"The Blue House" Cheong Wa Dae Tour with a Toddler
We booked the tour of South Korea's presidential house, Cheong Wa Dae, also called The Blue House, as soon as we arrived in Seoul. Three months later, we took our tour! It doesn't necessarily take that long to take the tour but if you want flexibility on dates and times, it is best to book as far in advance as possible. The website is in English and is fairly easy to navigate. Be prepared to give your passport information when booking. We drove there and parking was easy to find since our tour was at 10am and we got there early. We parked at the Gyeongbokgung Palace parking, as suggested by the tour.
The tour desk and the bus pick up location are all located in the parking lot. The parking lot is to the right of the Palace when standing directly in front of the Palace. We stayed in the area for over 4 hours and parking was only 9,000 Won. Make sure you utilize the restroom in the parking area before you get on the bus since there was only one other opportunity to go during the tour. The restroom in the parking area does have a baby changing station inside.
Roughly 30 minutes before the tour the tour desk opened and all reservations and passports were checked and rechecked before getting on the bus. Each tour participant was given a pass, even Sam! The bus ride from the parking lot to Cheong Wa Dae was only 10 minutes. We did not load the same bus on the return trip so I wouldn't recommend bringing a carseat.
Once we arrived at the presidential grounds we were given gifts, 2 boxes of mugs and 2 notepads. This was a very nice gesture but already totting a sippy cup sojourner, a diaper bag, and an extra carrier, our hands were already full. In hindsight I wish we would have carried an extra reusable bag to stuff all the goodies. Thankfully as we entered the welcome building I noticed a large collection of strollers for rent. Whew! I still carried Sam in her Ergo but it was nice to have the rented stroller to tote around all the extras.
Other than the welcome video in the beginning of the tour the tour is entirely outdoors. Thankfully the fall weather was perfect for outdoor tour. Make sure to dress your sippy cup sojourner for the weather.
The tour was given in Korean but we were given headsets to listen to translations of the tour. The actual tour only lasted for roughly 1 hour so Sam did well. She was able to walk along with the group and be carried in the Ergo.
For more information check out the Gyeongbokgung Palace blog.)
If you prefer a picnic lunch with plenty of space for little ones to run around, there is a shaded area near the parking lot and next to the Palace.
Cheong Wa Dae on Facebook
Registration for Foreigners Site
Cheong Wa Dae Website in English