Unveiling Gyeongju: A Fascinating
3-Day Itinerary

Unveiling Gyeongju: A Fascinating 3-Day Itinerary

I have explored some famous and historic sites in Gyeongju City within a couple of days, and I will surely go back again to explore more deeply. I highly recommend traveling to Gyeongju as the most advanced region in the past.

It is the seat of dynastic power and governance. You can find carved images and sculptures of various symbols on granite stones, including Buddha and Boddhisattvas. 

I vividly remember the evening I arrived at my hotel, eager to explore the surroundings right away. I was surprised to see small uniform hills and wondered what they were. The following day, I learned that the 'hills' were actually mounds where royal family members were buried underneath them.

If you have time after traveling to the Seoul area, you can spend a couple or three days enjoying the top attractions in Gyeongju City. Check out my itinerary below...

Getting to Gyeongju from Seoul

KTX Train:

  • Departure: Seoul Station
  • Arrival: Singyeongju Station
  • Duration: Approximately 2 hours
  • Fare: Around ₩50,000-₩60,000 one-way

Bus:

  • Departure: Seoul Express Bus Terminal
  • Arrival: Gyeongju Bus Terminal
  • Duration: Approximately 3.5-4 hours
  • Fare: Around ₩25,000-₩30,000 one-way

Accommodation Options in Gyeongju

Please, choose any of the hotel options below. In my experience, Gyeongju hotels are great, however, it all depends on what specific services and amenities you want to get.

  • Cheap: Gyeongju Guesthouse - Budget-friendly with basic amenities. Check it out here.
  • Medium: Hilton Gyeongju - Offers more amenities and excellent service. Check it out here.
  • Luxury: Lahan Select Gyeongju - High-end with luxurious facilities and excellent service. Book it here.

Day 1: Historical and Cultural Exploration

Morning: Bulguksa Temple

Bulguksa Temple is a breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage site showcasing traditional Korean Buddhist architecture. Nestled amidst the serene natural beauty of South Korea, the intricately designed buildings and stunning surroundings make it a must-visit destination for you interested in history, culture, and architecture.

  • Transport: Bus No. 10 or 11 from Gyeongju Station or Bus Terminal.
  • Fare: Approximately ₩1,500 (one-way)
  • Ticket Price: Adults ₩5,000, Children ₩3,500

Lunch:

Traditional Korean Restaurant: Cheonggongwon - Famous for its Bulgogi and Bibimbap.

Afternoon: Seokguram Grotto

Seokguram Grotto is a stunning example of ancient Korean religious art and architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The stone temple, perched high in the mountains, offers breathtaking views and a truly awe-inspiring sense of tranquility. At the heart of the grotto sits a magnificent Buddha statue, a masterpiece of sculptural artistry that exudes a sense of peace and serenity. 

  • Transport: Shuttle bus from Bulguksa Temple.
  • Fare: Approximately ₩1,500 (one-way)
  • Ticket Price: Adults ₩5,000, Children ₩3,500

Evening: Anapji Pond

Is a picturesque artificial pond with historical significance.

  • Transport: Bus No. 11 or Taxi.
  • Fare: Approximately ₩1,500 (one-way)
  • Ticket Price: Free

Dinner: Restaurant

Gyeongju Gukbap - Specializes in Korean rice soup (Gukbap).


Day 2: Silla Dynasty Heritage

The Silla Dynasty, known for its rich cultural heritage and impressive technological advancements, impacted Korean history. With its flourishing arts, breathtaking architecture, and powerful rulers, the Silla Dynasty continues to captivate and inspire us today.

Morning: Gyeongju National Museum

You'll see unique ancient Silla Dynasty artifacts when you visit the Gyeongju National Museum. Walking through the museum, you'll feel like you've traveled back in time as you look at beautiful exhibits, including the impressive Divine Bell of King Seongdeok. It's a really cool experience that lets you learn about Korea's rich cultural history.

  • Transport: Bus No. 10 or 11.
  • Fare: Approximately ₩1,500 (one-way)
  • Ticket Price: Free

Lunch: Restaurant

Dosol Maeul - Known for its delicious Hanjeongsik (Korean traditional full-course meal).

