With its breathtaking natural scenery, splendid cultural relics, and historical sites of the ancient Silla Kingdom, Gyeongju is a popular tourist destination throughout the year. It is a perfect place for a romantic journey to enjoy spring flowers or beaches and look around beautiful ancient sites such as Bulguksa temple.
Recently, Gyeongju became a shooting location for the program “A Mysterious Encyclopedia of Miscellaneous Things You Don’t Need to Know,” produced by Na Yeong-seok who is famous for directing the program “2 Days & 1 Night.” Many more tourists have come to Gyeongju after the episodes featuring the city were broadcasted.
Korea AgraFood would like to introduce you to the main tourist attractions and must-try dishes of Gyeongju.
- Korea’s Renowned Buddhist Temple: Bulguksa
Bulguksa houses numerous cultural assets such as pagodas Dabotap and Seokgatap as well as the seated gilt-bronze statue of Amitabha Buddha. In December 1995, the temple was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List together with the nearby Seokguram Grotto.
Address: 15, Jinhyeon-dong, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
- A Marvelous Night View: Anapji Pond
Similarly to the Gyeonghoeru Pond of the Gyeongbok Palace, Anapji is a royal palace pond. It is beautiful during the day but many tourists come again in the evening to see its stunning night view.
Address: Inwang-dong, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
- The Oldest Astronomical Observatory in the East: Cheomseongdae
The observatory was built in the middle of the 7th century and testifies to the remarkable level of astronomical knowledge achieved by the people of the Silla Kingdom.
-Address: 839-1, Inwang-dong, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
These are full-course sets of Korean dishes prepared with specialties of the Gyeongju area. The menu includes sets with yukbuchon-yukgaejang (spicy beef and vegetable soup), gondalbi-bibimbap (rice mixed with herbs), and gondalbi tteok-galbi (grilled short rib patty with herbs). They are available at six restaurants around the city. Kyodong Sambab is located in front of Cheomseongdae and Byulchaeban is at Shin Gyeongju Station.
Homepage : byulchaeban.gyeongju.go.kr/
One of the tourist attractions in Gyeongju is Gyeongju Kyodong Choi’s house which includes the largest extant traditional wooden barn in Korea. Next to it, there is a restaurant named Yosokkoong, where you can enjoy traditional Korean food for aristocrats, prepared according to the recipes handed down in the Gyodong Choi family.
Address: 19-4, Gyochonan-gil, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Homepage : www.yosokkoong.com/
The largest traditional market in Gyeongju, Seongdong Market offers a great variety of food. The most popular dishes sold at the market are rolls with burdock and parboiled octopus. The soft, sweet rolls feature the unique flavor of lotus root. The octopus dish is prepared by parboiling fresh octopus caught off the shore in the Gampo area of Gyeongju. It is pleasantly chewy.
Address: 11, Wonhwa-ro 281beon-gil, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Since its opening in 1939, this bakery has been fascinating tourists with its pastries of red bean paste in a thin crust.
Address: 783, Taejong-ro, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Chalbori-Bbang is made with barley and oat produced in Gyeongju. It looks like a pancake and tastes mildly sweet. The confection can be easily found in stores around Gyeongju.
This alcoholic drink nicknames the “secret wine of Silla” has been brewed by many generations in the Gyeongju Choi family. Only a small quantity is offered for sale as it is produced using the traditional method.
Address: 19-23, Gyochonan-gil, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
# Additional Information / An Easy Way to Enjoy Gyeongju
As a representative tourist destination in Korea, Gyeonju is easily accessible. There are direct buses from Incheon, Ulsan, Gimhae, and Pohang airports. You can also take a regular or express (KTX) train from Seoul Station and get off at Shin Gyeongju Station. Inter-city express buses to Gyeongju take 4 hours from Seoul Express Bus Terminal.
An efficient way to travel inside Gyeongju is by using the Gyeongju City Tour Bus (www.cmtour.co.kr/tour) which runs along seven different routes and offers multilingual services.
At the Gyeongju Tour Guide website (http://guide.gyeongju.go.kr/deploy/eng), you can find real-time information on cultural treasures, popular restaurants, and cultural performances of Gyeongju.
Park Sung Eun firstname.lastname@example.org
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