Outdoor Activities in Seoul
Find out about a diverse range of activities, sports and leisure pursuits on offer in Seoul: walks, hikes, cycling and swimming…
There are various outdoor activities that can be enjoyed in and around Seoul, including walking and hiking, mountain biking, and water sports.
The Korea Tourism Organisation provides information on outdoor activities.
- Korea Tourism Organisation
The Korean government has set aside certain areas for recreation and leisure. There are 20 national parks in Korea, one of which is in Seoul. These parks offer hiking routes with varying degrees of difficulty to suit all levels.
- Korea National Park Service
At: Taeyoung building, 252-5 Gongdeok-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Tel: 02 3279 2700
Fax: 02 3279 2785
Parks in Seoul
There are over 100 big and small parks in Seoul. Hangang Park is one of Seoul's most popular parks.
- For more information on parks in Seoul: Click here
There are over 400 indoor and outdoor swimming pools in Seoul. Outdoor swimming pools are only open in summer. Each district has sport centres which offer affordable swimming lessons and modern facilities.
- See the Korea Swimming Association for information on competitions and events
There are a total of 315 beaches in South Korea. Beaches usually open in June and close in September. A wide variety of events and activities are held at beaches during the swimming season.
- For more information see the official Korea Tourism Organisation website, Visit Korea
Cycling and Mountain Biking
Riding a bicycle in Seoul - as in any big city - has its hazards. Designated infrastructure for bicycles on regular roads in Korea is lacking. In some areas, there are special cycle lanes, but they are not respected by drivers and pedestrians. Recently, the government has started to build more cycle lanes, especially along the Han River in Seoul. The Han River cycle path is over 240 Km and it is very popular.
Mountain biking is also becoming popular.
- Korea Cycling Association (in Korean)
At: 88 oryun-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul
Tel: 02 420 4247
- Korea Off Road Bike Association (in Korean)
At: 135-2 Seokgwan-dong, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul
Tel: 02 962 4012
There are a number of useful resources providing information about cycling in Seoul:
- Han River Bike Rental System (in Korean)
- Han River Park Bicycle: Information on cycling and bicycle rental
- Riverside Cycle Route (in Korean)
There are numerous climbing centres in South Korea, with plenty of indoor climbing places for beginners as well as more experienced climbers.
Korea On the Rocks has information on where to climb in the Seoul area and throughout the country.
- Korean Alpine Club is the oldest and most prestigious climbing club in Korea
- Kolon Sport Alpine School (in Korean) offers a wide range of rock climbing classes for both beginners and experts
- Sanirang Alpine Networks offers a wide range of guided tours and courses
Walking and Hiking
Hiking is a very popular sport in Korea. Seoul itself has 37 mountains and 70 percent of the Korean peninsula is made up of mountains. There are many trails for trekking and hiking. Local tourist offices have maps and guides for walking and cycling routes. The Seoul City website has details of hiking trails in Seoul.
- See The Business Directory: Walking, Hiking & Climbing
There are many riding stables near Seoul, some of which have ponies suitable for children. Usually only lower level lessons are taught in English, as most instructors speak basic English. Costs vary according to each club and there is usually riding equipment for hire.
- See The Business Directory, Equestrian: Horses & Riding
There are a number of private flying clubs in Korea that offer paragliding. Most courses take place in suburban areas near Seoul.
- See The Business Directory, Balloons, Paragliding & Flying Clubs