Why Gangchon Rail Bike is a must do

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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 Park. It’s a major attraction and allows visitors an opportunity to take in the beautiful Korean countryside in a unique and fun way.

I highly recommend you spend the weekend and visit these other locations on your trip to Gangchon as it’s close to the popular Nami Island.

Gangchon Rail Bike Course

Gangchon Rail Bike course

Pedaling along the countryside in these bad boys

Rail Bike

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.

If you’re visiting Korea in winter, check out all my guides to the ski resorts in Korea!

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 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.

How to get to Gangchon Rail Bike

Gangchon Rail Bike and Nami Island

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

Gangchon Rail Park is easily located right outside Gimyujeong Station. Just walk out of exit 1 and turn to your right. You can’t miss it!

  • 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.

  • Seoul to Gangchon Rail Bike

Gangchon Rail Bike at Gimyujeong Station

Gangchon Rail Park is situated right outside Gimyujeong Station

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.

ITX

If you’re looking for a faster route, take the ITX from Yongsan or Cheongnyangni Station to Namchuncheon Station. These ITX tickets were all sold out when I tried to book as it’s a busy route filled with commuters and tourists.

From Namchuncheon Station, you need to hop onto the subway line back to Gimyujeong Station.

Taking the ITX 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.

How much do Gangchon Rail Bike tickets cost?

2-seater Gangchon Rail Bikes

How cute are these bikes

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 additional 5 000 KRW ($5).

Tickets can be purchased here. It’s best to book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment as it’s an extremely popular rail bike.

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.

All-Inclusive Tour Packages

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 to Gangchon Rail Bike, Nami Island and the Garden of Morning Calm.

For just over $50, this full-day package is great value for money and is the best way to explore everything in one day.

Gapyeong Rail Bike vs Gangchon Rail Bike

Gapyeong Rail Bike vs Gangchon Rail Bike

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

Yes, there are two rail bikes located within 20 minutes from each other. So, which one is better? Gapyeong Rail Bike vs Gangchon Rail Bike?

Why Gapyeong Rail Bike may be a better option

Gapyeong Rail Bike is the closer of the two rail parks to Nami Island and is conveniently located 2 km away from Gapyeong Station. If you’re trying to squeeze a rail bike into your one-day trip from Seoul, then Gapyeong Rail Bike may be your best option.

Why Gangchon Rail Bike is the best rail park

Gangchon Rail Bike in spring

Lucky to have gone on a beautiful spring day

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.

What are the Gangchon Rail Park operating hours?

The entrance to Gangchon Rail Park

The entrance to Gangchon Rail Park

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.

Other activities around Gangchon

Gangchon offers other fun activities apart from just the famous 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
  • Distance from Seoul: 2.5 hours
  • Time needed: 1.5 hours
  • Best time to go: During spring or fall

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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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