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City Tours print

Seoul Busan Daegu Daejeon


Gyeongju Samcheok
Mokpo Suncheon Yeosu Suwon


Gyeongju City Tour

The history of Gyeongju (located in the southeast of Korea) dates back to ancient times when the city was the capital of the Silla Dynasty (BC 57-935), the longest period of reign in the history of Korea. Today, more than a thousand years later, evidence of Gyeongju's rich cultural heritage is still evident in every corner of the city. Since the ancient relics are such an integral part of the area, the whole city has been designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage under the name 'Gyeongju Historic Areas'. As such, Gyeongju is often referred to as a 'roofless museum'. Though there are numerous relics and historic sites throughout the town, Gyeongju City Tours focus mainly on three of the top destinations. Course 1 includes Bulguksa Temple and the downtown area; Course 2 highlights Seokguram Grotto and the East Sea area; and Course 3 consists of the Seokguram Grotto, Bulguksa Temple, and part of the downtown area.
Visitor Information
☞ Operating Period:
Course 1 & 3 - daily departures (year-round)
Course 2 - Tuesdays, Thursdays, and weekends
☞ Departure Points:
Course 1 & 2 – Departs from Cheonma Gwangwang in front of Gyeongju Bus Terminal
Course 3 – Departs from Bulguksa Visitor Center
☞ Fare: Adult 15,000 won / Teens (ages 13-18) 12,000 won / Children (ages 7-12) 10,000 won (* Meals and admission fees not included)
☞ Reservations and inquiries: +82-54-743-6001 (Cheonma Gwangwang)
☞ Travel phone: +82-54-1330 (English, Japanese, Chinese)
☞ Transportation: Seoul → Gyeongju
Gangnam Express Bus Terminal (Subway lines 3 & 7, Express Bus Terminal Station, Exit #2) → Gyeongju Bus Terminal (4-hour ride, first bus- 06:05, last bus- 23:55, buses run every 30 to 40 minutes. Fare: 18,600 - 30,400 won)
☞ Accomodations in Gyeongju (English)
☞ Official site of Gyeongju Tourism (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

** Course Descriptions
Course 1> Departs at 08:40 and returns at 16:30
Gyeongju Bus Terminal → Bomun Complex (drive-by point of interest) → Bulguksa Temple → Folk Craft Village (Silla Arts and Science Museum) → Bunhwangsa Temple → Tomb of General Kim Yusin → Daereungwon (Cheonmachong) → Gyeongju National Museum → Cheomseongdae → Gyeongju Bus Terminal
※ Course route will be slightly alterated on Mondays, when the Gyeongju National Museum is closed. Anapji and Banwolseong will be visited as alternatives.

Course 2> Departs at 10:00 and returns at 16:40
Gyeongju Bus Terminal → Bomun Complex (drive-by point of interest) → Gwaereung → Seokguram Grotto → Tomb of King Munmu the Great → Gameunsaji Temple Site → Golgulsa Temple → Bomun Complex (drive-by point of interest) → Gyeongju Station → Gyeongju Bus Terminal

Course 3> Departs at 10:00 and returns at 18:00
Bulguksa Visitor Center → Bomun complex (drive-by point of interest) → Gyeongju Station (10:50) → Gyeongju Bus Terminal (11:00) → Poseokjeong → Daereungwon (Cheonmachong) → Cheomseongdae → Seokguram Grotto → Bulguksa Temple → Bomun complex (pass) → Gyeongju Station → Gyeongju Bus Terminal
※ Schedules are subject to change. Tours may be cancelled if less than 6 people have registered for any given tour. Please call to re-confirm your reservation one day prior to your scheduled departure date.

Bulguksa Temple
Bulguksa Temple (불국사) was constructed as a representation of the 'ideal world of Buddha'. It is one of the country's most cherished remnants of the Silla Dynasty (BC 57-935) because it embodies the mysticism and beauty of Buddhism, the spiritual and cultural backbone of Silla. The Bulguksa Temple was the pinnacle of architecture and art in the 8th century and, together with the Seokguram Grotto, was designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 1995.
Unlike most other temples in Korea, Bulguksa sits up high on a stone structure that extends a hundred meters long. The area below the stone platform represents the temporal world, while the space on and above it signifies the world of Buddha, with stone stairs connecting the two. The temple is home to a number of national treasures, the most representative of which are the Dabotap and Seokgatap pagodas in front of Daeungjeon Hall. Both pagodas are made out of stone and exemplify the outstanding craftsmanship of the Silla period.
☞ Address: Gyeongsangbuk-do Gyeongju-si Jinhyeon-dong 15
☞ Tel: +82-54-746-9913
☞ Admission: Adults (19+) 4,000 won / Teens (ages 13-18) 3,000 won / Children (ages 7-12) 2,000 won
☞ Click here for Bulguksa Temple
☞ Official site (Korean)

