There are certain factors that make Korean historical dramas as addictive as modern Korean dramas: stunning scenery, beautiful traditional costumes, and captivating stories. They allow you to explore the vibrant culture and traditions of Korea in a fun and exciting way.
Although they typically revolve around palace conspiracies, throne rivalry, and political issues, they come in a variety of genres—action, romance, comedy, mystery, and more—to make the plot more compelling.
Whether you're looking for a drama to rewatch or binge-watch, our list of the best Korean historical dramas below will help you find one you're sure to love.
Top 15 Korean Historical Dramas
There is a wide range of historical dramas to choose from and choosing what to watch can be daunting. To help you, we have listed the 15The best historical K-dramasYou will love!
- Mr Queen (2020)
- Moon Lover: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (2016)
- Kingdom (2019)
- Die Rotate Mango (2021)
- The Crowned Clown (2019)
- Kaiserin Ki (2013)
- Historian novice Goo Hae-ryung (2019)
- The King's Affection (2021)
- Hwarang (2016)
- Moonlight Love (2016)
- 100 days my prince (2018)
- The Anthem of Death (2018)
- Dong Yi (2010)
- Jewel in the Palace (2003)
- jumon (2006)
1. Mr. Queen (2020)
The latest Korean historical drama Mr. Queen, you will never get bored. Each episode contains a lot of funny scenes that will make you laugh. So if you want to have a good laugh, don't miss it!
Its story follows a modern man named Jang Bong-Hwan. He works at the Blue House (South Korea's presidential residence) as a cook and leads a normal life. He until one day he is involved in an accident in which he falls into a pool and mysteriously sends his soul back to the Joseon Dynasty.
As soon as he wakes up, he finds himself in the body of Kim So-Yong... a woman and future queen! Desperate, he tries to get home and tries to drown himself again, but sadly fails. He gets trapped in the palace and involved in a political marriage with King Cheoljong, who tends to hide his true personality.
2. Moon Lover: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (2016)
If you are looking for a perfectly paced Korean historical drama that will take you on a roller coaster of emotions, you will definitely love Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo.
The story revolves around an unhappy and heartbroken young woman, Go Ha-jin, who lives in the 21st century. After running from a desperate situation, she ends up on a dock. She there wallows in self-pity, but finally snaps back when a drowning boy catches her eye.
Ha-jin dives into the water to save the boy. She carries the boy safely to her parents, but just as she is about to come out of the water, the sky darkens and there is a total eclipse of the sun. An unknown force pulls her underwater, causing her to lose consciousness from it. She ends up traveling back in time to the Goryeo dynasty.
She meets the royal princes and then meets the cold-hearted fourth prince, Wang So. As she tries to adjust to the changes, she finds herself caught up in the princes' conflicts and rivalry for the throne.
3er Reino (2019)
If you've watched a lot of modern zombie apocalypse series or movies and are craving something new, Kingdom is definitely worth watching! It's also a zombie horror series, except it's set in the medieval Joseon period.
The horror of the carnivorous monsters begins when the king dies of smallpox. With the access plan of the Supreme Council of State, he forces the royal physician to turn the king into a mindless, bloodthirsty monster and keep him alive until his daughter, the queen, gives birth to the crown prince.
The current crown prince, Lee Chang, hopes to see his father, so he asks the queen to check on the king's status. The Queen refuses his request, but he begins his own investigation. While he searches for the king's doctor, a mysterious plague spreads through the city and puts him in a difficult situation.
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4. Die Rotate Mango (2021)
The Red Sleeve tells the loving love story of the crown prince of Joseon, Yi San, and the maid of honor Sung Deok Im. Determined to become the ideal heir to the throne, San strives to be perfect, making him appear cold and arrogant to those he meets. . He then meets Deok Im, a mischievous but wild and strong-willed young woman, and eventually falls in love with her.
San ascends the throne and becomes King Jeongjo of Joseon. Since he wants Deok Im to stay by his side, he asks her to be his official concubine. But to become a concubine, Deok Im must give up her freedom and the peaceful life she values most.
This drama shows how miserable and sad life in the palace can be. It also gives a new vision of the historical drama, since it follows the perspective of the bridesmaids.
5. The Crowned Clown (2019)
The Crowned Clown is a gripping drama about a mad king and his double clown. To avoid the dangers of assassination and unknown enemies, the king's closest advisers decide to protect him with Ha Sun, a clown who eerily resembles him.
Ha Sun's main goal is to assume the role of king by protecting the throne. However, his mission is complicated when the true king dies and the beautiful queen slowly falls in love with him. He now he too must make everyone believe that the king is alive and well, so that no one dares to take the throne for himself.
Overall, this drama has a well-developed political plot with a mix of forbidden romance. It also reveals the intricacies and intrigues of the palace that will keep you glued to the screen until the very last episode.
6. Kaiserin Ki (2013)
Empress Ki is a moving and moving drama that will ignite your anticipation of what could happen in the upcoming episodes. With 51 episodes, it's a perfect choice if you want to stick with a drama for a long time. It may sound like a lot, but this one is really worth a look.
It follows the journey of a girl named Ki Seungnyang, who disguises herself as a boy to avoid being a concubine, in homage to Yuan. But her life begins to change when her true identity is discovered and she is forced to become a palace servant.
With her ambition, courage, and stamina, she aspires from being a low-ranking palace lady to a powerful empress of China's Yuan Dynasty.
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7. Historic Rookie Goo Hae-ryung (2019)
In the 19th century, the traditional role of women was to marry and be a housewife. Goo Hae Ryung, a free-spirited woman, refuses to be forced into marriage, so she works as a reader for those who can't read. She then happily seizes the rare opportunity to become a historian in the royal palace.
