An Urban Respite, the Gyeongui Line Forest Park
See & Do Tours
The Gyeongui railway line dates back roughly 100 years and once ran where the Gyeongui Line Forest Park now sits. The park was created when the Gyeongui railway line went partially underground. As part of the line was placed underground, the Gyeongui Line Forest Park was created above ground in its place. The park has since become a popular green space and walking area for local citizens. Fittingly for a space designed for public use, the park is very accessible, and has great facilities and multipurpose areas. It’s a unique place where Seoulites and tourists alike can enjoy urban culture and greenery at the same time. The revived Gyeongui Line Forest Park is a wonderful place for family outings, to hang out with friends or go on a date. For tourists, a trip here is also a great way to mix with locals. Walking through the park is a wonderful way to experience Seoul history, and you can visit some fun, trendy neighborhoods like Hongdae and Yeonnam-dong, which are located right along the park.
The Gyeongui Line Forest Park’s Yeonnam-dong section lies right in front of Hongik Univ. Station's exit 3. Ginko trees line the old railway line for a kilometer and there are ponds and little streams along the way as well. The many grassy fields here are perfect for an impromptu rest. This section of the park has often been compared to New York’s famous Central Park. Many locals refer to this area as “Yeon-tral Park” because of the perceived similarities between the two green spaces. Not only is this stretch of park beautiful with wide, green spaces, it also has many cafes and restaurants nearby. Additionally, there are interesting shops and art galleries that are fun to stop and browse in. Because this area has a high concentration of popular restaurants, Yeonnam-dong is a good place to embark on a gourmet tour of Seoul.
A European-style restaurant with a bright interior reminiscent of a garden. This popular Italian restaurant is located on the 2nd floor and on the 1st floor is the café.
Donggyo-ro 227-1, Mapo-gu, Seoul
11:00~4:00 (open year round)
A fusion restaurant that integrates samgyeopsal (grilled pork belly) with Western dishes such as pizza and pasta. Ci Vediamo also frequently plays lively electronic music during operating hours.
47 Yeonnam-ro 1-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Weekdays 16:00 ~ 24:00 / Sat, Holidays 12:00 ~ 24:00 (Sun 12:00~22:00) (closed Mondays)
A fusion pudding shop, the chef utilizes ingredients often used in Korean cooking such as red bean, black sesame, gardenia seeds, and so on to create rich puddings.
232 Donggyo-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
12:00~22:00 (Fri, Sat 12:00~23:00) closed the last Mon. of each month
Dongjin Market is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Yeonnam-dong. Dongjin Market is located in a back street of Yeonnam-dong, and young artists gather there every Saturday to sell their works. The Hongdae Free Market is similar in vibe and purpose, but compared to the throng of people that fill the Free Market, Dongjin Market is less crowded and more laid-back.Dongjin offers an array of handmade goods such as accessories, bags, perfumes, and even food. Give your eyes and taste buds a feast by visiting Dongjin Market. A popular fixture of the market are the caricature artists who can finish a personalized portrait in mere minutes. A visit to Dongjin will help visitors create unique and unforgettable memories of their time in Seoul.
198 Seongmisan-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Ansan Mountain Jarak-gil (jarak-gil in Korean means “skirt” path, as the trail skirts the width of the mountain), is Korea’s gentlest and least obstructed biking trail. Ansan Mountain is located in Seodaemun-gu, Seoul and the paths on this diminutive mountain were designed to have no obstructions or stairs. The gentle slopes and clear paths mean that the mountain is great for bicyclists, families who use a stroller, or for those who require wheelchairs. The mountain’s landscape is particularly lush and beautiful, thanks to the many metasequoia trees on Ansan. Furthermore, the panoramic views of Seoul from Ansan’s summit are spectacular. Ansan Mountain Jarak-gil is much beloved by Seoulites for its gentle trails and beauty. Though there are many access points for the Jarak-gil, the entry point just behind the Seodaemun Museum of Natural History is the best place to start your walk started.
248 Yeonhui-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul
For most people who've heard of Hongdae, Hongdae is probably best known as being at the heart of Korea’s art and indie music scenes. But before Hongdae, there was Waugyo. The Waugyo area lies between Sinchon and Hongdae and is known as being the original artsy and bohemian neighborhood of Seoul. Waugyo was and still is full of rehearsal studios with indie bands and artists, as well as well-established restaurants. When the Gyeongui Line Forest Park was established, the resulting green spaces meant that parts of Waugyo were reborn as park-like rest areas for locals to enjoy. Though Waugyo is right next to the bustling neighborhoods of Sinchon and Hongdae, Waugyo itself relatively quiet in comparison and less developed. In the old days, when the Gyeongui line was still in use, the area's restaurants and studios were a bit ramshackle. The neighborhood may be trendy now with more new, polished establishments opening up, but the old grittiness and ambience remain.
There are many great venues near Waugyo where you can hear great indie bands playing live music. These venues are often open until the early hours of dawn and a huge variety of genres can be heard at these venues. Whether it’s one of the oldest clubs in Hongdae, or a tiny boutique venue, there’s something for every musical taste.
Established in 1995, Free Bird is one of Hongdae’s oldest clubs. Live performances take place every day at Free Bird.
19-22 Wausan-ro 17-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Tues~Thurs: 19:00~1:00 / Fri & Sat: 19:00~4:00 / Sun: 18:00~22:00 (closed Mondays)
Veloso is a place where all genres of music are welcome. Every week patrons can expect to hear a diverse range of music, from rock, to jazz, and more.
46 Jandari-ro, Studio Building B1, Mapo-gu, Seoul
19:00~02:00 (closed Mon, Tues, Wed)
Hongade is the place to be for live music and Club ta: hosts some of the best lives performances and open mic nights in the city.
10 Wausan-ro 17-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul
19:00~05:00 (open year round)