Dobongsan (Mountain) & Bukhansan National Park (Dobong-gu/Nowon-gu)
Within walking distance of Dobong Station on Seoul’s line 1, is more nature than you can see in a week.
The dozens of hiking trails start somewhat commercialized, but get much less so the further in you go.
Dobongsan is one of the most favorite mountains among Korean hikers in Seoul and is a good hike to try.
Standing at 739.5 meters tall (about 2,426 feet), it stands between Bukhansan and Sapaesan. The name,
Dobong, means "Peak of the Path", and the mountain was regarded as a spiritual place, explaining why
there are many temples, including Cheonchuksa, Wontongsa, and Mangwolsa. Overall, Dobongsan is a wonderful
climb - and it really helps to have a guide that knows where they're going. Without a guide, you'd
potentially be walking in circles, or worse, getting lost. It helps that there's plenty of paths to try -
so go if you have the time or want to take a chance!
Take the subway to Dobong station to reach the local city. If you're walking uphill you're probably going
in the direction of the mountain :) You can also take the subway to Dobongsan station to get a start closer
to the mountain.
The recently-opened (2009) Dream Forest was once the site of a theme park named 'Dream Park’. Relaxed
hiking trails can be found here, as well as a botanical garden and observatory.
The Design Seoul Gallery tells the story of the Dream Forest, from creation to future plans to make it the
fourth-largest park in Seoul.
Read the full review...
Seoul Forest 서울숲 (Seongdong-gu)
Seoul Forest is home to any number of family-friendly activities spread out over a large grassy / wooded
area. Although not extremely dense, there are more than enough trees to help one consider it a forest - even
though ‘wooded park’ may technically be a better definition (forests don't usually have skate parks / lanes
for rollerblading, for example!) A beautiful location, Seoul Forest is reasonably easy to get to via subway
/ bus. From the subway station (Ttukseom Station, line 2, exit 8) it's a bit of a walk. If you prefer a bus,
take exit 1 and look for buses 2413 or 2224.
Dongdaemun Design Plaza (Dongdaemun-gu)
The Dongdaemun Design Plaza is still in development and will someday take its rightful place as, well, a
design plaza – but for now, you’ll find a date-worthy park featuring a pretty merging of past artifacts with
futuristic lights. A great deal of effort went into making this park tourist-friendly, accessible to anyone,
and understandable to visitors speaking both Korean and English. Check out their
official website for plenty of information.
Find it at Dongdaemun History and Culture Park subway station (lines 2, 4, or 5).
Although the larger part of the Dongdaemun Design Plaza won't open until sometime in 2011, the nearby
Dongdaemun Culture and History Park is complete. Still hidden from the crowded Dongdaemun street, this newly
finished area impresses with its attention to detail.
Read the full review...
Dongdaemun Area & Dongdaemun Fashion Town (Dongdaemun-gu)
Underground shopping areas can be found around Dongdaemun station – these are neither the cheapest nor the
most expensive places to shop in Seoul, and often provide a more authentic shopping experience where haggling
still works. The 8 floor Dongdaemun market could keep you shopping for days, and many street vendors also line
the footpaths here. After the market and the vendors comes more ‘shopping mall’ type establishments, including
the huge Migliore Department Store (go in the evening at the weekends to catch live entertainment on the permanent
stage beside Migliore’s entrance).
Visiting Dongdaemun is simple enough - Dongdaemun Station is on line 1 or 4 of the Seoul subway system. Exit 8
puts you within a couple of hundred metres of the heart of things. On the left you’ll see the Dongdaemun gate (or
fortress) across the street, and the shopping complex to your right. If you’d prefer to come via lines 2 or 5, go
to the Dongdaemun Stadium station. The stadium is no more, but exits 12 and 13 will put you at the other end of
Children's Grand Park covers 560,000 square meters (over six million square feet, or 138 acres) and is dedicated
(obviously) to children. The area is full of life (and overactive kids), and it's a great place to meander through
and see some animals along the way.
