Looking for the best historical K-dramas that transport you to the Joseon Dynasty, and deserve to be on your viewing list?

Established in 1392, the Joseon Dynasty is one of the most significant aspects of Korean history. This era was marked by Confucian doctrines, artistic development, technological advances, the birth of Hangul and several incursions. Not to mention the pretty hanboks and delicious food and unique art.  

Thanks to this, some of the most popular K-dramas are set in this era with different genres – comedy, romance, fantasy, action, mystery, etc. Here is our selection of the best Kdramas set in the Joseon dynasty in South Korea for your viewing list with a rating above 8 on IMBd.

  • Mr queen
  • The best K-dramas that will transport you to the Joseon dynasty in South Korea K-Selection
  • Directed by: Yoon Sung-Sik
  • Cast: Shin Hye-sun, Kim Jung-hyun, Bae Jong-ok, Kim Tae-woo, Seol In-ah, Na In-woo
  • Episodes: 20
  • Broadcast date: December 12, 2020
  • IMDb rating: 8.6

Synopsis: Ambitious modern chef Jang Bong-hwan (played by Choi Jin-hyuk) lands a cooking contract at Maison Bleue. After an incident he finds himself in the body of the young Queen Cheorin (played by Shin Hye-sun) from the Joseon era. The latter is married to a monarch under the influence of the wife of the previous king. Another member of the royal family who covets the throne? His brother. To make matters worse, the king seems to have dark secrets.

  • The Red Sleeve

The Red Sleeve last episode

  • Directed by: Jung Ji-in, Song Yeon-hwa
  • Cast: Lee Jun-ho, Lee Se-young, Kang Hoon
  • Episodes: 17
  • Broadcast date: November 12, 2021
  • IMDb rating: 8.5

Synopsis: Joseon’s arrogant King Jeongjo/Yi San (played by Lee Jun-ho) is traumatized by the loss of his father and places his royal duties above all else. This includes love. For her part, courtesan Seong Deok-im (played by Lee Se-young) is determined to take charge of her life and break out of the mold of the king’s wives. The two cross paths and fall in love with each other.

  • The Queen’s Umbrella

The Queen's Umbrella released on netflix

  • Directed by: Kim Hyung-sik
  • Cast: Kim Hye-soo, Kim Hae-sook and Choi Won-young: Kim Hye-soo, Kim Hae-sook and Choi Won-young
  • Episodes: 16
  • Broadcast date: October 15, 2022
  • IMDb rating: 8.5

Synopsis: Queen Im Hwa Ryung (played by Kim Hye-soo) of the Joseon Dynasty is tasked with transforming five mischievous princes into capable individuals worthy of their royal titles. However, accomplishing this while following the palace education system proves to be a daunting challenge.

  • Rookie Historian Goo Hae-Ryung

The best K-dramas that will transport you to the Joseon dynasty in South Korea K-Selection

  • Directed by: Kang Il-soo, Han Hyun-hee
  • Cast: Shin Se-kyung, Cha Eun-woo, Han Hyun-hee Shin Se-kyung, Cha Eun-woo
  • Episodes: 20
  • Broadcast date: July 17, 2019
  • IMDb rating: 8.1

Synopsis: Aspiring royal historian Goo Hae-ryung (played by Shin Se-kyung) advocates social equality and has strong opinions. Meanwhile, Prince Dowon (played by Cha Eun-woo) calls himself Yi Rim and secretly works as a romance novelist, with no interest in political issues. The flow passes when the two meet.

  • The King’s Affection 

The King's Affection netflix

  • Directed by: Song Hyun-wook
  • Cast: Park Eun-bin, Rowoon, Nam Yoon-su, Choi Byung-chan, Bae Yoon-kyung, Jung Chae-yeon
  • Episodes: 20
  • Broadcast date: October 11, 2021
  • IMDb rating: 8

Synopsis: In this Kdrama set in the Joseon Dynasty era, twins are considered bad omens. Unfortunately, the crown prince’s wife gives birth to fraternal twins. To make up for this, the girl, Dam-yi (played by Park Eun-bin), is destined to be eliminated. However, the mother, desperate to save her own life, secretly sends him away instead. Years later, the girl returns to take her brother’s place, pretending to be a prince. Fearing that this secret will be revealed, she becomes reclusive and taciturn. The only comfort? His captivating and optimistic teacher, Jung Ji-woon (played by Rowoon).

  • The Crowned Clown

The Crowned Clown

  • Directed by: Kim Hee-won
  • Cast: Yeo Jin-goo, Kim Sang-kyung, Lee Se-young
  • Release Date: January 7, 2019
  • Episodes: 16
  • IMDb rating: 8

Synopsis: In this Kdrama set in the Joseon Dynasty, several power struggles and unrest ensue. The king (played by Yeo Jin-goo) dodges assassination attempts by placing a clown lookalike on the throne in his place. The latter quickly makes allies, settling well into his role and confusing the king’s enemies in the process.

  • Mr Sunshine

The best K-dramas that will transport you to the Joseon dynasty in South Korea K-Selection

  • Directed by: Lee Eung-bok
  • Cast: Lee Byung-hun Lee Byung-hun, Kim Tae-ri, Yoo Yeon-seok, Byun Yo-han
  • Broadcast date: July 7, 2018
  • Episodes: 24
  • IMDb rating: 8

Synopsis: In 1871, during Shinmiyangyo (the Korean Expedition), Eugene Choi or Mr. Sunshine (played by Lee Byung-hun) traveled to the United States. There he became a Marine Corps officer. While on a mission to Joseon, he falls in love with an aristocrat’s daughter, Go Ae Shin (played by Kim Tae-ri), and learns of a scheme by foreign forces to colonize Korea .