Built during the Joseon Dynasty, Gyeongbokgung is the largest and as some would argue, the most beautiful among the impressive palaces in Seoul. Located at the heart of the city, it remains to be the most famous royal palace in the country even after numerous times of destruction and reconstruction.

About Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung Palace was built three years after the Joseon Dynasty was founded and served as the first royal palace. It is one of the “Five Grand Palaces” together with Gyeonghuigung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, Changgyeonggung Palace, and Changdeokgung Palace.

In 1553, it was severely damaged by fire and was ordered to be re-constructed by King Myeongjon. However, during the Japanese invasion of Korea, Gyeongbokgung Palace was burnt to the ground and remained in ruins for a very long time.

The South Korean government then made an initiative to once again rebuild Gyeongbokgung Palace. Aside from being the distinguished royal palace that it is today, it also houses the National Palace Museum of Korea and the National Folk Museum of Korea.

To better appreciate the profound history of Gyeongbokgung Palace, join the English tours being conducted for visitors.

Royal Guard Changing Ceremony

We woke up early to catch the Royal Guard Changing Ceremony. It is a re-enactment of the same ceremony performed by the royal guards during the Joseon Dynasty to guard the Gwanghwamun Gate, the entrance of Gyeongbokgung Palace.

As we arrived earlier than the schedule, we noticed a lot of people already piling up and securing their spots. There were many tourists and locals alike waiting for the ceremony. The parade made us travel back in time as the guards performed flawlessly the ceremony in their traditional uniforms and weapons.

After the changing ceremony, the guards settled at their respective posts at the Gwanghwamun Gate.

Guards settled at their post after the changing ceremony.

Note: You don’t have to pay for the palace admission fee if you are only watching the changing of the guards ceremony.

Gwanghwamun Gate

Gwanghwamun is the main gate of Gyeongbukgung Palace. The gate was also rebuilt using concrete after it was destroyed during the Japanese occupation. It is also regarded as the most beautiful among the five palace gates.

Gwanghwamun Gate

Gwanghwamun Gate

Some intricate details of the Gwanghwamun Gate.

Some intricate details of the Gwanghwamun Gate.

How to Go to Gyeongbokgung Palace

You can reach Gyeongbokgung Palace via subway through the following stations:

  • Gyeongbokgung Palace Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 5.
  • Gwanghwamun Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 2.

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Operating Hours:

January-February:          9AM-5PM
March-May:                     9AM-6PM
June-August:                  9AM-6:30PM
September-October:      9AM-6PM
November-December:   9AM-5PM

Closed: Tuesdays

Admission Fees:

Adults (ages 19-64): 3,000 won | Group (10 people or more): 2,400 won
Children (ages 7-18): 1,500 won | Group (10 people or more): 1,200 won

Address: 161, Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Contact Nos.: +82-2-3700-3900~1, +82-2-738-9171, +82-2-3210-1645~6
Website: royalpalace.go.kr