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songpa-gu mascots at seokchon lake

Seokchon Lake Park isn’t high on most people’s Seoul itineraries, but it definitely should be. You could easily spend several days happily exploring all its attractions and events, which include the Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival, special art exhibitions, the Lotte World Tower, Magic Island, and the Seoul Nori Madang.

songpa-gu mascots at seokchon lake

Song Song and Pa Pa love hanging out at Seokchon Lake

Lined with cherry trees, and flowering shrubs, Seokchon Lake Park is an oasis in the middle of one of Seoul’s busiest intersections. Head there to experience a bit of local culture, in a gorgeous natural environment.

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Seokchon Lake | 석촌호수 | Songpa Naru Park

Seokchon Lake is also known as Songpa Naru Park, and it’s located in surprise surprise, Songpa-gu on the east side of Seoul. Contrary to popular belief, Seokchon isn’t an artificial lake. It was created in 1971, during the Hangang Riverbed development project, when silt accumulated upstream and part of the Han River was separated into a lake.

west lake at songpa naru park

Get panoramic views of the West Lake from the Seokchondae-ro freeway.

Today, Seokchon Lake is made up of an East Lake and a West Lake, separated by the 10 lane Songpadae-ro freeway. You can stand on either side of this road for a birds-eye view of both lakes.

Lotte World Adventure’s Magic Island and the Seoul Nori Madang are on the West Lake. Lotte World Tower Seoul Sky Observatory, Songpa Tourist Information Centre, an iSeoulu sign, and Historic Site 101 can be found near the East Lake.

east seokchon lake

The East Lake at Seokchon Lake Park.

Visit Seokchon Lake in Spring, Summer, Autumn & Winter

Walking or jogging is one of the most popular things to do at Seokchon Lake Park. The scenery changes in every season, so it’s worth checking out at different times of the year. The most beautiful months are April to May, for cherry blossoms and spring flowers, and October, due to the incredible autumn foliage in Korea.

where to stay in seoul | seokchon lake, jamsil in autumn

Seokchon Lake is gorgeous in autumn. Photo © Kim Seung-rae, Korea Tourism Organization

The path covers a total distance of 2.5 km in a figure 8 pattern, and winds around both lakes. It’s made out of soft urethane, so it’s easy on the knees and feet.

There are multiple stairways up and down to the street, so don’t worry about getting trapped on lake level and being forced to walk the whole loop. It’s possible to pop down for even a 10 minute nature break if you need it.

Festivals and Events at Seokchon Lake Park

The Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival is undoubtedly the most famous event at Seokchon Lake Park, but don’t limit yourself to just the month of April in Korea. Throughout the year, there are various exhibitions and performances to check out.

songpa information centre

You can get the scoop on what’s happening at Seokchon Lake here.

Head into the Songpa Tourist Information Centre on the East Lake for the full scoop on current events and festivities.

TIP  |  For a unique experience and great souvenir, rent a super cute Korean uniform from Ehwa Korean School Uniform and have a photo shoot. It’s right by Seokchon Lake, out of Exit 4 at Jamsil subway station. Book an Ehwa Korean School Uniform here.

Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival | 석촌호수 벚꽃축제

Seokchon Lake is one of the most popular places to see cherry blossoms in Seoul. No big surprise given that both the West and East lakes are gorgeously ringed by pink cherry blossom trees in full bloom. More than 5 million people visit during the Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival every year.

seokchon lake cherry blossom festival

The Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival takes place every April

Typically, the Festival happens sometime during the first 2 weeks of April, and lasts for about 10 days. There’s no entrance fee though, and Seokchon Lake never closes, so don’t feel shy about visiting anytime to take a stroll. If you want to beat the crowds, head there in the early morning.

Seoul Nori Madang | 서울놀이마당

The Seoul Nori Madang is an outdoor stage, located in Seokchon Lake Park. You can’t miss it, because it looks just like a massive hanok. On Sundays at 3PM, from April to October, you can see traditional Korean folk performances there, absolutely free. If you visit on big holidays, like Chuseok or Seollal, you’ll be treated to extra special performances.

seoul norimadang at seokchon lake

See traditional performances for FREE at Seoul Norimadang.

This is really one of the best places in the city to see traditional Korean folk arts, like pansori, fan dances, plays, and pungmulnori. There’s enough space for 1300 people at the Seoul Nori Madang, and you can just show up anytime after 3 to enjoy performances. Seating is unassigned.

Special Art Events and Performances on Seokchon Lake

The East Lake behind the Lotte World Mall is often used for floating art exhibitions, related pop-up stores and performances. In the past, they’ve included Florentijn Hofman’s gigantic “Rubber Duck,” and “Sweet Swan,” family, as well as a 28-metre floating exhibit by KAWS, and the colourful Supermoon project from FriendsWithYou.

rubber duck on seokchon lake

That time a giant rubber duck floated on Seokchon Lake

These events guarantee huge crowds of people, especially on weekends and evenings. For a more peaceful experience, visit in the morning. Otherwise, expect lots of jostling for pictures.

