On this rare occasion, taking place only a few weeks during the year, Changdeokgung Palace will open its royal gates at night. It will offer an unforgettable opportunity to experience the stunning beauty of Korean palatial architecture. The tour will begin at the main gate, Donhwamun Gate, and progress to 12 locations within the palace grounds, including the Secret Garden. The 2 hour tour will close with traditional performances. Tickets (available since August 4th) are limited as the popular event only allows 150 people per session. The 12th and 13th will host foreigner only tours (Korean citizens not allowed) while the 14th through the 15th will host tours held in Korean (foreigners allowed). Make sure to bring your ID or passport for identification.
Changdeokgung, which literally translates to prospering virtue palace, is one of the Five Grand Palaces built by the kings of the Joseon Dynasty. The palace served as the central governance compound after the former principal palace, Geyongbukgung Palace was burned by imperial Japan. Added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997, Changdeokgung was stated to be an “outstanding example of Far Eastern palace architecture and garden design,” blending with the natural topography. Although Chandeokgung faced the same hardship from imperial Japan with only 30 percent of the palace surviving to this day, it still stands strong representing the grandness of Korean architecture.