Gyeongbok Palace

Gyeongbok Palace showing a square or plaza and heritage architecture as well as a small group of people
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This royal palace has been destroyed on more than one occasion, but today it stands as one of Seoul’s finest examples of classic Korean architecture.

Seoul is a relativelymodern city, but Gyeongbok Palace is one of the exceptions. The palace wasoriginally built in 1395 and, as home to the Joseon Dynasty, was one of themost important places in the country. Today, almost half of it has beenrestored to its former glory and serves as an example of traditional Koreanculture.

The complex has beenthrough hard times. It was first destroyed during Japanese invasion in the late16th century, and demolished by the Empire of Japan again in the 20th century.Work is still ongoing to restore the 300 or so buildings that made up theoriginal palace.

Gwanghwamun is thecomplex’s main gate to the south, and where most visitors enter from. It’s alsowhere you can catch the changing of the guard, which happens hourly throughoutthe day. Other highlights of the palace complex include Gangnyeongjeon Hall (wherethe kings once lived), the Royal Banquet Hall, and the picturesqueHyangwonjeong, one of the only surviving 19th-century structures.

You’ll need at least anhour to stroll the palace grounds. Learn about Gyeongbok in depth on one of thefree guided tours, which depart from the information office inside HeungnyemunGate a few times a day. Learn more about Korean history at the National PalaceMuseum to the south of Heungnyemun Gate, and the National Folk Museum, which isin Hyangwonjeong itself. Both museums contain extensive collections of Koreanartifacts and cater to English speakers.

A short stroll to thenorth of Gyeongbok Palace brings you to South Korea’s current seat of power,the Blue House. This is where the head of state resides. Though you’ll need tobook well in advance for a tour, the exterior alone is worth seeing. Thetraditional-style blue-tiled pavilions and mountainous backdrop make for asuperb photo opportunity.

GyeongbokPalace is best reached from the Gyeongbokgung or Gwanghwamun subway stations.The palace complex is open every day, except Tuesdays. Consider buying anintegrated ticket, which includes access to three other Grand Palace complexesand the Jongmyo Shrine.

Top Hotels Close to Gyeongbok Palace

ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun
ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun
4 out of 5
36, Sejong-daero 11-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, Seoul, 04513
The price is $62 per night from Aug 1 to Aug 2
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Reviewed on Jun 27, 2022

ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun
LOTTE City Hotel Myeongdong
LOTTE City Hotel Myeongdong
4 out of 5
362, Samil-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul, 100-220
The price is $73 per night from Jul 3 to Jul 4
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly hotel in Seoul. Enjoy free WiFi, a rooftop terrace, and breakfast. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff ...
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Reviewed on Jun 28, 2022

LOTTE City Hotel Myeongdong
Nine Tree Premier Hotel Insadong
Nine Tree Premier Hotel Insadong
4 out of 5
49, Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Seoul, 03145
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $68 per night from Jul 11 to Jul 12
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly hotel in Seoul. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast, and a fitness center. Our guests praise the clean rooms and the overall value ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (920 reviews)
"Loved it very much! Great neighborhood, historically and traditionally. Not to mention transportation with subway stations buses as well as taxies. I will definitely go back without doubt and recommend to anyone I know."

Reviewed on Jun 29, 2022

Nine Tree Premier Hotel Insadong
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Gyeongbok Palace

ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun
ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun
4 out of 5
36, Sejong-daero 11-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, Seoul, 04513
The price is $62 per night from Aug 1 to Aug 2
ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun
LOTTE City Hotel Myeongdong
LOTTE City Hotel Myeongdong
4 out of 5
362, Samil-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul, 100-220
The price is $73 per night from Jul 3 to Jul 4
LOTTE City Hotel Myeongdong
Nine Tree Premier Hotel Insadong
Nine Tree Premier Hotel Insadong
4 out of 5
49, Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Seoul, 03145
The price is $68 per night from Jul 11 to Jul 12
Nine Tree Premier Hotel Insadong
Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel Seoul Myeongdong
Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel Seoul Myeongdong
3.5 out of 5
27 Myeong-dong 8-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, Seoul
The price is $72 per night from Jul 5 to Jul 6
Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel Seoul Myeongdong
Lotte Hotel Seoul
Lotte Hotel Seoul
5 out of 5
30, Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, Seoul, 100-721
The price is $177 per night from Jul 6 to Jul 7
Lotte Hotel Seoul
Shilla Stay Gwanghwamun
Shilla Stay Gwanghwamun
4 out of 5
71, Sambong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
The price is $76 per night from Jul 3 to Jul 4
Shilla Stay Gwanghwamun
Four Points by Sheraton Josun, Seoul Station
Four Points by Sheraton Josun, Seoul Station
4 out of 5
366, Hangang-daero, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, 04323
The price is $62 per night from Jul 10 to Jul 11
Four Points by Sheraton Josun, Seoul Station
L7 Myeongdong by LOTTE
L7 Myeongdong by LOTTE
4 out of 5
137 Toegye-ro Jung-gu, Seoul, 04537
The price is $81 per night from Jul 19 to Jul 20
L7 Myeongdong by LOTTE
Four Seasons Hotel Seoul
Four Seasons Hotel Seoul
5 out of 5
97, Saemunan-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, 03183
The price is $400 per night from Jul 11 to Jul 12
Four Seasons Hotel Seoul
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.