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Jongmyo Shrine
Jongmyo Shrine

Jongmyo Shrine

157 Jong-ro, Hunjeong-dong, Jongno, Seoul, South Korea

The Basics

Touring the world’s oldest Confucian sanctuary offers insight not only into Korean history, but also into Confucianism. Many sightseeing tours of Seoul include a stop at Jongmyo Shrine, and visitors traveling independently are required to join one of the guided tours that are offered at scheduled times throughout the week. It’s also possible to enter the shrine with a combo ticket of Seoul’s palaces, including Changdeokgung, Changgyeonggung, Deoksugung, and Gyeongbokgung as well as Jongmyo.

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World Cultural Heritage Full-day tour from Seoul including Suwon Hwaseong
World Cultural Heritage Full-day tour from Seoul including Suwon Hwaseong
star-4.5
$132.31 per adult
Traveler Favorite
We entered our hotel lobby early and...
We entered our hotel lobby early and three of them were already waiting for us--a driver, Jeanie our tour guide, and another lady who said little probably tour-guide-in-training. Good start. And it turned out we were their only guests, so it was essentially a private tour. Jeanie's English took some effort to understand/follow, but she was very patient with us. At first we worried we had inadvertantly signed up for a duplicate tour of the previous day's sites, but she took us to a different, temporary, Palace, a Shrine, and a different Village--this one was an actual village where people lived, not where the government moved houses from different places to make a village of five houses. We saw an actual Fortress still active, where we walked part of the grounds, then rode a trolley around the rest of it. We attended a Martial Arts show with a crowd of locals. We visited the Palace Museum on the grounds of the Palace we had toured the previous day and learned about the history of Korean royalty. Lunch was bibimbong--delicious! Best thing: no mandatory factory tours!
Victor C, Apr 2017

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Jongmyo Shrine is a must-visit for history buffs and spiritual travelers.

  • Plan to book a tour ahead of time, because a limited number of visitors are admitted each day.

  • Tours of the shrine last about an hour.

  • Guided tours of the site are available in English, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese.

  • Jongmyo Shrine is wheelchair accessible, and offers wheelchair rentals and accessible restrooms.

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How to Get There

Jongmyo Shrine is well-connected by public transportation. Take the Seoul Subway (Line 1, 3, or 5) to Jongno 3-ga Station and leave through Exit 11. Several public buses serve the Jongmyo Shrine bus stop.

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When to Get There

Jongmyo Shrine is open Wednesdays to Mondays throughout the year, with extended hours in summer. On the first Sunday of May, Jongmyo hosts a memorial service called Jongmyo Jaery, a rite lasting about six hours and thought to be the oldest ceremony in the world.

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Architecture of Jongmyo Shrine

Unlike the ornate Joseon Dynasty palaces in Seoul, Jongmyo’s Confucian architecture is characterized by simplicity and austerity. Although the shrine has been restored throughout the centuries, it looks much like it did in the 16th century, including its strikingly simple gable roof.

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