Paju is a popular place to visit especially among tourists because it’s the location of the DMZ or also known as the demilitarized zone. Paju is ultimately known to be the printing capital for South Korea which many people do not know about. So I wanted to talk more specifically about things to do in Paju that weren’t just the DMZ. Although I have included that in the post, I hopefully will convince you to see more things within the area.
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Paju, Korea | Things to do in Paju, South Korea
Paju has a lot of rich cultural history, from the war, being a big area for filming, movies, commercials, modeling, and books, there are a lot of things to cover in this area. The area itself is quite large in size, making it difficult to go to all the popular places in a day. Although a Paju day trip is possible, I would suggest at least spending 2 days in the area to see some of the major spots.
Best time to visit Paju, Korea
The best time to visit Paju would be during the spring and the fall. The winter is an okay time to visit as well if you don’t mind the cold. Summer-like I have said before in Korea can be quite brutal with the heat, heavy monsoon rains, and humidity. It can just be difficult to enjoy doing most of the activities that are outdoors. Many of the things to do in Paju I would say are mostly outdoor activities and it would be hard to avoid doing these things in the rain.
Paju Day Trips – How to get to Paju
There are ways to get to Paju, however, getting to the DMZ can be difficult with many of the restrictions there. It is highly suggested to take a tour and travel by bus on the tour. However, it is doable, just a bit more complicated. If you are looking for a tour to visit the DMZ, you can book one here.
From Seoul, Paju is about a 90-minute drive making it quite accessible for a day trip if you live, staying in, or are from Seoul.
From Seoul by Bus
From the Hapjeong Station, take bus No. 2200. The bus should take passengers to Odusan Unification Observatory, where passengers should get off at the entry. The first bus leaves Seoul at 7:50, while the last bus leaves at 23:00 for Gyeonggi. This bus ride will take 45 minutes, and will bring passengers straight to Gyeonggi, where Paju city is.
From Seoul by Train
If you decide not to take the bus, this would be an option for the train to go to the DMZ. By train takes about one hour to Paju Station, where you will then have to take a bus or taxi to your final destination. The time by bus and by train together takes about 90 minutes.
Why visit Paju
There are a lot of reasons to visit Paju. There are a lot of great attractions to see and things to do in Paju, it’s a great place to get out of the city and enjoy more of the countryside, and overall an interesting place to visit. Most tourists visiting South Korea come to Paju each year to visit the DMZ just alone making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Korea. About 1.2 million visit the DMZ alone, but I wanted to try and encourage tourists who may have more time to visit other parts of this vastly large city.
Must-See Things to do in Paju – Top Paju Attractions
There are a lot more things to do in Paju than just the DMZ which is white I wanted to write about these things to do in Paju. It was important for me to highlight some of the amazing things to do there.
Like I’ve stated before, the DMZ is probably the most popular of the Paju attractions. The DMZ if you do not know is the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). It goes across the peninsula, separating North and South Korea. Many people are interested in the history of South Korea, the border between South Korea and North Korea, and so much more. There are several observation points where you can get a sneak peek into North Korea in the distance.
The place most visitors want to go to is the Joint Security Area (JSA) where most tourists can get close to North Korean soldiers without getting hurt. Not only is it one of the most popular things to do in Paju, but it is also one of the most visited attractions in all of South Korea. Book your tour DMZ and third tunnel tour here.
The Third Tunnel
This is a tunnel path between North and South Korea found in 1978. It spans over 1,635m in length, 2m in width, and 2m in height and is located 52km from Seoul. What makes this destination interesting is the number of soldiers it could move through within an hour which is about 30,000 soldiers at one time. Book your tour DMZ and third tunnel tour here.
Museum of Modern History of Korea
This museum was absolutely amazing to visit. It’s a little on the cheezy side, but that’s what makes it quite great. This place is one of the uncommon things to do in Paju. It’s very different from a lot of museums out there and you get to kind of see the old retro feel of Korea. It’s got a great way of displaying the old yet modern traditions of Korea. It’s designed well because inside it’s actually bigger than you thought it would be. They have designed the entire space to look like Korea back in the old days and include a lot of modern artifacts. I highly suggest visiting if you have the time to go.
Address: 경기 파주시 탄현면 헤이리마을길 59-85
Heyri Art Village
This village has a lot of places to discover from art galleries, museums, cafes, restaurants, and lots of activities for kids. The museum of the modern history of Korea is located in Heyri Art Village along with Blume Museum Of Contemporary Art, World Mineral Museum, Hangul Book Museum, Old Objects Museum, and the White Block Art Center. It’s definitely worth checking out. A lot of people visiting Paju will come here for the cafes.
Address: 경기 파주시 탄현면 헤이리마을길 70-21 헤이리 갈대광장
Paju English Village (파주영어마을)
This area is similar to Provence Village in a sense except all the buildings are to represent being in an English town. Most of the buildings are made of brick and have pointed roofs. There are cute trolleys and trams there as well, but unfortunately, they are for display only. It is pretty much just another Instagram photo opportunity location. It has been a filming location for a few Korean TV dramas. This is one of those things to do in Paju for your Instagram.
