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Nami Island (also known as the Naminara Republic) is a small island not far from Seoul along the Han River, and what can you do there? So much!
This island is based on fairytales and makes you feel like you’re walking through your own folk tale. The island itself is shaped like a half-moon and is located in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province and was created when the Cheongpyeong Dam in was built in the 1940s.
The island has many places for visitors to enjoy and is mostly known for the beautiful roads lined with pine birch and metasequoia trees. There are multiple walking paths that allow you to enjoy nature in its entirety with views of the surrounding areas and mountains.
Not only can you try out each of the restaurants here, but you can also enjoy the performances, independent museums and more. It’s a destination with something for the entire family that can be enjoyed no matter the weather.
Not sure what you want to do on Nami Island? Keep reading to find out.
|Country:||South Korea (Republic of Korea)|
|Currency:||South Korean Won / KRW|
|Do you need a visa to visit as tourists?||Check here|
How to get from Seoul to Nami Island
Location: 145-2 Daljeon-ri Gapyeong-eup Gapyeong-gun Gyeonggi-do ( 경기 가평군 가평읍 )
Nami Island is located in the Gangwon Province not too far from Gapyeong, South Korea. there are a number of ways to reach the island so I’d like to break down each option for you.
Arriving by Car
As with most destinations in Korea, travelling by car is one of the most convenient. Travelling from Seoul to Nami Island is certainly easiest by car (unless you join a group tour where the guide drives for you!).
If you have access to a car, you can follow the GPS to the address above which takes you to the Quay and entrance to the boat port. You won’t be able to take your car onto Nami Island but you have a few car parks in the area to leave your vehicle until you return from the Island.
If you are just visiting and need to rent a car you can do so below:
Arriving by Public Transport
The easiest thing to do when travelling from Seoul to Nami Island is to use one of the navigation apps and input the address above from your starting location. Naver Maps and Kakao Maps are the two best apps to use when travelling the country as Google Maps is extremely temperamental here.
There are a few different ways to get there but here are two of the most popular routes when travelling from the centre of Seoul to Nami Island:
Route 1: If You’re Staying Near Seoul Station
- Get on the #105 bus at the Sungnyemun bus stop
- Ride for 54 minutes and get off at Junghwadong Hansin Apartment Stop
- Walk 10 minutes until reach Sangbong Station and enter through Exit #7
- Get on the Gyeongchun Line (Green) in the direction of Mangu Station
- Ride for 54 minutes and get off at Gapyeong Station
- Take Exit #1 and walk to the Gapyeong Station bus stop
- Get on bus #10-4 and ride 6 stops for 4 minutes
- Get off at Namiseom Island Last Stop and walk 5 minutes to the Island Quay
Route 2: If You’re Staying Near Hongdae
- Take Line 2 (Green Line) From Hongik University Station towards Hapjeong Station
- Ride 23 stops for 50 minutes and get off at Jamsil Station
- Take Station Exit #5 and walk to Jamsil Station.Lotte World Bus Stop
- Take bus #7000 and ride for 38 stops for 1 hour and 25 minutes
- Get off the bus at Nami Ogeori
- Walk 2 minutes to Gapyeong Ogeori bus stop
- Take the #10-4 bus for 9 stops for 7 minutes
- Get off at Namiseom Island Last Stop and walk 5 minutes to the Island Quay
Nami Island Tours
If you’d rather not travel independently to Nami Island, then I’d highly recommend joining a group tour. Most tours to Nami Island also include a stop at the following destinations in Gapyeong: Petite France / Italian Village, Rail Park and the Garden of Morning Calm.
The benefits of booking yourself onto group tours for Nami Island include having other people to explore with which is especially useful if you’re a solo traveller like myself.
Plus, group tours usually include transport to and from Seoul to Nami Island meaning you can just relax and enjoy the day trip.
- Seoul: Nami and Petite France Trip with Rail Bike or Garden
- Seoul: Namiseom, Petite France, & Garden of Morning Calm
- Seoul: The Painter Show and Nami Island / Alpaca World
- Seoul: Seoraksan, Nami, and Garden of Morning Calm Tour
If none of these totally tick all of your boxes for a day out to Nami Island, there is even an option to fully customise your day trip and travel in only your private group. Take a look below:
Arriving at Nami Island
Going through “Immigration”
When you arrive at the Island Quay on any of your Nami Island tours, you’ll notice a sign for “Immigration” that you need to go through to enter. Many tourists get a little stressed at this point if they haven’t brought their passports with them. But rest assured, they are not needed!
In order to board the small ferry that takes you from the mainland to the island in the river, you will need to go through the ticket gate. If you are travelling independently there is a ticket booth where you can purchase them on arrival. If you are part of a guided tour, then your guide should have these tickets for you already.
