Day Tour to Nami Island from Seoul: With Stops to Petite France & More (South Korea)

by South Korea, Natural Sights34 comments

Without a doubt, there is more to South Korea than its bustling city of Seoul. For instance, there is the stunning county of Gapyeong which has attractions that are not too far away from the capital, namely: the charming oasis of Nami Island from Seoul (Namiseom), the cultural village of Petite France, the magical expanse of The Morning Calm, and the picturesque tracks of the Gangchon Rail Bike.

The best part? You can explore these destinations in just one day at a very affordable price — just book online a packaged day tour from Seoul!

See the following packaged tour combinations:
(2 stops) Nami Island + Alpaca World
(2 stops) Nami Island + Petite France
(2 stops) Nami Island + The Garden of Morning Calm
(3 stops) Nami Island + Alpaca World + The Garden of Morning Calm
(3 stops) Nami Island + The Garden of Morning Calm + Gangchon Rail Bike / HALAL meal option: [click]
(3 stops) Nami Island + Petite France + The Garden of Morning Calm
(3 stops) Nami Island + Petite France + Gangchon Rail Bike
(3 stops) PRIVATE TOUR: Nami Island + Petite France + Gangchon Rail Bike
(4 stops) Nami Island + Petite France + Gangchon Rail Bike + The Garden of Morning Calm

I had the chance to go through the 4-stops day tour listed above and it was one of the most memorable experiences that I did when I was in Seoul! Besides, the whole ordeal surely took the hassle away when transiting from one location to the next and we even had enough time when exploring each of the stops.

That being said, it’s a great option for those who want the added ease — and also great for those who might be pressed on time whilst exploring South Korea.

With all that said and done, if you want to get a better idea of how the whole day trip goes, do continue reading below.

4-StopTour Travel Guide

South Korean currency: South Korean Won (KRW / ₩)
₩1,000 = USD$0.90~ = €0.70 = Php 49.00~ (as of May 2018)

» Tour Inclusions & Price

For only ₩92,400 (or US$75~ / Php 3,820~) you will get…

  • Round-trip transportation (including parking, toll fees, and fuel) from Seoul to the 4 attractions
  • To access Nami Island from Seoul, Petite France, The Garden of Morning Calm, and Gangchon Rail Bike (admission fee already included in price)
  • An English-speaking professional tour guide

The only things that are NOT included are personal expenses, insurance, meals, and drinks.

If in case you want other packaged tour combinations, see the following list:

See the following packaged tour combinations:
(2 stops) Nami Island + Alpaca World
(2 stops) Nami Island + Petite France
(2 stops) Nami Island + The Garden of Morning Calm
(3 stops) Nami Island + Alpaca World + The Garden of Morning Calm
(3 stops) Nami Island + The Garden of Morning Calm + Gangchon Rail Bike / HALAL meal option: [click]
(3 stops) Nami Island + Petite France + The Garden of Morning Calm
(3 stops) Nami Island + Petite France + Gangchon Rail Bike
(3 stops) PRIVATE TOUR: Nami Island + Petite France + Gangchon Rail Bike

– – –

» Meeting Place & Duration

There are 3 meeting places that you can choose from and they each have a corresponding meeting time (the time may change depending on the season, rest assured it will be indicated on your voucher).

  • 7:00 at Hongik Univ. Station, Exit 4: Take Subway Line 2 and exit no. 4
  • 7:20 at Myeongdong Station, Exit 2 or 3: Take Subway Line 4 and exit no. 2 or no. 3
  • 8:00 at Dongdaemun History Culture Park Station, Exit 10: Take Subway Line 2, 4, or 5 and exit no. 10

Duration = Approximately 12 hours
Return time to Seoul = Approximately 8:00PM
Return place = You can choose from any of the 3 aforementioned meeting places
Vehicle  type = Bus, minibus or big van depending on the number of people booked for that day’s tour

– – –

» Best Time to Do This Tour

I suggest coming during autumn, but of course, if you want to witness cherry blossom season then spring is a considerable option too.

  • Spring: (March to May) The city becomes a hit with all the flora that starts to bloom and bud. And of course, much like Japan, the city has cherry blossoms which tourists often seek. Given this demand, there tends to be a slight increase in costs, but the weather and season are quite desirable.
  • Summer: (June to August) This is arguably the peak season in the city so things get busier and costlier. It doesn’t help either that this is the vacation month of schools and Korean companies so everyone is out and about. That’s why if I were you, you should avoid these months — also because the weather can get quite humid with occasional downpours.
  • Autumn: (September to November) This is the best time to visit Seoul because the weather is pleasant, prices are more affordable, and crowds are thinner. However, do take note to avoid Chuseok or Korea’s autumn harvest festival.
  • Winter: (December to February) As the temperatures drop, prices and airfare also drop. Take note though that it can get very chilly; but, supposing you’re not that sensitive to the cold, this can be a fun time given all the amazing ski resorts and festive atmosphere.

