Woonlim-dong, Street of Arts
Woonlim-dong - from 'Gwangju Happenings'
Gwangju is known as the ‘city of culture’, and is home to art museums, the Biennale and several different
music events. A new street of arts has been added to this list, providing people with more places to see and
enjoy art in the city. Woonlim-dong is close to Mudeung mountain and there are five art galleries on the
‘Street’: Gookyoon Art Gallery, Mudeung Hyundai Art Gallery, Woojaegil Art Gallery, Woonlimjae Fan Museum
and Uijae Art Gallery.
All galleries are open from 10:00 – 18:00 Tuesday - Sunday and cost 2,000 won to enter (with the exception
of the Woonlimjae Fan Museum, which costs 5,000 won). Buses 9, 35, 50, 51, 54 and 76 will get you here.
Gookyoon Art Gallery
This is a privately run gallery showing work by Hyo Gook-joong and Wor Yoon-young. The gallery has
lots of paintings, calligraphy, sculptures, crafts and engravings as well as frequent exhibitions.
(Address: Sotae-dong 722-70, Dong-gu, Gwangju)
Mudeung Hyundai Art Gallery
This was established by a western-painting artist, Jeong Song-gyoo. This gallery holds many
exhibitions. (Address: Woonlim-dong 331-6, Dong-gu, Gwangju)
Woojaegil Art Gallery
This is owned by and displays work by the artist Woojaegil. Educational programmes and workshops
have also taken place here. (Address: Woonlim-dong 647, Dong-gu, Gwangju)
Woonlimjae Fan Museum
Over 700 fans can be seen in this museum, from the east and west. Visitors can also see hanok
(traditional Korean housing), view some gardens, and take part in a traditional tea ceremony known
as ‘dado’. (Address: Woonlim-dong 455, Dong-gu, Gwangju)
Uijae Art Gallery
This art gallery was established to commemorate the painter Heo Baek-ryeon (1891-1977), better
known by his pen-name Uijae. You can see many of his beautiful landscape, flower and bird paintings
here. You can also drink green tea from Mudeung mountain. (Address: Woonlim-dong 85-1, Dong-gu,
Hiking Mudeung Mountain
No matter where you are or which direction you look in Gwangju you can see mountains. For this
reason, it is easy to see why hiking is such a popular pastime here and in much of South Korea.
There are hundreds of shops in Gwangju selling outdoor clothes and accessories to cater for the
masses that like to be kitted out in professional gear when going for their walk.
Mudeung mountain, one of the biggest mountains in the Jeolla province, is to the south east of the
city. It is 1,187 metres to the tallest peak, Cheonwang-bong, which is one of the “Jeungsang Three”
(rock peaks found at the top of the mountain). The views of the mountain change depending on the
season. Visit in autumn to see the colourful leaves of Gyubongam, winter to see the beauty of the
snow and ice on the mountain, or spring for the cherry blossoms.
There aren’t many steep climbs going up the mountain (except the beginning of the trails), making
it ideal for most people to climb. Don’t be fooled, however. It is still a good 4 to 5 hour hike
to the top. There are over a dozen trails to take. Two good starting points are Wonhyosa Temple,
halfway up the mountain and Jeungsimsa Temple, near the bottom of the mountain.
Take the 1187 (appopriately named) bus to Wonhyosa Temple. The bus trip itself offers some good views.
Buses 9, 35, 50, 51, 54, and 76 will get you there also. Get off at the last stop and you will see a
car park and some hiking shops (of course).
5.18 Memorial Park, Seogu
This was developed to commemorate the victims of the 1980 democratization movement in Gwangju,
in which at least 144 civilians were killed by the South Korean army. The park is quite large and
has a monument in the centre of it. You can see the names of those who died in the tragedy on the
wall tiles inside the monument.
In this park you can also find Mugaksa Temple and Owolru, an observatory that you can climb to see
great views of Gwangju city. There is lots of grass, which is quite unusual for Korea. It’s a lovely
place to go on a sunny day and have a picnic or a walk around the trail that circles the park.
