Seoul Travel : Morning @ UNESCO World Heritage Site of Changdeokgung Palace and Huwon (창덕궁과 후원)

Our South Korea Summer Vacation trip is slowing coming to an end with Seoul as our last stop. To me, Seoul (서울) is very much of a shopping stop, hence making it the final stop before heading back.

There are actually many places of interest that I would like to explore surrounding Seoul (서울) vicinity. However, would have to leave it for the next holiday back in South Korea.

We arrived Busan (부산), South Korea into Summer with scorching heat of between 35c to 40c and ended our memorable 2 weeks in Seoul (서울) with the cooling Autumn temperature between 17c to 20c. What a perfect holiday indeed as we managed to cover 2 seasons.

Because Seoul (서울) was intended for our shopping stop before we head back home, we spend most of the time in Seoul (서울) shopping. For the kids, we did spend a day in Lotte World (롯데월드) giving them the opportunity to enjoy themselves with all their favorite rides. I would not be writing any review on  Lotte World (롯데월드) for now.

Visiting UNESCO World Heritage Site are one of our bucket list, so when we are in Seoul (서울), there is definitely not something that we would miss. With that, Changdeokgung Palace and Huwon (창덕궁과 후원), here we come……

Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁과 후원) was the second royal villa built following the construction of Gyeongbukgung Palace in 1405. It was the principal palace for many kings of the Joseon Dynasty, 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.

To get toChangdeokgung Palace (창덕궁과 후원), we took the subway to Anguk Station on Seoul Subway Line 3. We took Exit 3 and walk straight from the exit for about 5 min before we arrive at the entrance of Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁과 후원). This is one of the nearest station to get to Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁과 후원).

Alternatively, Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁과 후원) is reachable by a 10 min walk from Jongno 3 (sam)-ga Station on Subway Line 1, 3, or 5 using Exit 6.

We were very lucky as we arrived in time to be able to purchase the tickets for the Huwon Tour (Secret Garden) guided tour in English. Note that there are only 100 tickets for each tour. 

Our Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁과 후원) tour started with us exploring the beautiful Palace Ground before we head to the entrance of the scheduled Huwon (Secret Garden) Tour.

Our route for the Huwon (Secret Garden) Tour starts from Hamnyangmun Gate before we head to Buyongji Pond. Next we head to Bullomun where Aeryeonji Pond are located before heading to Gwanramji Pond, Ongnyucheon and then another stop at Yeongyeongdang House then to Bingcheon-gil before we end the tour at Donhwamun Gate. Our guide speaks very good English hence it was easy to learn the significant history behind each and every stop that we made.

Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁과 후원) exploration ended. At the exit, we saw a 750 years old Chinese Juniper tree.


More information on Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁과 후원):


Operating Hours
Feb-May, Sep-Oct 09:00-18:00
Jun-Aug 09:00-18:30
Nov-Jan 09:00-17:30

* Last admission: 1 hour before closing.
* Huwon Course (Guided Tour only)

Parking Facilities
Available (26 mid-size spaces, 2 small car spaces, 2 spaces for people with disabilities, 2 business spaces, 2 bus spaces, 3 vans (max 25 people)spaces)

Admission Fees
[Korean Citizens]
* Changdeokgung Palace

Adults (ages 25-64): 3,000 won / Group (over 10): 2,400 won
Children and Teenagers (ages 24 and under): Free
Long-term admission: 30,000 won (For regular tour only)
– Admission hours: 09:00 – 17:30 / Expires one month after date of purchase / Portrait photo must be submitted to receive pass
Lunch hour admission: 5,000 won (For regular tour only)
– Admission hours: 12:00 – 13:00 / Limited to 10 times for use anytime during 3 months after date of purchase. (Applicants are limited to office workers near the palace or residents in the area.)
* People in the following categories may enter free of charge:
– Children (age 6 & below) accompanying a guardian Seniors (ages 65 & over)
– Teachers and/or guides on an educational purpose for nursery, elementary, middle, or high school groups
– People wearing hanbok
– People with disabilities
– Children and Teenagers (ages 24 and under)
– Holders of important intangible cultural properties.

