Children’s Day on May 5 isn’t the only time you should plan a day at Seoul Children’s Grand Park. In April, the space turns into a fairy tale garden when the cherry blossoms come into full bloom and clusters of azaleas, tulips and other springtime flowers adorn the park with a splash of color. Though the park is beautiful throughout, the meadow around Guuimun Gate is the ideal spot to settle down for lunch. Visitors can grab take-out from a nearby restaurant and have a family picnic while your little ones frolic freely around the grounds. During the month of April, the park will host a variety of spring-related events including outdoor concerts, so expect to be entertained both visually and aurally.
FYI> 450-9311, sisul.or.kr/global/eng
EAT> There are only small snack carts and fast-food chains in the park grounds so if you hope to eat at the park, plan to bring your meal in from outside. There are also many family-friendly restaurants near the park such as VIPS (T. 462-0997) and Outback Steakhouse (T. 3436-2691).
DO> The park grounds also feature a zoo, a botanical garden and an amusement park — plenty to fill your day with fun activities. Most of these facilities are offered free of charge.
GO> Children’s Grand Park Station 어린이대공원 (Line 7), Exit 1. You should see the park on your right as soon as you exit.
Mt. Eungbongsan 응봉산
The yellow blooms that decorate forsythia bushes are a well-known precursor of spring in Seoul. For those looking to enjoy the season’s floral offerings before cherry blossoms come into full bloom, Mt. Eungbongsan will be draped with the canary-colored sprays by the end of March. The mountain’s peak is only about 81 m in height, and the shortest path will take you to the top within 20 minutes. The summit also offers a picturesque view of the cityscape come nightfall, so come for the splendor of springtime during the day and stay for the sparkle of lights after dark.
GO> Kumho Station 금호역 (Line 2), Exit 1. Take maeul bus 8 and get off at Raemian Apartment. Near the stop is an overpass bridge, and when you walk past the bridge you should see a wooden stairway that leads to the summit.
Mt. Namsan 남산
A stroll under a flower canopy
Along with Yeouido, Mt. Namsan is one of the most popular tourist destinations during spring. The abundance and concentration of cherry blossom trees and forsythia that decorate the mountain make it the ideal place to admire spring flowers in plenitude. Part of what makes the trails off Mt. Namsan ideal is that you can choose a route that fits your plans and energy level. Visitors who don’t mind hiking a bit and want to seek out the area’s entrancing flower tunnel, take the southern route that starts from the Namsan Library and leads up to the N Seoul Tower. This route has the highest saturation of cherry blossom trees in the mountain. The northern route that starts from the National Theater of Korea is great for a quieter stroll, as the inclines are gentler and fewer cars will disturb your spring promenade.
SEE> The N Seoul Tower and Palgakjeong Pavilion provide stunning views of the city day and night.
EAT> N.Grill (T. 3455-9297) is a rotating restaurant located on the highest visitor platform of the N Seoul Tower. The restaurant serves delectable French cuisine prepared by Michelin-starred chefs.
GO> There are many entry points to Mt. Namsan, but if you plan to reach the summit, take the cable car near Myeong-dong Station 명동역 (Line 4), Exit 3. From Exit 3, climb the hill past the Pacific Hotel for about 10 minutes. The cable car ticket booth should be next to the Chinese Embassy.