The Ultimate Nami Island Itinerary & Garden of Morning Calm

Inside the beautiful Gapyeong Valley ( 가평) lies Nami Island ( 남이섬 ), one of Korea’s biggest tourist attractions near Seoul.

Most people choose to visit Nami Island on a day tour from Seoul and include the picturesque Garden of Morning Calm (아침고요수목원) and Petite France (쁘띠프랑스) in their Nami Island itinerary.

However, a simple search of Nami Island and how to plan your trip will leave you with more questions than answers.

How to go to Nami Island from Seoul? What are the Nami Island ticket prices (and does it include the Garden of Morning Calm? How should I plan my Nami Island tour?

Well, this Nami Island itinerary and travel guide has got you covered and includes everything you need to know to plan the perfect Nami Island getaway!

Nami Island itinerary and travel guide
You can’t visit Nami Island and not take a few snaps in front of the river

Nami Island Overview

Below is my recommended Nami Island itinerary. I suggest spending 2 days in the area if your time allows for it.

  • Day 1: Garden of Morning Calm, Nami Island, Petite France & Chuncheon Dakgalbi
  • Day 2: Nami Island rail bikes

If you only have 1 day, it’s best to book a Nami Island tour which you can customize with stops at the Garden of Morning Calm and other attractions nearby.

Day 1 Nami Island Itinerary

Just one word of caution, Nami Island and the Garden of Morning Calm are two of the biggest attractions in Korea as they’re easily accessible on a Seoul day trip.

As a result, it can get very, VERY busy so be prepared for crowds, especially if you’re visiting Nami Island in spring!

Garden of Morning Calm

Exploring the Garden of Morning Calm
Roaming around the beautiful gardens
  • Garden of Morning Calm entrance fee: 9 500 – 11 000 KRW ($8)
  • Operating hours: 8:30 am – 7:00 pm
  • Time Needed: 1-2 hours

No trip to Nami Island is complete without a visit to the Garden of Morning Calm, a massive botanical garden boasting 20 different themed sections.

It’s filled with vivid greenery, lush trees, and beautifully arranged plants all surrounded by gorgeous mountains. The voices of kids running through the open fields fill the air and there are many families enjoying picnics on the well-manicured lawns.

You can spend hours wandering through the small paths and along the soft streams. This marvelous garden is so big that it’s not difficult to get lost among all the scenic walkways and quaint bridges.

Unlike Nami Island, there aren’t any fun activities to do at the Garden of Moning Calm except admire the beauty. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy the scenery.

Lighting Festival at the Garden of Morning Calm

During winter, the Garden of Morning Calm comes to life with illuminating colors lighting up the plants and walkways.

Be sure to visit between December and March to set your sights on this magical winter wonderland.

How To Get to Garden of Morning Calm from Seoul

Booking a tour like this that includes the Garden of Morning Calm is the easiest way to navigate here. But, if you prefer to travel independently, as I did, you can easily get there by public transport.

The Garden of Morning Calm is the closest metro stop from Seoul, so it’s best to choose this as your first destination on your Nami Island itinerary.

If you’re using the Seoul Metro, take the Gyeongchun Line and hop off at Cheongpyeong Station. From here, take the Gapyeong City Tour Bus to the Garden of Morning Calm.

Expect traffic on the weekends, so give yourself about 40 minutes to get from Cheongpyeong Station to the Garden of Morning Calm.

Nami Island

Exploring Namiseom Island
Cute sculptures are scattered all over Nami Island

After exploring the Garden of Morning Calm, it’s time to hit Nami Island, the prize of Gapyeong, and a must-visit on any Seoul itinerary.

Nami Island is a half-moon shaped Island with beautiful paths lined with tall, majestic trees making it the perfect backdrop for any photo.

It’s famous for being the filming location of the iconic Korean drama, Winter Sonata, and attracts K-drama fans from across Asia.

