10 Sights & Landmarks in Jongno-gu That You Shouldn't Miss

August 24, 2021 Natalie Tallman

Seoul is the business and cultural hub of South Korea, where skyscrapers tower over Buddhist temples. Take it all in from the N Seoul Tower, built atop a peak in Namsan Park. The teahouses and shops of Insadong give you a taste of Korean flavor, which you can further experience with a visit to the grounds and museums of Gyeongbokgung. UNESCO World Heritage Site Changdeokgung Palace is a fine example of authentic ancient architecture.
Restaurants in Seoul

1. Changdeokgung Palace

99, Yulgok-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03072 South Korea +82 2-762-8261 http://www.cdg.go.kr
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4.5 based on 4,612 reviews

Changdeokgung Palace

This 600-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site is the city's jewel. It's as famous for its outstanding architectural details as for its verdant and expansive gardens.

Reviewed By Inspire818731 - Belfast, United Kingdom

Interesting Palace to learn about ancient Korea and its architecture.The English tour guide to the hills and valleys of the Secret Garden was a superb insight to the life and times of the early dynasties. The Palace is spread over a wide area, which is mainly flat, but there are some steep areas, so allow plenty time to visit.Crowds,queues,heat not a problem in September.

2. Gyeongbokgung Palace

161 Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul South Korea +82 2-3700-3900 http://www.royalpalace.go.kr:8080/html/eng/main/main.jsp
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4.5 based on 10,654 reviews

Gyeongbokgung Palace

The National Museum of Korea and the National Folk Museum are located on the grounds of this palace, built six centuries ago by the founder of the Chosun dynasty.

Reviewed By Krubee - Singapore, Singapore

At the heart of Seoul lies this ancient yet historically significant center of the Joseon dynasty - the Eternal, Grand, Beautiful and Enchanting Gyeongbokgung Palace, the largest and grandest of the 5 palaces built during the Joseon dynasty in 1395 by King Taejo, the first King of Joseon.. It is the seat of the King, His household and the government. To date it is one of the most famous attractions in Seoul and South Korea. Millions of tourist visit this Palace and it is a must visit. You could take the Seoul metro and could alight at Gyeongbokgung station which is connected via Heungnyemun Gate or outside via Gwanghwamun station and you need to walk via North direction passing by the statue of King Sejong the Great. The National Palace Museum of Korea is located via Heungnyemun gate. The entrance fee to this palace is around 3K Won for adults. As you enter the main gate of Gwanghwamun in the south you will be greeted by several other gates as you walk north into the Geunjeongjeon (Throne hall). The cobbled stones floor indicates that you are entering history. Other significant buildings include the beautiful Gyeonghoeru Pavilion (Banquet hall) with a lake surrounding it, Gangnyeongjeon (King's residential quarter), Gyotaejeon (Queen's quarter), Hyangwonjeong (2 story Hexagonal shape pavillion on lake connected by Chwihyanggyo bridge), and many more. We went here during Fall season and it's magical we were surrounded by trees of red, yellow and orange. The wind blowing adds to the beauty of the falling leaves. Despite the plenty of tourists we have space to take beautiful photos and videos. There are even Korean cultural dance shows with photo opts afterwards. Behind this massive complex stands the mighty Mt. Baegaksan (a 342 m high granite mountain) a perfect background for your beautiful photos and videos. Some tourists rent traditional Hanbok dress, a traditional Korean clothes. Rental prices vary depending on the time starting at around 13K to 15K Won for about 4 hrs. It adds to the total experience you could get while walking around this historical palace not to mention it adds beauty to your photos and videos. Between 10 to 3 PM the traditional changing of the guards occur every hour which is a spectacle of Korean culture and tradition. We left at 5 PM which is also the closing time at this Eternal Grand Palace. It is my 2nd time to visit this but it still amazes me every time.

