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Jeonju Hanok Village in South Korea Guide 2023

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With around 900 wooden houses and buildings, Jeonju’s hanok village is the largest hanok in South Korea and is a popular place to experience the traditional Korean culture.

Jeonju Hanok Village is certainly one of the most beautiful and best things to do in Jeonju.

One of the highlights of Jeonju Hanok Village is Gyeonggijeon, a stunning shrine set in tranquil gardens and likely the most popular photo spot in the village.

There are lots of free attractions and museums to visit in Jeonju Hanok Village from the Jeonju Hyanggyo Confucian School famed for its centuries old gingko trees, to the Traditional Alcoholic Drink Museum where you can create your own home brew.

From the very best things to do to the best aerials views, here is our ultimate guide to Jeonju Hanok Village in South Korea.

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How to get to Jeonju Hanok Village

Located in the west of South Korea halfway between Seoul and Busan, Jeonju is easy to reach by either highway bus or by KTX high-speed train.

Note there is currently no international airport in Jeonju (although there is one planned for 2025).

The closest international airport to Jeonju is Incheon Seoul international airport. The closest domestic airport to Jeonju Gunsan airport (around 50km away from Jeonju).

The train journey duration from Seoul to Jeonju can be as little as 2 hours and arrives at KTX Jeonju Train Station.

The bus journey duration from Seoul is around 2 hours 45 minutes and arrives at Jeonju Express Bus Terminal.

Read our full guide on how to get the express bus from Seoul to Jeonju (including prices and how to buy tickets) >

Premium highway bus

Tours to Jeonju from Seoul

We would highly recommend staying in Jeonju for at least a few days, in order to explore the outer areas and really appreciate all it has to offer.

However, if you are only planning on visiting for a day, there are several day trips from Seoul that include Jeonju Hanok Village:
GetYourGuide >
Klook >
Viator >

Jeonju Hanok Village

Getting around Jeonju / how to reach Jeonju Hanok Village

The best way to get around Jeonju by public transport is by local bus – there is no subway / metro in Jeonju.

Jeonju Bus Route Information

To get to Jeonju Hanok Village, take the following Jeonju public buses:

From Jeonju train station
Take bus 119, 536, 542, 546, 508 or 79 and alight at Jeondong Catholic Church or Hanok Village.

From Jeonju Express Bus Terminal
Take bus 149, 430, 536, 542, 545, 546, 506, 684, 1001, 970, 165, 87, 89, 110, 752, 410, 401, 402 or 403 and alight at Jeondong Catholic Church or Hanok Village.

From Jeonju Intercity Bus Terminal
Take bus 149,430, 536, 542. 545, 546, 508, 1001, 165, 970, 87 or 89 and alight at Jeondong Catholic Church or Hanok Village.

Jeonju Hanok Village in South Korea

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Jeonju Hanok Village admission

There are no admission or entrance fees to Jeonju Hanok Village – it is a working village with lots of attractions, cafes and restaurants.

All Jeonju Hanok Village shrines and museums are free to visit except for the Gyeonggijeon Shrine & Royal Portrait Museum which has an admission fee of 3,000 Won per person as of November 2023.

Jeonju Hanok Village opening times

Jeonju Hanok Village is open and accessible 24 hours a day (although individual museum, shop and restaurant opening times will vary).

As it gets busy in the daytime (especially when all the coach-tours arrive), the best time to walk around the village without lots of people is first thing in the morning or at in the evening.

Jeonju Hanok Village in South Korea

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How old is Jeonju Hanok Village?

Whilst much of Jeonju is very historic (it was once the capital of the Hubaekje Kingdom in the 900s), a lot of Jeonju Historic Village has been built in recent times.

Even today, the hanok village in Jeonju continues to expand around the outer edges with new hanoks being built all the time.

Jeonju Hanok Village in South Korea

Given all the recent additions, the hanok village in Jeonju is an interesting mix of the old and new. 

