Bomunjeong Pavilion

Bomunjeong Pavilion (Photo courtesy of Korea Tourism Organization)

If you’re planning a special trip during cherry blossom season, you should check out Gyeongju City, the ancient capital of Silla Kingdom, as it’s one of the most beloved destinations to see the blooms.

There were three kingdoms in ancient Korea, and Silla unified the three kingdoms. From the beginning to the end of Silla, Gyeongju, previously called “Seorabeol,” was the capital for a thousand years.

Today, this historical city preserves the glorious history of Silla and is referred as “a museum without walls.” Here you’ll find the most of Korea’s UNESCO World Heritages sites concentrated in one city. The city attracts visitors year-round, but its historical buildings and streets are transformed when the cherry blossoms make their yearly appearance. Check out Gyeongju’s top 7 cherry blossom spots, perfect for enjoying the city’s cultural assets and the season’s pale pink beauty!

Cherry blossom season: March 22 – Early April

Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Festival

Date: Friday to Sunday, March 22 – 24

Address: 493-26 Hwangnam-dong, Gyeongju-si [Daereungwon Stone Wall Trail]

1. Cheomseongdae Observatory (첨성대)

Cheomseongdae Observatory

Cheomseongdae Observatory (Photo courtesy of Korea Tourism Organization)

The symbolic landmark of Gyeongju, Cheomseongdae was constructed in 633 during the reign of Queen Seondeok for star observation to forecast the weather. Cheomseongdae is the oldest astronomical observatory in Asia, preserving its original appearance for 1,400 years. Both daytime and evening are great to take a trip around the flower garden of this scientific stone building.

✿ Hours: 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. (Open all year)

✿ Entrance Fee: Free

2. Daereungwon Tomb Complex (대릉원)


Daereungwon (Photo courtesy of Korea Tourism Organization)


Daereungwon (Photo courtesy of Korea Tourism Organization)

These giant tumuli are placed through downtown Gyeongju, marking the city’s past and present. Make sure to take your time to wander the 23 ancient tombs belonging to the kings of the Silla era. Don’t miss the Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Festival held at the Daereungwon Stone Wall Trail to enjoy a variety of food and activities among the royal tombs surrounded by cherry blossoms!

✿ Hours: 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. (Open all year)

✿ Entrance Fee : Adults 3,000 won / Youth 2,000 won / Children 1,000 won

3. Donggung Palace & Wolji Pond (동궁과 월지)

Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond

Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond (Photo courtesy of Korea Tourism Organization)

Donggung Palace and its adjacent Wolji Pond were originally part of the royal grounds and banquet venues for princes of the Silla era. The palace and the pond are a must-visit, especially in the evening, to see the spectacular scene of illuminated palaces and trees reflected in the water.

✿ Hours: 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. (Open all year)

✿ Entrance Fee : Adults 3,000 won / Teenagers 2,000 won / Children 1,000 won

4. Woljeonggyo Bridge (월정교) & Gyochon Hanok Village (교촌한옥마을)


Woljeonggyo (Hyemin Lee)


Woljeonggyo (Hyemin Lee)

The bridge is built over the Namcheon Stream and located right next to Gyochon Traditional Hanok Village. In the daytime, walking from the bridge through the village is a great way to enjoy viewing canola flowers and cherry blossoms along the stream. In the evening, don’t miss the stunning night view of the bridge and stream.

✿ Hours: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. (Open all year)

✿ Entrance Fee : Free

5. Bomunjeong Pavilion (보문정)

Bomunjeong Pavilion

Bomunjeong Pavilion (Photo courtesy of Korea Tourism Organization)

This park was named by CNN as one of the “Beautiful scenic locations in Korea.” When you visit, you’ll see why. Bomunjeong’s ponds and pavilion are stunning, but especially in the spring with cherry blossoms and fall for its amazing autumn leaves. This place is open anytime without an entrance fee.

6. Bulguksa Temple (불국사) & Seokguram Grotto (석굴암)

Bulguksa Temple

Bulguksa Temple (Photo courtesy of Korea Tourism Organization)

The foremost Buddhist heritage sites of Korea, Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto are both located on Tohamsan Mountain. These two cultural sites are within eight kilometers from each other, making them easy to explore on the same trip. Bulguksa Temple is especially a famous spot for the double-layer type of cherry blossoms that usually flower two weeks later than regular ones.

✿Hours (Bulguksa): 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Open all year)

✿Hours (Seokguram): 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. / 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (Open all year)

✿Entrance Fee : Free

7. The Nine-story Pagoda of Hwangnyongsa (황룡사 9층 목탑)

Nine-story Pagoda Hwangryongwonat Bomun Tourist Complex

Nine-story Pagoda Hwangryongwonat Bomun Tourist Complex (Photo courtesy of Korea Tourism Organization)

You can capture one of the most unique landscapes in Korea on the road lined with cherry blossoms in front of this beautiful pagoda tower. Originally built in 643 during the reign of Queen Seondeok, it symbolizes aspirations for the protection of the nation and the sanctity of Buddhism. The tower is a recreation based on the original pagoda.

Trip tips!

(Map courtesy of Gyeongju Tourguide)

1. Plan ahead

Munmu Tourist Complex

Munmu Tourist Complex (Photo courtesy of Gyeongju Tourguide)

Gyeongju is not only a historical city with numberless cultural assets from the Silla era and Joseon Dynasty, but also a coastal city with a variety amusement parks and resorts. Plan ahead so you can prioritize the spots you really want to see. 

2. Choose from the city’s important districts

Bomun Tourist Complex

Bomun Tourist Complex (Photo courtesy of Korea Tourism Organization)

With a plenty of destinations, here are the top districts in Gyeongju to check out.

✿ Downtown Gyeongju: The most important attractions of Gyeongju are located within walking distance here.

Cheomseongdae, Woljeonggyo Bridge, Daereungwon, Donggung and Wolji, Gyeongju National Museum, Hwangridan-gil Street (food & dessert street) and more.

✿ Bomun Tourist Complex: Gyeongju World (amusement park), Bomunjeong, Bomun Lake, Gyeongju Expo Park, and more.

✿ Coastal area: Tomb of King Munmu, Jeonchon Pine Beach, Gampo Port, Songdaemal Lighthouse and more.

3. Try to stay at a special accommodation

Hanok Hotel

Hanok Hotel (Hyemin Lee)

Staying at a traditional house (hanok) hotel is very affordable in Gyeongju. They are usually located near the mountains but not far from downtown. It’s absolutely a must-try experience to spend a night at a traditional house surrounded by peaceful forests and mountains. Also, Gyeongju is a famous glamping (glamorous camping) spot in the summer and fall because of its beautiful nature.

Tips for viewing cherry blossoms


Bomunjeong (Hyemin Lee)

1. Check the time and weather

Check the flowering and peak time of the area you’re planning to view cherry blossoms in full bloom. Make sure to go on a trip before a heavy rain comes.

2. Prepare picnic items

Bring a picnic mat, blanket, Bluetooth speaker and bunch of food and drink to chill under cherry blossom trees. You can prepare or simply buy them near the viewing areas.

3. Expect crowds

During cherry blossom season, most of the best viewing spots will be crowded and there will be limited parking. Bring comfortable shoes because you’ll likely be walking a lot.

4. Take photos

Blink and cherry blossom season will be over. Don’t hesitate to take photos and selfies with the beautiful blossoms while they’re around!

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