The best “MUST-GO” places for a day trip near Seoul: Nami Island, Petite France and Garden of morning calm
As we have ventured out of Seoul city previously we would like to introduce to 3 more destinations that are definitely worth going to and are quite popular.
We will discuss in more depth and give some personal insights on the places!
Today’s route will be :
- Nami island
- Garden of Morning calm
- Petit France
There are the 3 main options to get to these 3 places:
OPTION 1: Gapyeong Tourism Attraction Circulation Bus.
You can catch this bus at the Gapyeong Station after you take the train from Seoul (ITX trains) . But the times are set so make sure you watch out the times for the shuttle bus! Since the times aren’t so frequent You most likely will not be able to cover 3 places in 1 day
OPTION 2: Group day shuttle bus tour * RECOMMENDED if 1-4 people*
This free and easy style day shuttle will take you to the 3 places we will mention: Nami Island, Petite France, Garden of Morning Calm, 3 of the most popular destinations in 1 day that departs from 3 convenient locations from Seoul. Do not worry about admission tickets and transportation to Chuncheon and Gapyeong, It runs 3 times a week
This tour package covers the transportation and admission tickets to 3 of the most popular destinations outside of Seoul! BOOK NOW!
OPTION 3: Hire your own private car and English speaking Driver! * RECOMMENDED if 4 or more people *
Your private car will give you more flexibility on time and places you want to visit and pick up/drop off right from the doorsteps of your accomodation!
The private car tours with KoreaTravelEasy's EXCLUSIVE around Seoul and Gyeonggi area 1-day tour. BOOK NOW!
Nami Island (남이섬)
Nami Island is 63 km away from Seoul in the direction of Chuncheon, and is famous for its beautiful tree lined roads It takes 1.5 hours away from Seoul by car. Since it is not far from Seoul, many couples and families come to visit.
It is a half-moon shaped island. Nami Island was formed as a result of the construction of Cheongpyeong Dam
How to get there:
- 1.5 hours from Seoul – by car , or 2.5 hours around by ITX Train and take the Gapyeong Shuttle
- Take a 5-minute ferry ride (or take the zip wire) to the Island – admission is 8000 won for foreigners
- Zip line is 2 mins and 38000 won
- Namiseom Zip Wire is an eco-friendly leisure facility established by Gapyeong County Office in partnership with Gyeonggi Tourism Organization and Namiseom Inc.
- It is one of the biggest zipline in Asia.
- Riders start from an 80 meter-high tower and zoom down along a wire cable to Jaraseom (640m away) and Namiseom / Nami Island (940m away).
History of Nami island
- It is the grave of General Nami, who led a great victory against the rebels in the 13th year of the 7th king of the Joseon Dynasty, King Sejo (reign 1455-1468).
- Namiseom (Nami) Island is also known as Naminara. “Nara” means “country” in Korean, therefore Naminara is a micronation on its own and a”visa” issued by Naminara is required in order to enter Namiseom. (which is your entrance ticket it will say “passport” “)
- It declared itself a self-governing country in 2006
- In addition, it has invented its own passport, currency, stamp and telephone card, and has promoted the establishment of Naminara in other countries.
- part of the film set of the famous Korean drama “Winter Sonata”starring Bae Yong Jun an Choi ji woo in 2002 (that’s 15 years ago!) Many of the famous scenes of the leads were filmed on this Island
Every tourist going to Nami Island takes a photo with the majestic redwood trees lining both sides of Metasequoia Road and Central Korean Pine Tree Lane. This was the backdrop for many romantic scenes in Winter Sonata.
A special feature of Namiseom Island is that there are no telephone poles. This is because all electric wires were built underground to keep the natural feeling of the landscape. The island is 553,560 square yards with chestnut trees and poplar trees throughout.
The Forest Village and Bungalow Row Riverside Path are really quiet and relaxing, and, in our opinion, the best areas on the island.
If you don’t want to walk you can take the train on the island or the golf cart while they will take you around the island
- If you are coming to Nami Island during meal hours, recommend that you can eat before entering the island where is there better restaurants for better value and taste!
