Korea Trip 2011 – Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung, The Palace of Shining Happiness is the main and largest palace of the Five Grand Palaces built by Joseon Dynasty. It was built in 1394 and reconstructed in 1867.It is located north from city hall and near Subway Line #3. To get there, you have to get on a train that runs along Line #3 and stop at Gyeongbokgung Station. It’s a HUGE station so be prepared to walk abit. It is located at Exit #5. But don’t worry there are lots of signboards and indicators saying you’re almost reaching Gyeongbokgung Palace.

The layout consists of :-

Main Gates

  • Gwanghwamun (The Main and South Gate)
  • Heungnyemun (The Second Inner Gate)
  • Geunjeongmun (The Third Inner Gate)
  • Sinmumun (The North Gate)
  • Geonchunmun (The East Gate)
  • Yeongchumun (The West Gate)

Oejeon (Outer Court)

  • Geunjeongmun (The Third Inner Gate)
  • Geunjeongjeon (The Throne Hall)
  • Sajeongjeon (The Executive Office)
  • Sujeongjeon
  • Cheonchujeon
  • Manchunjeon

Naejeon (Inner Court)

  • Gangnyeongjeon (The King’s Quarters)
  • Gyotaejeon (The Queen’s Quarters)
  • Jagyeongjeon (The Late Queen’s Quarters)

Donggung (Palace of the Crown Prince)

  • Jaseondang (The Crown Prince’s and Princesses’ Quarters)
  • Bihyeongak (The Study of the Crown Prince)


  • Gyeonghoeru (The Royal Banquet Hall)
  • Hyangwonjeong


  • Yeongjegyo
  • Chwihyanggyo


It is HUGE!! We spent about 3-4 hours just walking inside the palace, looking at the similar architectures of the buildings. We didn’t even walked the entire place. They have hourly tour, so if you are lucky, tag along them and then you may know more of this place. For us, we went bumming around ourselves.

#1 Changing guards ceremony.

#2 The royal banquet hall on the left. It’s on waters!

#3 Hyangwonjeong Pavilion

#4 Entrance to one of the smaller quarters inside. Most likely residence for the Queen or maybe to the Private Library.

#5 I have no idea where this was, we were kinda lost inside the Palace… :S

#6 In one of the quarters. You know they protect their heritage buildings well when there are 2 fire extinguishers just 4m away from each other.

There are also other palaces in Seoul if you wish to go. Changdeokgung offers night tours on certain months and it’s listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They are located not too far from each other, if you look at the map of Seoul. Most of the palaces are accessible via Subway and it’s very convenient to move around Seoul (if you’re coming from a non-Hangul speaking country).

To read more about Korean travels, please go over to the itinerary page where the links are updated.

NExt up will be Tosokchon, with the famous SamGyeTang!!

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