Want to know how to go to Nami Island from Seoul without an expensive tour? Interested in seeing amazing cherry blossom and fall foliage views? Dreaming of walking those tree-lined pathways you’ve seen in famous K-dramas and capturing magical moments at Nami Island? Not sure if Nami Island is worth the trip from Seoul? Find out the answer to all these questions, and a lot more, right here.
Nami Island is one of the top 10 tourist destinations outside of Seoul but it can be difficult to get there if you’re not familiar with public transport in Korea. Not to worry though, because this guide will show you all the different ways to go to Nami Island, save you time and money, and show you the beauty of the Naminara Republic.
In this article I’ll provide not only really useful travel information with transport options, times, and prices, I’ll also share some of my own insights about how to go to Nami Island, what to watch out for, what to expect, and loads of other useful tips to enjoy your time at Nami Island.
I hope you’ll have an incredible day (or more) visiting Nami Island. It’s definitely one of my favourite tourist destinations near Seoul and one that I’m happy to return to again and again. I’m sure you’ll understand why after reading this guide.
Here are some of my favourite resources that will help you save time and money on your journey to Seoul:
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What’s In This Guide To How To Go To Nami Island?
First and foremost this guide will tell you all the different ways how to go to Nami Island from Seoul. This guide will include details like how long each option takes, what time buses & trains run (and end), how much each option costs, and some other tips to make your journey easier.
There’s also some information about what to do, see, and eat at Nami Island, some of the main attractions in the surrounding area, and when the best time to visit Nami Island is.
A lot of travellers want to save money when they’re visiting Korea, and figuring out how to go to Nami Island (and other places) without an expensive tour is one of the best ways to do that.
If you want some more ways to save money, or want to know about costs in Seoul, then check out these articles.
How To Save Money In Seoul
Free Things To Do In Seoul
Cost To Travel In Korea
Also, if you want some discounted entry tickets for Nami Island, this link below will save 3,000 KRW on the ferry and entrance price combined.
Discounted Entry To Nami Island
Before I cover all the ways how to go to Nami Island, here’s some reasons why you really must visit Nami Island.
Why You Should Visit Nami Island
If you’re been researching day trips from Seoul, or must see attractions for your trip to Korea, you’ve probably heard Nami Island mentioned a few times. You might even know it from the famous Korean drama ‘Winter Sonata‘ or other movies and TV shows.
Nami Island is a self-ruled island state (the Naminara Republic) located in the middle of a river in Gapyeong. It’s packed full of natural beauty, artsy charms, and is extremely wholesome.
It’s truly a natural wonder that would put a smile on anyone’s face.
You can rent a bike (for one or two) and go riding through the tree-lined pathways. You can take beautiful selfies under cherry blossoms, autumn leaves, or even powdery snow in winter. You can even see wild animals such as rabbits freely wondering around in the forest areas.
Whether you’re there for a romantic date, a family day out, or simply want some time alone with a book and a good view, Nami Island will suit you perfectly.
I’ll give more details about what to do, see, and eat at Nami Island after I talk about how to go to Nami Island from Seoul, so be sure to keep on reading.
How To Go To Nami Island From Seoul
There are 6 different options to choose from to go to Nami Island from Seoul, each will be the most appropriate for different types of travellers.
These options include:
1: Personal Car
2: Public Transport
3: Shuttle Bus
4: Gapyeong Tour Bus
5: Guided Tour
6: Private Tour
Don’t forget, whichever way you choose, you can save entry on the ferry and entrance fees by booking ahead. This doesn’t apply to tours, which will already include the price of the tickets.
Discounted Entry To Nami Island
Joel’s Tip: When deciding how to go to Nami Island from Seoul, you will basically be making a decision between time and money. The cheapest options usually take the longest time, the most expensive ones are faster.
1: How To Go To Nami Island By Car
If you live in Korea or have rented a car, then this is probably the easiest way to get to Nami Island. There is parking outside the Nami Island Immigration Office and in the many restaurants nearby.
I’d recommend visiting early in the morning to guarantee a parking spot, especially during the weekends and peak seasons (spring and autumn).
1024, Bukhangangbyeon-ro, Gapyeong-eup, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do, Korea
경기도 가평군 가평읍 북한강변로 1024
Nami Island Ticket Office/Nami Island Dock
4,000 KRW (up to 12-hours)
+1,000 KRW per hour after 12 hours
2: How To Go To Nami Island By Public Transport
The cheapest option to get to Nami Island from Seoul has to be by public transport. There are several stations in Seoul that go directly to Gapyeong Station (가평역), which is the closest station to Nami Island (and sometimes called Nami Island Station).
