A must-visit for every first-time tourist in Seoul, Changdeokgung Palace is the most well-preserved of the five remaining royal palaces in South Korea. It is also known as Donggwol (the Eastern Palace) due to its location to the east of Gyeongbokgung Palace. Set at the foot of Ungbong Peak of Mount Baegaksan in northern Seoul, it was the principal palace of many Joseon Dynasty kings for more than 250 years.
The palace is an ideal locale to marvel at authentic Korean architecture as most of the structures here have remained intact since 1405. This includes the Oejo, the royal court of the dynasty; Chijo, the administrative quarters of the palace; and Chimjo, the residence of the royal family.
One of Changdeokgung Palace’s most unique features is the Huwon Secret Garden, which takes up about 60 per cent of the palace ground. Used for leisure and banquets by members of the royal family, this massive rear garden is filled with over 56,000 plants and trees, intricate stone carvings, a lily pond, a massive tree that is over 300 years old, and elegant-looking pavilions.
While admission to Changdeokgung Palace is free of charge, visitors can choose between the general tour and the Huwon Secret Garden tour for more in-depth knowledge during their visit, both of which are available in English, Chinese and Japanese.
The general tour takes around one hour, with an admission fee priced at 3,000 won for adults (age 19 and above) and 1,500 won for youths (between 7 and 18 years old). The Huwon Secret Garden tour lasts around 90 minutes and tickets cost 8,000 won for adults, 5,000 won for senior citizens (over 65 years of age), and 4,000 won for youths.
Easily accessible via subway trains, Changdeokgung Palace is a five-minute walk from Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 3 and a 10-minute walk from Jongno 3 (sam)-ga Station (Subway Line 1, 3 or 5), Exit 6.
- Opening Hours: Daily 09:00 - 18:30
- Address: 99, Yulgok-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
- Tel: +822 1661 2000