Top Place To Visit in Spring: Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Festival
QUICK FACTS ABOUT THE GYEONGJU CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL
- 2017 was the first year Gyeongju hosted the cherry blossom festival; which coincided with the 26th cherry blossom marathon around Gyeongju.
- The Sakura cherry blossoms falls yearly around the end of March – beginning of April.
Visit Imagine Korea‘s official page for more information.
ABOUT GYEONGJU CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL
Gyeongju; the museum without walls, hosted it’s yearly Gyeongju Cherry blossom festival. A festival that celebrates the cherry blossom trees being in full bloom. The city, covered with these magnificent pink flowers. The perfect occasion for another family trip, a romantic escape (I don’t blame you!) or an just to take a bazillion selfies.
The Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Festival has many different kind of activities, that differ year by year, like live concerts and fireworks, the skewer festival, the cherry blossom marathon and a beer festival. You’ll also be able to find stalls all along the riverside, selling, souvenirs, toys and food.
There are 4 different locations in Gyeongju were you can enjoy the cherry blossom festival; namely Gyeongju Expo, Bomun Lake and Gyeongju river side/down town and Cheomseongdae Observatory (첨성대). The river side and the Cheomseongdae observatory are only a 10 minute walk from the express bus terminal. Getting to Bomun Lake (보문호) or the expo will take approximately 25 min by bus from Gyeongju Downtown. You can take bus number 10, 11, 100-1, 150, 154, or 600 and get off at Wolseong-dong Citizen’s Center Bus Stop.
Every year the opening ceremony of the cherry blossom festival is at Bomun Lake, close to the Teddy Bear Museum. This year (2017), there were multiple performances, finishing off with fireworks. My favourite performance was that of Roy Kim (로이김). The voice of an Angle, and he’s quite handsome! I’ve never heard of this ‘beautiful human being’ before, but it didn’t surprise me that many girls had traveled from afar to see him perform.
Make sure to try the meat skewers; you can find them along the riverside or at the Gyeongju Expo.
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!
- Planning to visit different sites? Then check out the one day tour bus that will bring you to all the hot spots. You can easily get your bus tickets from Trazy.
- Rent a bicycle! Gyeongju is a very bicycle friendly city, with many cycling paths in downtown Gyeongju and along Bomun lake.
- Why not book a one day trip departing from Seoul, bringing you to all the cherry blossom ‘hot spots’; book your tickets here.
Nomad house – cozy guesthouse in downtown Gyeongju, just a short walk from the express bus terminal and Gyeongju train station. Perfect when travelling on a budget or on a solo trip.
Gyeongju Guesthouse – great guesthouse for solo travelers. Conveniently located in downtown Gyeongju, 5 minutes from Gyeongju train station and Cheomseondae observatory.
Hwarang Guesthouse – located just next to Gyeongju train station, surrounded by a fair amount of Korean restaurants and coffee shops.
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