Sungnyemun Gate
Sungnyemun Gate
4
Historic Sites • Points of Interest & Landmarks
Read more
Write a review
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.

Top ways to experience Sungnyemun Gate and nearby attractions

The area
Address
Neighborhood: Myeongdong / Namdaemun
Arguably Seoul’s most famous neighborhood and undoubtedly one of its most popular, Myeongdong takes shopping and eating to new heights, with hundreds of shops, restaurants, and cafes all stacked on top of one another. The rise in popularity of Korean cosmetics, fashion, and more has made this area a must-see for visitors who come and marvel at Myeongdong’s often frenetic pace and energy. Lotte and Shinsaegae’s massive department stores are also popular draws for both Korean and luxury products. The department stores, just like Myeongdong’s streets, are crowded around the clock. Myeongdong’s many street food carts are also immensely popular for their inexpensive and quirky offerings (French-fry-encrusted corn dogs, anyone?). The neighborhood’s popularity, as well as its close proximity to other popular sights and neighborhoods, makes it one of Seoul’s most popular places to stay.
How to get there
  • Hoehyeon • 4 min walk
  • Seoul • 9 min walk
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.0
335 reviews
Excellent
86
Very good
157
Average
80
Poor
10
Terrible
2

Abovetheclouds
1,494 contributions
May 2022 • Solo
Not a must but worth stopping by if in the area.  I was doing the Seoullo 7017 walk.  Free.  This is one of the main gates of the Fortress Wall of Seoul.  After you have seen one, they all start to look the same.  What I did like though was the information boards (mainly photographs) showing how the gate had changed over the years.  In the early days, there was one photograph with a mode of transport (can't remember what it was) going under the gate and what appeared to be market stalls surrounding it.  Very different to now.  Looking at the gate you could imagine what it was like then, almost being transported to another era.  You don't need long, ten minutes at the most.  As I said, not worth a special trip unless your really into history and architecture.  If you come by subway from Seoul station, take exit 5 or you will walk all around.  Seoul station is one of the main stations and it's huge with multiple exits
Written May 31, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

CanisHan
Seoul, South Korea22,678 contributions
Dec 2020
C ( 20.12.16 )
This architecture was one of landmark in Seoul, and National Treasure No.1. There was not big area, but understood about Choseon's architecture shape. There was very good point to start Seoul tour, and Namdaemun traditional market was located beside this architecture.
Written December 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Janet1016
Ottawa, Canada946 contributions
Jan 2020
One evening while walking around the Namdaemun Market looking for a place to eat dinner, we walked out a back alley and found the Sungnyemun Gate in all it's glory right across the street. It was surreal really, and a stunning piece of architecture.

Sungnyemun Gate (literally meaning 'the gate of exalted ceremonies') was built between 1396 and 1398 and has been repaired and restored on numerous occasions over the centuries. There used to be four main gates to the city (which used to be called Hanyang, and is now present day Seoul) We learned that if we came back the next morning that there was a 'Changing of the Guard Ceremony' performed for the Public. There is signage close by to tell you of the hours.

Sungnyemun Gate has a base of stonework with a half-round arch in the center and a gorgeous big door facing south. On top of that, there was a two-story wooden pavilion; the first floor of the pavilion was equipped with small doors on the east and west sides, and the second floor had wood-paneled windows on every side.

There are photos of the Gate taken after the Korean War when it had been damaged which are fascinating.

We showed up the next morning just in the nick of time. It was the end of January and there were only two other people there. The Guards are dressed in period uniforms from the Joseon Dynasty and it's really breath taking to get a sneak peek in to the past. A very nice security guard told us when we could approach and when we needed to stand back. They let us get up super close and I got some great photos. We were in Seoul during the Corona-virus scare so all the guards and staff were wearing masks.

We were in Seoul for a week and visiting this Gate and watching the Guard ceremony was definitely one of the highlights of our visit. (And it's free!!!!)

