CK Travels

Nami Island (Namiseon) in South Korea – top things to do 

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One of the best day-trips from Seoul, Nami Island is home to wonderful woodland walks along the river, beautiful landscapes and an incredible array of wildlife including hundreds of wild rabbits.

Popularised by a starring role in the romantic K Drama ‘Winter Sonata” (there is even a commemorative statue of the characters), Nami Island has dozens of cafes and other attractions to enjoy, from zip lines to boat hire.

Nami Island sign

And don’t worry, you can easily escape these more commercial activities if you want a tranquil trip or peaceful place to escape the hustle and bustle of Seoul.

We visited Nami Island in autumn and were amazed by the incredible colours and fall foliage of the red maple leaf and yellow ginkgo trees.

From how to get there to admission and attraction prices, here is our Nami Island ultimate guide.

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Where is Nami Island?

Located in the middle of the Han River and just over 60km away from Seoul (South Korea), Nami Island is a popular day trip and located in the Gwanghwamun and Jongno region.

The island has an area of over 460,000m2 and an outer riverside walking trail that is 5km. Formed by the sediment of pebbles and sand, there are no mountains on the island but it is home to huge trees, flora and fauna plus lots of wildlife.

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How to get to Nami Island from Seoul

Nami Island is 63km from Seoul and can be visited via a tour from Seoulshuttle bus or by train or car.

We would recommend taking a Nami Island tour from Seoul as they usually include the admission fee to the island, a central Seoul pick-up and drop-off, plus a knowledgeable guide with local insights.

Getting the train from Seoul to Nami Island

The nearest train station to Nami Island is Gapyeong Station. From Gapyeong Station, Nami Island ferry terminal is about 1.5km away. It takes 20 minutes to walk, or 5 minutes in a taxi.

By subway train to Gapyeong Station
Take the subway train along the Gyeongchun Line from Sangbong Station to Gapyeong Station (about 50 minutes).

By ITX high speed train to Gapyeong Station
Take the ITX Cheongchun train from Yongsan station to Gapyeong Station (about 57 minutes). You can also take the train from either Cheongnyangni station or Chuncheon station.

Arriving at Nami Island

Once you’ve arrived at the Nami Island ferry terminal, there are several ways to reach the island from the mainland:

  • by ferry (the most popular way)
  • by zipline
  • by speedboat (more on these later)

Or you could try swimming but we wouldn’t recommend it (please don’t swim!).

Nami Island is not accessible by road so if you are driving here, you must park in front of the ferry terminal and get the boat across.

Nami Island ferry
Nami Island ferry

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Nami Island ferry schedule

The Nami Island Ferry runs daily from 8am to 9pm.

The ferry ride to Nami Island takes approximately 5 minutes (although in peak periods, you may need to queue to board for half an hour or so).

The ferry departs from Gapyeong Wharf.

8am – 9amEvery 30 minutes
9am – 6pmEvery 10-20 minutes
6pm – 9pmEvery 30 minutes

Occassionally on Fridays and weekends, there is an earlier 7.30am ferry departure.

Nami island ferry

Looking for cheap Seoul day-trips, attractions or group/private tours? We recommend visiting Viator, GetYourGuide, and Klook!

Nami Island opening hours

Nami Island is open 24 hours, but only accessible from the mainline by ferry from 8am until 9pm, dictated by the ferry schedule.

Many restaurants and cafes on Nami Island open at different times.

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Nami Island ticket price

If you aren’t visiting as part of a Nami Island tour, you will need to purchase a ferry ticket from Gapyeong Wharf – this includes your admission ticket to Nami Island.

The admission fee / price of entry to Nami Island (including ferry fare):

Adults16,000 Won
(around £10 / $12 USD / 11.5 Euros)
Students (middle – high school age)
Seniors (over 70 years of age)
13,000 Won
(around £8 / $10 USD / 9 Euros)
Children (36 months – elementary school age)
Early bird (7.30am – 8am)
Tickets purchased after 6.01pm (Dec – March)
Tickets purchased after 6.31pm (April – Nov)
10,000 Won
(around £6 / $7.50 USD / 7 Euros)

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How to visit Nami Island for ‘Free’

If you are considering buying a Discover Seoul Pass or Go City Seoul Pass, both include ‘free’ admission to Nami Island as part of their included attractions.

Of the two, the Go City Seoul Pass is better value for Nami Island as it is part of a tour that visits both the Garden of Morning Calm and Nami Island and includes transport to and from Seoul.

The Discover Seoul Pass includes just Nami Island admission without any transport from Seoul.

