Gyeongbokgung Palace

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Seoul, South Korea

Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul Reviews

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3 reviews
A must-see in Seoul! Jun 15, 2014
It's the biggest palace in Seoul and definitely worth a trip. Lots of history on the inside, flanked by high-modernity on the outside. You can wander around for hours because the whole palace is huge!

It really helps to understand the Korean culture and its history. At the very back of the palace is a back exit that leads to the front of the Blue House, Korea's equivalent of the White House, where it president lives. You can tell where to go by the guards who search bags at the exit. Walk through and you can walk back in by showing your ticket.

Also do research the timing to catch the change of guards parade! It's worth watching!
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cynthiasmiller cynthias…
61 reviews
A verdant respite from the busy city Dec 17, 2013
The "Palace Greatly Blessed by Heaven" is huge. The entrance can be deceptive, it doesn't quite show you just how big the palace is. Once you get past the main entrance you'll see that it just keeps going. There are more buildings a little bit further. Just when you think you've seen the whole thing, wait there's more! Plus with your entrance ticket (which costs 3000 won) you get free entrance to the National Folk Museum.

The palace is decorated in the traditional green and red paint, and the wide open spaces between the buildings are filled with beautifully maintained gardens. Even when the palace crowded on the weekend, it can still feel like a tucked-away escape from the city.

The only downside I found is the lack of signage. I can understand not wanting to spoil the beauty of the palace with signs, but I found myself asking a lot of questions about the buildings, designs, etc... There are guided tours three times a day, but that's not everyone's thing (including me).
Mountains in the background of Gye…
A large pond in the middle of the …
Five-tiered pagoda
Found this inside the main building
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
WalterC WalterC
317 reviews
Worth visiting, even if you been to the other palace! Nov 26, 2012
If you have seen one of the other palaces already in Seoul, you may wonder if Gyeongbokgung Palace worth a visit. The answer is… yes, it is.

While it may look too similar to some of the other ones, like Changdeokgung, with the main throne building, there are some differences. Like the pavilion in the lake, and the mountain in the background. Plus this one is more bigger and grander than the other ones, and has the Changing of the Guard ceremony throughout the day.

You can leave and re-enter the palace with your ticket stub. You will need it, if you plan to visit the National Folk Museum of Korea or the National Palace Museum of Korea, as you are technically leaving the palace.

Gyeongbokgung was the first palace built in 1394, by the first king of the Joseon Dynasty. And remained the main palace until the 1590’s, when it was burned down and remained in ruins, until it was re-built in 1867. It remained the main one until the Colonial Period, when the Japanese destroyed most of it. The palace started to be restored in 1996, a work that continues to this day.

Seeing this palace can be tricky, since there are not enough description boards telling the story of each building, when compared to Changdeokgung. Also, there may not be any English tour booklets available.

There is the option of the audioguide, but that has its own issues. This is more of a pointer pen, where you point it at a number on a palace map, and you get information on the corresponding building. But the map also has subsections, like 3-1 and 3-2, which makes it more confusing, as you are not sure where you should be standing. So the audioguide, which cost extra money, is not really worth it.

Audioguide issues aside, Gyeongbokgung is still worth visiting, even just for the architecture and the picturesque backdrop of the palace.
gate entrance to palace
palace guards
"Changing of the Guard" inside pal…
"Changing of the Guard" outside of…
4 / 4 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
patheryn patheryn
1 reviews
Gyeongbokgung Palace Mar 19, 2011
I personally really like this place, very impressive, with amazing architecture and the environment is breath taking. a must visit to Seoul.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
rideouts rideouts
30 reviews
Jun 18, 2006
The answer to your first question is “No, I don’t know how to pronounce the name.” I found the palace on lark, with a spare weekend in Seoul, I looked on the internet for something to see that I could get to on the subway system. The Gyeongbokgung Palace, one of several palaces in Seoul, is located in the heart of the government district, surrounded by tall, modern, imposing government buildings housing the central government, the police headquarters, and several other major Korean government sections. Although this palace long ago surrendered it’s official status, traditional guards still stand watch over the empty throne rooms and massive gates. . The palace is very reminiscent of the Forbidden City in Bejing, although on a smaller scale. Large, sparse throne rooms housed inside classic chinese style structures dominate the wide paved grounds, and stone statues and bas-relief contrast the brightly painted rafters and pillars. The palace did have one very uniqe structure, a large two story open air pavilion that served as a conference center for festivals and official functions. Located on the grounds of a large man made pond, the pavillion is a very exotic yet serene structure. stone islands with large delicately manicured pine trees provide a stately contrast to the red pillars that support the structures, and the still waters reflect the scene with a breathtaking impact. When to go: The best time to arrive is before the site opens at 09:00 in the morning, or an hour or so before closing (time varies by season). The early arrival will allow you to beat most of the crowds, and enjoy the nice morning light for the enhanced colors and softer light. If you arrive early, you can catch the traditional gate opening ceremony, and if you arrive around 15:00, you can catch the closing ceremony. The ceremonies are performed with traditional uniforms, drums and weapons, as the guard captains change shifts and secure the massive doors. You are likely to find much less crowds in the morning, and with the palace in the background, it’s easy to imagine the scene hundreds of years ago. How to get there: The best way to go is by subway, the Gyeongbokgung Subway Station is right next to the palace, on the number three line. The palace is near major roads as well, so a taxi can easily take you there.
2 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
nadiakristy says:
My hypothesis as to why the guards are so solemn: if they so much as sneeze, let alone speak or move, their glued-on facial hair will fall off.

Also get pay the additional money to be able to tour the building in the middle of the pond. I don't remember it's name, but at the ticket counter they will know. That tour is only in Korean, but there is an English/Chinese/Japanese recording on the second level. You'll just have to wait a few minutes after the rest of the tour to learn about the place.
Posted on: Jun 27, 2007

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