When thinking about Seoul, the first thing that comes to mind is a sprawling metropolis with modernized culture. If you want a change from the hustle and bustle of this oriental city, or prefer the great outdoors, here are four handpicked destinations that fit the bill.
Go from the concrete jungle of Seoul to pleasant sights of lush greenery at Seoul Forest. You can hop onto the subway and head there for a leisurely stroll or a bike ride. Accessibility and advanced infrastructure make it a popular recreational spot.
Seoul forest is a picturesque getaway a short distance from the city
Traveler's tip: Seoul forest is accessible by subway from the following stations:
- Seoul Forest Station - Exit 3
- Bundang Line or Ttukseom Station - Exit 8, Line 2
Hiking in the Mountains
Trekking trails make climbing these mountains easier
Seoul is surrounded by 37 mountain peaks that are a haven for trekking enthusiasts and tourists alike. The easy-to-climb trekking trails and mountain parks are frequented by many locals over the weekend. If you are travelling alone, it is not difficult to find a group of trekking companions at these spots. Connected by Seoul’s public transport, visit one of these peaks for breathtaking views of the city.
Here is a list of Seoul’s top mountain destinations along with their nearest stations:
- Mt. Umyeonsan (Nambu Express Bus Terminal Station)
- Mt. Yongmasan (Yongmasan Station)
- Mt. Achasan (Achasan Station)
- Bukhansan Mountain Park (Suyu Station)
When you're walking down one of the trekking trails, you will realize that Seoul’s scenic wonders are all around you - right in the heart of the city.
Travel Trivia: Bukaksan Fortress Wall is a heavily guarded trekking trail from where you can see the Blue House, South Korea's presidential residence. In 1961, an assassination attempt on former president Park Chung-hee caused this trail to be shut down until it was recently reopened for the public in 2007.
Watch the Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain that traverses the Han River
Flowing through the heart of Seoul, the Han River is a place you should visit for an evening stroll through Hangang Park. Designed to accommodate various sports, Hangang Park offers recreational activities and is the top choice of joggers. While you amble down the promenade, you will see Seoulites partaking in inline skating, bike riding, football and other sports. At nightfall, watch the spectacular Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain from here.
Visit the following riverside cafés for a spectacular view of the Han River:
- Cafe Nodeul
- Sunset Cafe
- Hannam Saemal Cafe
- Maruswimteo (River View Spring Cafe)
At night Cheonggyecheon Stream is a popular romantic spot for couples
Seoul has its own version of New York’s iconic Central Park, Cheonggyecheon Stream. It flows through 8.4 km of the city’s urban sprawl, and is flanked by striking landscaping. At any time, you will find couples, businessmen and tourists enjoying the respite this stream provides from a busy day.
Cheonggyecheon Stream is bejeweled by more than twenty thematic bridges that add to its beauty. You can laze under the shade of these bridges on a hot summer day. Visit the following popular bridges as you walk down the stream:
- Gwanggyo Bridge symbolizes harmony between the past and the future
- Narae Bridge is designed to resemble a butterfly in flight
- Rhythmic Wall Bridge is adorned with marble and sculptures
Seoul is a city that never sleeps, with a multitude of activities ranging from gaming parlors (PC Bangs) to an exciting nightlife. Nevertheless, in between your frenetic day, take out some time to visit these charming destinations, which are situated within the city or a short distance away.
Experience Seoul Safely
Seoul has the most distinct and interesting culture among the cities in the Far East, and will provide you with an experience unlike any other. It has a low crime rate and is one of the safest cities in the world. Quality of healthcare is high, with English-speaking doctors available.
Considering the number of things to do on your trip to Seoul, it would be dispiriting if unforeseen incidents hinder your vacation. To make life easier during an emergency while you are abroad, invest in a comprehensive travel insurance plan. Such plans offer cashless hospitalization and cover loss because of other unpredictable incidents like loss of passport or valuables. Click here to get details on travel insurance plans for you and your family.