Seokguram Grotto
Seokguram Grotto (석굴암) is located 8-kilometers past the Bulguksa Temple, along the ridge of Mount Tohamsan (745 meters above sea level) near the mountain's summit. Constructed to look like a grotto, the structure was carved into the stone mountainside and then covered with sod. The centerpiece of the granite sanctuary is a seated Buddha statue called Bonjonbulsang , which is regarded as one of the greatest masterpieces of the latter part of the Silla (Unified Shilla) in the 8th century. Delicately sculpted to look as if rough granite is weaved into silk, the Seokgamoni Buddha has the serene expression of meditation at the moment of enlightenment. The craftsmanship of Buddha's facial expression and posture is so realistic, elegant, and alive that it is simply breathtaking. The Buddha overlooks the East Sea and Korean people refer to the statue's smile bathed in the morning sunlight as 'the smile of the Silla people.' Despite all the technological advancements of modern times, the architecture, science, geometry, and art that went into making the Seokguram Grotto 1,200 years ago makes it a structure unmatched in its excellence.
☞ Address: Gyeongsangbuk-do Gyeongju-si Jinhyeon-dong 999
☞ Tel: +82-54-746-9933
☞ Admission: Adults (ages 19+) 4,000 won / Teens (ages 13-18) 3,000 won / Children (ages 7-12) 2,000 won
☞ Click here for Seokguram Grotto
☞ Official site (Korean)

Daereungwon Tumuli Park (Cheonmachong)
Of the clusters of tumuli (burial mounds) scattered throughout Gyeongju, Daereungwon (대릉원) is the largest with an impressive 23 burial mounds from the Silla kingdom. The area has been landscaped into a beautiful park, affording visitors the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and immerse themselves in the history of the 1000-year-old era. The only burial site that has been identified so far is the tomb 'Michuwangneung' of King Michu, the thirteenth ruler of the Korean state of Silla (262-284). The most famous burial site is the one named 'Cheonmachong (천마총)', because it gives visitors a chance to take a peek at the interior of the tomb. The tomb's name comes from the Cheonmado painting (Painting of a Heavenly Horse) that was found inside the tomb during excavation work done in 1973. The gold crown found inside the tumulus is known as the biggest and most magnificent of all the gold crowns found to date, and is widely recognized as a symbol of the Silla kingdom. A visit to 'Cheonmachong' reveals both the construction of the tombs as well as what kinds of items were buried there.
☞ Address: Gyeongsangbuk-do Gyeongju-si Hwangnam-dong 82-2
☞ Tel: +82-54-772-6317
☞ Admission: Adults (ages 19+) 1,500 won / Teens (ages 13-18) 700 won / Children (ages 7-12) 600 won
☞ Click here for Daereungwon

Gyeongju National Museum
The Gyeongju National Museum houses a permanent collection displaying some of the Silla Kingdom's most valuable treasures. Throughout the Archeology Hall, Art Hall, Anapji Hall, and Special Exhibition Hall there is a display of 3,000 pieces, including Seongdeokdaewangsinjong (성덕대왕신종, The Divine Bell of King Seongdeok the Great), National Treasure No. 29. On the 2nd floor of the Art Hall, where the Buddhist art of Silla is on display, visitors will find a model of the nine-story wooden pagoda of Hwangnyongsa Temple.
☞ Address: Gyeongsangbuk-do Gyeongju-si Iljeong-ro 118
☞ Tel: +82-54-740-7500
☞ Admission: Free (Please check-in at the museum to receive your ticket)
☞ Click here for Gyeongju National Museum
☞ Official site (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

Golgulsa Temple
Golgulsa Temple (골굴사) is famous for the 4-meter-high relief carving named 'Maaeyeoraejwasang (마애여래좌상)' depicting a seated Buddha. Though the relief carving is located high up on a steep cliff, people can follow a small staircase to get a closer look at the Buddha sculpture. Estimated to date back to the 9th century, the Buddha sculpture has survived more than a thousand years, but the part below the Buddha's knees has been weathered away. To prevent further damage, a glass roof has been installed above the rockface. In the relief, Buddha has a mild, heart-warming expression on his face. In addition to the beautiful relief art, Golgulsa Temple offers a popular temple stay program where participants learn the practice of Seonmudo (Zen martial arts). .
☞ Address: Gyeongsangbuk-do Gyeongju-si Yangbuk-myeon Andong-ri San 304-1
☞ Tel: +82-54-744-1689
☞ Temple Admission: Free
Temple Stay: 1-night, 2-days, 50,000 won per person
☞ Click here for more on Golgulsa Temple
☞ Official site (Korean)

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