Read our honest reviews of the Go City Seoul Pass and Discover Seoul Pass

The history of Nami Island

Also known as Namiseon Fairy Tale island or Naminara Republic, Nami Island is named after General Nami, a prominent figure in Korean history who died in battle at the age of 26. His body is believed to be buried in a tomb on the island.

Years ago, seasonal rainfall and drought used to regularly transform the area into an island at certain times of the year but with the construction of Cheongpyeong dam, it is now an island all year round.

In the 1960s, a local resident and children’s book publisher called Byeong-Do Minh began planting thousands of trees to cultivate the land. He sadly passed away in 2006 and there is a statue dedicated to him and his life’s work.

Byeong-Do Minh Nami Island

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Things to do on Nami Island

Visited by thousands of tourists every day, there are dozens of natural and man-made attractions to enjoy on Nami Island. Based on our visit, the best things to do on the island include:

Metasequoia Lane / Winter Sonata Statue

One of the most popular spots on the island, Metasequoia Lane began life from some seedlings taken from one of Seoul’s top universities in the 1970s.

Metasequoia Lane Nami Island

This cavalcade of coniferous trees is a top photo spot and the setting for one of the most romantic scenes of the 2002 K- drama ‘Winter Sonata’.

Such is the popularity of Winter Sonata in South Korea, they have even unveiled a life size statue of the embracing couple just next to Metasequoia Lane.

Winter Sonata Statue Nami Island
Winter Sonata Bicycles Nami Island

Try this – Winter Sonata TV Tour on Nami Island from Seoul >

Winter Sonata First Kiss Bench

Bae Yong Joon and Choi Ji Woo are the two main characters of the famous K-drama series ‘Winter Sonata’ that was filmed here.

A recreation bench has been set up to depict where they had their first kiss, complete with fake snowman and fake snowballs.

Riverside Lover’s Ginkgo Tree Lane

The best place to see in autumn on Nami Island, the Riverside Lover’s Ginkgo Tree Lane is located on the far south side of the island and a lot quieter than other parts as it is the furthest point from the ferry wharf.

Riverside Lover’s Ginkgo Tree Lane Nami Island

It is a gorgeous glade of ginkgo trees with riverside views that turn orange in autumn plus a sea of bright red maple trees – this was our favourite place and the best photo spot.

There are also picnic benches overlooking the water here and we saw an incredible albino peacock strutting around here on the water’s edge – magical!

albino peacock Riverside Lover’s Ginkgo Tree Lane Nami Island

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First Kiss Glass Sequoia Bridge

The main way to get to the Winter Sonata First Kiss Bench, the glass sequoia bridge is made from recycled soju bottles and glass recovered from the old Samsung headquarters – a slightly weird attraction.

First Kiss Glass Sequoia Bridge Nami Island

Nami Island Story Tour Bus

A bright green hop on, hop off bus that drives around the island and is great for children or those that can’t walk far.

The Story Tour Bus does a 20 minute loop of the island and costs 8,000 Won.

Nami Island Story Tour Bus

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Janggang and Hwangha Statues

Quite the eye-opening art piece located near the famous Metasequoia Lane, this statue by Yu Qing Cheng represents maternal love and the nature of the earth in a playful way. Several of Cheng’s art works can be seen on the island.

Hwangha Statue Nami island

Try this – Private Tour Nami Island with Petite France ‘and/or’ The Garden of Morning Calm >

Millenium Waterfall

A perpetual waterfall located in a woodland setting along Ginkgo Tree Lane, this is a popular picnic spot and rest place on the island.

Millenium Waterfall Nami Island

Korean Photo Booth Shop – Four Cuts

Given all the weird and wonderful attractions (some would say naff) of course Nami island has its own Korean photo booth shop – Four Cuts.

Korean photo booth shops are usually brightly coloured small stores where you can borrow clothes and fun props (like vegetable hats, big sunglasses, animal paw gloves etc) and then pose for selfies or take photos in booths for a small fee.

Read more in our guide to Korean photo booths >

Korean Photo Booth Shop - Four Cuts Nami Island

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Nami Island Self Photo Zones

Not something we’ve ever seen before in South Korea, there are four self photo zones, marked by bright green and pink stands.

To use, insert your card or make a e-payment of 3,000 Won set your camera to video recording mode and place it on the stand. Finally, use the foot pedal and strike a cool pose – the stand rotates and moves.

Nami Island Self Photo Zones

Get a Caricature

There are a couple of illustration and caricature shops on the island, allowing you to take home a unique memory or souvenir of the day.

Prices start from 15,000 Won for one person or 25,000 Won for two (making it one of the most expensive caricature places we’ve ever seen in South Korea).

