Published Date : Jun 27, 2019 / Edited Date : Oct 14, 2020
Walking trails in the Seoul city area
Everything in Seoul may seem like it is quickly zooming by, but Seoul can also be a place for you to relax. Amongst the high-rise buildings, there are parks and the banks of the slow-moving Han River are filled with nature-friendly spaces. Or, what about following the city’s history? The castle and ancient palace located at the center of the four main gates of old Seoul where the old Seoul City Wall used to stand and the many tombs of kings that can easily be found nearby, are all spaces that emphasize harmony with nature. Here, we will introduce Seoul's most exemplary trails where you can meet natural scenery, history, culture, and wide array of other hidden charms. If you want to escape the daily hustle and bustle, try taking a stroll around Seoul.
Seoul City Wall Trail
There is a trail from which you can view all of Seoul at once. That trail is the Seoul City Wall Trail which runs along the castle wall that was responsible for the determining the boundaries of Hanyang (the old name for Seoul City), the capital of Joseon. The Sunseong-gil Path allows you to walk around the castles of Hanyang that surround the city, focusing on Sungnyemun Gate, Heunginjimun Gate, Sukjeongmun Gate, and the Donuimun Gate, which no longer exists today. The course is 18.7km long in total.
The Seoul City Wall Trail has a variety of attractions. You can see a verdant forest, as well as the open sky, and even the scenic skyline of Seoul. The history of Hanyang, which was the heart of Joseon, permeates the entire trail. It is filled with the nature of Seoul and the story of Hanyang. The entire trail can be divided into six smaller trails. Each trail has a different level of difficulty as well as different scenery to enjoy. You don't need to walk all the trails in one go. We recommend selecting a trail that you want to see, before walking. You can take in great views of Seoul from the Baegak Trail or the Inwangsan Mountain Trail but these are relatively hilly areas with steep slopes; you should be prepared for that. Once you reach the peak of the mountain, you can enjoy a view that allows you to appreciate the scale of the old Seoul City Wall.
Most people can easily walk the Naksan Trail and Heunginjimun Trail. They are connected to the Dongdaemun Fashion Street and Daehangno, so they are perfect for travelers. The Sungnyemun Trail contains areas that gives hikers a peek into the history of the late Joseon period. It is recommended for those who want to know more about the history of the late Joseon period. Finally, the Namsan Trail (Mokmyuk Mountain) is the most beloved by tourists. The sunset over Seoul as seen from the peak of Namsan Mountain, where N Seoul Tower is located, and the night scenery that follows is one of the most beautiful scenes to see in Seoul.
- Available Trails
Baegak Trail (4.7 km) : Changuimun Gate - Sukjeongmun Gate - Malbawi Information Center - Waryong Park - Hyehwamun Gate
· Naksan Trail (2.1 km) : Hyehwamun Gate - Naksan Park - Seoul Museum of History - Huenginjimun Gate
· Heunginjimun Trail (1.8 km) : Huenginjimun Gate - Dongdaemun History & Culture Park - Gwanghwamun Gate - Jangchung Arena
· Namsan (Mokmyeok Mountain) Trail (4.2km) : Jangchung Arena - Namsan N Seoul Tower - Baekbeom Square
Hours Nov - Feb 09:00-17:00 / Mar - Apr & Sep - Oct 07:00 - 18:00 / May - Aug 07:00-19:00 * Last entry is two hours before closing
Languages Leaflets available in KOR, ENG, CHN, JPN * Key locations offer leaflet with maps and stamp tour guide ** Various Sunseong-gil Path programs with explanations provided by commentators are also available
World Cup Park
Nanjido was originally one of the many beautiful islands of the Han River. Legend has it that there used to be an ecosystem replete with a wide variety of flowers that migratory birds would come to visit. However, these accounts were only transmitted through ancient stories. In 1978, the island became a landfill for Seoul residents' waste, and, approximately 15 years later, it became the world's tallest mountain of garbage. It has become a symbol of environmental destruction, to the point where any past lushness it may have housed is unimaginable.