After scanning your tickets you will be asked to follow the marked trail until you reach the ferry. the ferry ride is between 5 and 10 minutes and offers pretty views across the water.
What to do On Nami Island
Nami Island offers many attractions for visitors to take advantage of. Some activities to enjoy during your time on the Island include:
- Botanical Garden – An outdoor space with over 200 plants
- Metasequoia Lane – The picturesque tunnel of trees from Winter Sonata
- Ride the Charity Train – Takes you from one end of the island to near the Port (or the other way)
- Go on a boat tour of Nami Island – see the island from the water
- Visit the Moomin Museum
- Appreciate handcrafted art and ceramics – Pots, pans, sculptures and more
- Watch outdoor musical performances at the concert stage
- Enjoy a variety of food at the different restaurants and cafes – try some gelato flavours
- Take a stroll along the water trail
- Visit the Ostrich farm – Try not to get bitten like I almost did!
- Visit KDrama filming locations
- Pose at all of the photo opportunities
- Rent a bike to cycle around the island
And believe me, this barely scratches the surface. For such a small island, there are countless more things you can do while enjoying your visit to the Naminara Republic.
Where to Stay When Visiting Nami Island?
On the Island
If you’d like to stay on Nami Island there is only one option and it’s quite expensive. The hotel available for overnight guests is named “Hotel Jeonggwanru”. If you want to book to stay here during your visit to Nami Island you will need to contact them directly.
If you’d like to find out about the room types and prices available check out their website which will give you all the relevant information. On the site, you will also find the contact email and phone number to make your reservations.
Off the Island
If you don’t wish to stay on the island itself but want to stay close by, there are a few options not far from the Island Quay. There are no hostels available in the area so the website I’d use to find appropriate accommodation would be booking.com. This is because they have the widest selection of properties to suit each type of traveller.
Nami Island & Winter Sonata
If you’re wondering why the pictures from Nami Island look so familiar, it’s likely you’ve seen this destination before. Back in the early 2000s the popular KDrama “Winter Sonata” was filmed on Nami Island and has become the famous backdrop for the show.
Nami Island is the perfect place to showcase the love story of the Winter Sonata (겨울연가) lead characters throughout the show. With memorable scenes surrounded by snow and the long lines of famous metasequoia trees. Not only will you get to see the trees and stand where the actors stood, but you’ll also get to see other props and statues in honour of them too.
Notice the bikes they rode on through the Island and look for the statue of the two lovers in an embrace. Plus, for the die-hard fans, you’ll even get to see a small billboard of the show attached to a bench for you to take a selfie with.
When visiting Nami Island you’ll feel like you stepped into Winter Sonata yourself.
Should You visit Nami Island During Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter?
What’s great about Nami Island, is its an attraction that is open to visitors in all seasons. Each season also offers a completely different experience so it’s nearly impossible to choose which season would be the best to choose if you can only visit once.
Let me break down the pros and cons of visiting Nami Island at each time of year.
Nami Island in Spring
Nami Island during the spring season is beneficial as it is not too hot, plus the flowers and some cherry blossom trees will be in bloom. This means you get to enjoy the outdoors surrounded by floral colours without getting too sweaty like you would in the summer months.
Nami Island in Summer
Nami Island during the summer season is hot and humid with an extremely high number of tourists. Since many parts of the world get a long break from school and work during this time of the year, Korea receives many of these visitors. So when you consider that Nami Island is one of the top attractions in the country, it will likely be busy.
Nami Island in Autumn / Fall
Nami Island in the Autumn or Fall has a similar temperature to that in the Spring. One key difference is all the leaves are turning orange and red across the island.
Although there are many places that are worth a visit when the leaves are changing throughout Korea, Nami Island is definitely one of the top destinations for this time of year. Most activities are outdoors so you can make the most of the stunning autumn colours during your visit,
Nami Island in Winter
When visiting Nami Island during the winter months, you will likely see many other tourists as this is arguably the busiest time of year here. Because the famous KDrama “Winter Sonata” was filmed here during winter, this is when many fans like to visit to recreate their favourite scenes.
Not to mention how beautiful the island looks when covered in snow. Just remember to wrap up warm as it can get very cold here!
Final Thoughts on Nami Island
This small moon-shaped island is 100% worth your time for a visit if you’re in South Korea. It’s beautiful in all four seasons and has so much to offer. Whether you visit here to reenact your favourite KDrama scenes, take in the stunning scenery or just relax in the island accommodation, you have multiple options ready for you.
Have you experienced Nami Island during a particular season in Korea? What did you think?