* Huwon Tour (Secret Garden)
Adults (ages 19 and over): 5,000 won
Children and Teenagers (ages 7-18): 2,500 won
* To participate in the Huwon tour, both regular admission (3,000 won) and admission to Huwon (5,000 won) must be purchased.
* Seniors are required to purchase tickets to enter Huwon.
* The following people may enter free of charge: Children (age 6 & below), people with disabilities.

[International Visitors]
Adults (ages 19-64): Regular 3,000 won / Huwon 5,000 won
Children and Teenagers (ages 18 and under): Regular 1,500 won / Huwon 2,500 won
Group (over 10): 20% discount offered for regular tickets only.

[Integrated Admission]
– Admission to the Four Palaces (Changdeokgung Palaces (including Huwon, Secret Garden), Changgyeonggung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, Gyeongbokgung Palace) and Jongmyo Shrine.
– Ticket price: 10,000 won per person (Valid for 1 month after date of purchase)
– Refunds are not available after the ticket has been used at the first site.
– Visitors may go on a combined tour of Changdeokgung and Changgyeonggung Palaces. (Separate tickets must be purchased at Hamyangmun Gate.)
– The Jongmyo Shrine tour will be offered only at specific times of the day, except on Saturdays, when visitors may tour at their leisure. During this time, the passage connecting Jongmyo Shrine and Changgyeonggung Palace will be closed to the public.
– Closed on Mondays: Changdeokgung, Deoksugung, and Changgyeonggung Palaces
– Closed on Tuesdays: Gyeongbokgung Palace, Jongmyo Shrine.

Available Facilities
Benches, water fountain, shaded rest areas, snack bar

Interpretation Services Offered
Palace General Tour (Duration: 60 min)
English: 10:30, 14:30
Japanese: 12:30
Chinese: 10:00

Changdeokgung Palace (Duration: 60 min)
Korean: 09:30, 11:30, 13:30, 15:30, 16:30 / Route: Donhwamun Gate – Injeongjeon Hall – Seonjeongjeon Hall – Huijeongdang House – Daejojeon Hall – Nakseonjae
(* The tour time and route are subject to change due to weather conditions.)

English: 10:30, 14:30
Japanese: 12:30
Chinese: 10:00

Huwon (Duration: 90 min)
Korean: 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 14:30, 15:00, 16:00, 16:30 / Route: Hamnyangmun Gate – Buyongji Pond – Bullomun, Aeryeonji Pond – Gwanramji Pond – Ongnyucheon – Yeongyeongdang House – Bingcheon-gil –Donhwamun Gate
(* The tour time and route are subject to change due to weather conditions.)

English: 11:30, 13:30, 14:30, 15:30  (Feb-Oct)
Japanese: 10:30
Chinese: 12:30

* Admission to Huwon is limited to 100 people per session. (On-line reservations of 50 people, on-site purchases of 50 people on a first-come, first served basis). Therefore, integrated ticket holders are also required to exchange tickets for separate admission either on-line or in person.

Reservation Info. for Foreigners
Online or on-site reservations (on a first-come, first served basis) are required for the Huwon Tour (Secret Garden area).

* There are only 100 tickets available for each tour. 50 for internet booking in advance and
the remaining 50 are sold at a ticket office on the day.
* Please make an online reservation (max. 50 people). (Korean, English, Japanese, and Chinese)
* On-site reservations start at 09:00.

Baby Stroller Rentals
8 strollers available at Donhwamun Gate

Not permitted

Now, it is off for more shopping before we head home, ending our memorable 2 weeks vacation in South Korea.


4 thoughts on “Seoul Travel : Morning @ UNESCO World Heritage Site of Changdeokgung Palace and Huwon (창덕궁과 후원)

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