– – –

» Other Things to Do in Seoul

I wrote a comprehensive travel guide for this and you can read my Korea itinerary.

– – –

» Where to Stay (Accommodations) in Seoul

To search for the best hotel accommodation in Seoul at the best prices, I suggest checking out Agoda and Booking.com. But if you’re rather interested in renting comfortable houses or apartments, check AirBnB.

As for ‘where’, these are the top 5 districts in the city: Myeongdong (best for shopping), Hongdae (best for a hip youthful scene), Insa-dong or Jongno (best for culture), Gangnam (best for luxury shopping), and Itaewon (best for nightlife).

If you want particular hotel names per district, I recommend that you read my ‘Best Hotels in Seoul article.

– – –

» Visa for South Korea

If you’re NOT a citizen of any of South Korea’s exempted countries, you are then required to avail of a visa beforehand. (If you’re from the Philippines, you can read my guide on how to get a South Korea visa in Manila here.)

  • Check full visa requirements here as per your nationality.

– – –

» Helpful Korean Phrases

English is not widely spoken in South Korea even if it is taught in a lot of schools, but you’ll have better luck in the capital of Seoul where a lot of people put time, effort and money in learning English. Nevertheless, it doesn’t hurt to learn a bit of the local language!

Hello (formal): Annyeong haseyo
Hello (informal): Annyeong
Thank you: Gamsahamnida
You’re welcome: Cheonmanyeyo
Yes: Ye/Ne
No: Aniyo
Goodbye (to person leaving): Annyeonghi gaseyo
Goodbye (to person staying): Annyeonghi gyeseyo
Goodbye (informal): Annyeong

Excuse me (getting attention): Sillyehamnida
I’m sorry: Joesonghamnida
Is there someone here who speaks English?: Yeogi-e yeong-eoreul hasineun bun gyesimnikka?
Help!: Dowajusipsio!
Cheers!: Geonbae!

• • •

Tour Stops

STOP #1: Petite France

This is a pastel-colored village that serves as both a cultural center and a youth training facility with over 16 French-styled buildings where visitors can lodge or experience French food and culture. Petite France is also recognized as a top filming location for Korean dramas like ‘Secret Garden’, ‘Running Man’, and ‘My Love from the Star’.

With its European ambiance, it is also somewhat of a tribute to Saint-Exupery, the author of the famous French Novel: ‘Le Petit France’. During your stopover here, I highly suggest doing any of the following:

  • Performances. Watch out for the daily marionette shows and puppet play performances at the outdoor theater smacked in the middle of the village.
  • Saint-Exupery Memorial Hall. This is where they display his life as a distinguished French author, as well as record his overall writing process for the famous ‘The Little Prince’ novel.
  • Pond de Fabre. Head to the Observatory and then to the Butterfly Park via the Pond de Fabre, a 130-meter bridge that goes over the village and offering grand views not only of Petite France but also of Cheongpyeongho Lake in the distance.

MY VERDICT: This was a small yet charming attraction that had ample picturesque architecture and spots that can be seen in less than an hour. Even if you’re not a K-drama fan, this is still an enjoyable place to stroll around in — and it becomes even more memorable for you if you haven’t witnessed a European city yet since this will already give you a taste of it.

TOUR STOP DURATION: 1 hour
.
If you want to travel to Petite France on your own, you can take the ‘Gapyeong Circle/City Tour Bus’ from Gapyeong Station or Gapyeong Bus Terminal for only ₩6,000 (which also makes stops in the destinations mentioned in this packaged tour) — the downside though is that these buses run only once every hour, and with the crowds that go to all of these places, it’s likely that the spots get filled quickly. (This is why I suggest going on a guided tour instead.) Otherwise, there is also the option to take a Nami Island shuttle bus which already includes a bike rental.
.
~ NOTE: From Seoul’s Yongsan Station, you can reach Gapyeong Station in just less than an hour for around ₩5,200 via ITX with a Korail Pass.
~Entrance fee: ₩10,000 adults / ₩5,000 children (included in the guided tour)

STOP #2: Nami Island from Seoul (Namiseom)

Nami Island Seasons

A half-moon-shaped island nestling inside an artificial lake known for being the filming grounds of the well-known K-drama ‘Winter Sonata’, Nami Island from Seoul is home to rows of majestic trees, free-roaming animals, and art exhibits — and a sought-after South Korean destination in every season!

