trips planned today
out of 5
Trustscore rating

Best things to do in Gyeongju

Itinerary planner
+ Add destination
2 adults
- +
- +
- +
Where in the world: Asia  /  South Korea  /  Gyeongsangbuk-do  /  Gyeongju

Top 15 things to do in Gyeongju

1. Bulguksa Temple

The head temple complex of Jogye Korean Buddhism, Bulguksa Temple features two exquisite stone pagodas and a gilded bronze statue of Buddha, which earned it World Heritage Site status. This impressive temple complex set in a picturesque landscape stores some of the world's oldest woodblock prints, made in the first half of the 8th century. Stroll underneath cherry trees and azaleas, place a pebble in a rock garden or touch a pig statue for good luck, and visit a hermitage in the grotto to see burial mounds and a 3.5 m (11.5 ft) tall Buddha. English-speaking volunteer guides will tell you all about the temple's tumultuous history.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Bulguksa Temple
Tours including Bulguksa Temple:

2. Seokguram

Symbolizing a spiritual journey into Nirvana, Seokguram treasures forty figures representing Buddhist principles and teachings. Nestled in the hills and made of hundreds of granite stones, the 8th-century cave temple is the only intact structure surviving from the Silla era and a World Heritage Site. Pass a narrow corridor lined with bas-reliefs of guardian deities, which leads from a rectangular antechamber into the main rotunda. Once there, take a moment to appreciate the 3.3 m ( ft) tall statue of Buddha, seated on a pedestal and smiling generously.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Seokguram
Tours including Seokguram:

3. Gyeongju National Museum

Learn about the history of the city at Gyeongju National Museum, largely dedicated to the time when Gyeongju served as the capital of the Silla Kingdom (57 BCE-935 CE). The museum exhibits around 3,000 artifacts from the era, including earthenware pots, golden crowns, belts, earrings, and weaponry. Along the way, you'll gain insight into the culture that made the fine artifacts on display, their funereal rites, system of governance, beliefs, and lifestyle. An outdoor exhibit area showcases facades from royal palaces and temples, as well as giant temple bells.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Gyeongju National Museum
Tours including Gyeongju National Museum:
Plan your trip to Gyeongju
  • Get a personalized trip
    A full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place. Everyone on the same page.

4. Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond

Take a stroll along Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond, a man-made body of water that used to form part of a lavish, 7th-century palace compound. Abandoned after the fall of the Silla Empire in 935 CE, the pond and its structures were renovated in 1974, during which time an array of relics and artifacts were excavated. Admire the scenic vista of the pond and its ancient buildings, some rebuilt and some originals. In the exhibition hall nearby, you can view over 700 of the thousands of art pieces, religious objects, decorations, and everyday items that were found in the pond area.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond
Tours including Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond:

5. Cheomseongdae Observatory

Marvel at the history and design of Cheomseongdae Observatory, the oldest surviving observatory in the world. Thought to have been built during the reign of Queen Seondeok in the 7th century CE, the structure consists of 362 pieces of granite, arranged in a bottle-like cylindrical shape that stands at 9.4 m (30.8 ft) tall and 5.7 m (18.7 ft) wide. The remarkable structure would have been useful in terms of agricultural production, because it allows for astronomical observation of seasonal change, while astrological myths and legends were closely linked with political power and spirituality.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Cheomseongdae Observatory
Tours including Cheomseongdae Observatory:

6. Cheonmachong Tomb

Cheonmachong Tomb offers a rare glimpse into a royal tomb. First excavated in 1973, the tomb is supposedly the final resting place of an unknown king of the Silla kingdom from the 5th or 6th century (exact dates undetermined as of yet). While many tombs in the area have undergone excavation, at present, the public may access just one. From outside, the tombs look like mounds of earth, but on the inside of this wood-lined tomb, you’ll discover hundreds of artifacts, many of which are replicas. Burial gifts originally surrounded the tomb, though, many were removed for preservation after excavation. Among the 11,500 artifacts uncovered in the tombs was an incredible gold crown embellished with jade beads.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Cheonmachong Tomb
Tours including Cheonmachong Tomb:

7. Daereungwon Tomb Complex

See the lavish lifestyle, wealth, and resting places of the 1,500-year-old Silla dynasty at Daereungwon Tomb Complex. Twenty-three large grass covered tombs scatter around the minimalistically designed park, lending to it a relaxing ambiance. Enter the Cheonmachong tomb and admire kings' jewelry, crowns, decorations, and artifacts. The Hwangnamdaechong, the largest tomb, displays bodies of both king and queen, along with 30 personal items, gold, and relics. Replicas have replaced some artifacts, though you can find originals in the National Museum.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Daereungwon Tomb Complex
Tours including Daereungwon Tomb Complex:

8. Yangdong Folk Village

Take a break from modern life at Yangdong Folk Village, a village that remains frozen in time. Set up during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), the village typifies the local culture, in which both spiritual and physical development rule. Visit the academies and study halls to experience the academic life of China’s students of the time, or relax at one of the many pavilions scattered across the village. Lush vegetation surrounds the village, making it a perfect spot to kick back and enjoy the scenery.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Yangdong Folk Village
Tours including Yangdong Folk Village:

9. Bomun Lake

Rent a swan or duck paddleboat and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere at Bomun Lake. The lake lies at the foot of a mountain, with the ruins of an old fortress and several hills rising around it. Take a turn around the lake on a bicycle, or hit the walking and jogging tracks. For a bit more excitement, rent a motorized scooter and listen to the music playing from the speakers along the pathway. Many hotels, restaurants, and cafes overlook the lake, and several recreational and sport facilities operate on site.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Bomun Lake
Tours including Bomun Lake:

10. Juwangsan National Park, Cheongsong-gun

Juwangsan National Park (Korean: 주왕산국립공원, 周王山國立公園) is located in North Gyeongsang province, South Korea, and is part of the Taebaek mountain range. It was designated the 12th national park in South Korea in 1976. The total size of the park is 107.42 km2 (41.48 sq mi). The park is home to 88 plant species and 924 animal species.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
Learn more about Juwangsan National Park

11. Gyeongju Historic Area

The sprawling World Heritage Site of Gyeongju Historic Area preserves the history and culture of the Silla Kingdom's ancient capital. Considered one of the largest outdoor museums in the world, the idyllic area contains ruins of temples, palaces, and pagodas, as well as many other cultural artifacts. Among the smaller distinct areas, don't miss the Mount Namsan Belt: centered around the revered mountain, it reveals pre-Buddhist shamanistic artifacts, as well as the ruins of hundreds of Buddhist relics and structures.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Gyeongju Historic Area
Tours including Gyeongju Historic Area:

12. Gyeongju National Park

Gyeongju National Park (Korean: 경주국립공원, 慶州國立公園) is located in the province of Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea, and is the country's only historical national park. It was first designated a national park in 1968. The park covers many of the principal Silla historical sites in Gyeongju City. It is divided into several non-contiguous sections: Gumisan and Danseoksan sections to the west of the city center; Hwarang, Seo-ak, Sogeumgang, and Namsan sections in the heart of Gyeongju; Tohamsan section to the east, and Daebon section on the coast of the Sea of Japan (East Sea).
Suggested duration: 8 hours
Learn more about Gyeongju National Park

15. Woljeonggyo Bridge

Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Woljeonggyo Bridge