However, since 1996, efforts have been made for the stabilization of large-scale landfills such as this. A region for landfills was organized and facilities were created for the purpose purifying the leachate (contaminated water) from the waste and using it. The landfill gases, which were generated as much as the leachate, are used to power boilers for nearby apartments and the Seoul World Cup Stadium. The area that was once a landfill has now been turned into an eco-friendly park. This was the beginnings of the World Cup Park, which opened in May 2002.
The World Cup Park trail, which connects from the Peace Park to Haneul Park and Noeul Park, is a trail where you can enjoy a forest inside the city. A peaceful lake welcomes visitors at the center of the World Cup Park and it is surrounded by intertwined sylvan trails that create harmony with nature. The small streams that flow in between the forests create bucolic scenery reminiscent of the countryside. If you go towards Haneul Park and Noeul Park, you can also see the splendid metasequoia that line the roads. This unique forest trail is an essential course for the World Cup Park.
Languages Leaflets available in KOR, ENG, CHN, JPN at Nanjido Story House within World Cup Park
Gyeongchun Line Forest Trail
There is a railroad that is filled with the memories of Seoulites. That railroad is the Gyeongchun Line, which connects Seoul and Gangwon-do. If you've travelled to the areas surrounding Seoul, such as Gyeonggi-do‘s Gapyeong or Gangwon-do‘s Chuncheon, by train you would have probably used this railroad. But this train is no longer operating. With the construction of a new railroad that connects Seoul to Chuncheon, the existing one has been shut down.
From the Gyeongchun Railroad Bridge, which was a part of the former Gyeongchun Line, to the border of Seoul city, a forest trail that follows the railroad of approximately 6km in length has been created. With the shut-down railroad still in place, the location has become a park that is great for taking a walk. The old Hwarangdae Station, where the Gyeongchun Line train used to stop, has transformed into a historical museum. The museum, which was designated the Registered Cultural Property No. 300, has a modern architectural structure and has been turned into an exhibition space that introduces the Gyeongchun Line and the stations that populated it. Nearby, a steam locomotive that used to operate in Korea as well as trains from the Czech Republic and Japan are exhibited. In various nooks and crannies of the Gyeongchun Line Forest Trail, visitors can stop by a cafe created through the renovation of a derelict building and see a garden decorated by residents themselves. The Taereung (royal tomb of Queen Munjeong, the second wife of the Joseon Period King, Jungjong) and Gangneung (royal tomb of King Myeongjong and Queen Insun) also boast dense forests.
Location Gyeongchun Railroad Bridge, Wolgye-dong, Nowon-gu - Former Hwarangdae Station, Gongneung-dong - Damteo Village (Seoul/Guri border)
Tel + 82-2-3783-5977 (Gyeongchun Line Forest Trail Visitors' Center) / +82-70-4179-3777 (Hwarangdae Historical Museum)
The Yeouido Han River Park is one of the most-visited parks in Seoul. However, not many know of the Saetgang Ecological Park that is hidden behind the Yeouido park. Saetgang Ecological Park is Korea's first Ecological Park that can claim to be an eco-friendly space. The large river that flowed south of Yeouido, which was neglected until the 1990s, has been modified and renewed into the current park.
The park preserves as much as possible of the reeds, silver grass, and wetlands including willow trees, which made up the natural environment of this region. A walking trail and bicycle road are connected along the forest, wetlands, and river and this is an excellent place to go for a walk or ride a bicycle. The forests are so dense that it is almost difficult to believe it is in the center of a city, so it is easy to find a shaded area to rest even on hot days. The trail leads towards Yeouido Park and the Hangang River so this park is great if you want to visit those areas too.
