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Changgyeonggung Palace (“The Palace of Bright Rejoicing”) was once the summer palace of Goryeo King Sukjong. Today visitors come to stroll among the gardens and admire the architecture of the 15th century palace.
Start at the Jongmyo Shrine. This internationally protected World Heritage site is the oldest Confucian shrine in the world. It has existed as it is today since the 16th century, and holds tablets with inscriptions of teachings from the various royals of the Joseon Dynasty. Traditional rituals and ceremonies still take place here.
Heading away from Jongmyo on the footbridge towards Changgyeonggung Palace, note the stone structures on the hill leading south. One of these is a former observatory. The palace’s grand entrance gate, Honghwamu, leads onto the Okcheongyo bridge. Constructed in 1483, the bridge is considered to be the oldest in Seoul. Look for the carved goblins lurking under the parapet.
Like Seoul’s other Great Palaces, the peaceful atmosphere at Changgyeonggung hides a turbulent history. It was destroyed in the late 16th century by the Japanese, and damaged by fire in the early 19th century. The majority of the buildings you see today are less than 200 years old. Keep your eyes peeled for older structures, such as the Myeongjeongjeon, which dates back to 1616 and is the oldest surviving main hall in Seoul.
Tours of Changgyeonggung Palace are available at regular intervals throughout the day. Sign up for one if you want to learn more about the palace’s colorful past. If you’re navigating the complex on your own, don’t miss Gyeongchunjeon, believed to be the birthplace of several prominent kings.
The glasshouse, or Daeonsil, is a Victorian-style conservatory built in the early 20th century. It’s a peaceful space where you can wander among indigenous Korean plants. At the center of the Daeonsil you’ll find a Renaissance-style water fountain with a stone turtle beneath the surface.
Changgyeonggung Palace is
open Tuesday through Sunday. If you want to see Seoul’s four other grand
palaces, consider buying an integrated ticket for discounted entrance into all
Want to make your visit to Changgyeonggung Palace even more memorable? Remember to try out a few of these things to do:
For more things to do, peruse our Seoul things to do page.
Located in Jongno, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Cheonggyecheon, Myeongdong Street, and Lotte Department Store. Jogyesa Temple and Seoul City Hall are also within 1 mi (2 km). Jongno 3-ga Station and Euljilo 3-ga Station are within a 5-minute walk.
This family-friendly Seoul hotel is located in the business district, within a 5-minute walk of Seoul City Hall and Lotte Department Store. Deoksugung Palace and Cheonggyecheon are also within 10 minutes. Euljiro 1-ga Station is only a 2-minute walk and City Hall Station is 5 minutes.
Located in Myeongdong, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Seoul City Hall, Namdaemun Market, and Gwanghwamun. Gyeongbok Palace is 1.3 mi (2 km) away. Euljilo 3-ga Station is 6 minutes by foot and Euljiro 1-ga Station is 8 minutes.
Located in Jongno, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Ssamji-gil and Gyeongbok Palace. Namdaemun Market and Dongdaemun Market are also within 2 mi (3 km). Jongno 3-ga Station is 6 minutes by foot and Anguk Station is 8 minutes.
Located in Jung-gu, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Namsangol Hanok Village and Namdaemun Market. Dongdaemun Market and Gyeongbok Palace are also within 2 mi (3 km). Euljilo 3-ga Station is only a 5-minute walk and Chungmuro Station is 6 minutes.
Located in Myeongdong, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Deoksugung Palace and Namsan Park. Gwanghwamun and Gyeongbok Palace are also within 2 mi (3 km). Euljiro 1-ga Station is only a 3-minute walk and Myeong-dong Station is 7 minutes.
Located in Jung-gu, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Namdaemun Market, Postal Museum of Korea, and Bank of Korea Museum. Seven Luck Casino Millennium Seoul Hilton Branch and Sungnyemun Gate are also within 10 minutes. Hoehyeon Station is only a 2-minute walk and Myeong-dong Station is 8 minutes.
Located in Jung-gu, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Korea House and Cheonggyecheon. Namsan Park and Myeongdong Street are also within 15 minutes. Euljilo 3-ga Station is 5 minutes by foot and Chungmuro Station is 6 minutes.