What to expect – Step back into the Joseon Dynasty for a day
Korea’s cultural development has been guided by many historical figures, but nobody has had more influence than the Joseon Dynasty. With a kingdom that lasted for five whole centuries, the Joseon era built many important landmarks, including stunning palaces, and cultivated important traditions.
The highlight during the morning part of our tour will be a visit to Gyeongbokgung which was one of the most beautiful of the Joseon palaces. Here we will also witness an important ceremony which is still performed exactly as it was centuries ago.
In the afternoon we will immerse ourselves in the everyday life of Joseon people by visiting the Folk Village – a real-life replica of a traditional village of the era. You will experience the magic of the old days by strolling along cobblestone streets and seeing how people lived back in the day, after which you will be surprised and entertained by stunning performances.
Travel back in time on this Seoul tour package and spend a day you will never forget!
Course Overview – A Day Packed With Culture & Entertainment
We will start the tour by picking you up from your hotel in Seoul. Our first stop will be at Jogyesa Temple. Then, we will watch the Changing of the Guards Ceremony and explore Gyeongbokgung Palace. Next up, we will stop by the Blue House and have a look around Cheongwadae Sarangchae.
After a quick stop at the Ginseng Center, you will enjoy lunch at a local Korean restaurant, and then we will head over to the Folk Village. On our way back, we will stop at a shopping center, before dropping you back off at your hotel in Seoul.
Don’t miss the opportunity to take advantage of our seamless itinerary on our Day trips from Seoul!
Jogyesa Temple – Discover the Heart of Korean Buddhism
We will explore the chief Buddhist temple in Korea. Built by the Joseon Dynasty, Jogyesa has certainly transformed over the centuries and changed its name multiple times in order to withstand the Japanese invasion. Built in 1395 under the name of “Gakhwangsa,” the temple was later renamed to “Taegosa” during Japanese rule, and finally became known as “Jogyesa” in 1954.
Jogyesa Temple is full of beautiful and symbolic artefacts. Here, you will see the golden Buddha statues, the iconic lanterns, as well as “Iljumun” which translates as the “one pillar gate.” You will come in through the gate as a symbol of entering from the mortal to the spiritual world. You will visit Geuknakjeon which is the “hill of supreme bliss” where the Buddha was enshrined, as well as the Beomjongnu where you will see the sacred bell of enlightenment.
Changing of the Guards – See the Ritual that Transcends Time
The Changing of the Guards Ceremony is beloved because it still carries the strong tradition and ritual of the past. It was first performed during the Joseon Dynasty. The guards, also known as “Wanggung Sumunjang” had the role of inspecting each and every visitor that came to see the king.
Today, while the soldiers’ role is more symbolic, they will perform a carefully-synchronized formation in vibrant uniforms. You will have the most authentic experience, listening to the music performed by the soldiers and seeing the original weapons that were used centuries ago.
Gyeongbokgung Palace – Visit the Home of the Joseon Royals
The most beloved palace by the Joseon Dynasty, Gyeongbokgung was built in 1395 in northern Seoul. This is the biggest of the five royal palaces and was the home to the Joseon government as well as the royal household. Here you will see beautiful architecture and a blend of traditional and new since the palace was almost fully destroyed during the Japanese invasion of the late 1590s.
At the palace, you will see the Throne Hall with its intricate ceiling and a central throne for the king where he would sit to receive visitors. You can take a look at the Gyeonghoeru Pavilion which is one of the most scenic corners of the palace, surrounded by tranquil water with a beautiful mountain background. You will also see Taewonjeon which is the main shrine where a portrait of King Taejo, the founder of the Joseon Dynasty hangs.
Please note: On Tuesdays (this palace is closed every Tuesday), we will visit the beautiful Deoksu Palace instead.
Blue House – Visit the Most Blessed Place on Earth
The Blue House is one of the most important buildings in all of Korea. This is the home of the President. What is curious about the building, is that it has been placed in this exact location, facing Bhukansan in the North, Naksan to the left which symbolizes the Azure Dragon, and Inwangsan on the right, symbolizing the White Tiger. This is because the location is thought to be lucky in Feng Shui and offers maximum prosperity.
The Blue House is not a single building. In fact, you will see that there is a whole complex. You will have time to explore the outside perimeter and take as many photos as you like.
Cheongwadae Sarangchae – A Journey Through Korean Politics
Cheongwadae means blue house, while Sarangchae can be translated as guesthouse. However, don’t be fooled Cheongwadae Sarangchae is actually an exhibition hall with two whole floors of exhibits.
On the first floor, you will see the seasonal exhibit which may have to do with art, music, or politics. Upstairs, there is a fixed exhibit that takes you through the timeline of Korean presidents. In another room, you will also see a map of the most beautiful places in the country.
Please note: Cheongwadae Sarangchae is closed every Monday.
Folk Village – Discover the Magic of Authentic Korean Lifestyle
The Korean Folk Village is a true cultural gem. Created as a real-life replica of a traditional village during the Joseon Dynasty, this quaint area is divided into sections.
Here you will see traditional homes of peasants, landowners, and the governing class (yangban). Feel free to explore the market area where you can find delicious ice cream and winibini candy. And don’t forget to keep a look out for the many actors roaming around dressed in traditional Korean style clothes called (Hanbok).
Be prepare for some serious entertainment, as you will be able to watch three shows here as well! First, will be Nongak, also known as the “Farmers Music and Dance Performance,” where skilled dancers perform complicated synchronized moves and tricks to the beat of traditional music.
After a short interval, you will be able to see the Tight Rope Walk, where an acrobat will make his way from one pillar to another on an extremely tight rope while performing jumps and stunning acrobatics.
Finally, the cherry on the cake is the Equestrian Feat, where actors perform a routine that includes acrobatics and martial arts moves (containing swords and spears), all on the back of a galoping horse! The shows will leave you breathless!
So book this tour to dive into the Joseon Dynasty’s cultural legacy, visit stunning palaces, observe a royal ceremony, and learn about politics! Be surprised and stunned by the enthralling shows at the Korean Folk Village and spend a day you will remember forever on our Seoul City + Folk Village tour!