Korean Palace and Market Tour in Seoul Including Insadong and Gyeongbokgung Palace

Seoul, South Korea

From USD 100.00

Select Date and Travellers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 8 hours 30 minutes (approx.)
  • Pickup offered
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Discover the history and cultural traditions of Korea on this full-day tour of Seoul’s palaces and markets. Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace including its National Folklore Museum, and see Jogyesa Buddhist Temple and Changdeokgung Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Your informative guide accompanies you to Insadong and Namdaemun to explore these bustling local markets on foot. Enjoy a Korean lunch and convenient round-trip coach transport from your hotel.
  • Seoul palace and market tour with a friendly and knowledgeable guide
  • Marvel at the pavilions and gardens of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Changdeokgung Palace, Gyeongbokgung Palace and Jogyesa Buddhist Temple
  • Peruse antique artifacts and local artwork at the Insadong Antique Market and Namdaemun Market
  • Enjoy an authentic Korean lunch at a local restaurant

What's Included

  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Professional guide
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Lunch
  • Gratuities

Meeting And Pickup

You can head directly to the meeting point, or request pickup

Meeting point

  • Seoul
    Seoul, South Korea

    The first attraction we will visit is Jogyesa Buddhist Temple

Pickup points

Select a pickup point

Start time

08:30 am

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

Pickup details

If you cannot see your hotel information, please let your hotel information Then, the tour operator will arrange the meeting place.

What To Expect

Start your palaces and markets tour of Seoul with hotel pickup by coach. Listen to your guide’s interesting commentary as you drive past the stately Blue House — the executive office and official residence of the South Korean head of state and the President of the Republic of Korea.

Your first stop is Gyeongbokgung Palace, the largest of the Five Grand Palaces and the first royal palace, built in 1395 by the Joseon Dynasty. Admire the original or restored gates, pavilions and royal halls as you meander the grounds on a guided tour. At the on-site National Folklore Museum, browse extensive artifacts and learn about Korean life from ancient times to the 20th century via exhibitions and illustrative replicas.

Re-board the coach for Jogyesa Buddhist Temple, the chief temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. Gaze at the statue of an enlightened Buddha inside its main hall, which dates back five centuries.

After seeing the famous Buddhist temple, you will stop by a Ginseng Center around midday before sitting down for a Korean lunch at a local restaurant before driving to the World Heritage–listed Changdeokgung Palace. Explore the beautifully preserved grand pavilions, massive gate and several halls. Walk around the landscaped grounds featuring Geumcheongyo Bridge along with lotus ponds, lawns, trees and flowers at the Huwon (Rear Garden).

After you’ve been steeped in Korean heritage, you’l head to two famous markets in Seoul: Insadong and Namdaemun Market. Stroll the craft galleries and quaint teahouses along the Antique Alley of Insadong before finishing up at the Duty Free Shops then Namdaemun — Korea’s largest traditional market. Browse a multitude of goods for bargains and search for the perfect souvenir to take home.

Your full-day tour concludes with drop-off at your hotel in Seoul.

Please note: Gyeongbokgung Palace is closed on Tuesdays, in which case you’ll visit Deoksugung Palace; this walled palace compound is home to the Seoul Museum of History, which you’ll also tour with your guide. Changdeokgung Palace is closed on Mondays, in which case you’ll visit Changgyeonggung Palace — another one of the Five Grand Palaces of the Joseon Dynasty, featuring incredible ancient structures.

Jogyesa Temple

20 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

The Blue House (Cheong Wa Dae) (Pass By)

Gyeongbokgung Palace

1 hour Admission Ticket Included

National Folk Museum of Korea

15 minutesAdmission Ticket Included


30 minutesAdmission Ticket Free


30 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Changdeokgung Palace

40 minutesAdmission Ticket Included

Namdaemun Market

30 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • A moderate amount of walking is involved; comfortable walking shoes are recommended
  • Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This tour include one shopping center (Ginseng center)
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 30 travellers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