Couples love Nami Island for its romantic atmosphere, so expect to see many tripods, selfie-sticks, and semi-professional photoshoots during your visit.

  • Time needed to explore Nami Island: 2-3 hours

Nami Island Ticket Prices: “Immigration”

How to get to Nami Island
Immigration to enter Nami Island

Your Nami Island adventure begins when you purchase your “entry visa” and pass through “immigration” at the Nami Island Ferry Wharf.

Thereafter, you have two options to get to Naminara Republic:

Take a 10-minute ferry to Nami Island which costs 16 000 KRW ($12) and includes a return ticket and entrance fee. The ferry to Nami Island leaves every 30 minutes.

Zipwire to Nami Island which costs 49 000 KRW ($38) and includes a return ferry and entrance. If you’re planning on taking the Zipwire to Nami Island, it’s best to pre-purchase this ticket to avoid the long queues at immigration. You can purchase these tickets here.

What to do in Nami Island

When arriving at Nami Island, you’ll be greeted by the warm smiles of children running around and couples cycling along the paths.

Unlike the Garden of Morning Calm, I found Nami Island to be more interesting with activities to keep you busy for hours.

If you have to choose between the two, definitely go with Nami Island.

Cycle around Nami Island

  • Cost: Single bike – 7 000 KRW ($6) per hour | Tandem bike – 14 000 KRW ($11) per hour

The best way to explore Nami Island is to rent a bike and cycle around the island. We got a tandem bicycle and this was certainly the highlight of my Nami Island itinerary.

What to do on Nami Island
Cycling around Nami Island

Selfies, selfies and more selfies

It’s no secret that Nami Island is an Instagrammers dream destination!

With its quirky sculptures, picturesque tree-lined pathways, and abundance of fun photo spots, you can’t help but fall into the selfie trap and take a few snaps.

Watch the animals on Nami Island

Nami Island has many animals and ostriches which are a big attraction for the kids.

However, on the day of my visit, the “inappropriate” behavior of these animals concerned many mothers who were trying to divert their children’s attention from the adult activities of the ostriches!

Take a boat on the river

  • Cost: 40 000 KRW ($33) for a boat that can fit 5 people

If you’re visiting Nami Island in spring or summer, why not rent a water bike or a small boat and paddle out into the river.

I did find humor in watching couples out on their boats. The women sitting back taking selfies while the men frantically try to maneuver the boat in the right direction!

Nami Island water bikes
Water bikes along the river

How to go to Nami Island

For this itinerary, Nami Island will be your second destination and so you’ll need to get here from the Garden of Morning Calm.

Garden of Morning Calm to Nami Island

The Gapyeong City Tour Bus has a pickup point at the Garden of Morning Calm and takes about 1 hour to reach Nami Island Ferry Wharf.

Once you reach the stop, walk towards the bungee jump and zipwire which mark the entrance to Nami Island.

Gapyeong Station to Nami Island

If you’ve come straight from Seoul to Nami Island, you’ll get off at the Gapyeong Station.

To get to Nami Island from here, it’s easiest to take a taxi from Gapyeong Station to Nami Island Ferry Wharf which is your entry point to Nami Island.

This is a 5-minute taxi ride which won’t cost you more than 6 000 KRW.

Nami Island ferry
Boarding the ferry to Nami Island

Petite France

Petite France is a small, charming village with French-styled buildings and a European ambiance.

With its bright colors and quirky sculptures, it’s a hit for Instagrammers and couples in their matching outfits wanting to get those fun, cute snaps.

As with Nami Island, Petite France is also the filming location for many Korean dramas which adds to its popularity.


Is it worth including Petite France in your Nami Island itinerary

The Gapyeong region was extremely busy during my visit, and if you plan your trip to Nami Island in spring or fall, you can expect the same sort of crowds

If I included Petite France in my Nami Island itinerary, I would’ve spent more time waiting in the queue for the shuttle bus than exploring the actual village.

