Gapyeong is an hour-to-two journey from Seoul, hosting the popular tourist-hauling spots Nami Island, Petite France, and The Garden of Morning Calm, widely used to film Korean dramas.
Last November we spent a day in Gyeonggi Province as part of our Seoul 7 Days itinerary. This was our third day in Seoul and we covered just two (2) famous Gapyeong attractions— Nami Island and Petite France.
Nami Island, The Garden of Morning Calm, and Petite France were shooting locations for several Korean Movies including the tear-jerking drama Winter Sonata, You Who Come from the Stars, and I am Not a Robot.
In this post, we would like to share our personal experience with Gapyeong City Tour Bus, travel tips, and the cost breakdown that we incurred on this trip.
How to get to Gapyeong Station from Seoul
In reality, there are several ways to get to Gapyeong. You can choose from the cheapest alternative to the most expensive, mostly varying in travel time and comfort. To make it easy, we listed only the tourist-friendly alternatives below:
For this trip, we’ve chosen the ITX-Cheongchun (Express Train) from Cheongnyangni Station to get to Gapyeong. This direct flight almost cuts the travel time to half (compared to the normal subway) and also twice the price. If you are thinking to take this option, here are the (wander)-ful tips:
- T-Money cards cannot be used to purchase tickets for ITX. You’ll need cash to buy tickets from the Korail counters.
- It only takes 40 minutes to reach Gapyeong through ITX.
- Economy Class tickets (Reserved Seat) are priced at ₩4,800 per one-way trip and ₩4,100 for Standing/ Non-Reserved Seat as of this writing.
- The fare cost for kids aged between 4 and 12 is around half of the adults, and FREE of charge for children under 4 years old.
- The time interval of the ITX flights is about an hour. Miss the train and you need to wait for another hour to catch the next one.
Visit the KTX website for more up-to-date information and to book ITX tickets.
Gapyeong City Tour Bus from Gapyeong Station
It was past 11:00 am when we arrived at Gapyeong Station and immediately went to the Tourist Information center located just outside the station. There is only one exit from the station, so you’ll never get lost.
The Gapyeong City Tour Bus tickets can only be purchased directly from the bus driver and have a flat rate of ₩6,000 with unlimited rides. They are operating from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm in a one (1) hour interval. Keep the ticket for verification, it will serve as a pass in every ride.
Personally, I will discourage paying through credit cards. I’ve heard their Point of Sales (POS) have trouble reading different cards, so don’t take the risk, or you’ll end up taking the expensive option. Just in case you don’t have cash, please note that they don’t accept cards issued outside of Korea.
The Tour Bus queue can be daunting, particularly during peak hours. We queued for thirty (30) minutes in front of the Information Center just to catch up with the 12:10 pm bus.
Here’s the Tour Bus timetable for your convenience:
Typically, if you start the tour around this time as well, it’s impossible to cover all four attractions. For us, we chose to visit Petite France first and then catch a sunset on Nami Island.
💡 TIP: If you want to cover all four attractions, be there the earliest time.
Petite France (쁘띠프랑스)
Feel the transportation to a whole new location and time as you enter Petite France.
As its name suggests, Petite France has been built to portray the French Village. This heritage village features European treasures such as century-old toys, antiques, and furniture. Several Korean drama series are performed in Petite France, such as My Love From the Star to the Star 별에서 온 그대 (2013–2014), Great Friend Note (Girls Generation Episode), Beethoven Virus 베토벤 바이러스 (2008) and a few others.
Besides photo opportunity scenery, free events are also scheduled at various locations, such as Guignol French Hand Puppet Show, Orgel Presentation, Accordion Performance, and a few others.
Take a walk of the topmost part of the village and enjoy the spectacular view of the bay, the mountains, and the sunset. Not far from the observation deck, you can also find a colorfully decorated pathway covered with rounded metals with climbing plants in it.
If you’re still hyped up and still have time to spare, take a tour of its forest just behind the food hall. The pathway is made of plastic, which is designed to look like a wooden plank.
Admission: ₩10,000/ Pax
Operating Hours: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Notes: Last admission one (1) hour before closing
Witness the Nami Island covered with autumn foliage between September and November.
Nami Island is most popular as a filming location for Winter Sonata scenes. Though part of the jurisdiction of Chuncheon, Nami Island or Namiseom is most readily accessible from a Gapyeong County wharf (its main gateway and jump-off point).
How to get to Nami Island
- There are two (2) ways to get off Gapyeong Wharf to Nami Island. The first and conventional way is by ferry and if you’re daring enough, go stylishly across a zip-line to the island. Take note the ferry is the only way to get off the island.
- The ferry departs every 30 minutes from 7:30 am to 9:00 am, 10-20 minutes from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm and every 30 minutes between 6:00 pm and 9:40 pm.
- The trip is very short, it takes just 5 to 6 minutes for the ferry to get to the island.
We went through a car park from the bus stop to get to the ticket counters and the Customer Service Center and on the other side is the zip-wire tower.
Shortly after we got off the ferry, we were astonishingly greeted by the bright autumn foliages that decorated the island with red and gold (visible from afar). We all fell in love with the perfectly arranged maple trees which is also ideal for photo backgrounds and a place to rest.
Before we left the island, we took a soothing warmth from the large open bonfire because it started to get really cold at dusk.
Admission: ₩13,000/pax (Ferry + Entrance), ₩44,000/pax (Zipline + Entrance)
Operating Hours: 7:30 am – 9:45 pm
Conclude the Trip With a Sumptuous Dinner
There is nothing more perfect than concluding a fun-filled trip with a sumptuous meal.
We had a Dakgalbi (닭갈비) feast in Kko Kko Dakgalbi Chuncheon located just opposite the wharf. A popular chicken dish made of diced chicken mixed in a gochujang-based sauce with chopped vegetables, rice cakes, and cheese.
After our empty stomachs had been filled, we went to the bus stop just across the street to catch the Tour Bus (we couldn’t stand the freezing temperature though). After waiting for a few minutes, we decided to take the taxi just to get back to Gapyeong Station. Even you can not brace for the worst.
💡 TIP: Check online for more Seoul Food Trip Ideas and grab exclusive offers.
The Ideal DIY Gapyeong Itinerary
Initially, we only planned to visit Nami Island for this tour because we arrived in Gapyeong Station late in time. Then they said that taking the Gapyeong Tour Bus could only allow us to cover 2 attractions.
To others, getting in all four (4) attractions within a day is pretty impressive. But after this trip, we learned that, if we can start as early as 6:00 am and observe the timing strictly, it really is possible to do it by ourselves.
We have provided the ideal DIY Itinerary below for reference:
South Korea Series
We understand the obvious trickiness of the new itinerary, particularly the waiting for the Gapyeong Tour Bus. One small mistake could cost you another hour of waiting.
So if you’re looking for a fuss-free Gapyeong tour choose from the packages (usually 3 attractions) in Klook.
Or securely and comfortably explore Nami Island and the surroundings by a chartered car, which can also pick you up and drop you off at the hotel.
Are you going to Korea really soon? Please feel free to follow or adjust this itinerary and let us know how it is going!
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