top of page

Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul

Gyeongbokgung Palace is considered the most important royal palace in South Korea and is one of the essential Palaces to visit in Seoul. Its long history, along with the beauty of its buildings, make Gyeongbokgung Palace a unique place in the country.

In this post I talk about what to visit in the Gyeongbokgung Palace, I add schedules and tips to visit it.

Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul


The history of Gyeongbokgung Palace dates back to the year 1395, when it was built by King Taejo.

Gyeongbokgung Palace was used throughout the Joseon Dynasty as a royal residence, making it the most important palace of the Five Royal Palaces that were built throughout the dynasty in Seoul.

After the Japanese invasions during the Imji Wars (Between the years 1592 and 1598) the palace was totally destroyed and abandoned for around 300 years. In the year 1867, the Gyeongbokung Palace was rebuilt by King Gojon, being again destroyed during World War II and the Korean War (between the years 1950 and 1953).

In 1989, the South Korean government began its reconstruction, giving it its current appearance and turning Gyeongbokgung Palace into the national icon that it is today, declaring its buildings National Treasures and a must-see in Seoul.


The Gyeongbokgung Palace complex is made up of different buildings (pavilions and halls), a small lake and garden areas, making up a total of almost 40 hectares. The interesting and important places to visit within the enclosure are:

It is advisable to book a guided tour to learn more about the history of the Palace.

Gwanghwamun, the main gate to visit at Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gwanghwamun is the Main Gate of the enclosure, located to the south of the Palace. With its great wall, the Gwanghwamun Gate is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the complex and one of the most photographed corners. You can even rent the traditional Korean costume, the hanbok.

The Geounjeongjeon, the most important building to see in the Gyeongbokgung Palace

The Geunjeongjeon Hall is the most important building in the entire Palace complex. It was used as the Throne Room for all the monarchs of the Joseon Dynasty. Through its doors and windows you can see the interior where there is a replica of the original throne.

The Sajeongjeon Hall

Sajeongjeon Hall was the place where the Gojon King met privately with his rulers and generals.

Gyeonghoeru Pavilion

Gyeonghoeru Pavilion was the place where King Gojon received foreign delegations visiting the country. Meetings were also held.

Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul

The Gyotaejeon

The Gyotaejeon was built in the year 1440 by King Sejon. Gyotaejeon Hall was used as the queen's private residence. From this date, Gyotaejeon Hall was used as the residence of all the queens of the Joseon Dynasty.

The Gangnyeongjeon, one of the most important buildings to visit in the Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gangnyeongjeon was built in 1395 and was used as the private residence of all the kings of the Joseon dynasty. Inside the building there are several rooms and lounges. It is like a Palace itself, it is one of the largest buildings within the complex.

Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul

The Jagyeongjeon, one of the original buildings still standing in the Gyeongbokgung Palace

Jagyeongjeon was built in 1865 by King Heonjong. It was the private residence of his mother, Queen Sinjeong. Jagyeongjeon Palace is one of the few buildings that survived the last wars, making it one of the oldest buildings in the entire complex.

Hyangwonjeong Pavilion

Another of the most beautiful buildings to visit in the Gyeingbokgung Palace is the Hyangwonjeong Pavilion. It was built on an artificial island in the middle of Hyangwonji Lake. In order to access it, you must cross a small bridge known as Chwihyanggyo. It is one of the most beautiful and photographed places in the enclosure.

Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul

The Jibokjae

The Jibokjae was built by King Gojong and its main function was as a personal library, although the king also used it as a small meeting room.

Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul

The amishan garden

Amisan Garden is beautiful and one of the best things to see in Jagyeongjeon Palace is the Amisan Garden area. It was built in 1865 by King Heonjong next to Gyotaejeon Hall and the garden was used as a resting place for the queen and her ladies-in-waiting.

More buildings to see at Gyeongbokgung Palace

In addition to the most important buildings that I have been detailing, you will find many more pavilions and halls. Many of them used by the ladies-in-waiting, the king's guardians or even by the members of the Korean royal family themselves. Each of them has a different essence, but following the same traditional Korean style. You will see red roofs with details in green images, carved wood, exposed wooden buildings with light tones... A patio will lead you to another patio, there is even a small village of houses and buildings attached to each other where you can access through doors and small corridors...

The National Palace Museum of Korea

Within the enclosure there are also two museums and a museum house. One of them is the National Palace Museum of Korea, an essential place to visit in Seoul to learn more about its history. The museum opened to the public in 1992. It exhibits about 20,000 objects related to the history of Gyeongbokgung Palace.

The National Folk Museum of Korea

The other museum within the Palace compound is the National Folk Museum of Korea. It was also built in 1992, and it displays objects and items related to Korean folklore and history. The Museum is a beautiful Palace located on top of a long staircase. Right next to it, there is a beautiful pagoda.

The museum house of the peasants

Just down the steps of the National Folk Museum of Korea are two house museums. They represent what the houses of the peasants and workers who worked in the Palace were like. In them are detailed how the rooms were, some everyday objects, all of this, respecting the traditional Korean architecture of the time.

The changing of the guard at Gyeongbokgung Palace

One of the best things to do in Seoul is to see the changing of the guard at Gyeongbokgung Palace. During the changing of the guard, they do a recreation of the changing of the royal guard that existed during the time of King Taejo in the year 1395. You can see this changing of the guard every day of the week and several passes are offered for visitors. The Changing of the Guard hours are at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. In the recreation, all the members are dressed in costumes and carry traditional weapons of the time.

Gyeongbokgung Palace Visiting Hours and Ticket Price

Gyeongbokgung Palace is open every weekday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from November to February. And from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. from March to September. The entrance fee is 3,000 Won per person. Admission is included in the Discover Seoul Pass.

How to go to Gyeongbokgung Palace

The best way to get to Gyeongbokgung Palace by public transportation is by using Seoul Subway Line 3 to Gyeongbokgung Station. From here it is only a 5-minute walk to the entrance to the Palace.



I hope you enjoy your trip to South Korea a lot and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.

If you liked this article, subscribe to the blog so you don't miss out on upcoming destinations, curiosities, travel tips and inspiration for your trips.

A hug and see you soon!


bottom of page