Aside from being the economic heart of Korea, Seoul boasts many of the nation’s greatest historic sites. History buffs and aficionados will definitely want to visit Gyeongju city in the northern part of Gyeongsang Province for a greater in-depth look at Korea’s history, however Seoul should not be overlooked for its own historical exploits.
Gyeongbokgung Palace is one of Korea’s must see historic sites, and it is easily accessible via subway, bus, or taxi. Gyeongbokgung Palace is just a short walk from the Gyeongbokgung Subway Station or even Gwangwhamun Station. Tickets are a modest 3000 KRW (about 3 USD) and the palace is closed every Tuesday so plan accordingly. I recommend going earlier in the day to make sure you can see everything before closing time which varies between 5:00pm and 6:30pm depending on the season. Near Gyeongbokgung Palace you can also visit the statue of King Sejong, the creator of Hangul (the Korean written language) or just take a stroll around Gwanghwamun Square and its gardens and fountains.
Gyeongbokgung Palace was built in 1395 under the Joseon Dynasty. It is the largest of the “Five Grand palaces” built during the Joseon Dynasty and is widely considered to be the most beautiful. It was rebuilt in 1867 after being burned to the ground during the Japanese invasion of Korea in 1592. Within the palace walls and behind Gwanghwamun gate you’ll be able to see the grand courtroom, the royal living quarters, as well as multiple reflecting pools and gardens. Be sure to see as much of the palace as possible as there are many wonderful photo opportunities to be had inside the palace. Guided tours are also available in English, Chinese, and Japanese but you’ll have to check the official website for more information
Whether you are coming to Korea for a short trip or will be staying for much longer, don’t miss out on one of Korea’s most important and historical landmarks. Its location is convenient for an afternoon trip and there are few other places that allow you to experience Korea’s rich history from one of its most prominent and influential dynastic periods on such a grand scale.