Cartoon Caricature Nami Island

Other things to do on Nami Island include the Song Museum with exhibits on Korean artists and musicians, get a picture with the large Nami Island letters or visit the ostrich village.

There are also lots of fantasy style attractions aimed at kids like a goblin bridge, forest of the elves and a year round Christmas village (the latter we thought looked well shabby and in need of a good clean or burning down!).

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Activities on Nami Island

As well as woodland walks and nature activities, there are several rides and activities to get your heart pumping. These include:

Zip Wire /Flying Fox

The fastest way to arrive on Nami Island is by zip wire, along a 1km line launched from an 80 metre high tower – you can even hear the screams as they zoom overhead if you are taking the ferry across.

zip line nami island

Taking 80 seconds to reach the island from the mainland, this is a much quicker route than the ferry or speedboat.

The Skyline Zip wire costs 49,900 Won per person and operates from 9am to 6pm every day. Zipline costs and times are correct as of November 2023.

Book your Nami Island Skyline ZipWire Pass >

Bungee Jumping

Located on the mainland near to the ferry terminal, the bungee jump costs 40,000 Won per person.

When we visited in November 2023, we didn’t see a single person jump so we aren’t sure if it open during the summer months only (but the zip line was very popular so presumably most people are choosing that).

Nami Island Speed Boat

Arrive in style on Nami Island and take a speedboat as opposed to the ferry.

Prices cost around 40,000 Won for up to 5 people. If you are travelling as part of a group of five people then it works out cheaper than paying for the ferry which has an admission fee of 16,000 Won per person.

Bicycle Hire

Other than walking, the best way to get around Nami Island is by bike (although you aren’t allowed to bring your own bicycles).

Bicycle hire is 5,000 Won for 30 minutes or 8,000 Won for 1 hour.

You can also hire a tandem cycle for two for 10,000 Won for 30 minutes or 16,000 Won for an hour.

Scooters can also be hired for 10,000 Won for 30 minutes.

Bicycle Hire Nami Island
Bicycle Hire Nami Island

Duck Boat and Rowing Boat Hire

Another way to get out on the water at Nami Island is to float on a duck boat (pedalo) or hire a rowing boat.

Prices start from 15,000 Won for two people on a rowing boat or duck boat for 30 minutes, or 20,000 Won for 3 people.

Note – this appears to be seasonal as when we visited in November 2023, the duck boat and rowing boat hire station appeared to be closed.

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Food and drink on Nami Island

There are multiple restaurants, cafes and coffee shops on the island (plus the odd convenience store and vending machine).

There are around 15 or so cafes and restaurants including:


A pet friendly restaurant in the woods on Pine Tree Lane that serves brunch and great coffee – sit indoors or enjoy the alfresco terrace overlooking the forest.

Gomok restaurant Nami Island

Book Pond Cafe

A cute coffee shop, the Book Pond Cafe serves up lemon teas, cafe lattes and ice-creams with pond views, plus the interior has loads of mirrors so it feels quite trippy!

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Dongmoon Family Restaurant

With an Asian inspired menu, Dongmoon is one of the largest restaurants on the island.

Asian Family Dongmoon Family Restaurant Nami Island

Tea House Chadam

Take time for afternoon tea at Tea House Chadam – from meringues to macaroons, enjoy signature teas and decadent desserts (there is also a useful tourist information centre at the rear of the tea house).

Tea House Chadam Nami Island
Tea House Chadam Nami Island

Namoon Korean Restaurant

One of the cheapest restaurants on the island, Namoon serves hearty Korean fare like rice and bibimbap dishes for 11,000 Won or Korean prime beef soup with rice for 13,000 Won.

Wash it down with makgeolli  or a glass of KKANGTA beer.

Namoon Korean Restaurant Nami Island
Namoon Korean Restaurant Nami Island

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If you are on a budget, there are lots of restaurants and coffee shops before you go onto Nami Island located by the ferry terminal / Gapyeong Wharf – these restaurants are much cheaper than the restaurants on the island.

You will also find a 7-Eleven convenience store and a GS25 next to the mainland ferry terminal if you want to stock up on goods before island hopping.

CK Travels Tip – for panoramic views of the river and the bungee jumping, buy a coffee at the Starbucks (on the mainland by Gapyeong Wharf) and head on up to the roof garden or the fourth floor with huge glass windows.

In addition, this Starbucks has some unique South Korean Starbucks merchandise like Jeju Island Starbucks mugs.

starbucks Nami Island

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Nami Island wildlife

Nami Island is home to lots of wildlife, especially wild rabbits – within minutes of getting off the ferry, we encountered two cute bunnies scampering around the tomb of General Nami.