3. Cheonggyecheon Stream

Seoul South Korea +82 2-762-8261 http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp
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4.5 based on 3,946 reviews

Cheonggyecheon Stream

Formerrly polluted and covered with an elevated road since 2005 this stream has been cleaned up and made into an Art and nature walkway through the heart of Seoul.

Reviewed By harriskirrie - Kirriemuir, United Kingdom

This is a great oasis in a very busy city, and is perfect for a contemplative walk, a jog, or just to sit and soak up the atmosphere.

4. Jogyesa Temple

45 Gyeonji-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-170 South Korea +82 2-732-2183 http://www.jogyesa.kr
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4.5 based on 1,008 reviews

Jogyesa Temple

This beautiful, colorful temple is the center of Zen Buddhism in Korea. Equally lovely is the courtyard, which is filled with vibrant lanterns and trees more than 500 years old.

Reviewed By trizamu - Seoul, South Korea

It's a pretty small temple, not much to explore, but it's so worth the visit. Inside the main temple building you can see 3 big golden statues of Buddha (pay attention on where you should take off your shoes). Yet, it's most worth visit on around the end of April, during May, and beginning of June (around the date of Buddha's birthday), since they decorated the whole temple with the most festive looking lanterns! Guaranteed to take the most mesmerizing pictures!

5. Changgyeonggung Palace

Changgyeonggung 185 Changgyeonggung-ro Jongno-gu, Seoul 03072 South Korea 82-42-481-4737 http://cgg.cha.go.kr
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4.5 based on 736 reviews

Changgyeonggung Palace

Reviewed By abhooo - Dubai, United Arab Emirates

This is an amazing place and we had so much fun! We have tried their tradition costume (Hanbok) and tour around the palace. A huge place to roam around and very interesting history!

6. Naksan Myogaksa Temple

31, Jong-ro 63ga-gil, Jongno-gu Sungin 2-dong, Seoul 03112 South Korea +82 2-763-3109 http://www.myogaksa.net
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4.5 based on 13 reviews

Naksan Myogaksa Temple

Reviewed By meganhX5276JJ - Brisbane, Australia

We organised this from Australia. Communication was quick and informative, however a I was a little concerned with the language barrier and interpretations. We had the best time. We did the 2 day / 1 night "where is your mind" program and would DEFINATELY recommend. We arrived, met our other participants and chatted, english was the main language despite the various countries we all originated from. There was also a Korean speaking group that integrated with us which was no problem at all. Our Sunin was awesome. She was friendly, her english fantastic, her sense of humour great and no question was too hard or "out of bounds". We started off with what my husband calls "Buddah burpies" the 108 prostrations. This was in your own time and pace. The necklace that you end up making is so very special.... Mind sharing and meditation, lots of lessons and explanations for those of us not accustomed to the Buddhist ways. We participated in at least two Buddhist ceremonies and also the striking of the bell which again is very significant. Sleeping was uncomfortable, but hey - it was only one night. The floor although VERY hard was heated. I think we all tried practising our meditation throughout the night that we had learnt to try and get some rest. The food was yummy and a pleasant surprise. We had been to a monastery in Hong Kong and were very underwhelmed so extremely wary. Your choice on what you eat, only condition is that you eat everything you take. All dishes were labelled with good descriptions. The Tea Ceremony that we finished with was really interesting - to learn the why and not just participate. I would HIGHLY recommend a temple stay. Our initial group split to half (approx 20) after dinner - with those leaving most disappointed that they hadn't booked early enough to spend the night. This was definitely the highlight of our time in Seoul - an opportunity to really experience the ways and customs of tradition. Note - you are provided with pants and a VEST which you are required to wear for the duration of your stay. Make sure you have a top to wear underneath. Also the morning bell ceremony (4.45am) is quite cool - so again, be prepared for the weather.

