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Gyeongbokgung (Gyeongbok Palace)


Hello, I’m Sophia Jihye Hong; a professional English/Korean translator, interpreter,
now married to a Korean guy in South Korea!

I’ve been blogging since 2004,
and now I have a chance to share my stories in Kimchicrew!!
I would love to share some fun experiences on traveling in South Korea.
You can read other posts or hire me through my new WordPress blogs, or

Today I will introduce you the Gyeong-bok-gung (Gyeongbok Palace)!


It’s one of my favorite place to go, especially in summer. It’s very calm atmosphere there.

Gyeongbokgung (경복궁), also known as Gyeongbokgung Palace or Gyeongbok Palace — is a first royal palace built by Joseon Dynasty. The name means “Palace” (Gung) “Greatly Blessed by Heaven” (Gyeongbok).

So when you are in Seoul, you shoud never miss out this palace to visit. It’s a must.


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Gyeongbokgung was the main and largest palace of the Five Grand Palaces (the others being Gyeonghuigung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, Changgyeonggung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace) built by the Joseon Dynasty.

I know I hate history class too,
but it’s easy to understand why this palace means so much to Korean when you get to know the history of South Korea.


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In the early 20th century, much of the palace was destroyed by Imperial Japan. In 1989, the South Korean government started a 40-year initiative to rebuild the hundreds of structures that were destroyed by the colonial government of the Empire of Japan.

In 1995, the Japanese General Government Building was even in the palace. After many controversial debates about its fate, symbol of Empire of Japan finally was demolished in order to reconstruct the royal palace.


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During the Joseon dynasty, Hae-tae(해태) sculptures were used in architecture, as their image was trusted to be able to protect Hanyang (now Seoul) from natural disasters and to give law and order among the populace.

But as I remember what my guide told us, this sculpture you see above might not be the full-sized Haetae.


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Admission fee
Age 19~: 3,000 won / 2.400 won ( group, 10 or more )
Age 7-18: 1,500 won / 1,200 won ( group, 10 or more )
* Free : Children(ages 6 and under), Permanent Residency(F-5) Status Holder (Age 65 and Older)
* With the purchase of a book of Combination Tickets (adults 10,000won, Youth 5,000won), one admission for each of the five different palaces is available within one month. (Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung – the Secret Garden included, Changgyeonggung, Deoksugung and Jongmyo Shrine).


Admission fee is pretty cheap comparing to Lotte World, from last week.
And if you are going to visit all five palaces, I recommend you to buy the combination tickets, it’s way cheaper.



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Tour in foreign languages
English : 11:00, 13:30, 15:30
Japanese : 10:00, 12:30, 14:30
Chinese : 10:30, 13:00, 15:00

– Tour starts in front of Gyeongbokgung Information Center inside the Heungnyemun Gate. Tour lasts for an hour to an hour and thirty minutes.
– Groups with 10 or more people must make a reservation in advance.
– Total number of group participants for a tour is limited to 30.
– Individuals less than 10 people can join the same tour without a reservation.


Also, I definitely would ask you to go to the palace when there’s a free guide tour.
They will talk to you about a brief history of ancient Korea, and let you know what buildings are for,

Our guide was an old lady doing this palace guide for about 10 years and she was so excited about every single materials in the palace. So were we.

So, make a reservation, if you can, or just be there on time to be with the free guide.



Address : 37, Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Phone : +82-2-3700-3900
Subway : Line 3 Gyeongbokgung Stn. Exit 5. Walk 5 minutes.
Line 5 Gwanghwamun Stn. Exit 2. Walk 10 minutes.
Bus : 8000, 7022, 1020, 7018, 7016, 1711, 7212
More official information :


If you want to call me and talk about the details of your trip, I do the over-the-phone consulting. Call me.
You may email me at jhhong90 [at] gmail [dot] com and ask me anything about South Korea! I’ll be glad to help you out.

Thanks for reading my article.
See you next week!