Hangang River Cruise And Other Ways To Enjoy The Han River Seoul
Korea’s main river, runs from Gangwon-do towards Gyeonggi-do. Cutting through the middle of Seoul all the way to the Yellow Sea. The ancient river has witnessed the history of Korea for over more than 5 thousand years. Now the Han river offers nice outdoor activities like a Hangang river cruise, outdoor swimming pools, beautiful parks for the citizens of Seoul and foreign tourists. Read on to find out all the details about ‘Ways to enjoy the Han River Korea‘!
- About The Hangang River
- Hangang River Cruise Tours
- Other Things To Do Along The Han River
- How To Go To The Hangang River
- Frequently Asked Questions
About The Hangang River
The Han river and the land beyond played a vital role in Korean history as more than 2000 years back, the 3 kingdoms were fighting to take control of this area as the river played a vital part in doing trade with China.
Now the river is a voted as the 2nd most scenic spot of Seoul, following Namsan Mountain as being the best tourist spot. The lowest parts of the river in Seoul are lined with walkways, cycling lanes, public parks, restaurants, sport courts and swimming pools.
Hangang River Cruise Tours
On of the best ways to enjoy the Han River and admire the Seoul skyline is by boarding one of the Hangang river cruises. There are multiple companies running Han river cruise tours, but the most known one is the Eland Cruise leaving from Yeouido Park.
1. Regular Hangang River Cruise
Eland offers 4 different types of Hangang cruise tours, namely the Story Cruise, Moonlight Cruise, Music Cruise and the Fireworks Cruise. During the summer months the cruise runs 6 times a day, once at 12 AM and then 5 times after 7 PM. Sites you can see from the Han river tours are the 63 City Building, N Seoul Tower, the Floating Island and the stunning Banpo rainbow bridge. All ferries have an outdoor deck and indoor sitting area filled with chairs.
Tickets have to be bought online in advance. This cruise is extremely popular and tickets sell out fairly quickly, especially in peak season. Make sure to book at least 2 weeks in advance. Han river cruise price start at 14 000 krw. Find more info here. Another option is to take a (private) yacht tour of the river. Starting price for the yacht tour is 20 000 krw. More info here.
** I have been on all 4 Hangang cruises and prefer the story cruise during day time and the fireworks cruise at night time in Seoul. From the boat you can see the fireworks and the rainbow bridge at the same time, which is really amazing. **
2. Dinner Hangang River Cruise
Additionally you can opt for an Eland Hangang cruise + Ashley Marine Buffet or a dinner (fireworks) cruise. These Han river cruise tours include a wonderful buffet. For the first option, the buffet is served after the cruise on a different boat. The latter cruise has a buffet served during the cruise. Food includes ribs, salad, seafood, chicken and much more. More info here.
Other Things To Do Along The Han River
There is more to do at the river than going on a Hangang river cruise. Along the river there are multiple parks, swimming pools, cycling lanes and much more. Listed below are the most popular things to do at the Han River.
1. Han River Parks
You can find more than 12 Hangang River parks, all the way from the Jamsil area to Mapo-Gu. It is one of the most popular FREE outdoor activities all year around. These parks offer green spaces which can be enjoyed by playing children, couples going on a summer stroll or just for working out!
1.1 Yeouido Park
The most popular park along the river is definitely Yeouido park, this vast park is a go to place during spring in Seoul! The park is divided into 4 main sections, namely the Traditional Korean Forest, Grass Square, Culture Square, and Nature’s Ecosystem Forest. Many festivals and events are held on the culture square. This is also the area where the Han river tours are leaving from.
If you visit the park during the warmer months, you’ll see many Koreans with a small tent which protects them against the sun. These tents can be rented at Yeouido Park. Find more info here.
1.2 Jamsil Park
The Jamsil Hangang Park lies next to Jamsil Sports Complex, Lotte World, and Olympic Park. It is a great place to enjoy the beautiful Han river, but is also a place of learning about nature at the Jamsil Water Reserve.
2. Walking Trails Along The Han River
You can find 4 walking trails along the river:
- 1st trail: Jamsil Stadium, Gwangnaru Hangang Park and Amsa Ecological Park
- 2nd trail: Seoul Forest, Ttukseom Hangang Park and Gwangjin Bridge
- 3rd Trail: Seorae Island in Banpo Hangang Park and Ichon Han River Park
- 4th Trail: Mangwon Hangang Park, Seongsan Bridge and Mapo Bridge
For more information about each trail, check out Seoul’s official website.
These parks are also perfect for cycling! You’ll be able to find well maintained cycling routes all along the river. If you don’t have your own bicycle you can rent on from one of the many cycling rental shops along the river (most of them located close to the subways stations). If you have a Discover Seoul Pass, you can rent a bike for free and use it for up to 24 hours.
