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Changdeokgung's Secret Garden

Written by : Essential Expat Experiences

If anyone were to ask me "What's the most beautiful place in Korea?" I would ask them "What season is it?" Because Korea is blessed with four gorgeous seasons, but I believe that the best one for sightseeing is autumn. Autumn in Korea is like an entirely new world, and the colors are indescribable.

The absolutely best place to see autumn leaves in Seoul is Changdeokgung's Secret Garden. Although it is often overlooked by tourists who flock to Gyeongbokgung instead, Changdeokgung is known to everyone who has ever watched a Korean historical movie or drama. Every Monday the palace is closed to tourists, and film crews swoop in to shoot scenes for dramas such as "Kingdom". The Secret Garden is only open for group tours, and the most popular season for visitors is autumn. In addition the number of tourists allowed has been cut in half due to COVID-19, so I was extremely lucky to get a spot on the Saturday morning tour.

The garden tour takes about 90 minutes, but it feels much faster as you're walking past beautiful structures, ponds, trees and buildings. The beauty is overwhelming, and although no picture could ever truly capture it I tried my best to take some photos to remember the tour by.

At the end of the tour we were left at the gates of the palace, and we could continue to explore the palace grounds on our own. There are also free daily tours of the palace you can attend without a reservation, and a small cafe to drink coffee in while gazing out at the palace grounds.

You can book a tour starting at 10 a.m. six days before the day, and I recommend you make your account and be ready when booking opens as tickets sell out rather quickly. However the English language tour I attended still had spots available, so depending on which language you want to take the tour in you may be able to get a ticket on the day.

The tour costs 5,000 won, however you also have to pay to enter the grounds of the palace (3,000 won). The English tours run daily at 10:30, 11:30, 13:30 and 15:30.

To get to Changdeokgung, go to Anguk Station and walk out of exit three. The palace is a less-than five minute walk down that road, and you can buy your tickets at the office just to the left of the gates.

창덕궁 - 서울특별시 종로구 와룡동 율곡로 99

Changdeokgung - 99, Yulgok-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul

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1 Comment

Naharin Anni
Naharin Anni
Oct 28, 2020

Thanks for this beautiful post and photos....❤

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