Samcheong-dong is an unique place surrounded by Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, Cheong Wa Dae and Insa-dong. It combines old Korea with coffee shops and modern artsy galleries.
‘Sam’ means three and ‘cheong’ refers to clean or good – so that could mean the quarter is named for three things that it has plenty of: clean water, beautiful neighbouring mountains and kind-hearted residents.
Samcheong-dong is home to distinctive cafés, shops, and galleries. There must be around forty (or maybe more?) different galleries displaying pieces from Korean artists.
The area is filled with European-style cafés and trendy shops that have blended into the traditional landscape, some even taking up residence in renovated hanok (traditional Korean-style houses) that otherwise may have been left to ruin.
There are so many coffee shops – and a lot of them are selling waffles. It must be a very popular snack in Samcheong-dong. I didn’t try any, as I didn’t want to spoil my appetite (we were having a big BBQ for dinner). Of course, if you don’t like waffles, you can have yoghurt or ice cream with honey combs on top (this seems to be another popular Korean snack).
In fact, every second house was a coffee shop… some in a small quiet courtyard…
… others were big shops, right next to the main street. There was endless choice!
From Samcheong-dong, one is just few steps away from Bukchon Hanok Village (here’s an interesting post about it) too, which is still on my list of plays to visit.
To get there, take Line 3 to Anguk Station and use exit 1. Or alternatively, from Gyeongbokgung Palace Station (on the same line), it’s exit 5.