Where to Stay in Gyeongju for First-Time Visitors (2024)

Before you book your trip to Gyeongju, you’ll need to figure out where to stay in Gyeongju.

There are main areas where visitors stay in Gyeongju, all different from one another.

Choosing where to stay in Gyeongju will depend on how long your trip is and general interests for visiting.

Keep reading to find the best area for your Gyeongju trip.

First time visiting South Korea? Read my Basic South Korea Travel Tips for First-Time Visitors.

Gyeongju Quick Links:

📲 Book your express bus ticket to Gyeongju

🚌 Gyeongju 1 Day Tour by City Tour Bus

🚙 Gyeongju The Old Capital of Korea One Day Tour from Busan

🚊 Visit Gyeongju in 1 Day from Seoul (Round-trip KTX tickets included)

🌸 Visiting during Cherry Blossom Season? Book a Sakura Gyeongju Tour

🎥 Watch my Gyeongju Vlog:

📍Gyeongju Korea Travel Guide: 12 Things To Do +Itineraries - Cheomseongdae, Bulguksa, Gyeongju World

Where to Stay in Gyeongju for First-Time Visitors

Field of red and yellow flowers and grass with Cheomseongdae Observatory in background - best area for where to stay in Gyeongju

If you’re visiting Gyeongju for the first time, I recommend staying in the city center or “downtown” where most of the historical and popular sites in Gyeongju are located.

Downtown is walkable from the bus terminals, where you’re likely to be getting off, and where I stayed near.

🚌 Read why I recommend taking bus over KTX to Gyeongju.

Top Hotel Pick for Downtown Gyeongju:

#1 Pick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Hotel Palace Gyeongju

🏨 Modern and clean hotel stay in Gyeongju
✔️ Positive reviews

Where to Stay in Gyeongju for Short Trips

Lit up trees and traditional Korean buildings surrounding Wolji Pond at night in Gyeongju

If you’re only staying in Gyeongju for one night, I also recommend staying in central Gyeongju.

The main places to visit in Gyeongju will be in this area, such as royal tombs, Cheomseongdae Observatory, and Hwangnidan Street.

While the best night views in Gyeongju are all still walkable from the bus terminal, they’re a bit farther from central Gyeongju.

If you want to be closer to sites that need to be seen at night like Donggung Palace and Woljeonggyo Bridge, here’s a closer hanok stay:

Top Hotel Pick for Best Night Views:

#1 Pick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Gyeongju Wadamjung Hanok Pension

🌌 Walkable to popular night views
🏨 Positive reviews

Where to Stay in Gyeongju for a Hanok Experience

Colorful and lit up Hwangnidan Street stores at night in Gyeongju

A hanok is a traditional Korean home made with earth-toned and wooden designs. Most of the hanok stays will be in downtown Gyeongju.

And what better city to stay in a hanok than the ancient city of Gyeongju.

Top Hanok Stay in Gyeongju:

#1 Pick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Hwangnamkwan Hanok Guesthouse

🌳 Most popular hanok stay in Gyeongju

Where to Stay in Gyeongju for a Nice Retreat

Brown bridge with walking path - Bomun Lake and Pavilion Gyeongju Korea

For a retreat surrounded by bigger hotels, nature, and modern facilities, stay in the Bomun Lake area. There’s luxury hotels and resorts with spa facilities.

The Bomun Lake area is about a 30-minute bus ride from central Gyeongju.

You’ll be close to Gyeongju tourist attractions like:

Top Hotel in Bomun Lake Area:

#1 Pick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Sono Belle Gyeongju Hotel

📍 Located right along Bomun Lake for the best views

🛏 If you’re a Hilton regular, there’s also a Hilton hotel located on Bomun Lake

Where to Stay in Gyeongju during Cherry Blossom Season

A serene street lined with cherry blossom trees in full bloom, with fallen petals decorating the pavement, next to a traditional stone wall in Gyeongju, South Korea.

The most popular area for cherry blossoms in Gyeongju will be Bomun Lake. You can stroll along the lake’s promenade or take a boat ride and see lots of cherry blossoms.

Another popular cherry blossom area east of Bomun Lake will be Bulguksa Temple, a 25-minute bus ride away from Bomun Lake, or a 50-minute ride away from central Gyeongju.

You can also join guided cherry blossoms tours in Gyeongju that will provide transportation and will take you to the best cherry blossom sites.

🌸 Read next: Top Locations to See Cherry Blossoms in Gyeongju (2024)

Best Area to Stay in Gyeongju?

Field of red and yellow flowers and grass Cheomseongdae Observatory Flower Park in Summer in Gyeongju Korea

In general, I recommend staying in central Gyeongju.

The main tourist sites in central Gyeongju are the places most worth-visiting in Gyeongju, and are all within walking distance.

If you’re visiting Gyeongju for the second or third time, staying in the Bomun Lake area could be a nice new experience too.

I’ve included Gyeongju itineraries in my post on best things to do in Gyeongju, which you can read next if you need ideas for your Gyeongju trip.

Enjoy your time in Gyeongju!

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9 Best Things to Do in Gyeongju (+Tips to Make it Worth it)

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Best Vegan Restaurants in Gyeongju (2024)

🇰🇷 All of my South Korea travel blogs