Full Day Small-Group Royal Palace and Seoul Tour

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Full Day Small-Group Royal Palace and Seoul Tour
from USD $83.60
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This small group journey will start with Jogyesa, the center of Buddhism in Seoul where you can see locust trees and baeksong trees in front of Jogyesa temple. Afterward, you will move to the presidential blue house that symbol of Cheongwadae with blue tiles and the Gwanghwamun Gate to see royal guard changing ceremony. After watching the ceremony, you can explore Gyeongbokgung Palace. Then you will see the National Folk Museum where you can see how people lived a few centuries ago, the Changdeokgung Palace that listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage and Insadong, a famous antique alley that is popular with antique shops, handmade crafts. Finally after a long day, you will see Namdaemun, the main gate of a Seoul. This is a full day packed with a lot of information on Seoul and the Korean traditions.
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In Brief

Location:
Seoul, South Korea
Country:
South Korea
Duration:
8 hours
Operates:
Daily
Highlights:
Informative, friendly and professional guide
Free hotel pickup and drop-off included
All entrance fees included
Lunch included
Vegetarian meal option available
Overview
Important InfoInfo
Pricing
Reviews
Itinerary
This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Gyeongbokgung Palace, 161 Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul South Korea

From your hotel or subway station, you will start your travel in a comfortable vehicle.

You’ll arrive at the Jogyesa temple, a quiet and calm place, located in Jongno. The irony is that the temple located in a very crowded street, but inside the temple is serene and beautiful.

 

Next, you will have the chance to visit the presidential blue house is known by the symbolic blue tiles. The building shows the true beauty of Korea with Mt Bukak peeking behind it.

Then, you will move onto the next place called Gwanghwamun to watch the royal guard changing ceremony. It is a ceremony to announce changing of the royal guards, as well as to clarify the guards' identities.

Then, you will head toward Gyeongbokgung where was a main palace and the most beautiful palace during the Joseon dynasty.

After seeing the Gyeongbokgung Palace, you will visit the Korean Ginseng Center to look around before having a lunch of local food and move on to the Changdeokgung Palace.

The Changdeokgung Palace is listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage since 1997 for its beautiful appearance. It is a residence for the kings and queens with rear garden pavilion.

After seeing how the royals lived, you will move onward to Insadong to see and experience the traditional culture of Korea like a Korean tea house and maybe try buying something in this famous antique alley.

For the last part of the tour, you will move to Namdaemun (also known as Soongryemun) which was built in 1396 by King Taejo’s reign. Now, Namdaemun is listed as Korea's most important National Treasure.

You will also visit Namdaemun Market near Namdaemun and look around this famous traditional market. 

After your long day, the tour will conclude at your hotel where you were picked up in the morning. 

Please note:

1. On Mondays, Changdeokgung Palace is closed, and you will go to Bukchon traditional Hanok Village instead.

2. On Tuesdays, the Gyeongbokgung Palace and National Folklore museum are closed, and you will go to Deoksugung Palace and The Presidential Blue House Museum instead.

Duration: 2 hours

Stop At: Insadong, Insa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul South Korea

Insadong is a place of traditional culture near Gyeongbok palace. Insadong was famous since the Joseon dynasty for having lots of antique shops. Today Insadong is popular among tourists for having lots of traditional tea houses, antique shops, traditional handcraft shops, and lots of other shops.

Insa-dong is especially popular with foreign tourists. This is where they can experience and see traditional Korean culture firsthand, and also purchase pieces of fine art. On the street you can see many foreigners lost in all the joyous festivities of the street. Insadong is a place of traditional culture.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Changdeokgung Palace, 99, Yulgok-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03072 South Korea

It is famous for its beautiful feature. It is recorded as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 1997 for having its beautiful appearance of that time.

Changdeokgung Palace was the second royal villa built following the construction of Gyeongbokgung Palace in 1405. It was the principal palace for many of the Joseon kings and is the most well-preserved of the five remaining royal Joseon palaces.

The palace grounds are comprised of a public palace area, a royal family residence building, and the rear garden.

Known as a place of rest for the kings, the rear garden boasts a gigantic tree that is over 300 years old, a small pond, and a pavilion.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Jogyesa Temple, 45 Gyeonji-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-170 South Korea

Jogyesa Buddhist Temple is the center of Zen Buddhism in Korea, and is famous for being located in the city.

From the busy streets of Jongno, follow the road towards Anguk Subway Station, and you will see Jogyesa Temple.

The first things you will notice at the temple are the lovely trees. These locust trees and baeksong trees in front of the Daeungjeon, the main temple building, are about 500 years old.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Namdaemun Market, 21, Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul 04529 South Korea

Soongryemun (Namdaemun) is a main gate of former Seoul fortress in Joseon dynasty. It is commonly called as Namdaemun.

The gate was built in 1396, in King Taejo's reign. And it was reconstructed in 1447 by king Sejong and in 1479 by king Seongjong.

