After the Second World War, this building (ironically) received the surrender by the Japanese, and
served as South Korea's National Assembly for nearly 30 years. Demolition was set for 1995 - the 50th
anniversary of the end of World War II and the 600th anniversary of Gyeongbokgung. The Gyeongbokgung
area started restoration in 1990. Now it's gorgeous, looks authentic, and offers enough to keep you
busy for a full day.
There are also a few ceremonies still held there which we’re told are worth checking out. The
Changing of the Guards Ceremony takes place daily between 10am and 3pm on the hour, and you can have
your picture taken with the guardsmen afterwards. ‘Sangchamui’ (a royal morning assembly) and the
Royal Promenade are also re-enacted at 11.30am from April to June and September to November, except
on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
The National Folk Museum of Korea is also located on the Gyeongbokgung grounds, and its early history
section is complete with plenty of authentic-looking replicas, but very few actual authentic pieces from
the era. English is on every sign, however, and virtually every area of the museum has an explanation
in English, sometimes difficult to find in Korea. Please note that this museum opens between 9am – 5 or
6pm depending on the season, and is closed on Tuesdays.
The National Palace Museum of Korea is also located here and gives information about royal life,
palace architecture and ancestral rites. English guides are available and the museum is open between
9am and 6pm (closed on Mondays).
Overall, Gyeongbokgung features a lot of restored buildings (including a throne hall, living quarters,
official quarters and pavilions), complete with bright eye-popping colours. It is well worth a visit.
Directions: Take the Seoul subway to the Gyeongbokgung station on line 3, then take
exit 5. Follow the corridors and stairs up to street level, and you'll see the palace to your right.
Alternatively, take subway line 5 to Gwanghwamun Station, exit 2.
Opening Hours: 09:00 – 18:00 March – October, 09:00 – 17:00 November – February.
Closed on Tuesdays. English tours occur during the day at 11:00, 13:30 and 15:30.
Admission: 3,000 Won