World Cup Stadium(월드컵공원) is a well-known location in Seoul due to its large variety of beautiful gardens. Most famously known for Haneul Park, there is a lot more to World Cup Stadium than just Haneul. The area itself is very large, and you can easily spend a whole afternoon or evening there if you want to enjoy all of the gardens different sights and attractions.
This week I had the chance to visit another of the five gardens located at World Cup Stadium – Pyeonghwa Park (평화공원). Together with Haneul Park, Nanji Stream Park, Nanji Han River Park, and Sunset Park, these five gardens take up a large area of land near the Han River close to Hapjeong (Hongdae area).
What makes this area unique compared to the other gardens and parks of Seoul is the combined area and activities of all of these gardens combined. Walking between the gardens is easily possible, and this means that you can really plan your own day without the hassle of transport. If you want to arrive in the afternoon, have a picnic next to the river, climb up Haneul to watch the sunset, and then stroll through the other parks, you can!
If you visit in fall you will get to see the stunning leaves of the trees changing colors!
All of the parks are different and offer many different sights depending on the seasons. However, autumn (fall!) and spring are definitely the nicest times to visit in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong though, winter and summer are both great too if you visit the right areas!
Today I want to talk about the first of these parks that you will encounter when you visit the area, Pyeonghwa Park. Pyeonghwa Park is located the closest to World Cup Stadium, which means that it is also the closest to the subway station. Most people visiting the other parks will find themselves walking through Pyeonghwa Park first to reach them.
Pyeonghwa Park is easily accessible from World Cup Stadium. World Cup Stadium is located on line 6 (the brown line) of the Seoul Subway, but it can also be reached by buses which service nearly every part of the central city. From the station or bus stop, you can simply cross the bridge that joins World Cup Stadium and the park together. Keep in mind that the further away you walk, the further you will have to return later. I’ve been caught off guard a few times and had very large walks back to the station!
Pyeonghwa Park (평화공원)
Pyeonghwa Park is right next to a fish and food market and that makes it perfect for a picnic or meal. The fresh food and beautiful scenes make it one of the best picnic spots in Seoul. Once you buy some delicious fresh food you can head to the lakeside or riverside and enjoy your time.
A lake and stream is located in Pyeonghwa and makes the center of the park. The park has many different amenities and everything from dog parks to multiple public restrooms and playgrounds can be found. It really is an ideal place to spend an afternoon or evening, whether as a date, with your family, or even by yourself. Speaking of, the park can be quite popular at times due to its close proximity to the stadium. It’s also a popular date spot and you will definitely run into many couples enjoying their time together.
We visited just as the fall leaves were beginning to pass. The colors were still stunning though! Pyeonghwa Park has a lot of streams and quiet spots that can be enjoyable and calming.
If you explore around the park you will find many different areas within the park. In the center of the park is the lake, and everything is centered around that. The lakeside provides a nice area to sit if you would prefer to not get dirty (as the ground is concrete). It is also located right next to a convenience store and public restrooms. Even better, it is also located right next to the fish and food market.
Progressing around the lake you will find all sorts of different sections of plants. Initially, you will come across the stream and many tall trees. These trees look stunning in fall and there is a LOT of variety in the colors you will find. If you are looking for some photo locations, this is definitely one of the best areas. From the north-west side of the lake, Haneul Park is accessible by another bridge.
Fall Colors at Pyeonghwa Park
The trees in fall make for some awesome photo opportunities!
My personal favorite location in the park is where the above pictures were taken. It has many trees which all become red, orange and yellow in the fall. Along with the stream passing through the area, it is really beautiful! To reach the area simply go to the point where the stream and carpark almost meet in the map above. From there, proceed into the park by following the path across the stream. Follow the path to the Seven Eleven and you can’t miss the areas with the trees. The combination of the different colored trees and the stream makes for the perfect photo!
Walking around the park you will eventually reach the south and south-eastern sides. These sides have most of the park’s attractions (other than the lake of course) and you will find many pampas grass (silver grass) plants here. This is another brilliant location for photos! From this side, you can also easily reach Nanji Han River Park via yet another bridge. The Children’s Adventure Playground is also located here and that makes the southern part of the park quite popular also.
Pyeonghwa Silver Grass
The Eulalia Grass which is also called Pampas Grass, which is apparently also called Silver Grass makes for even more awesome photos! Sorry if I confused the plant names… I’m not good with plants!
