This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Gwangju.
The metropolitan city of Gwangju is often overlooked. Despite Gwangju’s slower pace, South Korea’s sixth-largest city still offers plenty of exciting experiences for visitors. A stay at a hostel or hotel here will provide tourists with a fantastic opportunity to explore some touching monuments, beautiful arts markets, and sample adventurous local cuisine.
Gwangju is most well-known for 1980’s May 18 Democratic Uprising, a peaceful pro-democracy demonstration that turned violent. However, there is another interesting memorial for tourists to visit, Ssang Chon Dong – the Student’s Uprising Monument, located in the middle of the city. This monument is less recognized, but commemorates the uprising of students against the Japanese Imperialism of the early 1900s.
Once you’ve had your fill of history, explore some of Gwangju’s designated Food Streets, where restaurants serve a variety of native Gwangju cuisine. Or, visit some of the many galleries, art markets, and studios that make up the cultural heart of Gwangju – and meet some of the local artists that make this community thrive.
The temple of Daewonsa, dedicated to the Tibetan school of Buddhism, features an impressive traditional temple design that blends in perfectly with the surrounding lush vegetation. Visitors to the temple can walk through the scenic trails and forested pathways to relax and reconnect with nature – without venturing far from the city.
The city offers an impressive selection of accommodations, from upscale hotels to hostels to suit any budget. With bed and breakfasts, spas, and holiday rentals, there is no shortage of places to stay during a visit to Gwangju.
Tourists can fly directly into Gwanju, which boasts its own international airport, but it’s also possible to get to your hostel or hotel here via Seoul – visitors can catch a train or a bus and get to Gwangju in under four hours, while sightseeing through the South Korean landscape.
Written by local enthusiast for Gwangju hostelsJakob Lombardi