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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

Frances B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

Great one-day, overall tour of the palaces and markets of Seoul. Perfect way to start our trip and help us determine where we needed to return and what more we needed to see. We loved our tour guide Heejin Shuh. She was knowledgeable, fun, and easy to understand. She spoke slowly and clearly about the sites we were seeing.

Maria Theresa r

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2016

First of all, pick up time was on the dot. The tour was very educational, thru the tour guide who was very knowledgeable of the country. I was really pleased with the tour, well planned and everything went so smooth.

Alicia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Our tour guide was helpful, friendly, and informative. There is a lot to see on this tour, so be prepared for a busy day. Lunch was delicious. I wish there had been more time to look around the markets, and less time at the palaces. Overall though, a good tour and would definitely recommend.

Ed D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

EXCELLENT TOUR ! YOU WILL HAVE A LOT OF PHOTO OPS WITH THIS. THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD IS FABULOUS ! JUST DO IT !

kaisa.jaarva

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

Well organized, except once they didn't tell that we change bus, but I got my coat and scarf back to the hotel. Some people don't keep timetable. A flag for the guide would be needed, to show where he/she is. Some are slow and get out from the group. I was the last one left, but guide took me back to the hotel by taxi thanks for that!

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.

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