Top choice in Gyeongju

The huge, walled park has 23 tombs of Silla monarchs and family members. From the outside, they resemble substantial grassy hillocks that echo the mountains outside town. Many of the tumuli have yielded fabulous treasures, on display at the Gyeongju National Museum. One tomb, Cheonmachong, is open to visitors, but was shut for restoration at the time of writing. Thirteen metres high and 47m in diameter, the tomb was built around the end of the 5th century.

Facsimiles of the golden crown, bracelets, jade ornaments, weapons and pottery found here are displayed in glass cases around the inside of the tomb.

The park is a truly sublime and romantic place to wander, especially at dawn or at sunset. Never climb any of the burial mounds – the penalties are very severe and could put you in prison for up to two years. On colder days, the park closes at sunset.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Gyeongju attractions

1. Cheonmachong

0.04 MILES

This is the only tomb at Tumuli-gongwon that is open to visitors. At the time of writing the tomb was shut for a grand restoration, scheduled to reopen by…

2. Geumnyeongchong

0.04 MILES

Across the road from Noseo-dong tombs is this tomb, adjoining Bonghwadae.

3. Beopjang-sa

0.09 MILES

This small one-hall Buddhist temple opposite the north gate to Tumuli-gongwon is worth a look-in, especially for the vividly-painted guardians painted on…

4. Noseo-dong Tombs

0.15 MILES

Near the main shopping area is the Noseo-dong district, where you'll find Silla tombs. Seobongchong and Geumgwanchong are adjacent tombs built between the…

5. Bonghwangdae

0.17 MILES

Sprouting huge trees of vast girth, this is the largest extant Silla tomb – 22m high, with a 250m circumference. It's quite a picture at any time put…

6. Geumgwanchong

0.22 MILES

At Noseo-dong Tombs, Geumgwanchong was built between the 4th and 5th centuries.

7. Seobongchong

0.26 MILES

At Noseo-dong Tombs, the tomb of Seobongchong was erected between the 4th and 5th centuries. Excavation of the mound yielded a gold crown of Silla origin…

8. Cheomseongdae

0.49 MILES

Southeast of Tumuli-gongwon in the attractive sprawl of Wolseong-gongwon is the Far East’s oldest astrological observatory, constructed between AD 632 and…