What to see in South Korea
Tourist attractions Jeonju
Located in the west of the country, Jeonju is one of the main cultural centres of South Korea. The capital of North Jeolla Province, Jeonju perfectly fuses modernity and tradition to offer a distinctively different atmosphere in comparison to other cities in the country. At the heart of Jeonju is its ancient Hanok village, home to enchanting traditional architecture that offers a window into the days of the famed Joseon Dynasty. Furthermore, Jeonju is famed for its fantastic cuisine, having been awarded recognition as a UNESCO city of gastronomy in 2012. Conveniently situated halfway between the capital of Seoul and the megacity of Busan, visits to Jenoju are often included as part of a wider tour of South Korea.
With its historic Hanok village, Jeonju is one of the best places in the country to enjoy a traditional Hanok stay and immerse yourself in authentic Korean culture. Easily explored on foot, the ancient part of the city is home to around 800 low-rise traditional houses, with characteristic roof tiles and wooden doors and windows. Travelling to Jeonju is the chance to explore a Korean city frozen in time. The birthplace of both the Joseon Dynasty and the national dish of Bibimbap, both foodies and history buffs will relish the chance to travel to Jeonju.
Alongside the charms of the Hanok village, there is a more modern side to the city. You can find high-end eateries, vibrant nightlife and a youthful atmosphere if you travel to Jeonju, in part due to the fact that the city is home to a large university. Therefore, a trip to Jeonju is the chance to enjoy the best of both worlds!
Things to see in Jeonju
The highlight of a trip to Jeonju is, of course, the incredible Jeonju Hanok Village, among the best-preserved ancient cities in the country. Home to 800 traditional houses dating back to the 14th-century and the days of the Joseon Dynasty, this Hanok village is the ideal place to experience a traditional homestay. As you stroll through the cobblestone streets you’ll encounter all kinds of cultural attractions, from Korean paper-making workshops to sake museums and calligraphy studios. Many of the houses are beautifully decorated with lanterns, flowers and other seasonal trinkets and photo opportunities reveal themselves at every turn! One of the best things to see in Jeonju, a visit to this Hanok village is sure to be a highlight of any South Korea tour.
A short walk from the ancient centre and you’ll find yourself in the colourful area of Jaman. Overlooking the old Hanok houses, this hillside settlement is famed for its exuberant murals! A residential area, Jaman has been rejuvenated in recent years with the painting of enormous street murals on its streets and houses. Anime scenes and traditional folklore paintings sit side-by-side and a stroll through Jaman Mural Village is considered one of the best things to do in Jeonju, particularly for art-lovers!
Back in the old town, another of the most unmissable things to see in Jeonju is the historic Gyenggijeon Shrine. Home to a preserved portrait of King Tae-Jo, the founder of the Joseon Dynasty, this beautiful palace and place of worship dates back to the early 15th-century. Inside you’ll find all manner of Confucian shrines and a museum dedicated to Joseon royalty. Take an English-guided tour to learn more about this pivotal time in Korean history and the significance of Jeonju during the era of the Joseon Dynasty.
If you explore Jeonju beyond the historic Hanok village you’ll likely stumble upon beautiful Deokjin Park, located in the city centre and a popular spot for picnics and strolls during the summer. The highlight of the park is its central pond, home to gorgeous lotus flowers. Paddleboat rides on the pond are popular, but you can also get a good view of the lotus blooms from a suspension bridge that crosses the pond.
Finally, if you travel to Jeonju, you cannot miss out on this city’s world-renowned cuisine! Whilst Bibimbap is the most famous dish, Jeonju’s street food offerings are equally as delicious. Nambu Market is the largest local market in the city, and alongside a rainbow assortment of fresh fruit and vegetables, visitors can also choose from a variety of street food snacks and traditional Korean delicacies. A must-visit if you fancy yourself as a foodie!