Seoul Palace Tour Courses: Two Perfect Itineraries by a Local – 1-Day and 2-Day Plans

Discover the rich history and culture of Korea by exploring Seoul’s stunning palaces. Here are two recommended itineraries for your visit, allowing you to choose based on your interests and schedule.

Changdeokgung Palace

Itinerary 1: Changdeokgung, Secret Garden, and Jongmyo Shrine (Day 1) + Gyeongbokgung Palace (Day 2)

Day 1: Changdeokgung Palace, Secret Garden, and Jongmyo Shrine

  1. Changdeokgung Palace: One of the major palaces of the Joseon Dynasty, Changdeokgung is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its beautiful architecture and serene gardens.
  2. Secret Garden (Huwon): Located within Changdeokgung, the Secret Garden is a must-visit for its harmonious blend of nature and traditional architecture.
    • Reservation Required: Make sure to book your visit to the Secret Garden in advance, as entry is by reservation only.
  3. Jongmyo Shrine: A short distance from Changdeokgung, Jongmyo Shrine is where the royal ancestral tablets of the Joseon kings and queens are enshrined. It’s a significant cultural site worth exploring.

Day 2: Gyeongbokgung Palace

  1. Gyeongbokgung Palace: The largest and most iconic of the five grand palaces, Gyeongbokgung offers a comprehensive glimpse into Korea’s royal past. Take your time to wander through its extensive grounds and admire the beautiful architecture.

Itinerary 2: Changdeokgung Palace + Gyeongbokgung Palace (1-Day Tour)

  1. Changdeokgung Palace: Start your day early with a visit to Changdeokgung Palace. Explore the palace grounds and soak in the historical ambiance.
  2. Gyeongbokgung Palace: After touring Changdeokgung, head to Gyeongbokgung Palace. Given its vast size, allow ample time to explore this grand palace at a leisurely pace.
  3. Nearby Attractions: Around Gyeongbokgung, you can also visit Insadong, Bukchon Hanok Village, and Jogyesa Temple, making for a well-rounded cultural experience.
Changdeokgung Palace

Additional Nearby Attractions

  • Jogyesa Temple: A major Buddhist temple located near Gyeongbokgung, known for its vibrant atmosphere and beautiful surroundings.
  • Bukchon Hanok Village: An area filled with traditional Korean houses (hanoks), where you can experience the charm of historical Korea.
  • Insadong/Ikseon-dong: These areas offer a mix of traditional and contemporary culture, with plenty of unique shops, galleries, and eateries to explore.

These two itineraries offer different benefits. Itinerary 1 provides a deeper historical dive with a dedicated day for Gyeongbokgung, perfect for those wanting to fully immerse themselves in the history. Itinerary 2 is ideal for those who prefer to see both major palaces in one day. Whichever you choose, you’re sure to have a memorable experience exploring Seoul’s palaces and surrounding cultural sites. Enjoy your trip!