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17 Best Things to See and Do in Gyeongju, South Korea

Gyeongju is one of the most interesting cities to visit in South Korea. The city has played a very important role over the years in the history of the country. It was the center of power for the Silla dynasty, which ruled much of the Korean peninsula between the 7th and 9th centuries. Being the ancient capital, it left a great artistic and cultural legacy to visit in Gyeongju, and in this post I will tell you about the 17 essential things to see and do in Gyeongju.

Best Things to See and Do in Gyeongju, South Korea


1. Visit Bulguksa Temple, one of the best things to see and do in Gyeongju

We decided to add the city of Gyeongju to our South Korea itinerary because of this temple. On the outskirts of Gyeongju you can visit one of the most spectacular temples in South Korea. This temple was built in the year 528 during the Silla dynasty and is considered to be a very important piece of Buddhist architecture during the reign of Silla.

This temple was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 1995. Bulguksa is also home to seven of South Korea's national treasures. The most important are the Dabotap and Seokgatap pagodas located near Daeungjeon and its main hall.

How to get to Bulguksa Temple from downtown Gyeongju

You should go to Gyeongju Station or Gyeongju Bus Terminal, you should take the local bus 10 or 11 to the Bulguksa temple stop. It is very easy and has no loss.

2. Donggung Palace, an essential thing to see in Gyeongju

Visiting Donggung Palace is an essential thing to do in Gyeongju. This palace was the home of the crown prince of the Silla dynasty. When he lost power, the site was abandoned.

It was not until the 1970s that some buildings in the Palace began to be renovated and a beautiful pond was created around it. When it starts to get dark, they illuminate the palace and it is reflected in the water along with the moon, creating a beautiful image, so it is advisable to visit the Palace in the afternoon, before nightfall.

Best Things to See and Do in Gyeongju, South Korea

3. Visit the Gyeongju National Museum

The Gyeongju National Museum exhibits all kinds of weapons, ancient relics, ceramics, textiles, jewelry... You will quickly realize the luxury that surrounded the lives of the leaders of the Silla dynasty. The museum also has an outdoor garden area with historical sculptures.

4. Explore Yangdong Village and go back in time, a must-see in Gyeongju

Near Gyeongju you can visit a traditional village, I personally think that Yangdong is one of the most beautiful to see in South Korea. The most powerful families in the country lived in this village for centuries.

In the village, traditional houses with more than two centuries of history are preserved, as well as thatched-roof huts that are more than 500 years old. One last! It is a perfect place to enjoy traditional culture and get a picture of what life was like in ancient South Korea. Yangdong Village is about 40 minutes by bus from Gyeongju Central Station.

Best Things to See and Do in Gyeongju, South Korea

5. The Cheomsongdae Observatory

It is the oldest astronomical observatory in East Asia. This curious stone tower is over 1,300 years old. Around the observatory there is a huge meadow where you will find many locals spending the day, playing ball, sunbathing, having a picnic or flying a kite.

6. Tumuli Park and its royal tombs, one of the most interesting things to see and do in Gyeongju

Tumuli Park is full of grassy mounds and beneath these burial mounds are the burial remains of the elite of the Silla kingdom. If you haven't read a bit about what to see in the city and its history, you wouldn't even notice.

Also, you can enter one of the tombs. It is something very curious and interesting to see it inside and learn about the rituals of the time. Without a doubt, it is a must see and do in Gyeongju.

Best Things to See and Do in Gyeongju, South Korea

7. Woljeonggyo Bridge, one of the most incredible places to see in Gyeongju

This bridge is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places to see in Gyeongju. At night, it lights up and reflects on the river water. The original bridge was built in the year 760, although the current one is a replica of the original architecture.

Best Things to See and Do in Gyeongju, South Korea

8. See the most famous Buddha in South Korea at Seokguram Grotto

Near the Bulguksa Temple you can visit the spectacular Seokguram Grotto. It is an amazing natural wonder to see in South Korea. It was built as part of the previous temple, although it was not discovered until 1909. Inside is the most precious Buddhist sculpture in the country. It is a huge stone Buddha 3.5 meters high. Although at present you will have to settle for seeing it through a glass.

