Wondering how to rent a Hanbok in Seoul? You are in the right place because I will share my personal experience and other useful tips.
If you are looking for a fun experience during your trip, renting a traditional Hanbok in Seoul should be on top of your list. It is still one of my highlights from my time in Seoul and I want you to try the same!
This travel guide will prepare you for the process, help you find the best hanbok rental in Seoul, and make the process smooth without any hiccups. Ready to dive in? Let’s go!
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Everything you need to know about renting a Hanbok in Seoul
What is a Hanbok?
A Hanbok is a representation of traditional Korean attire. Worn primarily on special occasions such as weddings, birthdays, celebrations, and festivals, the Hanbok holds significant cultural and symbolic value.
The fabric used for Hanboks is typically silk or satin, and the entire outfit is characterized by vibrant colors, intricate embroidery, and meticulous attention to detail.
What is the symbolic meaning behind the Hanbok?
The colors and patterns often signify the wearer’s age, marital status, and social standing. For example, bright and bold colors are commonly worn by young individuals, while more subdued tones are preferred by the elderly.
Married women may adorn their Hanboks with more elaborate patterns, while unmarried women may opt for simpler designs. These are just some of the examples, but you don’t have to follow these patterns when renting a Hanbok in Seoul.
What is the difference between men’s and women’s Hanbok?
The Hanbok is comprised of two main components for women: the jeogori, which is a short jacket, and the chima, a full, high-waisted skirt. Meanwhile, men wear jeogori paired with baji, and loose-fitting pants.
Is it okay for a tourist to wear a Hanbok?
Absolutely! It’s perfectly acceptable and even encouraged for tourists to wear a Hanbok when visiting Seoul. Many places, especially in popular tourist areas like palaces, offer rental services where tourists can experience the joy of wearing a Hanbok.
When we wandered off the tourist area of Seoul wearing Hanbok, locals actually stopped to compliment us and even asked for a photo. So, feel free to embrace the opportunity to wear a Hanbok in Seoul, because it is such a fun experience.
Where to find a Hanbok rental in Seoul?
In Seoul, you can find numerous places that offer Hanbok rentals, especially in popular tourist areas and near historical sites. However, I highly recommend you make your reservation online. Especially if you want to rent a Hanbok early in the morning.
Here you can see all available Hanbok rentals in Seoul, however, we choose to book this Hanbok Experience as it is a top-rated rental shop. Everything went well, so I am more than happy to recommend it to you too!
It is located just around the corner from Gyeongbokgung Palace, which means that you will be ready to explore your first attraction of the day once you are all set up beautifully while wearing a Hanbok.
How much does it cost to rent a hanbok in Seoul?
The cost to rent a Hanbok in Seoul can vary based on several factors, including the rental shop, the type of Hanbok, the duration of the rental, and any additional services included. Here’s a general idea of the pricing:
- Basic Hanbok rentals for a few hours typically start around 10,000 to 20,000 KRW.
- Premium or more traditional designs may cost between 20,000 KRW to 50,000 KRW or more.
- Full-day rentals range from 20,000 KRW to 50,000 KRW or higher, depending on the quality and design.
- Some shops offer additional services such as hairstyling, accessories, and photography packages for an extra fee.
For example, Hanbok Experience offers a free hairstyle (I choose not to do it), but requires an additional fee for accessories. I paid an extra 2000 KRW for a purse rental, but there were more expensive options as well.
Whenever you make a reservation online, make sure you check these details and bring some extra cash to pay for extra services.
Another thing worth mentioning is that I highly recommend you rent a Hanbok for an entire day and choose an early time slot to pick up your rental.
How to wear a Hanbok?
Wearing a Hanbok involves several steps, but it’s a straightforward process. I also have to say that there is always someone at the rental show who will help you get dressed, so you don’t need to learn the process, but here is a quick overview:
- Put on the Jeogori (Jacket)
- Wear the Chima (Skirt) for Women or Baji (Pants) for Men
- Tie the Otgoreum (Cloth Strings)
- Arrange the Duyong (Overlay)
Once you are set up, you can pick the accessories, such as norigae (hanging ornaments) for women or a gat (hat) for men. I loved their handbag collection so I had to get one.
Most Hanbok rentals in Seoul offer traditional Korean shoes called “jeonshin”, however, it is not a must considering that your shoes won’t be visible under the skirt and they can get pretty uncomfortable to wear.
Just before visiting Seoul, I rented a kimono in Kyoto and hurt my toe pretty bad while wearing okobo, so I didn’t want to risk ruining it completely.
Extra tip! I recommend you wear a slip dress under the Hanbok – something light and comfortable. Leggings are a great alternative during winter months.
