Gyeongju National Museum

Museum in Gyeongju

Arguably the best history museum in Korea, the Gyeongju National Museum is where you can appreciate the significance of this ancient city in one fell swoop. The main archaeological hall has dazzling displays of jewellery, weaponry and other ceremonial items from the Silla dynasty, including a 5th-century gold crown that looks like something from Game of Thrones. The museum is an easy 150m walk from the east side of Wolseong-gongwon and is well signed.

You’ll find an entire building devoted to the findings at Anapji Pond, an art hall focusing on Buddhist works and a temporary exhibition hall.

Outside the main hall, the Emille Bell (King Seongdeok’s Bell) is one of the largest and most beautifully resonant bells ever made in Asia. It’s said that its ringing can be heard over a 3km radius when struck only lightly with the fist. Unfortunately, you aren’t allowed to test this claim. A couple of ancient stupas can also be found within the grounds.

There are English signs throughout and an interesting multilingual audioguide is available (₩3000). English-speaking tours run on Saturdays at 1.30pm (March to November).