Many of the original Jeonju buildings were destroyed in wars or invasions and has since been rebuilt – however, there are still ancient elements like a 600 year old gingko tree.

The best place to learn about the history of Jeonju Hanok Village whilst visiting is its History Museum, open from 10am to 6pm (closed on Mondays).

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Things to do in Jeonju Hanok Village

There are lots of attractions, museums, cafes and bars to enjoy in Jeonju Hanok Village – allow at least three hours to enjoy it (especially if you want to explore all the side-streets which are much quieter than the main roads).

The best things to do in Jeonju Hanok Village include:

Gyeonggijeon Shrine & Royal Portrait Museum

Originally built in 1410 and set in stunning gardens (including a small bamboo grove), Gyeonggijeon Shrine is likely the most visited place in the whole of Jeonju Hanok Village (especially with people wearing traditional hanbok costumes).

Gyeonggijeon Shrine & Royal Portrait Museum Jeonju

The original Gyeonggijeon Shrine from the 15th century was destroyed in 1597 and rebuilt in 1614. The Main Hall is the stand out building at Gyeonggijeon Shrine along with the Jogyeongmyo shrine.

Whilst small compared to the likes of the famous shrines and Royal Palaces in Seoul, Gyeonggijeon Shrine is a nice, peaceful place to explore and escape the nearby hustle and bustle (and buggies!) of the village.

Gyeonggijeon Shrine’s admission fee is 3,000 Won and open from 9am daily (closes 6pm Nov to Feb, 8pm Jun to Aug and 7pm at all other times).

Gyeonggijeon Shrine & Royal Portrait Museum Jeonju

Jeonju Hanok Village hanbok rental

Many visitors to Jeonju wear hanboks and traditional Korean costumes whilst exploring the Jeonju hanok village.

They can be easily hired at dozens of hanbok rental shops all around the village (such bright colours too).

Hanbok style clothing has been around for over 1,500 years – a popular family / tourist activity in Jeonju is to dress up as a family and take pictures in the hanok village.

Try this – Jeonju Hanok Village Hanbok Rental Experience >

Jeonju Hanok Village hanbok rental

Jeonju Hyannggyo (Confucian School)

One of the busiest parts of the hanok to village, the Jeonju Hyannggyo is a former school that was set up to serve as a shrine to Confucious and learn about poetry, history and Confucian classics.

Jeonju Hyannggyo (Confucian School) Jeonju Hanok Village in South Korea

Originally established in 1354, the Jeonju Hyannggyoschool moved due to complaints about noise (kids eh!) and was then destroyed in 1597. The current site dates back to around 1603.

As well as shrines and an upper level that you can explore to get aerial views of the site, Jeonju Hyannggyo is famous for its ginkgo trees, some of which are several hundred years old.

Jeonju Hanok Village in South Korea

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Jeondong Catholic Church

Very similar in style to Myeongdong Cathedral in Seoul (they were both designed by the priest Victor Louis Poisnel), Jeongdong Catholic Church was opened in 1914 on the historic site of where the first Korean Catholic martyrs were killed in the 18th century.

There are daily masses and services held here in Jeondong Catholic Church. Whilst photographs are forbidden inside, the outside is a popular place for hanbok pictures.

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Jeonju Traditional Alcoholic Drink Museum

A free museum in Jeonju’s historical hanok, this is a cultural centre where many alcohol-related activities and classes are taught. You can learn how to make your own jubangmun, a special Korean liquor recipe popular in the Joseon Dynasty times.

Jeonju Traditional Alcoholic Drink Museum - Jeonju Hanok Village in South Korea

The two room museum has various videos and display cases plus a ‘VR’ headset video where you can virtually drink with historic hanok figures – cheers!

A few years ago, BTS dropped by Jeonju to film some videos, and j-hope and SUGA of BTS visited the Jeonju Traditional Alcoholic Drink Museum to make their very own BTS home-brew liquor.

