Hanbok is a Korean traditional dress characterized by vibrant colors and simple lines without pockets. Hanbok usually refers specifically to clothing of the Joseon period and is worn as semi-formal or formal wear during traditional Korean festivals and celebrations.
If you’re a Korean drama addict like me, you can usually spot these colorful dresses in Saeguk Dramas (historical period dramas). So if you want to be Jang Geum (Jewel in the Palace) or Queen Seon Deuk for a day, you need to experience wearing one.
A visit to South Korea is incomplete without trying their traditional dress. I must say it is a must to experience wearing one when visiting the country. It’ll really make your trip memorable.
There are various places you can rent hanbok in Seoul in order to wear and experience it, but did you know that you can also wear these pretty and colorful traditional Korean dresses for free? Read on to know where you can rent and wear hanbok when in Seoul.
5 Places You Can Wear Hanbok in Seoul
5. Grand Palaces Tour
Discover the history and beauty of the Joseon Dynasty by taking a tour of their palaces. There are five grand palaces to be found in Seoul: Gyeongbukgong, Changdeokgung, Changgyeonggung, Deoksugung, and Gyeonghuigung. While wandering through the grand palaces, wear hanbok and experience being a court lady, a princess, or even a Queen Dowager. Rent hanbok for six hours for KRW15,000 and get free admission to any of the palaces. You may also opt to try the traditional palace guard’s outfit for free at Gyeongbukgong Palace.
4. Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village is home to hundreds of traditional Korean houses called hanok that date back to the Joseon Dynasty. Rent hanbok and roam around hanoks like a true Korean villager. Hanbok rental fees here range from KRW10,000 to KRW15,000 for 2-4 hours. Choose from traditional to modern style hanboks and your own choice of accessories to make your dress look more stunning – like a true Korean.
You can experience wearing hanbok for free, too! Where? Head to Seoul Global Cultural Center at M Plaza and wear free hanboks for a few minutes. Take photos wearing your choice of hanbok with accessories.
- Address: 5F, M Plaza, 27, Myeongdong 8-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
- Directions: Myeongdong Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exit 6. Walk approx. 4min. / Euljiro 1(il)-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), Exit 6. Walk approx. 7min.
- Operating hours (Hanbok experience): Monday-Thursday 10AM-4PM (Last admission at 3:30PM)
Important: the hanbok experience is available on a first-come, first-serve basis and will close once all of the time slots have filled. The rental time is limited to only 10 minutes.
Inquiries: +82-2-3789-7961~3 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese); Seoul Cultural Center
2. Deoksugung Palace
At Deoksugung palace, there is a traditional changing of the guard’s ceremony everyday of the week except Mondays. Visitors can stop by the hanbok rental booth in front of the palace main gate, and try on traditional guard uniforms and other hanbok for free. The hanbok rental is at a first-come-first-serve basis with a 10-minute hanbok experience. Details here:
- Address: 99, Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul.
- Directions: City Hall Station (Seoul Subway Line 1, 2) Exit 2, walk approx. 2minutes.
- Opening time: Tuesday-Sunday, 10:30AM-11:30AM, 1:30PM-2:30PM, 3PM-4PM
Important: this experience is not available in case of heavy rain or snow or during periods of extreme cold.
1. At a Studio
If you don’t want the hassle of walking around in hanbok, take photos wearing one indoors instead. There are a lot of photo studios around Seoul where you can rent hanbok and other props to make your photo more realistic. If you are traveling with your family, this would make for a great souvenir – a family picture where you are all wearing hanbok.
If you plan on visiting South Korea, don’t forget to try and wear hanbok and make sure to take photos wearing one for a memorable Korean getaway.