As the capital of Korea, Seoul’s city center has a future-like quality made evident by Korea’s rapid economic development. That cosmopolitan core coexists with traditions imbued into the alleys hidden across the city. To explore this side of Seoul, start from Seosulla Street and make a circle along the Cheonggyecheon Stream. This road will lead you to the "true" heart of Seoul, where traditions built up over thousands of years meet with today’s culture in harmony. Seoul, the capital of Korea: During the 500-year Joseon* period, it was known under a different name, "Hanyang."
The old city center around the royal palaces of Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung is now home to a collection of hanok villages that form the most traditional of all tourist sites in Seoul. As a result, Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung Palaces draw a large following across weekdays and weekends alike. Seosulla Street is a charming local secret where traditions meet today’s sensibilities.
Seosulla Street is an 800-m-long alley along the stone walls of the Jongmyo Shrine. It was originally a patrol route for the "Sulla" force, a night watch force that was responsible for policing in the Joseon period. Today, this street is home to restaurants and cafés housed in renovated hanok, traditional residential buildings of the Joseon period. As a Craft Street* established by the City of Seoul, Seosulla Street also has jewelry craft shops hidden across the alleyways in the neighborhood, so it is worth slowing one’s steps to explore the neighborhood more thoroughly.