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Gate Gwanghwamun

Certificate of Excellence
Gwanghwamun / Jongno
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Address: 76-2 Sejong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Phone Number: 02-3700-3901
Description: This gate was constructed in 1395 as the main entrance from the majestic...
This gate was constructed in 1395 as the main entrance from the majestic Sejong Boulevard into Kyongbuk Palace. Three arched gates and a two-story pavilion are typical of the architectural design of that period. Completely reconstructed after years of conflict and falling into disrepair, it is now made of modern concrete and steel. It presently serves as a secondary entrance to Kwanghwamun Park.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 181 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 57
  • 88
    Very good
  • 35
  • 0
  • 1
Majestic, amazing view

I'm not giving 5 stars for a simple reason : it's "just" a Gate, and "visiting" it takes 5 or 10 minutes. Now, if you want to visit the actual palace, that's another story, but... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed May 22, 2015
Seoul, South Korea
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181 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
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English first
Seoul, South Korea
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
34 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2015

I'm not giving 5 stars for a simple reason : it's "just" a Gate, and "visiting" it takes 5 or 10 minutes. Now, if you want to visit the actual palace, that's another story, but there's another Trip Advisor page for that. The gate stands out for three reasons. First, it's indeed big. Second, it's been unbelievably well restored, with... More 

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Gimhae, Gyeongsangnam-do, South Korea
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2015

Its clearly recently been rebuilt but it is still a sight to behold. If you time it right, you can catch the changing of the guards. Interesting for those from the other side of the world. I've been to Seoul numerous times and I've been here so often I've lost count. I'm still amazed every time I see it from... More 

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Seremban, Malaysia
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
21 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2015

We visited the square on the first night & viewed the gate from afar. The solemn great gate is brightly lit at night. As I walked towards it after looking at the Sejong statue, the view made me feel like I was about to walk into the past. The busy traffic right in front of it created such a huge... More 

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Kiev, Ukraine
Top Contributor
941 reviews 941 reviews
154 attraction reviews
1,377 helpful votes 1,377 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2015

Such as the palaces, this place isn't old, just has been rebuild some years ago. Yes, it's nice at night, but be aware that it's nothing historic at all.

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Mumbai (Bombay), India
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
27 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2015

Gwanghwamun gate is an entrance main gate to see old royal residence of ancestor Kings. Vast open grounds spread over several kilometers, old buildings typical in Korean Royalty style, carefully preserved, including a museum,English, Chinese , Japanese guides are available at specified hours and there is a nominal fee to see,at noon time there is a colorful Change of Guard... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
51 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2015

This is another one of the very many still standing palace gates in Seoul. Something that you should not miss when you visit here is the changing of the guards. Also don't forget to go inside the palace grounds as well (buy the combination ticket if you plan to see the other palaces)

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Indaiatuba, SP
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
16 attraction reviews
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2015

It's a traditional gate located in the city center area. Nice and full of details. The gates in Seoul tell us about their history and will give you some nice pictures. It's an easy and quick scene to be seen.

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Singapore, Singapore
Top Contributor
151 reviews 151 reviews
93 attraction reviews
104 helpful votes 104 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2015

The gate, just like Namdaemun or Dongdaemun, is just one of the better-preserved gates in Seoul. Of course, this gate is the entrance to the Gyeongbokgung Palace, which would "teleport" you back in time after the rows of modern skyscrapers and buildings you walked past to get here. The guard-changing ceremony is actually a free attraction, since it's before the... More 

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Singapore, Singapore
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2015

At the entrance of the gate, there are guards with different outfits so it is a must to get photos with them. What I love about this place is its architectural design, yet is it situated in a packed traffic area. You feel like you're being transported to another era/dynasty and actually feel the culture. The scenery is amazing with... More 

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Orlando, Florida
Top Contributor
154 reviews 154 reviews
102 attraction reviews
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2015

This gate is pretty but what really makes it a worthwhile trip besides seeing the actual palace is seeing the changing of the guards. It is about a 10 minute process with traditional instruments being played. It usually takes place around 2:00. It is really cool to see and make sure you get pictures with the guards too!

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Staying in Gwanghwamun / Jongno

Neighborhood Profile
Gwanghwamun / Jongno
If Gwanghwamun is the unofficial living room of Seoul, Jongno is the main hallway connecting some of Seoul’s most important historic sites and neighborhoods. Being one of Seoul’s oldest neighborhoods, the area is rich with history and culture in its palaces, shrines, and temples. Stand in the center of Gwanghwamun Square with Gyeongbokgung Palace and Mt. Bugak in front of you, King Sejong the Great statue behind you, and modern office buildings encircling you—it’s one of the best ways to experience both past and present Seoul in one spot. The main street of Jongno is mostly dotted with restaurants and cafes, but explore deeper within its intricate alleys to pass decades-old restaurants, mom-and-pop shops, and pojangmachas (tents that open at night for quick bites and drinks) and life seems to run just as it did a decade or two ago. Don’t forget to stop at Gwangjang Market, Korea’s oldest traditional market, where it’s just as fun to explore as it is to eat the affordable market dishes that locals have been enjoying since the market first opened in 1905. For a break from urban life, walk along the restored Cheonggyecheon Stream that runs parallel to Jongno for a moment of natural refuge in metropolitan Seoul.