In 2006 the Seoul city opened the passage to the gate to public. The gate is now listed as Korea's national treasure #1. But in February 10th 2008, the gate was all burnt away by arsonist and the wooden gate was all burnt away by that accident.

The Cultural Heritage Administration has announced to rebuild the gate similarly to its original appearance. The rebuilding was done by early in 2013.

Duration: 1 minute

Inclusions

  • Hotel pickup and drop-off in Seoul
  • Local guide
  • Lunch
  • Driver/Guide
  • Bottled water
  • Entry/Admission - Gyeongbokgung Palace
  • Entry/Admission - Insadong
  • Entry/Admission - Changdeokgung Palace
  • Entry/Admission - Jogyesa Temple
  • Entry/Admission - Namdaemun Market

Exclusions

  • Gratuities

Departure Time

9:00 AM

Departure Point

Traveler pickup is offered
Pick-up is provided at most hotels in Central Seoul and subway stations.

Please provide us with the name & full address of your accommodation in Seoul.

Returns To

Returns to original departure point

Additional Information

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Vegetarian option is available, please advise at time of booking if required
  • Royal guard changing ceremony might be cancelled due to weather conditions
  • On Mondays, Changdeokgung Palace is closed and you will go to Bukchon traditional Hanok Village instead
  • On Tuesdays, the Gyeongbokgung Palace and National Folklore museum are closed and you will go to Deoksugung Palace and The Presidential Blue House Museum instead
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level

Booking Information

You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.

Cancellation Terms

This trip is fully refundable up to 96 hours prior to the commencement of your trip.

Booking Terms and Conditions

When you book this trip, you need to read and accept the terms and conditions for booking our day trips in excursions.

Hotel Pickup

When you book, we will ask you to select a hotel to be picked up from. Once your booking is confirmed, we'll send you a confirmation voucher with full contact information (phone number, email address) for our local operator in case you need to update or change your hotel pick-up details.

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about hotel pickup:

What if my hotel is not listed?
That's okay. When you book you can select an hotel from our list and make your way there on the day of departure; or you can contact our local operator directly to make alternate pick-up arrangements.

What if I have not yet booked a hotel?
Once your hotel arrangements are finalised, you can contact our local operator directly with your hotel details.

What if I live locally, am staying with friends or relatives, and/or don't require pick-up?
Once your booking is confirmed, we'll send you complete details and directions to the tour/activity departure point.

Scoring an average traveller rating of 4.65 out of 5 based on the last 23 recent reviews

