True to its namesake, Daejeon – “the Great Field” – has developed into the fifth largest city in Korea with its 1.5m residents. Since successfully hosting the 1993 Daejeon Expo, the city has been acclaimed as the nation’s centre of science and technology. Its reputation is only bolstered by the presence of state-of-the-art facilities such as the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI).
The site where the Expo took place over 20 years ago has been christened "Daejeon Expo Park". There, visitors can ascend the Hanbit-tap, a tower that oversees the entire city, and walk through diverse exhibitions such as the Simulation Hall, the domed Video Hall, and the Electric Energy Hall. Across the river lies an artificial arboretum, the largest of its kind in Korea, known as Hanbat Arboretum. It is located in the larger Dunsan Grand Park, where it is joined by cultural and artistic facilities such as the Performing Arts Hall, Municipal Art Gallery, and Pyeongsong Youth Cultural Centre.
The famous Euneungjeongi Culture Street, located between Daejeong Station and Joongang Street, features 150 culturally-related businesses, including galleries, theatres, pottery shops, and antique shops. A long time ago this area was referred to as “the town of gingko pavilions”. Nowadays, a diverse range of annual festivals are held there. In 2013 the Daejeon Sky Road, a covered shopping arcade with LED screens on the ceiling, opened in this particularly bustling area of Daejeon.
For a more relaxing experience, the Yoosung District in the western side of Daejeon is home to the country’s largest hot springs. The Yoosung Hot Springs have a deep history in Korea, having been mentioned in historical records dating back to the Baekje Dynasty. Since 1970, modern amenities such as resorts, hotels, and restaurants have been built around the area. Today, it attracts over two million tourists each year.
Three matches were played in Daejeon during the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan™. Often cited as one of the most enthralling games of the tournament, the Round of 16 clash between Korea Republic and Italy took place at the Daejeon World Cup Stadium. One of the two Local Organising Committee (LOC) Ambassadors for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017, Ahn Jung Hwan, stole the show by scoring a golden goal in extra time to send the Taeguk Warriors into the quarter-finals.
Two professional football teams are based in Daejeon. There is the K-League Challenge outfit Daejeon Citizen FC, founded in 1997, and Daejeon Korail FC, which plays in the National League having relocated to the Hanbat Sports Complex in 2014.