Address: 경기 파주시 탄현면 얼음실로 40
This village is inspired by Southern France designed with colorful buildings, lights, and a very instagrammable place to visit. There are a lot of small businesses in the area that sells things from food to perfumes, souvenirs, clothing, and more. Many K-Dramas have been filmed in the area as well like “My Love from the star”, “The Master’s Sun”, and “The Girl Who Sees Smells”.
Address: 경기 파주시 탄현면 새오리로 69
Lake Majang’s Bridge
This is a famous spot in Paju because of its long red bridge trail with its breathtakingly scenic outdoor view. This is a beautiful bridge next to a beautiful cafe where you can get a view of the lake. In this area, you can go camping, glamping, walk the entire perimeter of the lake, visit a couple of cafes, and rent a paddleboat to ride on the lake. I absolutely loved visiting this place because it was a nice break from the big city. This was one of my favorite things to do in Paju.
Address: 경기 파주시 광탄면 기산로 313
Paju Book City
Paju is known for being the publishing location that includes planning, printing, and distribution for Korean books. It is also known for filming and modeling locations as well. Paju Book City is one of the most popular places to visit and one of the most well-known things to do in Paju. In the area you will find book cafes, used bookstores, galleries, and restaurants, hosting diverse exhibitions, and Tan Tan Story House. Some stores are closed over the weekend so be sure to check what is open prior to visiting.
Address: 경기 파주시 회동길 145 아시아출판문화정보센터
Paju Jangneung Royal Tombs
If you don’t have a chance to see them in Gyeongju, an option is to see them in Paju. These are royal tombs from the Joseon Dynasty. Royal tombs in Korea are often buried in large hills throughout the country of South Korea. There will be a lot of hills to hopefully hide and prevent looters from digging up the graves with their royal assets. This tomb buried Injo who was 16th King in Joseon Dynasty and his wife.
Address: 경기 파주시 탄현면 장릉로 90
This is one of the most beautiful gardens in Paju. They have a beautiful pond with a bridge, lotus flowers, hydrangeas, and plenty of walking spaces. The location has similar landscaping to Europe with hedges, statues, and mazes. There is also a color play structure for the kids filled with rainbow colors, rope, and of course surrounded by nature. If you are lucky, you might even get a chance to lay in some hammocks.
Address: 경기 파주시 광탄면 부흥로 242
Wild Grapes Farm
This is a great experience for people who might be interested in wine. At this farm, you can take a wine-making class to learn how to make a Korean-style grape wine and grape jam. There is a wine cellar filled with wine barrels and gourds. You can also learn how to fill your own wine bottle and cork it as well. This is probably one of the most unique things to do in Paju.
Address: 경기 파주시 적성면 윗배우니길 441-25
Unjeong Pavilion Lake Park
This park is quite large and great for walking around. There are 7 areas to this park, Unjeong Health Park, a water playground, Unjeong lake park, a waterslide walkway, a floor fountain, and UBI Park & Vortex Control Site. The health park is pretty much fields and areas where people can work out, walk and play sports. There is also a good biking path for people who enjoy bike riding.
Address: 경기 파주시 경의로 1151
This garden is also landscaped to be similar to famous gardens in Europe. It is one of the things to do in Paju at night. Many of them are perfectly landscaped with paved pathways. At night this place is beautifully lit up with colorful lights perfect for a place to explore at the end of a date or with the family. They also have small rides for kids, a fountain, photo zones, and a chance to feed some animals. You can have the opportunity to feed goats, bunny rabbits, and birds. There is also a small playground for the kids as well.
If you haven’t had the chance, be sure to read my post on Seoul Gardens.
Address: 경기 파주시 탑삭골길 260
Things to do in Paju | Cafes to visit in Paju
- The Chocolate Design Gallery
- Farmer’s Table
- Red Bridge Cafe
- And Terrace Paju Branch
- Dirty Trunk
- Pino Jium
- Silgongjang 1998 & Namuwa
What to eat in Paju
One of the most popular things to do in Paju is eating eel. There are a lot of vendors in the area that sell eel locally which makes it affordable and fresh at many of the restaurants in the area. I highly suggest you eat at Simhaksan Eel. Be sure to arrive sometime before 5 pm or you’ll be waiting since this place can get packed with visitors.
The eel costs about 69,000 won for 3 pieces and is served automatically for a person of 2. The eel is not served with rice, although you can ask for some, the eel alone is quite enough to eat. They will place salt on the eel and when they flip it over to cook, the salt may pop and hit you from the heat. Don’t worry this is absolutely normal.
Address: 경기 파주시 돌곶이길 135 심학산장어
Where to stay in Paju
There are quite a few places to stay in Paju, but I would suggest staying in the areas that are filled more with people. You want to stay close to the things to do in Paju and since Paju is quite a big city due to the space of land and population size, these are my recommendations:
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