The Ultimate Travel Guide to Nami Island, South Korea
Table of Contents
Nami Island Travel Guide — Nami Island or as it is also known, Namiseom Island, is a crescent-shaped isle near the capital of South Korea, Seoul. This destination was unknown to many until it was featured in the popular Korean soap drama “Winter Sonata”. In this Nami Island Travel Guide Blog, we listed some tips on how you can do your own DIY Day trip to Nami Island. We also included Nami Island Itinerary, Things to do and see, how to get there and more.
Nami is one of the most beautiful and most romantic islands in South Korea. It is a magical place, full of culture and fun things to do. The island once self-declared an independent cultural destination and even changed its name to the Naminara Republic. The island is quite distinct and it displays different, stunning scenic experience in each season of the year, making one of the few places where you can visit any time of the year without worrying of missing out on anything.
The island has historical significance as it is the final resting place of the once feared General Nami who ruled during the Joseon Dynasty.
Nami Island seats just 63 kilometers from Seoul. It is just an hour from the suburbs of the city and half an hour from Chuncheon. The island usually receives lots of visitors due to its proximity to Seoul – mostly for romantic reasons.
This magical island covers an area of 553,560 square yards, with aesthetic chestnut and poplar trees lining up. The island is not short of tourism facilities, there are several pools and variety of water-sports such as water skiing, motorboats, and a theme park featuring a merry-go-round as well as a roller skating rink. There is also plenty of accommodation with bungalows and resort villas dotted around the island.
Nami Island is part of Chuncheon territory, but the easiest way to access it if from a pier in the county of Gapyeong.
The island is located in the middle of Han River, and despite being close to enough to the water, it was partially barren until it was purchased by the retired governor of Bank of Korea Minn Byeong-do in 1965. The new owner planted trees and converted it into a beautiful tourist attraction that it is these days.
Best time to visit Nami Island
Nami Island is one of just a few destinations in the world that does not have “best time’ to visit. It is spectacular throughout the four seasons, and the best advice I can give you is that try to visit the island during the four seasons –winter, spring, autumn, and summer.
The island is covered with snow, and the whitish trees provide an absolutely magical feeling. It is worth noting that the romantic drama “Winter Sonata” was filmed during winter.
The trees and flowers bloom in the island during spring, including the stunning cherry blossoms.
You will get to enjoy the remarkable fall foliage in Nami Island.
The island is usually lush green, perfect for strolling along with the pine trees as well as redwoods.
How to get to Nami Island
The island is located in the region of Chuncheon and is close to the city of Seoul that one can make a day trip.
How long does it take from Seoul to Nami Island?
Namiseom Island is 63 km away from Seoul in the direction of Chuncheon and is famous for its beautiful tree-lined roads. The island is 30 minutes away from Chuncheon and an hour away from the suburbs of Seoul. Since it is not far from Seoul, many couples and families come to visit.
You can take public transportation to Nami Island, which is about 2 hours or more depending on the demand.
- Sangbong – Gapyeong Station (about 50 minutes)
- Chuncheon – Gapyeong Station (about 28 minutes)
- Yongsan – Gapyeong Station (about 60 minutes)
- Cheongnyangni – Gapyeong Station (about 42 minutes)
- Chuncheon – Gapyeong Station (about 20 minutes)
Use Waze and search for Nami Island Ticket Office / Nami Island Gapyeong Wharf.
If you bring your own car, Parking fee will cost you W4,000 for up to 12-hours (W1,000 per hour additional charge after the first 12-hours)
Taking public transportation will rob you off of the chance to visit places such as the Garden of Morning Calm, Petite France, and Gangchon Rail Park on your way to the island.
Shuttle Bus to Nami Island
Another option is booking a shuttle from a local or online tour operator. These two options can save you time and money and you will be more comfortable than if you take public transportation.
Insa-dong/Namdaemun-Myeong-dong to Nami Island (Daily Trips)
- Seoul Insa-dong (9:30am) Terminal located near the West Gate of Tapgol Park
- Seoul Namdaemun (9:30am) Terminal located at Sungnyemun Square Bus Stop in front of Namdaemun Market
- Seoul Myeong-dong (9:45am) Terminal located at the back alley of Shinsegae Department Store (Main)
- Nami Island (4:00pm) Parking Lot in front of the ticket office
Shuttle Service Fee
- Adult W15,000 (round trip) W7,500 (one way)
- Child W13,000 (round trip) W6,500 (one way) *Child 2-12 years old
Shuttle bus reservations can be made via the internet (www.naminara.com / firstname.lastname@example.org ) by phone (+82 2-753-1246~7) or in person by visiting our Seoul Embassy located in Insadong. They have staff who speaks English and who will be happy to assist you from 09:00 to 18:00.
* Please note that the departure time can change from 09:30 to 08:30 during certain months. (May/June/July/August/October)
Entrance / Visa Fee
|N/A||Students (Middle ~ High School Age) / Seniors (70+ yrs.)||(Children (36months ~ Elementary School Age)|
- Entrance fee and round trip ferry fares are included in the Visa fee.
