>  Asia   >  Korea   >  The Serene Semiwon Garden + My 3 Favourite Places to See Lotus Flowers near Seoul
lotus flowers near seoul | semiwon garden

Summer in Korea brings hot, muggy weather, and moody skies, but there’s one bright light amongst all the grey – enchanting lotus flowers near Seoul are in full bloom. These sacred flowers arise anew out of muddy waters each and every day, symbolizing rebirth and spiritual enlightenment.

lotus in full bloom at semiwon garden korea

Lotuses in Seoul are only in full bloom during the hot, summer months.

Fortunately, you don’t have to travel too far from the city if you want to see these beguiling blooms. Because one of the most spectacular places to see lotus flowers close to Seoul is at the Semiwon Garden in Yangpyeong, just 45-km away.

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Lotus flowers only bloom during the hot, steamy summer months in Korea. Typically, you can count on them to be in their full glory from late-June until mid-August.

semiwon garden lotus flowers

Lotus flowers need to be seen during the full heat of day.

If you want to catch lotus flowers near Seoul at their absolute best though, aim for the brightest, hottest time of the day. Yes, it’s that time of the day when you’re absolutely wilting from the heat, but it’s the exact opposite for lotus flowers. They absolutely adore the heat and humidity.

Lotus flower petals begin to open in mid-morning, and close up again during the late afternoon, sinking back into the mud and water every night, before being born again the next day. Each flower blooms for about 3 days.

lotus flowers near seoul | semiwon garden

Lotus petals start to close up in the late afternoon.

The Semiwon is a massive botanical garden, dedicated to lotus flowers near Seoul. I’m not kidding – there are literally thousands upon thousands of these gorgeous flowers spread out across 1320-square-metres of land. The incredible sight of never-ending lotus flowers is something I won’t soon forget.

semiwon garden lotus flowers

This is just one of the many ponds of lotus flowers at the Semiwon Garden.

There are more than 50 types of lotuses, water lilies, and other water plants floating atop 6 separate ponds at the Semiwon Garden. While the white lotus pond is definitely the biggest, there are also ponds for red lotuses, tropical water lilies, Victoria water lilies, and Perry’s lotuses.

It’s a joy to wander the lush grounds discovering them all one by one.

lotuses near seoul at semiwon garden

Semiwon Garden has 6 ponds with so many varieties of flowers.

Aside from all the gorgeous lotus flowers, there’s also a lotus museum, sculptures, fountains, and specialized gardens, like the Sehanjeong, and the Sangchunwon – an exhibition greenhouse designed in the style of Joseon Dynasty gardens.

I especially enjoyed the Jangdokdae fountain made entirely out of Korean pottery. It was not only beautiful, but the cool water also provided a brief respite from the scorching temperatures!

jangdokdae fountain at semiwon garden

Yes my face is that red, because it’s THAT hot.

Every summer in Korea, the Semiwon Lotus and Waterlily Festival celebrates these gorgeous flowers, with performances, special events, and experiential activities, like lotus leaf soap making, and fan painting.

yangpyeong semiwon lotus festival

Neverending ponds full of lotus flowers near Seoul.

I’ve gone to the Semiwon Lotus Festival a couple years in a row now, since it’s so close to Seoul. Despite suffering mightily from the heat, it’s always totally worth it, and I plan on heading back there again this year.

When you go, make sure to slather on sunscreen, wear a hat or carry a parasol, and hydrate A LOT. There’s an on-site cafe at the Semiwon Garden, where you can take a break in some air conditioning, while indulging in some cool lotus themed drinks.

semiwon garden cafe

There’s a cafe with ac AND lotus themed drinks at Semiwon Garden.

Lotus Flower Festival Dates

June 28th - August 15th, 2024

Address in English

93, Yangsu-ro, Yangseo-myeon, Yangpyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do

Address in Korean

경기도 양평군 양서면 양수로 93

Operating hours

July & August: 9:00 - 20:00 | September to June: 9:00 - 18:00 | Closed Mondays

Admission Fees

Adult: 5,000 won | Ages 6 - 18, 65+: 3,000 won | Ages 5 and under: free

Transport Options

Rent a car, DIY by public transit (1.5 - 2 hours), Guided Tour to Yangpyeong


Where is the Semiwon Garden?

