Daejeon is the capital of Chungcheongnam-do, a province in central South Korea. The city is considered to be the science and technology hub of the country and is strategically located at the intersection of major roads and train tracks joining other cities in South Korea. Daejeon, though it is always seen as a financial city, it is also known for its fine traditions and culture. The city’s stocks as one of South Korea’s best destinations rose significantly in 1993 after an international exposition. The expo showed the world the innovative side of Daejeon with start-of-the-art pavilions, solar-powered vehicles, and a maglev train. The center of the event was the Expo Park, which is still dazzling to these days and linked to other parts of the city by the stunning Expo Bridge.
Here are the best things to do in Daejeon.
Explore the Expo Park
Located on the northern edge of the Gap River, Expo Park is one of the most distinguishable sights in Daejeon. Its reputation rose when it hosted the 93 Expo years later, its futuristic pavilions still attract visitors.
The highlight of the park is the Hanbit Tower, which stands at 93 meters and serves as an observatory center.
Besides the tower, there is also the Daejeon Expo Memorial Hall, which narrates the 1993 events and other exhibitions from around the world.
Relax at the Yuseong Hot Spring
Though Yiuseong Hot Spring looks a bit out of place in the area surrounded by skyscrapers, there is a reason it has endured the cynical look for many years.
The alkali bubbles from the spring come from 200 meters deep at a temperature of up to 56 degrees Celsius. The hot spring is the oldest in Korea and its waters contain calcium, potassium, zinc, Sulphur, carbonic acid, silicic acid, and small amounts of radium.
Evoke your filial piety at Ppuri Park
This park is also called Root Park and it is one of its kind in the country to be constructed in filial piety theme. The park contains 136 unique stone sculptures that have a historical portrayal of family names.
Other things you can find at the park include ecology forest, deep-rooted spring, and an octagonal pavilion.
Learn about the history of technology at the National Science Museum
Located just across the road from the Expo Park, the National Science Museum specializes in exhibitions of different elements of science and technology. Its permanent exhibition features the natural history of Korea as well as human biology, the cosmos, industrial technology, and others.
On top of the above exhibitions are exhibitions for ceramics, weapons, and traditional instruments.
Don’t miss the floating train, which was created for the international expo of 1993.
Enjoy some peculiar treats at the Sung Sim Dang Bakery
Sung Sim Dang is not your ordinary bakery. It dates six decades ago and the owners refused to open more branches to add to its current three despite high demands.
The bakery is enticing with its painstakingly arranged delightful looking treats.
You will find some bizarre items you have never seen elsewhere, such as the pantalon booch, a bun filled with egg, tofu, and sliced Korean chives.
Breathe fresh air at the Hanbat Arboretum
Wandering close to the Expo Park you will come across Hanbat Arboretum, the biggest arboretum in the whole of Korea.
It sits on 37 hectares of space on the south edge of the Gap River and connected to the park by the Expo Bridge.
The West Garden or Dowon houses a small art museum while the East Garden or Dangwon comprises of 19 different spaces including Fruit Garden, Medicinal Herb Garden, Rose Garden, Magnolia Garden, and Rock Garden.
Have fun at Daejeon O-Word
Daejeon O-Word is an integrated theme park located in the striking nature of the hilly southern side of the city. The park is categorized into a number of sections.
Zoo Land is home to up to 600 faunas from more than 150 species, such as Korean wolves, Bengal tigers, elephants, giraffes, black bears, and zebras.
Flower Land consists of greenhouses and fountains as well as Maze Garden, Rose Garden, Four Seasons Garden, and Herb Garden.
Joy Land comprises theme park rides such as log flume, a gigantic drop, and swinging Viking ship.
Bird Land, which is the most recent attraction in the amusement park, consists of several species of birds such as flamingos, penguins, and emus.
Hike up the Gyejoksan
Located on the east shoulder of Daejeon is this 429 meters mountain. There are plenty of reasons you need to make this trip up the hill.
First, at 280 meters, you will find the Gyejoksanseong Fortress, which was built in the 4th century CE during the era of Three Kingdoms.
This trail is also suitable for family since it has a very slight incline with a broad path.
Learn geology at KIGAM
Located a few meters west of the Expo Park, the KIGAM Geological Museum is the only stand-alone geological museum in South Korea.
The Main Hall consists of a giant globe displaying sub-oceanic landscape as well as complete fossil skeletons of now-extinct Maiasaura, Tyrannosaurus, and Edmontonia.
The Discovery Room is an interactive room for kids where they can solve geological problems such as investigating a fossil excavation and so on.
Marvel at the famous SkyRoad
Right in the heart of Daejeon is one of the architectural wonders of South Korea. Starting at Jungang and running south is Sky Road, 214 meters long and 20 meters height.
Below it is a neon-coated non vehicle shopping street lined with electronics, jewelry, cosmetics, and fashion stalls. Above it are bars, restaurants, karaoke spots, and cafés.
Try Korean food at Daejeon Jungang Market
Daejeon Jungang Market starts from Daejeon Station and extends to the Daejeonchon River. It is quite a colossal market comprising numerous smaller trading centers.
Here you will find loads of local treats such as fried dumplings (mandu), pajeon, famous blood sausage, and many more.
You can also buy hardware products at this market.
Enjoy fresh air at Jangtaesan Recreational Forest
Jangtaesan Recreational Forest consists of around 7 miles of walking paths through young and mature swathes of bald cypress and ginkgo.
Walk by the edges of the reservoir, head up the Sky Tower or stroll around the botanical garden.
You can also book a cabin and stay over the weekend.
Cross the Expo Bridge
The Expo Bridge and Expo Park are two of the most iconic monuments in Daejeon. It was designed by architect Hui Lee Shum for the ’93 Expo. The bridge goes over the Gap River and near Expo Park.
The bridge is so spectacular at night with colorful lights and transparent water jets from the cascade flanking the footbridge.
Take a scenic walk or drive around Daecheong Dam
Clasped by stunning low-lying hills, Daecheong Dam is a great spot for some scenic walk or drive away from the city. The observatory station by the Palgakjeong Service Area allows visitors to enjoy the views of the water.
On the left of the dam is the Water Culture Center, where you can find an aquarium as well as learn about the construction of the dam.
Learn the history of Daejeon at the Daejeon History Museum
Lastly, find out more about the city you have just been exploring by checking in at the Daejeon History Museum. The hall features a permanent gallery space, planned hall, donated relics, as well as city promotion hall. The permanent gallery displays treasures of the city about the Confucian’s culture.
Learn about Korean history by visiting the Daejeon History Museum.
To help you plan out your visit to Daejeon, we listed places to visit and other amazing activities to do in Daejeon, South Korea. We also listed some of the best Daejeon travel and tour packages, as well as excellent flight deals and accommodation.
Searching for the best hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our list of affordable Daejeon hotels and resorts via Agoda, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.