Travel Highlights

Hangang, a Vacation Spot in the City!

  • Tag Tour Trend
  • Date08/05/2019
  • Hit41910

Hangang River

While Paris has the Seine River and London has the Thames, Seoul’s representative river is none other than the Hangang River. Running from the east to west of Seoul, Hangang River. The river is a popular attraction among Koreans, and even if you don’t make explicit plans to visit the river, you’ll definitely see it when touring Seoul. A total of 11 parks were formed along the Hangang River, and every summer, the parks host unique events and a variety of performances. From day to night, there are seemingly endless things to see or do here. Read on to find out more about these exclusive experiences!

Excitement at Hangang during the Day!

Explore Jabeolle at Ttukseom Hangang Park

Jabeolle (left credit: Ttukseom Observatory Culture Complex – Jabeolle)

Walking around Ttukseom Hangang Park, you can’t help but notice a unique, attention grabbing building standing along the way. This three-story building might look like a giant snake but don’t be afraid; it is called Jabeolle (J-Bug), Korean for inchworm, and serves as a public multi-culture complex.

The first floor is worth exploring with its on-going art exhibitions and performances by amateur artists and performers. The interior of the complex is divided into the head, body and tail sections, with each area offering various cultural experiences. Performances take place in the head section, while the body features a snack bar. The tail serves as an exhibition space for various artworks.

Ttukseom Hangang Park
  • ☞ Address: 139, Gangbyeonbuk-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 광진구 강변북로 139)
  • ☞ Directions: Walk for approx. 2 min from Ttukseom Resort Station (Seoul Subway Line 7), Exit 3
  • ☞ Operating hours (Jabeolle): 10:00-22:00
    * Closed Mondays, January 1, Seollal (Lunar New Year’s Day) & Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving Day) holidays

Cool down at Hangang outdoor swimming pools

Ttukseom Hangang Park outdoor swimming pool (Credit: Seoul Metropolitan Government)

For visitors who are traveling to Korea in summer, the outdoor swimming pools and water playgrounds at Hangang River are one of the top recommendations for you. Only open during the summer season, this is probably one of the most attractive offers to enjoy cooling waters in downtown Seoul.

Among the 11 Hangang Parks, the five parks at Yeouido, Ttukseom, Jamwon, Gwangnaru, and Jamsil feature outdoor public swimming pools. In addition, Nanji Hangang Park and Yanghwa Hangang Park also have water playground facilities for visitors to splash around in. Don’t miss your chance to cool off with the Hangang River right beside you!

Hangang Outdoor Swimming Pools and Water Playgrounds
  • ☞ Operating hours: 09:00-19:00
    * Water facilities operate until August 25, 2019
  • ☞ Admission
    - Hangang Swimming Pool: Adults 5,000 won / Teenagers 4,000 won / Children 3,000 won / Senior citizens 2,500 won
    - Hangang Water Playground: Adults 3,000 won / Teenagers 2,000 won / Children 1,000 won / Senior citizens 1,500 won
    * Adults (ages 19-64) / Teenagers (ages 13-18) / Children (ages 6-12) / Senior citizens (ages 65 and older)
    * Free admission for children age 5 and under

Enjoy it all at the Hangang Summer Festival

Hangang Summer Festival 2018 (Credit: Seoul Metropolitan Government – Hangang River Department)

From March to October, a variety of festivals are held at Hangang River for all citizens. Festivals celebrate seasonal themes, rotating among flowers in spring, water leisure sports and activities in summer, and fireworks in fall. Among the many summer festivals taking place in Seoul, Hangang Summer Festival is truly one of the best there is!

This year’s Hangang Summer Festival is held from July 19 to August 18. The theme for this year’s festival is "Cultural Picnic at the Hangang River," and visitors can participate in any of the 80 programs, which are divided into three themes of "Cool Hangang (water leisure sports/competition)," "Touching Hangang (performances & movies)," and "Together Hangang (camping/ecological programs).”

Hangang Summer Festival
  • ☞ period: July 19 - August 18, 2019
    * Programs and schedule vary by venue
  • ☞ Fees: Vary by program; refer to website for more information
  • ☞ Website: hangang.seoul.go.kr (Korean, English)
    * English page planned to open mid-July

Behold the beauty of Hangang River at lookout cafés

Hangang River views from Gureum Café (left credit: Seoul Metropolitan Government)

If you are looking for a good view to go with your coffee, lookout cafés are be the best option. These spots offer the best views of Hangang River, especially at dusk or sunset. Presently, there are two cafes each on Hangangdaegyo, Yanghwadaegyo, and Dongjakdaegyo Bridges. Of the six, we recommend Gyeonu Café and Jiknyeo Café on Hangangdaegyo Bridge, and Gureum Café and Noeul Café on Dongjakdaegyo Bridge as their central locations offer magnificent views.

