Korea is a country full of beautiful sceneries that encompasses both the land and the sea. What is special about Korea is its hilly land, which makes up 70% of the total land. This is why hiking is one of the best activities Koreans like to do over the weekend, be it with their friends, family, or even with their colleagues. Breathing in the fresh air, enjoying the beautiful view, and working out too, this makes it the most beloved activity for Koreans.

There are a few things you have to take note of before going on a hike, first, look for the path you want to go through, as different paths have different safety and difficulty levels. Also, don’t forget to bring your own water or some light snacks as the hike might be difficult. Bringing hiking gear might also be necessary depending on the difficulty of the hike.

For many people, hiking might be tiring and dangerous too. So depending on the level of experience and knowledge on hiking, we prepared 4 best hiking trails for either beginners, intermediate, or advanced hikers. Check this out:

Bukhansan (λΆν•œμ‚°) – Intermediate-Advanced Hiking Trail

Bukhansan View Hiking Trail - Feodeera Sondach
View from the middle of Bukhansan

Located close to the center of Seoul, Bukhansan is one of the most popular mountain for hikers. There are three major peaks on Bukhan mountain, Baegundae, Insubong, and Mangyeongdae, all ranging from 700-800 meters in elevation. The most popular track is to reach the Baegundae peak, which is the highest peak. It usually takes 3-5 hours depending on your experience and speed. Some people like to go up slowly to stop by and enjoy the nature.

While hiking, you may even pass through the fortress in Bukhansan. It is one of the popular track people like to go through. Also, some tracks require you to hold onto zip-lines, so be mindful of that too.

If you want to hike on Bukhansan, we suggest you look at this information before leaving:
How to get there – Take the Subway to Gupabal Station (Line 3) and then take the Bus and stop at Bukhansanseong Fortress
Address – 02700  6-21, Bogungmun-ro 34-gil, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul  
Fee – Free of Charge
Opening Hours – Usually from Sunrise to Sunset
More information – VisitSeoul site

Naksan Park (낙산곡원) – Beautiful Hill with Fortress Walls, Beginner Trail

View from Naksan Park during Sunset

Although not necessarily a mountain, Naksan park is on a high altitude which can make it as a beginner hiking course. It is a hilltop that is popular for its beautiful fortress walls. Located near Daehakno or Hyehwa, it is a hip area full of arts and culture as it is surrounded by several universities that are well-known for its theater and art majors. You can see multiple theater plays too in Daehakno.

Naksan park requires a simple hike from the entrance to the top. It is much less difficult than Bukhansan as there are no difficult tracks. However this does not mean that the view from the top is less beautiful. Located in the Northwest side of Seoul, you can overlook the beautiful Seoul from the top of the park.

Before visiting Naksan Park, check out these informations to make your journey easier:
How to get there – Take the Subway to Hyehwa Station (Line 3) and walk towards the entrance
Address – 41, Naksan-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul 
Fee – Free of Charge
Opening Hours – Open all year round
More information – VisitKorea site

Gwanaksan (κ΄€μ•…μ‚°) – Intermediate Hiking Track

Seoul Hiking Guide: Top 4 Mountains in Seoul Worth the Hike - Trazy Blog
Photo Credits: Trazy

Gwanaksan or Gwanak Mountain is located close to Seoul National University, on the Southern most part of Seoul. It is close to the Gyeonggido Province cities like Gwacheon and Anyang, which makes it popular for citizens from that area. There are a few tracks you can go through if you want to reach the top. As Gwanaksan is not as high as Bukhansan, it will be a tad bit easier to go to the top.

There are three possible routes in Gwanaksan, the Sadang track, Gwacheon track and the Gwanak track. All three are pretty similar in that they all start from near a transportation system (Subway and Buses). The most difficult of the three and the most beautiful one is the Sadang track. It might be quite challenging but the view is definitely worth the effort. All tracks will most likely take you from 2-3 hours to reach the top.

Before deciding on which tracks you want to go up on, check on these informations first:
How to get there – Take the Subway either to Sadang Station (Line 4), Gwacheon Station (Line 4) or SNU (Line 2) depending on the routes you want to take
Address – Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul
Fee – Free of Charge
Opening Hours – Open all year round
More information – VisitKorea site

Namsan (남산) – Mt. Nam and N Seoul Tower, Beginner Trail

Mt. Namsan is a symbol of Seoul itself : Korea.net : The official website  of the Republic of Korea
Photo Credits: Korea.net

Namsan located in the Junggu district of Seoul is a popular romantic spot you may have seen often in Korean Dramas. Although in most Dramas, the main focus will be the lock-and-key spots near the N Seoul Tower. Namsan itself is a mountain that offers a hiking track that is not difficult. In a way, hiking up Namsan will offer you both a hiking experience as well as visiting Seoul’s best tourist spot which is the N Seoul Tower.

When you reach the entrance of the N Seoul Tower, you may go up the tower to the observation deck, though this will charge you. You can check out this link for a cheaper way to go to the deck. We suggest taking the cable car to go down and see the view of Seoul. Going on a hiking trip to Namsan will be an experience you will never forget. Also, don’t forget to visit the famous Donkatsu places below the hill.

Some informations you can take note of before going to Namsan:
How to get there – Take the Subway to Myeongdong station (Line 4) and walk to the entrance
Address – 105, Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Fee – Free of Charge (except for Cable car and N Seoul Tower observation deck)
Opening Hours – Open all year round (except for Cable car and N Seoul Tower observation deck)
More information – VisitKorea site

Are there parking spaces near the mountains in Korea?

Yes, there are usually parking spots below the mountains of Namsan, Bukhansan, Gwanaksan, and Naksan Park.

Do I have to get hiking gear to hike in Korea?

This depends on which track and mountain you want to go to. Most of the mountains or hills listed here does not require you to bring hiking gears. But using a non-slippery shoes is definitely recommended.

Is it dangerous to hike on Bukhansan?

Hiking is definitely not the safest form of sport. But Bukhansan have several tracks that are easier and safer, so it you want to take those, be sure to take note. There are usually a lot of people so this might be a good thing if you need help, but sometimes it might be to crowded to go up. When this is the case, make sure to go up in turns.

Do I have to pay to go up the observatory deck of Namsan tower?

Yes, there is a fee if you want to go up the deck. But if you don’t want to pay, you can just stay on the bottom of the tower and you can already see the view of Seoul as well as the famous heart locks.

Is there an entrance fee to go up the mountains in Korea?

No. All mountains in Korea are free of charge as it is a public area. However, if you want a tour guide or in some cases you want to take the cable car or enter some areas, you will need to pay.