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Destinations Gwangju

Gwangju is the largest city in Jeolla-do. The major tourist attraction in Gwangju is Mt. Mudeungsan Provincial Park, and major cultural festivals include the Gwangju Kimchi Festival and Gwangju Biennale. Gwangju Gossaumnori (Korean traditional game) has been designated as intangible cultural assets.

Tourist Sites


  • Gwangju National Museum
    Address :
    San 83-3 Maegok-dong, Buk-gu, Gwangju-si
    Description :
    Gwangju National Museum collects and preserves the cultural relics from Jeollanam-do. The exhibits are divided in 7 areas according to the time periods and type. The Prehistoric Hall displays the stone tools from the Paleolithic Age, Neolithic Age, Bronze Age, and other relics from the early Iron Age. Samguk Hall displays many earthenware and ironware from the Large Onggwan in the Jeolla-do area. The Buddhist Art Hall exhibits cultural Items related to Buddhism, the Painting Hall exhibits work of artists of the Honam district from the Joseon and modern periods. Jeolla-do is the birthplace of Korean Pottery. If you want to see the transition process from the Cheongja of Goryeo Period to Joseon Period's Buncheongsagi and Baekja, head over to the Goryeo Pottery Exhibit Hall. You can see the whole process of pottery manufacturing at one time. You can also see pottery at the Joseon Buncheongsagi ㆍBaekja Hall. Shinan Ocean Floor Relic Hall is an unusual exhibit hall. The items on display are from a trading ship, which had been submerged for 600 years in the Shinan Sea. They were excavated during 11 operations from 1976 to 1984. From this ship about 20,681 works of pottery, metal items, stone items, wood items and glass items were discovered. If you are interested in seeing items that had not been seen for several centuries, this museum is the place for you. Admission is free on the first Monday of every month, so be sure to take advantage of this if you visit during the beginning of the month.
    Directions :
    At Gwangju Station or Express Bus Terminal, take the Bus No.16, No.19, No.26, No.35, No.55 or No.114, and get off at Gwangju National Museum (10 minutes travel time).
    Information :
    1. Telephone: 062) 570-7000
    2. Homepage: (Kor)
    3. Hours: Mar.-Oct.: 09:00-18:00
        Nov.-Feb.: 09:00-17:00
    4. Closed: every Monday, New Years
    5. Ticket Prices:
        ages 25-64: ₩400
        ages 19-24 : ₩200
        Under 18, over 65: free
    6. Facilities: Parking Lot, Lecture Hall, Souvenir Corner

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Recommended Sites

  • Mt. Mudeungsan Provincial Park
    Address :
    Hwasun-gun, Damyang-gun, Jeollanam-do
    Description :
    Mt. Mudeungsan Provincial Park is a mountain at the edge of Hwasun-gun, Damyang-gun and Gwangju, and it became provincial park in 1972. It is also called Mt. Muaksan, Mt. Mujinaksan, or Mt. Seoseoksan. Mt. Mudeungsan is 1,186m above sea level, and the top is composed of three rock peaks called Cheonwongbong, Jiwongbong, and Inwonbong, also known as “Jeongsang Three”. Mudeungsan does not have a steep incline, so anyone can easily climb it, and it has beautiful valleys flowing under it. A great diversity of rocks occupies the Cheonwongbong peak, and because of this, it was once an object of worship from the local people as a god’s mountain. Among the more majestic of these rocks are the Seoseokdae, Gyubong, and Ipseokdae rocks. At the base of the mountain, there are famous temples such as Yaksa-am, Jeungsimsa, and Wonhyosa Temple. Mt. Mudeungsan is also known for its beauty for all seasons of the year – in the fall, the autumn leaves of Gyubongam is especially beautiful, and Eoksae grass of Baekma ridge becomes spectacular. In the winter, snow and ice on the mountains create exquisite scenery as well. Below the mountain, there is a variety of recreational and convenience facilities to make your tour more pleasurable. The Gwangju National Museum is one of these, a building in a traditional Korean style, with exhibition spaces and a wide artifacts preservation facility. It has displays of treasures found from the sea of Sinan, such as artifacts of China’s Song and Won Dynasties, also artifacts from Honam province during Seonsa, Baekje, and Silla periods, and paintings from the Joseon Period – a total of about 2,000 of artifacts
    Directions :
    From Gwangju Station, take city Bus No. 9, No. 17, No. 222, or No. 333, and get off at Dochung bus stop. Transfer to Bus No. 777 and get off at Wonhyosa Temple bus stop.
    From Gwangju station, take regular bus no. 18, and go directly to Wonhyosa bus stop. The bus, however, only comes once every 1 hr and 30 min.
    Information :
    - Inquiries: Administration Office, Tel: 062-525-9370 (Kor, Chi, Jap, Eng)

