Gyeonggi-do is a convenient getaway for Seoulites as well as travelers who are in Korea for a limited time. Although Gyeonggi-do is largely populated as Seoul, the region displays a much wider variety in ecological aspects as well as Korea’s beauty compared to its counterpart.
Of the many cities in Gyeonggi-do, visitors are especially recommended to visit Paju, Goyang and Gapyeong – the three most popular destinations among international and local travelers. These places will unveil so much more than just tourist sites, including famous drama film locations, romantic places for a stroll, and opportunities to experience cultural exchanges. In addition, amazing photo ops are guaranteed from the list of attractions included in this article.
110:00 AMHeyri Art Valley
212:30 PMPaju Premium Outlets
32:30 PMPaju Book City
44:30 PMHanhwa Aqua Planet Ilsan or Onemount
57:00 PMIlsan Lake Park
68:00 PMLafesta or Western Dom
Heyri Art Valley is just a one-hour bus ride away from Hapjeong Station in Seoul. The largest art community in the nation, the neighborhood’s name originates from the expression “heyri sounds,” used to describe songs sung by farmers at the field. Founded by painters, musicians, architects and other artists, this place is a haven for art of all styles. The streets are lined with uniquely designed buildings that are fun to look at and serve as perfect backdrop for photos.
Explore the neighborhood closely and you will discover some interesting and meaningful museums, including the Bohemian Sculpture Museum, Museum of Musical Instruments of the World, Money Museum, and Museum of Modern History of Korea. Afterwards, stop by one of the cafés dotted throughout the village for a cup of coffee or a light brunch.
Next, head to Paju Premium Outlet, where you can find over 220 fashion brands all in one place. Paju Premium Outlet is a three-story building with two wings opening in a circle around a garden. The charming features and designs make the building seem like more than just an outlet, but an amusement park. Visitors who are not interested in shopping can easily spend an hour here just walking around and enjoying the ambience.
Paju Book City is a cultural complex themed around books and the publishing process. Once a mere reed field, the area became populated with publishing companies in 1977. Visitors to Paju Book City can enjoy reading rooms, book cafés, and various cultural activities related to books and printing. Out of the many spaces, one spot you must not miss is the Forest of Wisdom.
Opened in 2014, the Forest of Wisdom is a public library with a collection of over 500,000 books. All of the library books were donated and words cannot describe the feeling upon looking up at the 8-meter high bookshelves packed with books; for a book-lover, it is heaven. Recently the number of tourists to this library has been unceasing after the library’s appearance in the drama, “What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim (2018).”
While the trip to Paju focused on things to see, your time spent in Goyang will be filled with participating in various activities, including a visit to Hanwha Aqua Planet Ilsan or Onemount. If your time allows, visiting both attractions is best but if you are on a tight schedule, pick the place that draws your interest more. Usually, Aqua Planet is preferred by families, while Onemount is frequented among friends and couples.
Aqua Planet is the largest aquarium in the Seoul metropolitan region. In addition to the aquarium, the attraction also has a zoo. The second floor features exotic marine creatures while the fifth floor has a feeding zoo where children can experience feeding animals like rabbits and sheep.
Onemount is an indoor theme park made up of the Snow Park and the Water Park. Divided into an indoor facility on the fourth floor and an outdoor facility on the seventh floor rooftop, Onemount’s Water Park is popular all summer long. On the other hand, the Snow Park is a favorite destination among tourists from warm regions to enjoy winter activities.
A lush forest and calm lake meet to form the picturesque landscape of Ilsan Lake Park. The park is an oasis in the middle of the city. The walking path along the lakeshore is exceptionally well-suited for peaceful, leisurely strolls. Visitors in summer will be delighted by the Musical Fountain, an evening fountain show with music and lights.
End the first day of your trip with dinner at Lafesta or Western Dom. Two of Ilsan’s representative landmarks, many young people enjoy visiting these two malls. Weekdays bustle with workers on break, while the weekends are packed with families and couples visiting for shopping and dining.
Made up of of six-story high buildings, Lafesta is divided into six wings with an avenue running in between. On the other hand, Western Dom is the first large dome-style shopping mall in Korea. The malls gained popularity by word of mouth for trendy fashion items and delicious restaurants.
110:00 AMJaraseom Island
21:00 PMGapyeong Rail Park
33:00 PMPetite France
46:00 PMThe Garden of Morning Calm
Travel around Gapyeong using the Gapyeong Circulating Tour Bus for ease! With just one ticket, you can get on and off the bus freely while spending your time in Gapyeong.
Despite being an island in the middle of the Bukhangang River, Jaraseom Island can be reached by car through a bridge. Enjoy the sights of the flowing river on the riverside road or spend a night at the Jaraseom auto campground. In addition to these leisure activities, many people visit Jaraseom Island to enjoy festivals taking place on the island each year. Every fall, the island fills with sound of music at the Jaraseom International Jazz Festival, while the winter brings fun activities for all at the Jaraseom Singsing Winter Festival.
During your time on Jaraseom Island, make sure to visit Gapyeong Ewhawon Nabi Story. The name Ewhawon means “A harmonious garden formed when two differences meet” and showcases a variety of flowers and plants even in the dead of winter. The garden has two greenhouses that display a wide variety of spring and summer flora as well as butterflies.
The arboretum is largely divided into a tropical botanical garden and a Korean botanical garden. The tropical garden features papaya trees along with other exotic plants that grow naturally in tropical and subtropical regions. As for the Korean botanical garden, the air permeates with scent of fresh citrons growing on the trees that boost energy into travelers who are exhausted from all the adventure.
Gapyeong Rail Park is a rail bike park along the old Gyeongchun tracks. After departing the platform, the rail bike takes its passengers across Gapyeongcheon Stream and Bukhangang River Bridges, passes through a tunnel of zelkova trees to arrive at Gyeonggang Station, the filming site of a classic Korean movie “The Letter (1997)” before returning to the departure point. The round-trip course is 8-kilometer long and the journey takes approximately one hour and 30 minutes. As you pedal along the old tracks, the sight of quiet rural villages tucked inside valleys and beautiful glistening river will unfold before your eyes.
Petite France is a unique one of a kind cultural theme park that is inspired from the book “Le Petit Prince (1943).” Its exotic look also features buildings and landscapes that resemble countryside in France, where adorable and colorful houses create a charming ambience together with the nearby hilltops and lakes.
The Garden of Morning Calm is the first destination people think of when visiting Gapyeong. The garden is divided into a number of smaller gardens, each with a different theme, including Hometown House Garden, Bonsai Garden, Moonlight Garden, Sky Path, Garden of Eden and more. Seasonal trees and flower beds adorn each garden, allowing visitors to enjoy the beauty of Korea’s four seasons throughout the year.
The promenades are lined with trees for comfortable walks in the shade. With lush forests and colorful flowers lining every walkway, a simple walk along the garden path will be enough to recharge your energy.
The garden is busy with seasonal festivals all year round, but the most significant and memorable event would be the Lighting Festival at The Garden of Morning Calm that takes place in winter. During this festival, the garden lights up at night, transforming into an unrealistic, almost fairy tale-like scene.