Guri is an Eastern suburb of Seoul, adjacent to the Gwangjin ward of the South Korean capital. It is a fairly typical Korean city. It consists of various modern, densely-populated developments, centred around the more traditional Sutaek-dong area of the city, which contains the locally famous Guri Market (구리시장), and the somewhat lesser-known Namyang Market area (남양시장).
Guri is inexpensively and quite conveniently accessible by subway from Seoul on the Gyeonggi-Jungang line.
Alternatively, various green buses run to Guri from the Gangbyeon subway station in Gwangjin-gu - the 97 will take to you to the centre of Guri, whereas buses such as the 95 and 96 will take you there via the southern Topyeong area of Guri.
If you are travelling from the Jamsil area of Seoul, the 115-6 red intercity bus will also take you to Guri.
You can use the green buses, but the city centre itself is walkable. A taxi within the the town itself should not run you more than a few thousand won.
Guri Tower, located in the far east of the city, has a restaurant at the top and offers panoramic views of the region.
The Donggureung site, located at the northern end of the city, consists of some Joseon-era tombs.
The local mountain, Achasan, is hikable from Guri and provides some commanding views of Seoul and the Han River. Along the top, there are often refreshments available for purchase, including the Korean rice wine "makgeolli" (막걸리), which is popular among local hikers.
The Guri Han River Park - pleasant for cycling or strolling in - located by the Han River towards the south of the city.
There is another park area a few minutes east of Lotte Department Store along the Wangsukcheon stream (왕숙천). It is pleasant for walking or biking, and has some exercise equipment, as is typical of parks in Korea.
Clothes, foodstuffs, and items for the home can be purchased at reasonable prices in the covered area of Guri Market.
For a more upmarket shopping experience, various chain stores and the Lotte Department Store are located a stone's throw from the subway station.
Guri is known for the dish known as gobchang (곱창), which consists of stir-fried pork intestines in a gochujang-based sauce, accompanied by vegetables (야채곱창) or Korean blood sauage, soondae (순대곱창), upon your request. Many of these restaurants are clustered along Guri's famous "Gobchang Alley", located in the market area. They are often open 24 hours a day. A portion of gobchang will cost around 9,000 won (2016). Beer and soju are also available at affordable prices.
An excellent dakgalbi (stir-fried or grilled marinaded chicken) restaurant is located just off Doldari's main street, called "Bakseobang Chuncheon Dakgalbi/박서방춘천닭갈비". The staff are friendly and some English is spoken. It is an excellent restaurant for trying this Korean dish.
Located along the Namyang Market street area are a variety of beer-and-chicken pubs and a variety of other eateries, and even some convenience stores which are pleasant to sit and enjoy a beverage in front of at any time of the day or night. A notable restaurant located along this street is Pisso (a name derived from a combination of "pizza" and "soju"). This is often open quite late into the night, and offers various pizzas, pasta, and various other Korean snacks.
Located around the city, you can try a variety of inexpensive foods at the "Kimbap Cheonguk" (김밥천국) restaurants. These are 24 hour Korean diners, perfect for lone diners or small groups to enjoy some typical Korean fare at budget prices.
Located near Dolari Junction (돌다리 사거리) is a branch of the franchise "Yookssam Naengmyeon", which offers the Korean cold noodle naengmyeon with a side of barbecued pork for about 5,500 won.
A taxi ride away from Dolari Junction is the Guri Agro-Fisheries Wholesale Market (구리농수산물도매시장), which is an excellent place for trying some Korean seafood. In a similar vein to the famous Noryangjin Market in Seoul, visit the market floor downstairs first to choose your food, and then order it to be prepared in the restaurant upstairs. It may be best to visit this market with somebody proficient in the Korean language, and, while the food you purchase downstairs will be of excellent quality, it is recommended to steer clear of any oysters that may be offered to you for free.
As is typical in Korean cities, a wide variety of coffee shops are available throughout the city. There is a large Starbucks next to Doldari Junction (돌다리사거리), as well as the trendy (and economical) "Paik's Coffee" (백다방) and Ediya Coffee located on the main street of the Doldari area itself.
If you are interested in experiencing a night out in the Korean style, the Doldari area offers a plethora of late-night BBQ restaurants, singing-rooms, and bars, which are often open 24 hours, including the oven-baked chicken franchise Oppa Dak (오빠닭), the "pojangmacha" food and soju restaurant Han-Shin Pocha (한신포차), and the fried chicken restaurant "Sammtong Chicken" (삼통치킨). Although some menus may offer translations, it may be wise to enjoy this area with either a local or with a foreigner familiar with the Korean language.
ASAP is a western-style bar, located on the street running perpendicular to, and north of, the covered market area of Guri Market. It offers various drinks and shisha deals. The owner, Ahn, is friendly and speaks English. Caters for both locals and the expat community. Open until late.
Soju Tent, located in Namyang Market, is also a foreigner-friendly bar located in this lesser-known market area of Guri. It is known for its marinaded skewers, available at economical prices. Its owner, Kim, speaks excellent English and will make you feel welcome. Open until late.
Fairly inexpensive hotels are located towards the edge of the market area. Alternatively, a few rooms are available on AirBnb.
A jimjilbang (Korean sauna) is located in the same building as the Pisso restaurant in the Namyang Market area, which is probably the cheapest place to stay in Guri, and offers some basic foods available for purchase. Being 24hr, you can of course check in or out any time. It costs 6,000 won during the day or 7,000 won at night (as it is presumed you will be spending the night there).
The "Compound" is a housing complex in Namyang Market a few doors down from Soju Tent. It is a condemned building that is nevertheless home to a dozen or so male expats and the occasional adjushi, most of whom will generally offer you a bed. It is famed for roaches, tomfoolery, and the "eee-chon-won" (이천원). Visitors to the Compound are often initially shocked by its dilapidated appearance, but soon warm to its bohemian charm. Social hours are from 21:00 to 22:00 and on. It is important at the Compound to sweep under the bed. Also, mind the snakes.
A few stops along the subway line away from Seoul is the town of Yangsu-ri, which is pleasant to stroll or cycle around on a sunny afternoon.