May 29, 2024



Here’s What to Do in Gyeongju, South Korea

9 min read

Disclosure: This article (probably) is made up of affiliate one-way links. If you click on a person, I may perhaps make a small commission. Of class, this will appear at no additional value to you and can help preserve this web page operating.Glimpse for locations to stop by in South Korea and you will rapidly see Gyeongju increase to the major of the listing. Gyeongju isn’t a large city, several in Korea are a lot much larger, but it is large on charm. With a lot of items to do in Gyeongju and the lovely backdrop of mountains and Gyeongju Nationwide Park, it is really hard to locate good reasons not to stop by.
My primary fascination in browsing Gyeongju was in its historical past, as it has strong ties to 1 of the most essential kingdoms in Korea’s historical past. And though a lot of Gyeongju points of interest do aim on this heritage, I discovered that there is significantly much more to this comfortable, inexperienced city than I realized. Find why Gyeongju is worth traveling to and what you can do there with this tutorial to the city.

Why visit Gyeongju?

Gyeongju is often explained as the “museum without having walls”, as the town is loaded with culturally important historic landmarks. Most of the city’s critical web-sites relate to the Silla kingdom, which dominated Korea’s east for hundreds of years in the 1st millennium.
Of the different Gyeongju sights, numerous are historic Silla tombs exactly where users of the royal spouse and children were being buried. You can see some tombs in Seoul (Seolleung and Jeongneung in Gangnam), but it is pretty distinct in Gyeongju as you’ll see. Travellers intrigued in history will discover a good deal to like about viewing Gyeongju, a UNESCO Globe Heritage Web page.
History may perhaps be the most apparent motive to go to Gyeongju, but it’s not the only a single. The city is also extremely fairly many thanks to its extensive green area. Classic structures incorporate to its charm, as does the city’s food scene, leaving you with lots to delight in.
Having to and around Gyeongju

The initially stage to browsing Gyeongju is receiving there. Busan and Daegu are the two most important towns close to Gyeongju in this element of South Korea. Ulsan is even nearer, but overseas travellers are a lot more most likely to arrive from Busan or Daegu.
Though trains do go from Busan to Gyeongju routinely, the teach station is pretty a way from the town centre. Going by bus from Busan or Daegu is much easier as it is a brief wander from the bus station to the extremely center of Gyeongju.
Buses operate regularly from Busan to the Gyeongju Categorical Bus Terminal and the whole system is quite simple with ticket devices that can allow you do it all in English.
For a much more palms-off approach, you can book a tour from Busan to do a working day vacation to Gyeongju. Your time in the town won’t be rather as prolonged, but you will get to combine it with sites such as Yandong Folks Village and Bulguksa Temple.
As for obtaining close to Gyeongju, my expertise was it’s straightforward adequate to just wander amongst attractions. Renting a bicycle or an electric powered scooter would be a fantastic idea though if you set your eyes on some of the outer tombs.
Where to stay in Gyeongju

Just as finding to Gyeongju isn’t difficult, neither is finding someplace to remain in the metropolis. The two principal areas for Gyeongju accommodation are in between the bus station and Geumgwanchong tomb and close to Hwangnidan Street.
Being near Hwangnidan Street is commonly extra high priced, as this is wherever the lots of hanok-design lodging is identified. For my go to, I stayed at the Gyeongju Bee Property, a lodge/hostel with a cosy and casual atmosphere. It’s a safe and sound preference if you’re immediately after an economical position to keep.
Things to do in Gyeongju
While you possibly by now have an notion of what to do in Gyeongju, let’s appear at the Gyeongju tourist points of interest you require to know about. Strategy your itinerary all-around these places to go to and you are going to be set for a fantastic time.
Daereungwon Tomb Complicated

If you’re looking for a person position where by you can master about Gyeongju’s previous, go to the Daereungwon Tomb Complex. This is the most important attraction for several visitors, as the advanced contains lots of Silla burial mounds and provides alternatives to discover about their background.
Though you’ll see noticeable grass mounds in quite a few sites in the metropolis, the Daereungwon Tomb Intricate requires items to an additional degree. Substantially of a pay a visit to listed here is going for walks as a result of the grounds, previous mounds, ponds, and gardens. At the mounds, you’re offered info on the tombs and the life tale of the king buried there.
Which is nice adequate and all, but it’s not also in-depth. The great aspect is when you get to the Cheonmachong burial mound. There, you can actually enter the tomb and wander into it to see what it’s like from the inside. Treasures within Cheonmachong include golden ornaments from the 5-6th centuries, both equally for the king and his royal horse.

Gyeongju Silla mounds and Geumgwanchong

You really don’t have to appear significantly in Gyeongju to find the city’s signature mounds, they are everywhere you go. Strolling mere actions from my lodging I observed myself now standing among a number of in a neighborhood park. The town is reasonably flat so these sudden uniform mounds are unbelievably noticeable.
The Daereungwon Tomb Elaborate is a good location to commence if you are wanting for burial mounds. But in essence, any environmentally friendly patch on a map has them. Some mounds are closer to the city centre, though many others, these kinds of as the Seondeogyeowangneung Royal Tomb, are on the outskirts.
1 distinctive mound that I propose checking out is the Geumgwanchong burial mound. You can go to inside this mound as effectively, nevertheless, its story is a minimal unique to that of Cheonmachong.

