Gyeongbokgung is an attraction that can't be missed when you come to Seoul. Our guide will show you the best way to explore this palace and its surrounding areas in one day:
Start your day off with a Samgyetang lunch at Tosokchon Samgyetang (토속촌 삼계탕).This restaurant is located conveniently near Gyeongbukgung and is famouse fo their chicken ginseng soup. Don't be surprised if you see a huge line outside but fear not, the line moves fairly quickly and you will be seated inside no time.
Although I prefer the tranquility of Deoksugung, Gyeongbukgung is a palace that should not be missed as well. It was originally built in 1395 and it is the largest palace within Seoul and arguably the most beautiful. If you stick around long enough to see the palace gates at dusk, the gates light up beautifully under the soft spotlights.
After you're done exploring Gyeongbukgung, head to Bukchon Hanok village that is located just northeast of the palace. It's slightly on the side of the mountain so it can be a bit of a walk but the view at the top is definitely worth it. The traditional style houses are still occupied by residents today so make sure to respect their privacy and environment.
By this time, your legs are probably tired from walking all around the palace and climbing the mountainside. So head to a nearby cafe that is littered all around the nearby streets.
Tip: Try to find one that has a rooftop terrace which will give you a nice view of the neighbourhood while you recharge and relax. I recommend this cafe below- sadly, I have forgotten the name of it but it is off the main path, across from the big Woori Bank. Their couches are also comfortable enough for a short nap!
After your coffee fix, head back to the main entrance of Gyeongbukgung and walk through the strip of land in the middle of the street. You'll pass through monuments of King Sejong (who created the Hangeul, the Korean alphabet) and other warriors.
Eventually you will reach Cheonggyecheon stream (make sure to turn left so that you are heading east)- a stream that runs right through the city. Originally just a sewer stream, it has now become a modern piece of city art that is rather quite enjoyable to stroll along.
After you have walked a few blocks of the stream, head back up onto the main streets and walk towards Myeongdong where you can end your day with dinner, street food or more shopping!