OWL Magazine Korea

Seoul Forest: A Theme Park in Seoul, Seongdong-gu

In the Seongdong-gu district of Seoul, you can find a theme park named “Seoul Forest.” It was created with the concept of an urban forest, inspired by iconic parks like Central Park in New York and Hyde Park in London.

With an investment of approximately 23.52 billion Korean Won on a site of about 350,000 square meters, the theme park and various facilities were established. It opened in June 2005.

“Former Location of a Racecourse Park”

Previously, this area was occupied by the “Racecourse Park.” When the racecourse was relocated to Gwacheon, it reopened in Gwacheon under the name “Let’s Run Park Seoul.”

Initially, there were plans to develop the area, which included the racecourse, sports park, and golf course, into a residential and business district. However, under the leadership of then-Seoul Mayor Lee Myung-bak, it was transformed into an urban green space, taking inspiration from parks like Central Park in New York and Hyde Park in London.

Rather than completely demolishing the existing facilities like the sports park and racecourse, certain concrete structures were left intact, and the area was reformed into a park. This concept of an urban park blended exceptionally well with the exposed concrete design of buildings like restrooms, creating a pleasant atmosphere.

“Expansive Lawns and Walking Trails in the Park”

The park boasts extensive lawns and children’s play facilities, making it a popular destination for families. Couples also frequent the park, and due to its size, it’s common to encounter cyclists. Additionally, the park’s picturesque setting makes it a popular location for cosplay photoshoots.

Particularly, spring and autumn draw large crowds. On Fridays or weekends with good weather, the area around Seoul Forest can become heavily congested with visitors.

“The Park Divided into Five Themes”

The park is divided into five themed areas, each offering unique attractions.

“Seoul Forest Square (Area A)”

Located in the center of Seoul Forest, it features Seoul Forest Square, a family yard, a floral terrace, a visitor center, Seoul Forest Story, a skate park, an outdoor stage, a waterside rest area (convenience store, community center), a clearing in the forest, a forest playground, and a water play area.

“Dulle-gil Ecological Forest (Area B)”

This area replicates the natural ecology of the location where the Han River used to flow. It serves as a natural habitat for wildlife, and a total of 8 species and 114 animals, including deer, inhabit the area. A pedestrian bridge is installed in the park’s center for observing wildlife.

Notable facilities include a deer and roe deer enclosure. There used to be a grazing area where deer were released, but due to the prolific breeding of deer, the population exploded, leading to the grazing area’s destruction. As a result, the deer are now raised in enclosures.

“Nature Experience Learning Center (Area C)”

Using the existing structure of the old Dulle-gil purification plant, a butterfly garden, an insect and plant garden, a gallery garden, a honeybee garden, an experiential yard, and a citizen’s forest were created.

The butterfly garden does not operate in winter due to temperature concerns and is instead relocated to the second floor as an insect and plant garden.

“The Ecological Wetland (Area D)”

Utilizing the original natural environment of the water treatment plant, they established an ecological wetland management office, an environmental playground, an outdoor nature classroom, a bird observation deck, a wetland flower garden, and a water plant garden. Due to its secluded location, this area tends to be less frequented.

“Hangang Park (Area E)”

Located on the southwest side of the park along the Han River, it offers a natural embankment where the Han River and Jungnangcheon River converge, a waterside park, a pier, and leisure spaces. Accessible via a pedestrian overpass.

“Getting to Seoul Forest by Public Transportation”

To reach Seoul Forest by public transportation, you can use the subway. The nearest subway station is Seoul Forest Station on the Bundang Line. If you take Line 2, you can get off at Ttukseom Station and walk a short distance to reach Seoul Forest.

Seoul Forest is a larger park than expected, with an ecological bridge providing views all the way to the Han River. It’s a significant park where you can get up close to animals like deer, holding special meaning. Even though the racecourse has moved to Gwacheon, traces of the former racecourse remain as statues.

A great place to visit for a breath of fresh air amidst the city’s hustle and bustle.

“Seoul Seongdong-gu, Theme Park Seoul Forest”

  • Address: 678-1 Seongsu-dong 1-ga, Seongdong-gu, Seoul
  • Operating Hours: 24 hours (Every day)
  • Admission: Free
  • Phone: 02-460-2905
  • Website: Seoul Forest Official Website