Sungnyemun Gate
Sungnyemun Gate
4
Historic SitesPoints of Interest & Landmarks
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Top ways to experience Sungnyemun Gate and nearby attractions

The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Myeongdong
Arguably Seoul’s most famous neighbourhood and undoubtedly one of its most popular, Myeongdong takes shopping and eating to new heights, with hundreds of shops, restaurants, and cafes all stacked on top of one another. The rise in popularity of Korean cosmetics, fashion, and more has made this area a must-see for visitors who come and marvel at Myeongdong’s often frenetic pace and energy. Lotte and Shinsaegae’s massive department stores are also popular draws for both Korean and luxury products. The department stores, just like Myeongdong’s streets, are crowded around the clock. Myeongdong’s many street food carts are also immensely popular for their inexpensive and quirky offerings (French-fry-encrusted corn dogs, anyone?). The neighbourhood’s popularity, as well as its close proximity to other popular sights and neighbourhoods, makes it one of Seoul’s most popular places to stay.
How to get there
  • Hoehyeon • 4 min walk
  • Seoul • 9 min walk
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See what travellers are saying
  • fire-tower
    3,063 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    National Treasure No. 1
    We have previously visited Sungnyemun both in the day as well as at night. This time round, we visited it in the morning in winter. There were guards in traditional costume watching over Namdaemun Gate. It’s interesting to note that Namdaemun was given the status of "National Treasure No. 1" on 20 Dec 1962, and before the 2008 fire, it was the oldest wooden structure in Seoul.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 26 January 2024
  • NICHOLAS T
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates9,518 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth a visit
    This is a large, impressive, historical gate building in Downtown Seoul. The high rise buildings behind it offer an interesting contrast of the old and new of the city. It is free to access and well worth a look if you are in Seoul.
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 6 April 2024
  • macedonboy
    Glasgow, United Kingdom185,717 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Magnificent Old City Gate With Traditional Guards
    Also known as the south gate for obvious reasons, this monumental gate was part of the now gone city walls. It's been wonderfully restored and has amazing looking dougong brackets and chiwen decorations. There were even 3 guards standing at the entrance, like the olden days. A very beautiful landmark.
    Visited May 2024
    Travelled with friends
    Written 18 May 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles347 reviews
Excellent
92
Very good
162
Average
81
Poor
10
Terrible
2

Fadhlur Rahman
Shah Alam, Malaysia6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Solo
Is a good place to visit to see the historical gate in Seoul with a unique architecture.

Namdaemun, officially known as the Sungnyemun, is one of the Eight Gates in the Fortress Wall of Seoul, South Korea, which surrounded the city in the Joseon dynasty. It is located in Jung-gu between Seoul Station and Seoul Plaza, with the historic 24-hour Namdaemun Market next to the gate
Written 2 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CanisHan
Seoul, South Korea26,434 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2020
C ( 20.12.16 )
This architecture was one of landmark in Seoul, and National Treasure No.1. There was not big area, but understood about Choseon's architecture shape. There was very good point to start Seoul tour, and Namdaemun traditional market was located beside this architecture.
Written 20 December 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

macedonboy
Glasgow, UK185,717 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Friends
Also known as the south gate for obvious reasons, this monumental gate was part of the now gone city walls. It's been wonderfully restored and has amazing looking dougong brackets and chiwen decorations. There were even 3 guards standing at the entrance, like the olden days. A very beautiful landmark.
Written 18 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

NICHOLAS T
Dubai, United Arab Emirates9,518 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
This is a large, impressive, historical gate building in Downtown Seoul. The high rise buildings behind it offer an interesting contrast of the old and new of the city.

It is free to access and well worth a look if you are in Seoul.
Written 6 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

fire-tower
3,063 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
We have previously visited Sungnyemun both in the day as well as at night. This time round, we visited it in the morning in winter. There were guards in traditional costume watching over Namdaemun Gate. It’s interesting to note that Namdaemun was given the status of "National Treasure No. 1" on 20 Dec 1962, and before the 2008 fire, it was the oldest wooden structure in Seoul.
Written 26 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Janet1016
Ottawa, Canada1,000 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
One evening while walking around the Namdaemun Market looking for a place to eat dinner, we walked out a back alley and found the Sungnyemun Gate in all it's glory right across the street. It was surreal really, and a stunning piece of architecture.

