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Public Parks: Family Getaways in the Heart of Seoul
No matter how enjoyable city life can be, we all need a vacation from time to time. Luckily, you don’t have to leave the city to have a memorable trip with your family. There are hundreds of city parks all over Seoul that offer a great sanctuary with easy accessibility and convenient facilities like swimming pools, bike paths, and even campgrounds. Read on to learn more about five major parks in the Seoul Metropolitan Area perfect for a little rest and relaxation.
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World Cup Park
A first time visitor to the World Cup Park, built in commemoration of the 2002 FIFA World Cup and the new millennium, would never guess that it was built on the site of a former landfill. It is divided into five different smaller parks, each offering a distinct atmosphere. The largest of the five parks is Pyeonghwa Park, located near the south gate of the World Cup Stadium and home to the UNICEF Plaza, Nanji Pond, Garden of Peace, Forest of Hope, and a gallery.
Park Features
Pyeonghwa Park
(평화공원)
The main section of the World Cup Park, Pyeonghwa features UNICEF Plaza, Nanji Pond, Garden of Peace, and a picnic area. It offers convenient facilities like a nursing room, restrooms, and a children’s restroom.
Nanjicheon Park
(난지천공원)
A quiet park located along a restored stream with a children playground and a multipurpose sports stadium. Dawn Redwoods and pine trees dot the area.
Haneul Park
(하늘공원)
Given that the Haneul Park sits at the highest altitude of all five sections, it’s easy to understand how this grassland park got its name (‘haneul’ meaning ‘sky’). Once the second site of the Nanji Landfill, an annual reed festival is held in autumn.
Noeul Park
(노을공원)
The park is dedicated to arts and culture. Visitors can spend a leisurely time at the expansive garden, view sculptures, or watch the setting sun from the observatory deck.
Nanji Hangang Park
(난지한강공원)
Located where Nanjido graces the Hangang River, the Nanji Hangang Park has a campsite, archery range, and soccer field, perfect for outdoor activities.
More info
☞ Directions:
Subway Line 6, World Cup Stadium, Exit 1; Walk 220m to the south
☞ Admission: Free admission
☞ Tel: 02) 300-5500~2 (Korean)
☞ World Cup Park
☞ Official site of World Cup Park (Korean, English, Chinese, Japanese)
☞ Official site of Nanji Camp (Korean)
 
Camping : Nanji Camp (Open year-round)
Nanji Campground is located inside Nanji Hangang Park near the World Cup Stadium and is connected to Noeul Park and Haneul Park by a bridge over Jayu-ro Road. Divided into picnic and camping areas, Nanji is a great place to spend the day or spend a night. The picnic area can be used in the daytime for barbequing, and costs 3,750 won per person, no reservation required. Campers can bring their own tents or use the ones provided; however, reservations must be made at least one month in advance, especially during high season weekends from May to October. There is a grassy baseball field and a wading pool.
 
Nanji Campground
☞ World Cup Stadium → Nanji camp:
About 2 kilometers (shuttle bus available)
☞ Reservation and information: 02-304-0061~3
(Hours: 10:00-19:00, lunch time: 13:00-13:30 / (Korean))
☞ Hours: From 11am to 10am the next day
* Visitors are required to wear a wristband (bracelet) until leaving the camp.
※ Free rental of tables on a first-come, first-served basis (tables available in limited numbers)
☞ Admission / Tent rental
Picnic area - 3,750 won per person
(2,000 won for ages 5-7, free for infants age 4 or younger)
Overnight camping
– Self-tent area 15,000 won for up to four people
– Family tent area 28,000-112,500 won (depending on number of people)
☞ Rental fees: grill 6,000 - 25,000 won, other items 1,000 - 20,000 won
※ Charcoal, gridiron, scissors, tongs available for purchase at the store
☞ Family facilities and services:
1) Stroller rental (free): Nanji Info Center in Hangang Park (09:00-18:00)
2) Women-only rest area: Nursing and make-up room (next to campsite)
☞ Nanji Hangang Ecological Park: 02) 306-0276 (Korean)
Seonyudo Park
Long, long ago, Seonyudo Island (선유도) was a favorite place for scholars to paint or write poetry. In more recent times, it was a water purification plant before being transformed into Seonyudo Park (선유도공원) in 2002. Park designers used features from the purification facility to create an environmentally friendly park. For example, the clean water reservoir was turned into a habitat for water plants, lotus, and salmon. With a water plant garden and forest children’s playground, Seonyudo Park is the most unique park in the city. It also offers a great view of the Hangang River and its surrounding landscape. Don’t miss the arched Seonyugyo Bridge (선유교) for a beautiful view of the World Cup Fountain and World Cup Stadium. The night view is particularly striking with its spectacular lighting displays.
More info
☞ Directions:
Seonyudo Station (Subway Line 9) Exit 2; Walk 800 meters to the park
☞ Admission: Free admission
☞ Family facilities and services:
1) Free rental of strollers and wheelchairs (Visitor Information Center (09:00-18:00))
2) Outdoor restroom for women only (with nursing room)
☞ Tel: 02) 3780-0590~2 (Korean)  
☞ Seonyudo Park
☞ Official site of Seonyudo Park (Korean)
Olympic Park
With an expansive lawn and various sports facilities, the Olympic Park (올림픽공원) has long been a major venue for concerts, shows, and sporting events and a favorite rest area for the general public. The park, which is adorned with artwork and sculptures, is home to the Olympic Gymnasium, the Olympic Hall, the 88 Garden, Waterside Stage, and the SOMA Museum of Art where performances and exhibits are held. The park is a great destination for family outings as it offers children’s playgrounds, a music fountain, a plant observation area, and nice walking paths. There are many convenience facilities including coffee shops, bakeries, sportswear stores, fast food restaurants, and convenience stores.
More info
☞ Directions: Mongchontoseong Station (Subway Line 8), Exit 1 or Olympic Park Station (Subway Line 5),exit 3
☞ Admission: Free admission
☞ Family facilities and services:
1) Visitor Information Center (09:00-18:00): free rental of baby strollers and wheelchairs, nursing room and diaper changing room,
2) Lost Children Center ☎ 02)410-1600 (Korean)
☞ Tel: 02) 410-1600, 1111 (Korean, English, Chinese, Japanese)
☞ Olympic Park
☞ Official site of Olympic Park (Korean, English)
 
