Are you on a Jeonju getaway and want to make the most of it? Look no further, because I’ve put together this list of free and inexpensive things to see and do just for you. Come with me to the beautiful province of North Jeolla and let’s discover its many charms together!

This post contains affiliate links. Whenever you buy something through one of these, I get a small commission, without any extra cost to you. Thank you!

Save it for later!

Jeonju in a few words

On a Jeonju street

Known for its famous Hanok village (traditional Korean house), Jeonju, located in North Jeolla province, attracts both local and international tourists. Once the country’s capital, Jeonju has become a gastronomic hub with many famous dishes. But Jeonju is more than 1,000 years of history and culture, as people also come here to enjoy themselves and listen to music at its various international festivals. However, it’s hard to describe it in words, because the beauty of the place has to be lived, felt and tasted!

So here’s an overview of the best things to do on a short getaway to Jeonju!

1. Wander through Jeonju Hanok Village (전주 한옥마을)

Hanok Village Sign

My best advice: stroll around and get lost in the village!

As this is a pedestrian zone, no vehicles will disturb you, and you can explore the village at your own pace. Discover the many alleys, take a thousand photos and examine all the little details of this wonderful architecture!

Learn all about the specifics of hanok, book a stay in one for a more immersive experience, and don’t forget to visit the village at night to take full advantage of its charm!

2. Relax at Hanbyeokdang Pavilion (한벽당)

Hanbyeokdang Pavilion

Pro tip: rdon’t forget to take off your shoes before entering any temple or pavilion in Korea.

Address: 2, Girin-daero, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si

How to get there: this remote spot can be quite difficult to find. The easiest way is to follow the river from Hanok village before crossing the overpass. Alternatively, you can walk or drive along the main street through the Hanbyeok tunnel, where the pavilion will be on your right.

When you finally arrive at the pavilion, you won’t regret it, as there aren’t many people around and the place is really quiet and perfect for relaxing. The big plus: it’s only 10 minutes from the village!

Inside Hanbyeokdang Pavilion
View over the Jeonjuchun river

Enjoy the view of the Jeonjuchun River, admire the bright colors inside the pavilion, take a nap or simply listen to the sounds of the surrounding nature!

3. Learn about history at Gyeonggijeon Shrine (경기전) & the Royal Portrait Museum (어진박물관)

Gyeonggijeon

Address: 44 Taejo-ro, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si
Entrance fee: 3,000 KRW (~$2)

Want to know what life was like in the Joseon period? Then you absolutely must include the Gyeonggijeon Shrine in your visit. This place houses the portrait of Joseon founder King Tae-jo, and will teach you the history of every structure inside the site (don’t worry, the signs are in English too, so even foreigners can enjoy the experience).

You can round off your visit by entering the Royal Portrait Gallery, where you’ll learn more about the history of the site and see numerous relics, replicas and reconstructions of certain events. And, of course, you’ll also see the famous royal portraits of the various kings.

As it’s located right in the Hanok village, it’s a Jeonju must-see, and I really recommend you go in, because even if you’re not a history buff, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the sites.

4. Stroll around Jaman Mural Village (자만벽화마을)

Mural in Jaman Village

Located just a few minutes from Hanok Village, this pretty place filled with colorful, eye-catching murals is one of my must-sees in Jeonju. Firstly because it’s a beautiful, picturesque walk, but also because sometimes it’s nice to get out of the bustling village and see something else. After all, travel is all about exploring and wandering.

It’s also a very peaceful place where you can rediscover the favorite cartoons and movies of your childhood and discover new ones!

5. Step back in time at Omokdae and Imokdae (오목대와 이목대)

Omokdae

Address: 55 Girin-daero, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si

Omokdae is also known as the famous place where the not-yet-king Tae-jo stopped on his way home to celebrate his victory in the war at Mount Hwangsan against the Japanese army.

Steeped in culture and history, this hilltop spot is ideal for enjoying the view over the village and taking a pleasant, refreshing break.

Little purses on the way to Omokdae
You can leave your wishes here
Passage in Omokdae

You can then take the connecting bridge to Imokdae and stroll around the historic site.

6. Understand Korean history at the Jeonju National Museum (국립전주박물관)

Address: 249 Ssukgogae-ro, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si
How to get there: take the bus 559 or 554 in front of Pungpaejigwan building (풍패지관) and stop at Jeonju Museum (~25mn).

Discover the traditional culture of Jeolla province, see excavated artifacts and various exhibits to understand the country’s beautiful history. Less than 30 minutes from the city, it’s a great way to discover another culture.

7. Enjoy the peaceful scenery of Deokjin Park (덕진공원)

Lotus flowers in Deokjin Park in Jeonju

Address: 390 Gwonsamdeuk-ro, Deokjin-dong 1(il)-ga, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju-si
How to get there: take the bus 165, 970, 87 or 89 across the street from Jeollabuk-do Art Center and stop at Deokjin Park (~15mn).

The natural pond, the serene atmosphere and the lotus flowers (between July and August) are more than enough to convince me to visit.

Library in Deokjin Park

But that’s not all, to complete your visit, check out the Yeonhwajeong Library, which is actually the building you see at the end of the bridge in the photo above. In a traditional hanok-style setting, pick up a book and read to your heart’s content in this beautiful environment.

8. Exercise at Moaksan Provincial Park (모악산도립공원)

Moaksan Provincial Park

Address: 112 Geumsan-ri, Geumsan-myeon, Gimje-si
How to get there: take the bus 79 across the street from Gyeonggijeon Shrine and stop at Geumsan Temple (~40mn). You’ll then have to walk for about 30 minutes to attain the park.

I really loved this park because not only can you hike to the top, but before you do, you’ll have the opportunity to see many temples, including the one built during one of Korea’s three kingdoms (Baekje > AD 559): Geumsansa.

My only advice is to devote at least half a day to exploring the park, as there is so much to see.

As you walk along one of the trails of your choice, you’ll see people picking berries or picnicking along the waterways, taking full advantage of nature.

Not being a berry connoisseur, I didn’t even try picking any, as I was too afraid of replaying the scene from the film “Into the Wild”. Although I avoided that activity, I did try one that was safe and very popular with the locals: bathing my feet in one of the cold but refreshing streams.
And you know what, that’s actually excellent advice, as it’s the perfect remedy after a day’s hiking! So I invite you to do the same the next time you find yourself in a similar environment!

9. Enjoy the views at Namcheongyo Bridge (남천교 청연루)

Namcheongyo Bridge

Address: 192-4 Gyo-dong, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si

Symbolizing the entrance to the village, this spot is ideal for watching the sunset and taking a stroll after a good meal. It’s also become one of my favorite places in Jeonju.

View from the bridge

And it seems I wasn’t the only one, as I saw many locals gathering here every day with takeaways and drinks to end the day in style.

Where to Stay in Jeonju

Want to experience a hanok stay? Jeonju is the place to be:

  • Happiness Full Hanok Guesthouse:
    Surrounded by other traditional houses, run by friendly people, if you’re looking for total immersion and want to experience sleeping in a hanok at an affordable price, this is the address for you. Located just a few minutes from the main attractions, all you have to do is enjoy your stay!

And if you’re looking for more economical accommodation, I’ve got you covered:

  • NeaRest Guesthouse:
    The host will take great care of you and if you have any questions about things to see/do, he’s your man! Cozy, comfortable and perfect for meeting people when you have your free breakfast! The host often organizes dinners with his friends and has even invited us several times, so it’s a great place to meet locals and improve your Korean! To be honest, it was hard to leave such a welcoming place!

