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Must-See Palaces in Seoul

Must-See Palaces in Seoul

Seoul has been the Korean capital for six centuries, which means there’s an incredibly rich history to check out, especially at the grand palaces that dot the city center. To learn your Joseon emperors from your empresses and see exactly how beautiful a South Korean secret garden can be, see our top palace picks below.

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Built in the 14th century, Gyeongbokgung Palace (also known as the Northern Palace) was once Seoul’s main royal residence. Although many of its structures were destroyed during Japanese colonial rule at the start of the 20th century, the site was later rebuilt and is now the largest of Seoul’s Five Grand Palaces. Set in the lively Jongno-gu district, Gyeongbokgung houses the National Palace Museum and offers the opportunity to watch the changing of guards at Gwanghwamun Gate.

Changdeokgung Palace

This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for a reason—built in 1405, Changdeokgung Palace was the main residence for many Joseon kings. Today, it’s known for its pond and pavilion, its beautiful stone road, its 26,000 tree specimens, and its secret garden. Tour the palace interior, or explore the grounds on a secret garden tour—with only 100 tickets available per garden tour, you’ll want to book in advance.

Changgyeonggung Palace

Built in the mid-15th century as a summer palace for the Goryeo Emperor, Changgyeonggung Palace was later turned into a zoo and botanical garden by the Japanese. But in recent years, the palace was returned to its former glory and now the grounds are home to an array of ornate bridges and ancestral shrines. Plus, you’ll find epic views out to Seoul’s granite mountains.

Deoksugung Palace

Also called Deoksu Palace, this 15th-century walled compound contains forested gardens, the excellent National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, palace buildings, and one big statue of the late King Sejong. You can find it right by City Hall Station.

Unhyeongung Palace

The Unhyeongung Royal Residence is one of Seoul’s smaller palaces, commonly used by Seoulites as a wedding venue on weekends. Admission is free, and you can try on and learn about Joseon clothing while you’re here.

Gyeonghuigung Palace

Another of Seoul's Five Grand Palaces built by the Joseon Dynasty, 400-year-old Gyeonghuigung Palace is home to the Seoul Museum of History and the Seoul Museum Annex of Art, which is full of historic Korean art.

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21 Tours and Activities | All Seoul Tours

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Seoul City Sightseeing Tour Including Gyeongbokgung Palace, N Seoul Tower, and Namsangol Hanok Village

Seoul City Sightseeing Tour Including Gyeongbokgung Palace, N Seoul Tower, and Namsangol Hanok Village

star-4
65
This full-day sightseeing tour of Seoul showcases the best of Korea’s history, culture, and traditions. Led by a guide, see the city’s major landmarks, including Jogyesa Temple and Gyeongbokgung Palace, National Folk Museum, N Seoul Tower, and Namsangol Hanok Village. Watch the changing of the guards during a stop at Gwanghwamun Gate and enjoy a traditional Korean lunch with your fellow travelers in Insadong. Your full-day tour also includes a stop at a traditional ginseng center.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$90.00
From
$90.00
Taking safety measures

Full Day Small-Group Royal Palace and Seoul Tour

Full Day Small-Group Royal Palace and Seoul Tour

star-4.5
46
Explore the highlights of Seoul on a full-day tour with an informative guide. Highlights include Jogyesa Temple, the Blue House, the royal guard changing ceremony at Gwanghwamun Gate, and tours of Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take in traditional culture at the National Folk Museum, Insadong Antique Street, and at Namdaemun Gate and Namdaemun Market. Includes lunch, entrance fees, and hotel pickup and drop-off.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$76.93
From
$76.93
Taking safety measures

Seoul City Private Full-Day Tour Including Lunch

Seoul City Private Full-Day Tour Including Lunch

star-5
110
Join this privately led tour of Seoul and discover some of South Korea's renowned cultural gems. See the Royal Guard Changing Ceremony and tour Gyeongbokgung Palace; stroll around Bukchon Hanok Village and Insadong; and visit Jogyesa Temple and N Seoul Tower. The full-day itinerary will lead you through the ages, from ancient city to modern-day capital.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$204.11
Price varies by group size
From
$204.11
Price varies by group size

Small-Group Seoul Morning Royal Palaces Tour

Small-Group Seoul Morning Royal Palaces Tour

star-4.5
10
Spend a morning in Seoul visiting highlights including Jogyesa Temple, Gyeongbokgung Palace, and the National Folk Museum. You'll also stop for photo ops outside the Presindential Blue House (Cheong Wa Dae) and Gwanghwamun Gate during the changing of the guards. Your 3.5-hour tour includes transportation, entrance fees, guide, and hotel pickup. You will be dropped off at either City Hall or Insadong. 
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$33.00
From
$33.00
Taking safety measures

Korean Palace and Market Tour in Seoul Including Insadong and Gyeongbokgung Palace

