Changdeokgung Palace


  • Name: Changdeokgung Palace, 창덕궁
  • Location: No. 99 Yulgok Road, Jongno District, Seoul, South Korea
  • Reason to visit: World Cultural Heritage
  • Our Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
  • Opening Hours: Closed on Mondays
  • Each February to May and September to October: 9:00-18:00
  • Each June to August: 9:00-18:30
  • Each November to January: 9:00-17:30
  • General Palace Tour (Changdeokgung Palace Building Area): Ticket offices open until an hour before closing time.
  • Entrance fee: Adult (age 19~64): 3,000 won; Youth (age 7~18): 1,500 won
  • Free Admission for palace building area: Children (under 7 years old); Seniors (over 65 years old); Those who are wearing a Hanbok (traditional Korean clothes); Culture day (the last Wednesdays of every month)
  • Reminder: Requires a Valid ID card for free tickets
  • Recommended tour4 Days Classic South Korea Tour


Changdeokgung Palace is one of the five palaces in the Joseon Dynasty. It was the originally detached palace for the king, and it was used as the main palace instead of Gyeongbokgung Palace in the late period of the Joseon Dynasty for 270 years. The pavilion of Changdeokgung Palace is completely designed according to the natural terrain. It is not only the most natural palace but also the most well-preserved palace.

Changdeokgung Palace

Changdeokgung Palace has been rebuilt many times. Due to the relationship between China and Korea, the area and volume of the palace have strictly followed the system of vassal state. There were more than 230 palace buildings before destruction, and now only 60 are in existence, including Donhwamun Gate, Geumcheongyo Bridge, Injeongjeon Hall, Juhamnu Pavilion.

There is no doubt that Changdeokgung Palace is a masterpiece of Korean palace architecture where the buildings are in perfect harmony with the natural setting, that's why it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.


History of Changdeokgung Palace

After the Gyeongbokgung Palace was built in 1395, the king decided to build another palace as the secondary palace, so the Changdeokgung Palace came into being.

Changdeokgung Palace was burnt down in 1592 because of the Japanese invasion, so King Seonjo decided to rebuild it and adopted as the official royal palace.

King Injo Initiated a political Revolt against Gwanghaegun in 1623. Most of Changdeokgung Palace buildings except for the Injeongjeon Hall were destroyed by fire, but they were restored in 1647.

Changdeokgung was the seat of the royal family and government. In 1926, King Sunjong, the last emperor in the Joseon Dynasty, passed away in Changdeokgung palace.

Since the 1990s, Changdeokgung Palace has undergone large-scale construction, and it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.


Layout of Changdeokgung Palace

Changdeokgung Palace is a Chinese-style palace on the Korean peninsula, and it can divide into two parts: Palaces and Huwon. For the palace group, its architectural features incorporate ancient Chinese geomantic omen. The buildings in Changdeokgung Palace are built according to its terrain, which is the main reason why it can become the most natural palace among the five palaces.

Changdeokgung Palace consists of outer court area, governmental area and royal private area. The outer court area is in the north of Geumcheongyo Bridge, where is for the minister on duty and in politics. The governmental area is mainly based on Injeongjeon and Seonjeongjeon and this area is for the king to deal with state affairs. The royal private area is where the king and queen live in, like Huijeongdang Hall and Daejojeon Hall.

The other part is Huwon, also known as Secret Garden or Rear garden. It started construction in 1405 and became its current size in the 17th century. It is located behind the Changdeokgung Palace and occupies three-quarters of the total area.


What to see in Changdeokgung Palace

Donhwamun Gate

Donhwamun Gate was built in 1412, burnt down in the Japanese invasion in 1592 and rebuilt in 1608. It's the main gate of Changdeokgung Palace, and also the oldest existing main gate among the palaces in Seoul. Donhwamun Gate is a two-story wooden building. According to the record, there was a drum on the second floor of the Donhwamun Gate, which used for reporting time during the Joseon era, but it no longer exists.

Changdeokgung Palace


Injeongjeon Hall

Injeongjeon Hall is the main hall of Changdeokgung Palace, which built in 1405. It was rebuilt both in 1610 and 1804. It used to be a place to hold the throne ceremony and meet foreign envoys. To outstanding the importance of Injeongjeon Hall, the South Korean government awarded it the title of No.225 National Treasure.


Seonjeongjeon Hall

Finished in 1804, Seonjeongjeon Hall is the only precious building in the existing palace whose roof is paved with blue tiles. Seonjeongjeon Hall is the place where the king deals with daily state affairs. The scholars and ministers can also study here.


Huijeongdang Hall and Daejojeon Hall

Huijeongdang Hall and Daejojeon Hall are the places where the king and queen live in. It has suffered several fires and some parts have been remodeled according to the western style. Daejojeon Hall is not only the place where the resolution meetings were held during the Japanese colonial period, but also where the last emperor died. Therefore, it has profound historical value.



Huwon was built in 1406 and finished in 1463. It was totally burnt down during the incorporates a lotus pond, pavilions, and landscaped lawns, trees, and flowers. It is definitely the most beautiful part of Changdeokgung Palace. A variety of trees are planted in the Huwon, and some trees are over 300 years old, it can say they are witnesses of history. When Changdeokgung Palace applied for a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, Huwon was judged to be the most valuable place, and also one of the most representative gardens in Korea.


How to get to Changdeokgung Palace

By Subway

Line 1,3,5, get off at Jongro3ga Station, exit 6

Line 3, get off at Ahngook Station, exit 3


By Bus

Blue Bus: No.109, 151, 162, 171,172,272 (Get off at Changdeokgung Palace bus stop)

Green Bus: No. 7026 (Get off at Changdeokgung Palace bus stop)




Recommended Tours

12-Day Best Japan-Korea Small Group

Tokyo, Mt.Fuji, Hamanako, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Seoul, Jeju

Price from: $3160

5 Days Seoul Exploring Tour

Seoul, Gyeongju, Seoul

Price from: $1165