The best location in central Seoul to start from is Yongsan Station(용산역), which is a couple of subway stops south from Seoul Station. You can also get the train from Cheongnyangni Station (청량리역) in eastern Seoul.
Head to platform 1 at Yongsan Station for the ITX – Cheongchun line to get the train to Gapyeong Station.
Leave from Yongsan Station or Cheongnyangni Station in Seoul
Get off at Gapyeong Station
ITX – Cheongchun Line
1 hour (Yongsan Station)
40 minutes (Cheongnyangni Station)
5,900 KRW (Yongsan Station)
4,800 KRW (Cheongnyangni Station)
First: 06:00 (Yongsan – Gapyeong)
Last: 22:33 (Gapyeong – Yongsan)
Joel’s Tip: You can check train times on the Lets Korail website.
How To Go To Nami Island From Gapyeong Station
Once you’ve made it to Gapyeong Station, there are a couple of options to get to the Nami Island Immigration Office. These are as follows:
A: Getting There By Taxi
Taking a taxi to the Nami Island Immigration Office is definitely the easiest option, but also the most expensive. Taxi drivers will know where you want to go, just ask for ‘Nami Island’.
From 6,000 KRW
Joel’s Tip: This is the best option if you’re in a group as the cost for the taxi will be nearly the same as 4 bus tickets.
B: Getting There By Bus
Bus 10-4 runs from Gapyeong Station to the Nami Island Immigration Office. It’s cheaper than a taxi, but doesn’t run that frequently.
First bus: 07:45
Last bus: 20:05
Every 30-40 minutes
1,250 KRW each way.
C: Getting There On Foot
You can walk to the Nami Island Immigration Office from the station. The path is fairly direct, but check a map if you’re worried about getting lost. It takes about 20-30 minutes to walk from the station. The total journey is about 1.9km.
For both the bus and walking routes, follow the maps below to get to the Nami Island Immigration Office.
3: How To Go To Nami Island With The Gapyeong Tour Bus
Departing from both Gapyeong Station and Gapyeong Terminal, the Gapyeong Tour Bus is a great way to see the sights of Gapyeong by yourself all in one day.
Other sights in Gapyeong include the Garden of Morning Calm, Petite France, and the Edelweiss Swiss Theme Park. You can access these on the A Course or B Course route from Gapyeong Terminal & Gapyeong Station.
If you plan to go to some of these other sights, then it would be best to plan your time at Nami Island so that you can get a bus to other attractions afterwards.
Here are the details for the A and B courses for the Gapyeong Tour Bus (as of October 2020).
Please note: there is currently a reduced service due to the coronavirus and buses should run more frequently in the future.
Bus Times (A Course):
Gapyeong Station – Nami Island
09:10 | 11:10 | 13:10 | 15:10 | 17:10
Nami Island – Gapyeong Station
09:15 | 12:15 | 14:15 | 16:15 | 18:15
Bus Times (B Course):
Gapyeong Station – Nami Island
09:50 | 10:50 | 13:50 | 14:50 | 17:50
Nami Island – Gapyeong Station
10:05 | 13:00 | 14:00 | 17:00 | 18:00
5 times per day
8,000 KRW for a day pass
Joel’s Tip: If you only plan to go to Nami Island, then the Gapyeong Tour Bus isn’t a great option as the fee is much higher than the 10-4 bus ticket.
Here are the route and bus time details for the Gapyeong Tour Bus Courses (as of October 2020).
4: How To Go To Nami Island By Shuttle Bus
A great middle ground between public transportation and a guided tour from Seoul is the Nami Island shuttle bus. This bus will get you straight from Gangnam Station or Jamsil Station in Seoul to the Nami Island Immigration Office.
However, the bus only runs on weekends and public holidays, and only once in each direction, so it’s unfortunately not as convenient as public transportation or guided tours.
Seoul To Nami Island:
09:00 Gangnam Station
09:30 Jamsil Station
10:40 Nami Island
Nami Island To Seoul:
16:30 Nami Island
17:40 Jamsil Station
18:10 Gangnam Station
Round-Trip Ticket Cost:
17,000 – 18,000 KRW
How To Book:
Book With Klook
Book With Trazy
Book With KKDAY
Joel’s Tip: This shuttle bus will sell out quickly in peak times. Be sure to book in advance.
