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Discover the history and cultural traditions of Korea on this full-day tour of Seoul’s palaces and markets. Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace including its National Folklore Museum, and see Jogyesa Buddhist Temple and Changdeokgung Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Your informative guide accompanies you to Insadong and Namdaemun to explore these bustling local markets on foot. Enjoy a Korean lunch and convenient round-trip coach transport from your hotel.

Highlights

  • 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

Start your palaces and markets tour of Seoul with hotel pickup by coach. Listen to your guide’s interesting commentary as you drive past the stately Blue House — the executive office and official residence of the South Korean head of state and the President of the Republic of Korea.

Your first stop is Gyeongbokgung Palace, the largest of the Five Grand Palaces and the first royal palace, built in 1395 by the Joseon Dynasty. Admire the original or restored gates, pavilions and royal halls as you meander the grounds on a guided tour. At the on-site National Folklore Museum, browse extensive artifacts and learn about Korean life from ancient times to the 20th century via exhibitions and illustrative replicas.

Re-board the coach for Jogyesa Buddhist Temple, the chief temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. Gaze at the statue of an enlightened Buddha inside its main hall, which dates back five centuries.

After seeing the famous Buddhist temple, you will stop by a Ginseng Center around midday before sitting down for a Korean lunch at a local restaurant before driving to the World Heritage–listed Changdeokgung Palace. Explore the beautifully preserved grand pavilions, massive gate and several halls. Walk around the landscaped grounds featuring Geumcheongyo Bridge along with lotus ponds, lawns, trees and flowers at the Huwon (Rear Garden).

After you’ve been steeped in Korean heritage, you’l head to two famous markets in Seoul: Insadong and Namdaemun Market. Stroll the craft galleries and quaint teahouses along the Antique Alley of Insadong before finishing up at the Duty Free Shops then Namdaemun — Korea’s largest traditional market. Browse a multitude of goods for bargains and search for the perfect souvenir to take home.

Your full-day tour concludes with drop-off at your hotel in Seoul.

Please note: Gyeongbokgung Palace is closed on Tuesdays, in which case you’ll visit Deoksugung Palace; this walled palace compound is home to the Seoul Museum of History, which you’ll also tour with your guide. Changdeokgung Palace is closed on Mondays, in which case you’ll visit Changgyeonggung Palace — another one of the Five Grand Palaces of the Joseon Dynasty, featuring incredible ancient structures.

Customer Reviews

Jennifer H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

fantastic tour guides. lovely lunch. really good value

Louise C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Fantastic day seeing the sights in Seoul.

Hampton

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

This full day tour was execelent, and I would recommend it to anyone. We saw the changeing of the guard at Gyeonbokgung Palace, went to Insadong market place, had a great lunch in a small out of the way restauarant. The only downside was the side trip to the Ginsing Center, which was a captive market to force us to buy a product we did not really want. But overall I liked the tour and would recommend it.

Antonio N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Excelent. Perfect.

Julie C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Was definitely a packed day. Perfect for our travel schedule as we had limited time. Our guide was very helpful in teaching us about the palaces. We found it extremely interesting to learn about Korean Ginseng--we had no idea. Very, Very informative. We will always consider Insadong our favorite market that we will definitely visit again if we come to Korea again.

Frank H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

they picked me up on time, the tour guide was very informative. I enjoyed the day and the food was very good at lunch

Pamela H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Our guide was very knowledgeable.

FERNANDO F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

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AiLi L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

We got to see many places and market shoppings in a day. Angie was our tour guide. Her stories about the palace was funny and entertaining. She gave us sufficient free time to walk around the market. No push to buy any ginseng or amethyst. No rush. Very good. I would recommend the tour.

Wendy L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

This was a comprehensive tour of the main palaces and temples of Seoul. Our guide, Jay Song, gave a good history of all the places and paced the tour as to not miss the changing of the guards. We stopped for a Korean lunch in the Insadong district which was very pleasant. This was a good briefing of the city so that we were able to return to a couple districts to explore further on our own,

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