Gyeongbokgung Palace Featured Image

Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul

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.

Travel Tip!

Gwanghwamun_Gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace_1
[Gwanghwamun, The Main Gate of the 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.

Gwanghwamun_The Gate of Gyeongbokgung_1
Haitai has been a mascot of Seoul since 2008.

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 in Gyeongbokgung Palace_1
[Geunjeongmun, the Throne Hall of the Gyeongbokgung Palace]

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.

Gyeonghoeru Pavilion of Gyeongbokgung Palace_1
[Gyeonghoeru Pavillion]

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

Houses in Gyeongbokgung Palace_1

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

How to get to Gyeongbokgung from Anguk station


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_1
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 at Gyeongbokgung


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

※ Resumption of Foreign Language guided tours [Updated on October 15, 2020]
– Group Size: Up to 20 people per tour
– How to join: Application on-site Information Center before 30 minutes
– Wearing masks are mandatory
– Visitors with fever or symptoms can’t join the tour.
It can be changed without notification to prevent Covid-19. Make sure to make a phone call to check the state.
Gyeongbokgung Palace Management Office: +82-2-3700-3900

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
Korean11:00 / 13:00 / 14:00 / 15:00
English11:00 / 13:30 / 15:30
Japanese10:00 / 14:30
Chinese10:30 / 15:00
Indonesian15:30 (Fri / Sat)
Vietnamese10:30 (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

In case you want 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.

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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