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“Biwon of Changdeokgung the best garden experience in Seoul”

Changdeokgung Palace
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Morning Cultural Tour: UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Seoul
Ranked #8 of 740 things to do in Seoul
Certificate of Excellence
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Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: This 600-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site is the city's jewel. It's as famous for its outstanding architectural details as for its verdant and expansive gardens.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
41 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Biwon of Changdeokgung the best garden experience in Seoul”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 19, 2012

We walked through the Biwon (secret garden) in the frigid Seoul weather of Christmas Day.
Actually we were at the Changdeokgung Palace the day before but we were told we just missed the last English tour of the day. So on the 24th we only got to see the palace itself. If you are a foreigner it is assumed that you need an English tour. In the cold short winter days of December (may be even January and February), there were only two English tours in a day. It was at 11:30am and 2:30 pm. (It is worth double checking these times for yourself) We were not the only ones who were disappointed and had to go back a second time. (We were also made to pay the palace tour again)
The palace itself was ok. In spite of the cold and the run around, the Biwon was worth it.
In the palace compound proper one can still see the city buildings around. 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. Enjoy!
The gift shop/Cafe carries good souvenirs but somewhat pricey.
On the way out, west of the palace compound there are a few restaurants. For very delicious and very sizeable meat dumplings and oyster/fish pancakes, Buckchon Restaurant is highly recommended. (This place has tables and chairs) The service was also very good.

Visited December 2011
4 Thank victor l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Seoul, South Korea
Level Contributor
25 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“The Palace with the Garden”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2012

If you are debating which palace to go to (because there are just so many in Seoul), this one is the best to see in Spring because of its beautiful gardens. Make sure you go earlier in the day if you go because sometimes the garden tours close pretty early. I would say however that the garden tour isn't much to see in summer (there aren't any real colors...just lots of trees). I have gone to the palaces every season except winter and spring is best for the garden but fall could come in a very close seconds. It's all personal preference. This palace also "connects" to another palace area so you could wipe out two birds with one stone by going to see this one instead.

Visited May 2011
1 Thank Jessica K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeonju, South Korea
Level Contributor
76 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
“Great secret garden”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2012

You can only visit with a tour; you can't walk around by yourself. The tour explanation was very good. Unfortunately only about 30% of the palace is still standing as the rest was destroyed during the Japanese occupation. Hopefully the Korean government will get around to reconstructing the rest of the building once they have finished with other reconstruction projects of other palaces.

Visited August 2011
Thank veggiejeonju
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.
Level Contributor
230 reviews
72 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 439 helpful votes
“An enjoyable contrast to the modern city around”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2012

Though the buildings have been reconstructed, it was pleasant to wander around a park setting with historical Korean architecture.

Visited August 2011
Thank Chelydra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
95 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Best visit during warmer season”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2012

Went there during winter. Was freezing cold. Biwon (secret garden) is a must, but the lake was frozen and the trees were bare. It has it's own desolate beauty, but i think it would be prettier during autumn/ spring

Visited December 2011
1 Thank violetcraze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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