16 2 1140x746 - Seoul's Grand Plan. Seoullo 7017
Korea,  Outdoors,  Seoul,  spring

Seoul’s Grand Plan. Seoullo 7017

One of Seoul’s newest, biggest, and most beautiful attractions is Seoullo 7017. Originally a highway, the structure was found to be dangerous and engineers deemed it unsafe for use after 2015. The plan was to destroy the highway, however, when the new mayor was elected, the plan was changed to instead ‘renovate’ the highway. The number 7017 represents the year on which the highway was created (1970), and the year it was turned into Seoullo 7017, 2017.

You can enter the structure from many different locations, with different staircases and ramps leading up from the streets below. Once on the actual structure, there is an amazing view to behold. The bridge itself is covered in different types of plants and flowers, as well as many different facilities and stores. Cafes (built to fit into the structure) line the sides, and everything from restaurants to trampolines can be seen as you walk along the highway. Off the sides of the path, the city of Seoul sprawls onwards in every direction.

I can safely safely say that creating Seoullo 7017 was a far better idea than scrapping the whole highway. Instead of being wasteful, they have managed to turn something that was deemed worthless into an amazing place for the citizens of Seoul (and the many tourists!). The only regret I have at the moment is that I didn’t go at nighttime. However, that will be soon!

Unfortunately, there have also been suicides off the bridge and now guards are stationed regularly at many points. At some points, the fences have also been raised higher.

 

 

In many of these images, you can see the green path that Seoullo cuts through the otherwise bland cityscape of buildings. The plants and nature, although in a totally artificial environment, add so much life and variation to the area around Seoul Station.

Every twenty or so metres the theme seems to change. In some sections, you will find bamboo, and bamboo plants line the side of the path. In other areas further along you will find other themes like flowers, or trees. The day I visited was a really great day to go as it wasn’t too busy, but it was lively enough that it felt like a place that has been welcomed and is appreciated by locals.

 

 

There are a lot of sitting areas surrounding the plants meaning that it is a great place to stroll along and enjoy in your free time. I love the circular design of the bridge, and the plants really fit in… It is a great, and truly unique, blend of nature and urban environments. As well as the many green plants, there are also lots of different (big pots?) containing flowers of all sorts. From roses to lavender, everything is here! While sitting down and enjoying the view of the city, I noticed the bees crawling all over the flowers. Bees do exist in Seoul!

 

 

While the bridge provides some amazing views itself, it also provides amazing views of the city! You get two very different and distinct views of the city from the opposite sides of the bridge. On one side you can see the trains and mostly undeveloped spaces, whereas on the other side you can see a multitude of bus stops and a mess of traffic.

Along the bridge there are also many buildings that house things like cafes that I mentioned earlier. However, another cool aspect of these little ‘towers’ is that you can walk up the staircases and get to the top… Which is usually covered in flowers and provides yet another great view!

 

 

Seoullo is something that makes Seoul unique from every other city out there. While some cities have similar sights, Seoullo is something that can only be found in Seoul., something that I recommend everyone visits at least once!

14 Comments

  • Wendy

    I was already here in Seoul when that bridge was still being used by buses and cars. I was surprised when the rerouting was done when it was closed and we waited for years before it was finally opened to the Seoullo 7017 it now is. Urban planners here are very good at transforming “useless” facilities into useful aesthetics. This and the Oil Tank Culture Park beside the World Cup Stadium are 2 great examples.

    • Ethan Brooke

      Totally! I think people are finally beginning to see the need for more ‘green’/natural places within these big urban metropolises. I am hoping to see more things like this pop up over time and I am sure they will help make Seoul a more desirable place to live. We need to begin recycling and reusing, and things like this are the perfect example!

  • Karla

    I’ve been there exactly a year ago. I tried the Pebble Foot Pool, and the peeping holes. The cafes are not yet opened that time because it was newly built. I honestly feel bad for the locals who were affected by the construction of the bridge. It lengthened their travel time from one side of the railway to the other side. The government didn’t fulfill their promise that there will be ramps. The sales of the local shoemakers were decreased by at least 60 percent. There were groups opposing the Seoullo 7017 for the past months. The local businesses are afraid that they will be evicted just like what happened to the vendors in Cheonggyecheon.

    • Ethan Brooke

      Oh, I never knew about the problems surrounding it actually. If that is the case I also feel bad for the people who were adversely affected by the creation of it… Especially if the government made promises about it. I had seen small protests around there before (related to Seoullo), but I had no idea what they were about… thanks for informing me.

  • Hallie

    I think I need to go back now that it’s had time to grow in a bit. I went after it just opened and the places for flowers and plants were just a bit too bare though the installation at the Malli-dong end was amazing. I’m surprised you don’t have that pictured. That was my favorite part hahah

    • Ethan Brooke

      It seems to change seasonally too, so it is definitely worth going back to! Malli-dong end… is that the end where it splits, or the other end?

  • Tasha

    I’m glad they didn’t scrap the whole thing and were able to reuse the idea, turning into something that can be usable to the public. Good use of the Renew and Reuse parts of the Eco initiative!

    • Ethan Brooke

      I 100% agree. We have to being to recycle and reuse more often and I think this is a prime example of that.

  • ruffeecola

    I recommended this place to visit at very late afternoon, night or early morning. Because the area is too long to walk, it is better to spend it when the sun is not strong. There are also few restaurants on top that will quench your thirst. Better to visit during spring and summer for the events and good time to attend the Seoul Walking Tour as well. Few or dull flora during late autumn (and of course winter), but if you want the night street view still good to visit. An escape from Seoul Station to Namdaemun, sharing my entry as well [https://ruffeecola.blogspot.com/2017/11/seoullo-7017.html].

    • Ethan Brooke

      I visited in both summer and winter, but unfortunately I missed spring. I hadn’t heard about the Seoul Walking Tour before now actually. Another thing to check out! I will read your post when I get home! 🙂

  • NATASHA

    I was at this location a year ago to attend a modeling shoot. We found at that time that there really wasn’t much shade and the afternoon sun was very hot. From your pictures, it seems that they’ve installed some awnings for shade, so that’s great. Overall, it is a lovely walk.

    • Ethan Brooke

      I didn’t realize they had changed it and added so much actually. I didn’t visit it until it was a few months old already, so it’s interesting to hear what it was like when others visited! Thank you for your comment.

  • Alla

    You’ve actually seen a suicide off of this bridge? Thats terrible! I hope that higher railings will help someone to rethink their actions, instead of affecting thousands of people related and unrelated to them.

    • Ethan Brooke

      I didn’t see it, but I did arrive there when there were police and security everywhere… they blocked a large portion of the area. But yes, I really hope the barriers will help. I have have heard they are doing well so far.

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