I was quite happy to miss Petite France as I had done a lot of research and found that the biggest attraction here is the architecture and cute buildings.

It’s also smaller than most people expect and so it wasn’t something I was particularly interested in.

Because of this, I chose to spend more time on Nami Island and the Garden of Morning Calm instead.

One way to avoid these queues is to book a tour package like this which will include entrance to these leading attractions and so you’ll be able to fit in all 3 of the top destinations in your Nami Island itinerary.

Petite France in your Nami Island itinerary
Petite France is one of the biggest attractions near Nami Island, but I decided to give it a skip

Indulge in Dakgalbi

If there’s one thing you need to include in your Nami Island itinerary, it’s Dakgalbi. This region is famous for the mouth-watering dish which I’ve feasted on numerous times.

There are many Dakgalbi restaurants around the Nami Island Ferry Wharf and if you’re visiting on a day tour from Seoul, it’s best to grab this dish here.

However, I highly recommend you extend your stay to Nami Island and spend the night in Chuncheon, which is only a few stops away on the Seoul metro.

Chuncheon Dakgalbi Street

I was expecting a bustling street with bright lights and hundreds of tourists.

However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Chuncheon Dakgalbi Street is a small, narrow alley lined with restaurants where Dakgalbi takes center stage.

And yes, it certainly lives up to its high expectations.

Chuncheon Dakgalbi Street
Chuncheon is famous for its delicious Dakgalbi

Day 2 Nami Island Itinerary

Unfortunately, most people only have a day to explore Nami Island and the Garden of Morning Calm.

But, it’s best to plan a weekend trip to Gapyeong Valley so that you have more time to explore the attractions, besides just Nami island.

Rail Parks near Nami Island

Enjoying the Gapyeong rail park
Pedalling through the Korean countryside

If pedaling along a discontinued rail line sounds fun to you, then make sure you include this activity in your Nami Island itinerary.

These rail bikes offer a unique way to explore the Korean countryside with picturesque views of the Bukhangang River.

There are two railbikes near Nami Island including Gapyeong Rail Bike and Gangchon Rail Bike. Both are extremely popular and have a limited number of seats available so tickets need to be purchased at least a week in advance.

Gangchon Rail Bike

Gangchon Rail Bike is slightly further from Nami Island than Gapyeong Rail Bike, but it’s arguably the best rail bike near Nami Island.

The 8.6km one-way route takes you through themed tunnels and runs alongside a river. I did this bike rail on day two of my Nami Island itinerary and it was absolutely incredible!

Gapyeong Rail Bike

Gapyeong Rail Bike is conveniently located just a stone’s throw away from Nami Island, and is easy to include in your Nami Island itinerary if you only have one day in the area.

The downside of Gapyeong Rail Bike is that you turn around at the halfway mark and return the same route as you started with, so it does lack diversity in comparison to the Gangchon alternative.

Including Gangchon Rail Bike in your Nami Island itinerary
Gangchon Rail Bike

Other activities near Nami Island and Garden of Morning Calm

There are other activities around Gapyeong such as ATV (quad bikes), go-karting, paintball, and of course, many hiking routes through the gorgeous mountains.

During Winter, Gapyeong offers some of the best skiing in Korea as well so don’t miss out on that if you’re planning to visit Nami Island in Winter.

How to go to Nami Island from Seoul

If you choose to visit Nami Island independently, you will first need to get to Gapyeong Station from Seoul.

From there, you can continue on to Nami Island, Petite France, and the Garden of Morning Calm.

There are three ways to get to Nami Island from Seoul.

1. ITX (Fast Train)

  • Station: Yongsan or Cheongnyangni to Gapyeong Station
  • Duration: 55 minutes
  • Cost: 5 200 KRW ($5)

This is the quicker, more convenient option to get from Seoul to Nami Island. However, these tickets sell out fast and if you don’t book in advance you will have to look at one of the other options below.

