The Seoul Botanic Park, located west of the city, will be perfect for nature and garden lovers, families, couples; in short, anyone who loves wide open spaces with grass, trees and flowers.
What is Seoul Botanic Park?
Seoul Botanic Park was built in three years, in the Magok district. It opens for the first time on October 11, 2018. Other works are then carried out, in particular on the Marais (Wetland) area, then the park opens in full on May 1 , 2019. It is divided into four areas: The Forest Field, The Lake Garden, Wetland and Botanic Garden.
By creating these spaces, the city of Seoul seeks to bring a different vision of plants to citizens, to make them aware of their importance and to include them in their growth by inviting them to participate. Consequently, the park is committed to promoting the transmission of knowledge about the diversification of plant species to the general public.
Finally, the park offers visitors concerts, festivals and exhibitions, outside of COVID-19 times.
Through the Seoul Botanic Park
If you arrive within the park via Magongnaru station (line 9) you will be able to enter Forest Field directly. To your right is the LG Art Center building (which won’t open until 2022) and the Visitor Information Center, a small glass house with a big yellow I. Here, you can find out about the activities of the moment and benefit from a map of the park, if necessary.
A forest breeze
There are many trees within the Forest Field but scattered all over the territory, not allowing our European souls to consider this space as a forest. It is rather a vast field divided into a few large and small alleys, bridge and duck ponds – or rather dragonflies, because there are so many here – wide lawns, a multitude of benches located in full sun or under small shelters as well as a few picnic tables.
It is a privileged place for children in search of discovery, especially since the park offers family programs within the Forest Cultural Garden and also works in partnership with schools. It is good to picnic there on the grass, sheltered from the hustle and bustle of the city.
On the edge of the lake
Through one of the famous I Seoul U located at the end of the lake, it is possible to have an overview of this part of the route. On the right, a few children’s games and fir-like trees planted in huge terracotta pots, held together by chains nailed to the ground, arranged in a line. Opposite, a promenade along the water on the wooden pontoon and an iris garden. And in the middle of this expanse of flat water spring jets of water, a fountain; to admire this spectacle, it will be pleasant to sit on one of the swings arranged here and there around the lake. Be careful, there are not many so get up early!
Wetland or the unloved
There are no crowds in this part of the park: the marshes are not popular. And yet, it is a somewhat different part from the rest of the park: it is possible to smell a real scent of nature. Gray herons, ducks, dragonflies (they will go where you go, you will never be alone) and then reeds, tall grass, flowers of all kinds… Here, it’s a real nature reserve. If you want peace, this is where you should find it! You can take a path on your left to go around and return by this same road. You can also choose to continue to cross the expressway via a bridge and get near the Han River. In monsoon time, drop this idea, as the Han will overflow regularly.
The highlight of the show
The Botanic Garden is made up of a garden (Display Garden) and a greenhouse (Conservatory/Greenhouse).
The entrance to the garden is located in front of a small waterfall and access is reserved for ticket holders: 5,000 won for an adult. The space is divided into eight themes including a relaxation garden, a traditional Korean garden and even one featuring sculptures of dancers in bloom. We come across sunflowers bigger than you, a tree transformed into a hot-air balloon garage and a stream lapping gently under the red leaves of a Japanese tree.
The greenhouse or Greenhouse was closed to the public from March and has recently reopened. There is a tropical and temperate climate, plant species from 12 different countries. A glass path has been built inside the greenhouse, named Skywalk, from there one can observe the plants from above and have a breathtaking view of the Botanic Garden and the rest of the park. If you follow the park’s Instagram page, you will be able to attend events taking place within the greenhouse: yoga classes, piano concerts and even fashion shows!
Practical information about Seoul Botanic Park
- Address: Seoul Botanic Park, Seoul, Kang Seo-gu, Magokdong-ro 161
- How to get there: By subway, Airport Railroad or Line 9 Magongnaru Station, Exit 3 or Line 9, Yangcheon Hyanggyo Station, Exit 8
- Via buses 6642, 6645, 6648 Magongnaru station or buses 672, 6631, 6642, 6712 Gyeomjae Jeongseon Art Museum station
- Prices for the Botanic Garden: 5,000 won for adults (19 to 64 years old), 3,000 won for young people (13 to 18 years old), and 2,000 won for children (6 to 12 years old). Group rates can be negotiated (30 people or more).
- Opening of the Botanic Garden: March to October = 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (last entry at 5 p.m.). November to February = 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last entry at 4 p.m.). Closed every Monday.
Sources: Official site of the Park | Seoul Metropolitan Government | Hallyu SG