The Korea Herald


Joseon palaces offer something extra

By Choi Si-young

Published : April 2, 2024 - 15:37

    • Link copied

A traditional royal dessert centered on “juak,” or fried rice cake (CHA) A traditional royal dessert centered on “juak,” or fried rice cake (CHA)

Starting this month, three palaces from the Joseon era in Seoul will add something extra to their tours: a venue to taste “royal desserts” and audio guides.

Gyeongbokgung will open up Saenggwabang, the kitchen where desserts and refreshments for the Joseon royal household were prepared.

Seven snack options, including “juak” -- fried rice cake -- and therapeutic herbal tea prepared according to a recipe written by the king’s doctors in 1607 will be offered to visitors, according to the Cultural Heritage Administration on Tuesday.

Ordering a set of the snacks, priced at 15,000 won, requires a reservation via, where each person can book a spot for a 70-minute tasting session that takes place four times daily, from April 17 to June 24. Booking starts at 2 p.m. Wednesday, and again at the same time on April 30. Each session is limited to 32 people.

Since Monday, foreigner-exclusive reservations for Gyeongbokgung tours have been open at for tours scheduled from May 1-4.

Meanwhile, Changdeokgung is offering a smartphone audio guide for tours of the palace’s garden, which is the largest royal garden, built in 1405.

A QR code, scanned at the palace entrance, will provide access to the audio guide in English, Japanese, Chinese or sign language.

Tours start every hour starting at 10 a.m. through May 19. An additional fee of 3,000 won is required beyond the 3,000 won ticket for general admission. Tickets are available at the ticket booth or at

A guide with deep knowledge of the flora and landscape of Changgyeonggung will lead tours of the palace adjacent to Changdeokgung. The 90-minute journey that departs at 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through Nov. 30 will discuss topics like carbon emissions.

The first 20 to arrive at the Okcheon Bridge, located in front of the Changgyeonggung entrance, will be able to join the tour upon presentation of the 1,000 won palace admission ticket. Find the latest updates at