Tourist Destinations and Attractions in Seoul, South Korea

Deoksugung Palace

Deoksugung is the only palace in the middle of the western-style building in downtown Seoul, South Korea. The building is very traditional like an oasis in Seoul. Deoksugung in English means "Palace of Virtuous Longevity" was built in the 15th century by Prince Wolsan, King Seongjong’s brother. After the Imjin invasion in 1592, the palace was used as the official home Seonjo king until rebuilding completed.

There are some buildings that you will see during visit to Deoksugung. After crossing the bridge and Junghwawun gate, you will arrive at the main palace called Jungwhajeon. In this place, Emperor Gojong country doing all his jobs, including receiving foreign guests. In this place, you will see a screen depicting the sun, moon and five mountains.

Originally the building consists of two floors but when rebuilt in 1906 changed only with one floor. Then there Seogeodang which was the residence of King Seongjo for 16 years after the invasion in 1592. The building is very simple with no ornamentation. You can also see Deokhongjeon. In this room the Emperor Gojong often receive his guests. In 1904, Deokhongjeon burned and restored in 1911.

Deoksugung is very accessible, you can take subway at line 1, get off at City Hall Station through gate 2. Some hotels to stay during a holiday in Seoul is Hangul House, New Chonji Hotel or Acacia Hotel.

Jongmyo Shrine

Located in Seoul, Jongmyo shrine storing historical documents of 19 kings and 30 queens of Korea. Jongmyo is the oldest royal temple which is used as a place of reverence and ritual ceremonies since the 14th century. By Unesco, Jongmyo become a world heritage site since 1995.

King Taejong started to build this holy shrine in December 1394 or in the third year of his reign and completed in September 1395. The building consists of a main room, including 7 rooms. Each room provided an altar for the king and queen.

To reach this place, you can take subway line 3 towards Anguk Station and exit at gate 3. You can stay at Koreana Hotel Shilla Hotel or the Somerset Palace Seoul Residence.

Changgyeonggung Palace

Formerly been a zoo and botanical garden, this palace is a historical site that should not be missed. Located in downtown Seoul, this palace was first built by King Sejong in Joseon Dynasty, 1104.

This palace renovated several times, once a zoo and botanical garden during the Japanese colonial rule. Then the palace restored and returned to its primary function in 1983. It took over 20 years to reconstruct damaged buildings because of the Japanese invasion.

The largest building in Changgyeonggung is Tongmyeongjeon. The building has a long history and has been renovated many times. Built in 1484, and then destroyed in 1592 during the Japanese invasion. Tongmyeongjeon rebuilt in 1616, but burned in 1830, and finally rebuilt in 1834. In addition to these buildings, you will see the other beautiful rooms such as Haminjeong pavilions, Gyeongchujeon, Hyangyeongjeon, and a Chundangji.

Changdeokgung Palace

Changdeok Palace is a magnificent palace and a heritage building of King Taejo. As the resting place of the kings in 1405, the place was designed very beautiful and detailed. This palace is located in Seoul, South Korea, consists of 3 main rooms, the public areas, residence of the royal family and a rear garden. In 1997, Changdeokgung preserved as a world heritage site by UNESCO.

The first element that you will see is Donhwa Gate, which is the main gate of the Changdeok Palace which means "Gate of Truth Transformation". This gate is the oldest structure built in 1609.

To reach this place, you can take subway line 1, 3 or 5, and exit through the gate 7 towards Jongno-ga Station. After that, you have to walk for about 10 minutes down the Donhwamun-ro Street before it finally arrived at Changdeokgung.

Korea House

Korea House is located right in front of the Namsangol Hanok Village. This place offers 30 traditional Korean dishes as well as a variety of folk performances. Not only that, visitors can see a beautiful garden, a traditional wedding ceremony, as well as see the typical crafts from the past. Also you can see theater and performing arts include Korean traditional music and dance, like Buchaechum, Sinayui, Salpuri, Pansori, drum dance and mask dance.

In the Cultural Gift Shop, you can see a variety of crafts made by traditional craftsmen. A total of 500 pieces of artwork created from 20 different areas, such as pottery or earthenware, ceramic, gold handicrafts and embroidery. In addition to display, the craft can be purchased by visitors as a gift or souvenir.

Namsangol Hanok Village

Namsangol Hanok Village is a traditional mini village consisting of 5 traditional Korean-style house. In this place you will see the park and also traditional houses, including the home of Queen Yoon, Empress of Sungjeonghyo.

