Huge and beautiful in every season, the Korea National Arboretum is a little-known but perfect getaway secret from Seoul’s hussle and bustle. Spoiler alert: ideal for family walks in forests and gardens!
The Korea National Arboretum was opened in 1987 on the grounds of Gwangneung Forest, in Gyeonggi-do province. Gwangneung was a royal forest, which surrounded a mausoleum of King Sejo of Chosun dynasty (which you can visit even now). Over the last 500 years the area has been strictly protected and retains much of its natural untouched feel.
The Arboretum is big by all accounts. It covers more than 1,100 ha and contains 15 specialised gardens, a Forest museum, an herbarium, impressive green-houses and more. Enough to warrant a full day of activities, walk and fun as long as you bring a picnic. There are a couple of snacking & coffee-shops opportunities inside the Arboretum but no full-fledge restaurant.
The gardens are varied in style and plants including pine trees, lotuses, tulips, cactus and many more, making for a nice visit in every season. Just to give a hint of the diversity, let’s mention a short selection of those we liked best: ornamental trees garden, aquatic garden, bog & children garden, blossom trees garden, exotic trees garden, conifer garden, etc.
Enjoy, take beautiful pictures and take a relaxing deep breath!
Kids can have fun too, though this is truly not an amusement park. They will probably be just happy to spend good family times together. There are small activities in the above-mentioned Children garden. There is also a small and outdated zoo portion. The deers and big birds areas are still ok however you might want to skip the bears/tigers/wolves sections as the conditions are definitely oldish.
Opening hours: April-October: 09:00-18:00 / November-March: 09:00-17:00
Closed Sundays & Mondays, January 1st, Seollal & Chuseok holidays
Admission fees: 1,000 KRW Adults; 700 KRW 13~18-year-old; 500 KRW Children 7~12-year-old
How to get there:
415, Gwangneungsumogwon-ro, Soheul-eup, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do
경기도 포천시 소흘읍 광릉수목원로 415
Tel. 031-540-2000 (reservations recommended)
Uijeongbu Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 1.
Take bus 21 at the bus stop in front of Uijeongbu Police Station.
Get off at the Korea National Arboretum.
For more information, check Korea National Arboretum official website.
For localisation, check Seoul Map for Kids & Families