Korean Palace and Market Tour in Seoul Including Insadong and Gyeongbokgung Palace

star-4
125
Discover the history and cultural traditions of Korea on this full-day tour of Seoul’s palaces and markets. Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace including its National Folklore Museum, and see Jogyesa Buddhist Temple and Changdeokgung Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Your informative guide accompanies you to Insadong and Namdaemun to explore these bustling local markets on foot. Enjoy a Korean lunch and convenient round-trip coach transport from your hotel.
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  • 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$84.11
From
$84.11
Taking safety measures

Morning Walking Tour: Gyeongbokgung Palace and Bukchon Hanok Village

Morning Walking Tour: Gyeongbokgung Palace and Bukchon Hanok Village

star-5
59
Admire South Korea’s palace architecture and learn of life in the country’s capital on this 3-hour Gyeongbokgung Palace and Bukchon Hanok Village walking tour. Stroll to Gwanghwamun Gate and visit Gyeongbokgung Palace. Listen as your guide details Joseon Dynasty history and admire traditional construction techniques. Visit the National Folk Museum of Korea and discover over 98,000 artifacts detailing South Korea’s history. Head between Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace to Bukchon Hanok Village. Peer inside traditional houses and learn about Korean lifestyles from the past to the prefect day.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$60.26
From
$60.26

Seoul Morning Heritage Tour Including Changdeokgung Palace

Seoul Morning Heritage Tour Including Changdeokgung Palace

star-4
6
Visit two of Seoul's UNESCO World Heritage sites—Jongmyo Shrine and the Changdeokgung Palace Complex—on this half-day tour. Learn from a guide about Korea's cultural heritage, starting with a tour of Bukchon Hanok Village, which features traditional homes dating back to the Joseon Dynasty of the 14th century. Finish your tour with drop-off in Myeongdong.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$56.42
From
$56.42

Korean Palace and Temple Tour in Seoul: Gyeongbokgung Palace and Jogyesa Temple

Korean Palace and Temple Tour in Seoul: Gyeongbokgung Palace and Jogyesa Temple

star-4
14
Explore top Seoul attractions including Gyeongbokgung Palace and Jogyesa Temple on this 3.5-hour Korean palace and temple tour in Seoul. Travel through Seoul by comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle with your guide. Gain insight into Joseon-era history at Gyeongbokgung Palace, once home to the Korean royal family, and explore the palace compound on foot. Visit the National Folk Museum and learn how life used to be before Korea’s rapid modernization. Then, visit the Jogyesa Temple and enjoy an authentic insight into life as a Zen Buddhist in South Korea’s bustling capital.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$42.50
From
$42.50
Taking safety measures

Full Day Seoul Royal Palace Tour Including Namdaemun Market

Full Day Seoul Royal Palace Tour Including Namdaemun Market

star-5
1
Discover South Korea’s royal heritage on this full-day royal palace and shopping tour in Seoul. Follow the Cheonggyecheon Stream with your guide and gain insight into the days of the Joseon Dynasty. See the Blue House, the Republic of Korea’s presidential residence. Explore Gyeongbokgung Palace and watch the changing of the guard ceremony. Head to the National Folk Museum of Korea and behold unique artifacts from across Korea.
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  • 7 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$87.18
From
$87.18

Best of Seoul Tour in the Morning

Best of Seoul Tour in the Morning

star-4
71
Visit top landmarks in Seoul on a morning sightseeing tour with an expert guide. Admire the architecture of Jogyesa Temple, a hub for Zen Buddhism, and explore Gyeongbokgung Palace before observing the changing of the guard ceremony at the palace. Learn about Korean history and cultural traditions at Cheongwadae Sarangchae, and hear about the Joseon dynasty’s long rule. Your local guide shares key facts and fascinating insights throughout your coach tour, which includes hotel pickup as well as drop-off at either City Hall or Itaewon.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$30.00
From
$30.00
Taking safety measures

Seoul Hop-On Hop-Off Downtown Palace Course

Seoul Hop-On Hop-Off Downtown Palace Course

star-3.5
42
The royal palaces dotted around Seoul are widely considered among the South Korean capital’s most important sites of interest. With this hop-on hop-off  bus ticket, save time and effort reaching palaces including Changdeokgung, Deoksugung, and Gwangwhamun, and enjoy the freedom to jump on and off the service at your leisure. With buses every 25 to 30 minutes and on-board audio guide bringing Seoul’s history to life, you can visit all the grand palaces in one day in comfort.
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation
From
$18.47
From
$18.47

Full Day Royal Palace and Korean Folk Village Tour

Full Day Royal Palace and Korean Folk Village Tour

star-3
1
Delve into Korean traditional culture on a full-day tour from Seoul. Visit Jogyesa temple, Gyeongbokgung Palace, the National Folklore Museum, and the Korean Folk Village, and see the Blue House (Cheong Wa Dae), and the royal guard changing ceremony at Gwanghwamun Gate. Includes lunch, guide, transportation, and hotel pickup and drop-off.
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  • 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$87.00
From
$87.00
Taking safety measures

