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Courtney
Los Angeles

Seoul

Which castles to see

A friend and I will be visiting Seoul next January and we've heard about the castles there. I say they look like tourist traps but she wants to go. Any thoughts?


4 Answers

top answer by
Mary from Seoul, Korea

The palaces in Seoul are touristy spots but definitely worth visiting. 

There are five main palaces in Seoul but I highly recommend you these three. 

1. Gyeongbokgung: The grandest of all, with its famous Gwanghwamun gate. 

If you want more info, Gyeongbokgung

2. Changdeokgung: Listed as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. It's especially known for its beautiful rear garden.

If you want more info, Changdeokgung

3. Changgyeonggung: A beautiful palace with a botanic garden and a large pond.

If you want more info, Changgyeongung

If you don't have much time to visit all three, I guess Gyeongbokgung, which is the most famous yet popular palace, would be the final choice. 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Gyeongbokgung (attraction)
  2. Changdeokgung (attraction)
  3. Changgyeonggung (attraction)
4 thankscomments (2)


answered by
Tae

All five royal palaces are within a close proximity so it's fairly easy to visit one or more of the palaces. 

Gyeongbokgung was the main royal court so it is the largest. They have changing-of-the-guard ceremonies throughout the day so see one if you can. the palace is also close to the presidential residence and a cute neighborhood called 삼청동 (三淸洞, Samcheong-dong) and Bukchon Village, Gwanghamun Area, where you can see more traditional houses and shops. 

If you are pressed for time, I suggest you only add either 덕수궁 (德壽宮, Deoksugung) or 창덕궁 (昌德宮, Changdeokgung) to your itinerary. The first is just down the road from Gyeongbokgung and near Myoungdong (shopping area). The second one is an architecturally unique and different palace with a beautiful "secret garden". You do need to reserve your spot to visit the garden. 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Gyeongbokgung (attraction)
  2. Bukchon Village, Gwanghamun Area (attraction)
  3. 창덕궁 (昌德宮, Changdeokgung) (attraction)
  4. 삼청동 (三淸洞, Samcheong-dong) (attraction)
  5. 덕수궁 (德壽宮, Deoksugung) (attraction)
2 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Karlo from Philippines

Gyeongbokgung or Changdeokgung are both good options. You will have enough ground to cover. Changdeokgung has more original architecture though but requires a tour.

Not really a tourist trap, Korea has a knack for keeping its tourism very organized. There are opportunities where you can wear traditional garb for a fee, and other stuff that may seem tourist traps, but all the palaces in Seoul and other parts of Korea are well preserved thus making it look like a tourist trap. The key is choosing the time of day and week to visit so you dont get a lot of tourists crowding with you.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Gyeongbokgung (attraction)
  2. Changdeokgung (attraction)
2 thankscomments (1)


answered first by
Shauna from Santa Monica, California

Make sure you see Changdeokgung. Known as the East Palace, this is some of the remaining architecture left at the palace. This is one of the five Grand Palaces in Korea. Due to Japanese occupation, only about 30% of the structures overall remain.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Changdeokgung (attraction)
1 thanks




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