A Hidden Oasis in Seoul: Your Guide to Seoul Forest Park

Are you looking for a relaxing break from Seoul’s often bustling and hectic daily life and activity? It is easy to become overwhelmed in the massive city as there is always so much to do and see. As a foreigner, it sometimes feels as though you need to make the most of all your time in Korea. While I do feel this to be somewhat true, that does not mean everything always has to be exhausting. Every once in a while, it pays to take a break from the fast-paced travel and sightseeing.

In times like this, I recommend a visit to Seoul Forest Park, one of Seoul’s biggest and most popular natural parks. Located just north of the Han River, the park features scenic views of trees, greenery, and many small lakes, ponds, and fountains. During my time in Seoul, I had the opportunity to visit the park with my friends on one weekend afternoon. 


First getting to the park, I was surprised to see how many other people had similar plans of visiting that day. The first thing many people see is the park’s main fountain. It is an interactive feature seamlessly inlaid into the ground and consists of dozens of upward-pointing nozzles that spray water and different rhythmic intervals. As we came during one of the hottest parts of the day, many other visitors and locals could be seen playing in the fountain, weaving between the columns of water, or just immersing themselves completely to cool off. 

Of the group I had come with, I was the only one that opted to go into the fountain; it was absolutely worth it. The water was refreshing and I dried off in no time despite all of my clothes getting drenched. If you do end up planning a trip to the park, it could be wise to bring a change of clothes if you do intend on getting wet. Just adjacent to the fountain are changing stations so no need to worry about being damp all day. 


Going further into the park, we walked along various winding paths through the natural vegetation of the park. As someone that grew up in a desert, the amount of lush plant life there was astounding. With grass and bushes that grew taller than me, it felt completely different from the metropolitan Seoul I had known for the rest of my stay in Korea. Stopping at the end of a path, we arrived at a tranquil and serene rest area with benches next to the largest lake in the park. Taking in the scenery and sounds of birds chirping, we stayed and relaxed for a while before continuing our trip.  

The final place we ended was a playground tucked away amongst a patch of trees. This playground was unique in that it had activities for both children and adults to play around as well as many lookout points and sculptures to view. After enjoying the games for a while, we ended our stay at the park and returned to our accommodations. In all, Seoul Forst Park is an excellent place to you to escape the energetic and vigorous nature of Seoul and I would absolutely recommend an afternoon trip to relax and unwind. 

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