March 24, 2023
SEOUL – The Joseon-era royal palace Gyeongbokgung will hold its annual spring nighttime viewing from April 5 to May 31, the Cultural Heritage Administration announced Thursday.
Noted for its beautiful weeping cherry blossoms and azaleas during the season, the Gyeongbokgung nightscape presents a different vibe from the daytime.
One of the highlights include the Gyeonghoeru, the largest two-story pavilion structure in Korea, where visitors can capture the scenery of cherry blossoms reflected on the nearby pond. The pond-side pavilion was built in 1412 during the reign of King Taejong and was used as a venue for royal ceremonies and entertainment.
To enter the second floor of the pavilion, visitors should register for a special tour led by a guide.
The Gyeonghoeru tour, free of charge, operates from April 1 to Oct. 31, excluding July, and lasts 40 minutes. Registration for the special tour opens Saturday at 10 a.m., at the Gyeongbokgung Palace Management Office’s website.
Meanwhile, the palace’s Amisan, the rear garden of Gyotaejeon, the Queen’s residence, is another popular spot for viewing bright azaleas that surround the ondol chimneys.
Up to 2,500 visitors will be admitted per evening, and reservations are required through the 11Street website. Online reservations will open at 10 a.m. on March 29 for April and April 26 for May. Tickets for evening admissions are 3,000 won each.
Two hundred tickets are set aside daily for foreigners to purchase on-site at the ticketing booth. All foreigners are required to present a piece of official identification when purchasing on-site.
Each person is limited to two tickets.
There are no evening tours on Mondays and Tuesdays, and visits will also be restricted from April 26 to May 2, due to the Palace Cultural Festival.
The nighttime opening hours are from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., with last admissions at 8:30 p.m.