Lonely Planet Features the Best Cities to Visit in Gyeongbuk, South Korea

One of the largest travel guide book publishers, Lonely Planet has been introducing some of the best travel destinations around the world. Several cities of Gyeongbuk, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province of South Korea, have been showcased on the Lonely Planet for their many outdoor nature activities and historical backgrounds. When visiting South Korea, there are many options for travelers. The more famous options include the Korean nightlife, the excellent Korean cuisine, and the lively shopping districts. However, the Lonely Planet went in-depth into one of the hidden gems of South Korea which is its beautiful outdoor scenery. In the southeast part of Korea lies the Gyeongbuk region which offers the best scenery in South Korea. It offers striking mountain ranges, crystal clear lakes, and beautiful waterfalls. This is the perfect location for exploring walking trails, going on hikes, and even camping overnight. In addition, there is a wide selection of national parks that have been preserved by Gyeongbuk so it can be enjoyed by many generations.

Gyeongbuk is a large region, therefore the Lonely Planet focused on the best places to visit during your travels there. For those looking for beautiful adventurous outdoor activities, the cities of Cheongsong and Yeongyang are great options. If you are more interested in the locality of South Korea, the Lonely Planet suggests Seongju and Gunwi.

Best Outdoor Activities in Gyeongbuk – Cheongsong and Yeongyang


Cheongsong is a charismatic place that travelers can visit in all 4 seasons. Recently, more and more visitors are enjoying camping, cycling, and other outdoor activities in Cheongsong. Some of the best places to visit in Cheongsong are:

– Jungwangsan is one of the hiking and cycling spots that have been recognized by UNESCO

– Jusanji Pond is a pond that can be visited during any season and became famous through the movie “Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Spring”. However, it is most recommended to visit during autumn because of the lovely colors of the leaves.


Yeongyang is known for its clean natural beauty. It is an isolated area located on the eastern side of South Korea and is one of the least populous areas in Korea. The area is only a 4-hour drive from Seoul which makes it an easily accessible travel destination. Below are some of the top recommended locations to visit:

– Yeongyang Starlight Camping Site is an observatory that allows visitors to camp there and enjoy the pure nature and starlight while being surrounded by mountains and streams. On a clear night, you can even see the milky way!

– The Firefly Ecological Park is Korea’s largest firefly habitat and is known for the conservation of fireflies, which benefit from conditions of natural darkness.

Best and Hidden Historical Destinations in Gyeongbuk – Sejongju and Gunwi

Korea has a long and fascinating history. For travelers interested in the history of Korea, there are two locations that are must visit; Seongju and Gunwi. Both cities are within an hour distance from Daegu, the metropolitan city of Gyeongbuk region, while each city embraces the history of Joseon Dynasty(600 years old – Seongju) and modern times(50 years old – Gunwi)

– Hangae Village & Yundong Village in Seongju have over 600 years old’s Yangban(Korea’s aristocrat) culture. The village offers programs that you can experience Korea’s genuine Confucian life such as traditional education, ceremony and manner.

– Gunwi Hwasan Village is a place where began with nothing after the Korean war, but turned into happiest village by the hands of the residents. It is also called ‘the closest village to sky’.

As South Korea slowly opens up as governments establish measures to combat the pandemic, people will seek out outdoor activities they have not been able to experience for months. Gyeongbuk is one of the hidden treasures in South Korea for nature lovers. ​

Source: Gyeongsangbuk-do Culture and Tourism Organization