TRIVIA: Back in March 2006, Nami Island declared its “cultural independence” from the Republic of Korea and called itself as the “Naminara Republic”. As an ‘imaginary country’, it even developed its own passport (akin to an annual theme park pass), currency, stamp, and more!

Upon your arrival, you might be overwhelmed at first but rest assured, there are free map guides given upon your entry; therefore, navigating around the island will be extremely easy (it’s a small place after all!). For the top ‘must-do’s’ in Nami Island from Seoul, it would be…

  • Zipwire. Ride the ‘Zipwire’ for a thrilling entrance to Nami Island! So instead of riding the ferry from Gapyeong Wharf, you can ride the zipline instead fo ₩38,000 (inclusive of admission to the island and a ferry ride back) and it will only take 2 minutes.
  • Redwood Trees. Don’t miss out on passing through paths like Metasequoia Road, Ginkgo Tree Lane, and Central Korean Pine Tree Lane to admire the towering redwood trees. Naturally, these become even more magical as the seasons change — in fact, Nami Island becomes a coveted destination when the redwood trees go through autumn or wintertime.
    • TIP: In Autumn, drop by Baekpungmilwon Garden because it has over 300 maple trees planted there!
  • Winter Sonata show spots. A fan of the famous K-drama, ‘Winter Sonata’? A lot of photo spots were made on the island to pay homage to the famous Korean TV show, such as the “First Kiss Bridge” and “Couple Snowmen” (which are just beside one another). You can also find a statue of the couple at Gongsaengwon Garden.
  • Bike Center. I urge you to bike around Nami Island because it’s the best way to fully enjoy and explore the entire place in just an hour! To rent a bike, head to Nami Island’s Bike Center. Per 30 minutes, single rider bikes cost ₩4,000, tandem bikes (for 2 people) cost ₩6,000, and family bikes (quadruplet) cost ₩10,000.
  • For families and kids. Ride the UNICEF Charity Train (₩3,000 one way), the Story Tour Bus (₩7,000) or the Motorboat Tour (₩40,000 for 5 persons).
  • HotteokFor a filling snack, try this well-known red bean pancake at the Nami Island Sonata Cafe for only ₩1,500.
  • Lunch. I advise getting lunch after you explore Nami Island because there is a great restaurant by the ferry terminal named as Kkokko Chuncheon Chicken Ribs that serves delicious dak-galbi (stir-fried chicken) at an affordable price. I absolutely loved this meal and I bet you will too! (If you rather want to eat somewhere inside Nami Island, go for Korean BBQ at Seomhyanggi).

MY VERDICT: I arrived in Nami Island from Seoul in pre-spring time so the trees looked quite dead (haha) — still, I absolutely enjoyed my time here! And I can just imagine that happiness is multiplied by 10 if I had visited the island in full spring, autumn, or winter. All in all, this is the beauty of Nami Island: it offers a different experience in every season, making it a great respite from the bustling metropolis of Seoul.

TOUR STOP DURATION: 2 hours
.
If you want to travel to Nami Island from Seoul on your own, you can take the ‘Gapyeong Circle/City Tour Bus’ from Gapyeong Station or Gapyeong Bus Terminal for only ₩6,000 (which also makes stops in the destinations mentioned in this packaged tour) — the downside though is that these buses run only once every hour, and with the crowds that go to all of these places, it’s likely that the spots get filled quickly. (This is why I suggest going on a guided tour instead.)
.
~ NOTE: From Seoul’s Yongsan Station, you can reach Gapyeong Station in just less than an hour for around ₩5,200 via ITX with a Korail Pass.
~Entrance fee: ₩13,000 (included in the guided tour as well as the ferry ride)

STOP #3: Gangchon Rail Bike

Gangchon Rail Bike

Built on a discontinued trail line, Gangchon Rail Bike is a fun attraction where you can pedal through old railroad tracks while taking in the amazing Bukhangang River scenery! Rest assured, it doesn’t require much effort to pedal the makeshift carts because the rail lines are slightly sloping downhill.

