Welcome to Gyeongju

Most visitors touring the city centre are taken aback by the distinctive, low-lying urban centre sculpted by astonishing and substantial round grassy tombs – called tumuli – as well as traditional architecture, with colourful hip roofs set against a canvas of green rolling mountains.

Two of Gyeongju’s not-to-be-missed sites – Bulguk-sa and Seokguram – are in the outlying districts, within reach of public transport. Gyeongju and its surrounding districts covers a vast area – some 1323 sq km – so you should plan on several days' stay if you want to visit some of the lesser-known places.

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$179.99 Day Trips & Excursions

Gyeongju UNESCO Sites Tour with Bulguk Temple and Seokguram

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: 신라왕궁영상관Tourist can enjoy short film of Shilla Kimdom dynasty.Duration: 30 minutesStop At: Cheomseongdae Observatory, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-doCheomseongdae is the oldest existing astronomical observatory in Asia. Constructed during the reign of Queen Seon-deok (632-647), it was used for observing the stars in order to forecast the weather. This stone structure is a beautiful combination of straight lines and curves, and was designated as National Treasure No.31 on December 20th, 1962. Cheomseongdae was built in a cylinder shape with stones 30cm in diameter. 362 stones were piled up to make 27 levels. Roughly 4.16m up from the bottom there is a 1㎡ square entrance and a space to hang a ladder under it. The inside is filled with soil up to the 12th level, and the 19th, 20th, 25th, and 26th levels all have long rocks hanging on two areas, shaped as the Chinese letter '井' (jeong). It stands 9.17m high and the base stone on each side measures 5.35m. The Vernal Equinox, Autumnal Equinox, Winter Solstice, Summer Solstice and the 24 solar terms (also known as the astronomical solar year) were determined by the observation of stars. The pavilion stone is believed to have been used as a standard of deciding directions, north, south, east and west. The 362 stones used to build Cheomseongdae represented the 362 days in a lunar year.Duration: 30 minutesStop At: Donggung Palace and Wolji PondAccording to the historical records of Samguk-sagi, Wolji Pond was built during the 14th year of King Munmu (r. 661-681 AD) of the Silla Kingdom (57 BC-935 AD). Small mountains were created inside the palace walls, beautiful flowers were planted, and rare animals were brought in to create an exquisitely exotic garden fit for royalty. The pond was originally built in Wolseung Fortress (built in 101 AD during the Silla period), but the fortress was destroyed and now lies in ruins. In 1974, an excavation project revealed large spherical shapes (measuring 200 meters in diameter and 180 meters in height) which indicated that 3 islands had been located in the pond. Thanks to these important findings and existing historical records, Wolji Pond has been restored to nearly its former glory. Imhaejeonji As one of the detached palaces of the Silla royal family’s main palace, this structure was used as the crown prince’s palace. Imhaejeon is historically the most important building on the property and records often refer to the whole area as ‘Imhaejin.’ An excavation resulted in the discovery of several buildings: Hoerang (corridor area) and five towers in the western part of the area. Some sites have been restored while others have been left in their natural state with only the cornerstones poking out from beneath the ground.Duration: 1 hourStop At: Gyeongju Gyochon Traditional Village, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-doLocated in Gyeongju-si, Gyeongju Gyochon Village is a hanok village that allows visitors a look inside life of famous the Choi Clan. Visitors can see the House of the Gyeongju Choi Clan (Important Folklore Material No. 27) and try some Gyeongju Gyodong Beopju Liquor (Important Intangible Cultural Asset No. 86-3) inside the village.Duration: 45 minutesStop At: Daereungwon Royal TombLarge ancient tombs of kings and nobles of the Silla Kingdom can be seen around Gyeongju at the Daereungwon Tomb Complex (Cheonmachong Tomb). There are twenty-three large tombs located here; the most famous