Travel Highlights

      • Seoul’s Top 5 Fall Forests

        • 10/17/2023

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  • Colony of spiny spiderflower at Olympic Park (Credit: Danim 2nd gen. Baek Jong-sun)

    Autumn hits Korea with bursts of color everywhere, even in the middle of Seoul. Enjoy a picnic beneath a canopy of red and gold maple leaves, or take pictures among waving silver grass and pretty fall flowers. The perfect autumn outing is waiting for you at Seoul’s forests!

    Seoul Forest

    Metasequia trail (Credit: Naver blogger gomgomme)
    • Overview of Seoul Forest
    • Trees with golden hued foliage

    Seoul Forest is located in Seongsu-dong, one of Seoul’s hottest neighborhoods. Previously used for a range of activities, including a horse race track, a golf course, and later a water treatment plant, traces of the land’s past can be found throughout the park as statues of horses or water treatment structures. While being beautiful all year round, the forest is decidedly upgraded come fall, when the metasequoia and ginkgo trees change their verdant tones for golden ones. The walking paths are unpaved, making them easy on the joints. After enjoying a picnic at the park, head to a café, restaurant, or shop along the streets of Seongsu-dong.

    Seoul Forest
    Address: 273 Ttukseom-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 성동구 뚝섬로 273)
    Directions: Walk approx. 2 min from Seoul Forest Station (Seoul Subway Suin-Budang Line), Exit 4 / Walk approx. 10 min from Ttukseom Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), Exit 8
    Website: english.seoul.go.kr (English, Japanese, Chinese)

    Olympic Park

    Mongchonho Lake waterside stage
    • Olympic Park Flower Garden (Credit: Danim 2nd gen. Baek Jong-sun)
    • Olympic Park One Tree Hill (Credit: Korea Tourism Organization – Park Kyoung-sik)

    Olympic Park is a large green zone that was formed around the arenas for the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympic Games. The park is so large and filled with so many attractions, it would take at least three hours to walk around and see everything. To save on time, it’s recommended to visit the top 9 attractions. Among the nine, One Tree Hill, a green hill dotted with a single tree, and the Flower Garden covered in orange cosmos are especially pretty in fall. The park is also home to relics from Baekje, one of Korea’s ancient kingdoms. Long ago, the park site was the earthen fortress around Wiryeseong Palace in Baekje’s capital. The pathway along Seongnaecheon Stream as it flows from Mongchonho Lake next to the earthen fortress into the Hangang River is especially beautiful in fall, so much so that it is also referred to as the Fall Foliage Path.

    Olympic Park
    Address: 424 Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 송파구 올림픽로 424)
    Directions: Walk approx. 1 min from Hanseong Baekje Station (Seoul Subway Line 9), Exit 2 / Walk approx. 1 min from Olympic Park Station (Seoul Subway Line 5, 9), Exit 3 or 4
    Website: www.ksponco.or.kr

    Haneul Park

    Field of silver grass atop Haneul Park
    • Haneul Park observation deck
    • Seoul Silver Grass Festival (Credit: Korea Tourism Organization)

    Haneul Park was built atop a reclaimed garbage landfill on Nanjido Island, and is one of five parks in the area around World Cup Stadium in Mapo-gu. Located on a plateau at 98 meters above sea level, the various observation points located throughout the park offer outstanding views of the park as well as the surrounding cityscape. A large portion of the summit is taken over by a grand colony of silver grass. Appearing to dance endlessly in the wind, the fronds appear silver under the midday sun, but turn gold in the hours before evening falls. Haneul Park serves as the venue for the Seoul Silver Grass Festival every year, with lighting shows, cultural performances, photo zones, and more to enjoy a more splendid outing among the silver grass. This year’s festival takes place October 14-20.

    Haneul Park
    Address: 95 Haneulgongwon-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 마포구 하늘공원로 95)
    Directions: Walk approx. 30 min or take Maeul Bus No. 06 from World Cup Stadium Station (Seoul Subway Line 6), Exit 1.
    Website: english.seoul.go.kr (English, Japanese, Chinese)

    Dream Forest

    Autumn foliage around Chilpokji Pond
    • Changnyeongwigung Ritual House (Credit: Naver blogger sangho443)
    • Dream Forest Observation Deck (Credit: Korea Tourism Organization – Park Seonggeun)

    Dream Forest is Seoul’s third largest park, following World Cup Park and Olympic Park, and is surrounded by six districts. Park facilities include Chilpokji Pond, a large lotus pond with a waterfall; Story Garden, showcasing the beauty of a bamboo forest and traditional architecture through Changnyeongwigung Ritual House; as well as Dream Forest Art Center, complete with a performance hall, gallery, restaurant, and café. At a height of 49.7 meters, Dream Forest Observation Deck is high enough to see all of Dream Forest as well as Bukhansan, Dobongsan, and Suraksan Mountains surrounding the city. The forest trails are also connected to nearby Opaesan and Byeogosan Mountains for some light trekking. The walking paths are easy and are lined with oak and maple trees, making this forest a great place for families to enjoy the fall scenery.

    Dream Forest
    Address: 173 Wolgye-ro, Gangbuk-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 강북구 월계로 173)
    Directions: Take Maeul Bus Gangbuk 09 or 11 from Miasageori Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exit 1
    Website: parks.seoul.go.kr (Korean only)

    Songpa Naru Park

    Landscape view of Seokchonhosu Lake
    • Lotte World as seen from the walking path around Seokchonhosu Lake
    • Bird’s-eye-view of Seokchonhosu Lake

    Songpa Naru Park is more commonly referred to simply as Seokchonhosu Lake, the name of the man-made lake at the center of this park. The park is famous for the cherry blossom trees that surround the lake, blanketing the area in pink blossoms in spring and crimson foliage in fall. From the western lake, you can take great photos with Lotte World in the background, appearing to float on the water. The walking trail around the two lakes is 2.5 kilometers long, just right for a casual stroll. After your walk, take a break for a meal or cultural activity at Lotte World, Lotte World Tower SEOUL SKY, or any of the shopping centers or food streets in the area.

    Songpa Naru Park
    Address: Jamsil-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 송파구 잠실동)
    Directions: Walk approx. 2 min from Jamsil Station (Seoul Subway Line 2, 8), Exit 2
    Website: english.seoul.go.kr (English, Japanese, Chinese)

    More info

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    * This column was last updated in September 2023, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check for updates before visiting.

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