Meet spring year-round in greenhouse botanical gardens in S. Korea
There are places in Korea where you can enjoy the refreshing feeling of spring year-round. To escape the freezing temperatures and snow of winter, or the rain that may come throughout the year, immerse yourself in the ever-green light of Korea’s greenhouse botanical gardens. Simply stepping foot into the greenhouses will be enough to enter an eternal land of spring and the beautiful flowers and sunshine this beloved season brings. Taking beautiful memorial snapshots is an added bonus of visiting one of the following gardens.
Changgyeonggung Palace Conservatory
Located amidst the multitude of traditional Korean royal buildings at Changgyeonggung Palace is a singular Western-style building. Built in 1909, the greenhouse was Korea’s first Western-style greenhouse, made of a steel frame, glass and wood.
With its clear glass and white window frames, the building seems like a house straight out of a fairy tale. The greenhouse was designed after the exhibition hall at the World’s Fair from the end of the 19th century. The building also has historic value as being one example of the first steps for change in modern Korean architecture.
The greenhouse is blooming with many flowers and plants from bonsai trees to the bright red berries of the Winterberry, the rare White Camellia, and the Korean Bush Cherry with its cute pink petals. This greenhouse is especially popular among photographers and young travelers who enjoy taking and sharing their photos. You can easily spot visitors wearing beautiful hanbok, Korea’s traditional clothing, appearing as moving flowers among the greenery.
Address: Changgyeonggung Palace, 185, Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Operating hours: February – May, September – October 09:00-18:00 / June – August 09:00-18:30 / November – January 09:00-17:30 (Closed Mondays)
Admission: 1,000 won (Included in admission to Changgyeonggung Palace; free when wearing hanbok)
Website: cgg.cha.go.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Nearby attractions: Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, Insa-dong, Myeong-dong, N Seoul Tower
Seoul Grand Park Greenhouse Botanical Garden
Surrounded by the lush forests of Cheonggyesan Mountain, the botanical garden at Seoul Grand Park houses many uniquely-shaped flowering cacti, verdant foliage plants, and roses from various countries. The greenhouse is vast, spread out over a total of 2,825㎡ with a height of 25 meters. The interior of the greenhouse is divided into four main halls, each devoted to the natural habitat and individual traits of the plants it houses. The halls range from the warm and dry Cactus & Succulent Hall, to the moist atmosphere of the Tropic & Subtropic Hall, the beautiful and majestic Tropical Orchid and Fern Hall, and the exotic Insectivorous Exhibition Hall.
Address: Seoul Grand Park, 102 Daegongwongwangjang-ro, Gwacheon-si, Gyeonggi-do
Operating hours: March – October 09:00-19:00 / November – February 09:00-18:00
Admission: 3,000 won (Included in admission to Seoul Zoo)
Website: grandpark.seoul.go.kr (Korean, English)
Nearby attractions: SeoulLand, Seoul LetsRun Park, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Gwacheon
Gapyeong Ewhawon Nabi Story
Gapyeong Ewhawon Nabi Story is located on Jaraseom Island, in the middle of the Bukhangang River. Upon entering the greenhouse, visitors are greeted by the sight of intimate thatch-roofed houses, providing a strong feeling overall of Korea, something not felt in any other greenhouse throughout the country. Past the cabins and streams, guests will walk through a citron orchard, a forest of bamboo and other Korean-style gardens. Outside the greenhouse is the Butterfly Eco Center. Here you can see both framed butterfly specimens and live butterflies, flitting from flower to flower.
Address: 64, Jaraseom-ro, Gapyeong-eup, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do
Operating hours: March – October 09:00-18:00 / November – February 09:00-17:00 (Closed Mondays)
Admission: 7,000 won
Website: www.ewhawon.com (Korean only)
Nearby attractions: Namiseom Island, Jade Garden Natural Arboretum, Garden of Morning Calm
Asan Botanical Garden
Asan Botanical Gardens, located in Chungcheongnam-do, offers a chance to view flowers from around the world through flower festivals. With a motif inspired by the Dutch Garden Center, the botanical garden displays famous garden species throughout the year. January through February features the Winter Flower Festival, with March and April celebrating the tulips, daffodils and camillias. The garden also features hands-on experiences, from designing handkerchiefs with flower petals to repotting a plant to take home.
One of the garden’s most popular attractions is the parrot enclosure. Here you can experience feeding parrots for yourself. Simply buy some food from the machines and hold out it out in your hands; the parrots will flock to you.
