During the Joseon Dynasty, Jongmyo Shrine was a place of worship and memorial services for deceased kings and queens. The shrine is also the oldest royal Confucian shrine preserved, and its ancient customs, being an Important Intangible Cultural Assest No. 56 let it to be designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site on 9 December 1995.
In present day Korea, people visit Jongmyo Shrine to understand more of the rituals and memorial services that took place in the past. Visitors have to follow a guided tour on weekdays, which are conducted in Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese at specific times. Visitors may enter the shrine freely only on Saturdays. The guided tour takes about an hour to complete, and are free of charge. Visitors pay only for the entrance ticket, which costs only 1,000KRW per adult and 500KRW for youths aged 7 to 18.
If you would like to explore the area freely or to take pictures at your own leisure we would suggest coming down on a Saturday. However, if you would like to find out more about the history of the shrine as well as the memorial services conducted during the Joseon Dyasty, we would highly recommend the free guided tours on weekdays. Visitors get to learn more about the Confucian teachings that go behind the various memorial services, as well as reaons this place has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
How to get to Jongmyo Shrine:
Getting to Jongmyo Shrine is simple. It is located less than 200m away from Jongno 3-ga Station, Line 1/3/5, Exit 11. After exiting from Exit 11, walk straight for about 50m until you see a park on your left. Simply head inwards to the main entrance to purchase your admission ticket to Jongmyo Shrine.
Do however take note of the following timings for the guided tours:
- Korean: 0920 ~ 1620 (every hour), 1700 (Mar to Sep only)
- English: 1000, 1200, 1400, 1600
- Chinese: 1100, 1300, 1500
- Japanese: 0900, 0940, 1040, 1140, 1240, 1340, 1440, 1540, 1640
- Address: 157, Jong-ro, Jungno-gu, Seoul
- Subway: Jongno 3-ga Station, Line 1/3/5, Exit 11
- Opening Hours: 0900 ~ 1800 (Feb to May, Sep to Oct), 0900 ~ 1830 (Jun to Aug). Closed on Tuesdays.
- Website: http://www.jikimi.cha.go.kr
- Contact Number: +82 2-765-0195
- Email: NA