, and Bukchon to the north. If you are keen to visit less touristy areas in Korea, continue reading on as we take you through a visual ride of IkSeon-Dong 😊

IkSeon-Dong is a neighbourhood where the old meets new, so you’d see plenty of different shops along the alleyways! We saw small florist shops displaying their fresh flowers at the shop front, tourists and locals dressing up in traditional costumes, stores selling Korean snacks, comic store, small trinkets and accessories shops and fragrance shops.

Other than that, IkSeon-Dong houses a huge selection of Instagram worthy cafes that you need to check out during your visit!

Toast House
Located in this hidden gem, you should drop by here for a cup of hot coffee and perfectly torched bread for a satisfying pastry meal.

Crepe @ Hanok
A small casual cafe serving Korean crepes with fresh fruit toppings.

Madong Flower Cafe
It will be hard to miss this cafe because of the breath taking shop front that is beautifully decorated with flowers.
Not only that, this cafe is popular among the locals so you may have to expect a waiting line for a seat!

Holiday Bakery
Scandinavian interior design is the in thing and if you like Scandinavian aesthetics, you should pop by this bakery that is delightfully tucked away in IkSeon-Dong.
They serve a variety of freshly baked goods that tasted as great as it looked!

Italian Restaurant
Enter this renovated Korean house transports you to a classy yet laid back interior with large elegant chandeliers and rustic wood accents. This spot serves pretty good Italian pasta and with such a great ambiance suitable for both romantic date night out or cosy family dinners, this spot is a must visit!

Seoul Coffee
Well as the name suggest, Seoul Coffee serves up coffee that is seoul good.
We also noticed that the favourite order among the crowd that day was a cup of coffee together and ice cream!

The Summer Lounge and Bar
By far the prettiest cafe that is on the list! The Summer is new to the scene and it reminds us of casual, laid back perfect summer days with the warm wooden accents and indoor pool feature.

A homely and traditional tea house that serves authentic snacks and drinks.
A great place to visit if you are looking to recharge after walking around IkSeon-Dong! 🙂

That’s a wrap to our day at IkSeon-Dong, do let us know if you guys have been to any of these cafes! 🙂

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  1. Sandy Png
    15 Nov 2018 @ 12:16 pm

    Hey Mel! Lovely neighbourhood! I tried to Google the exact location but unable to find it. Am travelling early next month to Seoul, do u mind sharing the address? My parents will sure be delighted to explore such neighbourhood!

    • melissa
      23 Nov 2018 @ 9:11 pm

      Hi Sandy!!:) trythis: Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 4. → Cross the street and walk straight for approx. 300m along Donghwamun-ro 11-gil Street. (Approx. 3 min)

  2. dorize
    09 Apr 2019 @ 1:31 am

    this is like the sweetest blog with lovely photos. the photos make me so wana visit the places u have posted. will be in seoul in 2wks time. looking forward. thnx for sharing

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