- Famous dish is Chuncheon Korean dalkalbi chicken (can be spicy or not spicy)
- Weekends tend to be much more crowded with locals and tourists coming
2) The Garden of Morning Calm (아침고요수목원)
What is it?
- The Garden of Morning Calm is a 30,000㎡ private garden, open year-round and is the oldest private garden in Korea
- The garden was designed to be an artistic space with scenic walkways, beautifully manicured grass, and flower beds that connect the garden’s 20 different themed sections.
- The Garden of Morning Calm is a botanical garden with a variety of themed gardens set in the low foothills of a mountain.
- Be amazed by the Hometown Garden with its countryside villa appearance, the Korean Themed Garden offering up a feeling of entering a traditional painting, the Western-style J’s Cottage Garden and the other 20-plus themed gardens.
- At the Garden of Morning Calm, you can find about 5,000 kinds of plants and species of flowers. There are many different festivals during the year including Spring Garden Festival, Festival of Roses and Hydrangeas, Festival of Chrysanthemums and Autumnal Tints and the Lighting festival in the winter.
- the Lighting Garden Festival has been held and it’s only available in winter from early December to mid-march. It might not amaze you when the sky is not dark, but when night came, all the colours of the lights make you feel you’re in a magical world!
- It is a famous FILMING SPOT :
- Most famous place Must be Seohwayeon Pond. This pond with its traditional pavilion and nearby tile-roofed house appears as a lotus pond within the royal palace in “Love in the Moonlight.”
- In the first episode, Princess Myeong-eun (played by Jung Hye-sung) is seen here waiting for a letter from her love, and in the third episode, Ra-on encounters the Crown Prince while she is watching over Princess Yeong-eun.
- The Garden’s is different for each season as you can see flowers in Spring/summer. fall leaves in Autumn and the lighting display in the winter so every season looks different !
- Admission is 9000 won per person
3) Petit france (쁘띠프랑스)
After Nami we will head to Petite France, a cutesy, colorful little French cultural village in the Korean countryside.
What is Petite France?
- Petite France was built with the concept of a French cultural village that consists of buildings related with the famous French novel “Le Petit Prince” (the Little Prince) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry .
- When you step in the village then you will feel you have gone out of Korea and in an European Village
Why is it special and famous?
- Petite France was also a filming location of many popular Korean dramas and variety shows such as Secret Garden, My Love from the stars and Running Man. The village has shops, cafés, restaurants where you can feel like you are in France.
- Don’t miss out the marionette shows (times change according to season)
- Admission is 8000 won per person
- Travel efficiently and effortlessly : Join the group day tour
Nami Island, Petite France, Garden of Morning Calm – Around Seoul 1Day Tour – From Seoul (Tue,Thu,Sat) – Open on April | KoreaTravelEasy
This tour package covers the transportation and admission tickets to 3 of the most popular destinations outside of Seoul! BOOK NOW!KoreaTravelEasy
or private car to visit all 3 places in 1 day
- Have the Spicy BBQ chicken before entering Nami Island! make sure to tell them if you can’t eat spicy, otherwise it might be quite spicy (Korean standards)
DAY TRIP NEAR SEOUL in SPRING – STRAWBERRIES, RAIL BIKE, K-drama shooting location and more!
We want to bring you out of the Seoul city and visit around one and a half hour from Seoul. Many of you might know already about Nami Island and Petite France. We will recommend you to other places to go! You can go by car it’s the easiest to visit few places in a day. Otherwise , it might be difficult to go from one place to another.
Let us see what are great things to do this season!
1. Strawberry picking in Korea
- When to pick: every year from December to June.
What is special about Korean strawberries:
Korean strawberries are known to be really sweet and famous and let’s find out the reason !
- Why winter strawberries ? in Korea the strawberries are grown in greenhouses because until 1980s strawberries season was in early June. but then greenhouses spreaded and they started to grow in the winter because the weather is colder it takes longer for strawberries to grow and to ripe. This makes strawberries sweeter, and less sour. That’s why Korean strawberries are known to be sweet and good quality!
