World Cup Park
World Cup Park is one of the crown jewels of the Seoul park system. Perhaps the greatest asset World Cup Park has is its diversity.
Officially, World Cup Park is one massive area containing five smaller parks: Pyeonghwa (Peace) Park, Haneul (Sky) Park, Noeul (Sunset) Park, Nanjicheon (Nanji Stream) Park, and Nanji Hangang (Han River) Park. The athletic facilities surrounding, and including, World Cup Stadium could be considered to be a sixth park. Each smaller park contributes in a unique way, making World Cup Park an excellent destination no matter what you are looking to do.
The Scouting Report
- General Overview
- Around The Stadium
- Pyeonghwa (Peace) Park
- Haneul (Sky) Park
- Noeul (Sunset) Park
- Nanjecheon (Nanji Stream) Park
- Nanji Hangang (Han River) Park
World Cup Park has an interesting history. Do read:
Nanji, the area along the Han River in the northwest part of Seoul, was used as a landfill during the end of the 20th century. It was quite a sore sight and created terribly foul smells for residents living nearby. Fortunately, winning the rights to co-host the 2002 World Cup with Japan led to a rebirth in the area.
Seoul took the opportunity to build its main stadium for World Cup use near the landfill. To make attending games there a pleasant experience, the entire area was cleaned up and turned into a network of parks.
Although not officially one of the five parks constituting World Cup Park, for obvious reasons, it should be included. The stadium and the athletic facilities in the immediate vicinity provide enough of a reason for being a park in its own right. While the centerpiece of the park is the 66,806-seating-capacity stadium, there are also a number of other sports amenities.
Pyeonghwa Park forms the core of World Cup Park. It lies in the middle of the other parks and provides immediate access to each one except for Noeul Park. Nanji Pond is a beautiful small, yet elegant, body of water that is surrounded by plazas and walking trails. The ample shade and nicely manicured lawns provide plenty of excellent spots for picnics.
"Haneul" means sky in Korean. As World Cup Park's highest point, this is a fitting name. 291 stairs lead up the hill to Haneul Park from Pyeonghwa Park. A number of nice and free! observation points looking over Seoul and the Han River sit along the edges of the flat-topped mound. Walking paths cut through the grassland the forms the top. Haneul Park is a good place to watch the sunrise over Seoul.
Haneul Park is where you go to watch the sunrise. Its neighbor to the west, Noeul Park, is where you go to watch the sunset. It is probably the least visited park of the lot. The park contains sculptures and is home to a number of small wild animals.
Nanjicheon Park lies at the northern base of Haneul Park. Nanji River runs through the heart of this narrow park. Along the way, it passes various athletic facilities such as basketball courts, a soccer field, and a large, oval grass lawn.
Nanji Hangang (Han River) Park
Nanji Hangang Park lies along the northern banks of the Han River in northwest Seoul. It is also part of the Hangang Park. Nanji Hangang Park is very spread out and varied. At one end of the park, there is a dancing water fountain that is popular to play in during hot summer days. At the other end, there is a nature reserve. In between, you can find everything from camping grounds to baseball fields to a BMX bicycle course.
Maebongsan is near the World Cup Parks. In fact, it can be reached directly from World Cup Stadium.
It's not a magnificent mountain, but if you happen to live in the area, it is good enough.
How To Get There
Where: Seoul-si, Mapo-gu, Seongsan-2-dong
From Line 6 - World Cup Stadium Station (월드컵경기장):
- All 3 exits from the station deliver you to World Cup Stadium. Use any one of them.
- Make your way to the opposite side of the stadium and across the street to reach World Cup Park.
- Don't trip on your way. That's just embarrassing.