An Afternoon in Changdeokgung’s Secret Garden – Seoul, South Korea

Secret Garden 2Changdeokgung is one of Seoul’s Grand Palaces.  In fact its one of the grandest of all Grand palaces.  Designed as the second royal villa in the 1400’s it was tragically burned a handful of times throughout history.  The current restoration is a beautiful Confucian-Feng Shui architectural blend and the perfect stop for any tourist or expat in Seoul.  Be sure to check out the Secret Garden too!

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Secret Garden Tickets always sell out. (Each tour only has 100 spots.)
The first 50 tickets are sold online while the remaining 50 are sold day of and usually sell out hours before the start of the tour!


How to get to Changdeokgung Palace
Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 3.
Go straight for 5 min
or
Jongno 3 (sam)-ga Station (Subway Line 1, 3 or 5), Exit 6.
Go straight along Donhwamun-ro Street for 10 min.
Admission Price
~3,000 won for adults
~5,000 won for the secret garden
Hours
~9-6 depending on the season

More info here


I highly recommend taking the English tours both of the normal palace and the secret garden.  The guides are full of fun facts about the royal history and how many times the palace was torched.  Turns out nearly every time Japan invaded they burned it to the ground; plus there were a handful of honest accidents.

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The guides inform you about the architectural significance of each design and go into details about the gargoyles.  Apparently, you can tell the importance of a building by counting how many there are.  The most we saw was 11 but now I think I may have to add a few to my roof 😉

Looking for more Instagrammable Places in Seoul?

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Once you get into the secret gardens the peaceful stroll begins.  This serene garden was meant to be a peaceful place of meditation; a welcome escape from the cacophony of city life.  I found the entire garden invigorating.  Its rare to find such a quiet retreat in South Korea, let alone Seoul.  It makes me glad they limit the tickets so make sure you buy yours early!

Have you visited Seoul?  What was your favorite palace?

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Check out my friend Susan’s post to learn about some of the best gardens in the world!

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Mike Still
Mike is a travel enthusiast, photographer and teacher. He loves adventure travel, meeting the locals and exploring new culture. As an outdoor enthusiast you can often find him hiking mountains or exploring forests trying to capture the beauty of mother nature. In 2013 he founded www.LiveTravelTeach.com as he left his home in America and has been teaching or traveling around the world ever since!

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