- Where to pick strawberries
Although there are many strawberry farms near Seoul in the Gyeonggi-do area but where we recommend this place in this Yangsuli area, accessible by subway
- How to pick strawberry?
- Find a big and red strawberry that looks red and and ripe
- Grab and break it from stem (do not pull) and break the flower
- What else to do at a strawberry farm ?
- Making Jam: Why jam at strawberry farm is more special?
The jam freshly made at the farm has a higher percentage of strawberries (usually it’s only 1:1 proportion sugar and strawberry) at the strawberry farm it’s their special recipe choosing the sweet strawberries and with 50 % less sugar and more strawberries so there is strawberry taste. For example, for 1KG strawberries, they put 500g of sugar.
How to make it: put the mentioned proportions of fresh strawberries and sugar into the special big pot and continue to stir for 20 minutes and then package it into jars. It’s a really big pot and the stirring stick is really big!
This is a song in Korea called “DALGI” strawberries and quite famous! Check it out!
- Pipi Band — Strawberry (Talgi)
- What is the cost of picking strawberries?
First, you need to book the date and time when you will do strawberry picking. This is to ensure that they do have enough strawberries ready for picking. It’s on average around USD$20 for 500g of strawberries to pick and make jam and you can bring back.
- Don’t eat them inside the strawberry farm as it is not clean inside, the owner should be washing some for you to eat after you pick!
2. Yangsuli – Yangpyeong Dumulmeori (양평 두물머리) Park
After the strawberry farm, only 5 minutes away is the Yangsuli Dumulmeori park
Introduction and what is special?
- Dumulmeori literally means ‘two water area,’ and refers to the place where Bukhangang River and Namhangang River meet.
- The dock for an ancient-style ferry and weeping willows add to the rustic beauty of this area.
- There is a big picture frame where many people take photos, the background is really like a drawing so really recommend this place
- Another attraction at this site is the three 400-year-old Zelkova trees that appear as one giant tree.
- It is a privately owned place but there is no admission fee, Dumulmeori remains as a popular site for shooting Korean TV dramas, movies, commercials, wedding pictures as well as nature pictures
- In drama, it was featured in SHE WAS PRETTY with Hwang Jung Eum and Park Seo Jun in 2015. This is where they confessed their love for each other.
- At this place, you can enjoy a serene afternoon with a cup of coffee or desserts
3. Gangchon Rail park
Gangchon Rail Park, a new popular attraction these days
- When the Gyeongchun Line, a double-tracked railway line connecting Seoul and Chuncheon, it replaced the Mugunghwa train that traveled this route for 70 years. Built on the discontinued train line, Gangchon Rail Park is a popular tourist attraction where visitors can pedal along old railroad tracks while taking in the lovely Bukhangang River scenery.
How to ride, what to see :
- You will need to book in advance (ask KoreaTravelEasy for discount tickets!) to book for either 4 -seater or 2 -seater bikes
- You will ride for 6 km in the rail bike on the rail tracks and then change to the romantic train to finish the 2km and at the end you will arrive Gangchon Station
See video below!
- How to go and where: Kimjuyeong Station (take train there or easier to take car as the ending station is not the same )
- Summer (March ~ October) 10 times daily
- Winter (November ~February) 9 times daily
What’s special about the Gimyujeong Station (김유정역)
- Gimyujeong Station is named after one of the prominent Korean writers of Kim You-jeong from the area. It was first time using the person’s name for the station and located between Gangchon and Namchuncheon Stations in Gyeongchun Line. Kim You jeong is recognized as the icon of Chuncheon where he was born
- You will see the nice setting of the station (different from other stations) with the books that he wrote in the background! Very interesting!
4. Uiamho Lake Skywalk (의암호 스카이워크)
- It is only located 10 minutes from the rail park ending stop
- Skywalk has gained attention as a new tourist attraction in uiamho lake of Chuncheon. Located in the middle point of the bike paths and scenic observation deck, the sky walk is a great place for taking pictures.
