Gyeongbokgung Palace

Attraction 161 Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea Published on: 01-02-2018

2 hours
09:00 AM - 06:00 PM
09:30 AM
11:30 AM
First-time visit
Must see
2.50 - 2.79 USD

Gyeongbokgung Palace is good for

Good for family with kids Family with kids Good
Good for senior Senior Good
Good for couple Couple Good
Good for solo Solo Good
Good for group Group Good
  • Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
Gyeongbokgung (경복궁), also known as Gyeongbokgung Palace or Gyeongbok Palace, was the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty. Built in 1395, it is located in northern Seoul, South Korea.

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Why Gyeongbokgung Palace is special ?

Gyeongbokgung (경복궁), also known as Gyeongbokgung Palace or Gyeongbok Palace, was the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty. Built in 1395, it is located in northern Seoul, South Korea. The largest of the Five Grand Palaces built by the Joseon dynasty, Gyeongbokgung served as the home of Kings of the Joseon dynasty, the Kings' households, as well as the government of Joseon.

Gyeongbokgung continued to serve as the main palace of the Joseon dynasty until the premises were destroyed by fire during the Imjin War and abandoned for two centuries. However, all of the palace's 7,700 rooms were later restored under the leadership of Prince Regent Heungseon during the reign of King Gojong. Some 500 buildings were restored on a site of over 40 hectares. The architectural principles of ancient Korea were incorporated into the tradition and appearance of the Joseon royal court.

In the early 20th century, much of the palace was systematically destroyed by Imperial Japan. Since then, the walled palace complex is gradually being restored to its original form. Today, the palace is arguably regarded as being the most beautiful and grandest of all five palaces. It also houses the National Palace Museum of Korea and the National Folk Museum within the premises of the complex.


What to explore at Gyeongbokgung Palace?

Visiting the palace, you can admire two of the grandest architectural sights in Seoul here. The first is the ornate two-storey Geunjeongjeon, the main palace building, where kings were crowned, met foreign envoys and conducted affairs of state. With its double-tiered stone platform, flagstone courtyard and surrounding open-sided corridors, Geunjeongjeon is an impressive sight.

Then walk left to Gyeonghoeru, a large raised pavilion resting on 48 stone pillars and overlooking an artificial lake with two small islands, which is almost as grand a scene. State banquets were held inside and kings went boating on the pond.

Behind these imposing structures are smaller meeting halls, and behind them are the king’s living quarters, with a master bedroom the size of a ballroom, surrounded by eight small rooms that were used by ladies-in-waiting, concubines, servants, slaves and guards. Altogether the palace consisted of 330 buildings and had up to 3000 staff, including 140 eunuchs, all serving the royal family.

On the right is Gyotaejeon, the separate but large living quarters for the primary queen, and behind that is a terraced garden, Amisan, with ondol (underfloor heating) chimneys decorated with longevity symbols. Also on the eastern side is Jaseondang, the quarters for the Crown Prince, who spent his mornings, afternoons and evenings reading, studying and listening to lectures. But at night he could relax with his wife and his concubines, who were graded into four ranks (the king, of course, had more and they were graded into six ranks).

At the rear, King Gojong built more halls for his own personal use and an ornamental pond with an attractive hexagonal pavilion on an island, where a heron can sometimes be spotted.


How to get to Gyeongbokgung Palace?

Gyeongbokgung Palace Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 5

Gwanghwamun Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 2

Selling points

  • One of few Palaces worth for visit
  • One of the best UNESCO site in Seoul
  • Ancient Korean palace
  • Historic architecture contrasting with the modern architecture of Seoul
  • Excellent palace and grounds and museum

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1.0 day
6.40 USD
Total travel distance
Number of places
5 places




161 Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

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Tips for you

  • An audio commentary and a free guided tour (at 11am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm) are available to learn more about this unique, Korean-style palace.
  • You should ask permission if you want to take photograph.
  • Pets is not allowed.
  • Last admission is 1 hour before closing time, so you should get early.
  • Operating hours are subject to change depending on conditions or circumstances. You should visit the website to get more information.
  • You should keep eyes on your children to avoid getting lost.
  • A number of free guided tours, in multiple languages, are offered throughout the day. You should check the website for more information and schedules.
  • Parking is available.
  • With the purchase of a book of Combination Tickets (adults 10,000won($9), Youth 5,000won ($4.5)), one admission for each of the five different palaces is available within three month. (Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung - the Secret Garden included, Changgyeonggung, Deoksugung and Jongmyo Shrine).
    Ticket and Pricing
  • A number of ceremonies, such as the changing of the guards, are held near Gwanghwamun Gate. Their homepage has up to date schedules.


TripAdvisor View more

Everyone who goes to Korea must visit Gyeongbokgung Palace. It's right at the heart of Seoul and the current city government centers are still around the area. The 3 pillar entrance and animal statues that "guard" the Palace offer a starting tease at what lies inside. Once you enter the complex, the intricate ancient walls, wide spaces, and stone paths all draw your attention to magnificent palace buildings where the monarch of Korea used to hold office and receive guests. The best building to see is the banquet hall. It lies on top of a pristine pond and with mountains at the backdrop. Truly spectacular! Make sure to bring comfortable shoes since you will definitely want to walk around. A camera is a must to capture the beauty of the place. It can get sunny so bring sunblock/moisturiser if you want. My family went there on a weekend it was really full of people. Try to visit on a weekday perhaps so there are less tourists. We spent around 1 hour going around but it wasn't enough for me. I think you should spend at least 1 hour and 30 mins - 2 hours or so. Other attractions are close to the area such as the National Museum, Blue House, and the Cheonggyecheon stream.

FourSquare View more

Must see. Don't forget to head to the folk museum out the back and check out the historic sets that have been built! Your ticket allows you to exit and leave.

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