Whilst on the island, we also saw several peacocks roaming around (including a rare albino peacock), squirrels, multiple birds plus you can get up close to ostriches at the ostrich farm.

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Nami Island becomes the Naminara Republic

A self declared ‘micro nation’, Nami Island (Namiseon) announced its cultural independence many years ago and became the Naminara Republic whose main exports are ‘imagination’ and ‘fairy tales’ (to note it isn’t really an independent republic, it is just a cute marketing gimmick).

Nami Island becomes the Naminara Republic

The fun continues at the ferry terminal where you clear ‘immigration’ and their own Nami Island national flag flies proudly – you can even buy commemorative stamps or use the island’s very own postal service.

Nami Island Naminara Republic post box

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Nami Island currency

Did you know that Nami Island / Naminara Republic also has its own currency which can be used in selected venues on Nami Island.

The ‘Bank of Naminara’ has Nami Tongbo coins and currency that can be used all over the island – that said, we just stick to using good old fashioned South Korean Won / KRW.

Bank of Naminara currency Nami Island

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The best time to visit Nami Island

Nami Island is a year round attraction and can be visited at any time. We most recently visited during autumn / fall 2023 so we could see all the incredible colours of the trees.

Autumn on Nami Island

Nami Island is beautiful to visit at any time of year but particularly so during Autumn, when all the leaves turn red and the hundreds of historic ginkgo trees turn yellow.

The one downside of visiting in autumn (other than thousands of tourists) is that the smell of rotting ginkgo tree leaves on the ground is pretty rancid.

Nami Island Winter

Nami Island in winter is a magical place, as popularised by the snowy winter wonderland scenes from the famous K-drama ‘Winter Sonata’.

Keep an eye out for the year-round artificial snow-man; quite the sight on a hot summer’s day!

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Nami Island accommodation

The main hotel on Nami Island is the Hotel Jeonggwanru. As well as a main hotel building, Hotel Jeonggwanru operates dozens of riverside cabins and cottages on the banks of Nami Island.

Hotel Jeonggwanru Nami Island

An idyllic setting, Hotel Jeonggwanru cottages with two bedrooms start from 179,000 Won per night or 229,000 Won with a pet. Room night discounts of up to 23% are also available during the week.

Riverside condo style bungalows accommodating up to 10 people cost around 420,000 Won per night, with discounts available during the week. Other Hotel Jeonggwanru accommodation types include atelier houses and guest houses.

Hotel Jeonggwanru Nami Island

In high season, it is likely best (and cheaper) to stay on one of these hotels near Nami Island >

Other things to know

  • There are lots of free toilets including a rather quirky themed / tilted toilet block (near to the Rowing Boat hire station) that has a meteor on top.
  • Visitors may only smoke in the designated smoking area. Smoking is banned everywhere else.
  • Camping, cooking and setting up tents is prohibited
  • Personal bicycles and scooters are forbidden – but you can rent bicycles
  • Pets less than 15kg are allowed on a leash on the island  – pets are allowed into selected restaurants like Gomok or Swing Cafe
  • Drone photography is forbidden on Nami Island.
  • There is a outdoor swimming pool / lido open in the summer months called the ‘Water Garden Swimming Pool’

Most importantly, if you are on a tour, make sure you aim to get the ferry back at least 30 minutes before your allocated meeting time / return time.

Ferries run every 10 to 20 minutes but there may be queues to get the ferry back to Gapyeong Wharf where the tour buses usually pick up.

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Is it worth visiting Nami Island / Namiseon?

Yes, Nami Island is well worth a visit and it is an easy trip from Seoul by shuttle or tour.

Nami Island is car free and very beautiful especially during Autumn / fall where the forests become a sea of red and orange.

That said, Nami Island is very commercialised and all the activities like bicycle hire or caricature studios come at a price and are more expensive than the ‘mainland’ and other parts of South Korea.

We’d recommend going to the island for the nature and gorgeous scenic views as opposed to the gimmicky rides and ‘goblin bridges’.

The riverside walks (especially the Riverside Lovers’ Ginkgo Tree Lane) are stunning and worth the admission fee / ferry boat ride alone.

Nami Island Parking

There is a huge parking lot / car park just outside the ferry terminal. Note that you cannot drive on the island (there are no cars on Nami Island other than a few local cars and tourist electronic buggies).

The first 12 hours of car parking is a 4,000 Won mobile payment, or 6,000 Won via the onsite payment machine. It is 1,000 Won for each additional hour after the first 12 hours.

Parking costs are as follows and correct as of November 2023.

Nami Island Address

Nami Island Ticket Office / Gapyeong Wharf, 10024, Bukhangangbyeon-ro, Gayyeong-eup, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea.

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