Jeonju Traditional Alcoholic Drink Museum

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Gingko Tree Avenue

Jeonju is renowned for its numerous and historic gingko trees dotted all over town.

Located in the heart of Jeonju’s historical hanok village, Gingko Tree Avenue has several such trees.

Marked by a stone plaque, there is a particularly beautiful gingko that goes gold in autumn and is a popular hanbok photography and selfie spot.

Gingko Tree Avenue - Jeonju Hanok Village in South Korea
Jeonju Hanok Village in South Korea

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Play Ddakji at Maroodal Traditional Playground Museum

Relive ‘Squid Games’ by playing the classic Korean card game ‘ddakji’ at the Traditional Playground Maroodal Museum in the Jeonju Hanok Village.

Play Ddakji at Maroodal Traditional Playground Museum Jeonju

This free to visit Jeonju museum recreates a playground school rooms in its inner courtyard and staff are happy to show how to play the ddakji card game.

Or have a go at Jegichagi, the Korean playground game of keeping a paper jegi (flight) with your feet – harder than it looks (unless you are Son Heung-min!).

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Korean Photo Booths in Jeonju Hanok Village

Selfie studios and Korean photo booths are popping up everywhere in South Korea but the selfie booths in Jeonju are a little different.

Jeonju Hanok Village photoism- Jeonju Hanok Village in South Korea

Most are located in historic looking hanok style buildings (some historic, some modern recreations) and visitors often arrive wearing traditional hanbok / Korean dress.

Some of the most popular hanok style Korean selfie photo booths in Jeonju include Photoism, Signature, Broom Studio and Photo Fit.

Read more about Korean photo booths here including prices >

Jeonju Hanok Village photo studio booth

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Get a hanbok cartoon caricature

Jeonju Hanok Village is home to several quirky cartoon caricature studios, where street cartoonists have set up studios to do fun family portraits in traditional Korean wear.

Particularly popular at the Jeonju cartoon caricature stalls seemed to be couples being drawn dressed in hanboks complete with their dogs – expect long queues for the most popular cartoon caricature stalls.

Jeonju Hanok Village cartoon caricature
Jeonju Hanok Village cartoon caricature

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Jeonju Nanjang Museum

A veritable feast of vintage goods for nostalgia lovers, Jeonju Nanjang is a small museum where you can pose for photos with ‘props’ from the past (1940’s to 1990’s), and enjoy retro arcade machines, old school rooms and even a K-Pop karaoke room.

Jeonju Hanok Festival Annual Festivals & Events

Given its incredible cultural heritage, there are often festivals in Jeonju Hanok Village – when we visited on Saturday afternoon, we came across a festival parade and lots of street sellers.

Some of the most popular festivals and events include:

Jeonju Daesaseup Nori Competition

Usually held in May or June, this is a competition to find the best Korean traditional musicians and to hear ‘Jeonju Sound’.

Jeonju Bibimbap Festival

Held annually in the autumn (usually October) in the Hanok Village, Jeonju Bibimbap festival is a culinary classic, extolling the very best local ingredients and regional bibimbap variations.

Expect everything from bibimbap cook-offs to set menu specials galore over a three day period.

Night of Jeonju and Heritage Story

This two day Jeonju festival takes place twice a year (usually in May and October) where the city lights up and you can listen to tales of Jeonju history in the moonlight at Gyeonggijeon.

Food and Drink In Jeonju Hanok Village

You certainly won’t go hungry in the village – there are dozens of international and Korean street food stalls dotted along the village along with lots of cafes and restaurants in Jeonju Hanok Village.

And whilst here, be sure to try the Korean rice dish bibimbap in Jeonju is its spiritual home.

The best places to eat and drink include:

Nomadic Brewing Beer Garden

The craft beer scene in Jeonju isn’t massive but thankfully, Jeonju Hanok Village has its very own hanok beer garden – Nomadic Brewing Beer Garden (they also have another taproom in the city area).

