Picture an ancient city of tradition bathed in light at night. Gyeongju is a place where you can enjoy unique night-time views of the artistry of Korean ancestors under modern lighting. Well-known historical spots like Donggung, Wolji, Woljeonggyo and Cheomseongdae are certainly beautiful during the day, but they really must be seen at night. In contrast, modern places such as Shilla Millennium Park and Hwangnyongwon Jung-do Tower offer a different sense of Shilla-inspired design at night as they capture classic beauty. Let's check out some of the best nightlife attractions Gyeongju has to offer.

    1

    Donggung & Wolji

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    After King Munmu of Shilla unified the Three Kingdoms of Korea, the detached palace Donggung was built as the residence for the prince. After the fall of Shilla, it came to be known as Anapji, meaning that it was a ruin visited only by geese and ducks. The name Wolji has since been restored, which means 'a pond where the moonlight shines.' Although small in scale, it still conveys the wisdom of the Shilla people who designed the narrow pond to resemble the sea. At night, it becomes so gorgeous that you might think you have become a Shilla-era royal.

    Location: Inwang-dong, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 10 pm, ticketing and admission deadline at 9.30 pm

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    2

    Woljeonggyo

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    Woljeong Bridge refers to two bridges named Chunyang and Woljeong that connected Namchon to downtown Gyeongju in the era of King Gyeongdeok of Shilla. The remaining pier burned and only stone pillars remained, but today, it has been restored to a new shape that conveys the splendour of Shilla. The true beauty of the bridge can be readily seen at night. The moon and Woljeong Bridge reflecting in the Nam River look so fantastic that it is difficult to distinguish the boundary between the pier and the shadow.

    Location: 31 Gyochonan-gil, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea

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    photo by bryan... (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    3

    Shilla Millennium Park

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    Shilla Millennium Park, where you can enjoy various performances and experiences in buildings from the Shilla period, is also famous for serving as the backdrop in the K-dramas 'Queen Seondeok' and 'Dream of the Emperor'. Numerous sculptures adorn the grounds, and the promenades found throughout always have something interesting on offer. The Shilla-era buildings and facilities are particularly delicate and interesting. There is also an archery experience and a horseback-riding performance, so be sure to check them out when visiting.

    Location: 55-12 Expo-ro, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea

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    photo by Serena Kang (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    4

    Cheomseongdae

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    Cheomseongdae, Korea's National Treasure No. 31, is famous for being the oldest astronomical observatory in the East, built during Queen Seondeok's reign. 362 granite blocks were used to create the beautifully curved cylindrical shape, built in a very scientific manner to tell the time and season. It may be familiar to those who grew up with Korean textbooks, but it's still no less mesmerising when seen up close with your own eyes. The structure is illuminated at night and looks even more special thanks to the astronomical symbolism.

    Location: 839-1 Inwang-dong, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea

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    photo by ecodallaluna (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    5

    Hwangnyongwon Jung-do Tower

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    Jung-do Tower, which soars high above Bomun Lake, is characterised by an outline reminiscent of the nine-story wooden tower of Hwangnyong Temple. It is one of the tallest buildings in Gyeongju, and at the top, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the wide-spanning city. The night-time view of the pond and Musimjeong is truly spectacular when the tower is lit, so it's no wonder that it's one of the most famous spots in Gyeongju. Don't miss it.

    Location: 40 Expo-ro, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea

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