Jeonju is a city located about 3 hours south of Seoul by car. It is considered by many to be the “foodie” capital of Korea. This post is about what you can see, do, and eat in Jeonju, and where to stay.
We spent about half a day and one night here. I highly recommend making a stop here. It is a nice change of pace from the hustle and bustle of Seoul. It is small enough in the historical center that you can walk everywhere.
Jeondong Cathedral – The cathedral is located near the hanok village you won’t miss it. Its beautiful, but very hard to get a shot due to all the people in front of it.
Later if you visit the shrine, you will be able to see the cathedral set in the back of traditional Korean architecture, which makes a nice east/west picture.
Gyeonggijeon – This shrine was built in 1410 and features nice courtyards with traditional Korean houses and a nice museum with portraits of various royals.
Hanok village – Other than eating bibimbap, most people probably come to Jeonju to see the hanok village. This is basically an area where all the buildings are traditional Korea style.
The hanok village is a nice place to go for a day or night walk. Other than the architecture, there are a lot of shops and places to eat.
Chocolate pies – Other than bibimbap, people will tell you to try the chocolate pies in Jeonju. They kind of remind me of wagon wheels, but not as sweet and without the “processed” taste. They are definitely delicious. We ended up buying them from two different places. This was the first.
…and the second place called PNB. Note that there are many other flavors than just chocolate.
Ice cream – If you eat only one thing in Korea, make it the ice cream. Seriously, its amazing. I have had ice cream around the world where it was considered best, like Berthillon in Paris, or Italian Gelato, but to me, Korean ice cream is tops.
First, the flavors are just hints of whatever the flavor is. Enough to keep you wanting more. It is never overly sweet. Then the texture. Its not as creamy as traditional ice cream, and is more ice like but not icy. Almost a cross between soft serve and ice cream. Every time, I saw it in Korea, not matter which company, I had to get it…and it was always good. The best was this place in Jeonju:
This was the first one we ordered.
It was so good, we had to try the other flavors.
Hotteok – Hotteok is sold in the streets. Its a deep fried pancake filled with honey and various nuts. Its delicious.
N-Bridge Hotel – Since Korea is not as highly visited by Western tourists as other countries like Japan, it is hard to find information on where to stay in smaller cities like Jeonju. As far I could find, there is only ONE place to stay if you want modern, and clean – N-Bridge. Apparently, this place was so new even our driver did not know about it.
Here are some pics – sorry for the mess!
As far as I could tell, every other option in town was old. The location was amazing too. Located across this bridge just across the street from the hotel was the hanok village.
…and there you have it. A perfect half day and night in Jeonju. From Jeonju you can then proceed to see the amazing bamboo forests of Damyang or the must see green tea fields of Boseong which I will post about later.