Gureum Café and Noeul Café located on Dongjakdaegyo Bridge boast the finest view of all the lookout cafés on the Hangang River. The two cafés are very similar in size and they both serve coffee, juice, tea and other beverages. Furthermore, tourists who would like to satisfy their hunger can enjoy a Western-style meal such as pasta or pizza, too. Above all, both cafés offer an outdoor terrace where you can feel the river breeze while appreciating the nightscape coming alive as the sun sets.

Hangangdaeyo Bridge Lookout Cafes
  • ☞ Addresses
    - Gyeonu Café: 496, Yangnyeong-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 용산구 양녕로 496)
    - Jiknyeo Café: 495, Yangnyeong-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 용산구 양녕로 495)
  • ☞ Directions: Walk for approx. 20 min from Yongsan Station (Seoul Subway Line 1, Gyeongui-Jungang Line), Exit 1
  • ☞ Operating hours
    - Gyeonu Café: 09:30-24:00
    - Jiknyeo Café: 10:00-24:00
    * Jiknyeo Café closed Seollal (Lunar New Year’s Day) & Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving Day) holidays
Yanghwadaegyo Bridge Lookout Cafes
  • ☞ Addresses
    - Yanghwa Café: 314, Seonyu-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 영등포구 선유로 314)
    - Seonyu Café: 313, Seonyu-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 영등포구 선유로 313)
  • ☞ Directions: Walk for approx. 15 min from Seonyudo Station (Seoul Subway Line 9), Exit 4
  • ☞ Operating hours
    - Yanghwa Café: 11:00-11:30
    - Seonyu Café: 09:00-11:30
Dongjakdaegyo Bridge Lookout Cafes
  • ☞ Addresses
    - Gureum Café: 350, Dongjak-daero, Seocho-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 서초구 동작대로 350)
    - Noeul Café: 335, Dongjak-daero, Dongjak-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 동작구 동작대로 335)
  • ☞ Directions: Walk for approx. 10 min from Dongjak Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exit 1
  • ☞ Operating hours
    - Gureum Café: 07:00-24:00
    - Noeul Café: 07:00-24:00

    * Café hours subject to change

Enjoy a Romantic Evening at Hangang!

Get a closer look on the Hangang River Ferry Cruise

Nightscape of Yeouido from the ferry (Credit: E Land Cruise)

One of the most famous evening attractions at Hangang River is none other than the Hangang River Ferry Cruise! The cruise offers a splendid nightscape of Seoul, attracting numerous international visitors non-stop. It’s also popular among couples as a date course or a marriage proposal spot thanks to its romantic atmosphere.

The programs offered by the Hangang River ferry cruise vary according to the time of day. Visitors can hand-feed seagulls and watch a musical performance on the Story Cruise, enjoy a buffet during the regular Lunch or Dinner Cruise, or take in the Banpo Rainbow Fountain Show and jazz music on the Music Cruise. Visitors can also enjoy a live guitar music performance on the Moonlight Cruise or even a baking experience and performance called Pang Pang Cruise for some interactive fun! Each cruise has a unique schedule and travel days, so travelers who are interested in these programs are advised to check the schedule in advance before visiting. International visitors are also reminded that proper identification such as a passport is required to board all ferries in Korea.

Hangang River Ferry Cruise
  • ☞ Addresses
    - Yeouido Dock: 290, Yeouidong-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 영등포구 여의동로 290)
    - Jamsil Dock: 1-2, Jamsil-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 송파구 잠실동 1-2)
  • ☞ Directions
    - Yeouido Dock: Walk for approx. 15 min from Yeouinaru Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 3
    - Jamsil Dock: Walk for approx. 15 min from Jamsilsaenae Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), Exit 6
  • ☞ Ferry schedule
    - Story Cruise (40 min): Daily 11:30 / 13:00-17:00, 1 hour interval
    * No performance on the 11:30 cruise
    - Buffet Cruise (90 min): Daily 12:00 (Lunch), 19:30 (Dinner)
    - Moonlight Cruise (40 min): Daily 21:00 / Additional Saturday cruise 21:30
    - Music Cruise (70 min): Sunday-Friday 19:30, 20:30
    - Fireworks Cruise / Fireworks Dinner Cruise (90 min): Saturdays 19:30
    - Pang Pang Cruise (50 min): Daily 18:00
  • ☞ Fees
    - Story Cruise: 15,000 won
    - Buffet Cruise: Lunch 49,000 won (Friday-Sunday 55,000 won) / Dinner 75,000 won (Friday & Sunday 79,000 won)
    * Saturday Dinner Cruise replaced with Fireworks Dinner Cruise
    - Moonlight Cruise: 19,000 won
    - Music Cruise: 25,000 won
    - Fireworks Cruise: 35,000 won / Fireworks Dinner Cruise: 89,000 won
    - Pang Pang Cruise: 19,000 won (Separate fee required for baking experience)
  • ☞ Website: www.elandcruise.com (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