FYI: There’s actually another Rail Bike park in the vicinity called Gapyeong Rail Bike; however, it is said that Gangchon Rail Bike is a better choice given that the views are nicer (and yes, it was) and that it goes through 3 tunnels (Gapyeong Rail Bike only goes through one).

MY VERDICT: I gotta admit, I didn’t expect much from this ride at first — so you could imagine how I felt when I realized how much fun I was having after just a few minutes on the track!

TOUR STOP DURATION: 1 hour
.
If you want to travel to Gangchon Rail Bike on your own, you can take the ‘Gapyeong Circle/City Tour Bus from Gapyeong Station or Gapyeong Bus Terminal for only ₩6,000 (which also makes stops in the destinations mentioned in this packaged tour) — the downside though is that these buses run only once every hour, and with the crowds that go to all of these places, it’s likely that the spots get filled quickly. (This is why I suggest going on a guided tour instead.)
.
~ NOTE: From Seoul’s Yongsan Station, you can reach Gapyeong Station in just less than an hour for around ₩5,200 via ITX with a Korail Pass.
~Entrance fee: ₩30,000 for a two-seater (included in the guided tour)

STOP #4: The Garden of Morning Calm

Garden of Morning Calm

The Garden of Morning Calm is a grand 30,000sqm property composed of 26 themed gardens that are open all year round. Regarded as the oldest private garden in Korea with an artistic space that’s sure to leave anyone in awe, the gardens become even more magical during winter (December to March) when they set up hundreds of multi-colored lights to create themed gardens.

  • Spring. Expect to see a pinkish scene given the full bloom of azaleas, cherry blossoms and magnolias during the ‘Spring Garden Festival’.
  • Summer. Flowers like roses and blue hydrangeas will be in bloom.
  • Autumn. Bask in a sea of red with the surrounding chrysanthemums and maple trees.
  • Winter. Enjoy a colorful winter wonderland when they put up the aforementioned multi-colored lights across the gardens during the ‘Lighting Festival’.

MY VERDICT: You’re sure to find yourself snapping away (non-stop!) given the amazing landscapes that comprise the Garden of Morning Calm. A lot of foreign travelers only seem to consider this place during the winter season (as per the ‘Lighting Festival’), but I say: visit this underrated attraction during the other seasons too!

TOUR STOP DURATION: 1 hour
.
If you want to travel to The Garden of Morning Calm on your own, you can take the ‘Gapyeong Circle/City Tour Bus‘ from Gapyeong Station or Gapyeong Bus Terminal for only ₩6,000 (which also makes stops in the destinations mentioned in this packaged tour) — the downside though is that these buses run only once every hour, and with the crowds that go to all of these places, it’s likely that the spots get filled quickly. (This is why I suggest going on a guided tour instead.)
.
~ NOTE: From Seoul’s Yongsan Station, you can reach Gapyeong Station in just less than an hour for around ₩5,200 via ITX with a Korail Pass.
~Entrance fee: ₩9,500 adults / ₩6,000 children (included in the guided tour)

• • •

» Top Korea Tours «

DMZ Tour

DMZ Tour and —
Panmunjom (Joint Security Area / JSA).

Seoul Joseon Palaces and —

Seoul Joseon Palaces and —
Folk History day tour.

• • •

Nami Island from Seoul

Overall

This day trip to Nami Island from Seoul and other stops definitely gives you the chance to see the highlights of the nearby Gapyeong Country through a tour that gives you the utmost ease and comfort.

…So what are you waiting for? Don’t miss out on this amazing deal via Klook! Enjoy!

• • •

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34 Comments

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  1. Amber Myers

    Wow, how gorgeous! I’d love to go here one day. Your photos are so amazing. There are so many different photo opportunities. I love that!

    Reply
    • Aileen

      For sure! Thank you :)

      Reply
  2. Janet

    I’ve never been to So. Korea and it’s on the bucket list. I’ll be pinning some of these places to my travels board for future reference.

    Reply
    • Aileen

      Hope you get to check it off soon!

      Reply
  3. robin rue

    That sounds like such an amazing place to visit. I have never even heard of it until this post, but now I totally want to go.

    Reply
    • Aileen

      It’s a must to see and do! Hope you get to experience it :)

      Reply
  4. Tempat Wisata

    Thank you for sharing

    Reply
  5. Veronika Primm

    Oh my God, that just looks wonderful! I haven’t been to South Korea yet and have been dying to visit, but I must say I didn’t think much past Seoul. It looks like this is enough to travel around for weeks!

    Reply
    • Aileen

      I hope you get to visit! You’ll love it for sure!

      Reply
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