Gyeongju City is an embodiment of Korean ancient history, tracing its root to the 9th centuries as the first capital city of the Silla Kingdom. Located in the North Gyeongsang Province, South east coast of South Korea, Gyeongju boasts itself as the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage City. There are so many things to do in Gyeongju – from visiting historical sites to modernized attractions that make the city a unique spot for travelers.
Gyeongju can be reached easily by train (KTX or normal trains) and Express buses from big cities such as Seoul, Busan, and Daegu. To have a great experience, here are 14 Unique things to do in Gyeongju City. These are places I have personally visited and experienced and hope it could also guide you if you are ever planning to visit Gyeongju.
1. Sex Museum
The love castle is a theme park that portrays Korean sexuality in different forms. Entry into the place suddenly turns you into a voyeur. There is abundant display of nudes in varying shapes, genitals of both sexes, and sex acts. There is also a sex shop, exhibition rooms and a bar/café for tourists to enjoy a pleasurable sight. It also has spots for awesome photographs It cost KRW 13,000/10,000 Won for entry and it is opened from 9:00Am till 12 Midnight. Visit Love Castle Sex Museum for more information.
2. K-Pop Museum
The K-Pop Museum on Gyeongju is definitely a must-visit, especially for Hallyu fans.The museum is also located in the Bomun tourists complex giving you access to other proximal sites in the cluster. The museum houses some old records, musical equipment of old, history of the genre, a musical lab and top of all, a KPop research center. Aside these, there are exhibition halls, a café, audiovisual rooms, and children museum. The 3-storey museum is a Korean Pop culture treasure trove, without a doubt. So if you are looking for K-Pop things to do in Gyeongju, check out the KPOP Museum.
3. Gyeongju HICO
The Gyeongju Hwabaek International Convention Center (HICO) was opened in March 2015 to serve as a preferred venue for international conferences, exhibitions, and mega events. It is situated just adjacent the KPOP Museum and the scenery is great for photographs.
4. Gyeongju World Culture Expo Park
This site is also located within the Bomun Tourists complex. It was opened in 1998 and has hosted a number of Expos, attracting millions of visitors till date. There are unique centers, parks and cultural halls to explore. Read more information about the World Culture Expo Park. Admission is free.
5. Gyeongju World Amusement Park
Summer is here and it is time to enjoy outdoor activities. If you are on a weekend getaway for some fun, the amusement park is just a stone-throw from the World Culture expo park. It is the largest theme park Kids can enjoy rollercoaster, Viking, California beach water activities and more. Find out about the current admission fees and further information here.
6. Shilla Millenium Park
One of the fun and outdoor things to do in Gyeongju is by visiting the Shilla Millenium Park which is a 3-minute walk from the Gyeongju World Culture Expo Park. It is a theme site that blends modernity and the Silla kingdom remnants. Popular K-Drama, Queen Seondeok (2009) was filmed at this park.
7. Things To Do In Gyeongju: Ride Bikes in the Bomun Tourists Area
Gyeongju City is very famous for scooters and biking along the catchment parks. From young to old, everyone seems to engage in this outdoor activity. Different kinds of bikes are available to hire at a fee depending on the hours. It is fun and you should try it. Locations include the Bomun lake area, the Amusement Park and World Expo.
8. Pamper yourself at Hyundai Hotel in Gyeongju
Hotel Hyundai in Gyeongju is no doubt the perfect destination for relaxation and comfort. The rooms offer you a picturesque view over the Bomun lake and offer top class services such as special buffet, Sauna, Gym, music nights, wedding services, business center, swimming pool and comfy rooms. Book your stay at Hotel Hyundai Gyeongju. A stay at the hotel gives you easy access to the Bomun special tourism zones.
9. Bulguksa Temple in Gyeongju
This is by far the most popular ancient and historic attraction in Gyeongju. You cannot visit Gyeongju and not pass through Bulguksa Temple. The temple served as a center of Silla Buddhism and prayer for the protection of the country from foreign invasion. Designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, it gives you a peek into Korea’s ancient history and unique architecture. Here is how you can get to Bulguksa Temple. Don’t forget to take a picture by the Three-story stone Pagoda of the Bulguksa Temple.
10. Seokguram Grotto
Not far from the Bulguksa Temple is the Seokguram Grotto. The grotto represents cave temple of Korea.
11. Royal Tomb of King Muyeol
When exploring the Daerungwon ancient tombs tourism complex in Gyeongju, one of the famous places to see is the Royal Tomb of King Muyeol. King Muyeol, 29th of the Silla Dynasty is hailed for garnering allied forces with the Chinese Tang Dynasty that unified the Korean peninsula.
12. Cheomseongdae Observatory
It is by far the most popular and symbolic monument of the ancient tombs tourism complex in Gyeongju. This observation structure has 27 steps of 30cm high stones placed above double stylobates. When in Gyeongju, you can take Bus 60/61 to get there. It is an ideal site for landscape photography.
13. Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond
Donggung Palace and Wolji pond are a favorite attraction for its breathtaking picturesque appearance in the nights. It was built in the year 679 of King Munmu’s rule and served as a place for state festivals and banquets. The pond area was used to entertain valuable guests and hold grand banquets for the king and his subjects. You can take these bus numbers to reach the Palace; 11, 600, 601, 602, 603, 604, 605, 607, 609, and 700.
14. Eat the Delicious Gyeongju Bread
The Gyeongju ‘Hwangnam’ bread is easy to find along the streets of Gyeongju. It was the highlight of my 2-day trip in Gyeongju. This Gyeongju bread, a specialty of the city, is made of eggs, wheat flour, and red bean filling. It is definitely must-eat and certainly should be part of the things to do in Gyeongju.