After feeding the birds, have fun finding your way through the maze garden and maybe getting lost a few times. The aromatic scent of herbs signals both your escape and the end of the tour. After browsing the herb garden, spend a bit of time in the souvenir shop and perhaps purchase a plant or goods made with herbs to remember your visit.
Address: 37-37, Asanman-ro, Dogo-myeon, Asan-si, Chungcheongnam-do
Operating hours: 09:00-18:00
Admission: 8,000 won
Website: liaf.kr (Korean only)
Nearby attractions: Asan Spavis, Paradise Spa Dogo, Gongseri Catholic Church
Ecorium at the National Institute of Ecology
The National Institute of Ecology’s Ecorium is a mix of a garden and a zoo, exhibiting plants and animals native to the Korean peninsula as well as from the five main climate zones: tropical, desert, Mediterranean, temperate and polar. There are a total of over 1,900 floras representing each zone, and a total of 230 fauna from the regions. Through viewing the plants and animals together, visitors can come to a deeper understanding of the relationship among the organisms and their habitat.
The addition of the animals from penguins and crocodiles to prairie dogs makes the Ecorium a fun visit for people of all ages. Tourists will also be able to fully understand all they see with the help of an audio guide with language support in Korean, English, Japanese or Chinese. The guide is free but will require a deposit of 10,000 won, which will be returned in exchange for the audio device at the end of your garden tour.
Address: 1210, Geumgang-ro, Maseo-myeon, Seocheon-gun, Chungcheongnam-do
Operating hours: March – June, September – October 10:00-18:00 / July – August 10:00-19:00 / November – February 10:00-17:00 (Closed Mondays)
Admission: 5,000 won
Website: www.nie.re.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Nearby attractions: Seocheon Maryang-ri Camellia Forest, Seocheon Dalgogae Mosi (Ramie Fabric) Village
East Palace Garden
Designed after the nation’s first menagerie and botanical gardens at Donggung Palace & Wolji Pond, the East Palace Garden is located within Bomun Tourist Complex. The greenhouse here is unique, being made of glass but designed with the architectural structure of a traditional building from the Silla Dynasty (57 BC – 935 AD). Furthering the feeling of the Silla atmosphere, the interior is decorated with streamlets, old wells, andCheonmadosang (Painting of Heavenly Horses), as well as a 7 meter-high path behind a cave waterfall.
The garden is divided into themes with plants of a similar genus grouped together, ranging from a palm garden to foliage plants, flowering plants, an aquatic garden and tropical orchards. Located nearby the botanical gardens isGyeongju Bird Park, where visitors can participate in a variety of experiences and activities with birds.
Address: 74-14, Bomun-ro, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Operating hours: 09:30-19:00
Admission: 4,000 won (Bird Park admission charged separately)
Website: www.gyeongjuepg.kr (Korean only)
Nearby attractions: Bulguksa Temple, Seokguram Grotto, Gyeongju National Museum, Shilla Millennium Park, Gyeongju World Culture Expo Park
Yeomiji Botanical Garden
Yeomiji – meaning “beautiful land” – Botanical Garden is well-known for being a must-visit attraction for all tourists to Jeju Island, especially for its peculiar greenhouse. The greenhouse is vast, housing many gardens, from a flower and butterfly garden to an aquatic garden, succulent plant garden, tropical garden and more.
Each garden has its own charms, with the flower and butterfly garden offering up tuberous begonias, known as the queen of all flowers, and the aquatic garden showcasing the enormous, yet elegant Victoria Water Lily, which can reach a span of 2 meters. A multitude of fruits from bananas and mango to even cacao can be found in the tropical garden.
In the center of the greenhouse is an observatory tower reaching the ceiling. Ride the elevator up for a birds-eye view of the entire botanical garden. On clear days, you can even see as far as the coast and the vast ocean beyond. A bit closer are the gardens surrounding the greenhouse, showcasing native garden layouts from various countries, including Korea, Japan, Italy and France.
Address: 93, Jungmungwangwang-ro, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
Operating hours: 09:00-18:00
Admission: 9,000 won
Website: www.yeomiji.or.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Nearby attractions: Daepo Jusangjeolli Cliff, Cheonjiyeon Falls, Cheonjeyeon Falls, PLAY K-POP, Oedolgae Rock, Camellia Hill
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