Fantastic tour with Jake visiting the royal palace, several markets, temples and a delicious lunch. We only had two days in the city and this tour was worth it!
• Submitted 18 Nov 2019
Erin is a wonderful tour guide. She was very informative and friendly with us. We lucked out as a family when we found out that it’d just be us on tour. It was already suppose to be a small tour, but this worked out even better. They had lots of room in the van, it had great climate control to deal with the weather and they had room for our packable stroller and baby bag. This was the first tour we’ve done with our baby and it was a success! It’s all thanks to Erin making it plausible, comfortable, and fun. I’d recommend this for any family looking to see some must see sites in Seoul.
• Submitted 03 Jul 2019
This was a fast-paced, educational tour. Our guide Kim was very knowledgeable with a good sense of humor! We pretty much stayed on schedule with the detailed itinerary listed on the website. The driver was nice enough to pick us up at our Airbnb in the morning and dropped us off in the late afternoon. Only difference was we had the choice of going to the Bukchon Hanok Village instead of the Changdeokgoong Palace. Good traditional Korean meal for lunch. This is a great way to see and learn about key historical sites in Seoul if you don’t have a lot of days to fully explore Seoul.
• Submitted 03 Jul 2019
Jake was our guide, and we were lucky enough to be the only 2 participants. He ensured we had a great experience, and tailored the day to us and our interests.
• Submitted 06 May 2019
Where to start? Excellent communication from the outset! Within an hour of booking we received an e-mail telling us what time we would be picked up from our hotel reception. A day before the trip, we received an e-mail reconfirming the pick up time and advising the name of our guide and the registration number and type of vehicle that would be picking us up. Our guide arrived at the hotel early and we soon discovered that we were the only two booked on the trip. So we had our own private driver and guide. The tour itself was well timed with a good cross-section of sites to see plus ideal timings for the changing of the guide ceremony. Peter, our guide was most accommodating and when he realised that we liked to spend much of our time photographing, he adjusted the pace of tour accordingly. The tour included a visit to a gingseng centre but as we had been there the day before (as part of the DMZ trip) he did not force us to make another visit and gave us extra time to tour. The included lunch was in a local Korean restaurant. We could choose from a number of different dishes and both my meal and my partners were delicious. This was an incredibly enjoyable experience, great value and excellently guided. It really maked us to make the most of our four days in Korea. A highly recommended tour.
• Submitted 04 Mar 2019
We had a great time with our tour guide Erica Kim, the tour began early in the morning with our tour guide starting the tour off right by being really friendly. It was clear that Erica knew a ton about Korean culture and history as she answered all of our questions very easily. She also provided cool little facts about South Korea that stuck with us. This tour really encompasses it all by visiting both of the major palaces in South Korea Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung Palace and you learn about the history of royal families. It's worth pointing out the lunch in a small local restaurant in Insadong Alley was really delicious too!
• Submitted 17 Dec 2017
Tour was informative and at the right pace. Guide was very good and personal.
• Submitted 09 Oct 2017
A relax and enjoyable tour! Thanks to Erika who was so patient and kind to my mother who was unable to walk fast. She knows where to bring us to shop and eat for the best. Highly recommended..
• Submitted 10 Sep 2017
Our tour to the Royal Palaces and the DMZ tour were both great. Our tour guide, Erica Kim, did a great job. She has a lot of knowledge and is very nice! Erna from Holland Bertha P
• Submitted 30 Aug 2017
Highly recommended tour especially for first time tourist of Seoul! Our guide, Judy, is knowledgeable and friendly. Our tour experience was worth the money and time we spent.
• Submitted 14 Aug 2017
Excellent way to see the sights in Seoul.
• Submitted 04 Jun 2017
Great experience to see many of the temples in Seoul. We were guided around and given the history of the temples. We were given a chance to wander Insadong and enjoy a traditional lunch...wonderful food!! We were also able to see the changing of the guard. Overall it was a wonderful day and we loved every part.
• Submitted 31 May 2017
It turns out to be a personal tour. I highly recommend it. It was super nice and value for money. Thanks to our driver and Gina Lee who made our Soul visit extra special..
• Submitted 10 May 2017
This is an excellent tour! We were traveling in a group of four, so we had a mini-van, driver, and our fantastic guide Katie. The organization was very efficient, with timing of the collection by the van from the various stops being precise, as was the timing of the viewing of the changing of the guard. The itinerary was well-chosen, and we were given a good overview of the Seoul lifestyle past and present. Our guide Katie was superb! She was extremely knowledgable and friendly, and no request was too much for her to try and arrange. She knew her facts perfectly and gave us much interesting information. We only had one day in which to see Seoul, and Katie and this tour made our experience a near perfect one.
• Submitted 20 Apr 2017
Great tour. Guide, Park Sung, was super punctual and waiting for us when we arrived in the lobby of our hotel. He had spent his childhood in the US and spoke amazing English. Took in all the sites promised on the tour and due to the day of the week we saw a substitute palace that turned out to be very interesting. Sung told us that very few tourists visit this palace and it was nice contrast to the more classic style of the other one we saw. Great day!
• Submitted 10 Jan 2017
My family and I are Korean but live in the US. We wanted to do a "tourist" day and decided to join a tour. Hana and her assistant were amazing and so sweet with accommodating my elderly father. We were also very impressed with Hana's English and depth of knowledge -- we ourselves learned so much!
• Submitted 27 Dec 2016
Very good, knowledgeable and responsible tour guide and caring driver. Highly recommended tour that offers insightful information on the history and culture of Korea. The small group size (only four of us from the same family) makes it easy and flexible for us, especially with my mum who is 79.
• Submitted 08 Jul 2016
Erin our tour guide made our trip enjoyable with information about the places of interest. She was very helpful and sweet. It was lovely
• Submitted 03 Jul 2019
The tour was good. Our guide, Jake, was well informed. However, once he was through with his spiel, there was silence. The conversation was between the quests and not the guide and the guest. We felt rushed during lunch so that we could get to Insadong-gil St and the shopping. Overall, the tour was informative and well worth the value paid.
• Submitted 15 Apr 2019
The tour was ok.The ability of the English language of our guide was ok,too.As we have lived in Koreana Hotel, we could have visited all he sights on foot from our hotel and so saved a lot of money.Anyway, no complaints, everything was fine.
• Submitted 10 Sep 2017
Good experience
• Submitted 20 Jan 2017
We were a little disappointed in the tour. The visit to the palace and temple in the morning was interesting enough but then we were taken off to a ginseng shop (not on itinerary) where there was quite a hard sell. We did not purchase! Afternoon visit much like the morning. Half day would have sufficed.
• Submitted 26 Jul 2019
This was a good tour. The guide was knowledgeable and helpful in understanding the history and various sites; it was a little difficult to understand his English at times but he was happy to repeat or rephrase. The sites themselves were fine; honestly if you have seen one palace before they don't really vary too much in construction.The history and tidbits he provided were great but there wasn't really anything truly spectacular on the tour however we knew the itinerary ahead of time so not much of a surprise.
• Submitted 03 Jul 2019

In Brief

Location:
Seoul, South Korea
Country:
South Korea
Duration:
8 hours
Operates:
Daily
Highlights:
Informative, friendly and professional guide
Free hotel pickup and drop-off included
All entrance fees included
Lunch included
Vegetarian meal option available