Hanbok Rental: How to Rent for a Day in Seoul, South Korea

by South Korea, Fashion & Shopping46 comments

If there is one activity in Seoul of South Korea that you absolutely must NOT miss, it is to try on the elegant Korean traditional clothing called ‘hanbok’! (Hanbok Rental)

TRIVIA: The term ‘hanbok’ literally means “Korean clothing” but it just basically refers to the traditional clothing for both men and women from the Joseon period that was typically worn as semi-formal or formal wear during traditional festivals and celebrations. Wonmen’s hanbok typically consists of a jeogori (blouse shirt or jacket) and chima (wrap-around puffy skirt); whereas men’s hanbok also comprises of a jeogori but paired with loose-fitting baji (trousers) instead.

Much like how Japan has kimono rental shops, South Korea has tons of hanbok rental shops for tourists — and as the name suggests, you can borrow and wear hanbok for a day (or more) whilst you venture out to the cultural centers in Seoul to make unique memories and snap wonderful photos.

What to Do in Seoul?

Check out this detailed Seoul itinerary guide!

In fact, my own hanbok rental escapade was one of the most amazing things that I did in the city, and I’m sure it will be the same for you! Besides, aside from the fact that you can have the chance to feel as though you’ve been transported back to the Joseon period or to a set of an old K-drama, the experience itself is even supported by the Koreans as a part of promoting their history — so yes, it’s one way of immersing yourself with their vibrant culture too!

Plus, if these reasons are not enough, wearing hanbok grants you FREE entry to the palaces in Seoul too (to be discussed later on in this post).

How to Do a Hanbok Rental

» Where to Rent a Hanbok

Naturally, there are a LOT of hanbok rental shops in Seoul — however, if you want the best, I highly recommend renting with Seohwa Hanbok. Apart from its prime location, it has more intricately designed hanbok garments that are set at an affordable price! To illustrate:

Hanbok Rental

If you want other options, you can check out these other rental shops: Hanboknam or OneDay Hanbok.

– – –

» Sample Hanbok Designs from Seohwa

Seohwa Hanbok

What’s more, a matching tote bag and several hair accessories are already included in Seohwa Hanbok’s base price. Also, its close proximity to the Gyeongbokgung Palace was a big plus for me!

Where to book: Klook (use promo code AILEEN5OFF to get a 5% discount).
Hours: 9:00AM to 7:00PM daily (6:00PM last hanbok rental order)
Telephone: 03-6886-4256
Google Maps: B1, 11 Jeokseon-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
(Near the train station [link] or you can also see this illustrated map of directions)

– – –

» Cost and Duration of Hanbok Rental

As you would see on their online booking platform, Seohwa Hanbok has 3 rental options:

  • 4 hours: ₩17,900~
  • 1 day: ₩27,900~
  • 2 days: ₩37,800~
  • Additional hours: ₩5,000 per hour

CONVERSION: $1 = ₩1,070~ = Php 52~
(As of May 2018).

The fees above already include:

  • Complete hanbok ensemble (inner and outer clothing, for men and women [Small to XL sizes] and children [Extra small to XXL sizes])
  • Staff help to assist you in putting up your hanbok (they can speak both English and Chinese)
  • Tote bag for packing your valuables
  • Locker bag (for storing your other bulky items in the store)
  • FREE hair braid styling and access to mini salon area complete with elaborate hair ornaments (daenggi, headband, etc.) and hair styling accessories (iron, pins, etc.)

FYI: Your schedule will be shortened if you arrive late and without notice and it will be canceled if you are more than 10 minutes late. Besides, if you arrive early, you’ll have more hanbok designs to choose from and there won’t be too much of a crowd yet either.

– – –

» How to Book a Reservation

It’s simple and easy! Just go to Klook to place your hanbok rental request. To date, they have several time slots available (since dressing up in a hanbok can take some time), namely:

  • 9:30AM
  • 10:00AM
  • 10:30AM
  • 11:00AM
  • 11:30AM
  • 12:00PM
  • 12:30PM
  • 1:00PM
  • 1:30PM
  • 2:00PM
  • 2:30PM
  • 3:00PM
  • 3:30PM
  • 4:00PM

Once you’re done paying for the booking on Klook, you will receive your e-voucher within 48 hours. You just need to print this and show it to Seohwa Hanbok on your scheduled hanbok rental date and time.

