Nami Island, or Namiseom, is an island that’s only 60 kilometres from Seoul but that feels like a world away. Renowned for its natural beauty, Nami Island is the perfect R and R getaway after the bustle of the city. If scenic views of the Han river, romantic forest walks and picnics in the garden are your speed, Nami Island is exactly the place you need to be.
Aside from natural parks and gardens, the island features sculpture galleries, studios, quaint cafes, a song museum, a picture book library, outdoor stages and other cultural spaces and activities.
The island is about 4 kilometres across. To see as much of it as you can, you can rent a bike or an electric tri-way bike, take the Story Tour Bus or for something more exciting, do a loop on the sky-bike rail. Many people prefer to explore the island by foot so they can take the time to enjoy the scenery and stop for photo opportunities, which seem to pop up around every corner.
- The Winter Sonata statue – K-Drama fans around the world will recognize Nami Island as the setting for the 2002 hit Winter Sonata. You can take your picture with a statue of the main characters at one end of Metasequoia Road
- Ostriches – get up close to them at Eco Farm Yeonryeonji Pond
- All the trees – the iconic paths of Metasequoia Road, Central Korean Pine Tree Lane and others showcase the grandeur of the island’s trees and are a visitor favourite
- Forest adventures – Forest Adventure Treego offers zip-lining, a rope course and trampoline activities for children and adults
- Charming train rides – the UNICEF Charity Train lets foot-tired visitors get from the pier to the centre of the island while giving to a good cause. A portion of the ticket price goes to the Korean Committee for UNICEF
Day trips from Seoul often take in Nami Island along with nearby attractions like Petite France, the Garden of Morning Calm and Gangchon Rail Park. If you’re short on time, you can see a bit of the island before moving on to other adventures.
How to Get There
Nami Island, in the city of Chuncheon, is 1-2 hours northeast of Seoul, depending on your mode of transport. If you don’t care for day tours, you can get from Seoul to Gapyeong Station by rail and walk or cab to the ferry terminal. There are also shuttle buses from Seoul to the ferry. The 5-minute ferry ride runs from Gapyeong Ferry Wharf, although the more adventurous can zip-line to the island (you can only zip-line there – you’ll still need to take the ferry back). Look into the Nami Island All Pass if you do a self-guided tour.
Best Time to Go
There’s no bad time to visit Nami Island – every season shows the island’s beauty in a new light. For many, the most rewarding months are October and November, when the leaves of the island’s spectacular trees are turning and the weather is ideal for long nature walks.