Be warned: visiting Gyeongbokgung (경복궁) palace will give you huge Scarlet Heart vibes.
Some background information
Gyeongbokgung palace, which is located in the northern part of Seoul, was built in 1395 during the Joseon dynasty. It is also one of the largest of the five grand palaces of Korea.
This palace served as the Kings’ household and continued to serve as such until it was destroyed by a fire during the Imjin War.
It was abandoned for a while, but come the 19th century, it was restored.
Again, in the 20th century, the palace was destroyed by the Japanese.
However, this palace was again restored – and thank God for that, because it is one of the most beautiful palaces I have ever seen.
Although it is quite “touristy” at the first and second gate of the palace, I would recommend exploring deeper into the palace walls where you will find comfort in its serene atmosphere. I could almost imagine what the palace would be like back in the day, with the queen’s ladies rushing back and forth, scholars being fully concentrated on their books, concubines hidden within the palace walls, and the king ordering his soldiers around.
I wish I had rented and worn a Hanbok (a traditional Korean dress) when visiting the palace, but it was too cold for me to be in one. However, if you’re able to rent a Hanbok, you are able to go into the palace for free instead of having to buy a ₩3,000 entrance ticket.
More information for visiting
Hours of operation
Closed on Tuesdays and its opening hours vary depending on the month (for example, in February the Palace is open until 5:00pm; however, in August it is open until 6:30pm)
Can my wallet afford this?
Adults (19-64): ₩3,000 (~$3)
Children (7-18): ₩1,500 (~$1.50)
You can also buy an “Integrated Palace Ticket” which is ₩10,000 (~$10). It includes admission to 4 palaces and a shrine. This ticket can be used for up to three months after the purchase.
How do I get there?
Take the subway to Gwanghwamun Station (Exit 2) or take the subway to Gyeongbokgung Station (Exit 5).
The palace is located north of Gwanghwamun Square. You will definitely not miss it. Just keep your eyes peeled for something that looks like this:
For more information, make sure to check out Visit Korea’s page about Gyeongbokgung Palace
For more adventures in South Korea, make sure to click the link here!