Did you know that the Hangang park is not only one park? It actually contains 12 beautiful green parks that spread over a 40-km2 large area along the Hangang (Han river). Let’s find out more in this blog post about where they are and what you can do in the parks.
1. Overview of the 12 parks
From the 1980’s the Korean government has started to change a large area along the Hangang river into Hangang park. Now a days, Hangang park with its 12 parks has become one of the best spots to spend a day in Seoul. It’s not only because of the great environment and beautiful scenery, but also because of many facilities that are offered in the parks.
Here is an overview of their names and location.
All parks are open every day 24/7 with free admission for everyone. You can also easily get there by public transportation, bicycle, walking and by cars.
Among these 12 parks, Yeouido may be most well-known because of the National Assembly building and its wonderful cherry blossom festival, which takes place there early every year. But I have to say, all parks have their own coolness that you should check by yourself.
2. Fun activities you can do in Hangang park
Of course, “normal” activities that you can do in a park, such as going for a walk, jogging, hanging around, picnic, inline skating, etc. can also be done here. But there are much more things-to-do in Hangang.
Go camping in the middle of the city – that sounds somehow weird, doesn’t it? But for Seoul’s citizens, especially younger generation, it’s a really cool activity. When the weather is nice, people come to the parks, rent a tent and hangout. They usually spend the whole day here, chatting, eating, watching TV or reading books.
Fun facts: some changes were made in 2019 because of some “incidents” happened. The first change is, before 2019, you could use the tent anywhere, where there was space. But from 2019, you can only use tents in the tent zones only.
Secondly, you have to leave one door or window of the tent open.
And the third change: food delivery is only allowed to dedicated delivery spot. Before this rule is applied, you can basically order food to your tent.
You may guess why they applied these changes?
2.2 Enjoy the beautiful flowers
Many different kinds of trees and flowers are neatly plant in the parks. All year around you can see beautiful flowers of the season there.
2.3 Taking pictures of the bridges
The 12 parks lay between about 20 Hangang bridges. No matter whether over or under the bridges you can take stunning pictures.
At Banpo bridge you can also see the world’s longest bridge fountain (as recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records) with 380 water jets and multicolored lights – the Moonlight Rainbow Fountain. It operates daily from April to October.
2.4 Make your own food experiences
You may think you have to prepare everything to eat when go camping at Hangang park, but no. The reality looks different. You can have (fun) food at many of the convenient stores, eat ramen from the ramen machine or order food to be delivered to the park. It’s so cool, isn’t it? The most popular food to order is 치맥(chimek) – Chicken and Beer. You should definitely try it out.
2.5 Doing exercises at one of the outdoor gym
In order to encourage people to do exercises,many exercises facilities are installed in the parks. You will easily find them, many also under the bridges in the shade, so that it’s not too hot. Older Korean folks and children love to jump on them.
2.6 Biking / Cycling
The cyclist roads are made of asphalt and concrete. They have relatively low elevation and are separated from pedestrian path as well, so that you can really enjoy the tour in higher speed if you like. Cycling is one of Korean’s favorite sports. They love to bike in any weather with loud music, which can be annoying sometimes.
If you don’t have a bike, you can easily rent one from Seoul bike (booking via app, available 24/7) or directly from one of the bike rentals along the river. They can also help to repair your bike in case anything happens. Railbike for couples are available for rent, too.
MTB lovers will find a perfect playground at the MTB area of Nanji Hangang park
During the summer time, you can enjoy the outdoor swimming pools in Gwangnaru, Jamsil, Ttukseom, Jamwon, Nanji and Yeouido Park. Especially kids love it.
Fishing is indeed allowed on Hangang river, except for the prohibited spots. You don’t need any specific license to do it.
2.9 Water sport
At most of the parks, they offer many options for water sports, such as water skiing, motorboats, yachts, pleasure boats and also flyboard.
2.10 Rock climbing
One of my favorite spots of the Hangang Park is the artificial climbing wall at Ttukseom Hangang Park. It usually opens from April-November for free of charge.
2.11 Going on a ferry cruise
As on many other cities that have river, a ferry cruise tour on the Hangang river is a great way to enjoy the scenery. The Hangang ferry cruise is operated by E-land cruise and departs from Yeouido Hangang Park. It offers not only a nice tour for sightseeing, but also dinning cruises with fireworks during the weekend.
2.12 Flying drone
In case you have a drone, you are able to enjoy and fly it in the drone area of Gwangnaru Park.
2.13 Special events in Hangang Park
Many special events are held in the parks during the year, such as flower festivals, night markets, outdoor movies at weekends, sport competitions, music festivals, etc.
One of the most impressing events is the firework festival, which takes place in the autumn in the waterfront of Yeouido park. If you’re in Seoul at that time, don’t miss it!