Address: 경기도 양평군 양서면 양수로 93 | 93, Yangsu-ro, Yangseo-myeon, Yangpyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do

The Semiwon Garden is located about 45-km east of Seoul in Yangpyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do Province.

yangpyeong dreamy camera cafe korea

The Dreamy Camera Cafe is totally unique!

While this scenic area near Seoul is most well-known for the Dumulmeori, where the heads of the Bukhan and Namhan Rivers meet, there’s much more to explore. If you’ve got the time, there are mountains, strawberry farms, an abandoned train station, cool cafes, and of course – the Semiwon Garden full of stunning lotus flowers.

YANGPYEONG TOUR  |  See wonderful flowers and landscapes at Dumulmeori and the Semiwon Garden, before visiting the totally quirky Dreamy Camera Cafe, and an adorable sheep ranch. Check full details here.

Driving is the fastest and most convenient way to get to the Semiwon from Seoul, but it’s not difficult to get there using public transit either.

lotus flowers near seoul at semiwon garden

The lotuses of Yangpyeong are not far from Seoul.

By Car: It takes less than an hour to get to Semiwon Garden and it’s stunning lotus flowers by car or taxi. From central Seoul, the driving distance is approximately 45-km. If you want to take a taxi – it would cost approximately 40,000 won each way. Check car rental options here.

By Subway: The closest subway station to the Semiwon Garden is Yangsu Station on the Gyeongui – Jungang line. Once you reach the station, take Exit 1, and walk for 700-metres to reach the garden, or jump in a taxi.

water lilies near seoul | semiwon garden

Baby lotuses are so cute.

By Bus: From the Jamsil Metropolitan Transfer Center, take bus G9311 and get off at Yangsu Police Box. Walk 620-metre to reach the Semiwon Garden.

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Lest you think all there is to do there is admire lotus flowers (not a bad thing) – there’s actually quite a few other things to do at the Semiwon Garden. You could easily spend half a day or more exploring it, and the surrounding areas.

semiwon garden map

There’s a lot to explore at Semiwon Garden, besides lotus lowers © Semiwon Garden

TRAVELING WITH A GROUP?  |  Choose from 3 different routes to explore on a private tour. Options include Hwadam Forest, the Dumulmeori, Gwangmyeong Cave, Ludencia or Yeoju Premium Outlets. Get info here.

From the moment you cross through Bulyimun – a stunning entrance designed with a Korean flag motif, you’re transported into a lush new world.

There are really so many incredible places to take photos, your Insta can’t help but be thrilled.

Semiwon Garden | Bulyimun Gate

The Semiwon is gorgeous from the start.

I admittedly went a bit nuts taking photos, but really – it’s just that beautiful at the Semiwon Garden. Here are some of my favourite spots:

  • Guksawon – a pond and garden made in the shape of the Korean Peninsula. It’s surrounded by 365 stepping stones, to encourage you to remember your love for Korea for all days of the year.
  • A stone pathway set inside a calm stream, where you can enjoy the shade from the surrounding tall trees, and the sound of bubbling water.
  • The Jangdokdae Fountain, made of 365 traditional hangari.
  • The hanok house next to the white lotus pond
semiwon garden yangpyeong korea

Walking along this stream is so cool and relaxing.

semiwon garden

There are great sculptures to take pictures with throughout the Semiwon Garden.

Cross the Pontoon Bridge to Dumulmeori | 두물머리

Dumulmeori literally translates to “two heads of water.” It’s the confluence of the Bukhan and Namhan Rivers, and there’s plenty of lotuses in full bloom to enjoy there too.

dumulmeori yangpyeong korea

Two heads of water at Dumulmeori © Photo Korea, Lee Bumsu

The Semiwon and Dumulmeori are connected by a pontoon bridge, made from 52 boats, so these are great places to visit at the same time.

The bridge itself is a replica of one that was made for King Jeongjo by Jeong Yak-yon in 1789. He used it to cross the River when he visited his father – Prince Sado’s tomb.

pontoon bridge between semiwon garden and dumulmeori

It’s easy to visit the Semiwon and Dumulmeori at the same time using this pontoon bridge © Photo Korea, Lee Bumsu

Sooo many K-dramas have been filmed at the Dumulmeori. Maybe you’ll recognize scenes from Undercover, The Man Living in Our House, The Beauty Inside or The Goddess of Marriage?

