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Gyeongbok Palace
Vacation Travel Guide

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.

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Top Hotels Close to Gyeongbok Palace

Shilla Stay Gwanghwamun
Shilla Stay Gwanghwamun
4 out of 5
71, Sambong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Free Cancellation
The price is $59 per night from Feb 18 to Feb 19

Located in Jongno, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Jogyesa Temple, Sejong Cultural Center, and Gwanghwamun Plaza. Cheonggye Plaza and Gyeongbok Palace ...

4.2/5Excellent! (1,194 reviews)

"Great location. Very nice and clean room. The breakfast was superb!"…"

Reviewed on Nov 28, 2020

Shilla Stay Gwanghwamun
ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun
ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun
4 out of 5
36, Sejong-daero 11-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, Seoul
The price is $59 per night from Feb 1 to Feb 2

Located in Jung-gu, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Sungnyemun Gate and Deoksugung Palace. Cheonggye Plaza and Dongdaemun History and Culture Park are ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (1,847 reviews)

"It was perfect except one thing, the desk stand lamp was out of order."…"

Reviewed on Jan 12, 2021

ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun
LOTTE City Hotel Myeongdong
LOTTE City Hotel Myeongdong
4 out of 5
362, Samil-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul
The price is $74 per night from Feb 19 to Feb 20

Located in Myeongdong, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Seoul City Hall, Namdaemun Market, and Gwanghwamun. Gyeongbok Palace is 1.3 mi (2 km) away. Euljilo ...

4.4/5Excellent! (2,448 reviews)

"Good Location in the center of Seoul, Clean and Fancy, and Great Price"…"

Reviewed on Oct 1, 2020

LOTTE City Hotel Myeongdong
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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Hotel Gaon
Courtyard by Marriott Seoul Namdaemun
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Best Lodging Options Near Gyeongbok Palace

Shilla Stay Gwanghwamun
Shilla Stay Gwanghwamun
4 out of 5
71, Sambong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
The price is $59 per night from Feb 18 to Feb 19
Shilla Stay Gwanghwamun
ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun
ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun
4 out of 5
36, Sejong-daero 11-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, Seoul
The price is $59 per night from Feb 1 to Feb 2
ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun
LOTTE City Hotel Myeongdong
LOTTE City Hotel Myeongdong
4 out of 5
362, Samil-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul
The price is $74 per night from Feb 19 to Feb 20
LOTTE City Hotel Myeongdong
Lotte Hotel Seoul
Lotte Hotel Seoul
5 out of 5
30, Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, Seoul
The price is $180 per night from Feb 17 to Feb 18
Lotte Hotel Seoul
Nine Tree Premier Hotel Insadong
Nine Tree Premier Hotel Insadong
4 out of 5
49, Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Seoul
The price is $58 per night from Feb 1 to Feb 2
Nine Tree Premier Hotel Insadong
Somerset Palace Seoul
Somerset Palace Seoul
4 out of 5
7, Yulgok-ro 2-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Seoul
The price is $87 per night from Jan 24 to Jan 25
Somerset Palace Seoul
Four Seasons Hotel Seoul
Four Seasons Hotel Seoul
5 out of 5
97, Saemunan-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
The price is $254 per night from Feb 10 to Feb 11
Four Seasons Hotel Seoul
The Westin Chosun Seoul
The Westin Chosun Seoul
5 out of 5
106, Sogong-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, Seoul
The price is $181 per night from Feb 1 to Feb 2
The Westin Chosun Seoul
Hotel PJ Myeongdong
Hotel PJ Myeongdong
4 out of 5
71, Mareunnae-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, Seoul
The price is $51 per night from Jan 24 to Jan 25
Hotel PJ Myeongdong
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.