Sungnyemun Gate (literally meaning 'the gate of exalted ceremonies') was built between 1396 and 1398 and has been repaired and restored on numerous occasions over the centuries. There used to be four main gates to the city (which used to be called Hanyang, and is now present day Seoul) We learned that if we came back the next morning that there was a 'Changing of the Guard Ceremony' performed for the Public. There is signage close by to tell you of the hours.

Sungnyemun Gate has a base of stonework with a half-round arch in the center and a gorgeous big door facing south. On top of that, there was a two-story wooden pavilion; the first floor of the pavilion was equipped with small doors on the east and west sides, and the second floor had wood-paneled windows on every side.

There are photos of the Gate taken after the Korean War when it had been damaged which are fascinating.

We showed up the next morning just in the nick of time. It was the end of January and there were only two other people there. The Guards are dressed in period uniforms from the Joseon Dynasty and it's really breath taking to get a sneak peek in to the past. A very nice security guard told us when we could approach and when we needed to stand back. They let us get up super close and I got some great photos. We were in Seoul during the Corona-virus scare so all the guards and staff were wearing masks.

We were in Seoul for a week and visiting this Gate and watching the Guard ceremony was definitely one of the highlights of our visit. (And it's free!!!!)

I love Changing of the Guard Ceremonies. I live in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and have been to see the Changing of the Guard Ceremonies on Parliament Hill tons of times so it was really fun to get to compare with the Ceremony in Seoul. They too had a marching band!!!!
Written 27 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nicholas D
Larne, UK1,092 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2019
Just down the main strip from Gyeongbokgung Palace is a junction that spilts in several locations and in the middle of this junction is an ancient gate called "Sungnyemun Gate". It is part of the ancient city wall that surrounded the capital of Seoul in the Josean dynasty and is one of the oldest remaining features of the wall in Seoul today. It is a great place to visit on the way to Namdaemun Market and there are daily activities at the gate including Changing of the Guard ceremonies which occur daily every 2-3 times in the day. You can get some photos with the guards at the end of the ceremony which makes for some great holiday photos.
Written 26 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ileannkneel
Kelowna, Canada1,059 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
The gate is right beside a 5 street intersection; the entrance to the gate is on the opposite side from the intersection. I wandered for a bit before finding it. Once in (which was quick as there is no admission and no one was around), it was quite impressive both to its sheer size and the fact that there is nothing preventing anyone form actually touching it. I would have thought that a national treasure such as this and being as old as it is, there would be heavy security and boundaries set so as to keep curious hands at bay. Not so. Feel free to touch away. And look up when passing through the gate. The murals in the ceiling are Sistine Chapel-like... ok, not really but still pretty cool.
Written 6 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Scott W
Glen Iris, Australia763 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Solo
One of the 4 main gates in Seoul, reconstructed many times most recently in 2008, Sungnyemun Gate is impressive and great for some photos, but not really much to do there. There is a changing of the guard to add some colour (I missed it, but had previously seen the change at Deoksugung - its only a 10 min walk from Deoksugung to Sungnyemun). It's a good place to start a visit to the Namdeamun Market (there is an underpass from Sungnyemun gate to the top of the markets. Worth a quick stop and photo opportunity. More photogenic than Dongdaemun Gate and easier to get a good angle.
Written 14 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

stevebintley
Bedford, UK8,665 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2018 • Solo
Located in the centre of a busy junction there’s certainly a contrast between the surrounding office buildings and this cultural landmark. It offers a particularly good photo opportunity at night with the passing vehicle lights and is lit up beautifully. There isn’t a huge amount to look at but what is there is worth taking the time to admire, and there’s plenty of signage explaining the history and significance of the gate. Everywhere is well kept and clean, plus on my weekend visit it wasn’t busy with tourists either.

Given that it’s free to enter the grounds and walk through the gate it’s a must see, certainly on a first visit to the city.
Written 15 April 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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SUNGNYEMUN GATE (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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