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Full Day Small-Group Royal Palace and Seoul Tour

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Seoul, South Korea
Full Day Small-Group Royal Palace and Seoul Tour

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon8 hours  (approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds

Overview

Explore the highlights of Seoul on a full-day tour with an informative guide. Highlights include Jogyesa Temple, the Blue House, the royal guard changing ceremony at Gwanghwamun Gate, and tours of Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take in traditional culture at the National Folk Museum, Insadong Antique Street, and at Namdaemun Gate and Namdaemun Market. Includes lunch, entrance fees, and hotel pickup and drop-off.
  • Full-day Seoul tour with Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace
  • View traditional shops and goods at Insadong Antique Street and Namdaemun Market
  • Learn about Korean dynasties when visiting two royal palaces
  • Includes lunch, all entrance fees, guide, and hotel pickup and drop-off
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Hotel pickup and drop-off in Seoul
Local guide
Lunch
Driver/Guide
Bottled water
Gratuities
This operator has two meet-up options available. You can either meet at the departure point below or select a location for pick-up.
55 , 55 Ujeongguk-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

If you don't want us to pick you up, you can meet us at 9 am at the front gate of Jogyesa temple where is the first attractive to visit.

Hmm...we can’t seem to find this place. Please check the spelling, or choose another location.

9:00 AM
Sicheong-Yeog , Seoul, South Korea

After the tour, we will drop all customers off at their pick-up place or City Hall station.

Pick-up is provided at most hotels in Central Seoul and subway stations. Please provide us with the name & full address of your accommodation in Seoul. Then we will inform you where & when you can meet us.
After morning pickup at your Seoul hotel, travel in a comfortable vehicle to Jogyesa Temple. Despite its location on a crowded street in Jongno district, the Zen Buddhist temple is serene and picturesque with colorful decorations and large golden Buddha statues. 

Continue to the Blue House (Cheong Wa Dae), home to the President of the Republic of Korea. From the outside, view the Blue House along with Mt. Bukak in the background.

Head to Gwanghwamun Gate in time to watch the changing of the royal guards ceremony. Then tour the northern palace, Gyeongbokgung, the main palace during the Joseon dynasty. 

Stop at the Korean Ginseng Center before sitting down for a lunch of Korean fare. In the afternoon, tour the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Changdeokgung Palace and explore Insadong Antique Street. Experience traditional culture in Insadong by entering a Korean tea house or browsing in the antique shops.

The final stop on your tour takes you to Namdaemun (aka Soongryemun), which was built in 1396 and is listed as Korea's most important National Treasure. Have time to check out the traditional Namdaemun Market before your tour ends with hotel drop-off. 
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Jogyesa Temple
Jogyesa Buddhist Temple is the center of Zen Buddhism in Korea, and is famous for being located in the city. From the busy streets of Jongno, follow the road towards Anguk Subway Station, and you will see Jogyesa Temple. The first things you will notice at the temple are the lovely trees. These locust trees and baeksong trees in front of the Daeungjeon, the main temple building, are about 500 years old.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Gyeongbokgung Palace
After visiting Jogyesa temple, you will pass the presidential blue house is known by the symbolic blue tiles. The building shows the true beauty of Korea with Mt Bukak peeking behind it. Then, you will move onto the next place called Gwanghwamun to watch the royal guard changing ceremony. It is a ceremony to announce changing of the royal guards, as well as to clarify the guards' identities. Then, you will head toward Gyeongbokgung where was a main palace and the most beautiful palace during the Joseon dynasty. Please note: - On Tuesdays, the Gyeongbokgung Palace and National Folklore museum are closed, and you will go to Deoksugung Palace and The Presidential Blue House Museum instead.
Duration: 2 hours 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Insadong
Insadong is a place of traditional culture near Gyeongbok palace. Insadong was famous since the Joseon dynasty for having lots of antique shops. Today Insadong is popular among tourists for having lots of traditional tea houses, antique shops, traditional handcraft shops, and lots of other shops. Insa-dong is especially popular with foreign tourists. This is where they can experience and see traditional Korean culture firsthand, and also purchase pieces of fine art. On the street you can see many foreigners lost in all the joyous festivities of the street. Insadong is a place of traditional culture.
Duration: 50 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace was the second royal villa built following the construction of Gyeongbokgung Palace in 1405. It was the principal palace for many of the Joseon kings and is the most well-preserved of the five remaining royal Joseon palaces. It is recorded as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 1997 for having its beautiful appearance of that time. The palace grounds are comprised of a public palace area, a royal family residence building, and the rear garden. Known as a place of rest for the kings, the rear garden boasts a gigantic tree that is over 300 years old, a small pond, and a pavilion.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Namdaemun Market
Soongryemun (Namdaemun) is a main gate of former Seoul fortress in Joseon dynasty. It is commonly called as Namdaemun. The gate was built in 1396, in King Taejo's reign. And it was reconstructed in 1447 by king Sejong and in 1479 by king Seongjong. In 2006 the Seoul city opened the passage to the gate to public. The gate is now listed as Korea's national treasure #1. But in February 10th 2008, the gate was all burnt away by arsonist and the wooden gate was all burnt away by that accident. The Cultural Heritage Administration has announced to rebuild the gate similarly to its original appearance. The rebuilding was done by early in 2013.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Vegetarian option is available, please advise at time of booking if required
  • Royal guard changing ceremony might be cancelled due to weather conditions
  • On Mondays, Changdeokgung Palace is closed and you will go to Bukchon traditional Hanok Village instead
  • On Tuesdays, the Gyeongbokgung Palace and National Folklore museum are closed and you will go to Deoksugung Palace and The Presidential Blue House Museum instead
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour is proceeding with minimum 4 people and if the participants number is below it, the tour can be cancelled.
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Seoul N Tour
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Full Day Small-Group Royal Palace and Seoul Tour?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
See all safety measures taken by Full Day Small-Group Royal Palace and Seoul Tour.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Full Day Small-Group Royal Palace and Seoul Tour?
A:The policy on sanitization is:

  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Full Day Small-Group Royal Palace and Seoul Tour.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Full Day Small-Group Royal Palace and Seoul Tour?
A:The policy on staff health & safety is:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
See all safety measures taken by Full Day Small-Group Royal Palace and Seoul Tour.

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Traveler Tips


  • "This is a great way to see and learn about key historical sites in Seoul if you don’t have a lot of days to fully explore Seoul." See review
  • "They had lots of room in the van, it had great climate control to deal with the weather and they had room for our packable stroller and baby bag." See review
  • "We only had two days in the city and this tour was worth it!" See review

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
47 Reviews
2 stars
0
1 star
0

Reviews by Viator travelers

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Showing 1-10 of 47 reviews
star-5
Great tour
Jill_C
, Jun 2022
Crystal was an excellent guide and our driver was very courteous and friendly. The only drawback was the lunch place that we were to go to was closed and the last minute choice was not a good lunch, no fault of your guide or Viator. We had a great time and experienced many things.
star-5
Fabulous market, beautiful palace.
GBGAL
, Feb 2020
Mr Kim was a excellent guide, leant a lot about the history of South Korea. The palaces were beautiful and the the market was amazing! Would highly recommend this tour,good value for the money.
star-5
Seoul Tour
Whitney_J
, Nov 2019
Fantastic tour with Jake visiting the royal palace, several markets, temples and a delicious lunch. We only had two days in the city and this tour was worth it!
star-4
Great Private Tour
Erika_V
, Oct 2019
We didnt realize they would pick us up in a private car just for the 2 of us. Guide spoke English well. Her and driver were extremely professional and efficient. Lunch was delicious. This tour was a great blend between learning history and strolling/enjoying/shopping. What a great day!
star-5
Amazing Tour!!!
Rebecca_Y
, Aug 2019
The perfect tour for a day in Seoul!! We saw the large palace and temple and several markets. The tour guide even changed part of the tour to our preference!! Our guide was extremely good at English and was able to give lots of information about what we saw on the tour and was able to have conversations about other things. The day we went it was just my mother and I. So we ended up have a private tour!! I really recommend this tour!!
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-3
Full day around Seoul
John_K
, Jul 2019
We were a little disappointed in the tour. The visit to the palace and temple in the morning was interesting enough but then we were taken off to a ginseng shop (not on itinerary) where there was quite a hard sell. We did not purchase! Afternoon visit much like the morning. Half day would have sufficed.
star-4
Family full day tour
Norraida A
, Jun 2019
Erin our tour guide made our trip enjoyable with information about the places of interest. She was very helpful and sweet. It was lovely
star-5
Worth the time & money!
Wanderer09721972633
, Jun 2019
Our guide, Peter - was Fantastic! We loved the tour & the food! My kids loved all the history. We learned a lot and the colors in Korea are breath taking! My kids are 10, 12 & 15 years old. They all had fun. They were a bit tired by the end so they would have been OK skipping the last Palace but I loved it ALL!
star-5
Efficient way of seeing Seoul
Kristie_B
, Jun 2019
This was a fast-paced, educational tour. Our guide Kim was very knowledgeable with a good sense of humor! We pretty much stayed on schedule with the detailed itinerary listed on the website. The driver was nice enough to pick us up at our Airbnb in the morning and dropped us off in the late afternoon. Only difference was we had the choice of going to the Bukchon Hanok Village instead of the Changdeokgoong Palace. Good traditional Korean meal for lunch. This is a great way to see and learn about key historical sites in Seoul if you don’t have a lot of days to fully explore Seoul.
star-3
Good Tour
Akua N
, May 2019
This was a good tour. The guide was knowledgeable and helpful in understanding the history and various sites; it was a little difficult to understand his English at times but he was happy to repeat or rephrase. The sites themselves were fine; honestly if you have seen one palace before they don't really vary too much in construction.The history and tidbits he provided were great but there wasn't really anything truly spectacular on the tour however we knew the itinerary ahead of time so not much of a surprise.
