Best parks for a pleasant picnic

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Yeouido Hangang Park
Yeouido Hangang Park

Best parks for a pleasant picnic

by: Korea Tourism Organization | .
Korea Tourism Organization | .
published: April 13, 2018

In the spring and summer months what could be a better activity than a picnic in the park? Seoul and cities in the metropolitan area are dotted with pretty parks, perfect for spending a day out. Some of these parks have even been used as filming sites for Korean dramas and movies, a big draw for fans. However, the most charming aspect of a picnic at the park is that you can have a full day of fun on a limited budget, perfect for young travelers. In addition, each park has its own unique atmosphere and attractions, making every trip a new experience.

Yeouido Hangang Park

The Hangang River runs through the heart of Seoul and serves as a resting place and perfect weekend outing location for the local citizens. There are a total of 12 citizens’ parks spread out along the banks of this beloved river but the most popular among tourists and locals alike is Yeouido Hangang Park. It is especially popular in April, when the cherry blossoms are so full that you cannot take a single step without seeing these beautiful pink-tinged blossoms.

The park’s most charming feature may be that it is easily accessible by both subway and bus, with various events and fun activities happening throughout the year. Enjoy the skyline of Seoul from the large grassy field, or rent a bicycle and follow the trails through the park for a day unlike any other.

• Address: 330, Yeouidong-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul
• Directions: Yeouinaru Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 3. Walk approx. 2min.
• Website: hangang.seoul.go.kr (Korean only)

Ilsan Lake Park

Ilsan Lake Park is famous as a film site from popular dramas like “My Love from the Star (2013)” and “The Girl Who Sees Smells (2015).” The nation’s largest man-made lake, the lakeshore has designated paths for both bicyclers and walkers. On weekends, the park serves as a popular getaway for citizens, and it has also become well-known as a popular date spot for celebrity couples.

It wouldn’t be far-fetched to call Ilsan Lake Park a flower park. The park is populated by over 1,800 cherry blossom trees, in addition to numerous weeping willows and forsythia shrubs. The over-abundance of flowers can give photos the illusion of having been straight out of a fairy tale. The park is also the venue of the annual International Horticulture Goyang Korea, a global flower exposition.

• Address: 595, Hosu-ro, Ilsandong-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do
• Directions: Jeongbalsan Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 2. Walk approx. 18min.
• Operating hours: Winter (Nov.-Mar.) 6 a.m. - 8 p.m., Summer (Apr.-Oct.) 5 a.m. - 10 p.m.
• Website: www.lake-park.com (Korean only)

Olympic Park

Located in Songpa-gu, Seoul, Olympic park is grand in both size and name, having served as the venue of both the 1986 Asian Games and the 1988 Summer Olympics. The park takes up a vast 1.4 million square meters and would take roughly 3 hours to walk through the entire park. To make your wandering easier, we recommend stopping at the information center by the World Peace Gate for a map of the park’s many pathways.

There are as many ways to enjoy Olympic Park as the park is large. Options include taking pictures with dynamic outdoor sculptures and enjoying inline skating or skateboarding at the skating park at Peace Plaza. Benches are also installed along the walking trails, so you can take a rest and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

When visiting Olympic Park, one place you cannot miss out on is One Tree Hill. It is number six of the park’s Top 9 Highlights and was used as a filming location for the popular movie “My Sassy Girl (2001).” The singular tree in the middle of a vast field creates a landscape not unlike a painting and is a great spot for photos.

• Address: 424, Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul
• Directions: Mongchontoseong Station (Seoul Subway Line 8), Exit 1. Walk approx. 29min.
• Website: www.olympicpark.co.kr (Korean, English)

Pyeonghwa Nuri Park at Imjingak Resort

The northern-most park in Gyeonggi-do, Pyeonghwa Nuri Park was created in 2005 as part of the World Peace Festival. Although the war and subsequent separation are painful moments in Korea’s history, the park serves to promote peace and reconciliation. The parks key points are Hill of Music, a large grassy outdoor concert venue, and the Hill of Wind, featuring a photo zone of over 3000 pinwheels spinning freely.

The atmosphere of a simple picnic on a blanket here is better than in the fanciest of restaurants. The colorful pinwheels spinning in the breeze create a wonderful background to the sounds of people enjoying their time here. Visitors with children are recommended to visit Peaceland, an amusement park with the popular Viking Ride, a merry-go-round and more fun attractions.

