Travel period Feb 2017
We have completed our tour with watching this ceremony. As we arrived earlier than the schedule, we noticed a lot of people already piling up and securing their spots.
Watch the changing royal guard re-enactment
The royal guard under Joseon dynasty was responsible for protecting the capital and the royal palace. Because of this responsibility, they were also responsible for opening and closing the gate of the royal palace.
The royal guard worked by shifts; divided into day shift and night shift. The re-enactment of the original ceremony began from 1996. The gate guardsmen serve their sentry, perform the changing of guards and hold a parade.
Garbed in traditional costumes of primary colors, the guards have caught our interest, complemented by the weapons, accessories and strict ceremonial procedure. This spectacle provided a great opportunity of a rare traditional Korean scene in downtown Seoul.
After the changing ceremony, the guards settled at their respective posts at the Gwanghwamun Gate. This is your opportunity to take a memorable picture with the guard.
Excluding Tuesday, it is best to know the schedule of the performances at the Palace. There are three performances to watch out for:
Sumunjang (Royal Guard) Changing Ceremony at 10:00, 14:00 and 20 minutes per ceremony
Gwanghwamun Gate Guard-on Duty Performance at 11:00, 13:00 and 10 minutes per ceremony
Sumungun (Gatekeeper) Military Training (outside Hyeopsaengmun Gate) at 9:30, 13:30 and 15 minutes per ceremony
Note: No ceremonies and performances on Tuesday
Admission is FREE
Getting There: Take Subway Line 3 to Gyeongbokgung Station (Exit 5) OR Subway Line 3 to Anguk Station (Exit 1).