Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung means a palace greatly blessed by Heaven. It was built in 1395 and is surrounded by Bugaksan Mountain and Namsan Moutain. The palace is largest of the five remaining palaces in South Korea making it one of the most popular tourist attractions.

Having its own metro station makes the palace super convenient to get to. Once you exit the station, you will see a historical museum. The admission is free, but it was difficult to understand the artifacts since most do not have English explanations. However, if you’re a museum type of person, do not be discouraged. There is another museum located inside the palace: National Folk Museum. Although it lacked full English explanations as well, I found this one to be much more interesting. Unlike the history museum where it showcased written works (that I couldn’t read), the folk museum had mini set-ups of royal family’s daily lives (sleeping quarters, musical instruments, school, etc.).

I visited the palace in the spring around the time the flowers were blooming and it made the palace look even more beautiful. There were many people taking pictures all around the palace and some of them were wearing very special clothing: Hanbok. Hanbok is traditional Korean clothing. Many stores around the palace rent them for a couple hours and those wearing Hanbok can enter the palace for free. For those without Hanbok on can enter for under $5.

I had a great time at the palace and found it to be a fantastic way to get to know Korean history and culture better.

Entrance of the palace

Royal guard changing ceremony. It occurs 2 times a day in front of the palace so you don’t need to enter to see it.

Folk museum: royal sleeping quarters

Folk museum: royal school

Folk museum: ceremony

Hanbok or Korean traditional clothing. You can see a lot of people wearing it in the palace


Mei Chen

Hello. My name is Mei Chen and I am a junior studying finance and operations management at the University of Maryland. This semester I will be at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea as an exchange student. I am super excited for this opportunity and will make the most out of the 4 months there.

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