Afternoon: Cheomseongdae Observatory

Cheomseongdae Observatory is a remarkable historical structure. Built during the Silla dynasty, it is considered the oldest existing observatory in East Asia. The observatory's unique design and historical significance make it a fascinating attraction for visitors interested in ancient astronomy and architecture.

  • Transport: Walk or take a short taxi ride from the museum.
  • Fare: Approximately ₩1,500 (one-way)
  • Ticket Price: Free

Tumuli Park (Daereungwon Tomb Complex)

Tumuli Park, also known as Daereungwon Tomb Complex, is a fascinating historical site in Gyeongju, South Korea. It features large ancient tombs, beautiful landscapes, and a rich cultural heritage. The park offers a unique opportunity to explore the history of the Silla dynasty and marvel at the impressive burial mounds. It's a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts interested in South Korea's rich past.

  • Transport: Walk from Cheomseongdae Observatory.
  • Fare: Free
  • Ticket Price: Adults ₩2,000, Children ₩1,000

Evening: Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond (Anapji Pond at Night)

At night, the Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond, also called Anapji Pond, looks stunning. The pond reflects the lights beautifully and creates a magical scene. Walking by the pond, you can't help but be captivated by the peaceful beauty of this old place.

  • Transport: Walk or take a short taxi ride.
  • Fare: Free
  • Ticket Price: Included with Anapji Pond visit

Dinner: Restaurant

Byeolchaeban Gyodong Ssambap - Famous for Ssambap (rice wrapped in leaves with side dishes).


Day 3: Nature & Relaxation

Morning: Yangdong Village

Yangdong Village is a place where time seems to stand still, with its UNESCO World Heritage status proudly showcasing its traditional beauty. Walking through the village, you're transported back to the Joseon Dynasty, with its charming hanok houses and peaceful atmosphere. It is perfect for immersing yourself in the rich history and culture of South Korea.

  • Transport: Bus No. 203 from Gyeongju Station.
  • Fare: Approximately ₩2,000 (one-way)
  • Ticket Price: Free

Lunch: Restaurant

Matdol Sundubu - Known for its soft tofu stew. It comes with side dishes and rice.

Afternoon: Gyeongju World Amusement Park

Gyeongju World Amusement Park is a fantastic family destination, offering many thrilling rides and attractions. Some exciting rides at the park include roller coasters, water rides, carousels, and bumper cars. With something for everyone, visitors will surely have an unforgettable experience at this family-friendly amusement park.

  • Transport: Bus No. 10 or Taxi.
  • Fare: Approximately ₩1,500 (one-way)
  • Ticket Price: Adults ₩48,000, Children ₩39,000

Evening: Bomun Lake

An enchanting lake surrounded by picturesque scenery featuring a serene walking trail, perfect for a tranquil and rejuvenating evening stroll.

  • Transport: Bus No. 10 or 11 or Taxi.
  • Fare: Approximately ₩1,500 (one-way)
  • Ticket Price: Free

Dinner: Restaurant

Gyeongju Hwangnam Bread is famous for its traditional Korean bread, which is perfect for a light dinner or dessert.

Transportation within Gyeongju

Bus: Buses are the most common and affordable means of transportation within Gyeongju. The fare is usually around ₩1,500 per ride.

Taxi: Taxis are readily available and offer a convenient way to get around. The base fare is ₩3,300 with additional charges depending on the distance.

Bicycle Rental: Available near tourist spots, great for exploring at a leisurely pace.

Walking: Many attractions are within walking distance of each other, especially in the central area.

Additional Tips:

T-money Card: Can be used for buses and some taxis in Gyeongju, offering convenience and minor discounts on fares.

Language: Basic English is understood in tourist areas, but learning Korean phrases can enhance your experience.

Cultural Etiquette: Be respectful at historic sites and follow cultural standards.

I hope you like this fascinating 3-day itinerary for Gyeongju and will use it for your trip to that city. If you have questions or requests, please email me through the "Contact" page. I'll do my best to respond quickly.

Enjoy your travels!

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