Urban life and rural charms meet in Jeonju, South Korea, capital of the North Jeolla Province. Famed for the local cuisine that arose from the farmlands that surround it, Jeonju was named a UNESCO City of Gastronomy in 2012. From the cobblestone streets and iconic hanok of the historic district to the mountains beyond the city limits, it's easy to see why this is one of the most popular destinations for Korean tourists.
The people of Jeonju have a saying: "Eat once in Jeonju, and you'll be spoiled for life." The signature dish of Jeonju is bibimbap, or a traditional rice bowl with meat, egg, vegetables, and hot sauce.
There are more than 800 hanoks, or traditional wooden Korean dwellings with their characteristic curved roofs, left in the city, most located in the Hanok Village and along the charming cobblestone streets of the historic district.
Join the fun-loving spirit of the city at night in a busy scene of beer halls, karaoke bars, and the local specialty, makgeolli bars that serve the traditional unfiltered rice wine of the region.
There is a fascinating local arts scene to explore, including the Jaman Mural Village with its outdoor murals.
Explore the nearby mountains with excellent local connections via rail and bus, including the Naejangsan and Maisan peaks. The area is particularly beautiful in the fall.
Jeonju's climate is very seasonal, with cold winters and summers where temperatures average over 85 degrees. Many visitors come to the city during the more temperate spring for the blossoms and fall for the changing colors of the leaves in the nearby mountains.
The closest international airport is Seoul Incheon Airport (ICN), about 120 miles away. Express bus service to Jeonju costs about ₩15,000, and the trip takes about 2.5 hours.
Jeonju Station is a regional hub, with extensive service to other major centers in South Korea from companies such as ITX-Saemaul, Mugunghwa-ho, and S-Train, along with the high-speed KTX bullet train route from Seoul to Busan.
Jeonju is well connected to other major centers throughout the North Jeolla Province and beyond by an extensive network of highways.
The Intercity Bus Terminal connects Jeonju with other major centers in South Korea, along with sightseeing trips to the mountains in the region.
Stay in traditional style with all the modern amenities at Dan Kyung, steps away from the Hanok Village. Enjoy the sleek contemporary style of the Box Hotel, located just outside the historic district.
Hanok Maeul - the city's historic center is where you will find one of the largest assemblies of elegant traditional hanok buildings in the country, along with other attractions such as the Gyeonggijeon Shrine, built in 1410.
Jaman Mural Village - located along a ridge between the Omokdae and Imokdae hills, overlooking the city from the foot of Seungamsan Mountain. The historic site is now home to streets of murals painted by local artists, along with galleries and boutiques.
Deokjin-gu - this green area of the city is where you will find the large Deokjin Park, centered around a natural pond with iris gardens and lotus blooms, an artificial waterfall, and much more.
There is an extensive network of public bus routes through the city, with a flat fare system that starts at ₩1,100.
Taxis are plentiful throughout the city, with fares that start at ₩2,800. A typical fare within the city runs about ₩5,000 to ₩10,000.
While public transit service is very good in Jeonju, a car rental lets you easily explore the region. A compact rental starts at about ₩86,100.
For locally produced artisan craft work, you'll want to check out the Jeonju Crafts Exhibition Hall, along with other shops and boutiques in the city's historic district.
Home Plus, Lotte Mart, and Megamart are three of the larger supermarket chains in the city. A quart of milk costs about ₩2,265 and a dozen eggs comes in at about ₩2,450.
Get the best of local cuisine and the nightlife scene at Yetchon Makgeolli, where your first kettle of makgeolli or rice wine comes with pork belly and kimchi for ₩20,000. Enjoy classic bibimbap in Jeonju's enchanting historic district at Hanguk-jip, where prix fixe meals start at ₩11,000.