LOTUS FIELDS NEAR BUSAN  |  If you’re in Busan, the lotus fields to check out are in Haman, about an hour’s drive away. Spanning ​​98,900-square meters, this is Korea’s LARGEST lotus park. Join a tour here.

Address: 34 Mogwang-ro, Yangseo-myeon, Yangpyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do | 경기도 양평군 양서면 모광로34번길

Across the street from the Semiwon Garden, you’ll find a bunch of restaurants using lotus as one of their ingredients. I’m sure they’re all good, but I’ve ended up at Yeonbat both times I’ve gone to Semiwon Garden.

You can choose set meals with pork or fish, a number of side dishes, doenjang, and rice.

yeonbat restaurant set meal

Make sure you order a meal that includes lotus leaf rice.

Sets come either with or without lotus leaf rice, so make sure you pick one that includes it. Once you unwrap the leaf, you’ll find a sweet, slightly sticky rice with lotus root, dates, and ginkgo. Delicious and healthy!

yeonbat | lotus leaf wrapped rice

A yummy surprise inside the lotus leaf.

Some of the most gorgeous lotus ponds in Korea are found quite some distance from Seoul, but if you can’t make it out of the capital region, here are 3 places to see them… and most are right on the Seoul subway line.

lotus flowers in seoul at bongeunsa temple

So pretty!

bongeunsa lotus flower festival in seoul

The Bongeunsa Lotus Flower Festival is perfection.

bongeunsa temple

Bongeunsa is my favourite place to see lotus flowers in Seoul.

There’s also a lotus flower festival at Jogyesa Temple in Insadong that you can check out, but I definitely prefer the one at Bongeunsa.

Hyangwonji Pond at Gyeongbokgung Palace | 경복궁

Address: 서울특별시 종로구 사직로 161 (세종로) | 161, Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Head to the Rear Garden at Gyeongbokgung Palace, and you’ll come to a large square pond, with an instantly recognizable 2 story hexagonal pavilion. This beautiful pavilion is called Hyangwonjeong, and it was designated as National Treasure No.1761, in 2012.

A serene scene at Gyeongbokgung Palace © Francisco Anzola, (CC BY 2.0)

The surrounding waters are called Hyangwonji Pond, and its populated with carp, and beautiful lotus flowers during summer.

“Hyangwon” appropriately means “the scent travels far” and it was derived from the work, On the Love of Lotus, by Chinese scholar, Zhou Dunyi.

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Siheung Lotus Flower Theme Park | 시흥 연꽃테마파크

Address: 139 Gwangokji-ro, Siheung-si, Gyeonggi-do | 경기 시흥시 관곡지로 139

This one is a bit further away than Gyeongbokgung, but it’s still one of the best places to see lotus flowers near Seoul, with 32,000-square-metres of cultivated lotus and water lilies to admire.

lotus flowers near seoul

Lotus flowers are always enchanting.

With promenades, bike routes, sunflowers, and a huge variety of water lilies and lotus, it’s a lovely place to spend a hot, summer day.

Located next to historic Gwangokji in Siheung, it takes about 90 minutes to reach the Lotus Theme Park from Seoul using public transportation.

lotus pond at seoul botanic garden

You can also see lotus flowers at Seoul Botanic Garden.

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Lotus Flowers in Seoul: Essential Info and FAQs

Where can I see lotus flowers in Seoul? There are several places to see lotus flowers in Seoul, including Gyeongbokgung Palace, Bongeunsa Temple, Jogyesa Temple, Seoul Botanic Garden, and Changdeokgung Secret Garden.
How to say lotus flower in Korean? The Korean word for lotus flower is 연꽃, pronounced yeonggot.
What does the lotus flower symbolize in Korea? In Korean Buddhism, the lotus symbolizes purity of the heart and mind, rebirth, spiritual awakening, and enlightenment.
When is the best time to see lotus flowers near Seoul? The peak season for lotus flowers in Seoul is from July to mid-August. At this time, you'll find ponds of lotus flowers in full bloom during the daytime hours.

Where’s your top spot to see lotus flowers near Seoul?

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