5: How To Go To Nami Island With A Guided Tour
Although it’s not that hard to go to Nami Island from Seoul by yourself, there are plenty of reasons why you might want a guided tour instead.
Benefits Of A Tour To Nami Island From Seoul
The main benefits include organised transportation from and to your hotel, a guide who can tell you about the history and culture of the area, and maybe even food (depends on the tour you book).
The other benefit of a guided tour are that you get a complete package for a day out from Seoul that often includes other locations besides Nami Island.
Because Gapyeong has a lot of other attractions, these are bundled into package tours that usually include at least one or two of the following places:
The Garden of Morning Calm
Gangchon Rail Bike
Seoraksan Mountain (not in Gapyeong)
Getting to each of these locations by public transport is possible, especially if you use the Gapyeong Tour Bus, but that doesn’t run very frequently and you may have wasted time waiting for buses, or you might feel rushed.
A package tour will set out when you’ll visit each place, usually with a good amount of time in each attraction.
Joel’s Tip: Try not to book tours that include too many options. Even though it seems like value for money, you won’t have time to enjoy everything. Two or three sights in a day is a lot.
Problems With A Guided Tour To Nami Island
The main problem with a guided tour is that it can be more expensive than travelling by public transport. Also, you don’t have much control over the schedule, so your plans are set.
You might want to spend longer at Nami Island (plenty to do there), but be rushed away because the tour bus is leaving.
Should I Book A Tour From Seoul?
This is really a personal preference that only you can decide. There are lots of reputable tour companies in Korea that offer very interesting day tours to Nami Island and other places nearby.
I would recommend a guided to Nami Island if:
– You don’t have much time.
– You have a family with young children.
– You want to see many things in one day.
– You aren’t too worried about the extra cost.
Here are a few tours I think you’d like that visit Nami Island and a couple of other attractions.
Nami Island Day Tour from Klook
Nami Island Day Tour from Trazy
Nami Island Day Tour from KKDAY
Take a look and choose the right one for you. There’s a lot of different tour options to get to Nami Island.
6: Private Driver To Nami Island
One final option when considering how to go to Nami Island from Seoul is to hire a private driver to take you there.
There are a number of English-speaking independent drivers and guides who can take you directly to Nami Island in their car / minivan and offer tips and advice along the way.
If you’re interested in some personal recommendations, then post a message in my Korean travel advice group on Facebook. I’ll try to help you find a suitable driver at a good price.
Korean Travel Advice Group
How To Get Onto Nami Island
After you’ve decided how to go to Nami Island, you’ll also have to choose how to get onto Nami Island itself. As the name suggests, it’s an island and isn’t connected to the mainland by bridge.
There are two options to get onto Nami Island.
A: Zip Wire To Nami Island
For adventure seekers, this option will provide the perfect start to your Nami Island journey. Zip over in style with the 640m long Nami Island Zip Wire.
44,000 KRW per person, which includes entry to Nami Island and a return ferry ticket ride.
Open every day
9:00 to 19:00 (18:00 in winter).
Where To Buy Tickets:
At the ticket office below the zip wire tower.
Nami Island Zip Wire
B: Ferry To Nami Island
The most popular method to get onto Nami Island is by ferry. There are several ferries that provide regular rides to and from the island.
Includes entry to Nami Island
Adults – 13,000 KRW
Seniors / Students – 10,000 KRW
Children – 7,000 KRW
Under 36 months – Free
Open every day
07:30 – 09:00 (every 30 minutes)
09:00 – 18:00 (every 10-20 minutes)
18:00 – 21:40 (every 30 minutes)
Where To Buy Tickets:
At the ticket office next to the Immigration Office.
Don’t forget, you can save up to 3,000 KRW per person by booking your ferry and entrance fees online before you travel.
Discounted Entry To Nami Island
Map Locations In this Guide
I’ve included the different locations mentioned in this article on a Google Map. You can view it by clicking the link below.
Map Of How To Go To Nami Island
You can use this to help you work out how to go to Nami Island (Naver or Kakao Maps might be more accurate for travel in Korea).
What To Do On Nami Island
Nami Island has a wide range of attractions and sights for you to see during the day. So many that you might want to come back for a second day or even spend the night on Nami Island (which you can do!).
Hotels On Nami Island
As you can see from the map above, Nami Island is wedge-shaped with a main strip running through the centre from tip to tip, like a smiling Cheshire Cat. Many of the main attractions are on this strip, but you should definitely walk away from the centre, too.