- Skywalk is a round shaped deck soared about 12 meters in height from the surface of the water. It also has a transparent floor and hand railings, which makes a thrilling experience as you will feel like you are walking on the sky while having the feeling of falling into water!
- Operating Hours : 9:00AM-6:00PM (might be closed due to bad weather)
Visit all the places above a day with KoreaTravelEasy’s private car
Find the paradise in Korea at Geoje Islands
Korea may have an image of being a foodie and shopaholic heaven but Korea is not all about shopping and eating. Korea is on a peninsula meaning there are 3 sides surrounded by water: lots of stunning ocean side and beaches and the weather is great in the spring and summer for some outdoor activities!
Winter is almost over now and we want to introduce you to a great place to go in Spring when you are in Korea.
In the south of Korea, there are amazing beaches on Geojedo (Geoje Island) in the south side of Gyeongsangnam-do province. Geoje Island is the second largest island in South Korea, right after Jeju Island. Geojedo is located near Busan, making it easily reachable, by public transport.
Geojedo is also home to some of the most popular places to visit in the South Sea, namely Haegeumgang, Hakdong Mongdol Beach and Oedo Paradise Island.
Oedo has become a very popular spot due to the more than 3 000 decorated trees, along with the Mediterranean style buildings which reside on the island. The island has also become a popular filming destination for Korean dramas, because of the exotic atmosphere and clear sea the island has.
Spring comes down south early and average temperatures are also much warmer with maximum temperatures ranging between around 14 to 20 degrees Celsius during the spring.
It is a beautiful this time of year with a multitude of Korean cherry blossoms, daffodils, tulips, camellia and other flowers adoring the breathtaking coastlines and multitude of islands. It is definitely a must go for those who want to experience the natural sceneries in Korea!
Our partner Waegook travel is an expert in this field and they manage a few guest houses on Geoje Island and have been organizing special tours since 2005. They offer you the best prices and highest quality travel services.
The next tour coming up is the AMAZING MAY WEEKEND GETAWAY TOUR on May 3 (Wednesday) – 6 (Saturday), 2017
Imagine a great weekend with the highlights below.
- 3 nights Wahyeon beachfront accommodations in shared guest houses that fit 5-12people. There are also private room options.
- Round trip transportation from main cities (Seoul, Busan, Daejeon, Daegu, etc…) and all the transportation to and from the activities
- Join 5 amazing tours during the weekend
- Take part in exciting adventure activities like sea kayaking around an island, ride your ATV through a lush forest with spectacular sea-views, spend an amazing time at Sea World and or the Maritime and Fishing Folklore Museums, hike to Gonggoji now in full glory, view an array of islands and famous landmarks through binoculars or your camera lens at Wahyeon Observatory, go back in time at the bamboo forest and fortress at Gujora, visit one of Korea’s top attractions Oedo Botanical Island and much more!
- Selected meals : Breakfast/Brunch daily (4 times), 2 times mouth-watering Lamb, tender Beef Steak BBQ with Creamy Potato Salad and other assorted salads (Halal & Vegetarian Options Available for all meals)
- Enjoy the evenings with great music and free cocktail Beach Parties after the BBQ dinner
KoreaTravelEasy’s recommendation is the sunset cruise. Those of who have been say it is an experience of a lifetime. Experience the beauty of the sunset over unique cliff formations.
EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNTS FOR KoreaTravelEasy:
A. Booking Waegook Travel’s Beach House:
If you inquire now and book through KoreaTravelEasy, you will get the Third Night FREE when you book 2 nights consecutively! For example, you can book Friday/Saturday and get Sunday free!
B. Tour Discounts: Get KRW 10 000 off the current price at time of booking.
Remember to Book through KoreaTravelEasy and there are many more EXCLUSIVE discounts from breakfast to tour discounts! ASK US ABOUT GEOJE ISLAND TOURS to us now!
