Gwanghwamun Gate
Gwanghwamun Gate
4
Historic SitesPoints of Interest & LandmarksMonuments & Statues
About
This gate was constructed in 1395 as the main entrance from the majestic Sejong Boulevard into Kyongbuk Palace. Three arched gates and a two-story pavilion are typical of the architectural design of that period. Completely reconstructed after years of conflict and falling into disrepair, it is now made of modern concrete and steel. It presently serves as a secondary entrance to Kwanghwamun Park.
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Tours & experiences
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Top ways to experience Gwanghwamun Gate and nearby attractions

The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Jongno 1.2.3.4 ga-dong
How to get there
  • Gyeongbokgung • 4 min walk
  • Gwanghwamun • 6 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travellers are saying
  • doctorfoxtrot
    Taguig City, Philippines13,070 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth the Photo Ops
    Nice entrance to the main palace. Designated times for the changing of the guards. Lots of history behind its restoration. Nearby is a hanbok national costume rental if you want a more significant photo ops with Korean highlight.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 9 December 2023
  • NICHOLAS T
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates9,592 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Impressive sight
    This is an imposing gate, which serves as the entrance to Gyeonbokgung Palave in central Seoul. In the later morning and afternoon, there are colourfully dressed guards posted at the gate - the changing of the guards takes place at 9:45am and 2pm. It is free to see and a must for any visitor to Seoul.
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 7 April 2024
  • Trip39045771583
    1 contribution
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Going to Gwanghwamun alon
    I went to Gwanghwamun three months ago. I was wearing my black long coat which bought by doing a short-term factory job diligently and a traditional hat of Korea which borrowed from the store. it may be better that you don't borrow the hat if you don't take many pictures well because the rental fee for the hat is maybe 5000won or more than it. I didn't know how to issue it for free. but, I heard words that two Japanese said next to me, so I managed to enter. If you fit the requirements for free, issue your ticket at the counter. The place that I went difficulty is very proper for a couple talking to stroll along it. but alone may be capable of a little bit boring. Gwanghwamun may not be a good place for a person who hates walking. though, it is good for spending your time.
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written 9 April 2024
  • macedonboy
    Glasgow, United Kingdom1,85,717 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Palace Gate With Changing of The Guards
    This is the main and largest gate of Gyeongbok Palace. We visited this on the day the palace was open and when it was closed, but forgot to visit at night. The original wooden gate was destroyed during the Korean War and this rebuilt version is made of concrete with wooden towers. The towers have a two tier roof, although it appears to be a double storeyed single room. Visiting the gate on a closure date means that it’s less crowded for photos. On an open date, it’s the place to be to watch the magnificent changing of the guards.
    Visited May 2024
    Travelled with friends
    Written 30 May 2024
  • TIersHasie
    Sydney, Australia899 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Imposing Gate Outside Gyeongbok Palace
    One of the most imposing gates in Seoul protecting Gyeongbok Palace. The most outer gate and the grandest in that palace. Most days at the time of visiting there are 3-4 changing of the guard performances (2 on the outside and 2 on the inside) they also differ in the changing style depending on which change performance you are witnessing. Check with the information or on their website for tour times. Worth the changing of the guards to see their reenacted costumes for varying guards! Walking distance from King Sejong and Admiral Yi monuments.
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written 15 July 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles989 reviews
Excellent
384
Very good
449
Average
145
Poor
7
Terrible
4

Trip39045771583
1 contribution
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Solo
I went to Gwanghwamun three months ago. I was wearing my black long coat which bought by doing a short-term factory job diligently and a traditional hat of Korea which borrowed from the store. it may be better that you don't borrow the hat if you don't take many pictures well because the rental fee for the hat is maybe 5000won or more than it.