being Cheonmachong and Hwangnamdaechong. In an excavation of the area in the 1970s, Cheonmachong was discovered with a painting of a mounted horse. This painting is the only discovered painting from the Silla era. You can also view the inside of Cheonmachong. There are 11,526 remains and royal crowns inside the tomb, demonstrating the lavish lifestyle of the king. Another tourist attraction is Hwangnamdaechong, the largest ancient tomb. It houses the bodies of both the king and queen and has over 30 thousand relics and gold accessories. The unique thing about Hwangnamdaechong is that the queen's tomb has more luxurious accessories. Researchers have concluded that even the queen can have a high social position before marriage. You can feel the ancient culture of Korea 1,500 years ago when visiting these tombs.Duration: 1 hourStop At: Seokguram, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-doSeokguram, located on Tohamsan Mountain, is the representative stone temple of Korea. The official name of Seokguram, National Treasure No. 24, is Seokguram Seokgul. Designated as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1995, it is an artificial stone temple made of granite. The construction was started by Kim Dae-Seong (700-774) in 751 during the reign of King Gyeong-Deok (742-765) of the Silla Kingdom (57 BC - AD 935) and it was finished twenty-four years later in 774, during the reign of King Hye-Gong (765-780). Seokguram is known to have been built with Bulguksa Temple. According to the history book Samgukyusa of the Goryeo Dynasty (the country that unified the Korean peninsula at the end of the Silla Kingdom, 918-1392), Kim Dae-Seong had Bulguksa Temple built for his parents in his current life, and Seokguram Grotto for the parents of his former life. Inside the round-shaped main hall are the Bonjon Statue, Bodhi-sattva and his disciples. The Bonjon figure wearing a generous smile is seated on the stage engraved with a lotus flower design. The rounded ceiling looks like a half-moon or a bow and has a lotus flower decorated cover on it. As the sunrise from this spot is quite beautiful, many people climb the mountain at daybreak.Duration: 1 hourStop At: Bulguksa Temple, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-doBulguk Temple is the representative relic of Gyeongju and was designated as a World Cultural Asset by UNESCO in 1995. The beauty of the temple itself and the artistic touch of the stone relics are known throughout the world. Bulguk Temple was built in 528 during the Silla Kingdom, in the 15th year of King Beop-Heung's reign (514-540). The temple was originally called ‘Hwaeom Bulguksa Temple’ or ‘Beopryusa Temple’ and was rebuilt by Kim Dae-Seong (700-774), who started rebuilding the temple in 751 during the reign of King Gyeong-Deok (r. 742-765) and completed it in 774 during the reign of King Hye-Gong (r. 765-780). Upon completion, the temple’s name was changed to Bulguksa. Bulguk Temple underwent numerous renovations from the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) to the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), but was burned down during the Imjin War (Japanese Invasions, 1592-1598). Reconstruction started again in 1604 during the 37th year of King Seon-jo’s reign (Joseon Dynasty) and was renovated about 40 times until 1805 (during the reign of King Sun-Jo, 1790-1834). After this time, the temple suffered serious damage and was often the target of robbers. In 1969, the Bulguk Temple Restoration Committee was formed and in 1973, Mulseoljeon, Gwaneumjeon, Birojeon, Gyeongru, and Hoerang (all of which had previously been demolished) were rebuilt. Other old or broken sites (such as Daeungjeon, Geungnakjeon, Beomyeongnu and Jahamun) were repaired. Even today, Bulguk Temple is home to many important cultural relics such as Dabotap Pagoda (National Treasure No. 20), Seokgatap Pagoda (National Treasure No. 21), Yeonhwa-gyo & Chilbo-gyo Bridges (National Treasure No. 22), Cheongun-gyo & Baegun-gyo Bridges (National Treasure No. 23), Seokguram Grotto (National Treasure No. 24), the Golden Seated Vairocana Buddhist Figure (National Treasure No. 26), the Golden Seated Amita Figure (National Treasure No. 27), and Saritap Pagoda (Treasure No. 61).Duration: 1 hour

