3 Oct 2020
Posted by Mikaela
Last week, we talked about the cultural significance of Jongno-gu to South Korea—making it the heart and symbol of history and culture of the country. Now, we will proceed with the second part of the series in which I will share the top places to visit, two UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a hidden gem destination in the middle of a bustling city of Seoul; all in Jongno-gu. This is in addition to the five destinations we’ve covered in this post.
I’ve grouped the nearby attractions for easy navigation. You might want to do this in your itinerary to save time and see more when you visit Seoul.
Part Two: Must-visit Landmarks and Cultural Sites in Jongno-gu
Changdeokgung Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the east of the Gyeongbok Palace. It is the second-largest among the main palaces loved by the Joseon Dynasty (the residential palace of the kings for over 200 years). It is no doubt that it served as the home of the royal family as its harmonious and majestic architecture blends with the natural landscape of Mt. Bugaksan. Aside from this, it boasts the elegance of huwon (Secret Garden) that contributed to modern-day landscape planning and Korean architecture.
Location: 99 Yulgok-ro, Waryong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
You may be wondering what’s special about this palace, since many generations of the royal family chose Changdeokgung as their official residence. If yes, let your eyes witness the elegance and sophistication of Korean architecture and traditional gardens. During the tour, you will experience how the Koreans value the natural flow of Mt. Bugaksan by adding not so many human elements that brought the captivating beauty of the mountain. The results were the admirable Korean ponds, pavilions, and traditional garden.
Changgyeongung Palace is another traditional sightseeing spot around Jongno-gu that you must visit. The palace is connected to the Changdeokgung with just a few walks away. This palace is small and simple compared to the other palaces, but remained as a significant part of history — it served as the home of many queens and concubines during the Joseon Dynasty.
Location: 185 Changgyeonggung-ro, Waryong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Jongmyo Shrine is another UNESCO World Heritage Site in Jongno-gu where the deceased members of the dynasty were kept. The Confucian shrine is also the place of worship of the family that upholds a well-preserved ritual ceremony and traditional music (considered as National Intangible Cultural Asset No. 56). You need to book a tour to visit this ancient shrine through their website.
Location: 157 Jong-ro, Hunjeong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Ikseondong Hanok Village
The small alleys of Ikseondong are a hidden gem in the middle of the bustling city, which makes it a great historical landmark. You can explore this village and observe how a city remained its charm despite the changes around its surroundings. After 100 years, the alleys display a unique breed of modern meets traditional life in a small village.
Location: Ikseon-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
For the past two posts of the series, we were able to cover the following destinations:
- Samcheongdong-gil Road, Bukchon Hanok Village, Gyeongbokgung Palace (Gwanghwamun Gate, National Folk Museum, National Palace Museum), Gwanghwamun Square, Tongin Market
- Changdeokgung Palace, Secret Garden, Changgyeonggung Palace, Jongmyo Shrine, Ikseondong Hanok Village
Next week (part three) will be the last post that will focus on the remaining attractions in Jongno District (specialized markets, shopping street, and the urban side). Followed by the list of experience-focused to do list in Jongno District.
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Up next for my blog series:
- Part three: Points of Interests in Jongno-gu (night life, shopping and urban sites)
- 11 Best Things to do in Jongno-gu, Seoul
- Districts of Seoul: Jung-gu, Yongsan-gu, Seodaemun-gu, and more.
You can read the following posts about South Korea:
Districts of Seoul: Jongno-gu as the Heart of Seoul (Part 1)
22 Free Things To Do in Seoul, South Korea
Where to Stay in Seoul? 5 Best Neighborhoods for First-time Visitors
9 Museums in Seoul for Art, Culture and History
Seoul Itinerary: Complete Travel Guide of a Low Maintenance Traveler