To get to the park you can take the subway to Uncheon Station. Leave at the 3rd exit and follow the
signs for 10 minutes. Bus no’s 45 and 50 stop directly outside the park too. Alternatively a number
of other buses (1, 16, 25, 38, 46, 62, 63, 64, 518 and 1000) stop at Sangmu Chungheung Apartment bus
stop (상무충흥아파트), a ten minute walk away. Just look for the big E-Mart which is opposite the park.
Chosun Rose Gardens
Chosun University is known to have the largest rose garden in Korea, with 14,306 roses of 152
different varieties found there. There is a rose festival held every May too. It’s a very peaceful
walk through the garden, which features a nice little fountain, as well as all the roses and
interesting insects wandering around. A perfect, calming way to fill an afternoon.
There are a number of buses that go to the garden. Numbers 1, 15, 17, 27, 28, 35 and 98 all go to
Chosun University (조선대). To get to the garden, just walk through the gates of the university and it
is a short walk ahead.
Gwangju Kimchi Festival
The Gwangju Kimchi Festival takes place around October. Celebrating one of Korea’s national
foods, the festival hosts a number of kimchi themed activities including the Kimchi Industry
Fair, Kimchi Fermentation Science Cafe, Jonggajip kimchi cooking sessions, a ‘Science of Kimchi’
class and information on harvesting Korean cabbage.
Gwangju International Center (GIC) Talks
Gwangju International Center (GIC) is a non-profit, non-government organisation providing
information and services to foreign residents and locals in Gwangju. It is located downtown
across the road and down the street slightly from the YMCA building. It is in the Jeon-il
Building floor 5. To get there you can get a bus or subway to the Culture Complex and it is
a short walk from there.
GIC Talks are held every week on Satudays from 15:00 - 16:30. These cover a variety of topics.
For more information on these talks please see the
King of the Mountain – a race for charity, Wolchulsan
Do you think you can race over a mountain? This annual challenge is to run from one side of
Wolchulsan to the other and claim the title of “King of the Mountain!”. The race will take you from
near sea level, almost vertically up to a height of 809m, then across a ridge to the second peak
(743m), and down the other side, finishing about 8.6 kilometers later, in the beautiful temple
surroundings of Dogapsa.
Wolchulsan - from 'Gwangju Happenings'
There is usually an entrance fee of about 5,000 won. In 2010, the profits went to an organization
who raise environmental awareness and empower the youth of Korea to care for their country
(the Environmental Awareness Education Program). The race usually takes place in August.
Wolchulsan is in Jeollanamdo province close to the small town of Yeongam. It is about 1 hour
from Gwangju and 45 minutes from Mokpo (both on the KTX line).
Gwangju Book Club
A great way to meet others in Gwangju is to join the Gwangju Book Club. They have weekly
meetings on Wednesdays at 7:30pm. They meet at the YMCA, downtown Gwangju and go to a different
coffee shop in the area each week. For more information see the
Club Facebook group.
Gwangju Youth Music Festival
The Gwangju Youth Music Festival takes place around August, and showcases young Korean bands
and musical talent. No K-Pop in sight! Previous winners of the music competition include WindyCat
Gwangju World Music Festival
The Gwangju World Music Festival took place for the first time in August 2010, the aim being
to make Gwangju a culture-centered city of Asia. After the completion of the Asian Culture
Complex in 2014, the Gwangju World Music Festival will be able to grow even further as a
popular cultural event. Along with the Gwangju Biennale, the music festival will symbolize the
rich artistic and musical background of Gwangju.
As well as bringing international musicians to the stage, Korean musicians give performances
of Gugak, classical Korean music.
For more information about the festival, please visit the
Gwangju World Musical
Gwangju Biennale happens every two years. It was founded in 1995 in memory of the people
in the civil uprising in the 1980 Gwangju Democratization Movement. It is Asia’s most prestigious
biennial of contemporary art.
In 2010, it ran from September to November. The theme was 만인보, which means ‘10,000 lives’, and
the event featured works by more than 100 artists.
For more information please visit the
Gwangju Biennale website. Bus numbers 64 and 83 stop at Gwangju Biennale Hall.
Gwangju has one subway line, with a second one due to be completed in 2012
There are 2 KTX stations in the city, Gwangju Station and Songjeong-ri Station (which has a
subway stop also).
