Spend your morning at two UNESCO World Heritage sites in Seoul with a local guide. This 3.5-hour coach tour reveals the highlights of Changdeokgung Palace, a royal palace of the Joseon Dynasty that features stunning pavilions. View the royal family residence and then learn about the significance of Confucianism at the Jongmyo Shrine. Find Korean treasures while shopping at a ginseng center or an amethyst factory, and explore the art galleries in the alleys of Insadong before you're dropped off in Itaewon, a neighborhood brimming with restaurants, shops and bars.
After pickup by air-conditioned coach from your Seoul hotel in the morning, you're taken to Changdeokgung Palace, the best preserved of the 'Five Grand Palaces' of the Joseon Dynasty. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage site with your guide, including its grand pavilions and royal family residence, and learn why Changdeokgung served for a long period as the main palace of the Joseon kings.
(Note: On Mondays, when Changdeokgung Palace is closed, you'll visit Gyeongbokgung Palace, the largest of the Joseon Dynasty palaces. Constructed in 1395 and restored after its destruction during the Japanese occupation, Gyeongbokgung showcases Korean life at its National Folk Museum.)
Your next stop is the UNESCO-listed Jongmyo Shrine, built to hold the ancestral tablets of the kings of the Joseon Dynasty. Listen as your guide describes this royal place of worship ' the oldest and most authentic of the Confucian shrines preserved in Seoul.
(Note: You'll visit the Seoul Museum of History on Tuesdays, when Jongmyo Shrine is closed.)
After your visit, drop by a local ginseng center for medicinal herbs or an amethyst factory to see professionally crafted jewelry using one of Korea's most famous gems.
Reboard the coach for Insadong and explore the art and antiques galleries, teashops and Korean craft stores. Find goods like calligraphy materials and antique furniture, or ask your guide to help you search for souvenirs to take home with you.
Your tour ends in neighboring Itaewon, whose numerous restaurants, shops and bars make it an ideal spot from which to continue to explore Seoul on your own.