Looking for somewhere beyond the usual Hangang, Namsan, or Olympic Parks in Seoul? Luckily it’s some of the best weather now so here are some of the lesser known parks that are worth checking out in the capital.
The Seoullo 7017 urban sky park is already set to become one of the city’s iconic attractions, similarly to the Cheonggycheon Stream restoration. Having opened less than a month ago, this former vehicle overpass located right by Seoul Station has been transformed into an urban sky park complete with thousands of varieties of trees, shrubs, and other fauna. Best of all, it’s accessible to pedestrians only making it a family friendly site and the park also connects to various other Seoul attractions such as Namdaemun Market and Namsan.
Not too far away is also the Yongsan Family Park which was formerly a golf course and home to residential facilities for the American military. Now, the park features winding walking paths, plenty of greenery, a small pond, sculptures, and open fields and playgrounds for children. It’s also located near the Hangeul Museum and the National Museum of Korea.
In southwest Seoul, Boramae Park was established on the former Korean Air Force Academy site but now features jogging paths, badminton courts, playgrounds, and other facilities. Its musical pond in the warmer seasons is especially popular with children and families. On the northeast side of Seoul, the Seoul Dream Forest similarly features paths, playground, and more. The sprawling park’s pond and waterfall are especially popular with photographers as are the picturesque views from its observatory. Don’t forget to check out the restored hanok estate on the park’s grounds before you leave!
For parks that also holds historical significance be sure to check out Hyochang Park which is not only known for its many trails but the various landmarks within including the burial mounds of several Korean independence fighters and also the burial mound and museum for Kim Koo, one of Korea’s greatest independence movement leaders. Another historically rich park is Dosan Park which commemorates Dosan An Changho a key independence activist and politician. In addition to holding the tombs of Dosan An Changho and his wife, there are walking trails that circles his statue as well as a Memorial Center providing a deeper look on his many achievements with photos, letters, and memorabilia.
A popular park for photographers and wedding shoots is Seonyudo Park where a former water treatment plant and its grounds have been converted into the unique urban park. Combining nature and the treatment plant’s facilities, it’s a park that’s quite different from any other in the city. For some peace and rest, check out the Montmartre Park in the Seocho neighborhood located near the French expat village of Seoraemaeul. Located on top of a hill, the scenic views makes it popular for picnics while the Silkworm Bridge’s unique aesthetics is worth checking out. At the end of the popular Samcheongdong neighborhood, Samcheong Park is hidden away and mostly known only to residents. The various hiking trails in the park connects with the Seoul Fortress Wall while the park’s various cherry blossoms makes it particularly popular in spring.
Speaking of cherry blossoms, most equate Yeouido Hangang Park with the city’s annual cherry blossoms but a far less crowded, and some say even more beautiful location, is the Yangjae Citizens Forest. The various cherry blossom trees lined along both side of the Yangjae Stream here makes for wonderful pictures and minus the crowds and noise.
And lastly, for the summer season, keep in mind the Jungang Campground, Gangdong Campground, Noeul and Nanji Campground. These sites all feature campgrounds that are available to rent with many of them almost or fully equipped with camping gear and tents. These sites are extremely popular though so do make your reservations well in advance!