Changdeokgung Palace

April 7, 2019 — 47 Comments

Following my visit to Seonjeongneung – The Royal Tombs I waited to visit the Changdeokgung Palace Complex with my brother Matt and his husband Alex as they were flying out to join me for a short holiday in Seoul. 

The palace complex of Changdeokgung is situated north of where we were staying in Gangnam and across the Han river. We decided to include a visit to the Gwangjang Market in the morning on our way to the palace to make the most of the day!

The journey took around 40 minutes on the tube, which was so easy to use with the T-Money cards that you can use all over Seoul, on different modes of transport, (bus, tube, coach and taxi). What made the travel cards even better is they come with all sorts of colourful designs, using cartoons from popular culture. If travelling in Seoul, I recommend two apps Naver Map and my preferred choice City Mapper, both apps provide visuals of your route and the ability to track your location. The reason I prefer City Mapper is that I could type in English characters and save the journeys to my phone using the Wi-Fi at the hotel. This meant that when I was exploring, I could use the GPS location and map guides on airplane mode – saving some extra pennies!!

The Market is the oldest in the City and was an easy stroll from Euljiro 4(sa)-ga station, there was a huge collection of items available on sale from fabrics and clothes to dried fish and culinary delicacies. The atmosphere was already buzzing at 10:00am, which I was surprised at because my Guide book wrote that it is well known for providing an authentic night market experience.

When we arrived at the Changdeokgung Palace the first impression was the splendour and size of the complex.  I tried to imagine how it must have appeared to those who visited back in the 15th Century when it was built.  The site was considered the secondary palace to one at Gyeongbokgung and was differentiated by the size of the grounds.  It was such a treat to walk around the well-cared for public areas and take it all in. Each Hall was beautifully ornate with painted, sculpted wooden Roofs and rich vibrant interiors. One room had mother of pearl decorated furniture which glowed in the sunlight of modern day.

We wanted to visit the Secret Garden and so we waited for the English tour as you could not walk around unescorted.  The best part was that whilst we were waiting, I found out that if you hire traditional dress, (Hanbok) you are able to enter the complex for free, so off I went to hire a costume. 

I visited Hanbok Rental, a shop just across the main road opposite the Grand Main Entrance and Ticket Office. The staff were so efficient and friendly, guiding me through the many colours and layers to the traditional gown. I really recommend this shop, as they had lockers on site for your larger belongings, and little handbags, hair ornaments, and parasols were included in the rental price. I am so glad that I rented the Hanbok as I felt transformed to another time and enabled me to pretend that I was attending a royal palace event.

47 responses to Changdeokgung Palace


    Lovely costume


    Lovely. My kids loved Korea.


    Way cool! Way cool!


    The palace looks so peaceful. The roof design although likes some others around the region but Korean’s (or this particular one) has much stronger curve.

    You looks so lovely in Korean’s traditional dress.


    Wow, superbe reportage, très instructif et magnifique photos, un grand merci Charlotte !! Meilleurs pensées pour Toi , bonjour à ton frère et son mari.

      Charlotte Hoather April 9, 2019 at 5:03 pm

      Bonjour Pascal, it was lovely that Matt & Alex came to share the experience with me as we had a fabulous time exploring 🙂

      Best wishes


    Great description and wonderful photos.


    Wonderful tour, Charlotte. You looked quite local in your costume. 😁


    Alice in the Korean Wonderland! That’s the story! 🙂


    Charlotte you look fabulous in that costume. It looks like you had a brilliant experience there and enjoyed every minute 😘


    You look fantastic in that costume Charlotte. What a great experience for and how lovely to have Matt and Alex share it with you. 😘😘

      Charlotte Hoather April 7, 2019 at 10:33 pm

      Gill you’d have loved it, especially the next day we had planned visiting the Instagram cafés of Seoul and tasting all the cakes!
      Best wishes

    Peter Alexander April 7, 2019 at 10:15 pm

    That palace was on the one major site I was able to visit during a short visit to Seoul 20 years ago. But I did not get the experience of earring the traditional dress (lol)! You look fabulous—those are terrific pictures! Save them for your publicity portfolio. I can tell you that journalists and editors crave anything that stands out from the run of the mill photos that cross our desks, and these certainly do. All three are just gorgeous photos.

      Charlotte Hoather April 7, 2019 at 10:31 pm

      Thank you Peter, that’s good to know, they did have men’s wear too. I was walking around singing my Korean song.
      Best wishes


    What a great opportunity to dress up and be in such a lovely setting. It seems your trip is tremendously worthwhile, and how nice to have family along as well–

      Charlotte Hoather April 7, 2019 at 10:35 pm

      It was great my brother changed his holiday this year so he could join me, we were hoping he’d see me progress in the competition but I learnt a lot from the experience.
      Best wishes


    Looks like a great visit. Cool that your brother and his husband could join you.

      Charlotte Hoather April 9, 2019 at 4:56 pm

      They were originally going to Toronto and changed their holiday plans, work commitments meant they arrived five days after I did but I was able to give them the information on how to travel and buy travel passes from the airport, they came home later than me too and visited a couple of the places I wanted to see but didn’t have time for so they got some cool photographs of that.

      Best wishes


    Thanks for the report! You look like such a sweet girl Charlotte…I wish you every success.

      Charlotte Hoather April 9, 2019 at 4:57 pm

      Thank you Daniel, I do look quite young in those photographs, I had an allergy and couldn’t wear any makeup because my eyes were dry and sore.

      All my best wishes


    You look amazing in the traditional Korean costume! What a wonderful experience for you, your brother and brother-in-law.

      Charlotte Hoather April 9, 2019 at 4:57 pm

      The flight was eleven hours which was the furthest I’ve flown but it was such a brilliant competition and place to visit, I learnt a lot from the experience.

      Best wishes

    Amritpal Singh April 8, 2019 at 5:06 am

    So beautiful pic gm


    You looked beautiful in the costume.
    All photo’s are amazing as always,I’m so pleased you had the experience,it all looks wonderful .😘😘

      Charlotte Hoather April 9, 2019 at 4:58 pm

      Thank you, my Korean song was all about national dress and instruments and roof top windchimes, remind me to sing it for you the next time I see you.

      All my Best wishes


    What an outstanding experience and so happy Matt & Alex could join you! Seeing you in that costume, I have expected you to break out into an aria!!
    I am so happy for you!

      Charlotte Hoather April 9, 2019 at 4:59 pm

      Thank you, GP. We had an amazing tour guide to the demilitarisation zone who was both informative and amusing, there were a number of Americans on the tour with us. The thing that stood out to me North of the Border was that I couldn’t see any trees at all.

      Best wishes


    That’s a great idea, to hire traditional dress.

      Charlotte Hoather April 9, 2019 at 5:00 pm

      It was the entry was free if you hired a costume so there were lots of people in traditional outfits which added to the experience.

      Best wishes


    What an amazing place and you got to dress up too… always a positive in my book 🙂 x

      Charlotte Hoather April 9, 2019 at 5:01 pm

      South Korea is not somewhere I would ever have thought to go on a holiday, so this competition was an eye-opener in more ways than having a wonderful opportunity to sing.

      Best wishes


    You look lovely in that costume! The roof of the palace is amazing!


    Such an awesome trail of adventure you are on, Charlotte – you look beautiful in the costume. How I wish I could have seen you there singing, that would have been great. Continue your amazing life, look forward to catching up with your posts. Take care ~


    What fun!!! You really took advantage of all you could in Seoul!

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