Daejeon Travel Guide
Sitting smack dab in the centre of Korea, Daejeon is easy to reach from Seoul, Daegu or Busan. While not as flashy as its northern or southern counterparts, it has its share of low-key but interesting attractions.
From the former site of Expo 1993 to a relaxing hot spring, you’ll find plenty of attractions here.
Come check out our Daejeon destination travel guide as we cover the best things to do in Daejeon, South Korea.
Start your sightseeing adventure in Daejeon in Expo Park. Back in 1993, this city became one of the few developing world centres to host this prestigious global event. After its conclusion, it became a centrepiece park that is now the most popular gathering place in the city.
Of all its points of interest, its stunning bridge is the most noteworthy. Lorded over by arches that are lit brilliantly by spotlights and bulbs, it is a spectacular sight after dark. The Hanbit Tower, Daejeon Expo Memorial Hall (commemorates the events of the 1993 Expo), and the World Expo Memorial Museum (looks back at the 200-year history of the World Fair) are also worth seeing in this park.
Culturally-minded travellers will want to include the Daejeon Museum of Art on their visit to this city. This institution boasts more than 1,100 pieces of modern art produced by Korean and foreign creatives. With over 8,400 m2 of exhibition space and an outdoor sculpture park, you’ll be busy for hours. Situated across from Expo Park, it is also easy to include if you are on a tight schedule.
Next, make your way out to Uamsajeok Park. Located on the outskirts of Daejeon, it is a peaceful escape from the bustle of the city centre. Confucian scholar Uam Song Si-yeol thought similarly, as he chose to meditate here back in the 17th century.
The grounds of this park contain buildings that are still used by Korean academics today. These include Namganjeongsa (where Uam taught), and Songjadaejeonpan (a library that contains Uam’s written works).
If you wish to follow in Uam’s example, the gates open at 5 am (6 am in winter). This early start will give you the solitude needed to find the clarity of mind to achieve greatness in your life.
Seek out further peace by taking a trip out to Jangtaesan Natural Forest. An hour south of Daejeon, its heavily forested peaks will grant relaxation not easily found in the city. All around you, stands of cypress and ginkgo trees scent the air, and mountain views inspire the soul.
Altogether, there are 12 kilometres of trails, but if you want to relax, there are also tenting sites. With a deer park, botanic garden, and exercise facilities, you can easily spend a full day out here.
After a long day spent seeing the sights in and around Daejeon, you may feel worn out. Soothe any aching muscles by spending an hour or two enjoying Yuseong Hot Springs. You won’t need to head to the outskirts to experience this attraction, as it located in the city centre.
The waters that feed these baths are known to have curative properties. These effects are provided by minerals that include radium, sulphur, calcium, and potassium. These elements can help those afflicted by the maladies of old age, but anyone sore will benefit from a bath here.
However, this place has more appeal than just hot water. Long ago, a warrior suffered mortal wounds during a battle with the Silla Kingdom. His mother tended to his injuries but worried whether he would survive. Then one day, she saw a crane dip its wing in a hot pool. Taking it as a sign, she bathed him in the Yuseong Hot Spring; soon after, he was well again.
Even if you don’t believe this tale, it is an excellent way to start/end a day in Daejeon. With hours that run between 7 am and 11 pm, a visit is easy to work into any schedule.
Those who enjoy gardens will want to make time for a visit to the Hanbat Arboretum. Located within Dunsan Grand Park, this attraction is the biggest of its kind in Korea. This sizable attraction is broken up into 19 gardens, featuring Magnolias, decorative rocks, and medicinal herbs.
Travelling families may want to drop by Daejeon O-World during their time in this city. Formerly the Daejeon Zoo and Joy Land, zoo animals and amusement rides are its main draws. The zoo portion of the park features over 130 different species, including Bengal tigers and black bears.
Meanwhile, on the amusement park side, rides, water slides, and an outdoor stage will keep your kids entertained. Prices start at 12,000 won for adults, and 5,000 won for children, making it an affordable family outing.