Traveller Photos

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143 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travellers.
Showing 1-10 of 143 reviews
Korean Palaces and Markets Tour
Edgar_R, Apr 2023
What a great introduction to the History and Culture that Seoul has to offer! Bonnie, our guide, was excellent as she kept us moving along the tour of the palaces and the markets. Throughout the trip, Bonnie encouraged us to take photos or have her take photos of us and had a great level of energy and enthusiasm. This was a full day of sightseeing and she kept us on time and gave us historical comments throughout entire trip. I was so impressed with the palaces and the markets and was able to do a bit of shopping as well. Excellent itinerary for a full day of touring with an excellent guide, Bonnie, and her driver. I know Bonnie just started a few weeks ago, but she came across like a pro and was able to deliver a professional tour with bits of humor which made it all the more enjoyable!
Thank you Miel!
Miguel_M, Mar 2023
This tour was a good introduction to Seoul on my first day in the city. We saw some amazing temples as well as freedom to walk around markets - but the best part was our tour guide Miel who was just a pleasure to talk to. She made sure we were always engaged and comfortable. Would definitely recommend. Miguel.
Amazing tour with amazing locations
Ryan_B, Mar 2023
Miel was an absolutely amazing tour guide who was extremely enthusiastic and knowledgable about every location we went to. The locations visited were very interesting and stunning locations that took my breath away. I highly recommend thia your if you are spending any time at all in the Seoul area.
Fantastic tour
Tobias_A, Mar 2023
Yujeong was a fantastic tour guide! The tour felt friendly and informative. Yujeong took the time to get to know all of us and led us very well through an 8 hour tour with great enthusiasm and subject knowledge. This tour is one of our highlights of our time in Korea.
Very happy and satisfied.
Noraida_R, Mar 2023
The changing of the guards at Gyeongbukgung palace is a must to see-very interesting. Our tour guide Julie Park, very knowledgeable, nice and friendly and made our tour more exciting.
Great tour
nina_n, Jan 2023
Very knowledgeable tour guide, overall great tour , we visited many interesting sites. The tour guide explains a lot and answered many questions.
Great tour of the City
Kim_C, Dec 2022
Highly recommend this tour if it's your first time in Seoul. Be prepared for lots of walking as there is a lot to see in the two palaces we visited. It is a full day and our guide in the morning, Yoon, was so knowledgeable and got us the prime viewing position for the changing of the guard at the palace and kept everyone on time. Our afternoon tour guide Ko was also extremely knowledgeable and helpful with answering all our questions and getting us to where we needed to be. I would have preferred not to go to the Ginseng centre and spent more time in Insadong. Also the bus and van drivers we had were so good at getting us to and from all the attractions and back to the hotel at the end of the day.
Zarah_M, Oct 2022
The tour was amazing and our tour guides Spring and Yoon made the experience even better. They were knowledgable, kind and really wanted everyone to enjoy themselves. Favourite part was seeing the changing of the guards at the palace and being with a great group of people. Would certainly recommend to anyone visiting Seoul.
signed up for this tour to get historic sites, and I got so much more. Helped rest of Korean trip!
Taylor_W, July 2022
Absolute Must Do! I signed up for this tour to get historic sites out of the way, and I got so much more! The tour guide, Soyoung, went well above and beyond to make this tour fun, comfortable, informative, and helpful. This tour even helped the rest of my stay in Korea as Soyoung helped me to learn the Korean subway system. I took my first solo trip to Korea a few weeks ago. I cannot emphasize enough that I am so glad I took this tour on my first full day there! For the first half of the day, we went to 5 1/2 different sites. It happened to rain all throughout, but the sites were still so cool to see and never felt too rushed. The tour guide was excellent at explaining detail & facts about every site; even adding her own personal favorite things about every place, which was cool to hear from a local's perspective. Her English was very good and very understandable. Soyoung also always offered to take photos for us and would suggest the best backdrops to have in our photos. She wouldn't mind if you wanted to retake them. By the time we were just hungry enough, we went to a cool Korean BBQ place hidden within the Insadong alleyways. It was very local (exactly what I had in mind when I came to Korea - so it was perfect) and the food was good. The group that we