I love Changing of the Guard Ceremonies. I live in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and have been to see the Changing of the Guard Ceremonies on Parliament Hill tons of times so it was really fun to get to compare with the Ceremony in Seoul. They too had a marching band!!!!
Written February 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Nicholas D
Larne, UK1,115 contributions
Sep 2019
Just down the main strip from Gyeongbokgung Palace is a junction that spilts in several locations and in the middle of this junction is an ancient gate called "Sungnyemun Gate". It is part of the ancient city wall that surrounded the capital of Seoul in the Josean dynasty and is one of the oldest remaining features of the wall in Seoul today. It is a great place to visit on the way to Namdaemun Market and there are daily activities at the gate including Changing of the Guard ceremonies which occur daily every 2-3 times in the day. You can get some photos with the guards at the end of the ceremony which makes for some great holiday photos.
Written September 26, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

stevebintley
Bedford, UK6,593 contributions
May 2018 • Solo
Located in the centre of a busy junction there’s certainly a contrast between the surrounding office buildings and this cultural landmark. It offers a particularly good photo opportunity at night with the passing vehicle lights and is lit up beautifully. There isn’t a huge amount to look at but what is there is worth taking the time to admire, and there’s plenty of signage explaining the history and significance of the gate. Everywhere is well kept and clean, plus on my weekend visit it wasn’t busy with tourists either.

Given that it’s free to enter the grounds and walk through the gate it’s a must see, certainly on a first visit to the city.
Written April 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SurfingWild
Bandung, Indonesia39,936 contributions
Jul 2018 • Family
Fortunately our hotel was just 5 minutes walk from this very impressive gate, so we actually visited the place three twice during our stay in Seoul. The gate can be reached from it's south side from near Namdaemun market and down a small road beside a mini-mart. The original gate was destroyed in a fire and this is the rebuilt one which is still very impressive. It is the Southern gate to the city of Seoul.

During my second visit, by luck actually, I was able to watch the changing of the guards which made the place a lot more special and allowed me to take fairly close up photos of the guards themselves. The guards do not mind photo taking although they will not allow you to get up in their faces the way the guards do outside Buckingham Palace.

At the entrance to the gate there is a small booth with an elderly gentleman and brochures freely available in several different languages. There are also public toilets here.
Written July 22, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Louise L
Kempsey, Australia64 contributions
Apr 2017
Nice area to look at and beautiful to photograph at any time. Changing of the guards plus it is lit up at night, so photogenic!
Written May 28, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Shelliu
Hilton Head, SC4,096 contributions
May 2014 • Couples
This is great to visit while one the way to or from the Namdaemun market as it is close by and doesn't require much time. This gate is not the original and was rebuilt several times but most recently in 2008 after it was severely damaged by fire but it is great to see the newly rebuilt gate with some of the old bricks. It is also one of the best places in the city for pictures and is right next to Seoul station which is another great place to see/experience.
Written May 17, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ariel_latorre1969
Brisbane, Australia36 contributions
Jan 2020
Stumbled to this landmark after a visit to Namdaemun markets. Impressive structure standing out amidst tall buildings around. Typical historical site in the middle of modern Seoul.
Written January 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ileannkneel
Kelowna, Canada1,034 contributions
Nov 2019
The gate is right beside a 5 street intersection; the entrance to the gate is on the opposite side from the intersection. I wandered for a bit before finding it. Once in (which was quick as there is no admission and no one was around), it was quite impressive both to its sheer size and the fact that there is nothing preventing anyone form actually touching it. I would have thought that a national treasure such as this and being as old as it is, there would be heavy security and boundaries set so as to keep curious hands at bay. Not so. Feel free to touch away. And look up when passing through the gate. The murals in the ceiling are Sistine Chapel-like... ok, not really but still pretty cool.
Written December 6, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Showing results 1-10 of 131
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

Sungnyemun Gate (Seoul) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Sungnyemun Gate

We recommend booking Sungnyemun Gate tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 3 Sungnyemun Gate tours on Tripadvisor


Restaurants near Sungnyemun Gate: View all restaurants near Sungnyemun Gate on Tripadvisor