Where are you going?
Or, let us surprise youSpin the Globe ®

Palaces in Seoul

List View
Map View
There are five in the heart of the city; all are oases within the South Korean capital...gardens, pavilions, gates and corridors, for solitude or sharing...If you only have time for one, go to Changdeok-gung and its forested gardens. Gyeongbok-gung was the original seat of government, has been restored, and has the grandest throne hall courtyard. Deoksu-gung is where the Joseon dynasty came to its political end; its mix of old and new, surrounded by skyscrapers, is poignant...
Save Place
When Seoul's Gyeongbok-gung Palace was built in the 1390s, it was the centerpiece of the newly established Joseon dynasty, which had just named the city as its capital. Six centuries later, after invasions, fires, colonization, and wars, its...
Save Place
Earlier in the evening, this spot in Gwanghwamun Plaza was full of families, children playing in the fountains beneath the statue of 16th-c. Admiral Yi Sun-shin. After dinner, with the kids gone, I got a moment of calm. For decades, this statue...
Save Place
99 Yulgok-ro, Waryong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
I spent the better part of a summer afternoon on the grounds of Changdeok-gung Palace, wandering the old courtyards and lush gardens of one of the most visited sites in Seoul. Originally built in 1405 as a secondary palace, this complex served as...
Save Place
Changdeokgung-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
The upswept rooflines of Korean architecture are beguiling: intricate eaves are a symphony of patterned color...and every once in a while, a face pops out, like this scowling end-tile 'guardian'--a face only a roofer could love. I spent a couple...
Save Place
Palpan-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
The Throne Hall of Gyeongbok-gung Palace in Seoul has a lofty name based on Confucian principles: "Geun-jeong-jeon," meaning "diligence helps governance"—words for politicians to live by, eh? Originally built in the 1390s when a new dynasty...
Save Place
161 Sajik-ro, Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Late spring and early summer in Seoul: musicians in medieval clothing infuse the grounds of Gyeongbok Palace with a sense of its storied past. Built in the 1390's when a new dynasty established Seoul as its capital, Gyeongbok-gung ("The Palace of...
Save Place
161 Sajik-ro, Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Originally built in 1395, Gyeongbokgung Palace is the largest and greatest of Seoul’s Five Grand Palaces. Burned down during the Japanese invasion of 1592, it was reconstructed in 1867. Today, the palace grounds, filled with lotus ponds,...
Save Place
185 Changgyeonggung-ro, Waryong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
The website said that Changgyeong-gung Palace was closed on Tuesdays. So on this particular drizzly Monday, (my last day in Seoul), I trekked over, planning on revisiting this site of a childhood outing...But when I arrived, the 400-year-old gates...
Save Place
161 Sajik-ro, Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
My wife was flying to join me in Korea. Due to weather conditions in San Francisco, she missed her connecting flight. (The airline was less than helpful; when my wife finally got to talk to a ticketing agent after standing in line for an hour, the...
Save Place
119 Sogong-ro, Taepyeongno 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
From the upper floors on the north side of The Plaza hotel in central Seoul, this is the view up Sejong-ro, the city's historical main axis. Reopened in 2010 after extensive renovation and redesign by the Italian designer Guido Ciompi, this is...
Save Place
Changdeokgung-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Covering 78 acres of hilly forest in the middle of Seoul, the Huweon, or "Rear Garden" of Changdeok-gung Palace is better known by the city's millions as Biweon, or "The Secret Garden." Once exclusively for the royal family, today it's a favorite...
Save Place
Changdeokgung-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Amidst the almost hypnotic repetition of pattern and color, I spent an afternoon 'lost' in the colonnades of Changdeok-gung Palace. Focusing my vision on architecture in a historical context far removed from my everyday life--one of my favorite...
Save Place
During daylight hours, Gwanghwamun gate's portals are open to visitors entering and leaving the Gyeongbokgung Palace compound. Coming in or going out, make sure to look up as you pass through: the ceilings are vividly painted with mythical...
Save Place
99 Sejong-daero, Jeong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Surrounded by skyscrapers in the center of Seoul, Deoksu-gung Palace ("The Palace of Virtuous Longevity") got its start as a prince's villa in the mid-15th century. In 1907, the compound became the 'retirement home' of the next-to-the-last king of...