• Address: 148-53, Imjingak-ro, Munsan-eup, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do
• Direction: Munsan Station (Gyeongui-Jungang Line), Exit 1. Take a taxi (Approx. 15min.)
• Website:  imjingak.co.kr (Korean only)

Noeul Park at World Cup Park

The most famous place to watch the sunset in Seoul is Noeul Park, a part of the greater World Cup Park! Another great draw of the park is the large grassy fields and camping sites. The park site was originally a landfill, along with Haneul Park, but was turned into a beautiful park in time for the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan.

The largest charm of Noeul Park is of course the ability to enjoy a picnic in a tranquil environment. Enjoy a walk along the park’s trails and maybe stop to take some photos with the various sculptures throughout the park. As the park is known for its sunset views, with the park name even meaning ‘sunset’ in Korean, we recommend starting your visit here around 4 or 5 in the afternoon so you can end your picnic with the vibrant red sky.

• Address: 84, Haneulgongwon-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
• Direction: World Cup Stadium Station (Seoul Subway Line 6), Exit 1. Take the Maengkkongi Tram from the entrance to Haneul Park Parking Lot.
• Operating hours (Maengkkongi Electric Train): 10 a.m. -8 p.m. (Run until 9 p.m. on weekends)
* To protect the park and all visitors, night admission is strictly prohibited. The park generally closes at 7:30 p.m. in winter months and 9 p.m.-10 p.m. in the summer months
• Fare (Maengkkongi Electric Train): Adults – Round-trip 3,000 won, One-way 2,000 won / Children – Round-trip 2,200 won, One-way 1,500 won
• Website: http://worldcuppark.seoul.go.kr/ (Korean only)

Seonyudo Park

Yanghwadaegyo Bridge, connecting Hapjeong-dong and Dangsan-dong, passes over Seonyudo Park, set on an island in the middle of the Hangang River. The island was originally called Seonyubong Peak, carrying the meaning of being a small hill where godly spirits played. The park has renovated an old water filtration plant and turned it into an ecological park, known was a ‘park of water.’

The park is divided into various themed gardens, such as the Garden of Time, Garden of Green Pillars, a greenhouse and more. There are benches and quiet places to sit all over the park, great for taking a break. More than anything, the park is great for families and couples to create memories and take photos with a unique setting.

• Address (Seonyudo Park Office): 343, Seonyu-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul
• Direction:  Seonyudo Station (Seoul Subway Line 9), Exit 4. Walk approx. 18min. / Dangsan Station (Seoul Subway Line 2 & 9), Exit 1 or 13. Walk approx. 19 min.
• Operating hours: 6 a.m. - 12 a.m.
• Website: www.seoul.go.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, French)

Haneul Park at World Cup Park

The closest to the sky of World Cup Park’s five parks, this park was rightly named Haneul Park, as haneul means sky in Korean. Previously a landfill, the park has been decorated beautifully to overcome its shameful past. The park aims to remain natural, harnessing the natural energy of the wind through the use of five large wind-turbines, and featuring very few man-made structures. As there are no shops at the park, it’s a good idea to prepare some snacks and something to drink before visiting.

Haneul Park is most beautiful in October, when golden waves of eulalia grass fill the fields and cosmos flowers in varying shades of pink dot the walking paths. However, spring is not lacking in charm; the park has many great photo zones where one can take a snapshots of their time here beneath the grand blue sky.

• Address (Visitors Center): 95, Haneulgongwon-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
• Direction:  World Cup Stadium (Seoul Subway Line 6), Exit 1. Walk approx. 30min. or take the Maengkkongi Tram from the entrance of Haneul Park Parking Lot.
• Operating hours (Maengkkongi Electric Train): 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. (Runs until 9 p.m. on weekends)
* To protect the park and all visitors, night admission is strictly prohibited. The park generally closes at 7:30 p.m. in winter months and 9 p.m. - 10 p.m. in the summer months
• Fare (Maengkkongi Electric Train): Adults – Round-trip 3,000 won, One-way 2,000 won / Children – Round-trip 2,200 won, One-way 1,500 won
• Website: worldcuppark.seoul.go.kr (Korean only)

TIP: Plan ahead!

When going for a picnic in the park, be sure to bring your lunch and something to sit on! Usually there are not many restaurants or convenience stores around parks so it is a good idea to prepare something to eat in advance. For a more memorable outing, bring your camera and some great tunes to listen to as you enjoy your picnic in the park.

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