A Complete Guide to Gyeongju, Korea

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A Complete Guide to Gyeongju, Korea
9 June, 2020 0 Comments

"A Complete Guide to Gyeongju, Korea

Gyeongju, a gorgeous city in South Korea, is renowned for its historic beauty. Often Andong is referred to as the most traditional city in Korea; however, Gyeongju is the most historical one. You will see historical sites wherever you turn in this city, which has helped it to gain the name “the museum without walls.” This city has the most number of tombs, pagodas, temples, palace ruins, and many other historical artifacts than any other city in Korea. It is a city that you must visit not only once, but again and again. Walking through the small streets, you will see beautiful forests, pagodas, tombs, and bridges.

How to Get to Gyeongju

From Seoul

By Train: For those palling to travel by train, you can get the foreigner discount train pass. This pass lets you travel to numerous cities via train at a discounted price. The most convenient way to reach Gyeongju from Seoul is via the KTX. Direct trains from Seoul to Gyeongju runs every hour from Seoul station. After you reach the Gyeongju station, you can catch a taxi or bus to the city center, which will take about half an hour, and the taxi’s cost will be around W15,000.

From Busan

By Train: For those planning to travel to Gyeongju from the central Busan, it would be best to travel by train. You will have two options; Ktx and the slow train. If you take KTX, you will reach Gyeongju within half an hour, and it costs around W12000.

By bus: while traveling from the northern Busan area, it is best to travel via bus from Nopo Bus Terminal. The buses from here run every hour and take around forty-five minutes.

Getting around Gyeongju

Public Transportation

T-Money Card: For those palling to travel via buses and local transportation, it is better to get a T-Money card. With it, you can get around by local bus quite easily.

Gyeongju City Bus: If you prefer to travel comfortably and visit some of the city's major highlights, you can take the tourist bus of the city.

By Bike: Gyeongju also has lots of bike rental shops and kiosks. You can get it near the express bus terminal and rent for as much as you like.

Join a Tour: A great way to travel around and learn about the city's cultural and historical sites is to join a tour. The guides are well-informed and can give you the details on any places you will visit. You will generally visit Bulguksa Temple, Cheomsangdae Observatory, and Gyochon Hanok Village, among many more.

Rent a Car: Renting a car and driving yourself is a great way to travel around Gyeongju. You can stop whenever and wherever you want, enjoying the trip to the fullest.

Things to See

Daereungwon Tomb Complex

Source: Places picked by Brani

The tombs in this complex date back to the Silla period. However, you can only visit one tomb. Here, you can also see the interior. Here lies over twenty tombs, both large and small housing kings, queens, and other court officials. Some of the tombs still lie unidentified, but if you check out the signs, you can see who is buried in the ones they’ve excavated. But, keep in mind that you can’t climb up the tombs. Climbing the tomb is punishable with a 20 million won fine ($20,000.00) or two-year imprisonment. This complex opens every day from 9 am to 10 pm, and the entry fee is W3000 for adults and 1000-2000 for children.

Cheomseongdae Observatory

Source: Thesoulofseoul.net 

Cheomseongdae Observatory, built during the reign of Silla Queen Seondeok is East Asia’s oldest astronomical observatory. This observatory is just 5.17 meters in diameter and 9 meters tall and built with 365 stones that represent the days of the year. It also has 12 stones that make up the base representing the months of the year. The tower is most beautiful at night as the various color’s lights lit up the tower. Considering the period, it is rather spectacular. Cheomseongdae Observatory opens from 9 am to 10 pm, and the entry fee is W4000 for adults and W2000-3000 for children.

Woljeonggyo Bridge

Source: Thesoulofseoul.net 

Woljeonggyo Bridge is not as historical as other sites in Gyeongju but is one of the most beautiful bridges in South Korea. The bridge is as beautiful in the daytime as it is during the night when it’s all lit up. This bridge was destroyed numerous times in history and was reconstructed and opened in 2018. It is a great place to walk around and enjoy the views around and take some stunning pictures. The bridge is around the walking path from Cyochon Traditional Village and Cheomseongdae Observatory, so you can visit it while visiting either of these places.

Donggung Palace & Wolji Pond

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Donggung Palace is the only thing that remains from the Silla Kingdom’s massive palace complex, which was burnt to the ground in 935. It was a secondary palace which the crown prince used. In the 20th century, the magnitude of the complex was rediscovered during archaeological excavations. Twenty-six buildings were found during excavation, but only three have been reconstructed. As the main palace complex still is in ruins, there isn’t much to see except a beautiful pond named Wolji Pond and some significant relics.

Wolji Pond is a great spot to visit during the evening when the beautiful lights lit up the area. It is an artificial pond constructed by King Munmu in 674. You can visit the place between 9 am and 10 pm and the entry cost is W2000 for adults and 1200 for children.

National Museum of Gyeongju

Source: TripAdvisor

The National Museum of Gyeongju is a great place to learn about the Silla Kingdom. This museum has collections of 80,000 relics and artifacts, including jewelry, statues, pottery, crowns, petroglyphs, and swords. You will learn a lot by just walking outside the museum. Here also lies the largest bell in Asia, which is three meters high and twenty-five tons. The museum opens every day from 9 am to 6 pm, and the entry is free of cost.

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