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Gyeongbokgung

Gyeongbokgung: Our most recommended tours and activities

Morning 3-Hour Intro to Seoul Tour (Palace, Temple & More)

1. Morning 3-Hour Intro to Seoul Tour (Palace, Temple & More)

Begin your tour from the hotel in Seoul between 8:00AM and 9:20AM. Stop first at the Jogyesa buddhist temple. Notice the locust trees and baeksong trees in front of the Daeungjeon, a truly beautiful sight. Gaze in wonder at the Daeungjeon and the main temple building which are about 500 years old. Continue on to the Gyeongbok palace where you'll first observe the changing of the guard ceremony. Then, explore Gyeongbok Palace, built in 1395 and is arguably the most beautiful palace in Korea and remains the grandest of all the five main palaces in Seoul. Next visit Cheongwadae, the presidential blue house, known for its beautiful, blue tiles. These tiles and the smooth roof are in beautiful harmony with Mount Bugaksan behind it. Discover how the blue house with its blue tiles and the smooth curve of the roof represents the beauty of Korea. Here you'll have the chance to visit Cheongwadae Sarangchae, a history center that gives visitors a chance to follow in the footsteps of the presidents of Korea and learn about the fascinating history of Seoul before the tour ends at around 12:30PM.

Seoul: DMZ, Gyeongbokgung Palace & City Tour

2. Seoul: DMZ, Gyeongbokgung Palace & City Tour

Since 1950, Korea has been divided into the North and South. North Korea has become more closed off, while South Korea continues to develop as a democracy and leading economy, sharing its culture with the rest of the world. The DMZ area is the only place that you can see the reality of the most divided nation in the world. This tour includes a military tourist guide, shuttle vehicle, and entrance fees to a venue that helps to explain the history of war. Your tour guides are professional security specialists, allowing you to learn about North and South Korean relations. Visit the Third Tunnel Experience, which was designed to invade South Korea by tanks, the observatory where you can view North Korean residents, the War History Pavilion, and Imjingak. Experience every aspect of the DMZ area.    You will also visit Gyeongbok Palace, where the king, his family and 2000 others previously lived as they ruled the nation. Be fascinated as you hear how the palace was run more like a modern day business - with employees and advisers - rather than as the royal-only complex that you might expect. 

Seoul: Half/Full-Day Private Car Charter Tour

3. Seoul: Half/Full-Day Private Car Charter Tour

Discover the Seoul or Gangwon-do areas with a full or half-day private charter tour. Plan your tour that caters to your interests and travel at your own pace. Book an optional guide to accompany you throughout the day. Book a private charter with an optional guide and see the best of Seoul or Gangwon-do. Create a more focused and personal tour experience tailored to your interests. Whether you're looking to learn more about K-pop, history, culture, or food, this experience can be designed to meet your needs. Possible locations to visit in each area: Seoul City Gyeongbokgung Palace, Myeongdong, Dongdaemun, Cheonggyecheon, N Seoul Tower, Gangnam, Lotte World, Bukchon Hanok Village, Yeouido, Hangang Park, Hongdae, Ewha Woman's University, Sinchon, and other locations in Seoul city. Seoul Suburbs Incheon City, Woongjin Playdoci, Everland, Seoul Park, one mount, Swiss Village, Korean Folk Village, Paju Outlets, Panmunjom, The Garden of Morning Calm, Little French Village, Nami Island, Chuncheon City, Gangchon Rail Bike, Herb Garden, Heyri Art Village, and other locations around Seoul. Gangwon-do Alpaca World, Seoraksan National Park, Sokcho City, Nami Island, Chuncheon City, Gangchon Rail Bike, Daegwallyeong sheep ranch, Pyeong Chang, Yongpyong, Phoenix Park, Alpensia Resort, HIGH ONE Resort, Donghae City, and other places in Gangwon-do.

Seoul: Gyeongbokgung Palace History Walk

4. Seoul: Gyeongbokgung Palace History Walk

Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace, established in 1395 as the main palace in the Joseon Dynasty, on a guided tour with tickets included. Stroll around the majestic Seoul landmark and immerse yourself in Korean history with the live commentary of an expert. Meet your guide at Gyeongbokgung station and head to Gyeongbukgung Palace's main gate. Take some time to look around the palace and admire the architecture. Learn about the history and hear the hidden stories of the largest palace of the Joseon Dynasty. Take photos of the locations where kings and queens once stood, and discover the influence the dynasty had on Korean society during its five centuries in power. End your tour at the Gyeonghoiru pavilion, the event hall of the palace. Enjoy some time to explore at your own pace after the tour.