Kid’s café
Kid’s café is a multi-cultural space designed for play, hands-on experiences, and education for children. It has entertainment equipment, a birthday party room, a nursing room, and a restaurant.
 
 
☞ Location: Mongchontoseong Station (Subway Line 8) Exit 1, in the direction of South Gate 4
☞ Hours: 10:00-21:00
☞ Admission: 5,000 won for ages 13-64 / 10,000 won for ages 1-12
(free admission for infants less than a year old and 50% discount for seniors 65 years or older; documentation is required)
(fee covers admission for up to 2 hours; extra fee for each additional 30 minutes)
☞ Tel: 02) 2203-2761 (Korean)
☞ Official site (Korean)
 
SOMA Museum of Art
SOMA is a sculpture park with 204 sculptures and 8 formative artworks. Along with the sculpture park that is organized by theme, it has various types of galleries and a studio for art education.
 
☞ Location: Mongchontoseong Station (Subway Line 8) Exit 1, walk 200 meters inside the Peace Gate
☞ Hours: 10:00-18:00 (closed on Mondays)
☞ Admission:
3,000 won for adults (ages 19-64)
2,000 won for youths (ages 13-18)
1,000 won for children (ages 4-12)
☞ Family facilities and services:
1) Nursing room 2) diaper changing stand (Second floor of the museum)
☞ Tel: 02) 425-1077 (Korean)
☞ SOMA Museum of Art
☞ Official site of SOMA Museum of Art (Korean)
Seoul Forest
The Seoul Forest (서울숲) is the product of an ambitious project of the city of Seoul to create a park that is equivalent to Hyde Park in London and Central Park in New York. Opened in 2005, the park has five themed areas: Cultural Art Park, Ecological Forest, Nature Experience Field, Wetlands Ecological Field, and Han River Waterside Park. Major facilities include an outdoor stage, Seoul Forest Square, an ecological playground, bicycle roads and walking paths, event venues, and insect arboretum. Various ecological experience programs are organized regularly, while sports facilities for badminton, basketball, and skating are open for free for families to enjoy. Moose, deer, and other wild animals can be observed up close.
More Info
☞ Getting there: Subway line 2, Ttukseom station, exit 8; walk 150 meters in the direction of Ttukseom intersection; at the intersection, turn left and walk 500 meters.
☞ Admission: Free admission
☞ Family facilities and services:
* Visitor Center: 10:00-18:00  (10:00-17:00 during the winter season)
1) Lost children and first aid center
2) Free rental of baby strollers and wheelchairs
3) Nursing room
* Bicycle rental: 24 hours a day (rental fee charged)
Single-seat: 3,000 won per hour
Double-seat: 6,000 won per hour
Bicycle for children: 3,000 won per hour
☞ Tel: 02) 460-2905 (Korean)
☞ Official site of Seoul Forest (Korean, English, Chinese, Japanese)
☞ Seoul Forest  
Seoul Grand Park
Home to the Seoul Zoo, which has almost 3000 animals, the Seoul Grand Park (서울대공원) is a great destination for families. The park boasts a botanical garden and a natural campground and marathon and hiking trails in a nearby forest. Next to the park are the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon National Science Museum, and the Gwacheon Horse Racetrack. Inside the zoo, there is a separate children’s zoo where children learn to take care of animals and nature. Here, they can feed monkeys, rabbis, sheep, Guinea pigs, and black goats. From Seoul Grand Park Station, walk to the Visitor Information Center to take the cable cars or ride the train to the zoo. The roads inside the park are well paved, but note that the forest paths can be bumpy for strollers. Visitors can find a number of rest areas with convenience stores and restrooms. There are plenty of spots throughout the park to take a rest and/or enjoy a picnic lunch.
More Info
☞ Directions: Seoul Grand Park Station (Subway Line 4), Exit 3; walk 500 meters to the Visitor Information Center
☞ Hours of Seoul Zoo: 09:00-19:00 (March-October) and 09:00-18:00 (November-February) / Open year-round
(*Hours of Children’s Zoo: 09:00-18:00)
☞ Admission to the zoo:
3,000 won for adults (ages 18-64)
2,000 won for youths (ages 13-18)
1,000 won for children (ages 6-12)
Free admission for infants (less than 6 months of age) and seniors
☞ Family facilities and services:
1) Nursing room (near the front gate of the zoo and near the dolphin show)
2) Women-only parking
3) Rental of strollers and wheelchairs (next to the pharmacy, 50 meters from the front gate)
4) Wooden platforms and benches
☞ Seoul Grand Park: 02) 500-7338 (Korean)
☞ Seoul Zoo:02) 500-7335 (Korean)
☞ Seoul Grand Park
☞ Official site of Seoul Grand Park
top top top V top World Cup Park Seoul Forest Olympic Park Seonyudo Park Seoul Grand Park
Date 05/25/2011



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