Royal Palace and Traditonal Market Tour

Royal Palace and Traditonal Market Tour

star-4
3
Discover the historic landmarks and lively markets of Seoul on this full-day tour. Visit the Blue House; watch the Changing of the Guards at Gyeongbokgung Palace; browse the stalls at the Mang-won and Gwangjang markets; and tuck into a delicious Korean-style lunch and dinner. Hotel pickup is included.
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  • 7 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$128.21
From
$128.21

Seoul Afternoon Tour Including Changdeokgung Palace and Namdaemun Market

Seoul Afternoon Tour Including Changdeokgung Palace and Namdaemun Market

star-4
7
This half-day Seoul sightseeing itinerary continues with a tour of the Changdeokgung Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Namsangol Hanok Village. Browse for goods along Insadong Street and Namdaemun Market, with views of the beautiful Sungnyemun Gate.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$51.29
From
$51.29

World Cultural Heritage Full-day tour from Seoul including Suwon Hwaseong

World Cultural Heritage Full-day tour from Seoul including Suwon Hwaseong

star-4.5
4
Explore the World Heritage–listed Changdeokgung Palace Complex and Jongmyo Shrine on a historical journey through Seoul. This full-day tour takes you to Bukchon Hanok Village in the morning, with a visit to Suwon Hwaseong Fortress after lunch. With a knowledgeable guide, see Hwaseong Haenggung Palace as you learn the history of Korea’s royalty. Includes minivan transport from centrally located hotels.
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  • 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$132.31
From
$132.31

Royal Palace Morning Small-Group Tour (No Shopping)

Royal Palace Morning Small-Group Tour (No Shopping)

See the historical and modern sights of Seoul on this half-day tour with a small group. Walk around Cheonggyecheon, stop for photos of the Blue House (Cheongwadae), visit Gyeongbokgung Palace and view cultural exhibits at the National Folk Museum of Korea—all in one morning. Hotel pickup is included, with drop-off at Lotte Hotel Seoul or Namdaemun Market.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$46.16
From
$46.16

Seoul Palace Morning Tour

Seoul Palace Morning Tour

star-4
11
Discover Seoul’s royal residences and gain insight into South Korea’s heritage on this Seoul palace morning tour. Explore the Jogyesa Buddhist Temple, a center for Zen Buddhism, with your guide. See the Blue House — where the Prime Minister of South Korea lives and works. Visit Gyeongbok Palace, the city’s finest royal residence during the Joseon Dynasty. Admire the luxury living quarters and banquet suites, and gain insight into life here during the dynasty’s 5-century reign. Finish your tour at Gwanghwamun Gate and see the changing of the guard ceremony.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$33.85
From
$33.85
Taking safety measures

Central Seoul Evening Tour including Deoksu Palace, Seoul Plaza and Dongdaemun Market

Central Seoul Evening Tour including Deoksu Palace, Seoul Plaza and Dongdaemun Market

Experience the electric atmosphere of Seoul by night on this 4-hour evening tour. Visit the grand Deoksu Palace, admire the illuminated landmarks as you stroll around Seoul Plaza, and browse the stalls at Dongdaemun market. Hotel pickup and drop-off is included.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$84.11
From
$84.11
Taking safety measures

Korean Heritage Tour: Palaces and Villages of Seoul Including Gyeongbokgung Palace

Korean Heritage Tour: Palaces and Villages of Seoul Including Gyeongbokgung Palace

star-4
24
This full-day tour of Seoul offers an in-depth look at Korea’s rich cultural heritage. With your guide, tour the gates and pavilions of Gyeongbokgung Palace; browse historical exhibits at the National Folklore Museum; and visit the Korean Folk Village and Jogyesa Buddhist Temple. Enjoy a Korean lunch and comfortable round-trip coach transport from your hotel.
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  • 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$101.35
From
$101.35
Taking safety measures

History and Culture of Seoul Walking Tour

History and Culture of Seoul Walking Tour

star-5
9
Discover top city attractions in the South Korean capital on this afternoon Seoul walking tour. Admire traditional Korean architecture at Deoksugung Palace with your guide. Explore the palace compound and enjoy panoramic views over Seoul’s high-rise skyline. Wander through the peaceful Jeongdong-gil to Deoksugung Palace and experience the tranquil side of buzzing Seoul. Visit Gyeonghuigung Palace and learn of the changes it underwent during Japanese occupation. Head to the Seoul Museum of History and learn of Seoul’s complex past, from the Joseon Dynasty to the modern day. Finish your tour at JeongDong theater with a viewing of a traditional Korean performance.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$150.00
From
$150.00

Private Tour of Korea's Modern History

Private Tour of Korea's Modern History

star-5
1
Immerse in the fascinating history and cultural heritage of South Korea on a private tour of Seoul. A personal guide enlightens you about the city's significant landmarks on a visit to Deoksugung Palace, the mission school of Baejae Hakdang, and Seodaemun Prison History Hall. Walk the tree-lined alley of Jeongdong-gil and see the Jeoldusan Martyrs' Shrine.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$121.80
From
$121.80