See the video trailer above for to preview for the excitement and see this link below for more details of the upcoming spring tour here:
A day plan to see the Bugak Skyway, seafood feast at Noryangjin Market and enjoy the night at Banpo Hangang and Fountain show
Previously we have been to the Deoksugung area and visited the beautiful stone lined wall and the palace area. We will continue the 1 day plan and finish the afternoon till the evening ! Visit the Bukgak Skyway and then we take you to the biggest fish market in Seoul and then ending with a rainbow bridge fountain show
Today’s route will be :
- Take car to Bugak Skyway
- Noryangjin Market for dinner
- Banpo Hangang Park
1. Bukak Skyway
Bukak Skyway is the road name, it’s a two-lane road with an 8 km length from Jaha-moon to Jung-ryeon Arirang Pass along the ridge of Bukak mountain in Seoul, around 20 minutes from City Hall . We recommend to take a taxi and we also recommend and also go see the lesser known Bukak Skyway Pavilion.
If you have more than 4 people, we definitely recommend you to book a private car from www.KoreaTravelEasy.com ^^
Visit anywhere in Seoul with a friendly driver and guide. And free to get a recommend itinerary from our professional travel advisor. BOOK NOW!
Not surprising with this amazing view it’s an area where many wealthy people live near Pyeongchang dong and Seongbuk dong with huge mansions like the ones you see in Korean dramas! It’s very good for driving course , date course and it’s much less crowded than Namsan and still with a good view
1) Bukak skyway Pavilion (Palgakjeong）
The Pavilion which is a old Korean architecture building and on the top of a hill. On the way you can see cherry blossom trees lined and it’s a peaceful view to see up the hill
There are several trails – it takes 1~2 hours (1-3km) to walk. Or there is a jogging course at Palgakjeong on the Bugak Skyway is also a popular place for a leisurely stroll
It is famous for night view and sunset, today we introduce to go there in the afternoon but you can go daytime and take a walk or hiking to see many trees in the mountain. There are a few stores and you can can relax and take a rest (store, cafe, restaurant ) . From there you can see the N Seoul tower and Seoul city view, Bukak Mountain and Inwang mountain.
WHAT ELSE TO SEE THERE?
→ SLOW POST BOX ( 팔각정 느린우체통 )
What is that? Literally means “ SLOW POST “ if you post in this post box, it will be sent in 1 year! try it when you are there
Photo credit to The Place in between (www.thepinb.blogspot.kr)
2) Cafe in the Coffee prince drama
- Coffee prince is a famous Korean drama that was widely known in 2007, starred Gong yu and Yun eun hye .
- The café set up in the mansion that was the drama home to Lee Sun Kyun, Gong Yoo’s composer cousin. The café, which also offers a very nice view on the cafe terrace.
- In the basement, you will find a gallery and the cafe owner is an avid fan of figures and cosplay, etc…
After the sightseeing with the great view at Bugak Skyway and visiting the galleries. Aren’t we a little hungry ? let’s head to have some seafood!
It is quite an experience to visit Noryangjin Fish Market ! Noryangjin fish market is the largest and most popular seafood market in Seoul. As it’s connected to the subway station, you can easily reach the fish market within the city.
Compared to other local markets, you can get fish and other kinds of seafood that are fresher at Noryangjin Fish Market at lower prices. This is because Noryangjin Fish Market is both a wholesale outlet as well as a retail market.
Noryangjin is close to the Han river so you can when you arrive you will already smell the freshness of the natural water!
Noryangjin Fish Market is a 24/7 fish and seafood market but the retail shops mostly close around 9~10pm.
If you come in the very early morning around 1~5am, you might be able to see the the fish auctions in the morning. but most likely the seafood eating is more interesting and you can still see a display of all kinds of interesting seafood at good prices for your lunch or dinner!
- In the fish market you will be overwhelmed with SEAFOOD AND FISH! you will see many many stalls and vendors! it’s quite a sight!
- The market gets quite crowded in the evenings with the dinner crowd craving for seafood and drinks.
We suggest going to the market around 5:30PM -6PM before all the dinner crowd! you can have a seafood dinner there after exploring the market.
