It can be hard to find nature in the urban jungle of Seoul. However, Seoul has some amazing parks!
While this list is hardly exhaustive, I wanted to cover some of the parks in Seoul that everyone should visit. From famous parks such as Olympic Park to lesser-known parks such as Naksan Park, these are some of the must-visit parks in Seoul.
Cost: All parks on this list are totally free. Seoul Botanic Park has an entrance fee for the indoor area.
Time: The parks are open 24/7 with the exception of the Seoul Botanic Park
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Table of Contents
- 1 Seoul Botanic Park
- 2 Olympic Park
- 3 Naksan Park
- 4 World Cup Stadium
- 5 Ttukseom Hangang Park
- 6 Seoul Forest
- 7 Yeouido Hangang Park
- 8 Namsan Park
- 9 Parks of Seoul
Seoul Botanic Park
Seoul’s newest park, is Seoul Botanic Park as great as they say?
Reasons to visit Seoul Botanic Park
- The botanic garden is stunning
- There are a lot of great photo opportunities within the park
- The park’s entrance fee is very reasonable
- Many different themed areas showing of flora from around the world
I have always loved botanic gardens. Especially exotic ones that house plants from all over the world. When I heard about Seoul Botanic Park, I knew I had to visit!
The skywalk provides an overview of the whole garden!
The park is located near Gimpo Airport, and that is the biggest downside. It, unfortunately, is not easy to reach unless you are already in that area. If you have some time before/after a flight, then check out Seoul Botanic Park!
Seoul Botanic Park is the name of the whole park – including both the indoor and outdoor areas. When I visited (in May this year), the outdoor park was still growing. It wasn’t spectacular like some of the other parks in Seoul.
However, the Botanic Garden (the indoor area) was a great visit and it definitely is justified as being the only paid-entry park on this list.
My favourite area was the tropical lake.
The Seoul Botanic Garden is located inside a big glass structure within Seoul Botanic Park. Within the structure are two themed areas – arid and tropical. Both of these areas have their own appeal and are very unique.
Within the areas, there are multiple little themed areas. Ranging from Hanoi to Cape Town, these themed areas represent plant life in many different cities around the world.
While the Seoul Botanic Garden is the only park on this list that has an entry fee, it is also a park that is very unique. For that reason, it is worth visiting just as much as any of the other parks on this list!
Often referred to as one of the best parks in Seoul, does Olympic Park really deserve its reputation?
Reasons to visit Olympic Park:
- Large open spaces with lots of room for picnics/activities.
- Close to Jamsil.
- Beautiful photo locations such as the lone tree and Lotte Tower.
- Doesn’t require much walking. Out of all of the gardens on this list, this is the easiest to access from the subway station.
Olympic Park (올림픽공원) is a large garden located in the east of Seoul near Jamsil and Lotte Tower. The park can be reached easily from Jamsil, and is located only one stop away on the pink subway line at the Mongchontoseong stop.
Getting to Jamsil itself is also very convenient as it is located on line 2 (the green line) on the eastern side of the city loop.
Olympic Park and World Cup Stadium are often referred to as two of the best outdoor spaces in Seoul.
Olympic Park is great for wide-open areas, whereas World Cup Stadium gets its reputation from the beautiful plants located there. Olympic Park is also home to the Lone Tree, one of the most famous photo locations in Seoul.
There are a few wild (but also very tame) rabbits at the large grassy area around the Lone Tree.
While it may not seem like much, the grassy hillside is a really nice place to relax and enjoy a picnic. If that’s not your thing, there is a walking track that navigates you around the hillside and through the rest of the park.
One of the most underrated parks in Seoul is also one of the best!
Reasons to visit Naksan Park:
- Close to Dongdaemun and central to northern Seoul.
- One of the best places to view cherry blossoms in Seoul in spring.
- Stunning views over the city.
- Can easily be done on the same day as visiting Dongdaemun/Hyehwa – two other locations that are well worth visiting.
Naksan Park (san meaning mountain) is an often overlooked park located in the northern part of Seoul, very close to Dongdaemun. The park does require a walk up the mountain, but really the mountain is more alike to a large hill. It’s an easy walk and is not difficult.
The mountain can be reached from Dongdaemun History and Culture Park, Hyehwa or Hanseong University stations, and each provides a unique walk to the summit.
Naksan is most well known for the stunning views that it provides. While I’ve focused on this view many times, today I want to talk about the gardens on Naksan.
While the garden is beautiful all-year-round, it really stands out in spring. While this can be said about all the gardens in Korea, it is especially true for Naksan Park.
Once the park blossoms, it is one of the most beautiful in the city. Couple this with the stunning mountain-top views and you have the makings of one of the best gardens in Seoul.
There are many walking routes for Naksan, and you can follow any path you choose. If you are looking for suggestions, however, I would recommend starting at Dongdaemun History and Culture Park and following the Seoul wall to the top of Naksan.
From the top, continue down in Hyehwa’s direction towards the bottom. This means that you don’t repeat any scenery and that there is a subway stop at both ends of your walk!
The blossoms in spring make Naksan even more beautiful!
World Cup Stadium
Haneul Garden bought the World Cup Stadium gardens to fame, but there is so much more to this incredibly diverse garden!
Reasons to visit World Cup Stadium:
- The most diversity of any garden on this list. There really is so much to the garden!
- Close to Hongdae and therefore easy to access.
- Can easily be made a morning/afternoon trip as the gardens are very large.
- Beautiful Han River views.
Last fall I wrote an article about World Cup Stadium in fall, and why it is a place that everyone should visit. After visiting a few more gardens since then, I still agree with what I said earlier – World Cup Stadium is the best fall park in Seoul.
If you are visiting in fall and want to see colourful trees and changing leaves, then this is the park to visit. Looking to experience Seoul fall in its true splendour?
The fall colours at World Cup Stadium are truly stunning!
World Cup Stadium is located near Hongdae (about 4 stops away), at the World Cup Stadium subway station.
It is definitely more out of the way than the other gardens on this list, but it is also (in my opinion!) the best garden on this list, and therefore, worth a visit. If you plan to visit Hongdae anyway, then this is not too far out of the way.
World Cup Stadium is made up of many smaller gardens that each have their own unique attractions. From the Nanji Hangang Park (a riverside park that runs alongside the Han River) to Hanuel Garden (which literally translates as ‘Sky Garden’), World Cup Stadium easily has the most variety out of all of the gardens on this list.
The park is well equipped and has everything from large open areas for exercise, to a convenience store and cafe.
If you are looking for an afternoon or morning trip, then World Cup Stadium is the perfect place.
I couldn’t resist taking a lot of photos as the park was just that beautiful!
Ttukseom Hangang Park
Ttukseom is a bit different from the other parks on this list. It is far more built up, and provides a whole different experience!
Reasons to visit Ttukseom Hangang Park:
- Close the Han River, with some stunning views.
- Bikes can be hired and there is no better place to ride than along the river.
- Amazing sunset views.
Ttukseom Hangang Park is located at Ttukseom Resort subway station next to the Han River.
Ttukseom Resort is a bit out of the way for most people, however, the park is definitely worth the short trip that is required. From the subway station, you can enter straight into the park.
The park has many events running throughout the year, and especially in summer. There are areas for stages where there are often performers, and commonly festivals and other events can also be found on the river banks.
It is also the perfect place for a picnic, and food can be bought at the convenience store there. Otherwise, food can always be ordered!
Ttukseom Hangang Park easily has some of the most stunning sunset views in the entire city!
Bikes can be hired to ride along the banks of the river, and Ttukseom easily has one of the best river views in the city.
When the sun sets, it goes down behind Namsan Tower, and this makes for a truly iconic photo.
Your experience at Ttukseom Hangang Park can vary greatly depending on the weather, however. Be careful when you visit, as the banks of the river can be very windy at times.
Since the park is so exposed, this can make it quite an unpleasant place if the winds pick up. On a calm day though, Ttukseom Hangang Park is a fantastic place to visit.
Seoul Forest is aptly named, but is it the best ‘forest’ in Seoul?
Reasons to visit Seoul Forest:
- Seoul Forest has a stunning lakeside that feels like an escape from the city
- The park has deer which can be fed and petted (sometimes)
- There is a convenience store in the park – perfect for picnics
- Seoul Forest is large and great for exercise
- It is also large enough to find many great picnic spots
Seoul Forest is perhaps one of the most well-known parks in Seoul. For good reason!
