[Updated 29 November 2019]
If you’re in Korea, you must visit Nami Island! Located just outside Seoul, Nami Island, also known as Namiseom, provides a quick escape from city life with its beautiful tree-lined roads and stunning scenery. Here’s a quick guide of everything you need to know about this scenic half moon-shaped island.
What's Nami Island and why should I visit?
If you’re a huge K-Drama fan, then you’ll know that Nami Island is the filming spot for the classic and beloved drama, Winter Sonata. The island became a popular tourist spot after its beautiful scenery, and it's definitely a must-visit for every first-time visitor to Seoul! Even if you're not a K-drama fan, the island itself is tranquil and breathtakingly beautiful throughout all seasons of the year. It's definitely something you shouldn't miss!
How do I get to Nami Island?
1. Getting to Gapyeong Wharf
There are 2 main ways to reach Gapyeong Wharf, the ferry terminal that'll connect you to Nami Island. You can choose between taking a shuttle bus from Seoul, or taking the subway. More information on both methods can be found here. Do note that upon reaching the wharf you'll have to pay an entrance fee of KRW13,000 to Nami Island that includes a round-trip ferry fare.
2. Getting to Nami Island from Gapyeong Wharf
There are only 2 ways to get into Nami Island from Gapyeong Wharf: by ferry, or by zipline! ? The ferry used to be the only way to enter the island, but now you can enjoy a small thrill as well as the scenic views of the island and its surroundings by ziplining in.
Namiseom Zip Wire
The Namiseom Zip Wire journey, from harnessing to the end of the zipline, takes roughly four minutes to complete. Known as one of the largest ziplines in Asia, make your way to the top of the 80 meter-high tower and choose to zipline to Jaraseom (640 meters) or Namiseom (940 meters). Since you're heading to Nami Island, choose Namiseom as your finish line. The zip wire experience costs KRW44,000, and it includes admission to Nami Island and a return ferry ticket.
Opening hours: Open daily; 9AM-7PM (Summer), 9AM-8PM (Winter)
Price: KRW44,000 (includes admission to Nami Island and a return ferry ticket)
If you miss your timing for the zipline, you won't have to worry as the reliable ferry will still be there for you. The ferry runs every 10 to 30 minutes, and while the ride itself is quite short (roughly about 5-6 minutes) remember to factor in possible long queues during the peak season! Find out more about the ferry here.
Opening hours: Open daily; 7.30AM-6PM (from Gapyeong Wharf)
Price: The admission to Nami Island includes roundtrip ferry fare
What's the best time to visit Nami Island?
The answer is: any time! One of the best parts of visiting Korea is definitely enjoying the year-round seasonal sceneries. Nami Island is famous for its tree lanes and nature walks where you can enjoy beautiful seasonal scenery that you can't get anywhere else! There are also over 20 gardens with various themes across the island so you'll never be too far away from the magic of nature.
The island is open to visitors year-round, but each season brings its own unique beauty and charm. If you're visiting to catch some seasonal foliage, then you'll want to see the Cherry Tree Lane in the spring or the Gingko Tree Lane in the autumn. ?The bright pink flowers or yellow leaves make the perfect backdrop for a photo to commemorate your trip.
To cool off in the summertime, you can also enjoy a leisurely walk along the Red Woods Lane or Korean Pine Tree Lane, which overlooks the shore. The dazzling view of the water and the refreshing smell of the woods gives it a truly unforgettable feeling. Even wintertime is beautiful as the entire island is lined with piles of soft white snow, giving it a magical atmosphere. ❄️
P.S. Find out more about Nami Island's various walks and paths here!
What can I do in Nami Island?
1. Eat at the halal-certified Asian Family Restaurant Dongmun
You won't have to worry about getting halal food while you're spending a day at Nami Island! ? Dongmun (or Dongmoon) is a halal-certified restaurant with a menu that includes both Korean and Southeast Asian dishes. ?
Imagine digging into Spicy Dakgalbi (Grilled Chicken) and Vegetables with Rice, Nasi Goreng, or Spicy Thai Prawn Noodle Soup to fuel you on for a day of exploring and sightseeing! ? Their Jajangmyeon (Black bean sauce noodles with beef) is one of their signature dishes, and is the perfect meal to end your trip with before heading back to Seoul.
There's also a prayer space within the restaurant so you can complete your prayers after eating! A wudhu area is provided, and there are separate prayer spaces for men and women. Prayer mats, prayer garments, Qiblat, and copies of the Quran are all provided as well. ?
