10 Ways To Enjoy the Han River
The Han River is an iconic natural symbol that runs through the center of the city of Seoul. The construction projects that began in the 1980s to give the Han River a needed makeover have been rather successful and now there are plenty of things you can do to enjoy the scenic waterway. Don’t be left out. Here are 10 ways to experience and enjoy the Han River in Seoul from summer to winter either on or along it.
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With 80 kilometers, 40 on the north side and 40 on the south side, of bike paths along the Han River, biking is a must experience when visiting the Han River. There are numerous bike rental kiosks along the river for those that don’t plan ahead or forget to bring a bike. Join the bike enthusiasts, bike club members and everyone else on a bike cruising along the waterfront this summer. The paths are paved and the tires have been pumped so, what are you waiting for?
No, I’m not promoting swimming in the Han River. In fact, let me clarify for anyone that may misunderstand. Due to a strong current, I am not saying anyone should take a dive in the Han River. However, that being said, there are seven swimming pools on the banks of the Han River that provide good clean fun along with a great view of the quick moving river nearby and there is where you should be swimming during the summer.
- Usually open Late June to Late August
- Hours: 9:00am ~ 8:00pm
- Adults: W5,000
- Youth (13~18): W4,000
- Children (6~12): W3,000
3. Take a Ferry River Cruise
What better way to see the river than taking a ride on it? The cruise service offers everything from a general back and forth no-fuss-no-muss tour to a romantic dinner-with-your-lover cruise. From morning into the evening you can see the city under the shining sun or watch as the city lights start to glimmer underneath the dark sky above. With cruises that range in price from just W12,000 to W65,000, there’s a ship for anyone from the budget traveler to the big spender. Check out Visit Korea’s site for English information.
4. Make It a Habit To Cross the Bridges
Thirty bridges span the Han River and wouldn’t it be fun to say you walked, jogged, biked, trained it or drove across every single one? Maybe that’s just a fun thing in my head. Either way, it’s something that can be done when talking Han River adventures. If you want to start with the oldest bridge in Seoul, head for the Yangwha Bridge and begin your journey.
5. Go Camping
There are four major camping sites within Seoul but only one of them sits on the edge of the Han River. The Nanji Campground near Worldcup Stadium in Sangam-dong provides a nearby ecological park and swimming pool as well as baseball diamonds to enjoy while also camping out and enjoying the view.
6. Walk or Jog
If biking isn’t for you, the paths along the Han River are just as friendly to the meandering walker or the go-get’um jogger. Bring some comfy shoes and hit the road. There are convenience stores right along the paths, children’s parks, skate parks, eco parks and more to enjoy too so maybe taking your time and jogging or walking is the way to go in order to see all of the sights along the way.
7. Have a Picnic
The Han River is lined with parks galore. If you’re not so much into activity and you’d prefer to people watch, having a picnic is the way to go and in the summer the Han River is THE place to be. Everyone will be there and if you don’t want to pack the food to take it, not to worry, you can even have food delivered to you! It’s definitely something to experience. Bicycle riding delivery men will be able to find you with little more than a, “we’re sitting next to the tree to the left of the children’s park near the Mangwon station entrance.” Take some friends and a blanket and you’ll be good to go for hours.
The 700 Yacht Club in Nanji, the Seoul International Yacht Club in Jamwon and the Seoul Marina in Yeouido provide boats, classes and even skippers for those with some cash to burn. If you wish to sail your own boat, make sure to sign up for lessons before you hope to head out because not just anyone can hit the water with their very own ship. Take advantage of this lesser known activity on the Han River this summer!
9. Take a Water Taxi
Places to go? People to see? Taxis aren’t always the most convenient form of transportation in this city of millions so when the roads are congested and the cars are moving at a snail’s pace, why not hail a water taxi? With 11 ferry points along the river, you could get from here to there and manage to enjoy the view on the way. The water taxis can seat up to 8 people and the more that ride, the less it’ll cost. The next time you want to get from here to there and you want to try something new, definitely hail a water taxi.
10. Visit One of the Beautiful Parks
If you don’t want to actually touch the water but you’re just looking for a good place to view the river from, there are eleven parks that provide the scenery from a nice dry place. Though the river is lined with greenery, these eleven parks provide sporting facilities, ecological education zones and other specialty areas. Try to visit all eleven if you can. They include: Gwangnaru Hangang Park, Jamsil Hangang Park, Ttukseom Hangang Park, Jamwon Hangang Park, Ichon Hangang Park, Banpo Hangang Park, Mangwon Hangang Park, Yeouido Hangang Park, Nanji Hangang Park, Gangseo Hangang Park, Yanghwa Hangang Park.
These are just some of the ways that you can enjoy the Han River in the spring, summer, winter or fall. Get out there and take advantage of the beauty that the natural symbol of Seoul offers.
Will you be coming to Seoul to travel? Make sure you know where to stay to see the sights! Check out the Hongdae Designers Hotel to stay in a young art district or the Myeongdong TMark Hotel if you’d like to stay in the shopping district of Seoul. Or if you’d like a more authentic option, stay in a traditional Korean home downtown near the historical neighborhoods that’s been renovated and updated for travelers.