Gwanghwamun Square

Gwanghwamun Square, Seoul: Address, Phone Number, Gwanghwamun Square Reviews: 4/5

Gwanghwamun Square
4
Points of Interest & Landmarks
About
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Tours & experiences
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Jongno 1.2.3.4 ga-dong
How to get there
  • Gwanghwamun • 4 min walk
  • Gyeongbokgung • 5 min walk
Popular mentions

4.0
732 reviews
Excellent
264
Very good
325
Average
131
Poor
8
Terrible
4

WindSister04
36 contributions
Go & See, but Not Right Now (2021)
Feb 2021
This is a great plaza that connects statues of Admiral Yi and King Sejong; good opportunity for pictures. That said, it is currently under construction (April 2021) and looks like they won't finish until sometime in 2022. Looks like they're getting rid of vehicle traffic on one side of the plaza and are expanding the area to create a pedestrian and performance venue. The statues are blocked off from access and there are a lot of temporary walls erected around the construction site. Guess it will be ready to WOW tourists again when the world has gotten the pandemic under control. The museums under ground (accessible via the subway pathways) ARE still open, so there's that option as well.
Written 26 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

GlobetrotterJ16
Seoul, South Korea1,778 contributions
Automatic tick off
Jun 2020
Gwanghamun Square is not really an attraction in itself in my eyes, it is a big open square in front of Gwanghamun Palace hence it is hard to miss and as the palace is a must visit for any tourist in Seoul chances are you pass by this square anyway. There are two large statues, good for a picture, and to the left and right office buildings and the American Embassy. From there anything in Gangbuk can be easily reached, City Hall is just down the road so in Cheonggyecheon and many other sights.
Just one thing to keep in mind is that this square is also often used for demonstrations, all peaceful of course, but when seeing lots of police and masses of people you know what is going on.
Written 22 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

JHL
Seoul, South Korea7,607 contributions
A historical place resurrected in modern way
May 2020
One of the most popular touristic spots in Seoul. Good to visit.
- The best time to visit is when it has the least protest.
- The cascaded water path having the tree of Korean kings on the ground is impressive.
Written 21 May 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

dibs0369
Shibuya, Japan141 contributions
Avoid on Saturday but well worth it!!!
Jan 2020 • Business
Square is amazing, super beautiful and well worth the stop. I would highly recommend avoiding on Saturday due to protests, it does not make it in passable but more difficult to traverse.
Written 26 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

ileannkneel
Kelowna, Canada992 contributions
It's just open space
Nov 2019
If I am reviewing the square itself then I would say it's a concrete slab of open space surrounded by streets and buildings on all four sides. It's not as large as the one in Beijing but is still quite impressive in its hugeness. Yes, there are a couple of impressive statues of long departed men that are good for a photo op but other than that there is nothing to do here.

However, come on a weekend when one of many public protests occur and now we have something to talk about. When I visited there was a massive (think 10000 people or more) protest against the sitting government and calling for increased solidarity with the US. Without getting political, I found the energy, excitement and noise to be quite contagious and tbh, deafening. This is where the square comes alive... speeches, music, flag waving, videos, marches, chants, police, pamphlets, angry people, happy people, confused people. And I guess it is the square with its openness and inviting stance that enpowers its citizenry to gather and demand change in one collective voice. Therein lies the purpose of a square... I guess.
Written 6 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Oldjack
Greater Melbourne, Australia22,709 contributions
King Joseon & Admiral Yi Sun Shin Dominate This Square
Sep 2019
Just down from the two large palaces you will find this quite interesting square in the center of the road containing a statue of King Joseon (sitting) and Admiral Yi Sun Shin on a Pedestal.The square also has some interesting potted trees.The Admiral was famous for his battles with the Japanese during their invasion in the 16th Century, at the time Josoen was on the throne.
Written 22 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Rumples
Tucson, AZ10,746 contributions
Traffic Lanes Transformed To Public Square
Nov 2018
Just 10 years ago, this public square replaced 10 traffic lanes as part of various environmentally friendly renovations going on in Seoul. The big rectangle runs from Gwanghwamun Gate on the North to Sejongno Sageon intersection on the South. We walked its length from the intersection, en route to Gyeongbokgung, the city’s premier palace on a Saturday afternoon. I saw no greenery anywhere on the square to soften the effect of its vast concrete underfoot, but many attention-grabbers beckoned, including two big statues.

We encountered the first statue almost immediately, at the Southern edge of the square. It depicts a standing Admiral Yi Sunshin (1545-1598), who led the defeat of the Japanese Navy in the Imijin War. A nearby fountain, known as the 12.23, commemorates the admiral’s 23 battles with 12 warships during that war. The second statue, also nicely crafted, appears in the middle of the square, showing King Sejong (1397-1450) seated on a throne. Among other accomplishments, he created the Korean alphabet.

While looking around the king’s statue, we discovered an entrance at the rear that led to a lower level with two free exhibition halls focused on the king and the admiral. History buffs, we spent about 1 hour here, learning fascinating information about both men. Returning to sunlight again, we came across a book fair on the square, where many events are held for the public.

Three traffic lanes flank both the East and West sides of the square and a Metro entrance is in the square itself. Government administrative offices appear beyond the lanes on the East Side and the Sejong Center (performing arts), which we also visited, is the standout building on the West side.
Written 17 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

emma
World334 contributions
2 huge statues
Sep 2019 • Couples
The square is large with 2 huge statues of Korea's historical figures. And in the background you can see the mountain and the palace.
Written 8 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Mr C
3,963 contributions
Not really a square
Jul 2019
A busy main road with a central area surrounded by a few civic buildings sums up the square. Not much to see except a couple of statues and lots of traffic. Leads up to Gyeongbokgung Palace and gate.
Written 14 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sammy
London, UK278 contributions
Gwanghwamun Square
Aug 2019 • Friends
Not much to do here other than see the statues. I presume they have events here throughout the year. Seems to be popular with tourists. In a great area as there are lots of coffee shops and restaurants nearby. Good to visit after the palace as it’s just outside.
Written 1 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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