* Parks may operate with limits to prevent the spread of COVID-19
Spring is a beautiful time to visit Korea, especially when nature presents such a colorful tapestry of colors! Parks in an urban setting are a great way to enjoy this beauty without cutting into your vacation time. Suitable for a relaxing picnic, fun activities, or just a short walk, parks are a great fit for all travelers and styles!
Overview: The 7 BEST Urban Parks to Visit in Spring
>> Relaxing parks: Yeouido Hangang Park, Ilsan Lake Park
>> Meaningful parks: Olympic Park, Imjingak Pyeonghwa Nuri Park
>> Fun parks: Busan Citizens Park, Gwanggyo Lake Park, Songdo Central Park
The Hangang River runs through the heart of Seoul and serves as a resting place and perfect weekend outing location for the local citizens. There are a total of 11 citizens parks spread out along the banks of this beloved river, but the most popular among tourists and locals alike is Yeouido Hangang Park. It is especially popular in April, when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.
The park’s most charming feature may be that it is easily accessible by both subway and bus. There are various events and fun activities happening throughout the year. Enjoy the skyline of Seoul from the large grassy field, or rent a bicycle and follow the paths along the river for a day unlike any other.
It wouldn’t be far-fetched to call Ilsan Lake Park a flower park. The park is populated by nearly 1,800 cherry blossom trees, in addition to numerous weeping willows and forsythia shrubs. The over-abundance of flowers can give photos the illusion of having been straight out of a fairy tale. The park is also the venue of the annual International Horticulture Goyang Korea, a global flower exposition.
Ilsan Lake Park is the largest man-made lake in Asia, but it feels as natural as the trees that circle the lake. The perfect example of an urban oasis, the park features bicycle paths as well as pedestrian paths dotted with benches to enjoy the view. The large grassy areas are open to picnickers; be sure to go early if you want a spot in the shade of the trees! The nearby shopping centers Western Dom and La Festa are great spots to check out before leaving.
Located in Songpa-gu, Seoul, Olympic Park is grand in both size and name, having served as the venue of both the 1986 Asian Games and the 1988 Summer Olympics. The park takes up a vast 1.4 million square meters and would take roughly 3 hours to walk through the entire park. To make your wandering easier, we recommend stopping at the information center by the World Peace Gate for a map of the park’s many pathways.
There are many ways to enjoy this vast park. Options include taking pictures with outdoor sculptures and biking or skating in the skate park at Peace Plaza. Benches are also installed along the walking trails, so you can relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
When visiting Olympic Park, be sure to stop by One Tree Hill, one of the park’s top nine highlights. The singular tree in the middle of a vast field creates a landscape not unlike a painting and is a great spot for photos. It’s extremely popular as a venue for wedding photos, although you’ll see many families and couples taking photos here as well.
The northern-most park in Gyeonggi-do, Pyeonghwa Nuri Park within Imjingak Resort was created in 2005 as part of the World Peace Festival. Although the war and subsequent separation are painful moments in Korea’s history, the park serves to promote peace and reconciliation. The park’s key points are the Hill of Music, a large grassy outdoor concert venue; and the Hill of Wind, featuring a photo zone of over 3,000 pinwheels spinning freely.
The atmosphere of a simple picnic on a blanket here is better than in the fanciest of restaurants. The colorful pinwheels spinning in the breeze create a wonderful background to the sounds of people enjoying their time. Visitors with children are recommended to visit Peaceland, an amusement park with the popular Viking Ride, a merry-go-round and other exciting attractions.
Imjingak Pyeonghwa Nuri Park
Busan Citizens Park is designed with the five themes of memory, culture, pleasure, nature, and participation. The park is quite large, covering 473,911 ㎡, with the central area of Hialeah grass plaza being as large as six soccer fields. You can explore and use the park’s many facilities such as the forest book café, culture & arts village, or agricultural themed forest through the park’s AR mobile stamp tour. The culture & arts village in particular offers many hands-on programs at the craft studios operated by local artists.
Busan Citizens Park
Gwanggyo Lake Park in Suwon offers a nice blend of facilities with nature. The park’s landmark attraction is the urban levee. The 1.6-kilometer-long levee circles the lake on three levels, for various ways to observe the park. In spring and fall, the park is perfect for picnics. For a panoramic view of both Woncheon and Sindae Lakes, be sure to head up to Freiburg Observation Deck.
Gwanggyo Lake Park
Songdo Central Park is a main attraction of Incheon, and was the first urban waterside park in Korea to use seawater using the natural topography. The park features many sports amenities such as canoes, kayaks, and family boats, as well as the multi-complex Tri-Bowl. The park also has many themed gardens, like the walking garden, terrace garden, and sunset garden. Planning some time at the nearby Songdo Hanok Village will fill out a trip here.
Songdo Central Park
* This column was last updated in March 2021, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details before visiting.