$780 Multi-day & Extended Tours

4-Day Eastern Korea Tour Including Seoul and Busan

Day 1 (Tue): Seoul – Jinju – Busan (L, D)Meet your guide and driver at the lobby of your hotel in Seoul only and kindly wait at the hotel ground level lobby for the pickup service. The first stop is Jinjuseong Fortress, historically linked to the Japanese invasion in 1592. After then, transfer to Busan and head to Igidae Park, the coastal walking path, famous for its panoramic view of Marine city and Gwangan Bridge. After dinner, check in hotel and rest of the day is at leisure.Hotel: Haeundae Grand Hotel or Similar (5-Star)Day 2 (Wed): Busan – Ulsan – Gyeongju (B, L, D)After breakfast, transfer from Busan to Ulsan and visit Daewangam Park, littered with rocks carved into interesting shapes by the wind and ocean. Next, explore Bulguksa Temple, the representative relic designated as a World Cultural Asset by UNESCO in Gyeongju. Explore to Gyeongju National Museum and Daereungwon Tomb Complex. Before you head to Chomseongdae Observatory, choose your preferred Hanbok, Korean National Costume and make a special memory wearing Hanbok with your companions.After hotel check in, rest of the day is at leisure.Hotel: Hilton Hotel Gyeongju or Similar (5-Star)Day 3 (Thu): Gyeongju – Andong – Wonju – Pyeongchang (B, L, D)After breakfast, transfer to from Gyeongju to Andong and visit Andong Hahoe village, home to descendants of the Ryu clan of Pungsan and well-known for its traditional houses. Then, transfer to Wonju and visit Hanji Theme Park where you can get a chance to experience the Hanji making process. Then, transfer to Pyeongchang. Lunch and dinner will be served en route at local restaurants. After hotel check in, rest of the day is at leisure.Hotel: InterContinental Alpensia Resort or Similar (5-Star)Day 4 (Fri): Pyeongchang – Gangreung – Yangyang – Seoul (B, L)After breakfast, this morning stop by Ski Jump Observatory for Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018 and then explore Jumunjin Seafood Market, including a variety of fresh seafood caught on the East Coast. For the next stop, transfer to Yangyang for a short hiking at Jujeongol of Mt. Seorak to enjoy the nature. After the tour, transfer to Seoul. Drop off service is available at T-Mark Hotel, T-Mark Grand Hotel, Lotte Hotel Seoul and Center Mark Hotel.Please note: Also, you can transfer to your hotel in Seoul by an international taxi for free upon request. Please provide your hotel information for after the tour at the time of booking.

$140 Cultural & Theme Tours

Gyeongju, Seokguram Grotto, Bulguksa Temple, Cheonmachong Tour

After pickup at your hotel in Busan, settle into your comfortable, private minivan for the 1.5-hour drive to Gyeongju, an ancient kingdom of the Silla Dynasty. En route, discuss your interests with your guide who can tailor commentary accordingly. Your first stop is Seokguram Grotto, a hermitage that belongs to Bulguksa Temple — each composing a UNESCO World Heritage site. View one of the finest Buddhist shrines in Asia, including a serene stone statue of the Buddha gazing out at the East Sea.From here, move on to the main complex of Bulguksa, meaning ‘Temple of the Buddha Land.’ Built during the 8th century on the slope of Mt Toham, Bulguksa is one of the most renowned Buddhist temples in Korea. With your guide, discover important Silla relics, including two stone pagodas.After lunch, served at a local restaurant with delicious Korean food, head to Tumuli Park, which contains more than 20 tombs from the Silla period. View Cheonmachong, meaning ‘Heavenly Horse Tomb,’ which marks the grave of an unknown Silla king. It’s name dates back to a painting that was discovered during its 1971 excavation, along with a gold crown and other valuable ornaments.Then stop by an amethyst factory to pore over Korea’s beloved gemstones, followed by a trip to Cheomseongdae, whose name means 'Star-Gazing Tower.' Learn how the oldest existing astronomical observatory in Asia was used to observe the stars in order to forecast the weather.Your final visit is to the Gyeongju National Museum, where you can further explore Silla traditions through the many archeological and historical artifacts on exhibit. Afterward, you’re returned to your hotel by private vehicle.