started with included me and a family of five. The family of five only signed up for a half-day tour whereas I had signed up for a full-day tour. This meant that for the second half of the tour it was just me and the tour guide. Soyoung did a fantastic job of keeping up the conversation, making me feel comfortable, and stopping in stores whenever I wanted to. When we went to the Namdaemun Market she would help me look for specific items and helped to negotiate down the price when able. When we went to the Changdeokgung palace, not only did we get to take more time exploring the area, but we also stopped at a cafe where she bought me water and offered to buy me snacks as well. And, because it was raining so hard, she also let me borrow her brand-new, never-before-worn raincoat just to help keep me warm! (See photo) And at the end of the experience, instead of having the driver take me back and forth to my hotel (a two-hour total drive for the driver), she asked if we could use the subway instead. This ended up working perfectly because I had never used the Korean subway system! When Soyoung heard this she helped me to find a t-money card (a cute one that we took two stops to get, haha). She also showed me how to put money on the card and how to navigate the subway system. She sat with me for the hour-long subway back to my hotel! At the end of it all, she even offered to exchange contacts so that if I needed anything for the rest of my trip I could message her at any time! Basically, this was above anything I could’ve asked for! A very memorable experience! I would highly recommend going on this tour and going with Soyoung if you can.
Palace tour seoul
aurelia_m, July 2022
Was disappointed didn’t go to see the secret garden thought that was part of the tour ? Overall it was a good tour
Great tour and your guide
Manolis_K, May 2022
Ko and our driver were amazing and we've had a really enjoyable day sightseeing around the city! I'd definitely recommend this tour to anyone that wants to crump up a lot of the main attractions in one day :)
Daylong tour of Seoul
Jacques_A, May 2022
Nice daylong tour. Our guide, Gin, was knowledgeable, pleasant, not hurried. Last part was a little bit of a letdown since on Sunday many stores in the market are closed
Response from Host, May 2022
Greeting from Korea! This is Lala from Korea Tour. Thank you for your review! I'm so glad to hear you had a wonderful tour with our company. We appreciate your 5 stars review. If you have any questions about Korea, please let us know anytime. Hope to see you again in the future. Thanks!
My "seoul"
Jessica_H, Feb 2020
All the attractions and places we visited were incredible and our tour guide was so cute and sweet. Definitely recommend this tour.
THe tour was really informative and...
ORLANDO R, Sept 2018
THe tour was really informative and well paced, no rushing at all, the food was ok, the guide was amazing and energetic
Our tour guide Yoanni, or whatever...
Waldo_A, June 2018
Our tour guide Yoanni, or whatever her name was, was very overwhelming and always got upset if anyone stayed behind taking pictures. I personally felt rushed and didnt get as much from from the tour as I would have liked. Also, we visited TWO stores that were a HUGE waste of time! I didnt pay to go on this tour so I could have sellers trying to get more of my money, it was ridiculous. So much time wasted doing this! Ive done tours with viator all over the world and this one has to be the worst one. Waste of money!
A good tour, well paced and covers a...
Jordan_G, May 2018
A good tour, well paced and covers a nice diversity of sites. Enough time to see things without being rushed but not so much that it feels like you are lingering when you could be moving on. The chance to wander the street markets was good too. Our guide spoke well and was informative.
My husband and I are not fans of...
Chai Ling T, Dec 2017
My husband and I are not fans of museums and places so we chose this tour for the obligatory been-there-done-that experience. It was surprisingly fun and interesting. Tour guide Sonia from Holiday Tours and Travel was fantastic. Highly recommend this tour - a great all-in-one!
good basic overview but the afternoon...
Terri F, Dec 2017
good basic overview but the afternoon markets are a waste so I would find a different tour
This was a very pleasant tour with a...
Jovana_M, Sept 2017
This was a very pleasant tour with a friendly and knowledgeable guide... most appreciated!
This was an excellent experience and...
Samuel M, June 2017
This was an excellent experience and our tour guide Leslie was fantastic. This is a tour that moves along quickly so prepare to look and move on. I think the best thing about this tour was that it was a small group so we all go to know each other. This was one of the highlights of our trip to Seoul.

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