4 relaxing attractions surrounding Seoul

The Botanical Garden BCJ
The Botanical Garden BCJ

4 relaxing attractions surrounding Seoul

Korea Tourism Organization

Being cooped up inside can take its toll on one’s emotions, but a simple change of scenery can do wonders. With the weather warming up, now is the perfect time to get out and enjoy nature. Gather your family, friends, or loved ones, and make plans to visit one of these relaxing attractions, easily accessible within one to two hours of Seoul.

The Garden of Morning Calm

The Garden of Morning Calm

The Garden of Morning Calm, located in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi-do, is just a 50 minute-ride out of Seoul. It is considered the best relaxing attraction in the Seoul metropolitan area, bringing in more than 1.3 million visitors a year. The name “Morning Calm” came from Sir Tagore, a poet from India, who described Korea as “a land of morning calm.”

The Garden of Morning Calm consists of various themed gardens, including Eden’s Garden, Morning Square, and Korean Garden, each relaxing in its own style. One of the most popular spots among tourists is Seohwayeon Pond, a beautiful water garden that featured in the Korean drama “Love in the Moonlight (2016).”

The Garden of Morning Calm

  • Address: 432, Sumogwon-ro, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do (경기도 가평군 상면 수목원로 432)
  • Directions: Take Bus No. 30-6 or 30-7 from Cheongpyeong Bus Terminal or Cheongpyeong Station (Gyeongchun Line) and get off at Garden of Morning Calm Bus Stop
    * Taxi takes approx. 20 min
  • Operating hours: 08:30-17:00
    * Closing time subject to change depending on sunset time
  • Admission: Adults 9,500 won / Teenagers 7,000 won / Children 6,000 won
    * Adults (ages 19 & older) / Teenagers (middle-high school students) / Children (ages 3-elementary school studnets)
    * ID required for discounted prices
  • Website (Korean, English, Chinese)


Ilsan Lake Park

Ilsan Lake Park (Credit: Gyeonggi Tourism Organization)

Ilsan Lake Park is one of the most easily accessible relaxing attractions in the Seoul metropolitan area via public transit. A large man-made lake spanning over 900,000 square meters, the park offers visitors a chance to relax with more than 100 species of wild flowers and 200,000 diverse trees. Visitors can also enjoy a stroll around the lake along the 7.5-kilometer-long walking trail or zoom past it riding a bicycle on a 4.7-kilometer-long bike path. The park hosts International Horiculture Goyang Korea and Goyang Autumn Flower Festival annually. With different flowers blooming throughout the year, it’s a perfect place for a walk or a picnic.

Ilsan Lake Park

  • Address: 595, Hosu-ro, Ilsandong-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do (경기도 고양시 일산동구 호수로 595)
  • Directions: Walk for approx. 10 min from Jeongbalsan Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 1
    * Also accessible from Juyeop Station and Madu Station
  • Operating hours: Open 24 hr
    * Information center 08:00-20:00
    * Hours may vary by facility; refer to website for details
  • Website (Korean only)


Forest of Wisdom

Forest of Wisdom library (Credit: Forest of Wisdom)


The Botanical Garden BCJ (Byukchoji)

The Botanical Garden BCJ (Byukchoji)

The final attraction we recommend for a relaxing day-trip out of Seoul is The Botanical Garden BCJ. The garden has a great atmosphere, created by many rare plants, famous sculptures, and beautiful fountains. The garden is divided into themed areas, such as the Fluttering Area, and Grecian Gods Area. Amenities within the garden include a brunch café, food court, gift shop, and gallery. Hallyu fans will love to find the areas that appeared in popular K-dramas such as “Descendants of the Sun (2016)” and “My love from the Star (2013).”

The Botanical Garden BCJ

  • Address: 242, Buheung-ro, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do (경기도 파주시 부흥로 242)
  • Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 20 min from Wollong Station (Gyeongui-Jungang Line)
    * By public transit, take Maeul Bus No. 061 from Wollong Station (Gyeongui-Jungang Line), Exit 1 and get off at at Byukchoji Bus Stop
  • Operating hours: December-February 10:00-17:00 / March & October 09:00-18:00 / April & September 09:00-19:00 / May-August 09:00-19:30 / November 09:30-17:30
    * Last admission 1 hr before closing
    * Open all year round
    * Hours subject to change due to COVID-19 situation
  • Admission: Adults 9,000 won / Teenagers 7,000 won / Children & Senior citizens 6,000 won * Adults (ages 20-64) / Teenagers (ages 13-19) / Children (ages 3-12) / Senior citizens (ages 65 & over)
  • Website (Korean only)

More Info

* This column was last updated in April 2021, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details before visiting.



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