$479.97 Cultural & Theme Tours

3-Day Round-Trip Tour from Busan to Gyeongju

Your tour begins with a pickup from your hotel in Busan each morning. The guided tour duration is 8 hours each day and ends with a drop-off at your hotel in Busan.Day 1 (Busan A)1. Songdo Sky Walk, which has drawn attention as the first of its kind in Korea, and for its long, curving trail. 2. Gamcheon Culture Village, nicknamed the "Machu Picchu" of Busan.3. BIFF Square, Gukje Market4. Jagalchi Market (Fish Market), Korea's largest seafood market5. Yeongdo Bridge, which connects the Jung-gu and Yeongdo-gu districts in Busan. 6. Samgwang Temple where the famous lantern festival is held, which has been attracting over a million visitors each year. 7. Mountain Hwangnyeongsan Observatory, located in the heart of Busan with an altitude of 427m. We will drive up to the top.Day 2 (Busan B)1. Dalmaji Road is a small walkway on the corner to Songjeong Beach, located just beyond Haeundae Beach.2. Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, situated on the coast of the north-eastern portion of Busan. 3. Haeundae Beach is probably the most famous beach in the country. "Haeundae" was so named by scholar Choi Chi-Won of the Silla Kingdom (57 BC - AD 935). 4. Dongbaek Island (Island of Camellias), an island located off one end of Busan's famous Haeundae Beach.5. Oryukdo Skywalk, construction of this skywalk was with the theme of "walking over the sky"6. UN Memorial Cemetery in Korea honors UN soldiers from 16 countries that were killed in battle during the Korean War from 1950-1953.7. Busan Cinema Center - Home of Busan International Film Festival ( BIFF ). World's largest roof under the Guinness World Records.8. Shinsegae Centum City Department Store is registered in the Guinness World Records as the largest shopping complex in the world.Day 3 (Gyeongju)1. Shilla Kingdom Theater - Tourists can enjoy short film of Shilla Kimdom dynasty.2. Gyochon Traditional Village - a hanok village that allows visitors a look inside life of Choi Clan. 3. Daereungwon Tomb Complex - Large ancient tombs of kings and nobles can be seen around Gyeongju at the Daereungwon Tomb Complex4. Cheomseongdae Observatory - oldest existing astronomical observatory in Asia5. Bulguk Temple [UNESCO World Heritage] - the representative relic of Gyeongju and was designated as a World Cultural Asset by UNESCO6. Seokguram Grotto [UNESCO World Heritage] - is the representative stone temple of Korea7. Gyeongju Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond - The pond was originally built in Wolseung Fortress  but the fortress was destroyed and now lies in ruins. 

