Gwanghwamun Gate (광화문)
The main gate to Gyeongbokgung (if you’re seeing #1, you’ll have to go through this). Also, the name has an ultra cool translation: “may the light of enlightenment blanket the world.” Deep!
How to get there: Gwanghwamun Station (Line 5 – Exit 2). Gyeongbokgung Station (Line 3 – Exit 5).
Jongmyo is where all the royal rituals took place. Come on the first Sunday of May to see a yearly ritual with traditional Korean music, food and dudes with old school Korean hats.
How to get there: Jongno 3-ga Station (Line 1, Line 3, Line 5 – Exit 7)
Heunginjimun (흥인지문) – Dongdaemun – The East Gate
Heunginjimin (aka Dongdaemun or the East Gate) is located in the center of Korean fashion. If you dress nice for the gate, you will be blessed with good luck (may or may not be true). Stop by on your way to shopping at Dongdaemun Market.
How to get there: Dongdaemun Station (Line 1, Line 4 – Exit 6 or 7)
Cheonghwadae (청와대) – The Blue House
Cheongwadae is the official residence of the president of South Korea. Unless you reserve and pay for the official tour, you’ll need a swat team to get in here on your own. We recommend going with the official tour. Reserve in advance.
How to get there: Go through the back gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace (which is also very nice to see). Gyeongbokgung Station (Line 3 – Exit 5). (Or Gwanghwamun Station, see entry #2).
The main palace of the Joseon Dynasty (Korea’s last royal dynasty), located in the heart of Seoul (and in our hearts ;)).
How to get there: Gyeongbokgung Station (Line 3 – Exit 5). Gwanghwamun Station (Line 5 – Exit 2)
If you think big crowds will ruin your peaceful palace viewing experience, come to this palace. There’s less people, and the only things that might ruin your palace perusing are the obnoxious pond and insufferable botanical garden. (Obviously jk, but you know how people on the interwebs are ;).)
How to get there: Anguk Station (Line 3 – Exit 3)
Without knowing the history, these palaces can all seem very similar. Deoksugung is the exception. It’s got a Russian designed cafe and a British inspired museum. Although they forgot the French bidets.
How to get there: City Hall Station (Line 1, Line 2 – Exit 2)
Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty (Seonjeongneung)
There’s tons of these Royal Tombs of Korea’s late great royalty scattered all throughout Korea. But this one is right in the middle of Gangnam. Be a decent visitor and see some history before you go get hammered at Gangnam Station, will ya? ?
How to get there: Seolleung Station (Line 2 – Exit 8)