Gyeongju In Four Seasons

Gyeongju when to go: Cheomsondae

Gyeongju In Four Seasons: National Museum of Gyeongju

QUICK FACTS ABOUT GYEONGJU

  • Gyeongju used to be the capital of the ancient Silla Kingdom (57BC to 935AD), during this period 56 kings or queens ruled.
  • The Silla capital, Gyeongju, was once the 4th biggest city in the world.
  • Gyeongju is often referred to as the “museum without walls” or the “city of ancients”.
  • The entire city is considered as a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO in the year 2000.
  • The original names of Gyeongju used to be Gyerim or Seorabeol, in 935AD the name Gyeongju was established.

Visit the official website for more information.

ABOUT GYEONGJU

Gyeongju or Kyongju is located in the southeast of South Korea and has over 2000 years worth of history as it used to be the capital of the ancient Silla Dynasty. Silla used to be the wealthiest country in Korea; with many architectural sites still remaining. After almost 1000 years of ruling, Gyeongju suffered from terrible destruction under multiple invasions. Currently many buildings have been excavated and proudly stand to tell the tale Silla’s magnificent history.

It is not a surprise that Gyeongju is a MUST visit city when travelling to and in Korea; both for foreign and Korean tourists. It is an amazing city throughout the yeah, with a different kind of beauty each season! But what is now really the best time to visit Gyeongju?

Bulguksa Temple & rice fields

BEST TIME TO VISIT GYEONGJU

Similar to the rest of Korea, Gyeongju has it’s four seasons; long summer and winters and sadly enough, short spring and autumns. The best time to visit Gyeongju is from March to June and September to October; this is no different for the rest of Korea. It is better to avoid travelling in summer and winter as temperatures can get quite extreme from 0°C in winter to 40°C in summer; not to mention the wind!

Summer In Gyeongju

Summer, the season the whole nation is dreading. If you do end up travelling in this season; like I did, the unaware tourist, the first time I came to Korea – make sure to carry enough water, sunscreen, hats and sunglasses.

Golgulsa Temple & Bulguksa Temple

 Autumn In Gyeongju

Personally, autumn is my absolute favourite season in Korea, the sun is shining and temperatures are soft, around 20°C, which is quite warm for a northern European. Towards the end of October, beginning of November the leaves will start to turn golden – it’s like nothing you have ever seen before, I promise you!

Winter In Gyeongju

Uhh winter, I definitely not classify myself as a winter person, most obsolete season ever! As Gyeongju is a coastal city, the winds are really strong. Luckily it’s not as cold as Seoul. I’m sure there are those kind of people, that love the “Strum und Drang” of winter. The one benefit of visiting Gyeongju during winter is that you will be the only tourist on the street; which will make accommodation much cheaper than during the other seasons.

Yangnam Beach

Hwangsangdong Park & Gyeochon Village & Namsan Park

Spring In Gyeongju

The most exciting season for the general public; the cherry blossom season. Starting most years at the end of March, beginning of April. The cherry blossoms are only blooming for one week, which is also the only week all the accommodations in the city are sold out! Floads of people will be coming from all over the world to see the Silla Capital in full bloom. Gyeongju is hosting a yearly one week cherry blossom festival with markets and concerts on different locations all over the city.

Cherry Blossom Festival & YangdongTraditional Folk Village

GETTING HERE

Gyeongju is located in the southeast of the Korean Peninsula between Daegu, Busan, Ulsan and Pohang. From each of these cities you can easily take the express bus which will take between 40 minutes to an hour. From each of these cities there are busses every 15-20 minutes. You can just buy your ticket 10 minutes before departure at the ticket office, no need for making a reservation in advance. The ticket price will be no more that 5000 won.

From Seoul you can take the KTX, there are direct trains from Incheon Airport and Seoul Station once an hour. Depending on the train this will take around 2-2h30 and should cost 50 000 won for a normal ticket and 41 000 for a standing ticket. The KTX station in Gyeongju is located 20km from the city center, so you’ll have to take a taxi or bus to downtown. The bus will take around 40 minutes and should cost around 1200won. If you’re arriving after 21h30, there is no other option that the taxi. To the downtown this will take approximately 20 minutes as should cost around 15 000 won (depending on where you are going in downtown).

TIP! When I’m visiting Gyeongju, I take the KTX from Seoul station to Daegu (1u45min) and switch in Daegu to the express bus to Gyeongju (50 minutes). I do this for two reasons; first, the trains Seoul – Daegu run more frequently; second: the express bus from Daegu to Gyeongju will bring you to Gyeongju downtown, instead of the Singyeongju KTX station 40 minutes outside Gyeongju. It save time and it saves money!

RECOMMENDED LENGTH OF STAY

There are so many things to visit in Gyeongju, so you can easily spend a week in the city. But if this is your first time visiting it is recommended to stay 2 days. The first day you can focus on visiting everything in downtown, the second day visit the main sites out of Gyeongju.