$860.31 Day Trips & Excursions

3-Day KORAIL Tour of Busan and Gyeongju from Seoul

Enjoy a ride from Seoul Station to SinGyeongju Station on Korea's bullet train, KTX. The KTX tickets will be provided to you in advance. As you head down to Gyeongju for 2 hours, be mesmerized by Korea's beautiful sceneries as you look out through the window.Upon arrival, meet with your local guide and start off the half day tour with some of UNESCO World Heritage sites. You will be driven to Bulguksa Temple, which is classified as Historic and Scenic Site No. 1 by the South Korean government and added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995. The temple is famous for its architectural beauty. Then continue onto the Gyeongju Historic Area, where you can find many large and small tombs of kings and court officials, and various artifacts. Next, take a walk towards Cheomseongdae Observatory, the oldest exisiting astronomical observatory in Asia. Learn how Cheomseongdae Observatory was used in politics, science, and agriculture. Afterwards, be dropped off at your hotel near Bomun Lake.Next day, enjoy breakfast at the hotel and then be picked up by a taxi at Gyeongju hotel and depart for Busan at SinGyeongju Station. Take the KTX to Busan. (KTX tickets will be provided to you in advance.)Upon arrival, meet with your local guide and start your full day tour with a visit to Nurimaru APEC House, located on Dongbaekseom Island. The Nurimaru APEC House has been used for the 2nd APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Leaders’ Meeting held in 2005. Then continue to Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, situated along the shore line on the coast of the north-eastern portion of Busan. At the temple, enjoy the calming sounds of the waves and the majestic view. Next, head back to downtown of Busan and visit Jagalchi Fish Market, Korea’s largest seafood market. Find and taste fresh seafood right at the market. This is where you can experience the lifestyle of Busan locals. Then visit Yongdusan Park, which is one of the most popular mountains in downtown Busan. Yongdusan Park offers a spectacular view of Busan Port and the surrounding scenery. Afterwards, walk down towards Gukje Market, one of Korea’s largest markets. Each alleyway is crowded with different stalls and connects to other markets as well. The market stocks a wide variety of goods, where you can find almost everything you need. Afterwards, be dropped off at your Busan hotel for the night. The next day, relax and enjoy some leisure time at Busan, which offers much activities to select from. Head over to Busan Station on your own and then ride on the already paid KTX back to Seoul. (KTX tickets will be provided to you in advance.)

$4010 Cultural & Theme Tours

Active Seniors Korea Tour 11days 10nights

Day01 Tour representative will escort us to our hotel. Overnight in Incheon (Seoul)Day02 We start our tour by visiting Gwangmyeong Cave,  fly to Jeju Island,   visit Yongduam, Dragon’s Head Rock. Overnight in JejudoDay03 starting with Sangumburi, crater  Then we enjoy Ilchul Land, beautiful theme park with flower garden including Bonsai Garden.                         Overnight in JejudoDay04 fly back to Busan,  we will visit the Yongdusan Dragon Head Park –Then we will go to Busan Tower, we will visit the Jagalchi Fish                   Market,  “must-go” site for tourists in Busan. we will visit Taejongdae park, APEC House, Haeundae Beach and Centum                                   city.  Overnight in BusanDay05 transfer to Gyeongju,   We visit Gyeongju Yangdong Village, .proceed our city tour from Bulguksa temple,  Seokguram Grotto                           Hermitage,  we will visit Daereungwon, Overnight in GyeongjuDay06 We proceed to Jeonju,  We first visit Hanji Museum (Korean Traditional Mulberry paper), You also get DIY experience to make Korean             paper We will take a tour to Hanok Village, participate and test our creative flair in making traditional crafts Coming up next is a                         walking tour in Gyeonggijeon pavilion, Overnight in JeonjuDay07 we will visit Tapsa (Stone pagoda’s temple), Overnight in JeonjuDay08 we visit Suwon Hwaseong fortress,  After that, we enjoy DIY Kimchi making class, take photos in Korean Traditional outfit Hanbok.                   and visit  Namdaemun Local Market, Overnight in SeoulDay09 today’s tour is the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone). Visit Dora observatory and Dorasan railway station.  Late morning, visit the 3rd tunnel                 dug  After that, we visit  InSaDong (Antique cultural street) Overnight in SeoulDay10 We are heading out early the beautiful Gyeongbokgung Palace  Royal Guard Changing Ceremony.walk around the Bukchon Hanok                 Village. Then, we will head to ICE Gallery, Also we have enjoyable time at Trick Eye museum,            enjoy the No. 1 Korean Traditional Creative Performance Day11 we will transfer to the airport for our return flight,- End of the Tour