To reach the photo location above simply cross the stream at the location mentioned above (for the last set of photos) and follow the path that runs next to the stream to the south-west (towards the Han River). You can’t miss the silver grass as you have to walk past it if you intend to cross the highway into Nanji Han River Park. There isn’t much of the silver grass here as it is just planted in small groups, but it still allows for some nice photos. If you are interested in seeing more silver grass, however, definitely consider visiting Haneul Garden. After all, Haneul is famous for it!
Nanji Han River Park (난지한강공원)
Across the bridge on the southern side of Pyeonghwa Park is Nanji Han River Park. This park is similar to many of the other Han River parks. Many well-kept paths and trees are spread out along the banks of the river. My recommendation is to visit the Han River park at sunset as this is when you will get the most stunning views. The park is very long and is great for riding bikes or just for a relaxing stroll along the river.
Hired bikes are available throughout the parks, and also at the stadium. It isn’t the easiest process if you can’t speak Korean, but it is possible. Simply download the app (Android, IOS) and follow the steps that the bikes tell you. This means that you will be able to hire the green and white bikes that you see all over the city!
Stunning Han River Views
The view from Nanji Park is of the Han River. Needless to say, it is stunning as always.
Nanji Han River Park is great not only for dates and picnics but also for fitness. The park is well equipped with different facilities such as a baseball field and swimming pool, along with spaces for skateboarding, biking, and more. If you are interested in getting some exercise in then Nanji Park is perfect with its views and facilities.
Lastly, the park is also equipped with camping facilities and even barbecue locations. All in all, Nanji is a park that has a lot of facilities and services that make it a great location for many different kinds of people. It is also less busy than some of the other Han River parks such as Yeouido or Ttukseom, and this means that it can be a bit easier to find a peaceful location next to the river.
When we visited there was a new bridge under construction. It may not have been the most appealing view, but I was rather surprised with the results!
Nanji Han River Park is another great place to have a picnic or enjoy some chicken and beer. There are concrete stairs near the river that allow you to sit and relax and not have to worry about getting dirty. The area is also quite calm (at least it is towards the end of fall when it is a bit colder) and provides an ideal spot to unwind.
Haneul Park (하늘공원)
Haneul Garden is located atop a big hill (or small mountain?) that sits right next to the river. It can be reached by crossing from World Cup Stadium into Pyeonghwa Park, and then crossing the bridge on the north-east of Pyeonghwa Park into Hanuel. You can see a staircase ascending the hill. Unfortunately, it is usually only open to people coming down the hill. I am not sure if this is always the case, but both times I have visited the staircase has been closed for anyone wanting to go up (and is only open for people coming down).
Haneul Park is famous for its silver grass. Built on an old landfill, Haneul and Seoullo 7017 are great examples of unconventional recycling!
Rather, people wanting to ascend the hill must follow a road to the top. The road follows the edge of the hill. As such, it can take a while to get to the top, usually around 30 minutes. Following the road is an easy walk, however, and it can be done as a family with children also. Usually, Haneul is relatively busy. If you are planning ahead is often worth it as visiting on a non-weekend or non-holiday day will mean the park is much less crowded. There is also a tram available at certain times which can be used as transport to the top of the hill.
The top on Haneul you will find some amazing views! The park was once a landfill but has since been converted into a stunning garden. A garden with some fantastic views of the river! The garden is famous for the silver grass, and every October there is a festival to celebrate the grass blooming. If you can choose when to visit, aim for October or the beginning of November.
Haneul Park is similar to Nanji Han River Park in that it is best enjoyed at sunset. However, it is up to you to decide where you would prefer to watch the sunset!
Most people focus on the silver grass when visiting Haneul, however, the views over the city are also pretty good! There are almost 360-degree views of the city from Haneul. While not all of the views are fantastic, a few of them are definitely worth witnessing! To the south, the Han River can be spotted flowing through the city. To the other directions, you can see into the city and it is a spectacular view at dawn, dusk, or anytime in between!
A view to the west of Haneul.
World Cup Stadium – A Park You Should Visit!
It may not be the most popular park in Seoul (minus Haneul Park which is well known by all). But the World Cup Stadium Parks are some of the most accessible, largest, and most beautiful parks in the city. Between the five different parks there are always different events being held. Further, there are often festivals celebrating the different seasons and the flora that they bring.
If you live in Seoul then there is really no excuse not to visit the parks! If you are just visiting then it’s at least worth considering. Especially if you are interested in nature and seeing some of the best parks that the city has to offer.