South Korea is a vibrant country and has the best cities for delicious food, nature, culture, and plenty of things to do. One of the popular day trips that you can take from Seoul is to visit Gapyeong. It’s 40 minutes away from Seoul and you’ll love the relaxed, small city vibe and the various activities this city has to offer.
We’re here to show you how to visit three attractions: Nami Island, Petite France, and Garden of Morning Calm in Gapyeong, South Korea within one day. There are actually four main attractions in Gapyeong, but we did not have a chance to visit the fourth one, Gapyeong Rail Park. Each of the attractions are unique and have their own charm.
How do you get there? It’s easy to travel to these places on your own via public transportation (subway and ITX) and much cheaper than an organized tour. You can manage your time and spend as long or as little at each place. We’ll show you how to do it! Consider visiting on a weekday as there will be fewer people compared to the weekend.
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These are the four main attractions in Gapyeong to consider for your day trip.
1. Nami Island
Nami Island, also called “Naminara Republic,” is a picturesque island in the middle of the Han River. It declared its cultural independence and it has its own “Immigration” office. It’s fun to purchase your admission ticket as the “visa.” No passports needed here.
You’ll either visit Nami Island via the grand entrance of zipwire or take the ferry from Gapyeong Wharf to Nami Wharf. The ferry runs from 7:30am to 6:40pm and takes 5 to 6 months. Ferry schedule is here.
Once you visit Nami Island, you’ll notice how romantic and beautiful this place is. We fell in love with the colorful trees, gardens, and plants around the island. There are so many places to take photos. Take the time to stroll around the island either by foot or by renting a bicycle.
Many Korean dramas, such as the famous “Winter Sonata,” were filmed here due to the beautiful and romantic scenery. You’ll see the snowmen motif everywhere on the island based on the drama.
Must See Places in Nami Island
- Gingko Tree Lane: This is one of the most beautiful spots in the island. The golden gingko leaves were amazing to see in person. Be on the lookout for wild squirrels with pointy ears and long tails in the area.
- Maple Lane of True Love: If you love red maple leaves, you have to see this row of maple trees.
- The Song Garden: Huge ostriches live in this fenced off area. Feeding the ostriches are not allowed.
- Winter Sonata First Kiss: We’ve never seen the Korean drama, but you’ll see the replicas of the snowmen used in the movie. It’s a shame to see the snowmen with pencil and pen marks over them. This location is across from the Song Garden.
- Sunrise Village: If you like bunnies, there are adorable wild bunnies in the area. They like to munch on the grass.
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 9:40pm
- Adult: 13,000 KRW ($11.60 USD) // Youth (13-17 years) 10,000 KRW ($8.90 USD) // Children (3-12 years) 7,000 KRW ($6.20 USD) (The ferry ride is included in the fare)
- Adult for zipwire: 38,000 KRW ($34 USD)
2. Petite France
Petite France is a cute French cultural village/theme park which has buildings with French influences and a Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) theme. We loved the colorful houses at the main entrance and the mini Eiffel Tower. The park itself is small so you can see everything in 30 minutes to an hour unless you catch some performances.
During our visit, the park was empty so it didn’t have as many of the activities available such as the street musician performances. In addition, some of the shows have different schedules playing such as the puppet “Marionette” and the Orgel demonstration, which didn’t coincide with our visit.
Must See Places in Petite France
- “Bonjour Walkway”: It’s a short walk along a boardwalk where there are Le Petit Prince signs and photo spots.
- Petit Prince Street: If you love the Le Petit Prince story, you’ll enjoy the artwork on the street and buildings.
- Maison de Marie & Maison de Jean: The rooms are replicas on how the fictional people, Marie, and Jean lived in France. It was interesting to see the furniture and decorations.
- Fun photo opportunities: There are a few places around the park where you can take illusion photos such as holding a balloon and floating in the air.
Opening Hours: 9am to 6pm; open all year round
Admission Fee: Adults 10,000 KRW ($8.90 USD) // Youth 7,000 KRW ($6.20 USD) // Children 6,000 KRW ($5.30 USD)
3. Garden of Morning Calm
Garden of Morning Calm is a beautiful garden 30,000㎡ in size with luscious plants and flowers. The garden has seasonal plants, exhibitions, and festivals for the spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
It’s our favorite outdoor garden that we’ve been to during our travels. It’s worth the 45 minutes – 1 hour bus ride from Nami Island. This garden is stunning with bursting of colors and plants everywhere. We thought the Singapore’s Garden by the Bay Flower Dome was awesome, yet this place was even better! The entire park is picturesque and breathtaking. It is the perfect place to walk through. You can even go up a walking path up a hill to see a Alpine Garden.