Gwangju Airport and Muan International Airport are the nearest ones to Gwangju.
Can you help us improve this section?
Please email us at
with any information you might have on Gwangju’s transport – location and information
of bus terminals, subway stations, train stations, etc.
Bus schedule information is also needed! Thank you!
Fun Cafe, Chonnam University
Playing a game at the fun cafe
The Fun Cafe is located at the Chonnam University back gate. This is not just any ordinary
cafe where you drink coffee and chat. It is a big room with lots of comfy chairs, and has dozens
of board games available to play for only 1,500 won per person, per hour. There is quite a large
drinks menu offering various teas and coffees, soft drinks and beer (a bottle of beer costs
4,000 won). You can also buy snacks (a bag of crisps/chips is 900 won). There are too many
games to mention, but a few on offer include Monopoly, Cluedo, Jenga and Scrabble. There are
also giant hammers that you can hit people with and red wigs and fake butts to wear! (Don’t ask
us why!). It’s somewhere you can go for a couple of hours, be entertained and not spend loads of money.
To get there go to Chonnam Back Gate front street, and turn up the street with Paris Baguette on
the corner. Walk up a short way and it is on the right. It is on the second floor so be sure to look
up and you will see the white sign with ‘Fun Cafe’ written in black.
First Nepal – Indian & Nepalese Restaurant
Curries here are comparable to what you would get at home, except the chicken which is in
much smaller pieces. The naan bread is delicious and fresh. The menu is quite extensive and has
lots of variety, providing something for everyone. The cheapest curry on the menu is plain
chicken curry for 7,000 won and the most expensive meal is tandoori prawn for 18,000 won. There
are set menus for lunch time, salads, appetisers and desserts. To drink you can choose from
masala tea, lassies (yoghurt drinks) and a variety of beer including Kingfisher.
A typical sample meal (chicken tikka masala, chicken korma, two plain naan and Korean rice,
with two pints of draft Korean beer) will set you back about 28,000 won. So, the food is slightly
on the more expensive side for Korea (about the same as you might pay at home) but is well worth
it. The owner and the waiting staff are extremely friendly and attentive. The service is very
fast, even when the restaurant is almost full.
Located in downtown Gwangju, to find First Nepal, start at the YMCA and go down the street with
Starbucks on the right. Keep walking until you come to Mini-stop on your right. Walk a little
further (about 20 metres), and it is on the left on the second floor.
Takeaway Pizza in Gwangju: Nanta Pizza
Nanta Pizza is a chain which has a good selection of pizzas for just 5,000 won. They are
pretty tasty too. You can take away pizza, and in some of the restaurants you can eat in too.
They are located all over Gwangju, so they aren’t too hard to find. Just look for the white
and red sign. Enjoy.
Mom’s Food: Italian Restaurant in Chonnam
Mom's Food Italian Restaurant
This restaurant is located in Chonnam University’s Back Gate area. It is a Korean owned,
Italian restaurant and is cute inside, in the style of an old fashioned kitchen, with blue
and white checked curtains and checked table cloths, prints on the walls from the 30′s and
little Polaroid pictures of their food attached to a tree at the front of the restaurant.
They serve typical Italian food; spaghetti, risotto and steak, although they also have
omelette on the menu. Half of the menu has English translation and the other half is in
Korean. However, if you can read Korean you will easily be able to figure out what the food
is in English as it sounds the same. While waiting for your meal, you’ll be given some bread
and a small bowl of soup. They charge 1000 won for this, a kind of service charge. Don’t expect
to be absolutely blown away by the food – ‘large’ sized dishes are still not really large by
Western standards, and the food isn’t like the Italian fare you may be used to. However, the
prices are really reasonable so this restaurant is good if you are looking for something
cheap and cheerful. The house red wine is really tasty too.
Below are the prices of the food and drinks:
Spaghetti: 5,900 (Regular) – 8,300 won (Large)
Risotto: 5,900 won
Omelette (including seafood and chicken): 5,500 – 6,900 won
Salad: 6,000 – 7,000 won
Steak: 4,900 – 6,300 won
Bottle of beer (eg. Budweiser): 4,000 won
House wine: 3,000 won
To get to Mom’s Food, go to the front street at Chonnam Back Gate. Turn left up the street where
Starbucks is and then take your first right at Kenya Express. Walk a little way down this street
and you will see it on the right.