While Cheonmachong was excavated correctly in the 70s, this mound was excavated all through Japan’s occupation of Korea. As a result of its exhibits and a video, you can learn the historical past of how the mounds were excavated and the complications of untrained persons performing it. Occasionally the historiography is as interesting as the history.
Gyeongju hanok-style architecture

Although substantially of the city centre of Gyeongju seems unremarkably fashionable, issues alter on its south facet. The neighbourhood bordering the Daereungwon Tomb Advanced is the tourist zone of the town and has a large amount of buildings created in the traditional hanok style.
I have worded it that way due to the fact I don’t believe quite a few or any of the structures are truly all that previous. The complete area feels considerably newer and much less original than the Jeonju Hanok Village, that is for certain. That mentioned, I really recommend a stroll below, particularly if you are hungry.
Hwangnidan Road is the main street in this place and you will uncover eating places and cafes occupying these timber-framed two-storey structures. I’m not expressing the conventional designs don’t deliver a great environment, but based mostly on the design I saw, they are mostly new additions.
Gyochon Common Village

To see what classic houses and neighbourhoods do glance like, you will need to maintain heading south right up until you reach the Gyochon Classic Village. With its stone partitions and pedestrian streets, this “village” has preserved the structure and feel of a small traditional village, even if most buildings are recreations.
The Gyochon Common Village was essentially vacant when I went. It looks like there are a great deal much more activities there normally, but I just did a walk-via and moved on. I will say, I did like the murals on these homes. That is not something I’d noticed in Jeonju.
Woljeonggyo Bridge

A person of the most picturesque landmarks in Gyeongju is the Woljeonggyo Bridge. Spanning the Muncheon stream, it is a reconstruction of an ancient included bridge. Even now, it is a attractive bridge and the entire spot about it is quite to see.
You can get to the bridge quickly from the Gyochon Classic Village. After a short wander, you arrive at its grassy banking institutions and can head on to the stepping stones. South Korea enjoys placing these stepping stones in streams and rivers, which is terrific to get a superior look at of the bridge alongside the stream.
Gyerim Forest and Cheomseongdae Observatory

Observe the road major from the Woljeonggyo Bridge north and you are going to quickly come across on your own surrounded by trees. This is the Gyerim Forest, a compact area of woodland, squeezed between burial mounds and old earthen fortifications. I have due to the fact realized that the forest is tied to numerous nearby legends, but as a customer, it’s just a lovely position to wander through.
Gyerim Forest is just 1 smaller section of a massive park. Trails for strolling and cycling website link up ancient burial mounds, massive flower gardens, and perhaps most famously, the Cheomseongdae Observatory.
This tiny stone tower may possibly not seem to be like much, other than for all the visitors all-around it, but it is a 7th-century astronomical observatory. This can make it the oldest surving 1 in all of Asia, and notably is built up of 365 stones, indicating the times in the yr.
Wolseong Fortress

Having up a huge area of the park stated earlier is the Wolseong Fortress. You definitely can not skip it as you explore thanks to the moat and large grassy banks exactly where its partitions applied to be. Gyeongju was the cash of Silla, so in a natural way, it desired some decent defences.
Discovering Wolseong Fortress you will recognize a several factors. First, the embankments are wonderful for having sights over this mostly flat metropolis. Next, the fortress is a respectable dimension and normally takes a though to walk all around. Eventually, you won’t come across a lot right here to see at this phase, as you simply cannot get in the vicinity of the present-day excavations and archaeological perform.
Gyeongju Countrywide Museum

The very best location to go in Gyeongju if you want to master about the city and Silla is the Gyeongju Countrywide Museum. There is no issue this is the major and greatest Gyeongju museum, with many properties and points to see. It has an historical Silla bell below a gazebo, a central major exhibition with artifacts and treasures, and a special exhibition on Silla Buddhist art.
Permit a couple of hours to make your way through everything listed here, it’s truly worth it. There is even a espresso shop below if you want a break.
Wolji Pond

Stick to the primary road back again toward the centre of Gyeongju and you will discover one more attraction throughout the road. The Wolji Pond gets described really a ton between Gyeongju points of interest, but I have to say it is a tiny underwhelming. It dates to 674 and sat next to the Gyeongju Donggung Palace, a palace for the crown prince.
Gyeongju Donggung Palace no more time exists as the web page was prolonged abandoned. Even so, the pond has survived and in new a long time they’ve reconstructed quite a few of the pagodas close to it.
Owning found images of it at evening, I can see the charm of an night stop by. The pond has been utilized in quite a few Korean period of time dramas, so which is an additional rationale folks go. Or else, it is just a rather park you have to fork out to see.
Other areas to pay a visit to even though in Gyeongju

Although I noticed pretty a whole lot of the city, there are spots in Gyeongju that I didn’t get to. Some ended up outer royal tombs that I didn’t have the power or time to trek out to.
But there are also quite a few notable sights that you can stop by on day journeys to Gyeongju or working day trips from Gyeongju. Bad temperature ruined my likelihood of viewing any of these spots, but they are well worth searching into.

Bulguksa Temple – A well-known ancient temple that is a UNESCO web site
Seokguram Grotto – Located in close proximity to Bulguksa Temple, it capabilities a huge Buddha statue
Yangdong Folk Village – South Korea has quite a few people villages that showcase regular everyday living such as this


Did you know there were being so lots of issues to do in Gyeongju? Have you been, and if so, what would you suggest? Be sure to share your ideas in the feedback under.
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