Seoul parks are places to take the family, visit museums, see animals, and just stretch out on a mat and relax. They are also great for people watching, as Koreans and their families flock to parks to socialize in public. With that in mind, here are short descriptions of three of the most interesting parks in Seoul.
- Yongsan Park | Yongsan-gu, Seoul
On slightly rolling hills, Yongsan Park is adjacent to the National Museum of Korea and makes a lovely place to relax and cool off after taking in the exhibitions at the museum. The park is scattered with picnic tables, chairs, plenty of space to spread out a mat, and plenty of vendors to fulfill your food or drink needs. The park has a formal garden as well a lovely pond, a triumph of artificiality with rocks and reeds arranged just so and an artificial waterfall and water mister pumping away in the background. Recently, US military bases have also been included in the park, so you can enjoy more sights.
Getting There: Ichon Stn. (lines 1 & 4)
- Seoul Forest | Seongdong-gu, Seoul
Seoul Forest is just a stone’s throw away from Hanyang University. The forest is the biggest in the city, may be a bit of a letdown for anyone expecting it to live up to the hype comparing it to Hyde Park in London or Central Park in New York. The park is very artificial, carefully planned and planted. Seoul Forest contains a Cultural Art Park including the visitors’ center, an Ecological Forest that is only partially accessible to visitors, a “Nature Experiencing Study Field,” a Wetlands Ecological Field, and a rather barren section of the Han River Park.
The Ecological Forest is home to deer, elks, chipmunks, ducks, and moorhens and it’s cute to watch visiting children feed them. If you are into creepies and crawlies, check out the insect botanical garden in the Nature Experiencing Study Field.
Getting There Ttukseom Stn. (line 2, ex. 8).
Follow the signs to the park or catch bus 2014, 2224, 2412, or 2413.
- Hangang Park
This is kind of a cheat, because there are miles of Hangang Park all along the river. Everyone has their favorite section, from the austere shores just beyond Seoul Forest through the busier Banpo Hangang Park to the wildly popular Yeouido Hangang Park. The more popular sections of Hangang Park feature convenience stores (some of which sell the eternally attractive combination of beer and fireworks!), and you can walk or bike on the paths along the river. Bikes are available for rental, and it’s always a good idea to bring a kite on a windy day.
Getting There Head to the river!
*Reference: 10 Magazine (https://10mag.com/seoul-parks/)