You can have a pleasent stroll around Gyeonbokgung. It wasn't that crowded when I went. There are many nooks that you can easily miss. Entrance costs W 1000. You should be able to see most of it in 2 hours. There are many places where you can sit and relax and enjoy the surroundings. Late afternoon is a good time to go. It closes at 5 or 6 pm depending on the seaon. You also have the option of visiting the National Folk Museum.
You need a full day to see the whole palace. For me what makes it interesting to visit is because it is very rich in History & a lot ok Korean Dramas were shot here. :O) especially my favotite Princess Hours. Its a must to hire a Hanbok ( Korean National Costume) so that you will actually feel the ambience of the place & feel like a royal! hahaha
I was the only one to turn up for the English tour the day I went, and so had a charming young lady in Korean dress all to myself, although she did insist on interrogating me throughout about the marriage plans of Prince Charles. After explaining the sleeping arrangements of the Korean royal family, which are relevant to the architecture of the palace, she seemed surprised that I didn't know how the British royal family arranged these things...
Unfortunately when I went the National Museum was closed in preparation for moving, and didn't re-open (near Ichon subway station in Yongsan) until after I had left, in October 2005.
Gyeongbokgung (Gyeongbok Palace) was originally built in 1395, by the Korean architect Jeong Do-jeon. It is the biggest and most spectacular palace in Korea, and Seoul's premier tourist attraction. If you only have time to visit one of Seoul's five palaces, make it this one, as it is a truly magical place.
Gyeongbokgung was built by King Taejo to be the main palace of the Joseon dynasty. It was burnt down during the Japanese invasion of 1592 and left in ruins until it was restored by King Gojong in 1868. At one time there were 330 buildings in the palace complex. Many of these are being reconstructed. They are currently rebuilding the kitchen area.
The Korean alphabet, known as Hangeul, was created inside this palace, in the fifteenth century, under the reign of King Sejong.
The National Folk Museum is next door.
Opening hours: March-October 09.00-18.00
The entrance fee is 3,000 won.
Make sure to be around for the change of guards, this is usually performd several times a day from March to November. It includes a lof flags, swords and and drums. The rest you should just check out yourself, but it's very worthwhile seeing.
On the grounds of Gyeongbokgung there is the National Folk Museum, it's located down the large pagoda (by far the largest sized pagoda I have seen in Korea).
Inside there are nice displays (bilingual) on the history of Korea ad how people used to live in former days, the exhibits are very nicely made with maquaettes and real sized buildings and objects.
The old palace of Seoul, Gyeongbokgung is a must see. The palacegrounds are the largest in Seoul and used to consist of some 330 buildings. Unfortunately the Japanese raged the palace, destroying it twice. Nowadays a fair amount of buildings has been rebuild, including the most splendid ones. Included in the entrancefee is also the access to the National Folk Museum which is recommendable and located on the northeastern corner of the grounds.
Most of the grounds consist of the Palacebuilding itself. There's a citygate you go through first, to get on the main square where also the change of guards is performed, then you have to enter 2 gates untll you are on the palace square, behing the palace are also some buildings on which signs explain whatits functions are, and there is a display on they look from the inside.
Experience the changing of guards ceremony or stroll through the expansive palace grounds.
Much more interesting is the Folk Museum in the grounds showcasing the daily lifestyle and culture of the Koreans. Interesting videos play the ceremonies and culture of the days gone by.
Gyeongbokgung Palace is the primary Palace of Joseon Dynasty and it is the Korea's representative cultural asset. The founder of the palace was King Taejo. King Taejo established the Jaseon Danysty in 1329 and built the palace in 1395. In the 25th year of King Seonjo ( 1592), the pLace was burnt down during the Japanese Invasion and was left ruins for 273 years. Want to know in more detail? just visit it. here are some direction.
Adult ( 19 - 64 yrs) - 3000 won
Youth (7 - 18 yrs) - 1500 won
under 6 and over 55 - Free admission.
Gyeongbokgung ( 경복궁) is the main palace in Seoul and sits in the heart of the city. It was constructed in 1394, but like most other historic sites in Korea, it has been destroyed by the Japanese 2 or 3 times. The pavilion that is surrounded by water on the west side of the palace (called the Gyeonghoeru Pavilion) appears on the back of the Korean 10,000 won note. A key draw at Gyeongbokgung is the changing of the guard ceremony which occurs several times a day.
Cheong Wa Dae, or the Korean President's "Blue House," sits to the rear of Gyeongbokgung, and on the original grounds of the ancient palace. It was established as the Korean president's residence in 1948. Gyeongbokgung also houses the National Folk Museum which can be visited with the same ticket for the palace.
When the Japanese occupied Korea, they constructed their governor-general's house in the middle of Gyeongbokgung to show their superiority over the Korean people. After the Japanese departed, the Koreans used this building as their national museum, but it was finally torn down in 1993 to restore the palace to its original glory. Unfortunately this meant the national museum had no home, until the Americans gave up some land at the Yongsan Army Garrison south of Namsan. The new National Museum finally opened around 2005.
Admittance to Gyeongbokgung is 3,000 Won for foreign adults.
Each November, there is a re-enactment of the traditional ceremony to pray for a good silk work harvest held at Gyeongbokgung.
This is the largest palace in Seoul so I understand. Some areas were being restored when I was there and were closed, but even so, it was still very extensive. We visited on a National Holiday - the Lunar New Year - so there were tons of people and many in traditional dress and many playing traditional games, even though it was bitterly cold.
I tend to pay more attention to people and things than I do to history so I recommend if you want to know more about the palace, see their official web site for details! I've included the link below. As for me I enjoy the people and the sights, as you will see from my pictures.
I like to show a different side to places I visit than the pictures that you see on official sites or post cards, so in my pictures you won't see what you see on other sites!
This great palace, also spelled "Gyeongbokgung", is the largest of Seoul's five palaces. Lee Seong-Gye, founder of the Joseon Dynasty, built it in 1395. It served as the main royal palace for nearly 200 years. That is, until the Japanese invasion of 1592, when it was burned to the ground.
In the 1860s, restoration was begun. However, during the Japanese occupation of the early 20th century, they were mostly destroyed or moved. The Japanese occupiers also built a huge administration building (the Seokjojeon building) in front of the palace. It was their way of "dissing" the Koreans. After World War II, and Korean independence, it became the National Museum of Korea. Today, that museum is housed in a new building.
Restoration was resumed recently, and continues to this day. The parts that have been restored are certainly impressive.
This palace is established in 1395 and fine example of Joseon Dynasty architecture.
It was twice destroyed by the Japanese and rebuilt. Hence epitomize the Korean strength and spirits.
Open daily closed on Tuesday.
There is guided tour in Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese.
Definately a must see while in Seoul. You can catch the changing of the guard daily. The palace is quite big and impressive though I personally don't think it's the most beautiful. It's all been renovated so it has a newness about it. It's worth visiting, but if you have time check out some of the other palaces as well.