Must See Places in Garden of Morning Calm
- Quarterly Flower Exhibition & Festivals: The garden has quarterly flowers planted in the garden for the change in seasons. When we went during Spring, the flowers were in the Road to Heaven area. Plus, the garden hosts seasonal festivals.
- Cloud Bridge: Walk along this bouncy suspension bridge.
- Millennium Juniper: Check out a huge juniper tree estimated to be 1,100 years old.
- Pond Garden: This was one of our favorite places to relax. Unfortunately, you can’t go into the pond. It’s such a pretty view around the lake. Plus, there is a tea shop next to the garden.
- Sunken Garden: It’s one of the best areas in the park. It’s peaceful to walk through and has a lot of greenery.
Opening Hours: 8:30am to sunset, open all year round
Admission Fee: Adult 9,500 KRW ($8.50 USD) // Youth 7,000 KRW ($6.20 USD) // Children 6,000 KRW ($5.30 USD)
4. Gapyeong Rail Park
Gapyeong Rail Park is where you’ll pedal in a rail cart that has groups of 2 or 4 people for an 8km (5 miles) out and back loop along a railroad track and check out the countryside views.
Opening Hours: 9am to 6pm
Admission Fee: 2 person bike 25,000 KRW ($22.50 USD) // 4 person bike 35,000 KRW ($31 USD) – Purchase tickets ahead of time here.
Overview of Gapyeong Day Trip Schedule
Here is a quick overview of our schedule for the day using the subway, ITX line, and Gapyeong Shuttle Bus. More details is in the next section below.
We opted to go the faster and more direct way from Seoul to Gapyeong to maximize our time at the attractions. For the return trip, we took the local subway back from Cheongpyeong to Myeong-dong in Seoul.
- 7:30am – Leave Myeong-dong to arrive at Cheongyangi Station.
- 8:10am – Leave the Cheongyangi Station on the ITX – Cheongchun line.
- 8:50am – Arrive at the Gapyeong Station.
- 9:10am – Board the Gapyeong Shuttle Bus to go to Nami Island. Bus ride is 10 minutes.
- 9:30am – Board the ferry from Gapyeong Wharf to Nami Wharf. Ferry ride is 5-6 minutes. (Recommended to spend 2-3 hours at Nami Island)
- 12:00pm – Board the ferry from Nami Wharf to Gapyeong Wharf. Ferry ride is 5-6 minutes.
- 12:25pm – Board the Gapyeong Shuttle Bus to go to Petite France. Bus ride is 15 minutes. (Recommended to spend 1 hour at Petite France)
- 1:50pm – Board the Gapyeong Shuttle Bus to go to Garden of Morning Calm. Bus ride is 30 minutes. (Recommended to spend 2 hours at Garden of Morning Calm)
- 5:00pm – Leave Garden of Morning Calm and board the Gapyeong Shuttle Bus. Get off at the Cheongpyeong Station and take the subway back.
- 6:50pm – Arrive back in Myeong-dong.
Tour Options From Seoul
As you can see, there is a fair amount of transportation and traveling. Don’t want to deal with public transportation? Consider taking tours that depart from Seoul. They include round-trip bus transportation and entrance fees.
- Visit 2-3 attractions (between 55,000 – 78,000 KRW / $49 – $69 USD)
- Visit all 4 attractions (105,000 KRW / $93 USD)
Step-By-Step Instructions: From Myeong-dong, Seoul to Nami Island, Petite France, and Garden of Morning Calm
1. If staying at the Myeong-dong area, take the subway to Cheongnyangi.
We stayed at a hotel in Myeong-dong area and took the following route:
- From Myeong-dong (Line 4, Stop 424) to Dongdaemum (Line 4, Stop 421).
- Changed lines from Dongdaemum to Cheongnyangi (Line 1, Stop 124).
2. From the Cheongnyangi Station subway, transfer to the Cheongnyangi ITX lines.
There are signs to the appropriate platform to Gapyeong. We left from platform #1. Our train departed from Cheongnyangi Station at 8:11am and arrived at Gapyeong at 8:50am via the ITX – Cheongchun line. The cost of the ticket was 4,300 KRW ($3.80 USD).
Another alternative is to leave from Yongsan station to take the ITX line to Gapyeong. Yongsan station is more south than Cheongnyangi. Ride will be 60 minutes.
3. From the Gapyeong station, take the Gapyeong Shuttle Bus, taxi, or walk to get to Nami Island.
Nami Island is less than 10 minutes away from the Gapyeong Station via bus or taxi. By walking, it’s 1.9km (1.1 miles) and takes 20 minutes.
