Gyeongju is known as ‘the Museum Without Walls’, and is the undisputed cultural centre of South Korea. Throughout the county there are more tombs, temples, and ruins than anywhere else on the peninsula, so for culture and history buffs the area is simply unmissable. The Shilla dynasty established their capital here in the same era as Julius Caesar ruled Rome, so as you’d expect there are a wealth of prominent sites including the Royal Tombs, Bulguksa temple and the Seokguram grotto, and the National Museum. Gyeongju nestles among rolling hills, so all that culture can be countered with pleasant hikes in nearby national parks. Gyeongju is connected to Seoul in around 3 hours by rail or road, and is a short hop onwards down to the southern coastal cities of Busan and Ulsan.