2. Seoul Metro

  • Station: Seoul Metro (Gyeongchun Line) to Gapyeong station
  • Duration: 90 – 120 minutes
  • Cost: 2 350 KRW ($2)

Getting to Nami Island from Seoul by subway is simple and you don’t have to worry about ticket selling out.

However, it’s a popular route so you could be standing for the entire 2-hour train ride. Once you arrive at Gapyeong Station, you can make use of the local Nami Island city bus, below.

3. Seoul to Nami Island Shuttle Bus

  • Cost: 18 000 KRW (return ticket)
  • Time: 2 hours

You can also purchase a direct shuttle bus from Seoul to Nami Island. These buses depart from Myeongdong and Insadong for your convenience.

This is another convenient way to explore Nami Island as you can use the Nami Island City Bus to get between The Garden of Morning Calm, Nami Island and Petite France.

How to get to Nami Island
Taking the Seoul Metro to Gapyeong

Nami Island Shuttle Bus/City Bus

  • Cost: 6 000 KRW ($6) for a day pass which can be purchased from the bus driver. Make sure you keep this bus ticket to show at every pickup point.

Once you’ve reached the region of Gapyeong from Seoul, the easiest way to get to Nami Island, Garden of Morning Calm, and Petite France is with the Nami Island City Tour Bus.

It stops at all the major attractions around Gapyeong including Nami Island, Garden of Morning Calm, Petite France, and the Gapyeong Rail Park.

There are also metered taxis available throughout Nami Island and Garden of Morning Calm but if you’re traveling on a budget, the shuttle bus is your best option.

Nami Island Shuttle Bus Route

Gapyeong Bus terminal – Gapyeong Station – Rail Park – Nami Island – Petite France – Cheongpyeong Terminal – Cheongpyeong Station – Garden of Morning Calm

Gapyeong City Tour Bus schedule
The schedule for the Gapyeong shuttle bus

Nami Island Tours

As you can see, getting around Nami Island is not easy!

For foreigners, and those who cannot speak Korean, the journey is more difficult and you can spend quite a bit of time trying to find your way around Nami Island and the Garden of Morning Calm.

If time isn’t on your side, and if you don’t have the patience to sit around and wait for shuttle buses (or if missing the train will totally ruin your mood – as it did mine), I suggest you plan your Nami Island itinerary with an organized tour operator which will include all your transport from the Myeongdong district in Seoul, entrance fees and you’ll have English speaking guides.

The Best Nami Island Day Tours

Nami Island, Garden of Morning Calm, and Gangchon Rail Bike Tour: This tour includes the two must-do activities in Gapyeong – Nami Island and Gangchon Rail Bike. You also have the chance to replace the Garden of Morning Calm with Petite France if you’d prefer. If you only have one day to explore, this is the perfect tour package!

Check latest prices here.

Mount Seorak and Nami Island Tour: Seoraksan Mountain and Nami Island are arguably two of the most iconic locations in Korea. There’s no doubt that you’ll be exhausted after this full-day tour as it’s jam-packed with hiking and outdoor activities, but if you really want to tick two bucket list destinations off your Korea bucket list, this is for you!

Check latest prices here.

Alpaca Pasture, Nami Island, and the Garden of Morning Calm Day Tour: If you have kids, they’ll love this tour which includes a visit to Alpaca Pastures where you’ll set your sights on the cute Alpaca’s which reside here. Afterward, you’ll head to Nami Island and the Garden of Morning Calm before returning to Seoul.

Check latest prices here.

Nami Island day tour from Seoul
Spring in Korea

Where to stay in Nami Island: Chuncheon or Gapyeong

If you want to stay near Nami Island I recommend either Gapyeong or Chuncheon.

Whilst there is accommodation available on Nami Island itself, this is an expensive option.

Gapyeong is the closer of the two to Nami Island and has a nice selection of restaurants and reasonably priced accommodation.

