[KOREA] GYEONGBOKGUNG PALACE (경복궁) – Travel Diary

Located north of Gwanghwamun Square, Gyeongbokgung Palace is one of the most iconic sights in all of Korea thanks to its long and storied history. Gyeongbokgung was the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty. Gyeongbokgung (경복궁), which means “palace greatly blessed by Heaven,” was built in the heart of Seoul surrounded by Mount Bugaksan and Mount Namsan.

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We visited Gyeongbokgung Palace on the first day of our #FoodInLoveKOREA trip before having lunch at Tosokchon Samgyetang. You can easily get here by Seoul Metro Subway Line 3), hop off at Gyeongbokgung Station and take 5. Alternatively, you can stop at Anguk Station and take exit 1.

For complete guide and list of 30 things to eat in Seoul, please read [KOREA] FOOD GUIDE – What to Eat in Seoul

Guide to the best destinations to enjoy Autumn in Seoul, please read [KOREA] AUTUMN IN SEOUL – Fall Foliage Destinations and Places to Visit

Need more info to plan your daily itinerary in Seoul? Check our itinerary guide [KOREA] ITINERARY TRAVEL GUIDE – Top Places to Visit in Seoul

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Gyeongbokgung Station

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Actually, Gyeongbokgung Palace is a very big area. The complex has around 500 buildings in the area of 40 hectares. The layout consists of the outer court, inner court, pavilions, etc. There are also two museums located on the grounds of the palace. The National Palace Museum of Korea is located south of Heungnyemun Gate, and the National Folk Museum is located on the eastern side within Hyangwonjeong.

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Palace Wall
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Gwanghwamun (The Main and South Gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace)
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Heungnyemun Gate, the entrance to Gyeongbokgung Palace

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Before you go, please note that Gyeongbokgung Palace is closed on Tuesday. The main attraction at Gyeongbokgung Palace, Royal Guard Changing Ceremony is at 10 AM and 2 PM with the duration of 20 minutes per ceremony. It’s free to watch the Royal Guard Changing Ceremony since you don’t need entrance ticket in this area.

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The Royal Guard Changing Ceremony is a great opportunity to experience a rare traditional scene in Korea. Be sure to bring your camera to take lots of pictures. The guards’ splendid costumes, with their brilliant primary colors, are a real pleasure to see.

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Unfortunately, we don’t have enough time to explore the whole complex since we have to continue to Bukchon Hanok Village and Samcheongdong. If you have some spare time to kill, make sure to buy the entrance ticket for KRW 3,000, (includes visit to the museums) and  visit the palace and enjoy the beauty of Korean palaces, especially Hyangwonjeong Pavilion, where the two-story hexagonal pavilion built on a small island in the middle of a lake on the northern grounds of Gyeongbokgung Palace. Hopefully some day we can come back and visit Hyangwonjeong Pavilion.

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How to getting there:
By subway: Take the exit  5 of Gyeongbokgung Station or Exit 3 of Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3)

KOREA ULTIMATE TRAVEL GUIDE:

Korea Travel Series:

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Gyeongbokgung Palace

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

Phone: +82-2-3700-3900

Website: www.royalpalace.go.kr

Operating Hours:
January – February: 9 AM – 5 PM
March – May: 9 AM – 6 PM
June – August: 9 AM – 6.30 PM
September – October: 9 AM – 6 PM
November  – December: 9 AM – 5 PM
Last admission: 1 hour before closing
Closed on Tuesdays

Length of Visit: 1-2 hours

How to getting there:
By subway: Take the exit  5 of Gyeongbokgung Station or Exit 3 of Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3)

MAP

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