The park is situated on the banks of the Han River and is located very close to Ttukseom (another must-visit park!). Seoul Forest is best reached on the yellow line, just south of Wangsimni Station.
The park is divided into a few different areas, which are covered more in this post about Seoul Forest. However, the main attraction is the lakeside park.
The lake is located in the middle of the main park and is the busiest and most famous area. While some of the other parks on this list have lakes, I enjoy Seoul Forest because the lake feels natural.
Seoul Forest is great for picnics!
Where Olympic Park and World Cup Stadium have lakes that are surrounded by concrete, Seoul forest has grass. This makes it an ideal location for a picnic in Seoul!
The park also has a marsh area as well as some forest areas. The park is incredibly diverse and large, and it can easily take an afternoon to explore.
If you are looking for exercise Seoul Forest is fantastic. There are many (flat) paths that are well maintained with interesting scenery. If you are looking for a jogging or walking path, Seoul Forest has some of the best you can find.
Yeouido Hangang Park
Yeouido Hangang Park is one of the most crowded places in Seoul. Is it still worth visiting?
Reasons to visit Yeouido Hangang Park:
- An amazing place to watch the sunset.
- One of the best picnic locations in Seoul.
- Located central in Seoul, this is an easy location for all to reach.
- Bikes and other transport can be hired similar to Ttukseom.
- Mats and tents can be hired for picnics.
Yeouido is another park that is very famous in Seoul. In spring especially (with the Yeouido cherry blossom festival), Yeouido Hangang Park is stunning.
While it is highly weather-dependent – being on the banks on the Han River means that the wind can pick up, if you get the right day, it is a great place to set up camp for a few hours or an evening.
The sunset in Yeouido
Many people hire tents and mats for the afternoon and order food to their location. One of the great parts of Yeouido is that it is possible to get food not only delivered to the nearby road but right to your picnic location! Mats can be hired for 10,000KRW for an unlimited amount of time.
Yeouido Hangang Park can be very crowded, however. Since it is such a popular location for couples and friends to spend the weekend/evenings, it is definitely worth getting there early or visiting on a day that the weather isn’t perfect.
Similar to Ttukseom Hangang Park, Yeouido also has many locations for renting different modes of transport.
From bikes to Segways and hover-boards, Yeouido allows you to hire pretty much anything you can imagine for personal transport.
Namsan Park is one of the most commonly visited, yet never experienced parks in Seoul.
Reasons to visit Namsan Park:
- Central and easy to reach. Since most people visit Namsan Tower, Namsan Park is easy to reach.
- Well maintained and always clean.
- Ranging difficulty of paths. Some very easy (almost flat) paths, along with some very difficult direct paths.
- Stunning views at the top!
- Can be visited on the same day as Myeongdong and/or Itaewon.
Namsan Park is somewhere that is visited by nearly everyone that comes to Seoul. But how many people have ever actually experienced the park? I would hazard a guess and say not many.
Since most people visit to experience Namsan Tower, the large majority of visitors will take the Namsan bus. While the bus is great (and super handy!), it does also drive right through one of Seoul’s best parks.
Namsan Park is located on the mountainside of Namsan (south mountain). The park has a ring path that circles the base of the mountain. There are also a few paths that walk right up to Namsan Tower.
The views from the top are stunning!
The paths at the bottom of the mountain are very easy and well maintained. However, if you proceed up the mountain then the paths can become quite difficult. However, it is possible to follow the road to the top of the mountain. That’s by far the easiest way to reach the top.
Reaching the top of the mountain can take up to an hour depending on your walking speed.
Namsan Park is a great visit year-round. However, spring and fall are the most beautiful times to visit. The whole park will come out in blossom in spring and walking underneath the falling petals is a very special experience.
If you would prefer to not walk alone, there are also some fantastic tours you can join!
Parks of Seoul
Seoul has some truly beautiful and diverse parks. If you are ever in need of some nature and a break from the city, these parks are sure to help cure you! Is there anywhere that you would add to this list? If there is, please feel free to let me know! I’d love to add some more locations to this list.