– – –

» My Hanbok Rental Experience & Tips

Seohwa Hanbok

The staff at Seohwa Hanbok were friendly and patient, and the overall process from “check-in” to “check-out” was seamless. Here are some tips to take note of…

  • Date of hanbok rental: Most palaces and city highlights are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, so it’s best that you do your rental on days between Wednesday to Sunday.
  • Arrival: It’s best to come as early as 9:00AM so that you have ‘first dibs’ on the array of choices for picking out your hanbok rental. Take note that it starts to get crowded by 9:30AM.
  • Choosing a hanbok: Surely, you’re free to pick out the color-pairing and design that you like, but for the best classic look, I recommend a light-colored top (white or light yellow) paired with a brightly-colored skirt. Through this way, you will not only appear slimmer but you’ll have vibrant photos too! Meanwhile, take note that you will have 2 fitting chances (where a staff will be assisting you) and if you want more than 2 fittings, there’s a charge of ₩2,000 per fitting; but don’t worry, in case the hanbok is not your size, you’ll be given an additional fitting chance.
    • Take note that shoes are not provided; but they won’t be seen anyway since a hanbok typically goes over your shoes. So for footwear, I suggest wearing your most comfortable shoes because you’ll likely be doing a lot of walking as you enjoy Seoul with your hanbok rental.
    • Take one of Seohwa Hanbok’s free tote bags and put inside your valuables (e.g. camera, money, etc.) and then leave your bulkier stuff with the store as they will keep it for you.
  • Hair & makeup: You will need to do your own makeup. Anyhow, Seohwa Hanbok offers FREE hair brading service. If you want to style your own hair, they even have an amazing salon complete with hair accessories and gear (but if you want a more elaborate hairstyle, it’s advisable to do it before arriving at the store in order to save time). For hairstyle suggestions:
    • Do a braid and then tie a daenggi on the end of it like this(once again, the shop staff can do this for you.)
      • FYI: a daenggi is a traditional Korean ribbon made of cloth to tie and decorate braided hair and Seohwa’s salon area offers this to its guests for free use. If you want a more elaborate braid, try doing a saeang-meori or jjok-jin-meori.
    • You can also do a stylish bun by following the instructions in this video and then wearing a headband provided in-store (or not, it’s your choice).
  • Deposit: Typical of any hanbok rental is to leave your passport and a cash deposit of about ₩50,000 to the shop (which will be given back to you after your rental period). If you’re with other people, only 1 ID/passport will be asked.
  • Hanbok rental return: Make full use of the time allotted to you (if you return earlier than your end time, don’t expect an appropriated refund). Additionally, always remember to take good care of your hanbok rental because if they see any damage or visible filth, you will then have to pay a repair and/or cleaning fee.

– – –

» Hanbok Itinerary Guide

If you’re at a loss on where to go during your hanbok rental duration, I highly recommend doing the following route:

  • Visit one (1) of the ‘Five Grand Palaces’: The following 5 structures are considered as exemplary works from the old Joseon period and each of these magnificent palaces is truly a sight to be seen. However, if you ask me, Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung are the best of the five — so, you can choose from either of these two for your visit, or if you are fast and can squeeze in some time, then doing both will be optimal.
    • ★ Gyeongbokgung: This is the closest palace from Seohwa Hanbok (it’s just a few steps away) and if you can only go to one palace during your Seoul trip, I propose going here because it is the main royal palace and also the largest of the 5 (even often called as the most beautiful too).
      • The Changing of the Royal Guard (Sumunjang) ceremony is held for FREE daily, except Tuesdays, at 10:00AM and 2:00PM in front of Gwanghwamun or the main gate of Gyeongbokgung. If you can’t make it to these time slots, you can also witness a Guard-on-Duty Performance in Gwanghwamun gate at 11:00AM and 1:00PM or a Sumungun (Gatekeeper) Military Training in Hyeopsaengmun Gate at 09:35AM and 1:35PM.
      • If you’ve got time, you can check out the huge golden King Sejong Statue at the nearby Gwanghwamun Square. (King Sejong is best remembered as the inventor of ‘Hangeul’ or the Korean alphabet.)
    • ★ Changdeokgung: This was the 2nd palace that was built after Gyeongbokgung and it has since been recognized as a World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO in 1997. An interesting feature of this place is its ‘Secret Garden’ because there are only a limited number of admission slots per day that are given out. If you’re lucky, you can get the chance to go in if you want to!
    • Deoksugung: This palace is famous for its picturesque stone-walled road (which is often featured in K-dramas like Goblin). And much like Gyeongbokgung, Deoksugung Palace has a Changing of the Royal Guards Ceremony and it is held at 11:00AM, 2:00PM, and 3:30PM daily, except on Mondays.
    • Changgyeonggung: This used to be the residential quarters for queens and concubines of the king, and it later became a park with a zoo and a botanical garden during the Japanese colonial rule (today though, the zoo and garden are relocated to Seoul Land).
    • Gyeonghuigung: Located near Deoksugung Palace, this site served as the secondary palace for the king in the latter half of the Joseon period. For a time, Gyeonghuigung was of a considerable size but most of its major structures have long been disassembled and moved to other parts of Seoul.
  • Visit Bukchon Hanok Village:(Nearest subway station: Anguk Station, Exit #2)
    Not too far away from Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung palaces is this village that is home to hundreds of traditional Korean houses or ‘hanok’ that date back to the Joseon Dynasty. With this in mind, this makes for a great place to visit with your hanbok attire.
    • To get here, look for the Bukchon-ro street. It will be hard to miss because the tourism board had recently appointed staff there in red clothing to help tourists and distribute maps. Basically, there are 8 major view points to see in Bukchon Hanok Village and those that you must NOT miss are the Gaehoe-dong areas that are typically appointed as Views #3 to #7. If you’re coming with elderly companions, take note that there are a bit of uphill climbs in this area.
    • Unlike other hanok villages (like Namsangol Hanok Village), Bukchon was not built for tourists as it is rather a residential village inhabited by Seoulites. Therefore, make sure to keep quiet so as not to disturb the locals.
    • As you leave Bukchon, drop by the nearby neighborhood of Ikseon-dong. Much like Bukchon, it’s one of the oldest hanok villages in Seoul; but in case you want to escape the crowds, it would be a great idea to explore this hidden gem!
  • Drop by Insa-dong: (Nearest subway station: Anguk Station, Exit #6)
    As you make your way to the last stop of this route, you must not skip on the neigborhood of Insa-dong in the Jongno-gu district of Seoul. After all, its streets are one of the best places in Seoul when it comes to culture and crafts (perfect for souvenirs!). If I may also share another tip, try to stop by Ssamziegil which is a unique building wherein each of its levels are connected in the form of a spiraling walkway!
  • Lunch: You can either have it at Bukchon Hanok Village or at Insa-dong. There are a lot of cafes and restaurants in these areas so you won’t have a difficult time picking a place; though if I may put in my two cents, do check out Jokagbo at Bukchon (across the street near the entrance to the village) or Gogung at Insa-dong for their bibimbap (mixed rice bowl).
  • Visit Namsangol Hanok Village: (Nearest subway station: Chungmuro Station, Exit #3)
    Located at the foot of Namsan, this village was built to feature 5 traditional houses of different social classes from the Joseon era, all relocated to this spot from different locations in Seoul in order for guests to understand the daily lives of its past people. Of all these 5 houses or hanok, only one is open to the public which is the house of Yoon-ssi of Okin-dong. It has been transformed into ‘Yoon’s Tearoom’ where visitors can learn about Korea’s tea culture. If you’re interested, you could join the tea ceremony program for only ₩7,000. (For a list of other activities in this village, see this link).

» READ: For a detailed Seoul itinerary guide, read here.

– – –

» FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Hanbok Spring
Can males do a hanbok rental too?

