I have visited Gyeonggi province’s Suwon city a couple of times over the years. The area is underappreciated despite its deep history and mix of traditional and modern elements. So, this article will explore the best sights to see, things to do, and foods to eat when visiting the Suwon area.
Note: The first few places in this article were discovered on a sponsored trip. I found myself invited on an influencer food tour by the company Gastro Tour Seoul. They host various tours around popular tourist spots in Korea. This particular tour was to the Suwon Hwaseong Fortress area. However, all of the spots included in this article are places that I would personally visit again.
1. Explore Suwon Hwaseong Fortress
Location: 320, Suseong-ro, Jangan-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do 경기도 수원시 장안구 수성로 320
Korean name: 수원 화성
The Suwon Hwaseong Fortress is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was a regional government area during the Joseon Dynasty. So, the fortress was built as a means of protection. The wall is 5.7km long and was constructed between 1794 and 1796. It also proves King Jeongjo’s loyalty to his father, Crown Prince Sado, as he built the city in close proximity to his burial site.
2. Eat Suwon Black Cauldron Fried Chicken at Maehyang Fried Chicken
Location: Maehyang Whole Chicken – 306 Haenggung-dong, Paldal-gu, Suwon, Gyeonggi-do 경기도 수원시 팔달구 행궁동 306
Korean name: 매향통닭
One of the must-visit areas in Suwon, when you’re hungry, is Suwon’s famous chicken and ribs alley. The Suwon area is famous for traditionally styled whole fried chicken (통닭 in Korean) and for ribs (갈비 in Korean). You can get them at almost any restaurant you walk into on this street.
We stopped at Maehyang Chicken (매향통닭) to try the famous cauldron version of the fried chicken (가마솥통닭). This version of fried chicken originated in the Suwon area and is cooked in a black cauldron.
3. Shop at Jidong Market
Location: Jidong Market – Gyeonggi-do, Suwon-si, Ji-dong, Paldalmun-ro, 19 경기도 수원시 지동 팔달문로 19
Korean name: 지동 시장
Thereafter, we headed to the Jidong Market (지동시장) where we got to explore the traditional food market and taste some of Korea’s delicacies. We tried rice cakes, bindaetteok, a traditional syrup, and hoddeok.
4. Visit Hwaseong Haenggung Palace
Location: 825, Jeongjo-ro, Paldal-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do 경기도 수원시 팔달구 정조로 825 (남창동)
Korean name: 화성 행궁
Next on our list is the Hwaseong Haenggung Palace. A ‘haenggung’ is a temporary palace that the royal family would often stay in during a war. The one in Hwaseong is the largest one in Korea. King Jeongjo also stayed there when he visited his father’s tomb. They have a changing-of-the-guards ceremony, but we, unfortunately, missed it by a few minutes.
That is the end of my recommendations from the tour! You can watch the full Gastro Tour YouTube vlog here:
5. Shop at the Galleria Department Store (Gwanggyo Branch)
Location: 124 Gwanggyojungang-ro, Ha-dong, Yeongtong-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do 경기도 수원시 영통구 하동 광교중앙로 124
Korean name: 갈레리아 백화점 광교
After the tour, my friend and I headed to the Galleria Department Store since we were in the area. The exterior is super flashy and seems like an optical illusion. At first glance, you might think that the building has a textured exterior, but it has purposefully been painted that way. The inside is grand and has the usual offerings of a department store in Korea, with a focus on luxury items and aesthetic architecture/interior design. Additionally, it has more optical illusion photo zones inside, too. This includes a mini-skywalk.
What do you think of these Suwon itinerary ideas? Will you add any of them to your Korea travel plans? Let us know in the comments!