From Seoul, take the KTX to Iksan, and then you can take a bus or taxi from there. You can also take the KTX all the way to the Jeonju Train Station, but sometimes you have to transfer in Iksan. This is the fastest but most expensive option, taking about 2 hours from Seoul.
From Seoul, express buses are available for as little as ₩15,000 and take 2 hours and 30 minutes. From Incheon Airport, there are limousine buses that run every half hour that will take you near city hall in Jeonju. It takes 3 hours and 30 minutes. From Busan, express buses leave approximately every hour and cost ₩22,700. The trip takes around 3 hours and 20 minutes.
Every bus trip has at least one rest time during the journey for about 15 minutes at a rest area where you can eat something and use the restroom.
There's an excellent public bus system that costs ₩1,100. From the Sheeway (intercity) Bus Terminal (시외 버스 터미널) you can catch buses to the local mountains, as well as other cities throughout Korea.
Meter drop for taxis is ₩2,800. From the station to Hanok Maeul (Hanok Village) it's about ₩5,500.
Due to its relatively small size the city can be fairly well seen by foot, sights like Deokjin Park, Wolseon Park and the city centre are not that far from each other.
- DeokJin Park (덕진공원) (Near Jeonbuk University.). You can see the bridge on the pond and Changpo herbs (창포) and you can take a duck boat. At night you can also see the music fountail and beautiful lights on bridge. At the middle of bridge there's a cafe and a convenience store.
- Gaeksa Building (객사) (In the city center.). This building was built around 1471 and was used to accommodate important visitors. Rituals to honour the king were also held here. It's a meeting place for many as well as a hangout location for many old men. The downtown area surrounding is also referred to as Gaeksa.
- Hansol Paper Museum. Records the history of paper making and usages since the age of the Egyptians. There is an interesting movie shown in English upon request. Most of the signs are in Korean only, but I found the museum quite interesting. There are some displays on traditional Korean paper making. You also have a chance to make a piece of paper there as well. On weekends and holidays, there are various workshops available.
- Jeonju Hanok Village (전주한옥마을) (In Kyo Dong.). This traditional village is comprised of more than dozens of Hanok. Most of Hanok were constructed in Joseon period (1392-1910). Here you can experience a variety of traditional Korean culture such as making traditional Korean paper (Hanji) or trying Korean liquor.
- Jeonju Natural Ecology Museum (Half an hour walk SE of the Hanok Village.), ☎ . A plant and wildlife museum perfect for children.
- Jeonju Traditional Wine Museum (전주 전통술박물관), 71 Hanji-gil, Wansan-gu, ☎ 82-63-287-6305. 9AM-6PM, closed Mondays. Opened in the Hanok Village in 2002, this museum aims to promote Korea's tradition of home brewing. Besides displays, there are classes and hands-on programs. They are reportedly eager to assist anyone wishing to brew Korea's traditional drinks for themselves. There are small fees for the programs: interestingly, teens get a discount on the "Local Wine-Drinking Rituals" class!
- Ohmockdae (오목대) (Near Hanok Village.). A small hill with a traditional house on top. The best thing about this spot is the night view of the city.
Jeonju is famous for its cuisine. Bibimbap is one of the most famous Korean dishes native to this region. "Bibim" means mixing and "bap" means rice. Served in the traditional brassware, it consists of rice with seasonal stir fried vegetables (carrot, bean sprout, radish, spinach, zucchini, bracken), seaweed (gim), and hot pepper paste (gochujang). It is also available in a hot stone bowl (dol sot), which slowly cooks the egg as you stir the ingredients together. The characteristic thing about Jeonju bibimbap is that it comes with Korean beef tartar (Yukhoe), Hwang Po Mook (a yellow jelly made from mung beans) and raw egg yolk (most of other regions in Korea serve with fried egg). The price for a serving of bibimbap is about ₩10,000. Along with bibimbap, kongnamul gukbap (bean sprout soup with rice) is one of the most popular food in Jeonju. Also give mountain vegetable (san chae) bibimbap a taste, if you're at any of the local mountains.
Some famous Bibimbap restaurants include:
- Ga Jok Hoe Gwan (가족회관), ☎ . 11:30AM-9:30PM.
- Loving Hut (러빙헛), Seosin Store 295-24, Seosin-Dong, Wansan-Gu, ☎ .
- Veteran (베테랑), 84-10, Gyo-dong, Wansan-gu (From the SE corner of Gyeonggijeon, go half a block south. The building is metallic gray and on the east side of the road.), ☎ . A noodle restaurant with a limited but worthwhile menu. It is always busy.
Probably the best area for night life is outside of Jeonbuk National University, the large national university in Jeonju. There are hundreds of bars and restaurants; you're sure to find something that you like there. Foreign bars in Jeonju include J.R.'s Saloon, Deepin, Art & Travel, Tombstone and Mexico.
- Jeonju Guesthouse, 62, Gyeongwon-dong 2ga, Wansan-gu (Beside the east entrance of Kyoung-Ki-Jeon. Follow the wall and it is at the end of the wall.), ☎ . Check-in: Anytime, check-out: Anytime. B&B with dormitory beds, a cafeteria, a kitchen, a rooftop area for barbecues, and free internet. The staff speaks English. M-F ₩17,000, Sa-Su ₩19,000.
Hanok village stays
Traditional Korean traditional house accommodation.
- Jjhanok (이음전주한옥생활체험관분사무소), ☎ .
- Hankindang. Web page available only in Korean, reservations by phone or e-mail.
- JK Hankok, ☎ . Web page available only in Korean, reservations by phone.
Just like in the rest of Korea, internet cafes, known as PC Bang (look for signs showing PC방) are plentiful in Jeonju, these provide high speed internet acces and modern desktop usage for around ₩1,000 an hour.
Buses regularly leave for Busan and other cities. The intercity and express bus terminal are very close to each other on the river.