Address 49, Yeouido-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul
Tel +82-2-3780-0570 (Yeoudio Saetgang Information Center)
Seolleung & Jeongneung
Even in Gangnam, one of the busiest places in Seoul, there is a forest perfect for taking a stroll. Seolleung and Jeongneung consist of Seolleung, the royal tomb of King Seongjong, and Jeongneung, the royal tomb of King Jungjong. These are two of the royal tombs from the Joseon Dynasty that are registered in the UNESCO World Heritage list and that hold the royal remains of King Seongjong, Queen Jeonghyeon, and King Jungjong. They hold historical significance because they show us the appearance of the royal tombs from the Joseon Dynasty as well as contain the traces of the two kings.
Seolleung and Jeongneung are popular trails frequented by office workers working in the Gangnam area or other local residents. There is a well-preserved, dense forest surrounding the three royal tombs thanks to the peaceful forest trail located in between. The quiet and serene atmosphere found at this trail will help you forget that you are in the bustling city center of Gangnam.
Address 1, Seolleung-ro 100-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Admission Individuals (25 - 64 years) KRW 1,000 / Groups KRW 800 [Per person] * Special Passes
Passes * Unlimited Pass - KRW 10,000 [1 month expiry] * Limited Pass - KRW 30,000 [1 year expiry] / Applies from opening - 09:00 & 11:30 - 13:30 * Lunchtime Pass - KRW 3,000 [Valid 10 times over 3 months] / Applies from 11:30 - 13:30
Hours Mar - Oct 06:00 - 21:00 / Nov - Jan 06:30 - 16:30 / Feb 06:00 - 17:00 (Ticket office closes 1 hour prior to closing) (Closed Mondays)
Night Entry Only areas with lights installed may be visited at night * Night entry is suspended from Nov - Feb for visitor safety
Languages (Interpretation) * Seolleung Management Office - 10:00, 14:00 (In front of Jaesil) * Rediscovery of Korea - [Mar - Dec] Saturdays 10:00, 14:00 (Across from Supyosil) * Groups of 10+ required for reservation
Reservations must be made at least three days prior to the tour date.
Group reservations up to 3people are being accepted on the line.
Additional reservations are?permitted for pre-existing reservations that do not exceed the limited number of three people per group and may be made one day prior to the tour date by 5 PM.
Reservations for the following month are available from the 15th of the current month.
Masks are required for participation in all tour programs.
Please refrain from participating in any tour programs should you be experiencing any symptoms, including fever, coughing, congestion, muscle pain, stuffy nose, and/or sore throat.
Temperature readings will be conducted for all participants prior to the tour. Those with a reading over 37.5°C are prohibited from tour participation.
Reservations for tourists 14 years & under without an accompanying adult or guardian shall be canceled on site.
[As of one day prior to the tour date] All reservations shall be canceled in the event of emergency particulate matter reduction measures taken and/or inclement weather conditions, including excessive heat waves, typhoons, heavy rain, and more, that may impede Seoul Guided Walking Tour operations.
The Seoul Guided Walking Tour administration office and tour guide affiliates are not responsible for any accidents that happen to occur during the tour program.
Reservation shall be made at least 1 week before the tour day.
The course is for tourists with mobility problems (Senior, people with disability, stroller user).
You may not use the course without an assistant (or companion) ※ At least one assistant shall accompany a tourist with mobility problem ※ In case of electric assisting device users (electric wheelchair, electric scooter users), one assistant may accompany up to 4 tourists with mobility problem
Reservation may be canceled when a guide is unavailable on the desired date and course.
Seoul Guided Walking Tour Office (02-6925-0777) will contact you to confirm reservation. (At least 5 days~1 month before tour day) Reservation may be canceled when Seoul Guided Walking Tour Office cannot reach you for more than 3 times.
Seoul Guided Walking Tour Office and Seoul culture and tourism guide are not liable for the safety accidents during the Seoul Guided Walking Tour.
All reservations are canceled when Seoul Guided Walking Tour is unavailable due to Particulate Matter Reduction Measure or other weather conditions (heat wave, typhoon, heavy rain). (As of the date before the tour day)