A few tips to prepare for to visit the Market :
- be prepared of the “fishy” smell – after all there is a lot of fish and seafood there !
- Wear shoes that are easy to walk and not slippery or somewhat waterproof so you don’t slip and for not getting your feet wet
1) DIRECTIONS TO NORYANGJIN
- Noryangjin Station from LINE 9(Gold color) /LINE 1 (dark blue), Take the Exit No. 7 – new building / No1 or No2 exit – for old building
- From exits, you will know that you are near the Noryangjin Fish Market because you are close to the fish market and you will smell the water and seafood!
- There is new market building, some shops moved to new building and some shops are still in old building, you can see the history of the market from the old building but we recommend buying and eating from new buidling, which is cleaner and more comfortable
*** But of course a much easier way is to hire your private car so the driver will drop you off at the closest area
2) WHAT TO DO AT NORYANGJIN ? BUY SEAFOOD!
- You might be thinking “why should i buy seafood here at Noryangjin Fish Market – I don’t know how to cook or I don’t have the place to cook it back at the hotel” – NO WORRIES! all stalls here at Noryangjin Fish Market partner with the restaurants at the floors above, so after you buy the fish you will eat at a restaurant who will prepare your seafood !
What they are selling and what can buy?
- There are many many stalls at Noryangjin Fish Market and you will find the similar seafood sold. Take your time to look through the selection of marine creatures on display and ask for prices and compare across the stalls
- Don’t bargain right away and wait to agree to a price! Visit 2-3 places and ask for the price and see which stall sells fresher and better deal seafood . They also charge for 1 kg so compare the price that way might be easier!
- Most of the sellers are not good at English but some might speak a little English or Chinese , otherwise you might need to use body language to talk with them. We recommend you go there with Korean friends or a tour guide by KoreaTravelEasy!
- Once you get a sense of the rough pricing, then pick a stall you are comfortable dealing with.
- Most vendors will agree with you taking pictures of their fishes, abalone, squids, prawns – just please don’t touch the seafood!
- You can select and decide to buy the fish and other seafood at the fish market – the stall owner will choose for you and package the fresh seafood ready for cooking. Then a runner from the partner restaurant will take the seafood you bought and guide you to the restaurant where you pay to have it cooked in whatever way you prefer (steamed, fried, fried etc.).
→ WHAT SEAFOOD TO EAT THERE? what is popular?
Fish: The most popular Korean fish is Flatfish (광어), Rockfish (우럭 )
King crab, Flower crab, Clams, Abalone, Oysters ? Prawns ?
- For people looking for a novelty, try the famous Korean “sannakji” (live baby octopus chopped up) and still moving! – to be eaten dipped in hot sauce or sesame oil – careful to chew many times before swallowing as it can get stuck in your throat ! drink some soju (korean rice wine) with it too
- if you buy several stuff, you can ask them to give “SERVICE” ! (free items )
- you are bad at bargaining or don’t know the market price of seafood, then don’t recommend that you buy at the first hawker you see as you might get charged more. Compare the prices of a few stalls first before reaching a decision.
3) Find a restaurant to eat fish
After buying your fish or seafood on the ground floor, the vendor will bring you to the partner restaurant, where they will prepare your fresh seafood into yummy food!
- There are some cooking fees even though you bought seafood, so you better check price table before enter. You may need help from Korean!
- Some of the restaurants don’t have table and chairs like in overseas– you will most likely sit on mats just like how local Koreans do so make sure to tell them if you like table you might need to find another restaurant (or say them “Table” before you decide)
3. Banpo Rainbow bridge (반포무지개분수)
The Banpo Rainbow Bridge Fountain is next in the schedule and quite close from Noryangjin . It’s part of the Banpo Hangang Park so you can take a browse after eating your delicious seafood 🙂
The Bridge is one of the bridges that connect the north and south of the Han river and there is a rainbow fountain installed along both sides of the bridge and rainbow colored water will spray out into the river showing a beautiful show of water, music and lights.
Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain operates every day from April to October, in the day time and also nighttime for 20 minutes each time.
To see the best view it’s to go at night!
How to get there: Subway station closest is 15 mins walk from Express Bus Terminal but by car is the best as can go the closest without any walking.
- Weekdays: 12:00, 20:00, 20:30, 21:00
- Weekends: 12:00, 19:30, 20:00, 20:30, 21:00
- Weekdays: 12:00, 19:30, 20:00, 20:30, 21:00
- Weekends: 12:00, 19:30, 20:00, 20:30, 21:00, 21:30
* Show duration: 20 mins
* Operating hours are subject to change due to daily conditions (Information from VisitKorea Website)
⇒ SOME SEVIT :
- In the Banpo Hangang park you will see a building that shines with a lot of LED lights. That is called the SOME SEVIT it is a culture complex built to be a landmark on the Han River in the heart of downtown Seoul
- The floating islands located near the southern end of Banpo Bridge. The word ‘Some Sevit’ contains the meaning of ‘awesome’ in recognition of the wonderful space that awaits visitors there.
- It is used as a performance venue, conference and exhibitions.
Han river TIP → If you are still hungry you can order Korean fried chicken from Hangang River! That’s an activity Koreans love to do !
Let KoreaTravelEasy help you plan your trip!
Spring in Seoul highlight: Visiting Deoksugung Palace and Jeongdong area
Today we will introduce a great place to go in spring in Seoul.
We want to highlight calm and peaceful places where nature and history come together amongst the modern buildings in the middle of the city. After the long and cold winter months, we are all expecting to see the spring to come with birds chirping and flowers blossoming Korea is geographically situated in a temperate climate zone at medium latitude. As a result, it has four distinct seasons. In general, spring is from March to May.
Spring in Korea is from March onwards till May with flowers blooming.
Many of you must have heard about the Gyeongbokgung Palace (Royal Imperial Palace) but what about the Deoksugung area?
We recommend the Deoksugung Palace as Gyeongbokgung is the main palace and might be crowded at times. However, Deoksugung is a bit less popular but doesn’t mean it’s not nice! it is conveniently located in the very center of Seoul, just right in City Hall and is a mix of Korea and western Korean flavors.
Also around the area there are also other activities. so let’s start the day from the morning! You will experience a Korean Royal Palace, walk around the historic area and learn about the history, see the city from an observatory, enjoy some nice coffee and also have shopping time!
In the morning, we recommend to pick up your hanbok from a special Hanbok shop in Insadong
Hanbok is the traditional Korean costume and it really fits with the environment in with Hanok (traditional Korean architectures) and you can take amazing photos!
Because it’s free entrance to all the Seoul palaces if you wear hanbok under one condition:
make sure if you’re a male wear a man’s hanbok and female wear woman’s hanbok. The reason is because wearing hanbok to the palace is considered to be sacred and traditional practice in Korea so they hope you respect the genders to grant you free entrance!
Book here for HANBOK – We recommend this hanbok shop as they have more than 600 styles for hanbok and make your hair look fabulous!!
Get hairstyling and accessories to complete your hanbok look! Go to the Seoul historical monuments like Gyeongbokgung, Bukchon Hanok Village with your hanbok!
Now we are going to Deokugung !
There are several palaces in Seoul but we recommend Deoksugung palace and Jeongdong road this time.
Located at the corner of the busiest intersection of downtown Seoul near City hall, Deoksugung Palace is famous for its elegant stone-wall road(덕수궁 돌담길) . It is the only one Palace that has western buildings beside it, and it adds to the uniqueness of the scenery. in the spring days of march, walk around this area and you will see the beautiful scenery of Deoksugung, Inwanasn, Bugaksan, Gwanghamun birds eye view.
How to get there: Seoul City Hall Station (line 2 ) – Seoul city Hall square
Entrance fee : 1000 won (9am- 9pm)
FREE : under 6 & over 65 years / Free entrance when wearing Hanbok /Last Wednesday of each month: (Culture Day)
What to do at Deoksugung?
