'Hanbok' is Korea's colourful traditional clothing. In the Joseon period Hanbok was worn daily until around 100 years ago. Today, Hanbok is worn during traditional festivals and celebrations like Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving), Lunar New Year, weddings and funerals. A great way to embrace the Korean culture is to try on Hanbok. There are many Hanbok rental shops in Seoul to choose from. Prices vary depending on style, shop and length of time you want to rent. Most people rent Hanbok from Insadong or Gyeongbukgung because they are close to the traditional villages and palaces.
No matter where you rent your Hanbok from the process is typically the same. First, choose what you would like to wear. Hanbok is very colourful, some have embroidery some have sparkles. Choose the one that you think would look best on you! Then try them on! Don't worry, the Ajummas (older Korean Ladies) will help you to get it on properly. Then, you can choose a purse to go with your dress and get your hair done. There are different kinds of hair accessories like hairbands, flower bands, ribbons, traditional headdresses and brooches.
After you've got your Hanbok, hair and/or make-up done the next step is to pay for your rental. Prices vary depending on the shop, the length of time you want to rent and the style of Hanbok. Lockers are in the shops to keep your valuables and clothing safe. Typically, you only need to take off your shirt and keep your bottoms on. When you pay you will be given a receipt with the return time then you are ready to go.
* Some places have a deposit fee
There are a number of places where you can go to take photos once you've rented your Hanbok. Some popular destinations in Seoul include:
Gyeongbukgung is the largest and most visited of the 5 palaces. For that reason, it can be quite difficult to get pictures without other people being in your shot. Gyeongbukgung is one of the most beautiful palaces to take pictures at because of it's mountainous landscapes, beautiful foliage and pristine pagodas.
While you walk around the palace make sure to take pictures with the wooden pillars. The pavilions and pagodas surrounded by water also give photos an amazing backdrop!
Tip- Bring a tripod, selfie stick or hire a photographer to get great pictures!
Taking photos in the doorways is always a good idea especially because of the colour contrast of your Hanbok and the doorway. Plus, the photos always turn out good!
Don't forget to take pictures of the palace too, not just yourself. Gyeongbukgung is huge and walking around taking pictures is very tiring, make sure to wear some comfy shoes!
Tip- Go to the palaces at least an hour before closing time as there will be less people around
Where to Rent Hanbok
One Day Hanbok
Hours: 9:00 AM~ 7:00 PM
Address: 2nd Floor, 4 Bukchonro5-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Anguk Station Exit #2
Hours: 9:00 AM~ 7:00 PM
Address: 8, Jahamun-ro 2-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Gyongbukgung Station Exit #3-1
Hours: 9:30 AM~ 8:00 PM
Address: 109 Sogyeok-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Anguk Station Exit #1
* There are a lot of smaller shops you can rent from, scope out the area before you choose a shop.
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