Romance, action, and palace intrigue—an epic historical K-drama is a great escape from real life. But it’s not just the elaborate hairpieces and period clothing setting the stage for a peek into the distant past. It’s the breathtaking backdrops that make the show come to life, from sweeping palace grounds to imposing fortresses.
The good news is, many of these historical sites are places that you can actually visit. Get lost in the past when you travel to these seven real-life historic attractions featured in our favorite Korean shows currently streaming on Viu.
Ondal Tourist Park (River Where The Moon Rises)
Ondal Tourist Park is particularly special because River Where The Moon Rises is one of our favorite K-dramas right now—historical or otherwise. Set in 6th century Goguryeo, the drama’s a spectacular re-telling of an age-old Korean folk tale of princess-turned assassin Pyongggang (Kim So-Hyun) and gentle fool-turned-general On Dal (Na In-Woo). Watch River Where The Moon Rises here.
Fans of the show will enjoy roaming Ondal Tourist Park, a park in Danyang County inspired by the love story between General On Dal and Princess Pyeonggang. Some of the interesting attractions on the grounds include the 450-million-year-old Ondal Cave and Ondalseong Fortress.
Goguryeo Blacksmith Village (River Where The Moon Rises)
Another important filming location of River Where The Moon Rises is the Goguryeo Blacksmith Village in Gyeonggi Province.
Found at the entrance of Achasan Mountain, the folk village shows off Gugoryeo’s ironware culture with a blacksmith’s shop, traditional houses, and a wide variety of blacksmith tools on display. Step back in time in this historic park and pay tribute to the dynasty that made its mark as one of the great powers of East Asia.
Gungnamji Pond (Mr. Queen)
In the fun-filled Mr. Queen, modern-day chef Jang Bong-Hwan (Choi Jin-Hyuk) falls into a pool and somehow ends up trapped in the body of a queen in the Joseon dynasty. Fans of the show will definitely recognize the picturesque Gungnamji Pond prominently featured in multiple episodes. Built by King Mu of the Baekje Dynasty, the pond in Buyeo, Chungnam is known as Korea’s first-ever artificial pond. Watch Mr. Queen here.
Gwanghalluwon Garden (Mr. Queen)
The ethereal beauty of Gwanghalluwon Garden is the perfect setting for the light-hearted period drama of Mr. Queen. Built by Hwang Hui Jeongseung in 1419 during the reign of Joseon Dynasty’s King Sejong, the idyllic park is said to be the first meeting place of the couple from Korean folklore Lee Mong-Ryong and Chunhyang.
Gyeongbokgung Palace (Goblin)
The main royal palace of the Joseon Dynasty, Gyeongbokgung Palace was the first and largest of all palaces built in that era. A tour of Gyeongbokgung Palace is a great activity for tourists, with numerous tourist attractions on the palace grounds, including the National Palace Museum of Korea and the National Folk Museum of Korea.
With the scenic landscape of Gyeongbokgung Palace, it’s no wonder that it’s found in a wide variety of K-dramas like When My Love Blooms, My Prettiest Daughter in the World (Mother of Mine), Temperature of Love, Legend of the Blue Sea, and Goblin.
Changdeokgung Palace (The Crowned Clown)
One of the most visually spectacular displays of Korean art and architecture, the magnificent Changdeokgung Palace from the Joseon Dynasty is a must-visit, whether you’re a K-drama fan or not.
If you are a fan, visiting the 15th-century palace is extra special. The beautiful gardens of Changdeokgung Palace make multiple appearances in The Crowned Clown, a prince-and-pauper drama about Joseon King Lee Hun (Yeo Jin-Goo), who puts an identical-looking clown on the throne to avoid assassination. The palace is also the setting of popular shows like Moonlight Drawn by Clouds (Love in the Moonlight) and The Royal Gambler.
Baekje Cultural Land (Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo)
Built to celebrate the rich history and culture of the Baekje kingdom, Baekje Cultural Land features majestic replicas of historically important buildings, including Sabigung Palace, Neungsa Temple, and the Living Cultural Village.
As the largest historical theme park in South Korea, it’s a very popular setting for television shows and movies. The well-loved historical romance Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo starring IU uses the park as its primary shooting location. Watch Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo here.
The Korean park is also seen in An Empress’s Dignity (The Last Empress).
Love historical K-dramas? If you’ve binged most—if not all—dramas on this list, there’s an upcoming fantasy historical romance on Viu that may be up your alley. Lovers of the Red Sky tells the story of a female painter in the Joseon era (Kim Yoo-Jung) who falls in love with a blind astronomy officer (Ahn Hyo-Seop). Watch the trailer of Lovers of the Red Sky here.
Visit Viu to watch K-dramas and more Asian series!