Owned and operated by Hannah and Jonny (a Michigan native and American brewery master), Nomadic Brewing Jeonju Beer Garden is a charming bar and garden in the Jeonju Hanok Village.

The craft beer garden hanok has around 15+ own brewed beers and ales plus free popcorn – bonus!

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Hankook Jib Bibimbap

Reputedly the oldest Jeonju bibimbap restaurant dating back to the 1950s (and certainly the busiest we dined in), Hankookjib in Korean means ‘Korean House’ which may explain the warm welcome and homely restaurant.

Hankook Jib takes pride in their homemade chilli paste and soy sauce with rice that has been cooked with bean sprouts to give it a unique flavour.

Standard bulgogi bibimbap at Hankook Jib costs 15,000 Won and is served with 6 side dishes to share plus a bowl of bean sprouts – hot stone versions are also available (nom!)

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Veteran kalguksu noodles and dumplings (mandu)

A cheap and cheerful Korean restaurant located yards away from Gyeonggijeon Shrine, Veteran has been around for years serving up delicious dumplings and choice kalguksu noodle soup.

We dined on 8 meat dumplings for 5,500 Won (also available in kimchi flavour) plus a MASSIVE bowl of flavourful Kalguksu noodle soup for 8,000 Won – a good place in Jeonju Hanok Village for hearty, inexpensive food.

Veteran kalguksu noodles and dumplings (mandu) Jeonju Hanok Village
Veteran kalguksu noodles and dumplings (mandu) Jeonju Hanok Village

Gyodong Croquettes

One of the most popular takeaway street foods in Jeonju, these Gyodong croquettes are one of the tastiest and cheapest snacks in the hanok village.

Costing from 2,500 to 4,000 Won, we tried their ‘recommended’ croquette which is the ‘Jeonju bibimbap croquette’ for 3,000 Won – the spicy vegetables inside worked well with the crispy breadcrumb coating.

Other croquette fillings included potato or curry plus a Jeonju bulgogi bibimbap.

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PNB Bakery Choco Pies

Possibly the most famous sweet treat in Jeonju, PNB Bakery is famous for their classic chocolate pies.

PNB Bakery in Jeonju started in 1951 and now has multiple bakery branches across Jeonju including one in the hanok village (located on the main crossroads).

They have multiple choco pie flavours (including strawberry choco pie, mocha and banana choco pie) and are one of the most popular souvenirs to take home from Jeonju.

Jeondong Ddeokgalbi

For us, Jeondong Ddeokgalbi (located right next to Gyeonggijeon Shrine) was actually our favourite bibimbap in the whole of Jeonju as the meat and vegetable quality were so good.

A large bibimbap with 8 shared sides (including japchae noodles) cost 12,000 Won including a bowl of soup.

Jeondong Ddeokgalbi also specialise in handmade tteok-galbi which are grilled short rib patties (like a very upmarket beef burger).

Other street food kiosks we spotted in Jeonju Hanok Village included a burger baguette (reputedly a Jeonju speciality), chicken or octopus skewers, candied fruit, tornado potatoes and mandu (steamed dumplings galore).

Meat dumpling from Dawoorang
Chicken skewer street food found all over Jeonju

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Where to get the best aerial views of Jeju Hanok Village

Jeju Hanok Village is great to explore on foot but it looks even more spectacular from above, especially at sunset. We’d recommend these two places as the best viewpoints in Jeonju:

Cafe Jeonmang (for the best aerial view of Jeonju Hanok Village)

For rooftop brews with views, head to Cafe Jeonmang, located across the fourth and fifth levels and one of the few ‘high rise’ buildings in Jeonju (well, high compared to most of the one story buildings in the Jeonju).

Cafe Jeonmang has the best panoramic view of Jeonju Hanok Village (even better than Omokdae hillside shrine) and has an opening air deck on the very top floor). We’d rate this as the best spot for sunset views of the Hanok Village too.

