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Not to be confused with nearby Chungju

Cheongju (청주,淸州), also spelled Chongju, is the capital of North Chungcheong, South Korea.

Sangdangsanseong — Sangdang fortress


Cheongju, in addition to being the provincial capital, is also a historic city credited with creating the world's oldest movable metal type print book: jikji. Do not expect to get a glimpse of the UNESCO-registered artifact as the Jikji (or what remains of it) is stored in France. Nonetheless, Cheongju is proud of its place in international history and hailed 2011 as a Jikji celebration year.

For a domestic traveler however, perhaps Cheongju's most notable asset is that it houses one of Korea's major domestic (with a few international routes) airports, serving Cheongju and the nearby major city of Daejeon.

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Get in[edit]

Map of Cheongju

By plane[edit]

By train[edit]

The main train station is located at Ogeunjang. Trains are limited, making this a lesser reliable method of transport into the city.

By car[edit]

  • Jeongbu Highway: connecting Cheongju with Seoul via Ochang and/or Jincheon.
  • Gyeongbu Expressway: connecting Cheongju with Seoul, Daejeon and Busan.

By bus[edit]

Most of the major cities in South Korea have an express bus to Cheongju. There are two major bus stations:

  • Cheongju Express Bus Terminal, for buses from Busan, Daegu, Gwangju and Seoul.
  • Cheongju Intercity Bus Terminal, for all other cities. Buses from Incheon and Gimpo airports also leave from this terminal. The information center is adjacent to the bus terminal. Make sure you visit here if your Korean is not very good.

Get around[edit]

Cheongju has an extensive bus system accessible for ₩1450, but it can be difficult to figure out. Taxis are the easiest way to get around, as they are cheap and quick.


The Iron Flagpole of the Yongdu Temple site
  • 1 Sangdangsanseong (상당산성), Yongdam, Myeongam, and Sanseong-dong, Sangdang-gu, Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province (To get there from the Intercity Bus Terminal (시외버스터미널) which is on the west side of town take bus 511, 405, 747 or 105 to Cheongju Stadium (청주 체육관). From there take bus 862 to Sangdangsanseong (상당산성). It would be helpful to write theses names out in Korean to show to bus drivers in case the routes change.). Sangdang Mountain Fortress lies on the slopes of Mt. Uam within the city limits. The fortress is comprised mainly of a 3-4 meter-high wall that stretches over 4.2 km in circumference. The present walls date to the 1716 restoration of the site. Within the walls there is a small tourist village that has several restaurants.
  • 2 Cheongju National Museum (국립청주박물관), 143 Gwangam-ro, Sangdang-gu, +82 507-1408-6300. 09:00-18:00(Clsoed at Monday). Near Mt. Uam, and houses several exhibits of cultural artifacts from the nearby area.
  • 3 Heungdeok Temple Site (흥덕사지), 866 Uncheon-dong, Heungdeok-gu, +83 10-7498-2371. 00:00-24:00. Home to the Early Printing Museum, and is purported to be the site of the printing of Jikji, the oldest existent book printed using movable metal type. The museum itself contains exhibits related to the art of printing through the ages.
  • 4 Yongdusaji Cheoldanggan (용두사지철당간), 48-19, Nammun-ro 2-ga, Sangdang-gu, +82 43-200-2232. The Iron Flagpole of the Yongdu Temple Site is designated as Korean National Treasure Number 41, and is located behind Lotte Young Plaza in downtown Cheongju. Made of twenty iron cylinders, the flagpole stands 13.1 m tall, and was used to hang flags to honor the Buddha.
  • 5 Suamgol (수암골), Manual 81-12 in Sangdang-gu, +82 43-200-2232. 10:00-23:00(Everyday). It is a place where refugees lived during the Korean War, and narrow houses are attached. In 2007, it became a mural village through a public art project.


  • 1 Spa-Ville (청주힐링스파), 40, Jimdae-ro 72beon-gil, Heungdeok-gu, +82 507-1387-4548. 00:00-24:00(Everyday). This gym/bath house offers some of the finest facilities in the city. Located near the Cheongju bus terminals and inside of Dreamplus, it is easy to spot. Enjoy a workout and a steam for only ₩10,000. Monthly memberships start at ₩100,000 per person.
  • 2 Cheongju Onch'on (spapia) (청주온천 스파피아), 100, Cheongnam-ro 2005, Bunpyeong-dong, Seowon-gu, 40, Jimdae-ro 72beon-gil, Heungdeok-gu, +82 43-286-5757. 00:00-24:00(Everyday). If you want the fatigue recovery of the close relatives body and mind you have to go here. \15000-\5000.


Cheongju has various markets scattered throughout the city that any traveler is bound to stumble across.

  • 1 Yukgeori Market (육거리종합시장), 60-4 Seokgyo-dong, Sangdang-gu, +82 43-222-6696. 06:00-18:00. Near downtown Cheongju, Yukgeori market is the cities biggest marketplace. Here you'll find a variety of the freshest fish, meat and produce, as well as a selection of home wares and nick knacks.
  • 2 Eversave (에버세이브), 35-28 Mipyeong-dong, Heungdeok-gu. 10:30-21:00. Near the EMart, discounts on all kinds of brands including Adidas, Converse and Nike.


Cheongju's local specialities are chestnuts, and little packets of them are widely available at tourism and convenience stalls across the entire Cheungchong Province. It is also a major growing region for apples, pears and peaches.

Cheongju has a reasonably good mix of Korean and Western restaurants. Most of the American fast food chains can be found somewhere in the city. The downtown area is home to McDonalds, KFC, Mr Pizza and Burger King.


