Nothing beats a good saeguk (historical Korean drama) when you want to escape from reality and dive into a different period.
And if you also want some romance to spice up your viewing experience, there’s no better place to turn to than romantic historical Kdramas.
There are so, so, so many saeguks that offer both history and romance in a compelling way, and the romantic historical Kdramas on this list are sweet – almost to the point of distraction even.
So, if you’re like me and you absolutely squeal for joy when watching a romantic Kdrama, your cheeks might hurt when you’ve walked yourself through this list of the top saeguks that gave me feels. Kick back, relax, and get ready to find your next obsession.
Most Romantic Historical Kdramas To Watch
1. Bossam: Steal The Fate.
Bossam is an old Joseon tradition of kidnapping and marrying off widows – sometimes, with the consent of the widow herself.
Ba Woo, a bossam performer, meets his soulmate when he accidentally kidnaps Princess Yi Su Kyeong and the person who contracted the bossam collapsed.
The show depicts their blossoming in a magnificent blend of culture, mystery, and romance with a superb cast and an extremely captivating plot.
I was a little wary of the plotline when I started, but by the 10th minute of the first episode, I was thoroughly sucked in.
This is one romantic historical Kdrama I feel I’m always yapping on about – and with good reason. The chemistry between the leads in this drama was unbelievably genuine, and their love story developed in the most breathtaking way.
2. Moon Embracing The Sun.
While I was late to this drama – I only watched it this year (2023) – I quickly hopped on the bandwagon, and I’ll tell you for free that Moon Embracing The Sun isn’t overrated at all.
The extremely talented cast, the uber-emotive OST, and the amazing plotline came together to deliver a romantic sageuk like no other about loss, politics, friendship, brotherhood, and love.
After the dowager queen puts a stop to Lee Hwon and Yeon Woo’s fledgling relationship using shamanistic powers, the shaman secretly saves her life and erases her memory.
Years later, Lady Heo returns to the palace as Shaman Wol, a stunning and mysterious woman who endlessly captivates Lee Hwon’s heart when she’s placed in his chamber as a human talisman.
3. 100 Days My Prince.
Crown Prince Lee Yul issues an edict that all women within a certain age gap should marry before a specific date, but destiny changes his course when he loses his memory after an assault, and lands in the care of Hong Shim, a charming and wise woman who requires a husband to obey the law, and her family.
Her foster father decides that he will live as Won Deuk, and if you love hilarious fish-out-of-water Kdramas, then you’ll really enjoy this one. With both sides ignorant of his royal status, it was rightly fun seeing him slumming it with the locals.
Eventually, Lee Yul and Hong Shim grow fond of each other, but with a whole treacherous political plot on their sides and the very differences in their station, their path to happily-ever-after is riddled with more than one problem.
4. Tinted With You.
After art student Jung Eun Ho (Jun) paints on a mysterious canvas, he finds himself in the past, where he meets Lee Heon (Yoo Hyun Woo), a dethroned prince who lives in fear of his brother’s assassins. As they flee from the palace enemies that pursue them, they fall in love across time and destiny.
Time travel romance always feels a little repetitive and somewhat dreary, but this Bl Kdrama didn’t feel that way. You’ll enjoy Tinted With You if you like fast, swoony romance that’s very binge-able and the final episode might make you cry.
A new law forbids alcohol in Joseon, causing trouble for many people who love to drink or make a living from it. Among them is Inspector Nam Young (Yoo Seung Ho), an upright government official who has a secret crush on Kang Ro Seo (Lee Hye Ri), a spirited woman who runs an illegal brewery.
Their fate is intertwined with crown prince Lee Pyo (Byeon Woo Seok), who is hiding his own feelings for Kang Ro Seo, and things get complicated when they stumble upon a hidden stash of alcohol.
The chemistry between the leads in this romantic historical Kdrama was nothing short of amazing.
I loved the way Nam Young wrestled with his feelings from time to time. Most of all, I really appreciated the purity of the love triangle, and I’m sure you will too.
6. The King’s Affection.
In Joseon, twins are seen as a bad omen, so to protect her daughter, the crown princess sends her away and raises her son as the only heir.
Years later, Dam Yi (Park Eun Bin), who works as a palace maid meets her twin brother and they start switching places.
When the crown prince is killed during an outing, the Queen asks Dam Yi to pretend to be him. Dam Yi agrees to live as the crown prince but faces a dilemma many years after when she falls for Jung Ji Woon (Ro Woon), the son of a traitorous nobleman.
This drama blessed me with one of the most amazing OSTs I’ve been privileged to listen to – and I still do this on an almost weekly basis. If you want a fair dose of drama and a romance that’s for the ages, then you’re going to want to watch The King’s Affection.
7. Queen: Love And War.
Kang Eun Bo (Jin Se Yeon) is haunted by the death of her twin sister, and she vows to find the murderer and make them pay. But only the queen can order such a search, and she decides to marry King Lee Kyung (Kim Min Kyu), hoping to earn his trust and love.
But she is not the only one who wants the throne, and she has to fight against other women who are willing to do anything to become the queen. If you’ve watched A Business Proposal, then you probably know how absolutely swoon-worthy Kim Min Kyu is, and if you haven’t, this is the sign you’ve been waiting for.
Queen: Love and War had so many scenes where Kim Min Kyu would get angry because his girl (Kang Eun Bo) was being inconvenienced, and he would just barge in and drag her out. Look, my entire chest was on fire in these scenes. He’s that good!
8. My Sassy Girl.
Hye Myung (Oh Yeon Seo) is a princess who longs for her mother, who was exiled by the king, so she secretly leaves the palace to search for her, risking her reputation and safety.
One day, she crosses paths with Gyeon Woo (Joo Won), a brilliant scholar loved by the people, and while they clash at first, they soon discover a spark that ignites their hearts.
I was a little wary of this romantic period Kdrama before watching it, but I quickly converted.
Hye Myung was an absolute delight and she and Gyeon Woo had excellent chemistry. They were opposites in every way that mattered, and I loved how they eventually found similar grounds.
9. The Red Sleeve.
Yi San (Lee Jun Ho) is a crown prince who carries the pain of his father’s death by his grandfather, the tyrant king. So, he has plans to reform the royal family and his cabinet when he becomes king.
Soon, he finds his soulmate in Seong Deok Im (Lee Se Young), a witty and free-spirited court lady, and he eventually proposes to make her his royal concubine.
The Red Sleeve is decidedly the most political historical Kdrama on this list, but the romance still shines through.
10. Arang And The Magistrate.
Arang (Shin Min A) is a ghost who has lost her memory and has been roaming the earth for three years trying to find what caused her death.
Soon, she meets Kim Eun Ho (Lee Joon Gi), a magistrate who can see her. And, as they work together to solve the mystery of Arang’s death, they start developing feelings for each other.
Lee Joon Gi is one of those actors that manage to have chemistry with their co-leads, and this was no different. The spectacular Shin Min A and Lee Joon Gi were blazing right from the beginning.
Frankly, it was just amazing. By the end of this romantic historical Kdrama, I had laughed so many times, and I loved watching how their love story developed.
These are just some of the best romantic saeguks that you can enjoy right now.
They will take you on a journey of history and romance that will leave you breathless, and whether you are a seasoned saeguk lover or a curious beginner, you will find something to satisfy your cravings in these dramas.
I’m always looking for new interesting dramas to watch, so drop a comment if you know another romantic historical Kdrama that people will enjoy.
If you’re in the mood for more recommendations, here are some to get you started: