The 30 Best Things To Do in Jeonju Hanok Village
Jeonju is often referred to as ‘the most beautiful place in Korea’ – and I’d probably agree. When someone asks which city in Korea offers the most traditional and authentic experience, the answer most definitely is Jeonju. With a history of more than 1,000 years, including 500 years of shaping the Joseon dynasty, there is a lot to do in Jeonju Hanok Village. Jeonju is a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, the first international urban slow city in the world and ranks third in Asia as best city of culture according to Lonely Planet. All of this makes Jeonju a must-visit when in Korea.
Here are the 30 best things to do in Jeonju Hanok Village.
Valuable Tips for Tourists in Jeonju
Public Transportation Fare in Jeonju
Train to and from Jeonju (KTX)
Best Things to Do in Jeonju Hanok Village
Gyeonggijeon is a major historic architectural site in Jeonju Hanok Village. The shrine was built in 1401 to enshrine the portrait of King Taejo, the founder of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea. It’s a beautiful place to stroll around and dive into Korean history.
This open culture square comprises an area of 850 meters in front of Jeonju Station. It’s a pedestrian-only walking trail lined with elm trees with cultural events, busking, and street markets.
The term hyanggyo refers to a place of study during the Joseon period and is equivalent to middle and high schools today. This Confucian school was built in 1354 and has been the main hyanggyo in the Jeolla-do region since then. Besides the old buildings, the true gem of this site is a 500-year-old Gingko tree in the garden.
This observatory in Jeonju Hanok Village is the perfect place to overlook the entire old town. See hundreds of beautiful hanok houses in a bird’s eye perspective from Omokdae.
Another major landmark of Jeonju Hanok Village is Namcheongyo Bridge. The bridge links the hanok village with Seohak-dong of Jeonju city. It’s the perfect place to start exploring the old town part of Jeonju.
One of the Eight Scenic Views of Jeonju, this stunning pavillion is a must-see when exploring Jeonju. Hanbyeokdang was built at the foot of Seungamsan Mountain next to Jeonjucheon river. This perfect location surrounded by nature attracted many writers and poets to find inspiration in their writing.
Royal Portrait Museum
Jeonju is often referred to as the birthplace of the Joseon Dynasty because it functioned as the capital city at the time. The only remaining portrait of dynasty founder King Taejo is located at the Royal Portrait Museum in Jeonju.
Jeondong Catholic Cathedral
Many people say that Jeondong Catholic Cathedral is the most beautiful Catholic church in all of Korea. This grand romanesque gem is the oldest Western-style building in the modern era in the entire south-western region of Korea.
This historic fortress gate in Jeonju is part of the old city wall that used to surround Jeonju in Joseon times.
Confucian Scholar Culture Museum
If you’re interested in Confucian scholar culture, this museum is a must-see. See what is was like to live as the intellectual class of Korea in the past.
National Intangible Heritage Center
This enormous building is the headquarters for the intangible heritages of all of Korea. Intangible cultural heritage refers to the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artifacts and cultural spaces – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage. This means, you can learn about Korean music, arts, sports, games, tea culture and much more right here in Jeonju Hanok Village.
Jaman Mural Village
Across from Omokdae observatory lies a picturesque village with beautiful mural paintings. Jaman Mural Village is a great place to explore as it’s filled with cute mural paintings in every alley. Exhibitions and busking are also part of the mural village creating a charming experience for visitors.
Unique Experiences in Jeonju
Complete your trip to South Korea by renting a traditional hanbok at Jeonju Hanok Village. I love dressing up in hanbok because it really makes me feel like a princess and it looks so adorable in photos. It’s super easy to rent a traditional hanbok in Jeonju and also get your hair and make-up done at the same shop.
Sleep in a Hanok
A hanok is a traditional Korean home built with natural materials, including clay, timber and stone. Jeonju counts more than 700 traditional houses and many of them also function as guesthouses. Traditionally, people sleep on the wooden heated floor in a hanok – an experience you shouldn’t miss when in Jeonju!
Make Traditional Wine
Try your hand at making gayangju, a traditional wine, at Jeonju Korean Traditional Wine Museum. Learn about makgeolli, cheongju, soju and moju and the proper etiquette when drinking them.
Learn Korean Etiquette
Jeonju Traditional Culture Training Institute is the best place to experience Korean culture and etiquette. Join different activities at the institute and gain profound understanding of Korean culture by learning the proper etiquette for greeting, drinking and wearing traditional clothing.
Make Traditional Korean Fans
The traditional paper fan is the most representative craft of Jeonju Hanok Village. Learn how to make a traditional Korean fan with hanji paper at the Jeonju Fan Culture Center – it’s the perfect souvenir to take home!
Experience Traditional Music
Jeonju Sori Culture Center preserves the art of Pansori, a genre of musical storytelling performed by a singer and a drummer. Join experiences including mask dance and make your own traditional Korean musical instruments.
Jeonju is famous for its delicious mixed rice bowls called bibimbap. Besides Jeonju bibimbap with raw egg, you should also try yukhoe bibimbap (beef tartare bibimbap), dolsot (hot pot) bibimbap and sanchae bibimbap, featuring a variety of wild edible greens from the mountains of Korea.
- Gajok Hegwan, 17, Jeollagamyeong 5-gil, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si
- Gogung, 33, Songcheonjungang-ro, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju-si
- Han Kook Jib, 119, Eojin-gil, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si
Korean table d’hôte, called han-jeongsik, is a Korean-style full-course meal characterized by the array of small banchan plates in varied colors. It’s a great way to experience a wide range of traditional Korean dishes in one meal.
- Gung, 337, Cheonjam-ro, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si
- Baekbeonjip, 15, Jeollagamyeong 2-gil, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si
- Jeollado Eumsik Iyagi, 14-6, Ajung 6-gil, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju-si
Literally translated to “hot pot rice”, this popular dish was developed in Jeonju. Steaming white rice is topped with variety of vegetables, mushrooms and ginseng and then mixed in the hot dolsot bowl.
- Banya Dolsotbap, 6, Hongsan 1-gil, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si
- Conggaksi Gulsillang, 11, Supjeongi 5-gil, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju-si
- Jeonju Yeong-yang Dolsotbap, 10-1, Seollae 8-gil, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju-si
If you are craving noodles, be sure to try a savory kalguksu dish when in Jeonju. The noodles are traditionally boiled with perilla seed powder, leek and eggs in a hard-boiled anchovy broth.
- Veteran Kalguksu, 135, Gyeonggijeon-gil, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si
- Maeil Buksik, 74-13, Taepyeong 3-gil, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si
- Pyeongyang Myeonok, 10-3, Sollae 8-gil, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju-si
This Korean set menu is considered the home meal of Jeonju. With beakban, a generous array of side dishes, full size meals that vary depending on the restaurants speciality and hot white rice are served all together.
- Chuihyang Hoegwan, 7, Deokjinyeonmot 3-gil, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju-si
- Neulchaeum, 6, Deokjinyeonmot 3-gil, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju-si
- Gohyang Saenggak, 5, Ajung 1-gil, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju-si
Jeon & Makgeolli
Jeon and makgeolli are the peanut butter and jelly of Jeonju – nothing goes better together. Jeonju is famous for its unique jeon and makgeolli experience as with every golden kettle full of rice wine, you don’t only get deliciously homemade Korean pancakes but an abundance of side dishes served all together.
- Yet Chon Makgeolli, 11 Seosincheonbyeon-ro, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si
- Gain Makgeolli, 7-3, Pungnam-dong 2(e)-ga, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si
Must-eat Street Food in Jeonju
The most famous snack in Jeonju is this delicious bakery-made choco pie. Their perfect sweetness has a long history in Jeonju, making it a must-eat when in town.
Get it here: PNB Bakery, 180, Paldal-ro, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si
Water Drop Rice Cake
An aboslutely Instagram-worthy snack in Jeonju is this clear rice cake dessert that looks like a perfect water drop. You can choose between a variety of toppings.
Get it here: Nambu Night Market
Moju Ice Cream
If you’re looking for a truly unique taste, try moju ice cream. It’s made from the traditional Jeonju wine, making it a popular treat among wine lovers.
Get it here: around Hanok Village & Nambu Night Market
If you’re craving something savory, pick up a few of these octopus skewers. For those who don’t like seafood, there are also chicken or beef varieties available.
Get it here: Around Hanok Village & Nambu Night Market
The people of Jeonju are crazy about bibimbap and even offer a grilled option. The crispy crust creates a whole new experience around this traditional Korean dish.
Get it here: Around Gaekridan-gil near the guesthouse
These deliciously fried batter balls have found their way to Jeonju from Japan and are now a staple street food snack in Korea. Options range from original to more extravagant with soba, small octopus or spring onion.
Get it here: Around Hanok Village & Nambu and Jungang Market
Where to stay in Jeonju
Luxury hanok: Royal Room Of King
The 4-star luxury hanok Royal Room of King is a beautiful option if you are looking to stay like the kings in the Joseon Dynasty. Private parking is possible on site for free, which is an added bonus.
Western option: Ramada by Wyndham Jeonju
If you don’t want to stay in a traditional hanok house, the Ramada by Wyndham Jeonju is a great alternative. The hotel is located only 600 m from the lively Jeonju Hanok Village.
My top tip: Gaeunchae
I stayed at this lovely guesthouse during one of my trips to Jeonju and can highly recommend it. The owners went above and beyond to make our stay as comfortable as possible. My friends and family from Germany loved the experience of sleeping in a traditional Korean house and the location in the hanok village couldn’t have been better.
All in all, Gaeunchae is the perfect hanok stay for couples, friends and even large groups.
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