Attractions near Seokchon Lake

The 2 big attractions near Seokchon Lake Park are the Lotte World Tower on the East Lake, and Magic Island on the West Lake.

Lotte World Magic Island

Lotte World is made up of a huge indoor amusement park called Lotte World Adventure, and an outdoor section called Magic Island. On Magic Island, you’ll find thrilling rides, like the Gyro Swing, Bungee, Atlantis and much more. Access to Magic Island is via monorail from Lotte World Adventure.

lotte world adventure seoul korea

Lotte World Adventure on Seokchon Lake. Photo by Ziggymaster (CC BY-SA 3)

Visit the Seoul Sky Observatory | Walk across the Sky Bridge

Lotte World Tower is the highest building in Korea at 555 metres tall. You’ll find it on the East Lake, directly behind the new Lotte World Mall. Head up to the Seoul Sky Observatory on the top 7 floors of the building for absolutely breathtaking views of Seoul. Budget around 2 hours to check it out fully.

seokchon lake and lotte world tower

Lotte World Tower is the tallest building in Korea

If you’re feeling extra daring, you can sign up for the brand new Sky Bridge Tour at the Seoul Sky Observatory. During the one hour tour, you’ll cross the 11 metre bridge that connects the 2 peaks of the Lotte World Tower. You can even dangle your feet off the bridge at a height of 541 metres!

TIP  |  Wanna visit Lotte World Adventure, the Seoul Sky Observatory AND the Lotte World Aquarium all at once? The Songpa L Pass lets you visit all 3 at a huge discount (70,000 vs 112,000 won).  Score a Songpa L Pass in advance here.

Seokchon Lake with Kids

The best thing about Seokchon Lake Park is that you don’t have to spend a dime to enjoy it. I’ve spent a ton of time there with my 4 year old daughter, and it’s the perfect family friendly place to spend an afternoon.

Here’s my rundown of the best things to do at Seokchon Lake with kids.

seokchon lake in spring

My daughter never gets bored of Seokchon Lake

Feed the Fish, Ducks, and Geese

Hungry koi fish can be found all around Seokchon Lake. They tend to gather near the big exercise area on the corner of the West Lake, and under the bridge between the 2 lakes. My daughter always has a blast watching the fish eat the bread or crackers she throws down to them.

Play on the exercise equipment

There are several exercise areas available around Seokchon Lake that are free to use. We usually visit the one on the West Lake, near the fish feeding area. You’ll find all kinds of equipment for the kids to play on and climb, as well as hula hoops, badminton racquets, skipping ropes and more.

seokchon lake exercise area

There are several exercise areas scattered around Seokchon Lake

Play the Piano

There are 2 pianos stationed around the lake, and there’s always a line of kids waiting to plunk away on the keys. One can be found on the edge of the East Lake, and the other is under the bridge between the 2 lakes. Be sure to use the hand sanitizer that’s provided on top of the piano!

Watch games of Baduk

Groups of men gather near the exercise area on the West Lake, to play and observe games of baduk or go. Things get pretty competitive and it’s always great fun to watch as the black or white stones are slammed onto the board with gusto.

men playing baduk at seokchon lake park

These men are always gathered round to watch each other play baduk

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Seokchon Lake Park: Essential Info and FAQs

How do I get to Seokchon Lake Park? Seokchon Lake is located in Jamsil. It's easiest to go to Jamsil Station and take Exit 2 or 3. Walk about 200 metres and you'll find the lake next to both the old Lotte Mall, and new Lotte World Mall across the street.
Is there an admission fee? It's totally free to enter Seokchon Lake Park and see performances at Seoul Nori Madang, however there are admission fees for attractions like Lotte World Adventure and Seoul Sky Observatory.
What are the opening hours? The outdoor parts of Seokchon Lake Park are open 24 hours a day, so you can go for a midnight run if you wish. The cafes, restaurants and attractions inside or near the park have varying hours.
What food and beverage are available at Seokchon Lake Park? Hosu is a fine dining restaurant with a view of the lake. Jbout has coffee, desserts, casual food and seating on 2 separate levels near the Songpa Tourist Information Centre. Maison au Thierry has baked goods, coffee and ice cream available for take-away. There's also a section of Lotte World Magic Island with burgers and beer that's accessible without admission tickets.
What amenities are available? There's public parking, restrooms, seating areas, benches and water fountains available at Seokchon Lake.

Seokchon Lake Park is worth a visit! Now you’re all set with everything there is to do in the area. Plan on going?

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