Speakeasy Bar - Downtown Gwangju
Speakeasy is a bar located downtown Gwangju, frequented mainly by foreign English teachers.
It could be compared to ‘Cheers’, crossed with a good music bar. From your first visit, the owner
and bar staff are welcoming and friendly. This bar has a personal touch. For example, when some
foreigners headed there to watch a big world cup game, the owner went out and bought everyone
ice cream before the game started.
The drink prices are reasonable with drink specials on a weekend, including pints of beer for
3,000 won. Different events are held here often, with live bands, short movie showings and
sports games shown on the large projection screen. Speakeasy is the perfect bar whatever scene
you are looking for. Go early for a quiet drink and a game of darts with friends or go later
for a more lively atmosphere.
Check out their Facebook group for event updates.
Directions: From downtown Gwangju YMCA, turn left up the street with Starbucks on your right.
Keep walking for about 100 metres and go down the second alleyway on your right - it is on the
second floor. You will be able to see the speakeasy sign at the bottom of the alley.
U-terrace is on the second floor of the U-square bus terminal building in Gwangju. A restaurant
and a bar both lead out to the roof terrace which overlooks the outdoor performance hall outside of
the bus terminal. U-terrace has lots of ‘beer garden’ style wooden seats and a section with umbrellas.
Sitting outside here is perfect on a warm night. If you want to bring your own drinks, the terrace is
open for anyone to use, not just customers of the restaurant and bar, and you can access it through
big glass doors.
Lots of buses go to U-square, including numbers 1, 9, 26, 30, 36, 38, 47, 48, 54, 89, 518, 1000 and 1187.
Below is a list of bookstores that stock English books.
Chungjang Bookstore (충장서림) This stocks some classics and bestsellers from a few months ago.
It is located downtown, next to Starbucks. Open from 9:30am-10pm daily.
Yeongpoong Bookstore (영풍문고) This also sells classics and fairly recent bestsellers, as well as
books which have recently been made into films. This is in the Gwangju Bus Terminal (U-square).
Buses 1, 9, 16, 25, 26, 30, 36, 38, 47, 48, 64, 65, 69, 89, 151, 518, 1187 go here. Open from 10am-10pm daily.
Goryeo Bookstore (고려문고) located in Singa-dong, Gwangsan-gu. Get the bus 9, 29, 40, 92, 94 to
Singa Umi Apt. (신가우미아파트). Open from 9am-10:30pm daily.
Kidari English Shop (키다리영어샵) located in Ssangchon-dong, Seo-gu (Near Honam University Ssangchon
Campus). Buses 16, 19, 39, 69 go to Uncheon-yeok (운천역) bus stop. Open from 9am-8pm daily.
Sejong Bookstore (세종문고) located in Wolgye-dong, Gwangsan-gu. Get buses 20, 193 to Cheomdan Uri
Eunhaeng (첨단우리은행) bus stop. Open from 9:30am-11pm daily.
Top Foreign Language Company (탑 외국어사) located in Dae.ui-dong, Dong-gu (Near GIC). Get the following
buses to Munhwajeondang-yeok (문화전당역) bus stop; 7, 9, 36, 45, 51, 52, 53, 55, 56, 58, 59, 61, 74, 80,
95, 98, 150, 151, 152, 518, 1187. Open from 9am-9pm daily.
Libraries with Foreign Language Books in Gwangju
If you don’t want to buy foreign books in Gwangju, there are a number of libraries listed
below where you can borrow foreign language books.
GIC - It costs 10,000 won to join the GIC for 6 months. You can then borrow books from the GIC
library. They have various genres of novels and DVDs to choose from. It is open from 10am-5pm
(Mon-Sat). To contact them visit the GIC websiteor call (062)226-2733.
Chonnam National University - Only available for teachers, professors and students taking classes
at the language education centre, so not everyone is able to borrow books. However, anyone is
allowed to enter the library and read books there. English novels are on the second floor. This
library is open 9am-8pm (Mon-Fri) & 9am-6pm(Sat). For more information call (062)530-3571.
