4 star rating: Recommended 81 Reviews

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  • Location: Seoul, South Korea
  • Duration:  8 hours 30 minutes (approx.)
Spend a full day discovering the beautiful architecture and landscape of Seoul while learning about its history, culture and traditions. With your guide, visit two grand palaces, including UNESCO World Heritage-listed Changdeokgung Palace; learn about traditional lifestyles at a museum; and explore bustling local markets by foot.


  • Seoul palace and market tour with a friendly and knowledgeable guide
  • Marvel at the pavilions and gardens of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Changdeokgung Palace, Gyeongbokgung Palace and Jogyesa Buddhist Temple
  • Peruse antique artifacts and local artwork at the Insadong Antique Market and Namdaemun Market
  • Enjoy an authentic Korean lunch at a local restaurant

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Korean Palace and Market Tour in Seoul Including Insadong and Gyeongbokgung Palace

Ceramic Store in Insadong

After pickup from your Seoul hotel in the morning, travel by air-conditioned coach past the Blue House, the residence of the South Korean head of state and the President of the Republic of Korea.

Your first stop is Gyeongbokgung Palace, constructed in 1395. Because much of this royal palace was destroyed during the Japanese occupation, there are many restoration projects underway. With your guide, marvel at the grandeur of the original and new portions.

Inside, visit the National Folklore Museum, whose historical replicas illustrate traditional Korea. Browse the extensive artifacts to learn what life has been like for Koreans from ancient times to the 20th century. You’ll also learn about the deep roots of Confucianism in Korean culture.

(Please note that Gyeongbokgung Palace is closed on Tuesdays, in which case you’ll visit Deoksugung Palace instead. This walled compound of traditional palace buildings, forested gardens and a statue of King Sejong the Great is home to the Seoul Museum of History, where you’ll discover Seoul's traditional culture as you browse the exhibits with your guide.)

Next up is Jogyesa Buddhist Temple, the chief temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. Admire the lovely locust and baeksong trees lining the entrance and enter the main temple, dating back 500 years, to see the statue of Seokgamoni, the historic Buddha at the moment of enlightenment.

At midday, enjoy a tasty Korean lunch at a local restaurant before driving to Changdeokgung palace, a perfectly preserved palace from the Joseon Dynasty. As you explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site, discover the grand pavilions, massive gate, several halls and the Geumcheongyo Bridge – the oldest bridge in Seoul. At the Huwon (Rear Garden), marvel at the beautiful landscape of lotus ponds, lush lawns, trees and flowers.

(Please note that on Mondays, you’ll visit Changgyeonggung Palace instead. It is another one of the ‘Five Grand Palaces’ of the Joseon Dynasty, featuring incredible ancient structures.)

Head next to the Insadong Antique Alley in central Seoul . With your guide, wander down alleys to browse traditional Korean restaurants, teahouses and galleries full of antique artifacts and local artwork.

Finish your tour at Namdaemun Market, the largest traditional market in Korea, opened in 1964. with various goods in store. You can find great bargains here and snatch up the perfect souvenir to remind you of your trip to Korea! You’ll then be taken back to your hotel.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

My husband and I had never been to Korea before and this tour was a wonderful introduction to Seoul. What made it even better was that we had a small group 5 of very compatible travelers. Our guide, Sonny, was the best she was friendly, concerned about the needs of her group, spoke English very well, and shared interesting and important historical and cultural information. We highly recommend this tour. Keep in mind that it includes a good deal of walking.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

very interesting with a good guide explaining things very well.
Lunch quite palatable.. and enough of it.
A long day but enjoyed it very much.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

tour is a great way to see several of Seouls palaces and markets in a day. Guide Michelle was lovely -very informative but so warm and friendly. Includes a couple of shopping stops ginsing and then jewellery but fairly brief and did not feel too pressured to buy.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2015

Great tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2015

Learned much about the history of South Korea..about the arts and culture of the country..very well conducted tour...awesome tour guide Michelle...she was so bubbly and happy..we got carried away by her attitude!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

Very nice day in Seoul. Gives a good overview of the city including different palaces, a local market, a ginseng factory, and the included lunch at a local restaurant was amazing. Local guide was very nice and provided great details. Even stopped at a local mall for reasonable priced South Korea souvenirs for everyone on tour.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2015

Nice way to get an overview of Korean history and a little Seoul. I would recommend this tour.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2015

This tour was amazing!

Cynthia G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2014

We found this trip to be very interesting and the attention to detail by the tour guide was fantastic. Our guide Julie Park was very helpful and very informative which added great depth to the experience of our first time in Korea.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2014

It was so much fun and our tour guides Angie and Rebecca are both very informative.

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Tour code: 5754ICNPALMKT


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