Why Gangchon Rail Bike Is A Must Do in South Korea

Last updated on May 28th, 2020

Gangchon Rail Bike is Korea at its best! I mean, who doesn’t love pedaling along old train tracks?

Up until 2010, it was a fully functioning train line before being converted into the famous Gangchon Rail Bike Park. It’s a major attraction and allows visitors an opportunity to take in the beautiful Korean countryside in a unique and fun way.

Situated just over an hour from Seoul, Gangchon Rail Bike is arguably the best rail bike park in South Korea and it makes for an awesome activity, no matter the season!

Want to know why you should include it to your Nami Island itinerary? Well, keep reading as I’ve covered absolutely everything you need to know about Gangchon Rail Bike (including why you should choose it over Gapyeong Rail Bike which is close by).

Gangchon Rail Bike at Gimyujeong Station
Gangchon Rail Park is situated right outside Gimyujeong Station

Gangchon Rail Bike

If you’re heading to the Gapyeong region of South Korea, you’ll have two rail bikes to choose from: Gangchon Rail Bike or Gapyeong Rail Bike.

This guide details everything you need to know about Gangchon Rail Bike Park, including why I chose it over Gapyeong Rail Bike.

Gangchon Rail Bike course
Pedaling along the countryside in these bad boys

Gangchon Rail Bike Course

The 40-minute course passes rice paddies, rivers, and mountains with picture-perfect scenery throughout the trip. It’s best to visit during spring or fall when the weather is not too hot, nor cold.

My favorite part of the Gangchon Rail Bike were the themed tunnels. We started off with the “Bubble Tunnel” where we were surrounded by bubbles and cute, happy music.

Next, was the “Party Tunnel” with strobe lights and disco music.

For all the romantics out there, the Gangchon Rail Bike also has a “Love Tunnel” with appropriate music and lighting to go with it.

The final stretch ends with a “VR Tunnel” where you’re able to shoot imaginary monsters and villains!

Gangchon Rail Bike Park
The cycle wasn’t strenuous at all
Gangchon Rail Bike themed tunnels
Riding through the themed tunnels

Scenic Train Ride

At the end of the Gangchon Rail Bike course, you reach a rest stop where you can purchase drinks and snacks.

From here, you hop onto the “Romantic Train”. It’s a short 15-minute train ride along the Bukhangang River and is a great, relaxing way to end off your Gangchon Rail Bike experience.

You will arrive at the Old Gangchon Station which is no longer functioning so don’t confuse it with the official Gangchon Station which is nearby.

Romantic Train at Gangchon Rail Bike
The “Romantic Train”

Shuttle bus back to Gimyujeong Station

From the Old Gangchon Station, you need to catch the free shuttle bus back to Gimyujeong Station.

I was headed back to Seoul so I gave the shuttle bus a miss and went straight to Gangchon Station to catch the Seoul Metro.

To get to Gangchon Station from the Old Gangchon Station, turn left as you get off the “Romantic Train” and follow the road for about 15 minutes. It will be to your right.

Gangchon Rail Bike and Nami Island
Gangchon Rail Bike is very easy to get to and should be included in your Nami Island itinerary

Difference between Gapyeong Rail Bike & Gangchon Rail Bike

Yes, there are two rail bikes located within 20 minutes from each other, both situated close to Nami Island.

So, which one is better? Gapyeong Rail Bike or Gangchon Rail Bike?

Why You Should Choose Gapyeong Rail Bike

Gapyeong Rail Bike is the closer of the two rail parks to Nami Island and is conveniently located 2 km away from Gapyeong Station whilst Gangchon Rail Bike is 20km from the Gapyeong Station.

If you’re trying to squeeze a rail bike into your one-day trip from Seoul to Nami Island and the Garden of Morning Calm, then Gapyeong Rail Bike may be your best option. Purchase your Gapyeong Rail Bike tickets here.

Gangchon Rail Bike in spring
Lucky to have gone on a beautiful spring day

Why Gangchon Rail Bike is the best rail bike park in Korea

Gapyeong Rail Bike covers a distance of 8 km and you end where you started. At the halfway point, you turn around and begin pedaling back along the same route you’d just come from.

On the other hand, Gangchon Rail Bike offers an 8.6 km one-way route which means you don’t pass the same settings twice. On top of this, Gangchon Rail Bike has more fun tunnels than Gapyeong Rail Bike.

For these reasons, Gangchon Rail Bike is said to be a longer and more exciting route than Gapyeong Rail Bike. Purchase your Gangchon Rail Bike tickets here.

Gangchon Rail Bike Ticket Price

Tickets for the Gangchon Rail Bike are 30 000 KRW ($25) for the 2-seater bike or 40 000 KRW ($33) for the 4-seater bike. The VR experience is an additional 5 000 KRW ($5).

You need to book your Gangchon Rail Bike tickets in advance if you want to get a seat in your preferred time slot. It’s an extremely popular rail bike so don’t be surprised if you arrive unprepared and everything’s sold out.

Tickets can be purchased through Klook or Trazy who offer competitive prices.

The 2-seater and 4-seater bikes depart separately so if you’re traveling with a group of 6 people, it’s best to get 3 x 2-seater bikes. This way you’ll be able to ride together.

How to go to Gangchon Rail Bike

Gangchon Rail Park is easily located right outside Gimyujeong Station in Gapyeong.

Just walk out of exit 1 and turn to your right. You can’t miss it!

How to get from Nami Island to Gangchon Rail Bike

The easiest way to get from Nami Island to Gangchon Rail Bike is via the Seoul Metro.

  • First, you need to take a 5-minute taxi from Nami Island to Gapyeong Station.
  • From here, take the subway to Gimyujeong Station.