9. Visit Gyeongju World Culture Expo

Gyeongju hosts an annual temporary exhibition on various cultural aspects. The Gyeongju World Culture Expo venue is open all year round and has several places to visit. The most essential place to see is the Gyeongju Tower, a modern construction 182 meters high that simulates the shape of a traditional pagoda.

10. Stroll through Gyeongju Gyochon Traditional Village

Gyochon Village is another of the traditional villages that you can visit in Gyeongju. You will find several traditional Korean houses and the house of the Choi clan, one of the richest families in the history of Korea. The whole place is full of craft and souvenir shops.

11. Stroll through Seongdong Market

In the center of Gyeongju is the traditional Seongdong market. I always love wandering aimlessly through Asian markets. They are the perfect place to integrate with the local life, live the day to day life and try traditional food at a very low price. In this market, in addition to several stalls selling fresh products, there are also stalls selling cooked food, excellent traditional dishes.

12. Stroll around Bomunho Lake

Bomunho Lake is one of the most beautiful places to see in Gyeongju. It is a beautiful lake, surrounded by trees, especially cherry trees, so in spring the picture is beautiful. There is a promenade that completely surrounds the lake, with some small temples and pavilions, areas where you can lie down, have a picnic or even sail a swan-shaped scooter across the lake. There is a red pedestrian bridge that crosses the lake with small viewpoints.

13. Have fun at Gyeongju World Amusement Park

If you like amusement parks and you have several days to visit South Korea, you can dedicate an extra day to Gyeongju to enjoy its amusement park.

There are attractions for all ages; roller coasters, water slides, carousels, virtual reality rides.

The entrance to the venue costs 26,000 won (about €20). You can pay to go on the attractions that you like the most or directly buy the Free Pass ticket for 47,000 won (about €35), which includes unlimited access to all attractions.

14. Golgulsa temple

This beautiful temple is located very close to Gyeongju. It is popular for its rock-carved Buddha image dating from the 9th century that crowns the highest part of the temple. It is one of the most interesting and unique temples to see in Gyeongju. To get to the temple you can go with buses 100, 100-1, 150 and 150-1 that leave from Gyeongju Express Bus Terminal, they also make stops throughout the city, and stop near the Temple.

15. Take a bath at Gyeongju Spring Dome

In Gyeongju you can also enjoy a bath in hot springs. There are a total of 11 hot spring pools in the Spring Dome. There are relaxing areas, but there are also slides and a wave pool and children's area. It's more of a water amusement park, but with thermal water. An all-day pass costs 60,000 won.

16. Visit the Gyeongju Teddy Bear Museum

This museum is a curious visit to do in Gyeongju. In this museum there is a collection of teddy bears over the years that show the evolution of the country's history in an original way.

17. Mount Namsan, one of the best excursions to do in Gyeongju

Near Gyeongju is Mount Namsan and it is a perfect place to enjoy a bit of Korean nature. Here you can go hiking in a beautiful natural environment, ride a bike or have a picnic. In addition, there are several Buddhist pagodas and sculptures to visit on Mount Namsan.

We got here by taxi and we arranged for him to pick us up, since the bus connections were a bit complicated from our accommodation and we didn't want to waste a lot of time in transfers. The round trip taxi cost us around 50 euros.


If you don't have time to spend a night or two in Gyeongju, you can take a day trip from Busan. On this excursion you will see the most essential places and at a faster pace. But it is a highly recommended option if you have little time.


If you have time I would dedicate at least 2 full days. In our case, we stayed for 3 days and we had time to do all the points on the list, but we can subtract some museums and the excursion to Namsan to shorten the time in Gyeongju.


The city is not very big and you can get around easily by bus, so the area where you stay doesn't matter much either. We look for options near the center to be able to walk to a large part of the attractions to see in the city.

We stayed in the Rivertain Hotel Gyeongju 3*. It is a simple, but new hotel, with great attention from the staff, clean and with a good breakfast.

Some great options where to stay in Gyeongju


I hope you enjoy your trip to South Korea a lot and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.

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A hug and see you soon!


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