While competing with other female historians, she meets a reclusive prince named Lee Rim, who secretly loves to write novels. They start to like each other and eventually fall in love. As their romance intensifies, some shocking secrets about them are revealed.
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8. The King's Affection (2021)
The King's Affection has to be on our list of the best Korean historical dramas!
In the Joseon Dynasty, a crown princess gives birth to royal twins. During this time, the birth of twins serves as a sign that bad things are about to happen, so the king issues an order to kill the princess and save the prince's life.
In order to save the girl, the crown princess fakes the girl's death and secretly asks her trusted guard to get her daughter out of the palace. Years passed and the princess grew up among commoners. However, her peaceful life is turned upside down when her twin brother dies.
The crown princess decides to have her son's death annulled and convinces her to live in the palace like her twin brother, Lee Hwi. Every day she tries her best to act like her twin brother, but hiding her true identity becomes even more complicated when she falls in love with Lee Hwi's teacher, Jung Ji-Un.
9. Hwarang (2016)
Since the king's death, Queen Mother Kim Ji Soo Silla has ruled. To protect her son and the throne of the nobles, she creates an elite group of warrior poets called "Hwarang". The gang formed is made up of men of aristocratic background who swear allegiance to defend Silla and the royal family from him.
During training, the young warriors develop brotherly friendships. Little did they know that one of them is the son of the queen, the future king of her. Conflicts arise and things get complicated when a rumor spreads that the hidden king is one of the Hwarang.
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10. Moonlight Love (2016)
Love in the Moonlight is another palace romance drama that will make you fall in love with its dreamy and romantic scenes. The story is about Hong Ra On, a girl who disguises herself as a man to fulfill her mother's wish. Going by the name Sam Nom, she makes a living as a relationship counselor through ghost writing and dating advice.
One day he accepts his adviser's offer to settle his debts. All she has to do is pretend to be him and meet the woman she writes letters to. This leads her to Crown Prince Lee Yeong, who appears in the place of her younger sister.
After a few days, Ra On is sold to the palace as a eunuch candidate, causing her to cross paths with the crown prince again. The two continue to get on each other's nerves, but eventually Lee Yeong develops feelings for Ra On without knowing her true identity. Will he solve Ra On's secret? Find out by watching this drama!
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11. 100 days, my prince (2018)
Beginning with a childhood love story, Lee Yul, the young nephew of King Joseon, meets and falls in love with the young Yoon Yiseo. Yul tries his best to impress her and then promises to marry her when they are older than her. Tragedy strikes one night when Yul witnesses the murder of Yiseo's family on the orders of his father.
This horrifying event makes Yul's father the new king of Joseon as he becomes a cold-hearted crown prince linked to a crown princess by forced marriage. After a series of events, Yul is ambushed by assassins and suffers from amnesia. He then meets Yiseo again, who is now a commoner named Hong-shim.
Since Hong-shim is the oldest girl in her village, her father takes advantage of Yul's amnesia and makes her believe that he is Hong-shim's fiancé. With no memory of her past, he is her husband for 100 days.
12. The Anthem of Death (2018)
The Anthem of Death is a miniseries based on the true story of Yun Sim-Deok, Korea's first female soprano, and Kim Woo-Jin, a playwright. Its bittersweet story takes place under the Japanese occupation. Woo-Jin is unhappily married while running the family business. Meanwhile, Sim-Deok is doing everything he can to support her family.
Woo-Jin slowly falls in love with her, but his responsibilities to their families prohibit mutual feelings and love. This drama is great if you want to witness a touching love story of two people who just want to live their lives freely. Just keep some tissues on hand because this is a tear!
13. Dong Yi (2010)
Here is another lengthy drama that is well worth your time. It is the love story of Dong Yi, a humble servant, and King Sukjong of the Joseon Dynasty. She is a simple water maiden in the palace who attracts the king's attention and interest with his playful personality.
He is strong-willed and does his best to overcome any challenge in his life. She even impresses the queen and king, turning her from a slave to a high-ranking concubine.
14. Jewel in the Palace (2003)
If you're an avid fan of Korean historical drama, you can't skip the classic Jewel in the Palace. This drama follows Jang Geum, a determined woman, who fights to prove that women can influence society just as much as men. Orphaned, she becomes a cook and later the king's first doctor.
His ambition doesn't stop there as he is also studying Korean cooking and medicine to help the ailing king. In addition to Jang Geum's journey, this drama also introduces traditional Korean culture such as Korean cuisine and medicine.
15. Jumong (2006)
Jumong is another classic historical drama that deserves a spot on your watch list. It tells the story of Jumong, the great king and conqueror. His long journey begins when Gojoseon falls, and he wants to restore it by uniting the scattered tribes. He eventually becomes the founder of the Goryeo kingdom.
Jumong is considered by many to be one of the best Korean historical dramas. There are many reasons to participate. From its soundtrack, epic battle scenes, costumes, and cinematography to its well-written story, it illuminates the history of Korea, so it really is a must-see drama series!
I hope you enjoyed this list of the best Korean historical dramas!
You don't need to do much research to get an idea of Korean history. Although most of them are fictional, historical K-dramas serve to experience their history and culture in a fun way.
We hope we have helped you choose the type of drama you are looking for! If you enjoyed reading our list, you can also check out our blog post on the subject.korean superstition- amazing things that Koreans still believe in.
And for even more dramatic inspiration, check out our selection.The best high school k dramas., oThe best Korean horror dramasis inThe best Korean fantasy dramas.!