Murals in Seoul

Street murals in Seoul has rendered the city more colorful. They can usually be found in old villages or neighborhoods where there are universities. These wall paintings are not all located in one street. They are like treasures that need to be hunted.

Hongdae’s Mural Street

A few friends planned a “photowalk” along Hongdae one hot summer afternoon. After meeting at a fast food joint near Hongik University, we walked a few meters to what is known as 홍대벽화거리 (벽화 – byuk hwa – means mural or wall painting; 거리 – geo ri – means sreet). Hongik University is famous for its art and design courses. All around the area one would find galleries, artsy cafes and design shops. Much of the murals painted in this neighborhood were done by students of the university.

Street murals in Seoul - Hongdae
At Hongdae 벽화거리

Hoegi-dong’s Wall Paintings

Two days after our Hongdae photowalk, I decided to walk around my own neighborhood of Hoegi-dong. Along the small alleys and streets from Hoegi Station to Kyunghee University are street murals mostly found on the walls of private residences.

The right exterior wall of Shin Hyundae Apartment
The right exterior wall of Shin Hyundae Apartment
Find these murals on the small alleys of Hoegi-dong
Find these murals on the small alleys of Hoegi-dong
Old houses painted with murals
Old houses painted with murals

Ihwa-dong’s Mural Village

Another popular place to hunt for murals is the neighborhood of Ihwa-dong. I first learned about the murals here from an episode of 1박2일 (1 Night-2 Days) when Lee Seung-gi posed beside an angel wings painting on his way to Naksan Park. I used to live near the area and we used to frequent that park. To get there, I got off Dongmyo station and took the village bus 3 to the park. I found my way down to the entrance of the park and that’s how I started my mural hunt. It was fun as there were lots of tourists that time: Koreans, Chinese and Japanese. I got to talk to one of the residents and she said that many visitors come to see the murals. She also pointed me to a street where an artist is painting at that time.

The 이화벽화마을 or Ihwa Mural Village is a government project that started in 2006 to make the village more attractive. Seoul is a modern city but I find hilly old villages charming even with their steep staircases and narrow alleys. The people, especially the old ones, are friendly

The staircase painted with the colorful daisies is a favorite of the visitors. There are just so many wall paintings in this village and it’s fun going around the village hunting for them.

Colors, colors everywhere!
Colors, colors everywhere!
A painted view of Ihwa-dong
A painted view of Ihwa-dong
Colorful daisies welcome visitors in this village...
Colorful daisies welcome visitors in this village…
Doggies waiting for their owner
Doggies waiting for their owner
An artist at work
An artist at work

I bet there are more places in Seoul with street murals. Not only do they make the neighborhoods more attractive, but they also give budding artists a chance to showcase their artworks.

On your next visit to Korea, make sure to check out the street murals in Seoul.

More photos…

10 thoughts on “Murals in Seoul

  • August 29, 2013 at 3:12 am
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    Hi Ms. Betchay!

    I’d really love to see the murals at hongik university kaya lang hindi ko alam exactly kung san dun. We will (hopefully) coming back to seoul in october. I tried searching the place using daum map pero hindi ko makita. By the way, sa ihwa-dong mural village shinoot ung isa sa mga scenes ng Rooftop Prince, i remember the stairs na may daisies. Hehe.

    Reply
  • August 29, 2013 at 2:58 pm
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    beautiful indeed Ms. Betchay. This represents how creative Koreans can be :). You’re so blessed that you have an opportunity to see all these wonderful paintings. They sure represents artist’ soul. A true Soul Seoul.

    God bless you.

    Reply
  • August 29, 2013 at 7:44 pm
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    Koreans are really into mural paintings. I want to see that mural painting featured in the movie “The Gifted Hands” and in the TV series “I am Sam”.

    Reply
  • August 30, 2013 at 1:21 pm
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    these are lovely pictures, thanks so much for sharing them! greetings from Wonju ^^

    Reply
  • August 31, 2013 at 7:05 pm
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    very nice! Hoegi-dong’s mural is the best, IMHO. someday, pipicturan ko din ung mga murals here in batangas..

    Reply
  • June 11, 2014 at 3:44 pm
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    Hi! Very nice pictures and unusual routes in Seoul. May I know for Hoegi-dong Mural Arts, from Hoegi Station, which exit did you take? Is there a particular street name that I should walk along to view these wall paintings? Appreciate your reply as I am travelling to Seoul next Tuesday. Thank you very much.

    Reply
    • June 14, 2014 at 9:45 am
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      Some of the paintings are located at the side of Hyundai Apartment and some are along the small alleys going to Kyunghee University. From Hoegi Station, take exit 1 and walk straight, cross the intersection. Be sure to walk on the right side and enter the alley on the corner of Bubble Tree. You’ll find murals from that area all the way to Kyunghee University. Oh, Kyunghee University has one of the prettiest campuses in Seoul ~ especially their College of Arts building. Love that place!

      Reply
      • June 14, 2014 at 3:12 pm
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        Hi Betchay

        Thank you for the direction! Will try to find it.

        Reply
  • September 30, 2014 at 8:26 pm
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    nice info miss Betchay ^^ can i know wich exit i should take if i wanna go to ihwa-dong mural village via Dongmyo Station? thanks before 😉

    Reply
    • September 30, 2014 at 11:06 pm
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      It’s better to leave at exit 5 of Dongdaemun stn. The bus stop is right at the top of the stairs. Village bus – Jongro 03

      Reply

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