Seoul: Full-Day Royal Palace and Shopping Tour

5. Seoul: Full-Day Royal Palace and Shopping Tour

Discover the palaces and shopping spots of Seoul on a multi-stop tour including a local guide, hotel pickup, lunch, and all entry fees and tickets. Travel by air-conditioned minivan to highlights like the Blue House, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Namdaemun Market, and the Jogyesa temple in Insadong. Following pickup, meet your local guide and start exploring the many cultural highlights and popular spots around Seoul, including shrines, markets, museums, palaces, neighborhoods, and hanok villages. Depending on your tour day, your itinerary may vary: Cheonggyecheon Stream is an 11-km-long modern stream that runs through downtown Seoul. Created as part of an urban renewal project, Cheonggyecheon is a restoration of the stream that was once there before during the Joseon Dynasty. Cheongwadae (The Blue House) is the presidential residence of the Republic of Korea and is regarded as the heart of the nation. While entering is not allowed, see this historic location from outside the main gate. Cheongwadae Saranchae is a Korean presidential exhibition center, newly opened in January 2010. Enter inside to learn more about Korean culture and history (Monday tours visit the outside of the building only). Saranchae is closed on Tuesdays. The Royal Guard Changing Ceremony is a great opportunity to experience a rare traditional scene in Korea. Be sure to bring a camera to take lots of pictures. Admire the guards’ costumes with brilliant primary colors. Gyeongbokgung Palace is the oldest palace of the Joseon Dynasty, located at the northern end of Seojong-ro Street. Built in 1394 as the main palace of the Joseon Dynasty by its founder King Taejo, it's the most comprehensive and grandest of the five palaces of the period. Stroll around the grounds to see the National Folk Museum of Korea, where visitors can browse the unique cultural and historical traits of Korea and the lifestyle of the bygone days. As Gyeongbokgung Palace is closed on Tuesdays, Gyeongbokgung Palace, the National Folk Museum of Korea tour, and the Royal Guard Changing Ceremony will be replaced with a tour of Deoksugung Palace on Tuesdays. Jogyesa is located on one of the most popular cultural streets in Seoul, Insa-dong. Very close to the palace of Gyeongbokgung, it is the chief temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism (since 1936) and it plays a leading role in the current state of Seon Buddhism in South Korea. Changdeokgung Palace was used as the main palace by many Joseon Kings and is very well preserved. The palace was registered with UNESCO in 1997. On Mondays, you'll visit Jongmyo Royal Shrine instead. Insadong is the perfect place in Seoul for visitors wanting to experience the traditional aspects of Korea. Discover art galleries, traditional craft stores, antique art dealers, traditional tea houses, and local-favorite restaurants. Namsangol Hanok Village stands out between tall buildings in the middle of the city with its five restored traditional Korean houses, a pavilion, a pond, and a time capsule. On Mondays enjoy a similar visit to Bukchon Hanok Village instead. Sungnyemun Gate (Mondays: outside only), normally known as the Namdaemun, is one of the Eight Gates in the Fortress Wall of Seoul. Take memorable photos of one of the gates that surrounded the city during the Joseon Dynasty. Namdaemun Market is an open-air market close to the downtown area and high-end hotels. Get the chance to shop some of the best selections of merchandise in the nation and interact with the locals. The market’s history traces back to the Joseon Dynasty and since then has become the main place to exchange daily products between urban and rural areas of Korea

Seoul: City Highlights Tour with Gyeongbokgung Palace

6. Seoul: City Highlights Tour with Gyeongbokgung Palace

The tour begins at Gyeongbokgung Ticket Place, where a historical guide will explain the history of Gyeongbokgung Palace. (Including the ceremony of changing the guards) On this tour, we will visit Hanok Street, a location that has been used in numerous dramas and movies. Your beautiful photos will be taken by a professional photographer! In the observatory cafe, you will also be able to enjoy Korean traditional tea. An example of a modern hanok is Baek In-je House in Gahoe-dong, located in Bukchon Hanok Village during the Japanese administration period. A main room with a good view of the whole village, spacious bedrooms, a large garden, and annex buildings make up the structure. Keeping the beauty of the traditional hanok while incorporating the modern trend of its time, Baek In-je House represents the Bukchon Hanok Village together with Yun Bo-seon House as an important example of both architecture and history. Jogyesa Temple is both Seoul's main temple and the district head temple of the Jogye order. During the Goryeo period, the temple was built in the late 14th century but was destroyed by fire in the late 15th century. Gakwangsa Temple was rebuilt in 1910 by Han Yong-un and Lee Hee-gwang, two respected monks. As part of Korea's Buddhist tradition, the temple was renamed Tegosa Temple in 1936. During the 1954 purification drive, Japanese influence was eliminated and traditional Buddhism was revived, resulting in the current Jogyesa Temple. (Including traditional Korean bread called kukhwapang) A street in Insa-dong that appears frequently in Korean dramas! There will be lots of handmade gifts and delicious food!