Gwangju Municipal Libraries - With just one library card, you can use three
libraries in the area: Mudeung Library in Buk-gu, Sajik Library in Nam-gu and Sansu Library in
Dong-gu. To join you must visit one of the libraries and show a valid ID card, a copy of your
proof of employment and a company ID card (if you have one). The opening hours are 9am-10pm.
Mudeung Library is closed on the first and third Mondays of the month, and Sansu and Sajik
libraries are closed on the second and fifth Mondays.
Damyang Metasequoia 5k and Half Marathon
Metasequoia Rd - from 'Gwangju Happenings'
If you’re feeling fit, you should consider running in the Damyang Metasequoia 5k or a more
challenging half marathon. Named after the scenic Metasequoia Road, this race takes place around
November in Damyang. The 5k costs 15,000 won to enter, and the half marathon is 30,000 won.
Places to swim in Gwangju
Below are a list of swimming pools in and around Gwangju. You usually have to have a shower
before swimming and wear a swimming cap.
Sunlok Sports Centre Swimming Pool
Opening Times: Mon-Fri 5:40am-10pm, Sat 5:40am-9pm, Sun 9am-9pm.
Cost: Single swim entry 5,000won, one month 79,000won, 3 months 225,000won.
The Women’s Development Centre Swimming Pool
Opening Times: Mon-Fri 5:30am-9:30pm, Sat 6:30am-6pm, Sundays & public holidays 9am-6pm.
Cost: Single swim 4,000won, one month 50,000won, 3 months 142,000won, 6 months 270,000won.
Gwangju Education and Culture Centre for Students
Opeining Times: Mon-Sat 6am-9pm (closed for lunch 12-1pm), Sundays & public holidays 9am-7pm (closed for lunch 12-1pm).
Cost: Single swim 4,000won, one month 50,000won, 3 months 142,000won, 6 months 270,000won, one year 510,000won.
Kia Car Factory Swimming Pool
Opening Times: Mon-Fri 6am-12:30pm,1:30pm-6:30pm, Sat-Sun 6am-6pm.
Cost: Single swim 3,000won, one month 30,000won, 3 months 80,000won, 6 months 180,000won.
Nam gu Culture Centre Swimming Pool – Bonsung Dong
Opening Times: Daily 6am-12:30pm, 1:30pm-9pm.
Cost: Single swim 4,000won, one month 60,000won.
Dong gu Culture Centre – Huk Dong
Opening Times: Mon-Sat 6am-1pm, 2pm-8pm.
Cost: Single swim 4,000won, one month 60,000won.
Hyundae Department Store Sports Centre Swimming Pool
Opening Times: Free swimming hours (where there are no lessons) Mon/Wed/Fri 8-10am, 12-3pm, 4-7pm. Tues/Thurs/Sat
8-10am, 12-10pm. Sundays & public holidays 8am-6pm.
Cost: Single swim 5,ooowon, one month 70,000won, 3 months 189,000won, 6 months 349,000won, one year 680,000won.
Gwangju Physical Education High School
Opening Times (Free swimming, two lanes): 10:30-11:20am, 7:30-8:20pm.
Cost (no single swim): one month 60,000won.
Chumdan Sports Centre
Opening Times (Free swimming schedule): Mon-Sat 8-9am, 12-5pm.
Yeomju Dong Gymnasium Swimming Pool
Opening Times (Free swimming schedule): Mon-Sat 1-8pm, Sundays & public hoildays 5:30-8am, 9am-12, 1-7pm.
Cost: One day 4,000won, one month 52,000won.
For more information on swimming pools and information about road biking or running in the area visit
the Gwangju Tri Sports Group on Facebook.
Gwangju Running Club
This club, set up by Whit Altizer, is for runners of all abilities to meet on a weekend and go running
together. They usually meet on a Sunday and go on various different routes in and around the city. Anyone
is welcome to join. For more information visit their facebook group,
Gwangju Running Club.
All gatherings are organised through the facebook page and it also acts as a place where people can share
information about races taking part in the country.