Visiting Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 (昌德宮)

I visited Changdeokgung 창덕궁 (昌德宮) on my second day in Seoul. The palace was a short taxi ride from my hotel, but check with your accommodations to see if they offer free shuttle rides to the historic sites in Seoul.

Changdeokgung map

Tickets cost 3,000 won and you buy them at the ticket booth towards the left. You can actually purchase a combination ticket for 10,000 won that grants you access to all the other palaces in Seoul: Changdeokgung (including the Secret Garden tour), Gyeongbokgung 경복궁 (景福宮), Changgyeonggung 창경궁 (昌慶宮), Deoksugung 덕수궁 (德壽宮), and Jongmyo Shrine 종묘 (宗廟). The closest places to Changdeokggung are Changgyeonggung (right next to it), Jongmyo Shrine (right below it), and Gyeongbokgung (to the left after passing through the Samcheongdong area). This combination ticket is a much better deal if you want to visit more than one palace. For me, one was enough.

If you visit Changdeokgung on a Thursday, you can roam around the palace grounds by yourself. Any other day and you have to join guided tours to get in. These tours are available in English, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese at different times of the day and last around 1 hour and 20 minutes. Changdeokgung is also known for its beautiful Biwon Secret Gardens 비원 (秘院), which you can only visit on special tours. Tickets to the Secret Gardens are sold separately for 5,000 won, but the Biwon tour is included if you purchase the combination ticket described above. However, this tour is two hours long, so I opted not to take it as I had a full day planned ahead.

I liked wandering around Changdeokgung on my own. You might think that you'll miss out on someone explaining everything to you in detail on the guided tours, but as long as you grab a brochure at the entrance, you'll pretty much know what you're looking at. It was nice to be able to walk around freely or sit down whenever I felt like it.

Inside Changdeokgung

It wasn't crowded when I went, but there were lots of kids on field trips with their classes. If you need to use the restrooms (which were clean and stocked with toilet paper), go before the kids or you will be in for a long wait!

Korean student at Changdeokgung

* * *

The weather was great that day. It made everything more vibrant and invigorating.

Injeongjeon at Changdeokgung

Roof details at Changdeokgung

Lots of trees and fresh air...

Serene trees at Changdeokgung

Inside Changdeokgung

Inside Changdeokgung

Inside Changdeokgung

Even a persimmon tree!

Persimmon tree inside Changdeokgung

Some interesting details...

Cool looking chimney

Mesmerizing bricks of Changdeokgung

Intricate door lock at Changdeokgung

See that tiny hole in the window? It reminded me of those old Chinese martial arts movies where they blew poisonous smoke into a room through a bamboo straw.

Rice paper window at Changdeokgung

These stairs were pretty steep:

Stairs at Changdeokgung

Inside Changdeokgung

Inside Changdeokggung

And there were nuns too... at least I think they were nuns...

Nuns at Changdeokgung

Nuns at Changdeokgung

Don't miss the one with the blue roof!

Palace with the blue roof at Chandeokgung

Overall, Changdeokgung was a nice place to visit. It's a good change of pace from all the bustle in the city. It's small and underwhelming, but nonetheless peaceful. You can spend a good 2 hours here appreciating the fine details, but if you are pressed for time, a little over an hour is enough.

For more information:
Phone Number: 02-762-8262

Official Website

  • Closed on Mondays
  • 9:00 AM – 6:30 PM, April - October
  • 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM, November and March
  • 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, December - February

  • General Tour (not needed on Thursdays): 1 hour and 20 minutes
  • Biwon Secret Garden Tour: 2 hours (with one restroom break in between)

Course Details:
  • Biwon Special Garden Tour Course:
    1. Hamyang Gate
    2. Youngyeongdang
    3. Uidugak
    4. Bulromun
    5. Buyongji area
    6. Aeryongji area
    7. Jondeokjeong area
    8. Ongnyucheon area
    9. Daraenamu
    10. Donhwamun

Time Schedules:
  • General Tour:
    1. Korean: 9:30, 11:30, 13:30, 15:30, 17:30
    2. English: 10:30, 14:30
    3. Japanese: 12:30
    4. Chinese: 16:00
  • Biwon Secret Garden Tour:
    1. Korean: 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 15:30, 16:00, 16:30
    2. English: 11:30, 14:30
    3. Japanese: 10:30, 13:30
    4. Chinese: 12:30

Budget (adult/children prices):
  • General tour – 3000 won/ 1500 won
  • Special Biwon Secret Garden tour – 5000 won/ 2500won
  • Combination Ticket (to see other palaces) - 10,000 won

  • From Exit #3 of Anguk Subway Station 안국역 (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.
  • Blue Bus: 109, 151, 162, 171, 172, 272
  • Green Bus: 7025


  1. Thank you so much for the info above... We're already planning how to spend our time in Seoul and your post was very helpful...

  2. I appreciate your effort in writing this guide as detailed as possible. It's very helpful.