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Deoksugung, Seoul

4.3
A luxurious ancient palace within a metropolis, Deoksugung represents one of Seoul's five great Joseon dynasty palaces, and the only one combining traditional Korean architecture and Western-style buildings. A walled compound surrounded by modern skyscrapers, the palace features an impressive entrance gate and pointed-eave pavilion roofs. Cross the royal bridge and explore luxurious pavilions, whose intricately ornamented ceilings feature gilded carvings of dragons. If your timing is right, observe a colorfully costumed changing of the guard in the main courtyard. Architectural layers ranging from the 15th century to the 1900 Jeonggwanheon modernist building--the emperor's favorite coffee place-make this palace a perfect setting for the national art museum on site. Put Deoksugung on your schedule, and learn what else deserves a visit by using our Seoul online trip planner .
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Deoksugung Reviews
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  • Part of your combination ticket, this palace is similar to the others (closed Mondays). Dunkin' Donuts is next door if you are cold and need a coffee to warm up.  more »
  • Stone then say this is renowned for. Watch featured that night. Both the Interior and the exterior lights are very beautiful.
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  • Stone then say this famous Palace ~ ~ ~ unlike other palace-style building's unique.
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  • amazing place. worth of spending 2 hours here even just walk around. tradition shows take place every day and local guide. Even most of the palace are burned into ashes, the remains are still amazing. Check wiki or whatever in your hand to explore the history of this site in advance.
  • Nice cultural attraction and well cared for. When I went they had an art installation in several of the palace building, and Samsung-sponsored VR and AR content as well. Not the biggest palace in Seoul, but also has some neat early 1900s Western-style palace buildings with cultural artifacts inside.
  • Great palace walk in the heart of the city. Gf old explanation signs but I think an audio guide or a guided visit would be better
  • It was a very interesting place. I have seen many palaces before but, the booth outside letting you try on the traditional clothes for free for 3 minutes really impressed me! There was also a changing of the guard ceremony that was interesting.
  • Located at the corner of Seoul's busiest downtown intersection, Deoksugung Palace is famous for its elegant stone-wall road. It is also the only palace that sits alongside a series of western style buildings that add to the uniqueness of the surrounding scenery. Deoksugung Palace originally belonged to Wolsandaegun (1454-1488), the older brother of King Seongjong (1469-1494) of the Joseon Dynasty. It became a proper palace when Gwanghaegun (1575-1641) ascended to the throne and gave this royal residence the name Gyeongungung Palace in 1611. Over the following decades, the palace alternated between being an official palace and a temporary residence. The name did not official change to Deoksugung Palace, meaning the “palace of virtuous longevity,” until 1907. While the palace incompassed a vast area with many buildings, the current palace grounds are just a small shadow of the prior splendor, with very few structures remaining.

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The Seoul metropolitan area has two districts especially appealing to backpackers--Jongno just northeast of the city, and Hongdae to the west. Both offer good shopping and dining, as well as easy transport links to the rest of the city. Mid-range options may prove difficult to find in peak season (July to August), unless you don't mind staying at a traditional hanok guesthouse, where loads of character make up for any lack of amenities. Finally, a range of top-end hotels with an impressive list of services and facilities lie scattered around the city.
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