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.

Before we go further, 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.

 

Let’s explorer this historical palace in the heart of Metropolitan Seoul.

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Travel Tip

  1. A Special Evening Admission to Gyeongbokgung Palace is offered from April 26th to October 31st.
  2. The Discovery Seoul Pass provides free admission to 35 attractions and discounts to 29 including Gyeongbokgung.
Gwanghwamun of Gyeongbokgung Palace

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.

Haitai of Gwanghwamun
Haitai has been a mascot of Seoul since 2008.
Changing of the Royal Guard in Gyeongbokgung Palace.
Gwanghwamun and guards

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.

Geunjeongjeon, The throne hall of Joseon Dynasty

Coronations and other major events were held in the courtyard right outside of the throne hall.

Geunjeongjeon in Gyeongbokgung Palace

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.

Gyeonghoeru Pavilion of Gyeongbokgung Palace

There are so many beautiful spots that are perfect to take pictures at in the Palace.

Gyeongbokgung Palace
Gyeongbokgung 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.

Tip

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

1-day tour route near Gyeongbokgung Palace


Other Nearby Attractions
– Other Palaces: Changgyeonggung, Deoksugung, Gyeonghuigung, and Changdeokgung
– Shopping
*Myeongdong and Namdaemun Market
*Traditional Markets (Source: visitkorea.or.kr)
*Duty-Free Shops (Source: visitkorea.or.kr)


Hours of Operation

MonthsOpen HoursFinal Admission
Jan-Feb9:00 – 17:0016:00
Mar-May9:00 – 18:0017:00
Jun-Aug9:00 – 18:3017:30
Sep-Oct9:00 – 18:0017:00
Nov-Dec9:00 – 17:0016:00

Closed on Tuesday!


Ticket window of Gyeongbokgung Palace
Ticket window of Gyeongbokgung Palace

Admissions for Foreigners

AgeAdmission FeeGroup(10 or more)
19 – 643,000 won2,400 KRW
7-181,500 KRW1,200 KRW

Free Admission

– Children (6 and under)
– Senior citizens (65 and above)
– Anyone wearing a hanbok is always free to enter!
– Every last Wednesday of the month

 

Woman in Hanbok


Tip

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.

Go to see a Hanbok Rental Voucher

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.

LanguageTime
English11:00 / 13:30 / 15:30
Japanese10:00 / 12:30 / 14:30
Chinese10:30 / 13:00 / 15:00
  • 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

In case you want to a private historic walking tour from Gyeongbokgung palace to Insa-dong, which is also one of the best spots in Seoul, you can make a reservation 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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