  • 1 California Sushi (스시캘리포니아), 82-2, Bukmun-ro 1-ga, Sangdang-gu, +82 43-224-0006. A quality sushi restaurant in Shinae across from the Krispy Kreme in the building that houses Lotte Cinema. Their lunch specials are good value.
  • Galbi restaurants. There are many restaurants serving Korean-style pork and beef barbeque in Cheongju. Meals are cheap (₩4,000-10,000) and delicious.
  • Street food. Tteokbokki is sliced rice cakes served with red, hot pepper paste. Fish cakes, boiled eggs or even ramyeon may be added to the dish.


  • 2 First Nepal (퍼스트네팔 청주점), 72nd floor, 114, Seowon-gu, Naesu-dong, +82 43-260-5048. Tasty Indian style food in Chungdae, across the street from the newly built (in late 2012) Smoothie King.
  • Mes Bouchons. In Gakyeong-dong, upstairs and across the road from Outback Steakhouse. Mes Bouchons has a good selection of pizza and pasta. Their set menu is a good option for less than 20,000 and comes with 5 courses.
  • 3 Saigon Square (사이공스퀘어), 279, Juseong-ro, Sangdang-gu, +82 43-250-4200. 10:00-21:00. In Shinae, upstairs and just along from the North Face store. Vietnamese style food at cheap Korean prices.


  • 4 Outback Steakhouse (아웃백스테이크하우), Shinyoungji Well City, 43, Bokdae-dong, Heungdeok-gu, +82 43-232-0961. 11:00-22:00. Located in Gakyeong Dong near the bus terminal. You'll find a selection of steak, chicken, seafood and pasta on offer.


The local specialty, Cheongju daechusul is a type of takju, unrefined liquor fermented from grains. It would be in the same family as the popular makgeolli and its cousin, dongdongju. Carefully brewed with jujubes, glutinous rice, yeast, malt, pine needles and spring water pumped from an underground rock bed daechusul tastes sweet with a bitter aftertaste. The alcohol content is 16 percent.

Cheongju has hundreds of drinking establishments scattered across the city. The most popular spot is the area around Chungbuk University, Chungdae Jungmun, frequented by Koreans and foreigners every Friday and Saturday night.

Chungbuk University area[edit]

  • 1 Sound Garden (사운드가든), Sachang-dong, Heungdeok-gu, +82 43-274-9008. Averagely priced drinks of an average selection and like music a-plenty.
  • 2 Road King (로드킹), 421-1 Sachang-dong, Seowon-gu (Across the road from Buzz), +82 43-256-1340. 18:00-03:00. This bar caters primarily to Westerners on the weekend. A biker themed bar with a pool table, darts and Foosball and comfortable booth type seating. They serve tasty burritos at all times of the night.
  • 3 MJs. One of the only bars with a rooftop. MJ's has a chilled atmosphere that is occasionally spiced up by a local band or two. Watch your belongings though.
  • 4 Beauty and Beast (미녀와야수청주점), 235-4 Uam-dong, Cheongwon-gu, +82 43-222-1748. A booking club, the only one in the area. There is a cover charge and it is fairly popular, often with long lines to stand in from around 11pm on a weekend.
  • 5 Boyd Mansion (보이드맨션), 201-1 Naedeok-dong, Sangdang-gu, +82 43-241-0641. 11:00-21:00.


  • 6 Roma Night Club (로마관광나이트클럽), 2840 Bokdae 1-dong, Heungdeok-gu (in Ha Buk Dae), +82 43-234-0050. Cheongju's hippest night club is located directly across the street from the less popular 'Don't Tell Mama' in Ha Buk Dae. Show up in your finest as a dress code is strictly enforced. And don't be surprised to rub elbows with some of Cheongju's wealthier socialites.


There are various love motels throughout the city that are clean and economical.

  • 1 Ramada (라마다프라자청주), 114 Chungcheong-daero, Cheongwon-gu, +82 43-290-1000. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:00. New, modern, has a western restaurant and a movie theater. For the budget traveler however it is pricey.
  • 2 Cheongju French Code, 369-8 Uam-dong, Sangdang-gu. Heating, bed, near the city. 50000.


Religious services[edit]

There is a Presbyterian English Service offered by Sangdang Church (which is next to E Mart) every Sunday at 11:30. It is led by a native English speaker and is attended by people of many different denominations.

For an English Catholic mass, visit Heungdeuk Catholic Church beside the baseball stadium and Arts Center at 17:00 on Sundays.

For Seventh-Day Adventists, there is an English Sabbath worship in Bokdae 2 dong, near ChungDae, at the Sahmyook SDA School Church. Service is held Friday nights at 20:00 and Saturday mornings from 10:30. Lunch is usually offered by the church.

Go next[edit]

The metropolitan sprawl of Daejeon and the rotting early-1990s glory of its Expo Park are only an hour away by bus. Alternately, North Chungcheong Province's most convenient hub, Chungju and its most iconic natural landmarks can be found at Danyang, are both a short hop away.

For access details, see Korea's Express Bus website[dead link]. However there are many buses that are not listed on here that also go from Cheongju, including buses to Gyeongju, Incheon Airport, Nam (South) Seoul, SongniSan and pretty much every other place you could ever want to go. Without going to the terminal it can be really difficult to get English-language information about bus timetables. The information office is next to the Cheongju Intercity Bus Terminal and should be able to help you out if you need it.

About 25 km southeast of Cheongju is the town of Boeun, which is the gateway to Beopjusa, one of the more famous Buddhist temples in Korea and location of the tallest Buddha statue in Korea.

This city travel guide to Cheongju is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.