7. Bugaksan Seoul Fortress

Jongno-gu, Seoul South Korea +82 2-730-9924 http://www.bukak.or.kr
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4.5 based on 79 reviews

Bugaksan Seoul Fortress

8. Samcheongdong-gil Road

Samcheong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul South Korea
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4.5 based on 534 reviews

Samcheongdong-gil Road

Reviewed By bucketlisttravellers - Sydney, Australia

This road has plenty of interesting looking shops, great cafes and restaurants and heaps of cool art galleries. It is close to Gyeongbokgung Palace and some tourists wander around here in their rental hanbok outfits. It's a very chilled place to spend a few hours.

9. Seoul City Wall

622-83 Changsin-dong Jongno-gu, Seoul South Korea http://seoulcitywall.seoul.go.kr
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4.5 based on 171 reviews

Seoul City Wall

Reviewed By letsexplorenow

Did you know that Seoul is surrounded by a wall for over 600 years? Thanks to Funday Korea Networks I got to know about the background of the Wall. The Seoul City Wall goes by the name of Hanyangdoseong and was built for defensive purposes. Today it is the longest wall of its kind in the world and is under state protection as Historic Site No. 10. If these facts are not enough to motivate you for a visit, then here are five more reasons why it is a must for everyone who comes to Seoul. 1. Historical significance: The Seoul City Wall was built in 1396, four years after King Taejo established the Joseon Dynast and moved the capital to Hanyang (modern-day Seoul). The fortress wall witnessed a number of rulers, the Japanese occupation and the Korean War, which makes the 600-year old city wall a major historical monument. The Seoul City Wall Museum provides great and detailed information of the Hanyangdoseong for everyone who wants to know it all. 2. Special architecture: The wall, just as the whole city, was planed in consideration of the natural topography, Confucian principles, and various political, economic, and military factors. It is built along the ridges of four mountains (Baekgaksan, Naksan, Mongmyeosan, Inwangsan) and has four main gates, which represent the four virtues of Confucianism, and four ancillary gates. Interestingly, the structure of the wall is not uniform, as the wall was repaired over the centuries. By seeing the stone shape, you can easily determine in which period the section was built. You can also look out for one of the 297 stones with inscriptions, which contain names of workers and dates of the repair. 3. Witness history: Besides the unique architecture that shows you different periods at once, you can witness modern history by visiting the Seoul City Wall. The Baegak Mountain trail is the perfect example for that. Public access to this area was omitted for about 40 years, after the “Blue House Raid”, where North Korean commandos tried to assassinate the South Korean president Park Chung-hee in 1968. The mountain is not only the highest within Hanyangdoseong, it also bears a 200-year old pine tree, which has fifteen bullets from the battle between South Korean police and the North Korean Special Forces. After presenting your ID you can visit this historic place. 4. Hiking spot: As the Hanyangdoseong leads through the mountains, it is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy nature and a beautiful view of Seoul. There are different courses that that differ in difficulty and duration, so one can find the perfect trail for oneself. With a length of 18.627 kilometers, a complete tour of the wall would take about 10 hours. The track I participated in, started at the Seoul City Wall Museum near Dongdaemun station, covered the Naksan Mountain and ended in Hyehwa. While you can enjoy a breathtaking scenery of Seoul on your way, you will also discover a lot of unique spots like the artistic Iwha Mural Village, the Myogaksa Temple and Naksan Park. 5. Discover Seoul from anywhere: Because the wall embraces the old city center of Seoul, you can start or end your journey at any gate and you will be able to visit touristic places nearby. Donuimun Gate in the West for example is really close to Gyeonghuigung Palace and the Seoul Museum of History while the Sungnyemun Gate is close to Namdeamun Market, which is a historic marketplace and remained popular until today. I would highly recommend a visit to Hanyangdoseong, as it is right next to all the popular attractions. It does not matter which trail you choose, because you will be able to see Korean architecture through time, enjoy nature and discover various places near the City Wall.

10. Baek In-je's House

16, Bukchon-ro 7-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03055 South Korea +82 2-724-0232 http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=2543150
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4.5 based on 19 reviews

Baek In-je's House

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