One of the most amazing places to visit in Seoul is the Changdeokgung Palace – and not just the main palace, but actually the secret garden, which used to be for the royal family only.
It is a huge garden complex in the centre of the city and what is so amazing about it, is that there are several different areas to explore – from temples over ponds to different buildings to rest and enjoy the scenery.
It is very relaxing to walk through the secret garden – but you have to join one of the tours. You can’t enter the secret garden on your own. You have to buy an extra ticket – so go to the ticket office early in the day to check when the English tours are on, buy your ticket and then walk through the Palace until it’s time to enter the Secret Garden.
I had been there before, but it was in January – when most ponds were frozen, trees were bare and there were no flowers. So when I went back in September, it felt like a totally different place!
Once inside the garden it was a hidden world, and a very photogenic place. The idea is closer to a rambling Chinese garden with hills, ponds, gates, teahouses and pavilions than a controlled Japanese Zen meditation garden.
April – October 09:00 – 18:30
March & November 09:00 – 17:30 -> we went on the 11:30 tour and there was another one at 13:30
December – February 09:00 – 17:00
How to get to Changdeokgung Palace:
There are many subway stations located nearby:
– From Exit #3 of Anguk Subway Station (Seoul Subway Line No. 3), walk 5 minutes
– From Exit #6 of Jongno 3-ga Subway Station (Seoul Subway Line No. 1, 3 and 5), walk 10 minutes