When you enter the front gate, you will see a wide view of valley. On the side, you will see the traditional houses. During the Joseon Dynasty, the houses were owned by people, from kings to peasants. Original condition of this house helps us to understand how their day-to-day life at the time. Interestingly in one of the traditional houses, we can drink a traditional tea, just as the order and flavored teas on hundreds of centuries ago. We also get to see the kitchen and some of the barrel used for cooking kimchi, a South Korea's traditional food.

To reach this place you can take subway line 3 or 4 to Chungmuto Station and down through the exit gate 3 or 4.

Cheong Wa Dae

Cheong Wa Dae is the presidential office as well as the official residence of president. From here, the president carry out his duties, and also welcome guests from other countries.

Cheong Wa Dae in English means "Blue House". As the name suggests, this building has a blue roof tiles, which are made from 150 thousand tiles, making it clearly visible from distance.

Cheong Wa Dae is located in Seoul. Cheong Wa Dae consists of the main office, guest house (yeongbingwan), spring and autumn pavilion (chungchugwan), green grass (nokjiwon), rose of sharon (the mugunghwa valley), the seven palaces. Another attraction of Cheong Wa Dae is a beautiful building and the traditional Korean architecture that dominates everywhere. Here you will see chungchugwan room where presidents usually do press conferences.

Here you can also visit Sarangche Cheong Wa Dae, the presidential museum that contains the past history of Korea and the country's current condition and future expectations. The museum was opened on January 5, 2010 and consists of two exhibit floors.

Seodaemun Prison History Hall

This complex shows how the atmosphere of the prison while the Japanese occupation from 1901 to 1945. The prison was built by the Japanese in 1907 and was completed on October 21, 1908, was originally named Gyeongseong Gamok. Renamed Seodaemun Gamok in September 1912 and changed again to Seodaemun Hyeoungmuso on May 5, 1923. This name was changed again to Seoul Hyeoungmuso in 1945.

While visiting Seodaemun Prison History Museum, you are offered 7 cell, space history exhibits, the execution chamber, tower, and a prison located in the basement. This is where Yu Gwan-su, a historical figure died during the independence war.

First floor is named as "A Place of Reverence". You can learn this prison through a systematic graphic. There is a large screen which will show the background and establishment history of the prison at the time. The second chamber is "The Material Room" which shows us about the history of Korea. On the second floor, or so-called "A Place of History" we can visit some rooms, like National Resistance Room, Prison History Room and Prison Life Room.

War Memorial of Korea

Located in Yongsan-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea, the museum opened in 1994, has seven indoor showroom and outdoor display space which exhibits at least 13 thousand war memorabilia and military equipment.

Seven indoor space which you can visit here is The Memorial Hall, The War History Room, The Korean War Room, The Expeditionary Forces Room, The Armed Forces Room, The Large Equipment Room and The Korean Defense Industries Room. Something that is exhibited in this room is a replica, dioramas and historical record. The Korean War Room special tells the story of the Korean War.

Outdoor display room containing the equipment used during the Korean War and some great weapons of other nations.

To get to the War Memorial of Korea, you can simply ride the line 4 or 6 to Samgakji Station and exit through the exit gate 12.

Bongwon Temple

Bongwon Temple or called Bongwonsa is a temple with a long history. Founded in 889 by Master Dosun, and then were destroyed during the Korean War. Later the temple was rebuilt and became one of the historical sites and tourist destinations. Bongwonsa located in Seodaemun-gu, Seoul near Yonsei University located in Sinchon area.

Some parts of the temple was once destroyed in 1950 during the Korean War. In 1996 a new hall was built, but was later moved to another city. In 1991 a great fire destroyed the main hall, which was later rebuilt in 1995.

Stories about Bongwonsa not stop there, in 2004, found that a serial killer Yoo Young-cheol, has buried more than a dozen victims in the courtyard of the temple. With a variety of events and history, Bongwonsa become one of the famous temples in South Korea. Bongwonsa was named as a UNESCO cultural heritage in 2009.

National Folk Museum of Korea

In the museum, you can see more than 4000 historical objects that are divided into time periods in Korean history, from prehistoric times until the Japanese Occupation. These objects are objects that are used by most Korean people everyday. In addition to the relics of history, there are also replicas, paintings and a variety of traditional life including celebrations and folk festivals.

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