Royal palaces in Seoul open at night only a few days a year, usually when the weather is cool and the scenery is beautiful.
This spring, the government has altered its usual palace operating plans to invite more visitors. Still, if you want to walk around the old site in peaceful evening hours, you’d better book online, well in advance.
According to the Cultural Heritage Administration, Changgyeonggung and Gyeongbokgung will remain open until 10 p.m. for 12 days from April 29 and April 30, respectively. They were open until that time for five days last year. The National Palace Museum of Korea, located inside Gyeongbokgung, will also remain open until 10 p.m.
|Changdeokgung Palace, one of Seoul’s five royal palaces, is opening at night under the moonlight tour program. Tickets are already sold out. Tickets for nighttime visits to Changgyeonggung and Gyeongbokgung can be booked at ticket.auction.co.kr from April 22 and 23, respectively. (Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation)|
The number of people allowed in the two palaces during evening hours each day was increased by 500 from last year to 2,200 for Changgyeonggung and 2,000 for Gyeongbokgung.
Tickets can be purchased at http://ticket.auction.co.kr from 2 p.m. on April 22 for Changgyeonggung and from 2 p.m. the next day for Gyeongbokgung. Admission is 1,000 won and 3,000 won, respectively. One person can buy no more than two tickets.
Elderly citizens and foreign visitors can make purchases by phone (available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday) and at the palace entrance. Admission is free for children aged 6 or younger when they are accompanied by an adult.
Changdeokgung Palace, one of five palaces built in Seoul during the Joseon era (1392-1910), is currently open for visitors at night, but the nighttime admission is strictly limited to participants in the “moonlight tour programs.” The five palaces are Gyeongbokgung, Changgyeonggung, Changdeokgung, Gyeonghuigung and Deoksugung.
Tickets for the tours, which run for a few days when there is a full moon in April, May and June, are sold out. The moonlight tours are scheduled for autumn, too.
For those who do not want the hassle of booking in advance, Deoksugung Palace lights up its paths till 9 p.m. Admission is 1,000 won and no reservations are needed.
By Lee Sun-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)