With summer fast approaching, now is a great time to take advantage of the pleasant weather with a good picnic. Here’s some of the best spots.
Undoubtedly the most popular place for a picnic is at one of the many Han River Parks. The more popular ones include the parks at Yeouido, Banpo, and Mangwon but there are plenty of other Han River Parks which you can find out more information about on the official website. The Banpo Park is particularly great in evening times as the dazzling Banpo Moonlight Rainbow Fountain, set to music and lights, runs in the warmer seasons.
Another alternative is the camping grounds at Nanji Park. These facilities are available for use even in daytime making it a fun camping experience right in the center of Seoul. You can even rent it by the hour without having to stay overnight. Do note that you must reserve a spot through the Nanji Park homepage in advance to make use of the camping grounds however.
Namsan Park is another popular option especially as the hill provides great views of the city. Naksan Park is yet another choice for its great location within the city and you can enjoy a picnic at one of the pavilions atop for some great views. In the west, the Sky Park within the World Cup Parks also is known as one of the city’s most scenic parks. You do need to either climb the 291 steps to the top here though or wait to take a shuttle but it’s worth the effort to enjoy beautiful views of the Han River and Seoul city. It’s especially popular in the fall during the Seoul Silver Grass Festival when hundreds of thousands of silver grass reeds blow and sway to the wind.
Though it isn’t a park, the Palgakjeon or octagonal pavilion along the scenic Bugak Skyway also has space for a nice break with great views. If you’d rather be indoors, there are cafes and restaurants around which also features city views.
Families can also enjoy picnics at a number of children-friendly parks around the city. The Children’s Grand Park is popular year-round as it contains a zoo, botanical garden, aviary, and plenty of space for kids to run around in. In the south, the immense Seoul Grand Park covers over 9 million square meters of space and contains a zoo, amusement park, gardens, lakes, and much space, including tables, to enjoy a nice picnic. A more central park is the Yongsan Family Park, located just by the National Museum of Korea, which has facilities like playgrounds and walking paths as well as wild birds that children may enjoy.
Romantic couples will want to head over to Montmartre Park, located on a hill in the south with pleasant views. As its name might suggest, the park is located near the Seorae Village, which is home to the country’s largest French expat population. Pick up some freshly baked bread, cheese, fruits, and wine from one of the many French bakeries or markets in the village before heading to the park for a bit of France right in the heart of Seoul. The Seoul Forest is another popular choice for couples not only for its sprawling grounds but the many trees and greenery that changes in atmosphere depending on the season. For a more unique choice, check out Seonyudo Park whose grounds used to be the site of a water filtration plant. It’s now an ecological park that makes use of the existing filtration plant for a feel and look that’s different from the other parks.
Lastly, here are some tips for picnickers. Pre-made boxed lunches, called doshiraks, are common and found in any convenience store and comes in a range of style and format. Fancier lunch boxes can be picked up at department store food sections. You can, of course, always order food to-go from a nearby restaurant but if you’re feeling extra lazy note that delivery service in Korea is free making it just a phone call away from ordering anything from pizza and chicken to Korean dishes and snack dishes. Do make sure you double-check rules about food in any public parks and note that portable stoves or fires of any kind are illegal.