Set opposite the modern Jongno Tower, the ornate Bosingak Belfry houses a replica of the city bell originally forged in 1468. Costumed guards patrol the pavilion, which is known for its daily bell-ringing ceremony, during which the bell is rung 12 times to mark the noon hour. The original city bell is on display at the National Museum of Korea.
Along with the changing of the guard ceremony at Gyeongbokgung Palace, the Bosingak bell-ringing ceremony ranks as a favorite tradition among both locals and visitors. A small-group walking tour is a great way to visit Bosingak Belfry, allowing you to take in other attractions in Seoul, such as Gyeonghuigung Palace, Daehamun, Cheonggyecheon Plaza, and the various landmarks of Jongno, the city’s busy financial hub.
Things to Know Before You Go
Bosingak Belfry is popular with kids and families.
Bring your camera for a photo op in front of the replica bell.
Admission to Bosingak Belfry is free.
The belfry is wheelchair-accessible, and accessible restrooms can be found in Jongno Tower across the street.
How to Get There
The Bosingak Belfry is located along Jongno, the major financial and cultural center of Seoul, and is easily walkable from Gwanghwamun Square. Alternatively, take Seoul Subway line 1 to Jonggak Station and use exit 4.
When to Get There
Try to visit during the daily bell-ringing ceremony, which begins at around 11:30am Tuesday to Sunday. The bell is also the site of a New Year’s Eve celebration, where it’s rung 33 times at midnight to welcome the new year.
Ringing of the Bosingak Bell
Today the bell within Bosingak Belfry only gets rung once a day at most, but it wasn’t always like that. During the Joseon dynasty, the bell rang out 33 times each morning at 4am to represent the start of a new day (33 is the number of Buddhist heavens). Each evening, the bell was rung another 28 times to signal the closing of the city gates for the night.
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