A Winter Sonata: Nami Island

By Assia Hamdi | 14, Oct, 2020
A Winter Sonata: Nami Island

Nami island is a half-moon-shaped island that is surrounded by rising water from the North Han River. The sky and water meet around this island to create a fairy tale escape from the city. This beautiful island is known for its symmetrical trees that align the promenade paths and create impressive experiences. The walking paths are lined with Korean Pine trees and Redwood trees that have beautiful transformative colors and shades based on the seasons. It’s most famous pictures are the visual representation of autumn pumpkin-spiced fall season. 


Why is Nami Island Famous?
nami island

Image Credit: Elle Morre on Unsplash

Nami island is famous for its picturesque setting cultivated for the ethereal feel of being in a fairy tale story. As the K-wave continues to wash across the world with tv shows and movies translated and dubbed into English, Spanish and Arabic, Nami has been the illustrious background star for Winter Sonata and the inspiration for many other tv show settings.


What is the best month to visit Nami Island?
autumn hues

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It is perfect to visit any time of the year depending on your own preferences, do you prefer the autumn hues of red and orange on the trees or are you a fan of the spring renewal of trees and flowers. Perhaps you prefer the Narnia or Winterland wonder of bare trees and white coat of snow covering the ground, either way, Nami Island is a true fairy tale location and perfect for every season.


Seoul to Nami Island
seoul to nami island

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The route from Seoul to Nami Island varies on how much you are willing to pay and the time you have. On average it will take 1 hour and 30 minutes to travel from Seoul to Nami Island. 

Trains from Yongsan to Gapyeong can take as little as 48 minutes. 

There is also the option of Cheongnyangni to Gapyeong. 

From Gapyeong, buses, taxis, and walking are all close options to reach the Nami Island ferry departing stop. 

Entrance fees

It includes both the entrance fee to Nami Island and the Ferry transport from mainland Korea, Bangha-Ri.  

General Rate: 13,000 won (11-12 Dollars)

Discounted Rate: 10,000 won (8-9 Dollars)

Special Rate: 7,000 won (6-7 Dollars)


Thrill experiences
flying fox in nami

Image Credit: visitkorea


There are not many places in the world that you can pay for a visa and entrance with a zip lining pass! Nami Island provides the unique experience of paying for your visa, way back on a ferry, and zip-line experience.

Whizz in and let gravity do the hard work as you cruise over the Han river and enter in style. 

Fare: 44,000 won

Operating hours: April-October 09:00-19:00 / November-March 09:00-18:00

The operation may be discontinued in the case of snow, rain, or strong winds

Inquiries: +82-31-582-8091


Sky bike

A great way to overlook Nami Island, this sky bike track enables participants to cycle on a track from a height and enjoy a view of the island and visitors below. 

Fare: Adults 3,000 won / Children 2,000 won

Boarding site: Bike Center

Inquiries: +82-31-582-0144


Cultural experiences and Exhibition halls
small community in nami

Image Credit: Vivian Wong on Unsplash

Pyeonghwarang is home to all the following cultural experiences and exhibition halls.

Handicraft Studio

This studio provides children and adults the opportunity to experience various artistic workshops and classes including making ceramics, glassware, woodcrafts, dye crafts, and papercrafts. 

Children friendly cultural experiences

The Island has various activities available for children and families, including the picture book library which brings alive storytelling and fairytales, different programs and activities are for kids. The Unicef Hall was opened to promote the Unicef welfare promotion for children, it is the 14th park in the world to receive a UNICEF child-friendly park.  

Petite France

The Gapyeong city tour includes Petite France as one of its stops and this is not without reason. This multicolored mini-town pays homemade to le petit prince a famous tale and also a movie, there are an Antoine de Saint-Exupery Museum and many idyllic spots for Instagram shots. You can confuse your followers and make them believe you traveled to Europe with the century-old dolls and puppets, antiquities, and European looking architecture. 

Ryu Hongjuin World Folk Instrument Exhibition Hall

This exhibition hall aims to preserve the beautiful historic lineage of Korean folk instruments and music. The history of storytelling through musical pieces is a tale as old as time and the exhibition hall allows you to understand the importance of these instruments and the stories they kept alive.

Yu Qing Chung Sculpture Park Happy Garden 

Yu Qing Chung was an individual artist who created art which are known to make people happy, this great concept fits in line with the idea of storytelling and its powers to provide comfort and imagination. A park is dedicated to Chung’s art for the sole reason of providing happiness to all the visitors. 


Gardens and Nature
nature in nami

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This island has over 20 gardens because the Nami Tourist governance has ensured the Island is kept as close to its natural form. The Namisum organization has cultivated a respect for and appreciation of organic nature and what it offers when it is left to grow wild.

The Central Korean Pine Tree Lane 

Impossible to miss The Central Korean Pine Tree Lane is the iconic path lined with thick pine trees directing into the center of this fairy-tale island. 

Riverside reed Paths

The island is filled with walking pathways but if love the idea of having nature flank you one on one side and water on your other then riverside paths will transport you. The Riverside reed will offer an ethereal cloaked view of Namiseom.

Garden of Morning Calm 

This Garden is open all year and special at every season, blooming over 5000 different flowers at its natural season. This garden was founded by a professor of Horticulture from Sahmyook University. This garden encapsulates the morning calm and was founded to protect Korean nature and the spirit of Korean culture and appreciation of garden culture. 

Gongsaengwon Garden (The Winter Sonata Statue)

It would only make sense that the tv show that made this Island popular is commemorated with its own garden. Fans of the winter sonata can take a picture with the impressive statues of Bae Yong Joon and Choi Ji Woo. This part of the island is supposed to preserve the idea of love and romance perfect for both new couples and married couples. 


Restaurants, Cafes, and food
nami by the water

Image Credit: Photo by Vivian Wong on Unsplash

Nami Island Sonata Cafe 

This Cafe is the perfect location to stop and pick up the classic sugar hotteok, a Korean pancake to warm your fingers. Both simple and delicious it will complete your wholesome adventure around the island. 

Halal-certified Asian Family Restaurant Dongmun

If exploring this fairy tale Island actualizes a hunger for a proper hearty meal, then head over to the Asian Family Restaurant Dongmun. The choices of Korean food include seafood, halal meat, and even traditional Korean dishes. The meals come with side dishes, sticky rice, and a good serving of halal and friendly hospitality. The restaurant’s versatility is explored by the dishes on offer from all over Asia including Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysian, Chinese, and Japanese. 


Halal Service - Muslim prayer room
forests of nami

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The prayer room is located on the second floor of the Asian family restaurant dongmun restaurant and is the perfect addition to any Muslim day trip. As Muslims, we often struggle to find secluded places to pray and concentrate. However, thanks to the generous donation of an Iranian poet Ms. Pooneh Nedai, Muslims have been provided with a prayer room with wudu facilities. Even a secluded fairy tale land. The ties and bonds of Muslims internationally are strong and this is evidenced by this room. 

Nami Island proves that fairytales do exist and not only is it a beautiful place but it is truly inclusive and open to visitors from all over the world.

All information is correct at the time of writing. Please check with the respective service providers for more information.

Currently a History and Arabic student with a huge ambition and passion for travelling. Inshallah, my hope is to see the beautiful world God has created and share the beauty with you lovely readers.

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