Day Trip to Seoul: Ssamzie-gil complex

by Chihon Kim
Stripes Korea

On Insadong’s main street, this spiral-shaped, four-story building is packed with more than 70 businesses, including craft and souvenir shops, galleries and cafes. This place is a little slice of hipster heaven where the old and new coexist, and where strangers have plenty of opportunities to strike up a conversation.

 

Before you make your way upstairs, take the stairs down to a basement where you’ll find several workshops that allow you to try your hand at making pottery, jewelry boxes, bracelets, keychains, and other things.  You’ll need to sign up, so head to the basement first.

 

As you make your way back up, you’ll notice a gently-sloping ramp around the central courtyard, which eventually leads to the rooftop. But before you get to the top, you need to check out all the eye-catching shops. The distance from the first floor to the top as you make your way around is about half a kilometer. It’s a nice walk and is a great place to take photos.

 

As you make your way to the top, check out all the graffiti-laden walls. There are thousands of signatures and doodles from people who have come before. When you finally reach the top, you’ll probably be pooped, so you might as well take a break at a cafe that pays tribute to all things poop.

 

Important info 

Address: 44, Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Inquiries: 1330 Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English) For more info: +82-2-736-0088

Hours: 10:30 a.m to 8:30 p.m. Closed The day of Seollal (Lunar New Year’s Day) & Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving Day)

Homepage: www.ssamzigil.com (Korean only)

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