A smart way of beating the summer heat is to tour the relaxing, shaded paths of the royal palaces, and doubling it up with a visit to a museum makes it ever the more charming. Deoksugung Palace, then, with the National Museum of Contemporary Art within its embrace, is an ideal destination. Built in the mid-fifteenth century, the palace vividly contrasts modern Seoul with traditional Korea. Many locals visit the palace during lunch as a short escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown life.
EAT> Eating a bowl of patbingsu (a shaved ice dessert) under the shady trees on palace grounds will hit the spot.
BUY> The museum, designed by British architect G. R. Harding, was built between 1900 and 1910 as an annex to the royal palace.
SEE> The Changing of the Royal Guard can be seen in front of the palace’s Daehanmun Gate.