Things to do in Seoul

The best Seoul half-day city tour: Gyeongbokgung Palace, Jogyesa Temple, and more

40 reviews

  • 4 hours in total

  • Tickets, transport included

  • Pick up at your accommodation

What To Expect

This cultural tour will take you back in time, from the era of the ancient Joseon Dynasty all the way through to modern day Seoul. You will learn about the history of South Korea and the transitions that took place to make it the modernized hub of technology it is today.

Let's start your day with Gyeongbokgung palace, one of the Five Grand Palaces of Seoul and the main residence of the royal members of the Joseon Dynasty. The palace is famous for its harmonious combination of human hands and natural scenery, which isolates itself from the bustling urbanization of Seoul. The design of the palace favors the use of the simplicity of the basic shades like blue, white, red, black, yellow, combined with the symbolic architecture of the Joseon Dynasty.

In this trip, you will also get to witness the traditional royal rituals of the Joseon Dynasty recreated through various cultural events such as the 'Changing of Royal Guard' ceremony and the opening and closing of the Gates at Gyeongbokgung Palace. Your local guide will make sure you catch this scene on time!

Located inside Gyeongbokgung Palace, the National Folk Museum of South Korea demonstrates several historical artifacts that were used in the daily lives of ancient Koreans hundred years ago. Your guide will help you get a great insight into what Korean domestic and agricultural lifestyles would have been like, as well as their cultural beliefs.

You will also get to pass by the Blue House, the official residence of the president. The signature blue tiles of the main building blend beautifully with Bugaksan Mountain in the background.

Next, your guide will take you to pay a visit to Jogyesa Temple, a Buddhist temple built in the late 14th century during the Goryeo period. The temple's Dharma Hall serves as the main venue for several Buddhist events, holding rituals, lectures, and ceremonies all year long. The annual lantern festival in celebration of Buddhist's birthday also takes place at this temple.

Since Gyeongbokgung Palace is closed on Tuesday, you will visit Deoksugung Palace and History Museum instead. Deoksugung Palace, another palace of the “Five Grand Palaces” in the Joseon Dynasty, is also famous for its Changing of Guard ceremony. The History Museum is also another alternative for National Folk Museum on Tuesday as the vestiges from the prehistoric era to modern Seoul are on display and the landscape of Seoul is recreated from when it was the capital of the Joseon Dynasty.

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Itinerary

  • Pickup at your hotel around 8:30 am (exact pickup time will be confirmed at reservation).
  • Pass by the Blue House.
  • Watch the famous Changing of Guard Ceremony.
  • Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace (Deoksugung Palace on Tuesdays).
  • Visit National Folk Museum (History Museum on Tuesdays).
  • Jogyesa Buddhist Temple.
  • Ginseng center.
  • Drop you off at the city hall around 12:30 pm.

Notes

  • This itinerary is subject to change. In such case, you will be notified ahead of time.
  • The Changing of Guard ceremony takes place every hour from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.
  • Gyeongbokgung Palace and National Folk Museum are closed on Tuesday. You will visit Deoksugung Palace and History Museum as replacements.

What's included?

  • English-speaking guide
  • Entrance tickets
  • Transportation
  • Hotel pick-up in central Seoul

What's not included?

  • Entrance fees
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Plan your trip

Children under 3 are free of charge.
Small group tour
  • Join group message after payment
  • Instant confirmation
  • Free cancellation - 48 hrs notice
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From
US$45 per person

Reviews

4.5/5
40 reviews
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This tour is worth your time because the palace is...
This tour is worth your time because the palace is magnificent, the museum is interesting and the scenery of this place in fall is spectacular. We took a lot of pictures and I cannot forget how charming Seoul is in the most beautiful season of the year. 
Glaiza Meren
10 months ago
I am huge fan of Korean historical drama and I was...
I am huge fan of Korean historical drama and I was fascinated by the old palaces and the lives of royal members in the history. Besides the interesting tour, we also made new friend with Kim, our Korean tour guide during the trip. He took us to many different locations during our stays in Seoul. This tour gave me much more than only sightseeing! 
Ester Niyama
10 months ago
Our palace tour was filled with knowledge and astonishment....
Our palace tour was filled with knowledge and astonishment. Thanks to the local guide. 
Edom Tedla
10 months ago
We were only in Seoul for 2 days and we booked the tour at...
We were only in Seoul for 2 days and we booked the tour at last minutes. Luckily, we had Park to help us to visit these historical sites in a morning. She also took us to local restaurants, the food was amazing and inexpensive. 
Honeylet Reidy
10 months ago
We arrived on Tuesday and we did not make it to...
We arrived on Tuesday and we did not make it to Gyeongbokgung. We met Tony, our private guide and he took us to Changdeokgung instead. Although the palace is not as huge as Gyeongbokgung, we still enjoyed the relics and took many photos of ancient corners. After the tour, don't forget to pass by Tosokchon if you're a food lover and want to try... Read more
WY
Wiwik Yuni
a year ago

Still have question?

How do I book on Inspitrip?

For most experiences on Inspitrip, there are two options: Small Group and Private tour. For both options, you can chat with your local guide and other people in your group even before the trip takes place.
  • Small group tour: operates with a maximum number of people. If you like to make new friends, this is a great option. You would pay for the trip to confirm your slot, then join a chat group with your local guide as well as fellow travel buddies, everything would be on Inspitrip. Get to know them!
  • Private tour: maximize your privacy and allows you to freely customize the itinerary. First, request to communicate any specific needs you may have, wait a couple minutes for these requests to be confirmed, and then you can proceed to payment.

What are the cancellation and refund policies?

Cancellation is free if you cancel up to 48 hours before the trip date. We believe that this is the fairest way to ensure that both our travelers and local guides are happy.

Does the Small Group option still operate if there are less than the maximum number of people signed up?

Yes, even if you are the only person who signs up for the trip on a given date, the tour will still take place.

My question is not listed here. What should I do?

Check our Frequently Asked Questions page or you can also email us at team@inspitrip.com. We are happy to help!