There are two types of rental services:
Where : below you can find a list of cycling rental shops (this is just a short list of the most popular locations).
Jamsil Sports Complex Station (Line 2, Exits 6,7), Walk 750 meters
Yeouinaru Station (Lines 5,9, Exits 2,3)
Ttukseom Resort Station (Line 7, Exits 2,3), Walk 20 meters
Ichon Station (Lines 4, Jungang, Exit 4), Walk 500 meters
When : 9 am ~ 8 pm (opening times may vary depending on the shop)
Cost : Full day single bike 15,000 won or per hour 3,000 won; Tandems are 6,000 won/hour.
Where : find the different locations here.
When : opening times depends on different rental shops
How Much : Free, depending on the shop available for a couple of hours or a full day.
4. Han River Night Markets
The river parks are the perfect location for night markets; with the beautiful Hangang nightscape on the background. The Bamdokkaebi Night Markets can be found in 6 different locations in Seoul with two of them along the river, namely Yeouido and Banpo. The markets run from March till October on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 6 pm ~ 11 pm.
4.1 Yeouido World Night Market
The evening market in Yeouido is an international night market with sellers from all over the world selling exotic world food, hand made objects alongside exciting performances from local and international artists. This market is located next to the Hangang River Cruise terminal, so perfect to combine these two activities.
4.2 Banpo Romantic Moonlight Market
This is literally a market lit by the moon; with artist flea markets, local art programs, food stalls; perfect for a romantic evening along the Han river.
For directions to each park, check out this Han River Map.
2. Outdoor Han River Swimming Pools
Swimming pools offer the perfect escape from the summer heat! Seoul metropolitan City has built more than 6 pools spread out along the Hangang river both on the north and south sides.
Each pool has different features, some included slides and water activities while others are just a normal plain pool. The pools open each year during July and August only. All pools are perfectly maintained and daily water quality tests are done to ensure a safe swimming environment.
The pools are open daily from 9am till 10pm during July and August. Entrance price is 5,000 won (adults), 3,000 won (children). Note, these pools can get super overcrowded. More info here.
3. Swan Boats
What about having a little fun and workout on the river? When in Korea it’s a must to try the ‘Swan Boats’. Literally boats in a swan shape. There are dedicated areas where you can rent a duck boat per hour, perfect for 2-4 people. If you don’t want to peddle yourself, you can hire a motorized swan boat, which is also a bit more expensive.
The swan-boat-paddling area is in Yeouido, on the right of the Eland Hangang river ferry cruise terminal. Price for 60 minutes (per boat) is 15,000 won, 20,000 won for the motorized boat.
4. Kayaking And Paddle boarding On Han River
At the Ttukseom Han River Park is the kayaking and paddle board club. At the club you can rent the equipment and get brief explanation from an instructor. These activities are especially great during summer as the water will help you cool down from the humid Korean summer weather. This activity has to be booked in advance online. Find more info here.
5. Summer Water Gun Festival
Each year in July the Summer Water Gun Festival takes place at the Some Sevit Floating Island near Banpo Bridge. During the first 2 hours of the party, there will be an open bar with unlimited beers and cocktails. Amazing DJ’s and artists will be playing and after 6 pm, the foam party will kick off. Find more info here.
How To Go To The Hangang River
There are multiple ways of getting to the Han river as it is running through the middle of Seoul. Your route will depend on the part of the river you are planning on going to. Here are just a few subway stations located within walking distance of the river.
- Ttukseom Resort station: Exit #2 or 3 of (Seoul Subway Line 7).
- Cheonho station: Exit #1 (Seoul Subway Line 5 & 8), walk about 20 min.
- Yeouinaru station: Exit #2 or 3 (Seoul Subway Line 5).
- Dangsan station: From exit #4 (Seoul Subway Line 2), walk about 10 min.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best time of day to go on a Han River cruise largely depends on your preferences. If you prefer a serene and romantic atmosphere, a sunset cruise is recommended. However, if you prefer a more lively and festive atmosphere, a nighttime cruise with live music and colorful city lights is recommended.
A Han River cruise typically lasts for about an hour or two. However, the duration may vary depending on the type of cruise you choose, as well as the time of day and season.
Yes, there are a few safety precautions to keep in mind before going on a Han River cruise. It is recommended that you wear comfortable and non-slip shoes, as the decks of the boats can be slippery. Additionally, be sure to bring a light jacket or sweater as it can get chilly on the river. Finally, be sure to follow the safety guidelines provided by the cruise operator, such as staying seated while the boat is moving and keeping your belongings secure.