Gwanghwamun Square is located right outside the Gwanghwamun or “Gwanghwa Gate”, the main and largest gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace. My first sight of the square was on board a bus on our way to the palace but hubby insisted that we have to check the royal grounds first before anything else. Two days after, we finally got to wander around the plaza, and the plan, it seems, turned out better than expected without having to worry about the palace gates closing.
The main street leading to Gyeongbokgung is called Sejongno (세종로). This used to be a traffic-only street but underwent an urban renewal sometime in 2008 and has since then been enjoyed by tourist and locals alike as a public recreational space. The atmosphere was very friendly, there were, as a matter of fact, kids playing around the water fountain. Hubby took this opportunity to throw water on me too!
The highlight of the square is the statue of King Sejong the Great, the fourth and most respected king of the Joseon Dynasty and creator of the Hangul (Korea’s alphabet), and the statue of Admiral Yi Sunshin, a naval commander noted for his victories against the Japanese navy.
My personal favorite, however, is the photo booth which offers free photo shoot while wearing the traditional Korean clothing (Hanbok). It is delightfully something any tourist would not expect, but definitely not something to complain about ;)
TRAVELLER’S NOTE : The easiest access to Gwanghwamun Square is a stop at Gwanghwamun Station on Seoul Subway Line 5: Exit 9 – Haechi Madang, an underground walkway that connects the station to the Plaza. The square is also more beautiful and more charming at night :)