How to get from Seoul to Gangchon Rail Bike

If you’re coming from Seoul to Gangchon Rail Bike, you can either take the Seoul Subway, or the ITX fast train.

Subway: The easiest way to get from Seoul to Gangchon Rail Bike is with the Seoul Metro to Gimyujeong Station. From Myeongdong Station in Seoul, it should take about 2h20min to reach Gimyujeong Station.

ITX: If you’re looking for a faster route, take the ITX from Yongsan or Cheongnyangni Station to Namchuncheon Station. From Namchuncheon Station, you need to hop onto the Seoul subway line back to Gimyujeong Station.

Taking the ITX to Gangchon Rail Bike Park may be quicker, but it’s a more complicated route.

After getting off the ITX at Namchuncheon Station you need to ensure you get your timing right as the subway runs every 20-30 minutes. If you miss the train to Gimyujeong Station, you could wait 30 minutes for the next one and possibly be late for your booking.

Read More: 17 Things I Love About Korea

2-seater Gangchon Rail Bikes
How cute are these bikes

All-Inclusive Tour Packages

Luckily I spent 2 days in the area, so I had a bit of extra time to spare in case I got lost or missed the train – and yes, both of these happened to me!

If your time is limited and you’d like to visit the other attractions in the area, it’s best to book an all-inclusive tour package from Seoul to Gangchon Rail Bike.

For just under $35, this full-day package is great value for money and is the best way to explore everything in one day. Not only does it include round-trip transport from Seoul, but you’ll also be able to experience the Gangchon Rail Park as well as Nami Island and even Petite France.

Gapyeong Rail Bike vs Gangchon Rail Bike
Gangchon Rail Bike is a longer and more exciting route than Gapyeong Rail Bike

Gangchon Rail Park operating hours

Gangchon Rail Park is open daily from 09:00-18:00 with sessions starting every hour.

Public holidays and weekends are the busiest time so make sure your plan ahead. The rain park is also open throughout the year, but is more popular in the warmer months.

Where To Stay Near Gangchon Rail Bike

If you’ve read my post on Nami Island, you’ll see why I chose to stay in Chuncheon during my visit to the Gapyeong region.

Chuncheon is the dakgalbi capital of Korea and is located just 10 minutes away from Gangchon Rail Bike, so I highly recommend you stay here as well!

Budget travelers will love this cute pension in Chuncheon. Situated on the top of the hill, it’s close to Chuncehon Dakgalbi Street and the hosts are super friendly,

Families visiting will love The Castle Stay. It’s situated in a quiet neighborhood and includes a simple breakfast.

If you’re looking for a mid-range option, you’ll love Julies’ Place which is just a stone’s throw away from the Chuncheon Station. Not only is the host incredibly friendly, but the room is extremely comfortable and even has it’s own kitchenette.

The entrance to Gangchon Rail Park
The entrance to Gangchon Rail Park

Other things to do near Gangchon Rail Bike

Gangchon offers other fun activities apart from just the famous Korea rail bike.

There are ATV (quad bike) trails, go-karting, bungee jumping, and even paintball.

It’s not necessary to pre-book any of these and you can just pop into one of the stalls once you’ve reached the Old Gangchon Station.

Practical Information

  • Costs: $25 for a 2-seater
  • Recommended tour: this full-day package
  • Time needed: 1.5 hours
  • Best time to go: During spring or fall

Have you done a rail bike experience before? Did you love it as much as I did? Let me know in the comments section below!

Looking for more Korea travel information? Check out my other posts!

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A guide to the Gangchon Rail Park near Seoul, Korea

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6 Comments

  1. Hi Carryn, great article! I’m thinking of doing Nami Island, Garden of Morning Calm and the Gapyeong Rail Park on a day trip with my 2 sisters and elderly mom during our Seoul visit. Would you advise a Do-It-Yourself and booking tickets in advance or purchasing tour tickets (to avoid long lines and waits)? Thanks! – Steve

    1. Hi Steve! If you’re only doing a day trip to the Gapyeong area I suggest you book through a tour group because you may run out of time if you do it yourself (we waited 2 hours alone for the local shuttle bus!). I’ve booked tours through Trazy before and their prices are really good but there are also many other tour groups available. If you had an extra day I’d suggest a “do-it-yourself”. Have fun!

  2. Hi Carryn!

    Thanks for sharing!
    I was planning to rent a car driving from Seoul to have a day trip to Gangchon Rail Bike, Nami Island, and Petite France Village. What car rental company do you recommend? And how is the GPS navigation? Is it easy to handle for non-Korean speakers?

    Thank you for your advice.

    1. Hi Maggie!

      Are you familiar with driving in Korea? It can be quite confusing and all the road signs are in Korean, and you won’t find many English-speaking people to assist you if you get lost. Unfortunately I don’t have a rental company that I can recommend and I’m not sure about the GPS. I suggest you you make use of public transport instead. Its fast and efficient (and cheap). If you’re worried about time, you can easily book a package through a tour provider. Enjoy your time in Korea!

  3. Hi Carryn,

    Thanks for sharing your experience re the Gangchon Rail Bike, which looks interesting. Wondering if it’s open in winter during early Dec ? Does it makes sense to try it out when the weather is cold ?

    Thanks !

    1. Hi Evelyn!

      Yes, it is open during Winter. I do think it will be a beautiful ride, but Winters in Korea are freezing cold and you don’t really want to be outside (unless you go ski)! Personally, I think it would be too chilly (but that’s just me – my body hates the cold!) But, if you’re going to be in the area already, I suggest you do it. Make sure you dress warmly and take a few hot packs with you – also take a blanket! Would love to know how it is in Winter so please keep me posted if you go ahead.

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