Prices at Cafe Jeonmang are pretty reasonable too – we paid 6,500 Won each for an iced latte and blagged a table upstairs looking out across the village. Cakes and other sweet treats (plus beer!) are also available.

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Omokdae and Imokdae hillside shrines

Not only is this a tranquil hillside shrine where locals come to relax and exercise, Omokdae is also one of the best viewpoints to Jeonju Hanok Village from above (although the view is partially obscured by trees and leaves in summer months).

The walk to reach Omakdae and Imokdae shrines isn’t too taxing and involves a boardwalk from the hanok village to this prime vantage point.

Be sure to take off you shoes if you want to go inside Omokdae (a simple but beautifully painted wooden structure).

Omokdae was made famous as the site where Lee Seong-gye (who became King Taejo) held a big feast to celebrate a big battle in 1380.

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Jeonju Hanok Village as a filming location

A popular filming location, Jeonju Hanok Village has welcomed a wide range of TV and film productions, from K dramas like ‘Moonlight Drawn by Clouds’ through to K Pop legends.

BTS filmed inserts in and around Jeonju Hanok Village for one of their summer DVD releases (Suga and j-Hope made their own homebrew whilst in the village).

K-dramas and Korean films made in Jeonju Hanok Village include Queen Under the Sun, Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, Twenty-Five Twenty-One and Our Beloved Summer.

One of the most popular filming locations in Jeonju Hanok Village is Jeonju Hyanggyo Confucian School due to its ginkgo lined courtyard and colourful buildings.

There is evening an information panel by the main entrance displaying posters of the K-dramas and Korean movies filmed here, including Ordinary Love and YMCA Baseball Team.

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Other things to know / facts about Jeonju Hanok Village

  • It is officially a ‘International Slow City’ in recognition of its relaxed pace and quality of life
  • The emperor’s grandson still lives in Jeonju Hanok Village.
  • People (generally tourists) like to whizz around in brightly coloured electric buggies around the village streets – as they are electric, they are very quiet so do be alert when walking across the main road and crossroads
Jeonju Hanok Village

Jeonju Hanok Historical Village – is it worth visiting?

Korea’s largest hanok village, Jeonju Hanok Village is a must visit when in Jeonju – whilst it can be a tad touristy, it is an incredible slice of traditional Korean life with much to see and do (and eat!)

We spent a week in Jeonju and went into the hanok village everyday as there is always something new to see – plus there are lots of nice aerial views from temples or cafes so you can enjoy it at sunset.

Even if you don’t want to visit historical sites or wear hanboks, there are lots of more modern day activities like VR games, craft beer bars or cute coffee shops.

Where to stay in Jeonju, South Korea

The big decision to make whilst staying in Jeonju – whether to choose hanok style accommodation in the village or a hotel nearby. There are over 160 hanok accommodations to choose from.

Our recommended places to stay in Jeonju include:

Best Western Jeonju

We stayed at the Jeonju Best Western. This recently renovated hotel seems very popular with celebrities given the wall of signatures signed by Korean movie stars and actors (plus the Incheon K-League football team stayed here).

Just a 10 minute walk from the Jeonju historical hanok village, there is also a small pool to use in summer plus a free laundry room.

Check rates and availability at Best Western Jeonju >

Lahan Hotel Jeonju

A 4* hotel with the best view over Jeonju hanok village, this is the best appointed hotel, literally overlooking the historic heart of town.

Check rates and availability at Lahan Hotel Jeonju >

N Bridge Hotel Jeonju

One of the newest hotels, N Bridge Hotel is close to all the shrines and hanok village with large rooms.

Check rates and availability at N Bridge Hotel Jeonju >

Jeonju Hanok Hotel Kung

Hanok style accommodation with private bathrooms and flatscreen TVs.

Check rates and availability at Jeonju Hanok Hotel Kung >

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