If you're stumped on where you should go with your family in Gyeongju, start with Bomun Lake. There are plenty of tourist spots near the Daereungwon Tomb Complex. For young kids, there's nothing better than a theme park such as Pororo Aqua Village or Gyeongju World. It's a guaranteed smile. The Gyeongju Forest Environment Research Institute is recommended if you want to check out different facets of Gyeongju as the seasons change. Here are some great attractions in Gyeongju for the entire family.

    1

    Gyeongju National Museum

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    Gyeongju National Museum exhibits Shilla-era relics excavated from Gyeongju and nearby Gyeongsangbuk-do areas. Since Gyeongju was the Shilla capital, the many rare artefacts, such as golden crowns always draw in crowds of tourists. Seeing artefacts that could only be seen in books is a surreal experience. The outdoor exhibits at Gyeongju National Museum are also excellent. Gaze at the Bell of King Seongdeok, a national treasure, and the three-story Goseonsaji Stone Pagoda and feel the sense of history flow through you.

    Location: 186 Iljeong-ro, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea

    Open: Weekdays from 10 am to 6 pm. Saturdays from 10 am to 6 pm. Sundays from 10 am to 7 pm. Holidays from 10 am to 7 pm, closed on New Year's Day, Lunar New Year's Day and Chuseok

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    2

    Daereungwon Tomb Complex

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    Daereungwon Tomb Complex is where large royal tombs are gathered in the centre of Gyeongju. The excavated artefacts strongly suggest that the tombs are of old Shilla kings and nobles, but nothing is certain. The complex is easy to access since it's located in the centre of the city, and there is a small pine forest around the tombs where many people enjoy walks along the trails. Just looking at the artefacts on display at Cheonmachong, you will see why Daereungwon Tomb Complex has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Location: Hwangnam-dong, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 10 pm

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    3

    Seokguram

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    Situated in the middle of Mt. Toham, Seokguram Grotto is Korea's National Treasure No. 24 and home to a Buddha statue made with workmanship so fine that it's difficult to fathom how it was created with the technology of its era. Seokguram was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its recognition in many fields including architecture, and it's not a stretch by any means to say that its beauty is the ultimate in Shilla-era art. Photography is unfortunately forbidden for preservation purposes, so you'd have to see the real thing for yourself to appreciate the full beauty.

    Location: 873-243 Bulguk-ro, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea

    Open: February–mid-March: Daily from 7 am to 5.30 pm. Mid-March–September: Daily from 6.30 am to 6 pm. October: Daily from 7 am to 5.30 pm. November–January: Daily from 7 am to 5 pm

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    4

    Bulguksa

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    Bulguksa Temple, rebuilt during the reign of King Jinheung of Shilla, is a popular destination for Korean students on field trips and is quite famous for its beauty and elaborate construction. Within the temple grounds, where you need to take your time walking due to how expansive it is, you can find the serene pond Banya Yeonji and even a mineral spring. Wearing comfortable shoes is highly recommended since you have to do quite a bit of walking to see the famous pagodas Dabotap and Seokgatap.

    Location: San 15, Jinhyeon-dong, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 7 am to 6 pm, until 5.30 pm in winter

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    5

    Gyochon Traditional Village

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    Gyochon Traditional Village may not be big and popular as Jeonju Hanok Village, but this may be an advantage for those looking for a more leisurely experience. The most famous place in the village is probably the old house of the Gyeongju Choe clan. The Choe clan house has preserved the original form of Joseon-era noble homes, so it's definitely worth visiting. Every minute of the visit should provide something interesting, as there are lots of restaurants and unique cafes built in traditional Korean homes. Wearing traditional hanbok and snapping up pictures is highly recommended.

    Location: 39-2 Gyochon-gil, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea

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    photo by Gcd822 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    6

    Gyeongju Wind Farm

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    Gyeongju Wind Farm uses the wind coming off of Mt. Johang to generate electricity in an eco-friendly manner and is by no means a romantic spot in the traditional sense. However, the giant wind turbines standing tall along the vast grasslands may remind you of Dutch windmills. If you go to the observatory at sunset, you'll be treated with some fantastic, unforgettable views. There is no public transportation to get there, so you will need to rent a car or bicycle.

    Location: 1056-185 Bulguk-ro, Yangbuk-myeon, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea

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    7

    Gyeongju World

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    Gyeongju World has been a theme park since its opening in 1985, striving to satisfy visitors through thrilling rides and themed park zones. The most popular rides in Gyeongju World are the Draken, a double-drop roller coaster that descends vertically at 90 degrees, and an inverted roller coaster in the theme of Greek mythology. The theme park comes into its own at night when colourful lights breathe new life into the fantastic scenery. Wear some comfortable clothes and stay awhile.

    Location: 544 Bomun-ro, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 6 pm. Weekends from 10 am to 8.30 pm

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    photo by Christophe95 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    8

    Gyeongju Forest Environment Research Institute

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    Gyeongju Forest Environment Research Institute is a place that feels very different every time the season changes. The Wetland Ecology Observation Center provides respite for locals who want to observe wetland ecology, while the lush forest paths full of towering metasequoia and zelkova trees are perfect for taking pictures. Because the leaves remain green even in autumn, you have the luxury of enjoying two seasons simultaneously. Stop by to get a real sense of Gyeongju's natural beauty.

    Location: 367 Tongil-ro, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea

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    9

    Pororo Aqua Village

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    Since Gyeongju is an ancient city, there are many historical and traditional attractions. If you're travelling with kids, however, you may want to take a detour over to Pororo Aqua Village for your own sake. Pororo Aqua Village, located at Hanwha Resort Gyeongju, may not be a big water park, but it's well-organised to maximise fun for kids. If you stay at the resort, it's that much more convenient. You can enjoy the surrounding tourist spots together and savour the memories with your whole family.

    Location: 182-27 Bomun-ro, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea

    Open: Pororo Aqua Village: Weekdays from 10 am to 7 pm, Saturdays from 9 am to 8 pm, and Sundays from 9 am to 7 pm. Sauna: Daily from 6 am to 9 pm

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    photo by kk781211 (CC BY 2.0) modified

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