"Home of the Silla Dynasty" Top 5 Page for this destination Kyongju by amambaw

Kyongju Travel Guide: 194 reviews and 529 photos

Gyongju (also spelled Kyongju) was the capital of Korea during the Silla dynasty. In and around the city are some of the most important historical landmarks for Korea, inlcluding burial sites, temples, and a few UNESCO designated areas.

On our first visit, we only had time to visit for two days, but we managed to see some of the more famous and popular sites, including Bulguksa Temple, Seokguram Grotto and the Handicraft Folk village.

Gyongju is also an excellent place to go and relax away from some of the bigger cities like Seoul and Busan. The city is very tourist friendly and boasts bike and walking paths that make a network around the area. You could spend an entire weekend relaxing near Bomun Lake.

We were lucky not to visit during high tourist season, as the crowds weren't too bad. In the summer, though, look out! Thousands of Korean vacationers escape to this haven to relax and explore their cultural roots.

Visiting in the summer... what?

So, you remember how I mentioned the summer being a little busy in Gyongju? Yeah... I went on a long weekend in June, how's that for busy?

Jesse and I, along with a group of friends, spent a long weekend in Gyongju. Our friends were there for some R&R, but I was out for some serious cultural immersion. What I wasn't expecting (and certainly didn't enjoy at the time) was the literal immersion I experienced in the sea of Korean people flocking to the same cultural sites I was there to see. Oy vey!

Here was our itinerary, although we did stray from it a bit (much to our displeasure!).

Saturday: Arrival at Gyongju station at 11:00 am.
Shopping at the Handicraft Village.
Visit to Yangdong Folk Village, North of downtown Gyongju.

Sunday: Visit to Bulguksa Temple (we planned to go at 9:00, but you can go as early as 7:00).
Lunch at Bomun Lake.
Visit to the Gyongju National Museum, and Anapji Pond.

Monday: Hiking on Namsan mountain. (We had a little side trip visiting Tongiljeon, which is a monument to the warriors of the Silla Dynasty)
Bus back to Busan.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Lots of relics to hunt for, great fall colors
  • Cons:People don't always follow the rules (no different than the rest of the country)
  • In a nutshell:A great place to soak up Korean history or relax away from the big cities.
  • Last visit to Kyongju: Jun 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (16)

Comments (5)

  • Mr.Sparkle's Profile Photo
    Dec 12, 2009 at 2:48 AM

    Hi, going to Gyeongju soon so i was reading your tips. did you know the bus is actually faster than the train if you're coming from Busan? All the national museum is free every day.

  • Pixiekatten's Profile Photo
    Nov 11, 2006 at 10:03 AM

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing!:)

  • jckim's Profile Photo
    Apr 6, 2005 at 4:19 AM

    Great Tips! Amanda! opening pic's awesome! I'v been there very long time ago, I'm waitng for up date!

  • ahoerner's Profile Photo
    Jan 26, 2005 at 4:17 AM

    Your intro makes me spend more time in Gyeongju. Thanks for the tour. Alex

  • bpacker's Profile Photo
    Dec 23, 2004 at 3:40 AM

    Great opening pix ! Gyeongju is as lovely in the autumn as it is in spring..


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