star-5
Amazing
NOAH_G
, May 2019
Erin is a wonderful tour guide. She was very informative and friendly with us. We lucked out as a family when we found out that it’d just be us on tour. It was already suppose to be a small tour, but this worked out even better. They had lots of room in the van, it had great climate control to deal with the weather and they had room for our packable stroller and baby bag. This was the first tour we’ve done with our baby and it was a success! It’s all thanks to Erin making it plausible, comfortable, and fun. I’d recommend this for any family looking to see some must see sites in Seoul.
star-3
View highlights of Seoul
Trevor_A
, May 2019
Small group tour. Unfortunately the weather wasn't kind for our day tour but got to see all thevsceduked sights
star-5
Great Experience with Jake
Nicholas_D
, May 2019
Jake was our guide, and we were lucky enough to be the only 2 participants. He ensured we had a great experience, and tailored the day to us and our interests.
star-4
All day Royal Palace and City Tour
Howard_G
, Apr 2019
The tour was good. Our guide, Jake, was well informed. However, once he was through with his spiel, there was silence. The conversation was between the quests and not the guide and the guest. We felt rushed during lunch so that we could get to Insadong-gil St and the shopping. Overall, the tour was informative and well worth the value paid.
star-5
We booked a group tour - and they ran it with just the two of us!
Duncan_H
, Mar 2019
Where to start? Excellent communication from the outset! Within an hour of booking we received an e-mail telling us what time we would be picked up from our hotel reception. A day before the trip, we received an e-mail reconfirming the pick up time and advising the name of our guide and the registration number and type of vehicle that would be picking us up. Our guide arrived at the hotel early and we soon discovered that we were the only two booked on the trip. So we had our own private driver and guide. The tour itself was well timed with a good cross-section of sites to see plus ideal timings for the changing of the guide ceremony. Peter, our guide was most accommodating and when he realised that we liked to spend much of our time photographing, he adjusted the pace of tour accordingly. The tour included a visit to a gingseng centre but as we had been there the day before (as part of the DMZ trip) he did not force us to make another visit and gave us extra time to tour. The included lunch was in a local Korean restaurant. We could choose from a number of different dishes and both my meal and my partners were delicious. This was an incredibly enjoyable experience, great value and excellently guided. It really maked us to make the most of our four days in Korea. A highly recommended tour.
star-5
We had a great time with our tour...
Elina V
, Dec 2017
We had a great time with our tour guide Erica Kim, the tour began early in the morning with our tour guide starting the tour off right by being really friendly. It was clear that Erica knew a ton about Korean culture and history as she answered all of our questions very easily. She also provided cool little facts about South Korea that stuck with us. This tour really encompasses it all by visiting both of the major palaces in South Korea Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung Palace and you learn about the history of royal families. It's worth pointing out the lunch in a small local restaurant in Insadong Alley was really delicious too!
star-5
Tour was informative and at the right...
Juliana L
, Oct 2017
Tour was informative and at the right pace. Guide was very good and personal.
star-5
A relax and enjoyable tour! Thanks...
candy c
, Sep 2017
A relax and enjoyable tour! Thanks to Erika who was so patient and kind to my mother who was unable to walk fast. She knows where to bring us to shop and eat for the best. Highly recommended..
star-4
The tour was ok.The ability of the...
Willi H
, Sep 2017
The tour was ok.The ability of the English language of our guide was ok,too.As we have lived in Koreana Hotel, we could have visited all he sights on foot from our hotel and so saved a lot of money.Anyway, no complaints, everything was fine.
star-5
Our tour to the Royal Palaces and...
Bertha P
, Aug 2017
Our tour to the Royal Palaces and the DMZ tour were both great. Our tour guide, Erica Kim, did a great job. She has a lot of knowledge and is very nice! Erna from Holland Bertha P

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