Now that the weather is nice and sunny, you're probably planning a picnic. But before you rent a picnic or make food, you need to find the perfect spot. We're here to help - here are 10 popular picnic spots in South Korea, both inside and outside Seoul.
Picnic Spots Inside Seoul
Let's begin in the capital city. Many of these picnic sites are along the Han River (or Hangang), and they're often busy especially in the spring and summer. Plan your picnic during the week or earlier in the day to avoid the crowds.
Yeouido Hangang Park (Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul)
Image Credits: JTBC via Korean Dramaland
There's a lot to do at Yeouido Hangang Park, but first let's appreciate the stunning views! Overlooking Han River, you can also see Seoul's skyline and pedestrians or cyclists on the trails. There are also many cherry trees that blossom in the spring, making it especially beautiful during that season.
Image Credits: Leigh Sellner via Instagram
Yeouido Hangang Park has plenty of green spaces for picnics of two, four, or more. There are trails to explore, bikes for rent, convenience stores, and playgrounds. The park also hosts festivals and events such as the Bamdokkaebi Night Market in the summer. Whether you're by yourself, an oppa/noona, or your family, you can have the picnic you want in Yeouido Hangang Park.
Seoul Forest (Seongdong-gu, Seoul)
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One of, if not the most, gorgeous spots in Seoul. With the diverse plant species on this island, you can experience beautiful views all year-round: pink cherry blossoms, lush green grass and trees, gold gingko leaves. Perfect if you and/or your date are a photographer.
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Besides beautiful views and picnic spots, Seoul Forest offers many different activities: several smaller parks, insect and butterfly gardens, an eco forest with a deer corral, and various cafes and restaurants. Best of all, it's open year-round and has free admission. Add Seoul Forest to your bucket list today!
Seonyudo Park (Seonyudo Island, Yeongdeungpo-gu)
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A unique spot, Seonyudo Park was once a water treatment plant, as you might guess from the pipes and cement structures. Through the Hangang Renaissance Project, the city turned the site into its first ecological park, transforming what was a dead space into a park everyone can enjoy.
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Seonyudo Park has several cultural spaces, gardens, a cafe, and many spots for photoshoots. Its ambience and seamless integration of nature into the old structures also means that various movies and k-dramas have been shot here. (Boys Over Flowers, anyone?) The park remains an underrated destination, so if you'd like to enjoy a picnic in a more secluded area, come to Seonyudo Park.
Namsan Park (Jung-gu, Seoul)
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Leaving a lock at N Seoul Tower is one of the most romantic things to do in Seoul. But before you visit this iconic landmark, why not have a picnic in the park below? Namsan Park is Seoul's biggest park and includes Namsan Peak, N Seoul Tower, Namsan Cable Car, and the Namsan Hanok Village.
Image Credits: SR via Instagram
Namsan Park features many trails on the ground as well as on Namsan Peak. Depending on your comfort level, you can take a leisurely stroll or do a more strenuous hike. Besides visiting the attractions we just mentioned, you can also take in the (free) Ahn Junggeun Memorial Museum to learn more about the Korean independence movement. No matter where you go, you can count on amazing views for your spring picnic in Namsan Park.
Olympic Park (Songpa-gu, Seoul)
Image Credits: Alex Barlow via Flickr
Our last stop in Seoul: Olympic Park. Created for the 1988 Summer Olympics, it's now a popular spot for picnicking, walking, biking, and playing sports. The Olympic Sculpture Park is great for couple shoots or cool urban photographs.
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Olympic Park is also close to various museums and historical landmarks, including Mongchontoseong Fortress and Mongchon Museum of History. If you need to walk off your delicious picnic lunch, pay these places a visit. This is the perfect place if you're into sports, art, history, or all three!
Picnic Spots Outside of Seoul
Looking to escape Seoul city? Then jot down these spots for your picnic. Ranging from municipal parks to more remote locations, you can bet on a scenic picnic at all five of these locations.