Halal Status: Halal-certified by the Korea Muslim Federation
Address: 1, Namisum-gil, Namsan-myeon, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do, Republic of Korea
Opening Hours: 10am - 7.30pm (Mon - Thurs), 10am - 8.30pm (Fri - Sun, Holidays)
Contact: +82 031-580-8099
2. Take a walk down Metasequoia Lane
If you're a fan of Winter Sonata, you'll definitely love this avenue lined with tall Metasequoia trees that were featured in the drama! The towering trees and wide avenues give it a majestic appearance, and this is one of the most popular spots for visitors in the entire island.
Don't forget to pose for a picture with the statue of the 2 Winter Sonata actors while you're here! ?
3. Explore UNICEF's 14th Child-Friendly Park
Nami Island is was declared a Child-Friendly Park in 2010, and is also Korea's 1st! The entire island is full of activities and attractions to encourage children's creativity and growth including a Picture Book Library, and the Unchi Garden Playground full of slides where kids can run around!
4. Go on a leisurely bike ride or train tour
Besides taking in the beautiful scenery of Nami Island, you can explore the island on a bike (it’ll take around an hour to cycle around the island) or hop on the electric car (Story Tour Bus) or train for a quick tour. You can try recreating your favourite K-drama scenes too - the scenery's perfect for it! ? There are also many cute animals scattered throughout the island including chipmunks, peacocks, squirrels, and rabbits so do keep a lookout for them!
P.S. There are also ostriches, ducks, and geese on the island but be warned that they might bite or try to steal your food!
5. Have an adrenaline rush on the Forest Adventure TreeGo
Credit: Nami Island
The Forest Adventure TreeGo is one of the newest attractions on the island and it was designed specifically for thrill-seekers! There are activities for the entire family including zip-lining, trampolines, swings, and high-element treetop walks.
What else is near Nami Island?
1. Petite France
If you’re already at Nami Island, why not swing by Petite France as well to make the most of your day trip? Petite France is a French-themed village that has made appearances in the Running Man variety show and the popular K-dramas 'You Who Came From The Stars' and 'Secret Garden'. Inspired by the Le Petit Prince storybook, there's even a memorial hall dedicated to its author Saint-Exupery.
#HHWT Tip: There's a prayer room at Petite France too! Click here to find out more about it as well as prayer rooms in more popular South Korea attractions.
Opening Hours: Open daily; 9AM-6PM
Address: Hoban-ro, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea (경기도 가평군 청평면 호반로1063 )
Entrance fees: KRW10,000 (Adults), KRW8,000 (Teens), KRW6,000 (Children)
How to get there: Take the Gapyeong City Tour Bus or call for a taxi
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2. Garden of Morning Calm
The Garden of Morning Calm is the oldest private garden in South Korea and covers an astonishing 30,000 square metres. The garden is open year-round, and each season brings its own unique and beautiful assortment of plants that will leave you dazzled. There are also tour packages such as this one by Klook which lets you combine Nami Island, Petite France, and the Garden of Morning Calm all into one day trip!
Opening Hours:Open daily; 8.30AM-7PM (may change seasonally)
Address: 427 Sumogwon-ro, Sang-myeon, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea (경기도 가평군 상면 수목원로 427)
Entrance fees: KRW9,500 (Adults), KRW7,000 (Youths), KRW6,000 (Kids)
How to get there: Via Gapyeong City Tour Bus from Cheongpyeong Station, or intra-city bus from Cheongpyeong Terminal. The garden is also a 20-minute taxi ride from Cheongpyeong.
3. Namiok Restaurant
If you have the time, make a (side) trip to Namiok for more halal Dakgalbi! This restaurant is a 15-minute drive from Gapyeong Wharf (we recommend taking a taxi there!) is a popular stop for Muslim tour groups visiting Nami Island. Just picture stir-fried chicken marinated with spicy gochujang along with sliced cabbage, tteokbokki (Korean rice cakes) and rice all served on a sizzling hot plate! That’s enough to make us want to fly to Korea this minute! ?
#HHWT Tip: There's also a prayer room available on the premises! Do remember to bring your own prayer garments.
Halal status: Halal chicken available, reservation required at least 1 day in advance.
Opening hours: Open daily; 9AM-8PM
Address: 786-2 Eupnae-ri, Gapyeong-eup, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea (경기도 가평군 가평읍 읍내리 786-2)
Contact: +82 10-2181-1686
Seoul is such a beautiful and vibrant city but once in a while, it's nice to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Nami Island and its attractions are the perfect destinations hidden in nature that will ease both your mind and body, leaving you refreshed and ready to continue your trip! ☺️