A Nighttime only event! Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market

Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market (bottom credit: Seoul Metropolitan City)

After sunset, a late-night market pops up in various places across Seoul, including Yeouido Hangang Park and Banpo Hangang Park. This weekend-only event, called the Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market, lives up to its name by appearing at night and disappearing before morning, just like a bamdokkaebi (night goblin). The night market has been attracting crowds of Seoulites as well as numerous tourists every week.

The biggest merit of this night market is that there is much to see and eat all in one place! Magic shows, DJ music performances, and buskers can be found throughout the market, and diverse international foods are sold at reasonable prices in food trucks. With a cool evening breeze, this is undeniably one of the best places to enjoy the nightscape of Hangang River. The night market operating hours and days vary by each location so be sure to check the details before visiting.

Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market
  • ☞ Operating period: April 5 – October 27, 2019
  • ☞ Yeouido World Night Market
    - Address: Yeouido Hangang Park Mulbit Square, 330, Yeouidong-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 영등포구 여의동로 330)
    - Directions: Walk for approx. 10 min from Yeouinaru Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 2
    - Operating hours: Friday-Saturday 18:00-23:00
  • ☞ Banpo Romantic Moonlight Market
    - Address: Banpo Hangang Park, 40, Sinbanpo-ro 11-gil, Seocho-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 서초구 신반포로 11길 40)
    - Directions: Walk for approx. 20 min from Sinbanpo Station (Seoul Subway Line 9), Exit 2
    - Operating hours: Friday-Saturday 18:00-23:00
  • ☞ Website: www.bamdokkaebi.org (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
    * Refer to website for details on additional locations

Illuminated islands of Hangang River, Some Sevit

Scenery of Some Sevit

Some Sevit rose in popularity among the public after appearing in the movie "The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).” Located near the southernmost part of Banpodaegyo Bridge, Some Sevit is a cluster of three artificial islands that appear to float on the surface of Hangang River. The islands are known for their beautiful and colorful kaleidoscopic illumination at night.

Some Sevit is one of the most famous attractions for taking in night views of Seoul. Across from Some Sevit are Banpo Hangang Park Dalbit Square and an outdoor performance stage, allowing visitors to be entertained with music and performances while enjoying the summer evening. Try taking a picnic at Some Sevit with chicken and beer for an unforgettable summer night by Hangang River.

Some Sevit
  • ☞ Address: 683, Olympic-daero, Seocho-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 서초구 올림픽대로 683)
  • ☞ Directions: Walk for approx. 20 min from Express Bus Terminal Station (Seoul Subway Line 3, 7, 9), Exit 8-1
  • ☞ Operating hours: Varies by store; refer to the website
  • ☞ Website: www.somesevit.com (Korean, English)

A majestic water performance, Banpodaegyo Rainbow Fountain

Banpodaegyo Rainbow Fountain

In close proximity to Some Sevit, visitors can find the all-time favorite Banpodaegyo Rainbow Fountain! This bridge fountain was recorded in the Guinness World Records in 2008 for being the world’s longest bridge fountain. The fountain runs 570 meters on both sides of Banpo Bridge with a total of 380 nozzles installed. Unlike a typical water fountain that spouts water from the bottom to the top, Banpodaegyo Rainbow Fountain shoots water from the top of the bridge, down into the Hangang River below. Over 200 LED lights illuminate the water spray in an array of colors as it dances to the exciting music in the background for a revitalizing and vivacious presentation.

Banpodaegyo Rainbow Fountain
  • ☞ Address: 40, Sinbanpo-ro 11-gil, Seocho-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 서초구 신반포로11길 40)
  • ☞ Directions: Walk for approx. 15 min from Sinbanpo Station (Seoul Subway Line 9), Exit 1
  • ☞ Operating hours (Fountain show)
    - April-October: 12:00-12:15 / 19:30-19:45 / 20:00-20:20 / 20:30-20:50 / 21:00-21:20
    * Additional July-August show 21:30-21:50
    * No shows November-March
More Info
  • ☞ Seoul Cultural Tourism website: www.visitseoul.net (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Russian)
  • ☞ 1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese, Thai, Malay)

* This column was last updated in July 2019, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details before visiting.