Nami Island (Chuncheon, Gangwon Province)
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K-drama lovers, this one's for you! Nami Island is famous with locals and tourists alike since its appearance in Winter Sonata (2002). Named after General Nami from the Joseon Dynasty, the island was once a barren man-made dam before being turned into a resort and later an amusement park.
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Nami Island has everything you need for a picnic: shade, grassy areas, flowery gardens, benches, and gorgeous views of the Han River. There's always something going on as well, whether it's cultural events or artsy festivals. It's a place you can visit in any season, because it's beautiful all year-long.
Ilsan Lake Park (Goyang, Gyeonggi Province)
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We've had a man-made island. Now for a man-made lake. Ilsan Lake Park features both a natural lake in the north and an artificial lake in the south. Separating both are Dalmaji Island, on which there are over 100 types of flowers, 200,000 trees, and many red-crowned cranes.
Image Credits: travel oriented via Flickr
With such beautiful nature, it's no surprise that Ilsan Lake Park is a beloved picnic spot. Here, you'll also find a music fountain, a bike path, restaurants, playgrounds, and several other cultural and nature facilities. If you time your visit to April-May, you'll catch the Goyang International Flower Festival.
Seoraksan National Park (Sokcho, Gangwon Province)
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One of the most popular national parks in Korea, Seoraksan National Park is also a popular summer destination for hikers and picnickers. A tentative UNESCO World Heritage Site and a UNESCO biosphere reserve, this park is home to jaw-dropping mountains, fountains, old temples, and many native plants and animals.
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You don't have to be an experienced hiker to enjoy the wonders of Seoraksan National Park. There are trails of varying difficulties and a cable car if you want the views without breaking a sweat. You can enjoy a picnic at the top of the highest peak or at one of the designated rest area. There's no wrong time to visit, although the scenery is especially spectacular in the late fall (October-November).
Imjingak Pyeonghwa Nuri Park/Peace Park (Paju, Gyeonggi Province)
Image Credits: Joe Coyle via Flickr
The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) might be an odd spot for a picnic. But picnic-goers and tourists alike come to Imjingak Pyeonghwa Nuri Park/Peace Park in droves. There's the historical aspect, with the monuments, museum, Freedom Bridge, and statues dedicated to the Korean War. But there is also the sightseeing aspect, of which picnicking is only a small part.
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If you're looking for a fun day near the North Korean border, there's an amusement park, restaurants, cable cars, and souvenir shops. For couples and families looking for a peaceful spot, there are grassy hills with lovely views, including of the colorful pinwheels that are synonymous with the Peace Park.
Juknokwon Bamboo Forest (Damyang, Jeollanam Province)
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To finish our list, we have the amazing Juknokwon Bamboo Forest. It might not be your first choice for a picnic, but the cool shade provided by the gazebos and tall trees, as well as the picnic benches in the open areas, make this a lovely place for a relaxing outdoor lunch or dinner.
Image Credits: cezzie901 via Flickr
Work up your appetite by strolling through the various trails, including the romantic Lover's Lane that leads to Jukrim Waterfall. And don't skip the bamboo leaf tea or ice cream! Make Juknokwon Bamboo Park your picnicking destination if you're looking for something a little out of the ordinary.
Experience a Korean Picnic at Home with Seoulbox!
Each of these locations is spectacular. But you don't have to be in Korea to experience a Korean picnic. With our May Seoulbox ("Han River Picnic), you can get authentic Korean snacks and goodies delivered to your doorstep, in three easy steps!
Image Credits: Image via Seoulbox
1. Visit our website.
3. Enter your address and pay. Within a few weeks, you'll get to enjoy your very own Korean picnic!
If you're ever in Korea, be sure to check out one or more of these sites. Don't feel embarrassed or pressured if you're eating solo. Picnicking is something to be enjoyed by everyone, single or taken!
Have you visited any of the parks we mentioned? What is a popular picnic spot in your home country? Sound off in the comments below!