Deoksu Palace is open later than any other palace, making evening visits possible. The Western architecture intermingled throughout this palace was at first a major turn-off for me: It’s already next to impossible to find Korean-style buildings in Korea, and seeing them within the palace walls was the final straw. Recently, however, I have warmed up to the palace. Seeing it again after six years, I found a new charm in it.
Getting there: Deoksu Palace is located across from Seoul Square, right next to City Hall Station (Line 1 and 2). Admission is W1,000 for adults; W500 for children.
My favorite of Seoul’s palaces because it is always quiet. I’ve been the only visitor on many occasions. Lives up to its “palace of serene harmony” moniker. It just looks busy in these pictures because they were staging a musical inside the palace. These aren’t my greatest shots but I’m sure you get the idea.
Getting there: Just take any of the buses that travel along Jongno in the Gwanghamun area and alight at the Seoul History Museum stop. It’s also walkable from Gwanghwamun Station (Line 5).
The throne room of this palace hasn’t been repainted as recently as the other palaces, so its interior is of a duller shade. But I actually like this about the site. It also never gets as busy as Seoul’s other palaces, so that’s another plus. Don’t leave without seeing the lake and arboretum in the back.
I usually take the subway to Jongno-samga, walk through Jongmyo to the very back and then take the pedestrian overpass into Changgyeonggung. Admission to both sites is included in the Jongmyo ticket and the Jongmyo Shrine is definitely worth a visit itself. You can also sneak a peak into Biwon (Changdeokgung) as soon as you cross the bridge. It’s three sites for the price of one, people!
For visitation info and a history of the palace, click here