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? 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 Overview
- Distance from Seoul: 1 hour
- Course length: 6 km on rail bike, 2.5km on train
- Price: Check prices here
- Time needed: 1.5 hours
- Best time to go to Gangchon Rail Bike: Autumn or spring
Introduction to Gangchon Rail Bike
If the Gapyeong region is part of your South Korea itinerary, 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.
Both bike parks are close to Nami Island and Garden of Morning Calm so I highly recommend that you pair your trip with these attractions.
Pro tip: Tickets need to be purchased at least a week in advance as they sell out fast!
Gangchon Rail Bike Course
Gangchon Rail Bike departs from Gimyujeong Station. 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 autum when the weather is not too hot, nor cold.
My favorite part of the Gangchon Rail Bike are 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!
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.
Shuttle bus back to Gimyujeong Station
From the Old Gangchon Station, you need to catch the free shuttle bus back to Gimyujeong Station.
I 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.
Read More: The Ultimate 7 Days Seoul 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 Park 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. On the other hand, Gangchon Rail Bike is 20km from the Gapyeong Station.
If you’re short on time and trying to fit in a rail bike into your day trip from Seoul to Nami Island, then Gapyeong Rail Bike may be your best option.
But, one of the cons of Gapyeong Rail Park is that it 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.
Why Gangchon Rail Bike is the best rail bike park in Korea
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.
Gangchon Rail Bike Ticket Price
Tickets for the Gangchon Rail Bike are 32 000 KRW ($23) for the 2-seater bike or 43 000 KRW ($30) for the 4-seater bike. The VR experience is an additional 5 000 KRW ($5).
Tickets can be purchased through Klook or Trazy who offer competitive prices.
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.
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 located right outside Gimyujeong Station in Gapyeong close to both Nami Island and Chuncheon city.
Just walk out of exit 1 and turn to your right. You can’t miss it!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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All-Inclusive Tour Packages
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.
Here’s my Nami Island itinerary which includes Gangchon Rail Bike as well as the other attractions in the area that you should include!
Best Time to Ride Gangchon Rail Bike
The Gangchon Rail Park operates throughout the year. Every season brings with it a different experience so whether you do the Gangchon Rail Bike in autumn (fall) or summer, you’re guaranteed to have an awesome experience.
Gangchon Rail Bike in Autumn and Spring
The autumn season is the best time to plan your trip to either Gapyeong or Gangchon Rail Park. These months of September, October and Novemeber are warm and sunny with gorgeous autumn foilage.
Spring in Korea is stunning and it’s also a great time to plan your rail bike tour. The mild temperatures are perfect for a day outside and you’ll see bright flowers and cherry blossoms.
Gangchon Rail Bike in Summer and Winter
The Korea summer and winter seasons are extreme. Summer (June to August) is hot and humid with most people choosing to stay indoors. Considering the rail bikes are outside, you may not enjoy it as much as you would in autum. Bring lots of water, a sun hat and sun screen.
If you do the Gangchon Rail Bike in winter, there’s a high chance of snow! Peddaling alongside the countryside covered in snow will be breathtaking, but cold. Dress warmly and bring a blanket so that you’re prepared to brave the icy outdoors.
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 Sh Guesthouse in Chuncheon. Situated in the city centre, it’s close to many shops and restaurants.
Families visiting will love The Castle Stay. It’s situated in a quiet neighborhood and includes a simple breakfast.
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.
If you’re visiting in winter, check out all my guide to the best ski resorts in Korea, most of which are close to Gangchon Rail Park and can easily be added to your trip.
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!
- The Ultimate Packing List for Korea
- Why Naksan Beach is Korea’s Perfect Beach Getaway
- Things to do in Jeju: 5 Day Itinerary
- 24 Strange Things About Korea
- 9 Awesome Day Trips From Seoul
There is a really good chance that this post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. As always, views are my own!
6 thoughts on “Why Gangchon Rail Bike Is A Must Do in South Korea”
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
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!
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.
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!
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 ?
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.