Seoul: Northern Sides of Seoul / Gwangjang Market

7. Seoul: Northern Sides of Seoul / Gwangjang Market

Your day will start with a pick-up from your hotel to Gyeongbokgung Palace, the most beautiful and remains the largest of all five palaces. (Tuesday: visit Changdeokgung place) Then, move to Bukchon Hanok village which literally translates to "northern village," where many traditional houses operate as cultural centers, guesthouses and restaurants. Walk to Samcheongdong lined with cafes, museums, antique shops and galleries where you can enjoy the art and shopping. Next, go to Ihwha Mural Village, located less than a 10 minute walk uphill from the buzzing Daehakno area. As you head up the slopes of Mount Naksan, the noise and crowds will give way to fresh air and gorgeous, expansive views of the city but also to something unexpected - street art. Lastly, your trip will end at Gwangjang Market, the nation’s first market. Although the goods are not brand name products, the wide selection of high-quality goods at inexpensive prices will make it an enjoyable shopping experience. The market is famous for the delicious foods so have lunch or some snacks.

Seoul: City Highlights Morning E-bike Tour

8. Seoul: City Highlights Morning E-bike Tour

Glide effortlessly through the ancient city of Seoul by E-Bike. Starting from the K Style tourist information hub, you'll cruise over to the royal palace, before visiting the quaint west village and cruising up the west mountain on an e-bike to see the city wall. From the tops, you can overlook the city to enjoy Seoul's natural beauty and epic skyline all in one. Next up, visit Baum village, nestled in the mountains, the film location of the famous movie "parasite", before visiting the oldest original Joseon dynasty gate to the city. You'll then have a thrilling downhill ride back into the city. You'll effortlessly cycle past the presidential Blue House and over to the traditional Bukcheon Hanok village for a look at the traditional homes there. Your comfortable e-bike will then whisk you to the tranquil Jogyesa temple for a temple tour and finally back to the starting point on Cheonggyecheon river for the final tour story on Gwangtong bridge and tips on where to go next and how to get there.

Seoul: Gyeongbokgung Palace, Jogyesa Temple, and Cheongwadae

9. Seoul: Gyeongbokgung Palace, Jogyesa Temple, and Cheongwadae

Spend the day exploring the best of Seoul, with your experienced guide. Stroll through the Insadong area, known for traditional goods and cafes. Listen as your guide describes historical stories of Korea. Learn about Hanguel, the alphabetic system used for writing the Korean language. Start your tour from Jogyesa Temple, the head temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, and discover the history of the temple. Continue to Gwanghwamun Square and see the statues of King Sejong the Great, and Admiral Yi Sun-sin.  Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace, established in 1395 as the main palace in the Joseon Dynasty. Walk under Gwanghwamun, the main gates of the palace. Take some time to look around the palace and admire the architecture. See Cheongwadae, the home of the President of the Republic of Korea, also known as the Blue House. Relax in this hidden area with views of the mountains surrounding it, before visiting a museum to learn more about Korea. Lastly, head to Tongin Traditional Market and marvel at the traditional Hanok houses in Seochon Hanok Village. Call into a traditional medicine place in Hanok and taste Korean herbal tea in this hidden gem.

Seoul: Cheong Wa Dae (Blue House)

10. Seoul: Cheong Wa Dae (Blue House)

After we met the guide, we will take a walk to Cheonggyecheon stream and Gwanghuamun square which is a great place to take a break in the busy city. Cheonggyecheon is an 10.9 km (6.8 mi) stream flowing west to east through downtown Seoul. It was covered with concrete for roads. In 1968, an elevated highway was built over it. It is a transformed ecological park of natural beauty after 3 years of restoration project to complete in 2005. Gwanghuamun area was once Yukjo-geori (Avenue of Six Ministries), the center of Hanyang which was the capital city during the Joseon Dynasty. Nowadays, it is home to the Government's major administrative departments. It was opened on 1 August 2009 by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and is part of the City's plans for environmentally friendly renovation projects. And we will visit the Korean Royal Palace known as Gyeongbokgung Palace. (Deoksugung palace on Tuesday) After we admire the beauty of the Joseon dynasty, we will reach the main gate of The Blue House (Cheong Wa Dae) and see into The Blue House at the main gate. (Not allowed to get inside now) Located with Bugaksan Mountain in the background, Cheong Wa Dae (or Blue House) is the official office and residence for Korean Presidents from 1948 to 2022. Itinerary • Pick-up • Meet at Koreana hotel • Cheonggyecheon stream / Gwanghuamun square • Gyeongboukgung palace (Replaced as Deoksugung palace on Tuesday) • Seeing into Cheong Wa Dae (Blue House) at the main gate of it • Dismiss at Gyeongboukgung subway station

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What people are saying about Gyeongbokgung

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 177 reviews

Laura made us see the culture of Korea. Made us see the palaces of different kings. Explained us the history of the country. Introduced us to their cultural food. She is very knowledgeable and patient of answering questions. And of course thought us where to go for shopping.

The tour was great value - covering the temple, palace, modern history and ginseng tasting at the end for a really low price. Our guide Moon was also great - knowledgeable and friendly!

We had a great time and our tour guide Moon was excellent. She was very knowledgeable and was always open to questions.

Soojin was a great tour person and very knowledgeable about the history of Korea.

This tour is a perfect introduction to Seoul for first-timers!