Yes of course! Even children can rent it too.

Is it possible to just try on hanbok for FREE?

Yes. If you hold a Discover Seoul Pass, you can wear a hanbok of your choice outdoors for 90 minutes via HANBOKNAM, or take photos with a hanbok in the indoor studio of Namsan Seoul Tower Hanbok Experience Center. However, if you do not have a Discover Seoul Pass, Korea Tourism Office’s Main HQ allows you to wear simple hanbok and take shots of yourself in it indoors.

Is there a service where I can just rent a hanbok indoors and have a professional photographer take photos of me?

Of course! You can book this kind of experience via Klook for just ₩15,000~ (or USD$14~ / Php 730~). It even has the option of doing outdoor shots.

Is it cultural appropriation to wear a hanbok in South Korea as a foreigner?

Not at all. Koreans never refer to it as cultural appropriation because they deem it more as cultural ‘appreciation’. Besides, they like it a lot when other nationalities take an interest in their culture, customs, and clothing — which is much like Japan’s attitude towards foreigners renting their kimono.

Is it possible to rent even on a rainy or snowy day?

Absolutely! Seohwa Hanbok will just make sure that you wear a hanbok that won’t drag along the ground — yet of course, just be careful as you might slip on the snow or get stained by mud.

After changing into my hanbok, can I leave my stuff at the rental shop?

Yes, you can leave your stuff in the rental shop, but make sure you bring your valuables with you by putting them in the matching tote bag that they will be providing.

Is there anything that I should bring to the rental shop?

No, you do not need to bring anything since all of the items that you will need are already available and provided for in the rental shop. In summer, the shop suggests wearing thin underwear such as a tank top because of the heat, and in winter they recommend that you wear thin thermal clothing such as heat-tech shirts, which have excellent heat retention as well as leggings to keep you warm.

Can I take my time choosing a hanbok?

Sure thing! But try not to spend too much time or else you won’t have enough time to go around Seoul.

• • •

» Top Seoul Tours «

Seoul Joseon Palaces and...

Seoul Joseon Palaces and —
Folk History day tour.

Korean Food Walking Tour

Korean Food Walking Tour
…with BBQ lunch.

• • •

Hanbok Rental


If you’re looking for a unique activity that will totally immerse you in a South Korean travel experience, renting a hanbok and strolling around in it for a day is something that you should NOT miss!

After all, it makes for a wonderful memory and a great opportunity to take amazing pictures. Enjoy!

• • •

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At 21, I quit my corporate job in the Philippines to pursue my dreams. Today, I am a successful digital nomad (online entrepreneur, travel writer, & vlogger) living a sustainable travel lifestyle.

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  1. K

    When booking can you book just once for a group of three friends traveling together or do we all have to make separate bookings for the Hanbok rentals?

    • Aileen Adalid

      Yes, you can book just once here: https://www.kkday.com/en/product/11731?cid=5322 if you’re going to do it together.
      Just make sure to select the correct number of quantity of travelers on the page.
      Hope that helps :)

  2. Lifen

    Hi Aileen,, ur vlog is impressive. My friends (2) are planning to visit Seoul for 2-3 days. Can we hire a guide/driver? Where, how??

    • Aileen Adalid

      Thank you so much! To charter a car for your private use, you can check out this Seoul car service. I highly recommend them! Otherwise you can find other options here.

      Hope this helps!

  3. Catherine

    Hi! Ms. Aileen, I just want to know if it is okay to eat in their restaurants while wearing hanbok? We are planning kasi to avail the 6-Hour KKday Hanbok rental. We will first go to Gyeongbokgung Palace, have LUNCH and proceed to Bukchon Hanok Village. We wanted to maximize the hanbok rental kaya gusto namin, until Hanok Village, naka-hanbok pa rin. Is it possible?

    • Aileen Adalid

      Hey Catherine! Yes, it’s definitely okay :D We had lunch in a restaurant in Bukchon Village and we had lots of fun :) Just be careful not to stain your hanbok. It’s also not a problem to go around a city in a hanbok. I rode trains and buses before with tourists wearing hanbok who are trying to get from one place to another.

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