Chuncheon, on the other hand, is about 30 minutes away from Gapyeong but is closer to the Gangchon Rail Bike. It’s a small town specializing in Dakgalbi with its own street dedicated to the famous dish.

I stayed in Chuncheon and loved my quick visit to the Dakgalbi capital of Korea!

Accommodation in Gapyeong

If you’re traveling on a budget, Jarasum Guest House is conveniently situated in Gapyeong, very close to Nami Island. It’s the cheapest place you’ll find and even comes with breakfast.

If luxury is your first choice, then check out Club Inner Hotel & Resort. Not only does it have large, spacious rooms but it also has a pool and outdoor terrace.

Accommodation in Chuncheon

Budget travelers will love Sh Guesthouse in Chuncheon. Situated in the middle of Chuncheon, you’re only a short walk from restaurants and shops. The price includes breakfast and the hosts are super friendly,

Where to stay in Gapyeong and Nami Island and Nami Island and Nami Island
Gapyeong is such a beautiful part of Korea

Best Time To Visit Nami Island

  • Spring (March-May): The flowers begin to bloom, and the Garden of Morning Calm and Nami Island are filled with beautiful bright colors. Spring in Nami Island also brings cherry blossoms that attract a large crowd. The weather is cool and it’s a great time to be outdoors.
  • Summer (June – August): Summer is extremely hot and humid in Korea. A tour to Nami Island and the Garden of Morning Calm involves being outdoors, and unless you can handle the heat, it’s better to visit during the cooler months.
  • Autumn (September – November): Autumn brings along pleasant weather in contrast to the scorching hot summers and freezing cold winters. The beautiful color leaves attract many tourists and it’s a great time to visit Nami Island.
  • Winter (December – February): During Winter it’s chilly but the beautiful snow-covered landscapes offer a unique visit to Nami Island and the entire Gapyeong valley.
When ro visit Gapyeong
The beautiful gardens around Gapyeong

Thoughts on a Nami Island Tour

I’m glad I finally got to see what all the hype is about. My highlights were the delicious food I ate, the rail bike, and of course Nami Island!

Personally, I found all the attractions far too crowded, and the Gapyeong City Tour Bus was always filled to capacity. Booking a Nami Island tour package would’ve been so much easier but at least I had two days to explore so my days didn’t feel too rushed.

However, if you’re unable to visit during the week, you’ll just need to come to terms with the fact that it will be chaotic on weekends.

Practical Information

  • Recommended tour: full-day tour from Seoul
  • Distance from Seoul: 2.5 hours
  • Time needed: Full day | 2 days if you have time
  • Best time to go: During spring or fall, preferably during the week when it’s less busy

Have you been to Nami Island and the Garden of Morning Calm? What were your highlights? Let me know in the comments section below!

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

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Travel Guide to Nami Island in South Korea
Nami Itinerary in Gapyeong

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About Carryn

Hi, I'm Carryn.  I’m a South African trying to figure out my way through life by traveling and exploring. Join me as I share my travel stories and tips of life abroad.

6 thoughts on “The Ultimate Nami Island Itinerary & Garden of Morning Calm”

  1. Hello. Is the cost updated for 2022? I plan to travel to South Korea this August and wanted to plan ahead my expenses. Thank you for this helpful and informative post, by the way! 🙂

    • Hi Ericka. So glad you found this post helpful. Yes, it is updated but the USD exchange might be slightly off depending on what the exchange rate is like. Prices are constantly changing so if you find that they’re different when you visit, please let me know!

  2. Thanks so much, this is soooo helpful! I’m visiting Korea next week and your guide has saved me tons of time researching. Very thorough and incredibly helpful. Thanks again!!xxx

  3. Thanks for this, Carryn. I’m going alone in January and reading your experiences helped me decide to do the Klook tour instead of trying to buy everything by myself. I hope I won’t look awkward riding the railbike alone (just kidding, I love solo trips)! haha!


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