  • Gwangju Art Street
    Address :
    Gung-dong, Dong-gu, Gwangju
    Description :
    Gwangju Art Street is a 300m long street where people can experience and feel authentic Gwangju, aimed at developing Gwangju’s tradition, exhibit its art works, promote and market them. The street is located behind the Jungang Elementary School which is in from of the Gwangju Dongbu Police Station. You can see authentic Korean fine arts such as paintings, ceramics, writings, and industrial arts just to name a few. Every Saturday, a flea market is held here. It is nationally famous for its unique pieces of art. Collectors from all over the nation gather to display their collections, such as old calligraphy materials, old coins, stone hairbrushes, china ware, wooden sculptures, folk drawings, old books, ink, incents – items that were actually used by people in the past. Part of the attraction is the stories the collectors tell of their collections as well. One of a kind hand made artwork and sometimes the artists themselves can be seen here. Enjoy the many shows and exhibitions that act as the main attraction on this road. Mudeung arts exhibit operates according to districts, and it functions as a cultural festival event as well. The outdoor exhibition was built in 1995, February, and it is open day and night. You can see quality artworks such as paintings, sculptures and other workds here. The large exhibition space has 32 booths, and there are always planned exhibits, special exhibits going on, and you can frequently see many valuable cultural treasures of the region on display here, to the applause of the visitors. Every Saturday, the Street of Fine Arts is blocked off from traffic, and people gather to celebrate art and culture here.
    Directions :
    From Gwangju Station take bus no. 11, 17, 30, 222, or 333 to the Docheong bus stop. 5 min-walk from the stop.
    Information :
    062-525-9370 (KOR/CHN/JPN/ENG)

  • May 18 Cemetery
    Address :
    34 Wunjeong-dong, Buk-gu, Gwangju-si
    Description :
    May 18 Cemetery, located in front of Mt. Mudeungsan, is the symbol of freedom and democracy and is a graveyard of victims during the contention for democracy in May 1980. It was at the graveyard in Mangwol-dong that victims were carried and buried by handcarts and garbage trucks at that time in 1980. In 1997 the cemetery was exhumed and reburied at this cemetery. May 18th became a national holiday of re-evaluating our desire for democracy. To enter the May 18 Cemetery, you need to pass the Democracy Gate, built in a traditional Korean style. Passing the widely spread Plaza of Democracy, you will reach the Commemoration Passage. Keep walking and you will reach a round figure (4m high) of an enclosing hand. This is the Memorial Tower, which symbolizes the resurrection of new life. Under the tower there is a worship platform with burning incense to show respect. Past the Memorial Tower, there are raised works on the right and left. On the right there is an enshrinement where pictures and monetary tablets are placed, and across from it stands the Door of History showing the images of that day. You can understand Korean history by viewing these materials. After viewing this part of Korean history, it will be pleasant to take a walk and enjoy the surroundings of the 5.18 Cemetery.
    Directions :
    At Gwangju Express Bus Terminal, take Bus No.25-2 (30 minute ride). Buses are run every 40 minutes.
    Information :
    - Contact: Cemetery control office (062) 266-5187 (Kor)
    - Visiting hours:
      Mar. - Oct. 09:00-19:00/
      Nov. - Feb. 09:00-17:00
    - Admission Fee: Free of charge
    - Parking lot: 300 spaces available

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Information provided by Korea National Tourism Organization.


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