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Originally the summer palace of King Sukjong, the 15th Century Changgyeonggung Palace is now open to visitors. The name of the palace translates to “The Palace of Bright Rejoicing” and is known for its beautiful architecture and impressive gardens.
You can enjoy Changgyeonggung Palace on your own and at your own leisure, but if you want to delve deeper into the palace’s history, then sign up for a tour of the palace complex, several of which take place throughout the day.
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Jongmyo Shrine should be the first port of call for visitors. Built in the 16th Century and containing teachings from the members of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), it is the world’s oldest known Confucian shrine and still plays host to traditional Korean ceremonies.
Most visitors enter the palace itself through the impressive Honghwamu entrance gate, which then takes you towards the 15th Century Okcheongyo Bridge. With spooky carved goblins hiding under the parapet, the bridge is believed to be the oldest in the city. Don’t miss the stone structures on the south-facing hill outside the shrine mark the spot of a former observatory.
Although it has been carefully restored to reflect much of its former glory, the Changgyeonggyng Palace has certainly seen its share of hard times. In the 16th Century, it was destroyed by the Japanese, and then damaged by fire three hundred years later. Because of this, many of the buildings that now make up the palace are less than 200 years old. A few of the original buildings do however remain – the Myeongjeongjeon was constructed in 1616 and is the oldest main hall in Seoul.
Gyeongchunjeon is the birthplace of a number of important Korean kings. One of the finest attractions in the palace is the Daeonsil, a Victorian-style glasshouse that was constructed in the early 1900s. Tranquil and calm, the conservatory is home to many different Korean plants, as well as featuring a Renaissance water fountain at its centre.
Changgyeonggung Palace is open to visitors every day except Monday. It’s worth paying a little extra for an integrated ticket that includes the other four of Seoul’s Five Grand Palaces.
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 3-ga Station is 6 minutes by foot and Euljiro 1-ga Station is 8 minutes.
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 are also within 15 minutes. Jonggak Station is 6 minutes by foot and Gangwhamun Station is 6 minutes.
Located in Jongno, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Ssamji-gil and Gyeongbok Palace. Namdaemun Market and Dongdaemun History and Culture Park are also within 2 mi (3 km). Jongno 3-ga Station is 6 minutes by foot and Anguk Station is 8 minutes.
This family-friendly Seoul hotel is located in the business district, within a 5-minute walk of Seoul City Hall and Lotte Department Store. Myeongdong Street and Cheonggyecheon are also within 10 minutes. Euljiro 1-ga Station is only a 2-minute walk and City Hall Station is 5 minutes.
Located in Jongno, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Jogyesa Temple, Gwanghwamun and Cheonggyecheon. Bukchon Hanok Village and Gyeongbok Palace are also within 15 minutes. Anguk Station is only a 4-minute walk and Jonggak Station is 8 minutes.
Located in Jung-gu, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Namsan Park, Korea House and Dongdaemun Design Plaza. Dongdaemun History and Culture Park and Dongdaemun History & Culture Park are also within 1 mile (2 km). Dongguk University Station is only a 4-minute walk and Yaksu Station is 13 minutes.
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 also within 3 mi (5 km). City Hall Station is 6 minutes by foot and Seoul Station is 11 minutes.
Located in Jung-gu, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Korea House and Cheonggyecheon. Myeongdong Street and Namsan Park are also within 15 minutes. Euljilo 3-ga Station is 5 minutes by foot and Chungmuro Station is 6 minutes.