Jeonju, Hanbok village within the city.
The main thing to do in Jeonju is explore the traditional Hanok Village. Although it can be circled on foot in about 40 minutes, every alleyway within it is packed with beautiful Korean highlights and attractions to visit. Jeonju came in 3rd place in Lonely Planet’s “Best Attractions in Asia” list in 2016, which is still proudly mentioned on Jeonju’s tourist map.
We stayed 2.5 days in Jeonju and enjoyed it very much. The traditional village is beautiful. As well as the shrine and the church. But a little further there is also a large shopping district. So a wonderful city to enjoy a few days of both ancient and modern Korea. Our highlights were:
Jeonju Hanok Village:
Jeonju’s Hanok Village is the largest in Korea, and is a scenic area to wander around. The main touristy part of Jeonju is Taijo-ro street, which runs from the town’s Catholic Church to the front of Gyeonggijeon Shrine, all the way to the base of Omodae viewpoint. In addition to this main street, the district has very cozy alleys and streets where you can get lost in the beautiful old Korea.
The shrine is set in a beautiful courtyard and is surrounded by many well-preserved monuments and historical buildings. A small bamboo grove is a popular Instagram spot, but so is the rest of the picturesque shrine grounds. The beautiful garden and buildings in very good condition make a great impression. The beautiful blossom trees and plants provide a lot of atmosphere. Entry costs 3000 won per person.
Royal Portrait Museum:
Upon entering the museum, we recommend that you first watch the film in the left room. In this way you get a lot of appreciation for the craftsmanship of the portraits on silk cloth. Then there is a large ground floor with many portraits and antiques. Several portraits of King Taejo are preserved here in the Royal Portrait Museum. This King is most known for founding the Joseon Dynasty in Korea. The Royal Portrait Museum also houses portraits from other famous Korean kings, among other royal objects. It is a very interactive museum where you can play creative games. Entrance is free.
Jeondong Catholic Church:
This Catholic church is one of the largest, and considered to be one of the most beautiful Catholic churches in South Korea. The church is opposite the entrance to the Gyeonggijeon Shrine, so definitely worth a visit. The church can be entered through the left door. Please keep silence and respect for fellow church visitors.
Rent a Hanbok:
Renting a Hanbok is a popular activity with the local Korean tourists looking for things to do in Jeonju. Hanbok is a traditional Korean dress, consisting of a colorful large gown and a small long-sleeved vest for women, and a jacket and tall hat for men. Rent a Hanbok in Jeonju before visiting the Gyeonggjieon Shrine and wandering Jeonju Hanok Village to provide the most beautiful self-portraits. The Koreans love it. Hanboks can be rented for about 10,000 Korean won for about 3 hours.
This viewpoint is located on the east side of the Hanok Village. A few stairs up and you immediately have an idea of the size of the village. The view is not very special because the buildings are more beautiful from the front than from above., but here are also some beautiful buildings on the top for a wonderful moment in silence.
try local dishes on this market. The best time to visit are Friday and Saturday evenings when it can get crowded. In any case, there are restaurants to be found every day. You can also shop here for household items and souvenirs.
Shopping in Gosa-Dong:
Just outside the Hanbok village we were surprised to find a huge shopping area in the Gosa-Dong district. Ideal for a day of shopping. Many clothing stores, market stalls and restaurants make this a wonderful district for a day of relaxation.
Try local delicacies:
Korea’s famous national dish bibimbap has a 200+ year history that originated in Jeonju, so this is the place to try one. Delicious and healthy, and not so spicy. In addition, Jeonju is also known on a culinary level for the Kongnamul gukbap (bean sprouts soup with rice) which is one of the renowned delicacies from Jeonju. Kongnamul gukbap was developed during the Korean War. In the 1970s, the dish was mostly sold around Jeonju Nambu Market and Jeonju Train Station. Enjoy your dinner!