Get out of Seoul on your next trip or vacation to Korea. Popular spots like the Jeonju Hanok Village and food favorites such as the Jeonju Bibimbap makes the city a popular destination for foreign and Korean travelers.
Getting to Jeonju
Getting to Jeonju is fairly easy by train or bus.
For those taking the train from Seoul, head over to Yongsan station where you have the choice between the high-speed KTX or slower (but more affordable) Mugunhwa train.
You can also head over to the Central City Bus Terminal to catch one of the many buses headed to Jeonju as well.
As with many cities in Korea, Jeonju has its own set of hotels and hostels. But with over 700 traditional Korean hanok houses.
Jeongga Hanok (정가한옥)
During my visit, I stayed at the Jeongga Hanok (정가한옥). It was located right next to the main hanok village area.
The owner was very welcoming when I arrived. After checking in and getting my stuff put away, she pointed out different sites in the area and advice for getting around. The neighborhood was fairly quiet despite being near a busy road.
Typically with a hanok, you sleep on the floor, but the sleeping mats, pillows, and blankets make for a fairly comfortable night’s sleep. If it gets cold, the hanok is set up with in-floor heating that keeps you warm.
The room I stayed in was enough for one to two people. If you have more people, Jeongga Hanok does have larger rooms that can accommodate up to five, or you can book multiple rooms.
Typically for two people, you can expect to pay between 30,000 to 60,000 won in a hanok-style accommodation and can vary depending on the time of year.
Things to do
Jaman Mural Village
Nearby the accommodations is the often overlooked Jaman Mural Village. Many of the houses and cafes have colorful murals and some unique looking designs as well. The higher up you go, the better view of the Hanok Village you can experience. An overpass connects the mural village to the hanok area, so if you have some extra time, feel free to visit and snap some photos.
This monument was constructed in 1900 by King Gojong to honor the Yi Clan that founded the Joseon Dynasty. Yi Seong-gye (later King Taejo)’s great-great-grandfather was said to be born here, and the Jeonju Yi Clan lived in the area until they later moved to the Hamgyeong province.
Jeonju Hanok Village
When I visited the Hanok Village this year, the area felt fairly empty compared to past trips. It was mostly families (most likely locals) enjoying a peaceful walk or trying out different street food along the way.
You’ll find several hanbok rental shops in the area if you’d like to wear some traditional Korean clothing. With the various hanok buildings and cafes in the area, you can some great spots for photos.
There is also an assortment of museums and halls in the hanok village where you can take part in various cultural experiences such as papercrafts (fans, umbrellas, and other objects using hanji paper), cooking classes, and bookmaking among others.
Jeonju Gyeonggijeon and Portrait Museum
This shrine is popular with a lot of visitors for the scenery and traditional hanok structures that have been used in various Korean films and Kdramas. Gyeonggijeon is the home of the only surviving portrait of Joseon’s founder, King Taejo. A museum on site has portraits of several other Joseon figures along with the instruments used in ceremonies at the shrine as well.
Jeonju was once a walled city until 1905 when the majority of the fortress was destroyed. Pungnammum Gate is the sole surviving part of the original fortress. It’s located in between the Hanok Village and Nambu Market.
Jeondong Catholic Cathedral
Jeondong was constructed from 1907 to 1914 on the site of Roman Catholic martyrs during the Joseon Dynasty. The designer of the cathedral was the same priest that designed the Myeongdong Cathedral in Seoul, and parts of the cathedral were built using parts from the now destroyed fortress wall.
To see what else is in Jeonju like the Nambu night market, check out our Jeonju Playlist on YouTube.
What to eat
Jeonju Gyodong Seokgalbi 전주 교동 석갈비
Address: 26 Taejo-ro, Pungnam-dong, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do
Located within the Hanok Village, Gyodong Seokgalbi is a fairly affordable restaurant with prices less than 20,000 won per person. The restaurant is known for its stone cooked galbi (short ribs), but I wanted to try out the Jeonju Bibimbap.
It’s actually their cheapest menu item at 10,000 won and this traditional dish contains a wide range of vegetables and beef along with an egg to top it off.
The side dishes or banchan come included with the meal at no additional cost, and next time I want to try out the Seokgalbi when I visit again.
What places in Jeonju have you explored? Please let me know in the comments below. Over time, I’ll update this guide with more restaurants, sites, and accommodations to help you plan your next trip to Jeonju.
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