Read the full review...
Konkuk University Area (Gwangjin-gu)
If you’re not interested in staying out all night, try the Konkuk University (line 2 or 7, exit 2) area. The
dozens of restaurants and bars here pick up earlier in the evening. This area doesn’t have the same ‘stay-out-all-night’
feel as others, but if you do party ‘til late here, getting a taxi is a lot easier.
Ttukseom Resort Park (Gwangjin-gu)
One of the Han River parks (Ttukseom Resort station on line 7). Water and plenty of relaxing to be had on
a sunny day.
We do not currently have any information for festivals in this area of Seoul.
If you can help us out with any reviews or details, please email
Subway and Buses
Various subway lines cover this entire area, and bus routes are extensive – please check our reviews of each
major attraction for travel information and directions. For an interactive Seoul subway map,
click here. Simply
click on your departure point and then your arrival point, and the map will tell you how to get there, how long
it will take, and how much it will cost.
For a guide to using the Seoul subway system,
click here. It is very simple
to use, and signage is in both English and Korean.
Taxis are also plentiful and usually fairly easy to flag down. The only time where you may run into problems
is late at night on the weekends. Seoul is a buzzing party city, and revelers tend to spill out of nightclubs
in droves, looking for a taxi home. Cabs can be harder to find at this time, may increase their prices, and may
refuse to pick up passengers who are too drunk. However, if you persevere, you should usually manage to find
one after a short while. At all other times, taxis are a great way to travel around the city and, although more
expensive than other areas in Korea, they are still much cheaper than taxis in western countries. Please be safe
and only flag down registered taxis displaying a license – as with any country in the world, we wouldn’t
recommend getting into an unmarked car.
Cheongnyangni Station is located in Dongdaemun-gu, and serves the eastern part of South Korea. The station is
located just east of downtown Seoul, on the Gyeongwon Line.
The Yeongdong Line and Taebaek Line to Gangneung, in Gangwon Province and the Jungang Line to Andong (in North
Gyeongsang Province) all originate from Cheongnyangni Station. Trains also run to Busan.
Seoul is a pedestrian friendly city (although the streets can be busy, they are still not as packed or as
stressful to navigate as many other Asian capital cities) and we recommend walking where possible to get a real
feel for the place. You will undoubtedly stumble upon little hidden treasures along the way that you may
otherwise have missed.
Seoul is definitely a foodie’s paradise, and restaurants are plentiful wherever you go – Koreans love to eat!
Traditional Korean restaurants and cafes are everywhere, as are coffee shops, western and Korean chain restaurants
and take-aways. However, there are some unique places that are well worth visiting, really standing apart from
the mass establishments in the city. Some are well-known and always on everyone’s recommendation lists – others
are hidden treasures yet to be discovered by the masses.
In Korea, the bar and club scene can often be a little different to the kind of thing westerners are used to. It
is popular to drink in ‘hofs’ or Korean style bars, and customers tend to sit in booths (some even have curtains
around them) which can cut you and your friends off from the rest of the people in the bar. There can be less of a
‘mingling’ atmosphere than you may be used to back home. However, Seoul is definitely a place that offers both this
kind of experience, and also western style bars and nightclubs – plus some fantastic places to socialise and meet
people. In this area of Seoul, the Konkuk University area probably has the largest concentration of such places.
It goes without saying that Seoul, especially central Seoul, is full of all the amenities you’d expect from a
capital city: banks, pharmacies, convenience stores, etc. Walk down any street and you’ll be sure to find basic
things that you may be in need of.
City Hall (Jung-gu)
Underground shopping areas can be found around City Hall station (lines 1 & 2) – these are neither the cheapest
nor the most expensive places to shop in Seoul, and often provide a more authentic shopping experience where
haggling still works.
We do not currently have any information on exercise options in this area of Seoul.
If you’d like to help us out with some details, then please email