- Free Entrance: Tour guide / Child aged 36 months and under Guide for all schools (kindergarten, elementary, middle, high) and social welfare groups (1 free entrance for the first 20 people, 1 additional free entrance per additional 10)
- A free entry visa is given to those who purchase 20 or more regular entry visas. (Number of free entry visas: 10% of the total number)
- It is open throughout the year.
After paying the Entrance/Visa fee, you can start falling in line at the wharf for your ferry ride to the Island. The ferry runs every 30 minutes between 7:30 – 9:00 and 18:00 – 21:40. More frequent service (every 10 or 20 minutes) is provided from 9:00 to 18:00. The last ferry is at 21:40 from Gapyeong to Nami; and at 21:45 from Nami to Gapyeong.
Getting around Nami Island
Nami Island can be easily explored by foot because it is small and all the best sceneries are close to one another. Exploring the island on foot will give you a chance to take in almost everything that it offers.
Visitors to Nami Island may rent bicycles from the Bike Center located in the center of the island.
Personal bicycles, bicycles with electric motors, battery-powered wheelchairs and vehicles may not be brought onto Nami Island. However, children’s bikes with training wheels are permitted.
Bicycles for rent: Bicycle(Single, Couple, Family), Electri Tri-way(Single, Baby), Sky-bike
For more information: +82-31-582-0144 at Bike Center
Where to eat in the Island
With a large number of visitors every day, the island has done enough to ensure every single visitor is taken care of gastronomically. There are many places where you can eat on the island.
Here are some of the food options:
- Nammoon (Korean)
- Dongmoon (Asian fusion, Halal-certified) Dongmoon restaurant serves some delicious Asian fusion dishes and also the only halal-certified restaurant on the entire island
- Gomok (Nibble & Sip)
- Seomhyanggi (Grill & Stew)
- PIZZA & PASTA (European).
Reservations may be required for a group as there is a limited number of seats. You can also enjoy coffee and beverages at Snow Café, Swing Café, May Café, Bookcafé, or Sonata Café.
DDANJI PUB (PIZZA & PASTA) +82-31-580-8056
Nami Island Bookcafé +82-31-580-8098
Coffee Shop Islana +82-31-580-8100
Snow Café +82-31-581-5701
Sonata Café +82-31-580-8131
May Café +82-31-580-8017
Swing Café +82-31-580-8020
What to do and see
There are numerous things to see and visit in and or around Nami Island, including:
Gapyeong Rail Bike Park
This is where is enjoy a rail bike as it takes you through the stunning backdrops of the beautiful Gapyeong. This is a perfect outdoor activity to partake when you visit Nami Island. You will get to see the gorgeous view of the river as you ride across a 30-meter bridge and into the romantic tree tunnel.
Visit the garden of morning calm
The Morning Calm garden is full of striking flower scenery and stunning landscapes. The garden is open to the public every day throughout the year because each season has a different thing to offer from the last. This park is every photographer’s heaven.
This artificial lake is a must-visit for anyone in Nami Island. It was constructed as part of a dam in the Bukhangang River.
Wi-Fi and Internet access
As far as the Wi-Fi and internet connectivity is concerned in Nami Island, there is no recorded public space that offers free Wi-Fi. However the island being closer to the capital, it has a wonderful 4G cellular connectivity. This means you can use your phone data to hotspot a Wi-Fi to connect other devices if there is a need to. Alternatively, you can rent a portable 4G temporary Wi-Fi hotspot from an internet service provider in Seoul, if you need wireless internet connectivity.
Nami Island Travel and Tour Packages
Nami Island Day Trip and Gapyeong Ziplining Experience from Seoul
Take a breather from the pressures of Seoul’s urban jungle by going on a trip to visit the famous, half-moon shaped island of Nami where you can take in the magnificent natural wonders it houses. Before going there, you’ll first visit the Gapyeong Ziplining area where you’ll go on a thrilling zipline ride from one zone to another while getting breathtaking views of the incredible Blade’s Edge Mountain and the lush landscapes below. After an adrenaline-pumping ziplining experience, you’ll explore Nami Island.
Nami Island: Travel Tips
- Nami Island excursions are enough to be experienced in one day.
- There is no “better time” to visit Nami Island. You will enjoy any season you visit.
- The island is independent, meaning you will need to purchase a Nami Island passport or, to avoid confusion, ticket before you take a ferry to the island.
- The best way to experience the island and other nearby spots are by getting a tour package.
Address: 1 Namisum-gil, Namsan-myeon, Chuncheon, Gangwon-do, South Korea
Phone: +82 31-580-8114
Check out our complete list of recommended hotels in Seoul, South Korea via Agoda or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.
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Also read: Seoul Bucket List 2019: Top 15 Best Things to do in Seoul
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