Things to do in Gyeongju- the Korean Historic City

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Many friends have told me that Gyeongju in Korea is like Kyoto in Japan, but from my impression, it’s more like Nara in Japan. It’s a flat, spacious, peaceful, and quiet city with plenty of history and beautiful views.

Here are some things that I did, ate, and saw in Gyeongju.


1. 안압지 Anapji Pond

The night reflections are beautiful. But you will be with a big crowd for sure. Make sure to get your tickets during the day, so you wouldn’t have to wait in a long line at night!!

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2. Kite flying

One kite is available for 5,000 KRW. They probably don’t do this all-year-round, but it was great! But since we didn’t need to take this kite home, my friend and I gave it away to a family. This is right next to the Cheomseongdae Observatory.

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3. Bicycling

The best way to travel in Gyeongju seems to be bicycling. The main tourist attractions are within a 15 minute bicycle ride. My friend and I stayed at a hostel near Gyeongju station, and rented a bicycle right in front of the station.

The rental fee was 7,000 KRW for a whole day, and they gave us a discount on the second day. Some guest houses and hostels offer it for a cheaper price, but the bicycle quality may not be as good.

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4. Korean food buffet at the Seongdong Market

In this market, there is an area where all the food stalls are just Korean food buffets. All the stalls seem to serve practically the same side dishes and they are all 5,000 KRW. My friend and I chose the Hyeondae Shikdang because it was introduced in a blog. The meal came with a soup, rice, and a yogurt drink at the end.

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5. Chalboribbang/Gyeongjubbang

They sell these snacks everywhere as a Gyeongju souvenir. My friend and I got this Chalboribbang in exchange for the kite!

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It’s like a flat dorayaki.

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6. Ssambap

Spicy pork and squid wrapped in greens and many side dishes ^^

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7. Bulguksa

Listed as the number one place to visit in Gyeongju. I took a bus from Gyeongju station and it took around 30 minutes because of traffic. It was the weekend of Buddha’s birthday when we went, so there were many colorful lanterns.

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8. Bunhwangsa

15 minute bike ride from Gyeongju Station. This temple requires an entrance fee but it is a surprisingly small place. IMG_1155Bunhwangsa Pagoda
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9. Cheomseongdae Observatory

IMG_1259IMG_1023This was used for star gazing.
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10. Daereungwon Tomb Complex

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There is a museum inside this tomb.

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I liked the depth of this forest. I couldn’t capture it in a picture so I took a video instead. But this is only a screenshot of it 😛

11. Bomun Lake Resort

My friend and I got adventurous and biked over an hour on a slight uphill to get to this resort which has an amusement park, water park, and a few hotels.

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At a cafe near the lake, I had one of the best strawberry smoothies that I’ve had in my life. There were many big chunks of fresh strawberries.

12. These tomb hills were all over the city. 

They are much more steep than you think.

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How to get to Gyeongju

Seoul Station > 2 hours on the KTX > Shingyeongju Station > 30 minutes on the taxi > Gyeongju Station
The KTX only stops at Shingyeongju Station, but it is a little bit far from the main attractions. 48,300 KRW KTX + 5,000? KRW Taxi.

Seoul Station > 1 hour 40 min on the KTX > Transfer at Dongdaegu Station > 1 hour on the Mugunghwa Train > Gyeongju Station
The KTX does not stop at Gyeongju Station, but if you’re coming from Seoul, you can take the KTX halfway and transfer at Dongdaegu Station. 46,000 KRW for one way.

Bus – From Seoul’s Express Bus Terminal to Gyeongju Express Bus Terminal, it would take almost 4 hours and cost around 20,000 KRW. The bus terminal is also near the central tourist area, so it would be a convenient place to stay.

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