Bukhansan National Park
Bukhansan National Park is Seoul’s only national park. Sometimes nicknamed “Samgaksan,” meaning “Mountain of three peaks,” the park has a hilly terrain featuring three high peaks as well as many beautiful valleys and trickling streams. Join the millions of locals and tourists who flock here each year to enjoy this idyllic landscape in the heart of an urban area. It will quickly become clear why this park is so popular that it featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most visitors per square foot of any national park in the world.
Look for signs of animal life as you wander the trails of Bukhansan National Park. The area provides a habitat for over 1,300 animal and plant species. Not only is the park rich with natural charm, it is also peppered with historic sites. Stop at some of the more than 100 Buddhist temples and hermitages scattered across the park. Visit the east Bibong Peak to admire the vast stone Buddhas carved into the rock face close to the Seungasa Temple. Head to Musubong Peak to see the Munusa Temple, which incorporates a natural water feature using dripping water from Munsugol Cave.
Follow the popular hiking route that leads to Bukhansanseong Fortress, a relic of the Joseon era. Parts of the fortress wall run alongside the trail that leads up to Baegundae Peak, the highest peak in the park. Bring a camera when you embark on this trip, as the views of Seoul from the summit of the peak are among the best in the region. Although the hike is uphill, it is possible to reach the top in just over 2 hours or a little longer for those who take frequent breaks to admire the many beautiful sights along the way.
Admission to Bukhasan National Park is free. Visit in various seasons to discover new sides to the park. In spring and summer, the landscape comes alive with flowers, while autumn brings a carpet of colorful leaves and winter sees the dramatic peaks blanketed in snow.