Once the royal residence of Prince Regent Daewon-gun, Unhyeongung Palace attracts visitors with its ornate halls and impressive gates. Inside the palace are mannequins clad in costumes that reflect South Korea’s colorful past. With luck, you might catch a wedding ceremony, as the palace is a popular place to exchange vows.
As one of the lesser-known palaces in Seoul, Unhyeongung Palace attracts fewer visitors than big-ticket attractions. At the royal residence, you’ll visit traditional servants’ quarters, kitchens, and grand halls; admire traditional Korean architecture; and learn about the influence of the Joseon dynasty. You can visit Unhyeongung Palace as part of a Seoul history tour, which also stops at the National Museum of Korea, home to thousands of cultural relics.
Things to Know Before You Go
Unhyeongung Palace is a must-visit for culture vultures and history buffs.
Admission to the palace is free.
You can pay extra to try on traditional Korean costumes, which makes for great photo ops.
Tours typically include a traditional Korean lunch.
How to Get There
The closest metro station to Unhyeongung Palace is Anguk, on the Orange Line. From central Seoul, take bus 401 directly to the palace. In order to avoid navigating Seoul’s sometimes confusing public transport system, many travelers opt to visit the palace as part of a guided tour.
When to Get There
During the months of July and August, Unhyeongung Palace has extended summer hours, from 7am to 9pm. Additionally, the palace hosts daily performances throughout the warmer months, which include a precise reenactment of the wedding ceremony of King Gojong and Queen Min (posthumously named Empress Myeongseong).
Seoul’s Five Grand Palaces
As the capital of South Korea, Seoul is renowned for its five grand palaces. Indisputably the most famous is Gyeongbokgung Palace, a 14th-century structure formerly used as the city’s main royal residence. Following closely in terms of grandeur is Changdeokgung Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its Secret Garden. Admission tickets for the garden often sell out, so book in advance to avoid disappointment.
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