Gyeongbokgung Palace in Winter: A different Perspective [Photos]

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Gyeongbok Palace in Seoul, Korea in winter.

Gyeongbok Palace in Seoul, Korea in winter.


It’s cold in Seoul in the winter. And I’m not a fan of the low temperatures. But from time to time I do appreciate seeing different places in the different seasons. I had been to Seoul’s Gyeongbokgung Palace before in the summer, but Juno, a native of Seoul, was eager to show me her favorite place in her hometown in the winter.


Gyeongbokgung is a beautiful, mostly reconstructed, palace in the heart of downtown Seoul. Its distinct red, green, and blue colors make a striking contract against the white snow and ice. Picture this traditional architecture against a backdrop of craggy mountains to the north with no sight of urban development. Then turn around to the modern expanse of urban Seoul.


Gyeongbok Palace Seoul Korea

Gyeongbokgung Palace with modern Seoul in the background.


Originally built in 1394, the palace and grounds are said to have included about 500 buildings. It was the seat of government and the royal residences for the Joseon Dynasty for 200 years.


Gyeongbokgung was destroyed at least two times throughout history: once burned by discontented slaves and more recently taken down by the Japanese during the colonial period starting in 1905.


Now nearly 40% of the complex of royal buildings are back as close as possible to their original splendor. Restoration is ongoing. Of all of Seoul’s five palaces, Gyeongbokgung is considered the most beautiful and grandest. (For comparison, view photos of Changdeok Palace, which I visited a couple years ago.)


Photos of Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul when I visited on the Lunar New Year in February:

 Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul Korea (5)


Gyeongbok Palace Seoul Korea (12)


Gyeongbok Palace Seoul Korea Gyeongbokgung



Gyeongbok Palace Seoul Korea (2)


Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul Korea (4)


More Information:


Within the grounds of Gyeongbokgung are the National Folk Museum and the National Palace Museum. Admission: 3,000 won (about $3 US). Metro Station: Gyeongbokgung Station, exit #5 and Gwanghwa-mun Station #2. Free guided tours are offered in English at 11:00, 13:30, 15:30.

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Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno has been traveling the world and writing about it for the better part of 20 years. His articles and essays have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, and Transitions Abroad magazine. He blogs at Bohemian Traveler and edits the independent travel magazine He most recently set up a tour company offering authentic, small group tours at Unquote Travel. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


  1. jason says:

    Gosh! The photos are too incredible! I have nv seen this side of korea before. Did you travel on any travel package or purely free and easy travel?

  2. Love the photos! I was able to visit Gyeongbokgung Palace last April. It’s nice to see the pics with the snow 😀

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