Many tourists who stay in the Gyeongbokgung / City Hall area do so because of its central location. However, the centrality of the area can also be a downside, as the hustle and bustle is non-stop. In fact, at times, it can be a little overbearing. When it is too overbearing, head to Jeongdong Park. This historical park is a little, peaceful sanctuary for those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of central Seoul.
The Scouting Report
There isn't too much to scout. Jeongdong Park was built to commemorate the first missionaries to Seoul and a Russian Legation that was burnt down during the Korean War.
The Legation (which is essentially a fancy word for diplomatic building), was built in 1890. It was built in a renaissance style. Its path to fame came when Emperor Gojang spent a year living there after his wife was assassinated. The Legation burnt down during the Korean War and was rebuilt in 1980.
There is a plaque that also honors the first missionaries to Seoul. These nuns actually stayed in a hanok (Korean traditional house) in the Jeongdong area.
The park has a few benches, a gazebo, and is well manicured. Bring a book, some food, sit down, and catch your breath. The park is peaceful and secluded.
The path to Jeongdong Park is quite pleasant. It winds through a few quiet streets of Seoul that feature rustic buildings, pleasant cafes, street performers, and palace walls with a miniature hit and gable (East Asian) roof on display. The walk itself is worth the trip to the park. Especially if you are trying to get away from the crowds.
For a decent---AND FREE!---view of the area, check out nearby Jeongdong Observatory.
To see more photos, check out the Jeongdong Park photo album.
How To Get There
Where: Seoul-si, Jung-gu, Jeong-dong
From Lines 1 & 2 - City Hall Station (시청역):
- Walk out of exit 12 and take a left.
- Walk along this street for 90 meters.
- When the street ends, take a left. You will be walking along a palace wall.
- Walk on this street for 250 meters. When you reach a roundabout, take the street that is directly across from you (Jeongdong-gil).
- Walk along this street for 250 meters and take a right.
- Walk along this street for 30 meters.
- Look for the park on the right.
Total Walking Length: 800 meters (750 meters of it are quiet and peaceful)