Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁)

This past February (super late post lol), I took a trip to Seoul to meet up with a friend visiting from Malaysia. I’ve been to Seoul numerous times prior, but never had the chance to visit major tourist attractions. Usually, when I come to Seoul, it’s either for a BTS concert (that consumes my life lmao) or to check out new/popular restaurants.

During my last visit to Seoul, I decided to be a tourist and visit Gyeongbokgung Palace. There are many palaces in and around Seoul, but this one takes the cake. If you’re planning to trip to Seoul, Gyeongbokgung is a MUST. Many recommend going at night to get the most unique and picturesque experience, but if you’re like me and pressed for time, going during the day is just as fun!

Inside the main palace area

Gyeongbokgung, “the Palace Greatly Blessed by Heaven,” (built in 1395) was home to the Kings of the Joseon dynasty and well as the government of Joseon. Unfortunately, most of the palace was destroyed by fire during the Imjin War in the late 1500s.

During the reign of King Gojong from 1852-1919, all of the structures destroyed during the Japanese Invasion were fully restored. Today Gyeonbok and many surrounding palaces in Seoul have opened its gates for the public to explore! This (obviously) isn’t the full story of how the palace came to be what it is today (lol), but I wanted to provide a very brief overview. If you want to learn more about the fascinating history of Gyeongbok, visit The Seoul Guide.

The two buildings you should check out are, Geunjeongjeon (Imperial Throne Hall),  National Treasure No. 223, and Gyeonghoeru Pavillion, National Treasure No. 224. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to visit the Gyeonghoeru Pavillion :(. I spent to much time in awe of the Geunjeongjeon area that I lost track of time and had to leave to catch my train back to Busan. I plan to revisit Gyeongbok and check out the Gyeonghoeru Pavillion during my next trip to Seoul!

Imperial Throne Hall – National Treasure

 

The Imperial Throne – Amazing right?!

Maybe it’s my love for Korean culture, but when I walked into the palace, this overwhelming feeling came over me. I will never forget my time at the palace even though it felt like -100 celsius hahah. More pics:

Loved seeing all the visitors in Hanbok. Everyone looked so pretty! FYI – It’s free admission if you wear Hanbok. I opted out bc it was too cold.
Palace Guards – They do a Changing of the Guards Ceremony, but I missed it 🙁
Palace Guard

Today you can visit the beautifully restored piece of Korean history and two of the World’s national treasures for less than $10!

UPDATE: I recently found out from a friend that you can get a pass to visit all of the palaces in Seoul for just 10,000won! The great part is, you don’t have to experience them all in one day. Don’t quote me, but I think you have about 2-3 months to visit all the palaces, which is an excellent price considering Gyeongbokgung alone is 7,000won. Also, as said previously, if you wear Hanbok, admission is free :). For more admission info check out Visit Korea.

 

Hope you enjoyed this post! Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below 🙂

Until next time!

 

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