Seoul City Half Day Private Tour

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Gyeongbokgung / Gyeongbok Palace
Gyeongbokgung / Gyeongbok Palace
Gyeongbok Palace Garden
Gyeongbok Palace Garden
Seoul City Half Day Private Tour - Picture 3
Seoul City Half Day Private Tour - Picture 4
Seoul City Half Day Private Tour - Picture 5
Gyeongbok Palace Garden
Gyeongbok Palace Garden
Gyeongbokgung / Gyeongbok Palace
Gyeongbokgung / Gyeongbok Palace
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What To Expect

See the highlights of Seoul on this tour. Check out the Gyeongbok Palace, National Folklore Museum, Jogyesa, the Antique Shop Street, and visit the Namdaemun Market.

Specifications

Type:
Tours in Seoul
Departs From:
Seoul
Meeting Point:
Hotel pick-up
Duration:
4 hours
Availability:
daily at 9:30 AM; 2:00 PM
Product Code:
4829
Voucher info:
Print voucher. You will not have access to the tour without this voucher.
Languages:
Featured On:
Seoul City Tours & SightseeingSeoul Private ToursCity Tours & SightseeingPrivate Tours

Description

You will explore Korea's capital city that is full of rich heritage, culture, history and tourist attractions. Your exploration will begin with a driving tour of the city featuring sites such as the Gwanghwamun Plaza and a statue of Yi Sunsin, who had engaged in twenty-three naval battles against Japan and emerged victorious in all of them during the Hideyoshi invasion (1592-1598). The statue of King Sejong who propagated the Korean alphabet in the 15th century is honored with prominent statue in this plaza.

Visit Gyeongbok palace or Palace of Shining Happiness and see its magnificent gates, graceful architectures and lovely gardens, all directly inherited from the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). Built in 1395, the palace is a particularly charming spot that represents a colorful and turbulent side of the capital's 500-year history.

Standing majestically in the whirl of city traffic is Gwanghwadmun, the main gate of the palace. Following two other gates up, you will get to the Geungeongjeon, a throne hall where the king granted audiences to his officials, presided over large official functions and met foreign envoys. The two-tier edifice stands on a high platform reached by stone steps. At the center of the stone-paved courtyard that is fully enclosed by wooden cloisters is lined with two rows of rank stones, indicating the positions of the officials with the highest rank being closer to the hall and where the court officials are to stand. At the back of this hall is a group of three offices; Manchunjeon, Sajeongjeon, and Cheonchujeon where the king used to meet with his top officials. Gyeonghoeru literally Pavilion of Joyous Meeting, supported by 48 stone pillars set in a lotus pond, was a favored place for the King to entertain visiting dignitaries.

Gangnyeongjeon, a king's main residing quarters with its fourteen chambers, rests on top of a tall stone foundation while Gyotaejeon, the queen's domain with ten chambers sits in the back of the king's quarters. The noted feature of these buildings is an absence of a top roof ridge. You cannot miss Amisan garden landscaped with four hexagonal chimneys in orange bricks and decorative roof tiles, and artistic patterns of brick on the walls of queen's quarters which are seldom noticed by the hurried visitors. Jagyeongjeon is the queen dowager's residence. Although less colorful, it is worth noting the wall of Jagyeongjeon, adorned with floral designs and the chimneys with ten longevity symbols.

Hyangwonjeong features a small pond with a manmade islet that supports a beautiful two-story pavilion and is one of the famous sites in the palace. Behind this serene garden is Geoncheonggung, where the king and queen could relax in peace and quiet. It was here that the first electric lights in the country were installed and a tragic chapter in Korea's history was recorded in 1895 when empress Myeongseong was assassinated by the Japanese. Upon exiting the Sinmumun gate, you will take a few minutes to take some pictures in front of the Blue House, the executive office and official residence of the president of Korea.

Onto the National Folklore Museum showcasing cultural wealth of this friendly and picturesque nation - life and work, costumes and ornaments, handicrafts and technology, educations, living quarters, dietary life, oriental medicine, performing arts and games, beliefs and rituals, and socio cultural life of the Korean people from the prehistoric age to the Joseon Dynasty.

Visit Jogyesa, the head temple of Jogyejong the principal sect of Korean Buddhism. It emphasizes the Zen orthodox, meditation tradition and maintains the purity of monastic celibacy. The temple does not give off the solemn and traditional air of the other temples located deep in the mountains, but when you enter the temple the frenzy of the city start disappearing letting you explore the main worship hall, pagodas and bell tower. The Main Worship Hall holds triad Buddhas, Sakyamuni, Amitabha and Bhaisajyaraja. The figure in the center is Sakyamuni Buddha who has overcome greed, hatred and delusion. While here it is worth noting the 500 year old lacebark pine and 400 year old locust tree that still grace the property.

Next, Insa-dong. It is the center of traditional Korean art and antiques. Clustered along the main street and alleys are numerous shops dealing antiques, oriental art supplies, and modern Korean arts of all types and styles. A number of galleries also vie for attention with their exhibitions of works by modern artists. Here, you will look for some souvenirs or simply wander and browse at leisure.

Drive past Cheonggyecheon, a 5.8 kilometer-long creek that flows through downtown and under 22 little bridges. At the head of the stream stands a sculpture created by world-renowned artist Coosje Van Bruggen and Claes Oldenburg.

Lastly, visit the centuries-old Namdaemun market where well over 11,000 shops selling anything you can imagine. Widely acknowledged as one of the Seoul's best tourist attractions, the market is seriously crowded, so be prepared to get bumped around. One of the most colorful aspects of the market is an endless sprawl of street-vendor stalls that setup in the alleys and walkways between the buildings. As you stroll through the market, you can haggle over the price to get the best deal on something you want or simply admire the vibrancy of this massive market.

At the western entrance of the market in the middle of a traffic circle stands Namdaemun, officially known as the Sungnyemun Gate. It is a formidable and iconic construct that served as the southern gate of the wall that surrounded Seoul during the period of the Joseon Dynasty.

Includes

  • Hotel pick-up

  • English-speaking guide

  • Entrance fees as per itinerary

Excludes

  • Meals and drinks

  • Tips and gratuities

  • Personal expenses

  • Optional activity cost

Cancellation Policy

  • 25% Cancellation Fee (75% reimbursement): 46 days prior to date of activity.
  • 50% Cancellation Fee (50% reimbursement): between 16 to 45 days prior to date of activity.
  • 100% Cancellation Fee (no reimbursement): 15 days or less prior to date of activity.

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