Process of renting a Hanbok in Seoul
So let’s do a little recap and let me share my experience renting a Hanbok in Soul, so you are familiar with the whole process and can avoid any unpleasant surprises.
First, you will need to make your online reservation. Hanbok Experience was my choice, but the options are endless.
Once you arrive, you need to make the line and claim your reservation code. From there, the worker will shortly explain the process and point out the size and the type of Hanbok that covers your reservation. You can upgrade your reservation at any time by paying the extra fee at the cash desk.
When you pick your garment, head to the changing rooms and wait for an assistant who will help you put it on. After you are done, you can proceed to hairstyling and pick your accessories (optional).
You also get a personal locker where you can store your belongings and clothes so you don’t have to carry them around Seoul.
We chose one of the earliest time slots available and it was a bit crowded, so the whole process took around 1 hour. If you come during a busy time, be prepared to spend 2 hours at the rental shop.
Note! Some rentals require a Hanbok deposit. I didn’t have to pay for it, but keep in mind that some other places might request that.
Returning the Hanbok
Timing depends on your reservation and rental closing time. In our case, we opted for a full-day rental and the shop was closing at 7 pm, but you need to come at least 30 minutes before.
The process of returning the Hanbok is pretty quick and you don’t need an assistant to remove it. So just pick up your belongings, change into your original clothes, and thank the lovely workers for the service.
Fun fact about renting a Hanbok in Seoul
Seoul hosts 5 Royal Palaces and visiting at least a couple of them is an absolute must. But did you know that you can visit these palaces for free if wearing a traditional Hanbok? Yes, that’s right. And it applied to foreigners as well.
The Five Royal Palaces in Seoul are Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, Changgyeonggung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, and Gyeonghuigung Palace.
Best places for Hanbok photos in Seoul
I believe you want to snap some unforgettable photos while wearing a Hanbok, right? 5 palaces are the best photo spots but these places can easily get crowded. You can explore some hidden gems nearby like Jogyesa Temple for a more relaxing experience.
Also, make sure you read this Seoul photo guide and discover all the Instagram-worthy spots.
Frequently asked questions about renting a Hanbok in Seoul
When is the best time to pick up the Hanbok rental?
You should pick the first available slot early in the morning. Most of the rentals open around 9 am and get very busy around 11 am. This can delay your rental process and I suggest you avoid that.
When are the best days to rent a Hanbok in Seoul?
Make sure you avoid Monday and Tuesday if possible. 4 out of 5 palaces are closed on Monday and Gyeongbokgung Palace, which is one of the most picturesque places in Seoul, is closed on Tuesday.
What are the available sizes at the Hanbok rental?
Most of the rentals offer a wide choice of sizes. For example, Hanbok Experience offers a 130 cm bust width for men and a 140 cm bust width for women. The workers at the shop will point you to your size section.
Can I leave my belongings at the rental?
Yes, every rental offers a locker with a private key where you can store your clothes and other things. I still recommend you bring your valuables with you or leave it at your hotel for the day.
Can children wear a Hanbok?
Yes, most of the rentals offer a Hanbok for children as well. Keep in mind, that the price is the as per adult, so make sure you include an extra adult on your reservation.
Can you rent a Hanbok during winter?
Yes, you can! Hanbok is warmer than you would imagine and you can layer something warm under it – like a top and leggings. Also, you can bring your coat and wear it on top in case you are particularly worried about the cold.
What to wear under a Hanbok?
If you are visiting during cold months, you can wear a top and leggings. And during the rest of the year – I recommend you wear a slip dress or something similar.
How long does it take to put on a Hanbok?
Dress up process takes around 10 minutes, however, the whole process from arrival to being ready to leave takes a bit less than 1 hour. It will be more if you come during the busy time and want to style your hair as well.
Can I choose my accessories and hanbok?
Yes, you have full control of your final look. Depending on the price, you can pick anything from a simple Hanbok to a premium costume. You can pick any extra accessories for an extra fee.
Can I rent a hanbok on a rainy day?
Yes, you can, however, most rentals will shorten your skirt to avoid any possible damage.
Further reading for Hanbok rental in Seoul
Other useful tips for visiting South Korea
🏠 Need a place to stay? Browse Booking or Agoda
💃 How about fun experiences? GetYourGuide, Viator, and Klook have it all
🚗 Considering renting a car in South Korea? Use Rentalcars
🚂 If you need transfers, bus or train tickets, check 12Go
🔒 Don’t forget about travel insurance from HeyMondo
This is the end of the Hanbok guide and I am sure that you know how to rent a Hanbok in Seoul. Everything from finding the right rental, picking out the most beautiful Hanbok, and returning it on time.
I would love to hear your thoughts, so if you have any feedback or additional tips, leave a comment below. Also, check out my Instagram for regular travel videos and travel inspiration. Or explore other destinations on this travel blog.