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Namdemun Gate (Sungnyemun Gate), Seoul

3.9
#13 of 46 in Historic Sites in Seoul
Historic Site Landmark
Surrounded by busy traffic and modern high rises in the middle of a major intersection, Namdemun Gate (Sungnyemun Gate) stands alone defiantly, still looking powerful and impressive. Completed in 1398 as one of the eight great gates of Seoul, this southern gate is now the only surviving of the three original gates, once part of a large 18.2 km (11.3 mi) walls surrounding the city. Occasionally, you can observe changing of the guard ceremonies in colorful costumes, as well as martial arts exhibitions outside the gate. Plan to visit Namdemun Gate (Sungnyemun Gate) during your Seoul vacation using our convenient Seoul tour planner.
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Where to stay in Seoul

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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4.3
  • To be honest, the style of this gate is pretty jarring, set as it is in the sea of traffic, modern buildings, and large video walls that seems to be what defines Seoul. It's quite pretty, ornate in a ...  more »
  • This place is a must visit when you are in Korea. Love the architecture and the way it's accessible and I come back over and over again Place visit  more »
  • Nice area to look at and beautiful to photograph at any time. Changing of the guards plus it is lit up at night, so photogenic!  more »
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  • The gate is only renovated recently due to an arson attack. Furthermore because of past wars, only a small part of it is original. Nonetheless it is still quite historical, and if you happen to catch the guard changing ceremony then your time is more worth it. Otherwise it is just a short pit stop before going to the market.
  • This was the biggest gate entering Hanyang (Seoul) then. Currently it is surrounded by modern buildings and the walls attached to it are demolished to make way for roads. You can get the glamorous and grandiose history of this gate at Seoul City Wall Museum. Just across the street is Namdaemun Market. City Hall, Seoul Plaza and Public Library is just 5 mins from here. This gate is very beautiful at night.
  • A beautiful place to walk around at night and see all the wonders. In 2007 there was plenty of police walking around and the local shops were very friendly and respectful. Such an amazing and positive experience.
  • The gate was a great sight to see. But the main attraction is the Namdaemun market right accross the street. You can buy anything there. From cheap lunch options, pre-made hanbok, kitchenware, cheap handbags/backpacks, to camera stuff, cheap clothes, jewery, etc. It's quite a big area with lots of small shops. If you're looking for anything in particular, please make sure to visit the Information center to get directions or a map.
  • Korea gate the first time I have seen my own eyes. A great place to take pictures when you pass in front of it. I imagine the life of ancient Korean nation.