In an effort to get out of our Gangnam bubble, my boyfriend and I decided to Google ‘Top 10 day trips from Seoul’. What we found were many positive reviews of Seoul Grand Park (in Gwacheon City), which houses a zoo, a botanical garden, a contemporary art museum and an amusement park. Initially, we had planned to hit up everything in one day but as usual we slept in way too late and arrived mid-afternoon. It was just enough time to see the zoo and the museum before closing time at 7pm.
We got a combo ticket which gave access to the zoo, the sky lift and the elephant train (the museum has free admission); a great deal at 11,000 won for two people!
The zoo was surprisingly large and spread out so even with the Saturday crowds it felt blissfully uncrowded. We had a very relaxing time walking aimlessly around in the warm glow of the afternoon. The tranquility was disturbed only by my own giddy screeching “LOOK! ZEBRAS!!!” and “OH MY GOD, THE LIONS ARE SPOONING!!!” etc. etc.
Lush green mountains surround the park in every direction which we were able to fully appreciate on the skylift. I would recommend hopping on at sunset as the views were simply stunning. It was such an invigorating afternoon after so many weekends spent in the concrete jungle of Seoul and we will definitely be returning soon to see the botanical garden and more of the art museum (which we had to rush through).
How to get there: Take the blue line (line 4) to Seoul Grand Park and follow the exit signs for Seoul Zoo. You will come out of the subway on a tree lined street that leads to the park entrance.
- Official website for Seoul Grand Park: http://grandpark.seoul.go.kr/Eng/html/main/main.jsp
- Official website for the National Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art @ Gwacheon: http://www.mmca.go.kr/contents.do?menuId=5050011511