|Best Places for Fall Foliage Walks in Seoul|
Every fall, people flock to the nation's most popular destinations to enjoy the fiery colors of autumn. However, you don't have to travel far to catch a spectacular autumn scenery. The following places in Seoul are known as the best places in the city to see the vivid fall foliage. Not only do they offer a peaceful walks against colorful foliage backdrops, but they also offer the advantage of being located near popular tourist sites.
A Romantic Stroll along Deoksugung Palace's Stonewall Road
Also known as ‘Jeongdong-ril road’, Deoksugung Doldam-gil (Deoksugung Stone-Wall Road), the road along Deoksugung Palace’s stonewall is a favorite dating spot for couples. There, you’ll see them chatting as they walk down the beautiful road hand in hand. In fall, the yellow gingko leaves add to the romantic ambience. This elegant road is about 900 meters long and stretches from Deoksugung Palace across from City Hall to Kyunghyang Shinmun building. Along the road are numerous cultural facilities that
are a mixture of traditional and modern structures that will make your trip even more worthwhile. The road is pedestrian-friendly and features hundred-year-old buildings and beautifully lined trees along the road, attracting visitors all the time. It takes about 20 minutes to reach the end of the path so those who work nearby love taking lunch hour walks here.
A Cultural Walk along the Streets of Samcheong-dong
Starting from the stonewall road along Gyeongbokgung Palace, Samcheongdong-gil Road is particularly special as you are walking alongside a palace. You can also go inside the gates of the palace and visit the Folk Museum before taking the road. In fall, the gingko trees turn the area a striking yellow, and the road is always packed with people who flock there to see the
changing leaves. Also called Gallery Road, both sides are dotted with small galleries, restaurants and shops selling paintings and accessories. While taking a leisurely walk, you can also stop in these shops and look around.
Namsan Mountain: Experience Seoul from a Different Perspective
The routes starting from Namdaemun Market to Namsan Library and the one from Namsan Library down to Grand Hyatt Seoul always offer a lovely walking experience, especially with the lush and dense forests on each side. As you walk along the road, you can look down at the houses on the hill below and see Seoul from another angle.
Path lined with Redwood Trees at the Haneul(Sky) Park
At the Haneul Park inside the World Cup Park, there is a beautiful path lined with Metasequoia, a specific type of redwood tree. The World Cup Park is made up of five parks: Haneul(Sky) Park, Pyeonghwa(Peace) Park, Noeul(Sunset) Park, Nanjicheon Park, and Nanji Hangang Park. Haneul Park is located in the highest place within the World Cup Park which explains the name Haneul (means sky in Korean). To get to the top you must first climb 290 steps. At the top of the park you can get some stunning and breathtaking views of Seoul. The redwood tree path at the Haneul Park is about 900 meters long. This popular path is lined with tall redwood trees and the path is in harmony with the thick groves and trees of the park. To get there, take the road to the left of the Haneul stairway that leads to the park. Go ahead and then follow the road to the right until you reach the information center. Pass the information center and you will get to the unpaved redwood lined path. In autumn every year, the Seoul Eulalia Festival is held at the top of the park to highlight the magnificent field of reeds. A walk among the reeds that dance to the wind like silver waves will make you feel the autumn mood to the fullest. The Haneul Park does not offer any convenience facilities, so bring some drinks and snacks along with you when you go there.
600-year old Bugaksan Mountain Fortress Wall
The Fortress Wall of Bugaksan Mountain is a popular tourist destination in Seoul and one of the best trails in the city. The construction of the fortress wall dates back to the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) and was built in order to protect the palaces. The trail is surrounded by beautiful natural landscape and is visited by people of every age and gender. In 1968, the hiking trail was closed to civilians and was reopened in 2006. Since then, it has become a major tourist site with more than 200,000 visitors a year. The gates and walls have all been restored over the centuries. When visiting the fortress wall, make sure to bring proper identification (resident registration card, driver's license, or passport) as this area is under military control. Note that photos can only be taken where it is officially permitted.
From Seoul Forest to Gwangjingyo Bridge, overlooking the Hangang River
The Cloud Bridge from Seoul Forest in Seongdong-gu district takes you to the Hangang Riverside area. Walk along the road on the upper side of the river, and you will reach Ttukseom Hangang Park under Cheongdamdaegyo Bridge. The Ttukseom Hangang Park is a very large riverside park spanning 11.5 kilometers in length. The park features various facilities including a music fountain and swimming pools. The music fountain behind the park plaza spouts jets of water 15 meters high, and the water dances along with the music. When you reach Gwangjingyo Bridge, make sure to go up the bridge. Along both sides of the street you will find wide sidewalks. Midway on the bridge, there are observatories or gardens where you can take a rest while taking in the view of the Hangang River. Located under the bridge is a café called Riverview 8th Avenue. The name derives from the fact that the café is located on the eighth pillar of the bridge. The cafe has many Japanese tourists as it is a famous filming location of TV drama Iris.
A Leisurely Walk in Autumn through Nakseongdae's Garosugil Road
As you get off at Nakseongdae station on subway line 2, you will find a one kilometer-long road to Nakseongdae (Shrine of Goryeo General Kang Kam-chan). Named Garosugil, the road is covered with yellow ginkgo leaves and crimson maple leaves. The Nakseongdae Park is big but it is relatively lesser known so you can enjoy a leisurely walk at this place. Inside, there is a temple called Anguksa with small flower trees around the crossroad, giving the place a cozy and quaint atmosphere. The road on the left side of the Seoul Science Park nearby leads to the Seoul National University. Nestled in Gwanaksan Mountain, Seoul National University is renowned for its beautiful natural environment. In particular, the road between the dormitory and the art museum is lined with a wide variety of trees and flowers, offering a nice ambiance for a walk. The MOA (Museum of Art) in the university, which was designed by world-renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, is also a must-visit. Also, the road from the main gate of Seoul National University to the Seoul National University subway station is also great for a walk as one can view the beautiful scenery of Gwanaksan Mountain.
Embracing Nature at Seoul Grand Park's Forest Bath
The Forest Bath area of the Seoul Grand Park is a narrow path that goes up and down the park. Forest bathing is the act of taking a leisurely walk in the woods while breathing the aromatic scent of trees and nature. The trail’s entrance points are found in two areas: one behind the Forest Exhibition Center to the right side of the main entrance of the Seoul Zoo and the other behind the Australian Pavilion. Wherever you start, the trail goes back to the main entrance of the zoo. Going around the zoo, one would notice that the path is divided into 5 sections by type of tree, which includes groves of acacia, chestnuts, and pine trees. Visitors will enjoy 11 different themes like ‘forest with nature,’ ‘forest for meditation,’ and ‘forest for rest’. It takes as short as 50 minutes to walk in the forest bathing area or as long as 2.5 hours.
Last updated in October, 2012