A Trip to Bulguksa Temple Gyeongju

Gyeongju Bulguksa Temple

QUICK FACTS ABOUT BULGUKSA TEMPLE GYEONGJU

  • Bulguksa temple was built in 528 during the Silla Dynasty, in 751 King Gyeong-Deok started rebuilding the temple.
  • The temple burned down during the Imijin war and was damaged multiple time during robber attacks.
  • The temple is considered as a master piece of Buddhist art dating back from the Silla Dynasty. Currently the temple is part of the Yogye order; the biggest Buddhist order in Korea. Golgulsa Temple, also located in Gyeongju is also part of the Yogye order.

Find more information on Imagine’s Korea official website.

ABOUT BULGUKSA TEMPLE

Bulguksa Temple Gyeongju is a Buddhist temple located in the outskirts of Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do. The temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage sites Korea since 1995 . The temple is very popular for Korean travelers and visitors from all over the world as Gyeongju is often referred to as the “museum without walls”.

The main entrance to the temple exists of a 33 step high double staircase, which represents the 33 steps to enlightenment. The stair case works as a bridge, which is National Treasure nr. 23.

When entering the main court you can see two pagodas, in the early days of Buddhism pagodas represented Buddha, as no images or statues of Buddha were available.

The entrance fee for an adult is 5000 won, for youth 3500 won and for children 2500 won. If you are a Gyeongju citizen make sure to bring your ID or ARC card as you can enter for free.

Bulguksa Temple Gyeongju

BEST TIME TO VISIT BULGUKSA TEMPLE

You will need minimum one hour to explore the temple as there are many different buildings and halls. The best time to visit the temple is during spring and autumn as the flowers start to bloom or the leaves start to turn golden. It’s definitely worth visiting the temple as it’s rich in history, extremely beautiful and has more that seven National Treasures.

Family in Bulguksa Temple Gyeongju
Family in Bulguksa Temple Gyeongju
The temple also runs temple stays on a yearly basis. I’ve tried a temple stay at another temple in Gyeongju, Golgulsa Temple and it’s a great way to learn more about the temple culture and activities.

GETTING HERE

From downtown Gyeongju (Express Bus Terminal or Train Station), take bus 10 or 11. It will take approximately 40 minutes to reach the temple and should cost 1700 won. The bus passes by Bunhwansa temple, the Teddy Bear Museum and Bomun lake which may be worth a stop along the way.
By car it will take 20 minutes from downtown Gyeongju. The temple parking fee is 2000won, but there is free parking just across the street.

OTHER TIPS

  • There are FREE tour guides working in the temple. Go to the information booth and ask for an English speaking guide.
  • Also visiting Seokguram Grotto? There is a hiking trail from Bulguksa temple entrance leading to Seokguram entrance. The walk uphill will take around 1 hour.

RECOMMENDED ACCOMMODATIONS

Attimua Guesthouse & Pension – the pension is the perfect location for a relaxing weekend in the country side. The pension is located next to a small lake and has it’s own swimming pool and BBQ facilities.
Guesthouse Santa – Located in Gyeongju downtown, a short walk away from Gyeongju train station and express bus terminal. A great location for a budget or solo traveler.
Polaris Tourist Pension – just around the corner from Bulguksa temple and Seokguram Grotto. A luxuary retreat with swimming pool and BBQ facilities.
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