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Gyeongbokgung to open its gates for autumn nights

Gyeongbokgung Palace will invite visitors to enjoy its grounds at night this coming autumn, opening its gates between 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. from mid-September until early November.

According to Cultural Heritage Administration, the annual nighttime special tours of the Joseon-era palace will take begin Sept. 12 -- during the Chuseok Holidays -- and will conclude on Nov. 6.

The hours will be extended from the usual 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., but only up to 4,500 people a day will be able to visit the palace during the nighttime tours. 

Nighttime view of Gyeongbokgung Palace (Cultural Heritage Administration)
Nighttime view of Gyeongbokgung Palace (Cultural Heritage Administration)

The tickets for September tours will be made available at Auction ticket, starting 2 p.m. on Aug. 30, and those for the October tours can be bought, starting 2 p.m., on Oct. 11. Each person can buy up to four tickets, and those aged 65 or up can buy the tickets on site or via phone, 50 tickets a day available for both options.

The foreign visitor quota is 500 visitors per day, and they can only buy the on-site.

Visitors wearing Korean traditional hanbok can apply for a free tour, but must do so at Auction ticket beforehand. Up to 500 hanbok-wearing visitors per day can enjoy the free tour.

Identification is required for all visitors who have purchased the ticket beforehand. Tickets cost 3,000 won per person, same as the regular visit to Gyeongbokgung.

The nighttime tours are held Sept. 12-15, from Sept. 22 until Oct. 5, and from Oct. 20 until Nov. 6.

Nighttime tours for Changdeokgung and Deoksugung Palaces are also available until 9 p.m., but there are no tours on Mondays.

By Yoon Min-sik