Just west of Gyeongbok Palace, a young arts scene has sprung up in recent years, spurred partly by the presence of the Daelim Museum, which brings in fashion, design, media installations, performance art and more from around the world. You’ll find several other gallery spaces nearby, including Boan Yeogwan, a former inn built in the 1930s converted (with minimal alterations) into a cramped but unique gallery. Also worth visiting is Gallery Ryugaheon, a photography gallery set into a traditional hanok home. When it’s time for dinner, grab a meal at Tosokchon, Seoul’s most popular samgyetang restaurant (expect especially long lines in summer, when it’s traditional to eat this chicken stew). The chicken is stuffed with gingseng, jujubes, gingko nuts, and sweet rice and boiled in a light broth (salt is provided on the table for you to season according to your tastes).
The 5 Line train to Gwanghwaman will take you to the Tongui Dong neighbourhood and galleries which can all be found within close proximity of each other. Tosokchon is also nearby, meaning you can visit all of these locations with no additional travel.
DAELIM MUSEUM: 21, Jahamun-ro 4-gil, Jongno-gu; 82-(0)2-720-0667; daelimmuseum.org
BOAN YEOGWAN: 33, Hyoja-ro, Jongno-gu; 82-(0)2-720-8409; cafe.naver.com/boaninn.cafe
GALLERY RYUGAHEON: 10-3, Hyoja-ro 7-gil, Jongno-gu; 82-(0)2-720-2010; ryugaheon.com
TOSOKCHON: 5, Jahamun-ro 5-gil, Jongno-gu; 82-(0)2-737-7444; tosokchon.com