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Gyeongbokgung was the main palace of the Joseon Dynasty. Built in 1395, it was the first of the dynasty’s five grand palaces. With its name meaning “Greatly Blessed by Heaven., Gyeongbokgung is called the Northern Palace as it lies west of Changdeokgung and east of Gyeonghuigung. The other Grand Palaces are Deoksugung and Changgyeonggung.
Let’s explorer this historical palace in the heart of Metropolitan Seoul.
- A Special Evening Admission to Gyeongbokgung Palace is offered from September 16 to December 18. [Updated on October 15]
- CLOSED on Tuesday
- The Discovery Seoul Pass provides free admission to 35 attractions and discounts to 29 including Gyeongbokgung.
Gwanghwamun is the main gate to the Palace. At the front of the Gwanghwamun gate, there is a statue of Haitai, the imaginary animal which protects the city from natural disasters and maintains justice.
Back in the Joseon Dynasty, the changing of the guard ceremony took place when the royal guards were rotating between day and night shifts. This ceremony is a great opportunity to experience a rare traditional scene in Korea, as the ceremony is reenacted exactly as it used to be with authentic costumes and props. The ceremony takes place twice a day in front of Gwanghwamun, the main gate of Gyeongbokgung at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. (except on Tuesdays).
If you pass through the two inner gates, Heungnyemun and Geunjeongmun, you encounter Geunjeongjeon, the throne hall.
Coronations and other major events were held in the courtyard right outside of the throne hall.
And this is the Gyeonghoeru Pavillion, used to host feasts for celebrations or to welcome foreign representatives. The beautiful Pavilion is in the middle of the manmade pond.
There are so many beautiful spots that are perfect to take pictures at in the Palace.
How to get to Gyeongbokgung Palace
The best way to visit is by subway. The Gyeongbokgung Station is just right next to the Palace and it’s on the subway line no. 3, the orange line.
1-Day Tour Route with Gyeongbokgung Palace and nearby attractions
There are so many must see sites and shopping spots near Gyeongbokgung Palace.
1-Day tour route recommendation
– 9:00 AM, Exploring Gyeongbokgung Palace & National Folk Museum
– 13:00 PM, Insadong area (Food and traditional souvenir shopping)
– 15:00 PM, Enjoying the atmosphere of Bukchon Hanok Village
Other Nearby Attractions
– Other Palaces: Changgyeonggung, Deoksugung, Gyeonghuigung, and Changdeokgung
*Myeongdong and Namdaemun Market
*Traditional Markets (Source: visitkorea.or.kr)
*Duty-Free Shops (Source: visitkorea.or.kr)
Hours of Operation
|Months||Open Hours||Final Admission|
|Jan-Feb||9:00 – 17:00||16:00|
|Mar-May||9:00 – 18:00||17:00|
|Jun-Aug||9:00 – 18:30||17:30|
|Sep-Oct||9:00 – 18:00||17:00|
|Nov-Dec||9:00 – 17:00||16:00|
※ Closed on Tuesday!
Admissions for Foreigners
|Age||Admission Fee||Group(10 or more)|
|19 – 64||3,000 won||2,400 KRW|
|7-18||1,500 KRW||1,200 KRW|
– Children (6 and under)
– Senior citizens (65 and above)
– Anyone wearing a hanbok is always free to enter!
– Every last Wednesday of the month
Taking photos while wearing the Korean traditional Hanbok will give you a great memory of your trip. You can even enter the Palace for free while wearing it. There are lots of Hanbok rental shops near Gyeongbokgung and Bukchon Hanok Village. Normal Hanbok rentals cost 13,000-20,000 KRW and usually include small accessories and 4 hours of wearing time. It’s also recommended to purchase a rental voucher at a discounted price before you get there.
Free Guided Tours
Free guided tours for foreigners in English, Japanese, and Chinese are provided. I strongly recommend participating to get an expert’s view of the palace.
|Korean||11:00 / 13:00 / 14:00 / 15:00|
|English||11:00 / 13:30 / 15:30|
|Japanese||10:00 / 14:30|
|Chinese||10:30 / 15:00|
|Indonesian||15:30 (Fri / Sat)|
|Vietnamese||10:30 (Fri / Sat)|
- Tour starts in front of Gyeongbokgung Palace Information Center
- Tour takes 1 to 1.5 hours
- Individuals or groups of less than 10 people can join the same regular tour without a reservation
- Groups with 10 or more must make a reservation in advance
- Closed on Tuesday
If you have to carry your luggage or bags during the sightseeing, take a look at our post, “Luggage Storage Services in Seoul” to travel light. And you can check all the detailed information about the subway storage near you HERE.
Gyeongbokgung Palace is a must-see place in Seoul. I hope you can enjoy Korea’s traditional atmosphere in these historic places.
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