2 DAY ITINERARY

Day 1:
The Unknown Tomb in downtown
Tumuli Tomb Park
Cheomseongdae Observatory
Gyerim Forest
Gyeochon Village
National Museum of Gyeongju (FREE; closed on Mondays)
Anapji Pond

Day 2:
Bulguksa Temple (do the 2 hour hike to the Seokguram Grotto)
Seogkuram Grotto
Bunhwansa Temple
Hwangnyongsanji Temple Museum

OTHER TIPS

  • Hire a bicycle! Close to the express bus terminal you will be able to find many bike rental shops; they rent out bicycles for a day or just for a couple of hours.
  • Want to visit the main sites and more without any hassle? Book tickets for the city bus tour, which runs daily.
  • Visit Cheomseongdae? Buy a kite from one of the street vendors. It’s a typical thing Koreans do when having a relaxing day in Gyeongju.

RECOMMENDED ACCOMMODATIONS

Happy Village Syeobul – the best Hanok stay with an amazing breakfast in Gyeongju. Located next to the touristic hot spots, 10 minutes walk from the express bus terminal and only 5 minutes from the “the up and coming” restaurant street.

Hilton Hotel – located outside Gyeongju, at the beautiful Bomun lake is the perfect luxury accommodation. The hotel is located between Bulguksa temple, Golgulsa Temple, Gyeongju Beach and Gyeongju city center; so the perfect location to visit all these touristic hot spots.

Good Dream Guest House –  perfect budget guesthouse located 5 minutes walking from the express bus terminal and only 5 minutes to the entrance of the Tumuli park. You’ll easily find many restaurants in this area.

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Gyeongju In Four Seasons

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24 Responses

  1. Anna says:

    It looks like a beautiful place! I had never heard of it. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Brittny says:

    This is beautiful! especially the cherry blossoms

  3. Theresa says:

    Wow! You got amazing pictures there! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Jajwalya says:

    Oh I do love the transitioning seasons of “Sturm und Drang” to “Cherry Blossoms” as depicted in the shows and anime I have seen!
    Thank you for sharing this info with us!

  5. Jaime says:

    Such a beautiful place during all seasons! I’ve never been to this part of the world, and found your post very insightful. Thank you!

  6. zahra says:

    Wow, really beautiful. Thanks for sharing

  7. Sam says:

    Wow, what a gorgeous location. I’m going to have to put this on my bucket list. Thanks!

  8. Stanito says:

    It looks very nice 🙂 Marie, what made you move to Seoul?

  9. Bryan Carey says:

    I never thought of South Korea as a place to travel to, but I stand corrected!

  10. Maria says:

    I love the play you made on the four seasons and your pictures are so beautifully taken… Obviously the view helps haha
    love the read 🙂

  11. Chloe says:

    WOW! Gyeongju looks amazing!! I got to visit South Korea this Summer but we only stayed in Seoul. I’ll definitely need to check this place out next time! Loove the photos! Makes me really want to go back to SK! 🙂

    xo, Chloe // https://funinthecloset.com/boho-babes-fall-transitions/

  12. I think spring or autumn for us would be the best time to travel, love the concept of presenting a travel blog in seasons. Well done

  13. Pauline says:

    It looks beautiful! Ive only been to South Korea for 5 days, 4 years ago, for a school project (I was studying in China at the time). I could only visit Seoul, and would love to go back and visit more cities. Meanwhile, I read about Korea ^^
    I was in Seoul in the middle of November, and I think I would not have been able to survive Winter over there… so freezing cold!!

  14. Wendy says:

    I loved our stay in Gyeongju! The museum without walls. Stayed there for 5 days on a September. It wasn’t hot anymore but it didn’t give us Autumn-colored leaves yet. But it was a lovely place even without the autumn leaves, cherry blossoms and snow.

  15. Rocio Cadena says:

    I’ve only been to gyeongju once during the spring time and absolutely loved it! It’s exactly as you describe it and show with your photos. Like you, I’m not a fan of the winters either and am quite sad that the weather is already cooling off more than I’d like it to. How long have you lived in gyeongju?

  16. Alla says:

    Biking through the cherry blossoms filled trees of Gyeongju is one of my fondest memories while still living in Korea. If you take one of the preplanned tours, you don’t have to worry about parking or accommodation and biking through the city was slow enough but fast enough to see lots of great places. I recommend the spring!!!

  17. Ruth Bloch says:

    That is breathtaking! I’ve never actually considered South Korea in terms of travel, but its beautiful! Going on my list!

  18. zahra says:

    Have never been to Korea but would love to visit some day. Beautiful post

  19. Thanks for the information and the lovely photos!

  20. Gyeongju seems so picturesque and I would definitely visit it in spring. How many days should I stay there?

    • admin says:

      I think most people go for 2 or 3 days. Which I think is enough if it’s your first time in Korea. You will be able to see the main sights and go up to Bulguksa temple.

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