Hanbok is a traditional Korean dress for semi-formal or formal attire during traditional occasions such as festivals, celebrations, and ceremonies. Hanbok is the traditional attire of the Korean people. It was worn daily up until just 100 years ago and it was originally designed to facilitate ease of movement. Now, it is only worn on festive occasions or special anniversaries. As a tourist you will likely wear hanbok while visiting Seoul’s palaces and Bukchon Hanok Village. Hanbok literally means “Korean clothing”.
The Hanbok Guide
Jeogori, a blouse shirt or a jacket
Chima, a wrap-around skirt, which is usually worn full.
The ensemble is often called Chima Jeogori.
Baji loose-fitting trousers
Gat, hat made from horsehair with a bamboo frame and is partly transparent in black color.
Jeogori, a jacket
Jokki, a vest
Kkachi durumagi, overcoat
Bokgeon, a peaked cloth hat
Wearing hanbok while out and about will not only make you feel royal, but it will also help you save on entrance fees, as many places accept hanbok outfits as a form of payment. How awesome?! So when you visit these popular places you will see many people wearing them and this makes the whole experience even more fun.
Renting a hanbok in Seoul near Bukchon Hanok Village or Gyeonbokgung Palace is easy. Avoiding the tourist trap places with high prices – not so much. We got a great local tip for beautiful and intricate designs with three times less the price and here I will share this place with you.
Sesangeseo bogosipeun byeonhwaga itdamyeon dangsin seuseuro geu byeonhwaga doeeora.
(Be the change you want to see in the world.)
Where to Rent Cheap Hanbok
Hanbok rental prices can get very stepe if you don’t know where to look. Luckily, we met some locals who gave us a tip for the cheapest and nicest hanbok rental in Seoul. What you need to do after getting off the subway is just walk past all the hanbok rental shops. Don’t get lured by the prices outside, they get up to a double amount if you choose nicer clothes and want a hairstyle and accessories to go with it.
The place we went to is called The Artist Hanbok and it will have you covered with prices much lower than the shops 2 minutes down the tourist road. The prices of the rental are as follows:
Besides the great prices, the girls who work there are just the sweetest and they let you take all the time you need to choose a well matched chima jeogori. I would go for bright colours and shimmery styles all over again – they look so great in the photos!
1 hour 3000 KRW
2 hours 5000 KRW
3 hours 7000 KRW
4 hours 9000 KRW (on tourist roads 17000 KRW!)
All Day 15000 KRW
– hair accessories+1000KRW / hair styling +1000KRW
– After 4/5 change – 4 hours free for a hair accessories
– Korean traditional hats: 3000KRW
– handbag or skirt accessory: 1000KRW
We were greeted by a really friendly girl who helped us choose both outfits. I chose the jeogori (the top) and the chima (skirt) and they also provide a petticoat to make the skirt appear fuller. Mike chose his jeogori and baji and in the end added the gat. Since we decided to opt for a 4 hour rental, I received the hair accessories and style for free. They were also kind enough to give me the little pink bag in the deal too.
We stored our clothes and other things we had with us to the locker in the shop and wandered off to the Gyeonbokgung Palace, which was just a 2-minute walk away. The 4 hour rental was just enough for us to spend 1.5 hour at the palace as well as similar amount of time at Bukchon Hanok Village. The only time we felt out of place was when we went to a bakery to get some sandwiches for lunch. Otherwise we entered everywhere for free and had a blast! A lot of strangers approached me as well and wanted to take photos with me. Looks like I rented a good hanbok hehe!
Renting hanbok to walk around Gyeonbokgung palace and Bukchon Hanok Village was really a highlight of our trip and if there is anything you need to do while you are in South Korea‘s capital, it’s going to a hanbok rental.