Gapyeong Shuttle Bus
The Gapyeong Shuttle Bus is the easiest public transportation option in Gapyeong. The bus stop is in front of the Gapyeong station and will bring you the Gapyeong Rail Park, Nami Island, Petite France, and Garden of Morning Calm. A day pass allows you to get on and off the bus throughout the day. Buy the ticket from the bus driver (Adults 6,000 KRW ($5.30 USD) // Children (4-18 years) 4,000 KRW ($3.50 USD). Cash only. Show your ticket when you board the bus.
There are two courses that the bus takes:
- Course A: Gapyeong Terminal → Gapyeong Station → Jarasum → Gapyeong Rail Park → Nami Island → Geumdae-ri Hall → Interactive Art Museum → Bokjang-risamgeori → Petite France → Homyeong-ri → Cheongpyeong Terminal → Cheongpyeong Station → Imchogyo Ap → Garden of Morning Calm
- Course B: Mok-dong Terminal → Hyeonam Agricultural Museum → Gapyeong Rail Park → Jarasum → Gapyeong Station → Cheongpyeong Station → Nut Pine-scented Greenwood → Chi-Ong Arts Center → Garden of Morning Calm
Course A bus comes between every 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the time. Course B bus is not as frequent and comes two times per clockwise and counterclockwise loop.
Gapyeong Shuttle Bus Helpful Tips
- Check the schedule to determine when you’ll need to be at the bus stop. It’s best to arrive at the bus stop at least 10 minutes before the scheduled arrival time for a time buffer.
- Don’t forget which bus stop you’ll need to wait at.
- Remember which direction the bus dropped you off so you can continue the loop. Otherwise, you’ll take the opposite direction which will take extra time.
4. Visit Nami Island.
Time Duration: 2 – 3 hours
The bus stop is outside of the Nami Island parking lot. It’s best to come to Nami Island as early as possible. Around lunchtime, there were dozens of tour buses in the parking lot.
5. Visit Petite France.
Time Duration: 1 hour
Petite France is a 10-15 minute bus ride from Nami Island. The Petite France entrance is close to the bus stop. No need to cross the street.
6. Visit Garden of Morning Calm.
Time Duration: 2 hours
From Petite France to Garden of Morning Calm, it was a 30 minute bus ride on the Gapyeong Shuttle Bus. The bus stop is in the same area as the parking lot and a 2 minute walk to the entrance.
7. Return Back to Seoul via subway.
We boarded the Gapyeong Shuttle Bus to head back home. Our bus driver recommended us to go to the Cheongpyeong Station as it is 10 minutes away from Garden of Morning Calm. Otherwise riding the bus back to Gapyeong Station would take 1 hour.
We took the subway from Cheongpyeong to Myeong-dong in Seoul. The route took 1 hour and 40 minutes back. We didn’t reserve an ITX ticket for our return trip and the next trip on ITX from Cheongpyeong would have been at 8pm. That would have been too late for us!
Here was our route back:
- From Cheongpyeong (Gyeongchun Line, Stop P132) to Sangbong (Gyeongchun Line, Stop P120)
- Changed lines at Sangbong (Gyeongul Jungang Line, Stop K120) to Hoegi (Gyeongul Jungang Line, Stop K118)
- Changed lines at Hoegi (Line 1, Stop 120) to Dongdaemun (Line 1, Stop 128)
- Changed lines at Dongdaemum (Line 4, Stop 421) to Myeong-dong (Line 4, Stop 424)
Whew! We made it back to Seoul and had lots of great memories from the day!
Total Cost Of Visiting Nami Island, Petite France, and Garden of Morning Calm in One Day
How did we do for the day? Here is the total for the admission fees and transportation for one adult.
- Nami Island: 10,000 KRW
- Petite France: 10,000 KRW
- Garden of Morning Calm: 9,500 KRW
- Gapyeong Bus Shuttle: 6,000 KRW
- Seoul Subway: 3,550 KRW
- ITX Cheongchun Ticket: 4,300 KRW
- Total: 43,350 KRW ($39 USD)
This is a great deal compared to the day tour of up to 78,000 KRW ($69 USD) (as mentioned in the “Tour Options” section above) for the three attractions! We saved about 44% off the tour price.
We hope you consider a day trip from Seoul to Gapyeong to see Nami Island, Petite France, and Garden of Morning Calm. You’ll love visiting the three attractions!
Have you been to Gapyeong? Which attractions would you want to visit? Let us know in the comments below.
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