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Dating back to 1395, Gyeongbok Palace is one of Seoul’s oldest and most important buildings. As the home of the Joseon Dynasty, it was considered to be one of the finest examples of Korean architecture and culture. Damaged considerably over the centuries, today nearly half of the palace complex has been painstakingly restored.
Gyeongbok Palace is in good company with the other Seoul palaces in that it has a long and difficult history. It was initially destroyed by the Japanese in the late 1500s, and then again by Japan at the beginning of the 20th Century. Work continues to this day in an effort to restore this beautiful building to its former glory.
There are a number of points of interest in at Gyeongbok, including the Royal Banquet Hall, Gangnyeongjeon Hall and one of the few surviving 19th Century structures, the Hyangwonjeong. Upon entering the palace at Gwanghwamun gate, stop to witness the changing of the guard, a daily occurrence that happens every hour.
You can see Gyeongbok Palace on your own, or you can take advantage of one of the excellent free guided tours which take place several times a day from the Information Office. Give yourself at least one hour (preferably two) to take in the palace and its turbulent past. You can continue the history lesson at the nearby National Palace Museum and National Folk Museum, both of which are home to large collections of national artefacts and monuments.
When your visit to Gyeongbok Palace comes to an end, take a walk north to the Blue House, home to South Korea’s head of state. Snap a photo or two of the traditional building set against the mountains, or take a tour inside. It’s advisable to book this is in advance.
The palace is open every day except Tuesdays. It may be a good idea to buy an integrated ticket that gives discounted entrance to the other Grand Palace complexes. You can get to Gyeongbok Palace on the subway – get off at Gyeongbokgung or Gwanghwamun.
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 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 the centre of Seoul, this family-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Seoul Finance Center, U.S. Embassy & Consulate in Korea and Gwanghwamun. Seoul City Hall and Deoksugung Palace are also within 15 minutes. Gwanghwamun Station and Gangwhamun Station are within a 5-minute walk.
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 Jongno, this family-friendly Seoul aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Jogyesa Temple, Gyeongbok Palace and Gwanghwamun. Bukchon Hanok Village and Seoul City Hall are also within 15 minutes. Anguk Station is 5 minutes by foot and Gangwhamun Station is 9 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.