It only takes about 30-40 minutes to walk from one end of the island to the other, but you’ll spend a lot longer than that popping into cafes, shops, galleries, restaurants, and taking 100s of pictures along the way.
The next couple of sections will tell you more about what to do on Nami Island.
Attractions At Nami Island
This isn’t a detailed guide to Nami Island (I’ll write one soon), but here are a few of the main attractions and things to do at Nami Island.
1: Walk through the themed tree-line streets. Embrace nature in any season with cherry blossoms, silver birch, maple, pine, metasequoia, and ginkgo trees that form beautiful pathways and romantic backdrops.
2: Hire a bike and explore the island. Rent a bike for one or two people and ride your way through the leafy paths and around the island. Grab some food and have a picnic in a quieter spot of the island.
3: Ride the sky-bike for incredible views from above. The sky-bike gives you the chance to see Nami Island from above, nestled in bright leaves in the centre of the island.
4: Take a picture of the Nami Island sign. The Nami Island sign is a large free-standing sign that you can pose with to create that perfect memory.
5: Watch live music and cultural performances. Nami Island has many live music and cultural performances representing not only Korean traditional culture, but also guest performances from around the world.
6: Play in one of the many child-friendly playgrounds. Nami Island is officially recognised as a UNICEF Child-friendly Park and offers lots of play areas that focus on encouraging fun and creativity.
7: Take lots of pictures. There are so many special areas where you can take pictures on Nami Island. Pose with statues representing different cultures from around the world, with Korean traditional statues, with the cute rabbits running around the place, and with a wide range of natural beauty, including lily-ponds, flowers, and the sparkling waters around the island.
8: Get close to the animals. You can find lots of forest animals on Nami Island, as well as some not so native creatures, including some ostriches! Look (but don’t touch) at the cute rabbits, peacocks, squirrels, deer, ducks, turkeys and other animals on Nami Island.
Nami Island Attractions
Famous Locations At Nami Island
You’ll most likely recognise a lot of the views of Nami Island if you’ve ever searched for iconic pictures of Korea. Here are some of the famous scenes you might recognise at Nami Island.
1: Winter Sonata filming locations. Nami Island became famous as the filming location for the 2002 hit, Winter Sonata. You can find a statue of the show’s stars (Bae Yong-Joon and Choi Ji-Woo) here and other famous locations will be marked on the maps around the island.
2: Tree-lined paths. One of the most memorable locations at Nami Island are the tree-lined paths that run in different compass directions from the centre of the island. Head east for the yellow ginkgo trees during autumn for incredible pictures of autumn leaves. You’ll also find cherry blossom-lined streets in spring. That’s why Nami Island features in my various seasonal guides for Korea.
Food & Drink At Nami Island
Nami Island is located in Chuncheon, a location famous for one dish that’s popular all over Korea – dakgalbi. There’s even a special version dish named after the area, Chuncheon dakgalbi.
When you arrive at the Immigration Office for Nami Island, you can’t miss the dozens of restaurants selling this delicious dish of spicy chicken with vegetables and rice cakes cooked in a big metal pan (pictured above).
Once you get onto Nami Island itself, there are plenty of other cafes and restaurants offering a range of local and Korean snacks and dishes.
I’d highly recommend trying the freshly prepared hotteok (sweet Korean pancake) from the various stalls (pictured above). It’s great any time, but best in winter.
There’s also the Nami Island Snowman Gelato – a rich ice cream that’s perfect for cooling off in summer. Goes perfectly with coffee in one of the cosy cafes.
20 Best Traditional Korean Dishes
Awesome Korean Winter Dishes
What Other Attractions Are Near Nami Island?
Gapyeong is a popular place for day trips from Seoul with a range of natural and cultural attractions for you to enjoy after visiting Nami Island.
Here are some of the best attractions near Nami Island:
1: Garden of Morning Calm – A lovely traditional Korean garden that has numerous festivals dedicated to seasonal plants, as well as an impressive winter lights festival.
2: Petite France – A French village in Korea. Based on the world created by ‘The Little Prince’, this charming location has a lot of cute photo spots and some ‘French’ food.
3: Gangchon Rail Bike Park – A chance to ride a rail bike through the scenic hills and tunnels of Gangchon.
Great Day Trips From Seoul
When Is The Best Time To Visit Nami Island?
Any time of year is a good time to visit Nami Island as there are always events, festivals, and other stuff going on. The best time to visit is in spring for the cherry blossoms or in autumn for the autumn leaves. These will also be the busiest times, though.
Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect at Nami Island in each season.
Spring On Nami Island:
If you want to see cherry blossoms and other spring blossoms, then Nami Island is perfect. The weather is warm, nature is creeping back, and there are loads of cherry blossom trees to check out. The cherry blossoms only appear for a week in early April, so be sure to check the cherry blossom forecast so as not to miss them (see link below). The weather is cold in March, warming up in April and getting hot in May. Definitely bring a jacket in March.
Where To See Cherry Blossoms In Korea
Summer On Nami Island:
Summer in Korea is hot and wet with rainy season covering most of July and August. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a good time to visit Nami Island. Nature is fully awake and trees, ponds, bushes, and flowers are alive with colour. It’s a good time to enjoy some of the water sports that are on offer near Nami Island, too. These include banana boating, flying fish, and others. Make sure you stay protected from the sun and keep cool with lots of gelato and other Korean desserts.
Guide To Summer In Korea
Autumn On Nami Island:
Autumn is definitely my favourite time to travel in Korea, and visiting Nami Island during autumn is an amazing experience. I make sure to visit there when the autumn leaves are at their peak (mid-late October), and you can see many pictures from Nami Island in autumn in this post. The weather is calm, sunny, warm, and great for enjoying all Nami has to offer. Nami’s natural charms are turned up to 11 and there are so many incredible sights to see during this season. It’s really a must-visit time for Nami Island.
Where To See Autumn Leaves In Korea
Winter On Nami Island:
Winter is cold and it sometimes snows, which makes it great for seeing winter lights and snowy scenes on Nami Island. You can recreate the snowy scenes from “Winter Sonata” or even build your own snowman. Stay warm with lots of hot Korean winter foods, such as hotteok. It gets dark early during winter, so it’s best to arrive early and plan to leave by 5pm. I’d recommend coupling a tour to Nami Island with a trip to the Garden of Morning Calm, which has an incredible winter light display that are best seen once the sun goes down.
Where To See Snow In Korea
Joel’s Tip: For more details about what to expect in each of Korea’s distinct seasons, check out this really useful guide.
Complete Korean Season Guide
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How To Go To Nami Island FAQs
Here’s a few FAQs about how to go to Nami Island in case you still have more questions.
What’s the cheapest way to go to Nami Island from Seoul?
Public transport. The cheapest way to go to Nami Island from Seoul is by public transport. Take a train from Seoul’s Yongsan Station to Gapyeong Station and then transfer to the 10-4 local bus. The total cost of this journey is around 7,300 KRW.
How long does it take to get to Nami Island From Seoul?
About 90 minutes by train and bus. Actual travel times will differ depending on how you choose to travel to Nami Island. Travelling by car will be the fastest, as long as traffic isn’t too busy. Tours that go directly to Nami Island from Seoul can be faster than public transport, too.
When can I see cherry blossoms on Nami Island?
Early April. The exact date of cherry blossom season on Nami Island changes each year, but is typically around early April. Nami Island is in the northern part of South Korea and one of the last places to see cherry blossoms in the country.
When can I see autumn leaves on Nami Island?
Late October. The exact date for peak autumn leaves viewing on Nami Island changes each year, but it is generally around the last half of October. Fall foliage is present on Nami Island for a couple of weeks and the main highlights are the maple trees and golden ginkgo trees.
Can I get to Nami Island from myeongdong?
Yes. However, there is not a direct transport option unless you book a guided tour or private driver. To get to Nami Island from Myeongdong by public transport, take the subway from Myeongdong Station to Yongsan Station and transfer to the ITX – Cheongchun line and travel to Gapyeong Station. Transfer to the 10-4 bus to Nami Island from Gapyeong Station. This is the best way how to go to Nami Island from Myeongdong.
What is the best month to visit Nami Island?
April or October. These are the best months to visit Nami Island as you’ll see pretty cherry blossoms in April and colourful autumn leaves in October. For snow scenes, visit in January. For water sports near Nami Island, visit in August or September.
Is Nami Island worth visiting?
Definitely. Nami Island is one of the top 10 tourist attractions outside of Seoul, visited by millions of tourists each year. There are activities and events in every season and Nami Island is worth visiting whether you’re travelling alone, as a couple, or with family.
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Here are some other great articles that you might want to read about travelling in Korea. Remember, if you have any questions about anything, please feel free to post a comment or join the Korea Travel Advice Facebook Group.