Get an excellent overview of Seoul on this full-day sightseeing tour of the city's top attractions. With a guide, you'll visit Jogyesa Temple, Gyeongbokgung Palace, the National Folk Museum, N Seoul Tower and Namsangol Hanok Village; watch the changing of the guard at Gwanghwamun Gate; and drive by the Blue House (Cheongwadae). Enjoy a Korean lunch in Insadong, and stop at a ginseng center and amethyst factory. You'll gain an understanding of Korea's culture and history as you explore the highlights of this bustling capital city.
After morning pickup from your hotel, travel by comfortable coach to your first stop of the day, Jogyesa Temple, the chief Buddhist temple in Korea and a calm sanctuary from the busy streets of Seoul.
Next, drive by the Blue House (Cheongwadae), home to the South Korean president. Located at the foot of Mt Bugaksan, the presidential complex exemplifies traditional Korean architecture.
Continue to Gyeongbokgung Palace, the primary residence of the royal family during the Joseon Dynasty. Constructed in the 14th century and the largest of the Five Grand Palaces, Gyeongbokgung is considered the most beautiful palace in Seoul. Walk around the compound with your guide to see traditional Joseon architecture, and keep your camera handy for the changing of the guard ceremony at Gwanghwamun Gate.
Within the compound, visit the National Folk Museum to learn about how people have lived in Korea from ancient times to today. Your guide shows you displays that demonstrate daily life for members of the aristocracy and ordinary citizens, including traditional farming and hunting techniques, weaving, cooking and other tasks.
Stop at the ginseng center to learn about the reputed medicinal uses of the sought-after plant, and then take a break for lunch in Insadong, a neighborhood known for its traditional tea houses and antique galleries. Relax over a nutritious plate of bibimbap (rice with vegetables and meat) or bulgogi (grilled marinated beef) at a restaurant, and then enjoy some time to shop for authentic Korean souvenirs at the array of small stores.
After lunch, head over to N Seoul Tower, which stands on Mt Namsan in central Seoul, and take the elevator up to the observation deck to enjoy panoramic views over the city. Then visit Namsangol Hanok Village, where your guide leads you on a walk around this model village that features five hanok (traditional Korean homes) from the Joseon Dynasty. The restored houses illustrate various social classes, from peasants to royalty. You can also admire the site's traditional Korean-style garden with an elegant pavilion and stream.
Finally, stop at an amethyst factory before your day tour ends with hotel drop-off.