Fun and vivid art murals to be discovered in this revitalized Seoul neighborhood – on the western slope of Mt. Naksan, near the vibrant Daehangno district. Your mission? Trying to find them all!
Ihwa-dong is one of the few ‘daldongnae’ – so-called moon villages – remaining in Seoul. Daldongnae refers to a poor village usually located on a mountain slope thus closer to the Moon, hence its name. In 2006, a revitalization project was carried out with more than 60 art pieces, primarily murals, crafted by artists and local inhabitants. Discovering these unique street art creations is the primary reason for a visit to the village and should be fun for kids too. In addition, views over the city are splendid when climbing up the narrow alleys – overlooking most of Seoul’s historical district with sights extending from Namsan in the South to Bukhansan in the North.
Ihwa-dong Highlights: Mihwa Barbershop, Tailors Couple, Daisies Stairway and countless inspired Murals
Starting from the Yulgok-ro 19-gil (street), walk uphill until seeing Mihwa Barbershop, decorated with bright red and blue colors by the owner. This marks the entrance to the murals section consisting of only a couple of streets but many more small alleys and stairways.
Next you should see the larger-than-life Tailors Couple: a big mural representing a male and female tailors on a vivid blue background, an evocation of the textile industry that developed in this area. You will then go under the Ihwa bridge with its tile-decorations, and take the circling snail-like streets connecting to the upper village.
Take your time and start looking around. Surprising, fun, provocative, poetic and overall colorful street art is to be found almost everywhere. Just to mention a few: snail or doggies paintings, SuperHeroes, gas counters turned into a scuba-diver or decorated with ladybugs, a robot saying ‘Annyong’ (Hello), playing little boys, and many more.
The best of them all is likely the Daisies Stairway. It is arguably the most impressive creation and also the most popular among photographers. Bright painted giant daisy flowers are painted along the stairway which leads up to the Seoul Fortress Wall. From there you may easily connect this walk with the nearby Naksan Park.
A great overview clip was made by DiscoveringKorea.com
- go on a clear sunny day to enjoy the best views from the top
- this walk is not particularly stroller-friendly due to the steep alleys and numerous stairways
How to get there:
From Hyehwa Station (line 4), take Exit 2. Walk ~550m straight past Marronnier Square until reaching the Ihwa Intersection. Turn twice left to reach Yulgok-ro 19-gil street.
Directions: Seoul Map for Kids & Families