1) Guard change ceremony
– Highly recommended event for tourists. It is free and held three times a day in front of Daehanmun Gate at Deoksugung Palace. As each ceremony follows the same procedure and lasts for 40 minutes, visitors can choose whichever time is most convenient. It is a great opportunity to experience a rare traditional scene. You will the guards’ splendid costumes, with their brilliant primary colors, are a pleasure to view. While you cannot take pictures with the guards during the changing of guards, you can take a background picture of the guards and palace.
Times: Every day except for Mondays and extremely Hot/Cold days: at 11:00AM-11:40AM / 2:00PM-2:40PM / 3:30PM-4:30PM
– You can also take photographs with the gatekeepers after the ceremony is over. Visit the palace and enjoy the beauty of Korean palaces following the ceremony. So make sure to bring a camera!!
2) Deoksugung Stonewall Walkway (덕수궁 돌담길)
The “Deoksugung Doldam-gil” literally means Deoksugung Stone-wall Road. It surrounds Deoksugung Palace and Stretches approximately 1km in length
Famous for the cherry blossom lane Deoksugung Palace Stone-wall Road reaches Jeondong area from the palace. There are over 20 benches and 130 trees along the road offering great places to rest and enjoy the unique atmosphere.
You might think that Walking along Deoksugung Palace Stone-wall Road is a memorable experience, romantic and ideal for a date spot . In spring, cherry blossoms, Ginko tress and maple trees in autumn, like snow flower in winter
BUT! you SHOULD NOT come with your lover !
Why? well it’s an urban myth that couples who walk the Deoksugung Stonewall walkway cannot escape the fate of breakup!
It is said that the road is cursed and many Korean people believe it because actually there used to be the law courts for divorce in the area and you must follow this road to reach the court. So many couples who were getting divorced walked on this street!
The road is quite famous that’s why lots of Kpop songs use it as a subject.
One of the artists that you might know is Girls’ Generation Yoona. Her solo song 덕수궁 돌담길의 봄 (Deoksugung Stonewall Walkway) exactly talks about the SPRING TIME at the stonewall and the story that the couple is together and won’t break up!
Check it out here
MUSIC VIDEO :
3) Deoksugung FREE Guide tour
It is held at 10:30am+ 1:30pm (in ENGLISH) and 10:00am +2:30pm (in CHINESE) for 1 hour each . Check the official website for the most updated times: http://www.deoksugung.go.kr/eng/index.asp
The Palace was famous for the King Gojung who was Korea’s second last King. he stayed there as his main palace and he loved westernization. In the palace you can see the Korean architecture but also a few western buildings. Learn about the stories behind the palace from the palace’s professional tour guide !
4) The Jeongdong Observatory
This is one of the highlights that many may not know , even for the Koreans!
How to get there ?
From the front door, Daehanmun of Deoksugung, walk 10m left to Jeondong road, there is also the Jeongdong Observatory , Annex Building of Seoul City Hall, where you can go the 13th floor to view the panoramic aerial view of Seoul and the Deoksugung Palace . See the photo we took when we went!
Open daily from 9am – 9 pm weekdays and 9am to 6pm on the weekend, the floor used to be offices of Seoul city hall but it changed to open to the public a few years ago as an observatory floor
When you arrive you will see a lot of informative wall drawings of the Jeondong area, history of Deoksugung and most of all a panoramic view looking over the Deoksugung Palace and the city hall area.
What’s Best of all? it is FREE ENTRANCE!
It even has a coffee shop which is very reasonably priced and serves great coffee! Definitely a great place to rest after the walking tour at the palace!
5) Other activities
Following the road it will lead to, if you are interested in museums,
You can visit the Seoul Museum Art (서울시립미술관) and National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (국립현대 미술관 – 덕수궁 미술관), Seoul History Museum (역사박물관)
Or you can watch some famous Korea non-verbal shows like Fireman, Jump or Nanta
See our discount tickets here:
So if you are coming to Seoul for a few days and are interested in going to the places above , the best way is to hire your own in Seoul city!