Mokpo is Jeollanam's major port city and was first opened for trade in 1897. A rail line from Seoul connected it to the capital region in 1913, after which it became a vitally important harbor, especially during the time when Japan colonized Korea. Vestiges of Japanese influence can be seen all over town, even with the overwhelming presence of celebrated Naval Admiral Yi everywhere as well.

Mokpo used to be one of the largest cities in the country before the 1970s. Since then, it has seen many of its population migrate to more industrial cities. That doesn't mean it's a quiet town, however. The city has plenty of residents and has taken great pains in the past few years to attract more visitors. The high-speed KTX train from Seoul has contributed to the tourist boom to the city.

Since they closed the Mokpo airport in 2009, the closest airport is in Muan.

Between the train station and the ferry terminal is the old town, which is always bustling with activity. The Mokpo Tourist Information Center (tel. 061/244-0939), 10 Hang-dong, Mokpo-si, is located at the Yeogek Terminal. It's open daily 9am to 10pm year-round. There is also another tourist info center at Yeongsan Lake (tel. 061/270-8279), 300 Jukgyo-dong, Mokpo-si.