Welcome to our METRO series: a guide that aims to take you on a journey through Seoul by literally using the metro as your map.
The Seoul Metro has been consistently voted as one of the best transport systems around the world. This is due to a number of factors including its frequent service, cleanliness, low cost and general ease of use. It’s no surprise then that, when travelling around Seoul, the metro is the easiest and best way to travel, especially for first time visitors.
In this series, we’ll be covering our six favourite lines and how you can utilize them as an easy itinerary. In our sixth edition, we’re covering the wide expanse of the Bundang Line and all it has to offer. The Bundang Line is home to many fun locations for shopping and culture throughout Seoul, making it the perfect line for this month’s FESTIVE magazine. Starting off at Suwon station just south of Seoul, we aim to take you north across the city, passing over the River Hangang, to Wangsimni Station in the north-west. We’ll show you the best locations where you can have fun and learn about the rich history and culture of Korea along the way.
Suwon Station (수원역)
For our first stop on the Bundang Line, we actually take you outside of Seoul, to a city called Suwon. Suwon is a fairly large city with many shops, cafes and restaurants to explore. Suwon also has a rich history.
We recommend you visit the ancient city walls, known as Hwaseong Fortress (수원 화성), built in 1796. The city walls are a UNESCO heritage site and cost 1,000 won to enter. If you are a keen hiker you can walk the entire length of the walls in around 4 hours, but you can visit for as long or as little a time as you want.
If you’re looking for something a little more light hearted, Suwon also has a toilet museum. Haewoojae Museum (해우재) also known as the toilet museum, is dedicated to Korea’s toilet history, and even the museum itself is in the shape of a toilet bowl. The museum is free to enter and open every day from 10am to 5pm.
Giheung Station (기흥역)
The next stop on our list in Giheung Station. Giheung Station acts as the main hub for accessing Everland (에버랜드) from central Seoul. Since this is the festive edition we couldn’t miss Everland from our list. From Giheung Station, you will need to change to the Yongin Everline (에버라인) which will take you directly to Everland. Everland is Korea’s largest theme park with over 7 million visitors every year. The park itself is divided into five main zones: Global Fair, Zoo-Topia, European Adventure, Magic Land and American Adventure. Amongst these zones there are rides, shops, restaurants, a zoo and even a waterpark.
At Christmas, Everland host their ‘Christmas Fantasy’ festival, transforming the park into a winter wonderland. You can expect to see hugely lit christmas trees, reindeers and fake snow in every corner of the park. There is a daily Christmas parade and of course a chance to meet Santa at Santa’s grotto.
At night, Everland transitions into an LED winter wonderland, with christmas lights hanging from every tree and sign possible. It’s the perfect place to get in the Christmas spirit, and great fun for all ages. The park is open every day from 10am to 9pm and tickets cost 56,000 won for the day, or 46,000 won after 5pm. We recommend visiting at night as you can beat the crowds this way, and also experience the beautiful Christmas lights.
Suseo Station (수서역)
The third stop on our list is Suseo Station (수서역) in the south east of Seoul. We’ve included Suseo on our list as it’s the home of Korea’s newest high speed rail, the SRT (Super Rapid Train). The SRT was first introduced in 2016 and acts as the main train connecting southern Seoul to the Busan and Mokpo regions. Until the introduction of the SRT, southern Seoul residents would have to travel to the northern based, Seoul Station, to take the KTX train.
The SRT is extremely fast travelling at 300 km/h. It takes only 2 hours to reach Busan from Suseo for an entirely different FESTIVE experience by the sea. If you’re planning to visit Busan during your Korea trip, you can buy SRT tickets at the station or on the SRT app. There’s also plenty of restaurants, shops and cafes inside the station if you need to grab some food or a coffee before your trip.
Just opposite the station you will find Tancheon Stream (탄천). Tancheon is a fairly large stream that originates in Yongin, and flows into the River Hangang. If you’re looking for a peaceful river walk, there is a large park by the stream with paths on either side. There are many spots filled with exercise equipment that are very popular amongst the locals, if you’re looking for a free workout during your trip.
Seolleung Station (선릉역)
For all your FESTIVE shopping needs, Seolleung Station is a short walk from COEX mall. COEX is over 150,000 square metres making it one of the largest shopping malls in the world. The centre is fully enclosed meaning it’s a great escape from the cold winter weather. There are so many shops inside, you’ll be able to find the perfect Christmas gift for your friends and family back home without any problems. When you want a break from all the shopping, there are also plenty of cafes and restaurants.
There is even a library inside called ‘Starfield Library’. The architecture of the library is very impressive, with huge bookcases stretching all the way to the roof. It’s the perfect place to take a rest after a hard days shopping. You could even pick up a book for a loved one as an ideal FESTIVE present!
Just outside of COEX, lies the famous Gangnam Style statue. There are two huge gold crossed arms, forming the shape of the signature dance move from PSY’s 2012 hit, that kick started the hallyu wave across the world.
Continuing the hallyu theme, leaving COEX by the south side will take you to the SM Town Coex Artium. If you are a fan of EXO or other SM groups, you’ll love the SM Town Coex Artium. There’s everything from an SM museum to VR meetings with your favourite SM artists, as well as a cafe and a huge SM merchandise store.
Seoul Forest Station (서울숲역)
Seoul Forest (서울숲), is one of Seoul’s largest parks. Consisting of around 595,000 meters squared, the park consists of many themed gardens and is free to enter, so it’s definitely worth taking a stroll around even in the winter months. The winding paths take you across the different themed gardens and eventually down to the river Hangang.
In a city that is changed wholly throughout each season, the view of the Hangang from Seoul Forest is no exception, and it happens to be one of the best in Seoul. Because of the large size of the park, even on the weekends it’s not overcrowded so it’s a great place to visit if you’re looking for some peace and quiet away from the bustling city during the busy FESTIVE period.
Wangsimni Station (왕십리역)
The final stop on our list is Wangsimni Station. If you’re looking for a place to grab some food after a long day of Christmas shopping, Wangsimni is the perfect place. There are streets packed with newly modernised restaurants and you can find everything from traditional Korean cuisines to a number of fusion restaurants, showcasing unique menus. Since Wangsimni is close to Hanyang University, the area has become a small student town. Therefore, you can usually find great food for cheaper prices and many shops selling stationary and other student supplies.
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Featured Image: ©zheng2088, 29.09.19, pixabay.com