I didn't know how to issue it for free. but, I heard words that two Japanese said next to me, so I managed to enter. If you fit the requirements for free, issue your ticket at the counter. The place that I went difficulty is very proper for a couple talking to stroll along it. but alone may be capable of a little bit boring. Gwanghwamun may not be a good place for a person who hates walking. though, it is good for spending your time.
Written 9 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carolina
Tucson, AZ581 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022 • Family
Beautiful gate in front of the Gwanghwamun Swuare where you can see the great statues of Zking Sejong and Admiral Yu Sun Si. It is surrounded by very modern buildings that are lighted and showed videos. Close to USA embassy
Written 27 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

NICHOLAS T
Dubai, United Arab Emirates9,592 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
This is an imposing gate, which serves as the entrance to Gyeonbokgung Palave in central Seoul.

In the later morning and afternoon, there are colourfully dressed guards posted at the gate - the changing of the guards takes place at 9:45am and 2pm.

It is free to see and a must for any visitor to Seoul.
Written 7 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

doctorfoxtrot
Taguig City, Philippines13,070 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Couples
Nice entrance to the main palace. Designated times for the changing of the guards. Lots of history behind its restoration. Nearby is a hanbok national costume rental if you want a more significant photo ops with Korean highlight.
Written 9 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Leonhkny
Hong Kong, China20,343 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023
This is easily a major landmark at the Korean capital. Once marked the formal entry into the Joseon palace, Gwanghwamun is now the recognizable spot in Seoul's busiest crossroads. The tower is restored to past grandeur and worth a glance.
Written 6 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

FiverACT
Lake Macquarie, Australia408 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019 • Solo
Be sure to visit around the changing of the guard, if you want a photo with the guards they are OK with that, just do not interact with them, stand alongside and take the pic easily.

Once you've checked out the gate, continue through and check out the HUGE palace complex.
Written 25 April 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bozeman-Dublin
Trim, Ireland10,933 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Solo
I was very impressed by this massive, ceremonial entrance to Gyeongbokgung Palace.
When I first arrived I thought there was a row of mannequins dressed as imperial guards, but they are real! They stands so still, honestly it's quite remarkable. The gate is beautiful when seen from both sides. It is possible to see it for free as the ticket booth is well inside the gate.
The changing of the guard ceremony is quite something else but even if you are not there for that, it's a magnificent gate and well worth a lingering stop on my opinion
Written 11 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brandon Travel Reviews
Edmonton, Canada104 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2018 • Family
The gate is very imposing (as they should be) and wonderfully decorated with intricate designs and colors. Arrive early in the morning to have the area all to yourself.
Written 19 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Courtney in the Middle Seat
Brooklyn, NY68 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018 • Couples
Gwanghwamun Gate is a main entrance to the Gyeongbokgung Palace, a must-see for visitors to Seoul. This historic gate and palace harken back to Seoul's Joseon Dynasty while sitting in the middle of a modern, bustling city, and the juxtaposition is fascinating! (Note that the gate and palace are reconstructions of the originals.)

There are multiple reenactments held throughout the day, and it is well worth it to schedule your visit around one or two of these. The Sumunjang (Royal Guard) Changing Ceremony was a colorful and exciting experience for both kids and adults! Held at 10 am and 2 pm daily, it is a twenty minute ceremony with vibrant costumes and drumming. Try to arrive about 15 minutes early for a good viewing spot. There are also military training demonstrations and other performances. Even better, the performances are free and open to the public! Check the schedule before going, and poor weather can result in cancellations.

After the ceremony, head into Gyeongbokgung Palace to learn more about Korea's royal history. Note that there will also probably be loads of tourists dressed up in hanbok, traditional Korean garb taking selfies.
Written 12 August 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Robyn H
Seville, Spain6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2014 • Friends
Its clearly recently been rebuilt but it is still a sight to behold. If you time it right, you can catch the changing of the guards. Interesting for those from the other side of the world. I've been to Seoul numerous times and I've been here so often I've lost count. I'm still amazed every time I see it from the main road. It really stands out, especially with the mountains in the background. A must-see when visiting Seoul for sure!!
Written 18 May 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Gwanghwamun Gate - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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