Places to Eat

If you remember, I told you that Jeonju was a gastronomic center, so it won’t be difficult to find good places to fill your stomach. But it can get complicated making a choice and that’s why I’m here to share my good addresses with you!

Nambu Market (전주 남부시장)

Address: 19-3 Pungnammun 1-gil, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si

Like all Korean markets, you’ll find traditional specialties here, and it’s also the perfect place to try one of Korea’s best-known dishes: bean sprout soup. Take a stroll through the aisles and smell the different seasonal aromas before buying your next snack or meal!

Daurang (다우랑)

Address: 269-2 Gyo-dong, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si

THE place to eat the city’s delicious and famous mandu (or dumplings). There are lots of choices and the ones I tried were really succulent, so choose according to your preferences. If you’re still hesitating, I’d recommend the classic kimchi dumpling, a real delight!

Veteran (베테랑)

Kalguksu

Address: 135 Gyeonggijeon-gil, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si

This place is famous for one dish in particular: Kalguksu (buckwheat noodle soup). The translation means “knife-cut noodles”, and this specialty is simply incredible! Authentic, tasty and hearty. The restaurant is often crowded, so be prepared to queue or arrive early!

Hankookjib (한국집)

Address: 2-3 Jeon-dong, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si

If you want to try bibimbap (rice mixed with meat and vegetables), Jeonju’s most famous dish, this is the place to go. The dish has been served here for three generations, so you can’t go wrong!

How to get to Jeonju

Bridge with flags in Jeonju

To get to Jeonju, you can take the KTX (train) or the bus.

  • By KTX:
    Always check seat availability on the Korail website and try to book your ticket in advance to ensure a seat. You can choose between economy and first class. If you’re departing from Seoul, the fare is usually around $23 for 2 hours.
  • By bus:
    You can always check prices on apps like Bustago (버스타고) or TxBus, but don’t bother buying your ticket in advance except during vacation periods, as you’ll always find availability.
    From Seoul, it costs $11 for a journey of around 2h50mn.

I’ve always travelled by bus during my stay in Korea because I find it easy and fairly affordable. What’s more, getting KTX tickets can be more difficult as they tend to sell out rather quickly, whereas buses are comfortable, convenient and there are always plenty of them!

Best time to go

I’d say that apart from summer, which can be hot, humid and rainy, all other seasons are perfect for traveling to Jeonju and Korea in general.

Choose spring for the cherry blossoms, autumn for the vibrant, colorful foliage and winter for the snow-covered Hanok village!

Visa

As South Korea has visa waiver agreements with over 100 countries, you probably won’t need a visa and can enter the country for up to 180 days, depending on your nationality.

You may, however, need to apply for a K-ETA (electronic travel authorization) before departure (~$10).

Tips

A few things you should know before traveling to Korea:

  • Download Naver Map, as Google Maps will be virtually useless there.
  • Buy a T-Money card: it’s used to pay for public transport in Korea and you really can’t do without it. You can top up your card in convenience stores or train stations, but you can only do so with cash.
  • Make sure to buy a SIM card: although WiFi is available almost everywhere in the country, you’ll need one in some remote areas. What’s more, data is expensive in Korea, but don’t worry, there are low-cost packages available for tourists. You can buy one at the airport, in a convenience store or in the stores of cell phone operators.
  • Download Papago: the best app if you don’t speak a word of Korean!
  • Buy a Korail Pass if you plan to travel frequently by train (from 2 days to 5 consecutive days).
  • Get a “travel card“, because sometimes your usual card doesn’t work!

Final Thoughts

Jeonju is often overlooked by travelers who think that, apart from the Hanok Village, the city doesn’t have much in the way of attractions. Quite the contrary: history, architecture and nature make Jeonju a unique, exciting and interesting getaway for anyone wanting to escape the noisy, bustling cities.

Want to see another peaceful place in Korea? Discover the calm and serenity of Andong!

Love it? Feel free to share it!

You might also enjoy:

8 Comments

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *