8. Seoul: Full-Day Royal Palace and Shopping Tour
Discover the palaces and shopping spots of Seoul on a multi-stop tour including a local guide, hotel pickup, lunch, and all entry fees and tickets. Travel by air-conditioned minivan to highlights like the Blue House, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Namdaemun Market, and the Jogyesa temple in Insadong.
Following pickup, meet your local guide and start exploring the many cultural highlights and popular spots around Seoul, including shrines, markets, museums, palaces, neighborhoods, and hanok villages. Depending on your tour day, your itinerary may vary:
Cheonggyecheon Stream is an 11-km-long modern stream that runs through downtown Seoul. Created as part of an urban renewal project, Cheonggyecheon is a restoration of the stream that was once there before during the Joseon Dynasty.
Cheongwadae (The Blue House) is the presidential residence of the Republic of Korea and is regarded as the heart of the nation. While entering is not allowed, see this historic location from outside the main gate.
Cheongwadae Saranchae is a Korean presidential exhibition center, newly opened in January 2010. Enter inside to learn more about Korean culture and history (Monday tours visit the outside of the building only). Saranchae is closed on Tuesdays.
The Royal Guard Changing Ceremony is a great opportunity to experience a rare traditional scene in Korea. Be sure to bring a camera to take lots of pictures. Admire the guards’ costumes with brilliant primary colors.
Gyeongbokgung Palace is the oldest palace of the Joseon Dynasty, located at the northern end of Seojong-ro Street. Built in 1394 as the main palace of the Joseon Dynasty by its founder King Taejo, it's the most comprehensive and grandest of the five palaces of the period.
Stroll around the grounds to see the National Folk Museum of Korea, where visitors can browse the unique cultural and historical traits of Korea and the lifestyle of the bygone days.
As Gyeongbokgung Palace is closed on Tuesdays, Gyeongbokgung Palace, the National Folk Museum of Korea tour, and the Royal Guard Changing Ceremony will be replaced with a tour of Deoksugung Palace on Tuesdays.
Jogyesa is located on one of the most popular cultural streets in Seoul, Insa-dong. Very close to the palace of Gyeongbokgung, it is the chief temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism (since 1936) and it plays a leading role in the current state of Seon Buddhism in South Korea.
Changdeokgung Palace was used as the main palace by many Joseon Kings and is very well preserved. The palace was registered with UNESCO in 1997. On Mondays, you'll visit Jongmyo Royal Shrine instead.
Insadong is the perfect place in Seoul for visitors wanting to experience the traditional aspects of Korea. Discover art galleries, traditional craft stores, antique art dealers, traditional tea houses, and local-favorite restaurants.
Namsangol Hanok Village stands out between tall buildings in the middle of the city with its five restored traditional Korean houses, a pavilion, a pond, and a time capsule. On Mondays enjoy a similar visit to Bukchon Hanok Village instead.
Sungnyemun Gate (Mondays: outside only), normally known as the Namdaemun, is one of the Eight Gates in the Fortress Wall of Seoul. Take memorable photos of one of the gates that surrounded the city during the Joseon Dynasty.
Namdaemun Market is an open-air market close to the downtown area and high-end hotels. Get the chance to shop some of the best selections of merchandise in the nation and interact with the locals.
The market’s history traces back to the Joseon Dynasty and since then has become the main place to exchange daily products between urban and rural areas of Korea