Got a few days to explore Seoul and its surroundings? Being one of the biggest cities in the world, it has so many things to offer that, you’ll never get bored of.
One of these addictive surprises Seoul has got for you is its out-of-the-world beautiful mountain trails.
Whether you know nothing about those mysterious treks or you are a professional hiker, these hills are going to make you fall head over heels in love with them.
Special Note: I added my Seoul hikes photos in this post for reference that will inspire you to hike these unbelievably beautiful mountains.
Why Hiking in Seoul?
Do you want to remember your time in Korea? Do you want to make the best out of your Korea tour, Go hiking in Seoul’s beautiful mountain? I ensure you, You will thank me later. I find no reason not hiking in Seoul.
Most of the trailheads are within reach simply by the public transportation system and It has immense breathtaking views to offer.
Hiking in Seoul is a very popular outdoor refreshment for both its residents and the adventure-lover travelers from all around the world. Not sure where to start? That’s where we can help!
The best thing about hiking in Seoul is its accessibility for people of any age group of fitness level.
Most of the trails are pretty easy to nail with minimal levels of skills. If you are looking for some breathtaking experiences, Seoul has that for you too.
10 Best trails in and around Seoul:
Seoul is a town traversed by mountains and trails. Among them, some are very popular, easy to get on; while some are real breath-taking, suitable for thru-hikers.
You will need some basic hiking gears and clothes suited for the season you are aiming at. Read the below section of this article to know more about hiking clothes and What to pack for hiking in Seoul.
1. Mt. Yongmasan (용 마 산), Seoul, beginner-friendly hike:
For those, searching for a beginner-friendly trail, head towards Yongmasan right away. Being only 348 meters high, it is almost 2-3 times the height of Bukit Timah Hill, the highest peak of Singapore.
Although literally not a mountain, this trail has a good hike worth doing when you are visiting Seoul.
You will find plenty of lookout points with astounding views of the city, on the way above, that will keep you excited enough to get on top.
The terrain usually starts easy, but progressively becomes steeper and rugged as you reach all the way to the peak.
Difficulty level: Easy
Distance Covered: 6.1 kilometers
Duration: nearly 3 hours.
How to Get to Yongmasan?
From Yongmasan Station (Line 7), take Exit 2, and then walk 15 minutes to the Yongmasan Waterfall Park. You will find the trailhead right next to the playground having a basketball court.
Special note: Since most of the direction signs are written in Korean if you are a visitor there; get a data sim card for a quick Google translation.
[Read More: My 15 Best Hikes in Seoul [Mini Guide]]
2. Bukhansan National Park trail:
Who are looking for an easily accessible and short durational hike, can head towards Bukhansan National Park. Sitting right in the middle of Seoul, this trailhead has easy access for those traveling by bus.
Near the top, the mountain presents a panoramic view of the entire city with the surrounding hills as well. Its top peak named Baegundae has an elevation of 836.5 meters, serves a clear route with stairs; making it doable for hikers of almost any fitness level.
It’s recommended that you should get a good pair of hiking boots for going out there; lightweight sports shoes can serve you almost the same. In case, you need some hiking pairs or clothes on the spot, the bunch of shops selling hiking gears is there to get you covered.
Check out the Bukhansan trail map here:
Difficulty level: Easy
Distance covered: 7.7 Kilometers.
Duration: nearly 5 hours.
How to Get to Bukhansan National Park:
You have to take line 3 to Gupabal station (Exit: 1), then take bus no 704 to Bukhansanseong Fortress Entrance station.
Special note: Bukhansan is usually overly crowded during the weekends due to easy accessibility. In case, you are not a lover of too much crowd, rather try visiting it on weekdays.
3.Namsan Tower trail:
If you are on a tight schedule, you can choose Namsan as a consolation prize instead of a full Bukhansan flavor. Being located in the heart of Seoul city, few steps away from Myeongdong, Namsan is a highly convenient hike for short-time visitors.
Though thru-hikers might find Namsan little less adventurous, casual hikers find it as a wonderful city escape right in the middle of a bustling town.
The top of Namsan will treat you with soul-soothing views over the city with Seoul’s world-famous cherry blossom if you are lucky enough to have a look at them in spring.
If you make up your mind to have an evening walk through the Namsan trail with a dinner at the top, in one of N Seoul Tower’s restaurants; the views from above with the bokeh of city lights are going to provide a wonderful romantic gateway.
Difficulty level: Easy
Distance covered: 2 kilometers.
Duration: approximately 1 hour.
How to get to Namsan Tower?
There are many ways to get to the Namsan tower trail. From Myeongdong, take a zip to Myeongdong Station (Line 4). Through Exit 3, walk south closing to the left at the fork in the road one block ahead.
Keep heading straight until you reach a set of stairs climbing to Sopa-ro. Turn right and follow Sopa-ro passing the Namsan Cable Car Station. Walk a little more and you will find some stairs to your right which will lead you up to Namsan.
4. Seoraksan National Park, the most beautiful mountain in Korea.
For the best scenic experience, while hiking in Korea, one must visit Seoraksan in Gangwon-do. You’ll find many trails branching out from the visitor center, while the top peak Daecheongbong sitting at 1,708 meters height is going to put your heart on an adrenaline rush.
You are going to have your mind blown by the beauty of valleys, caves and clear streams. Other tourist attractions include Sinheungsa Temple, Ulsanbawi Rock, Seorak cable car that takes you to the peak and Gwongeumseong Fortress (formerly site of a castle).
Difficulty level: Hard, particularly near the peak.
Distance covered: 18.3 Kilometers
Duration of hike: approximately 13 hours
How to Get to Seoraksan National Park from Seoul?
Starting from Seoul, head towards the Dong-Seoul Bus terminal, get on an intercity bus to Sokcho Intercity Bus Terminal, after that, take bus 7 or 7-1 that heads to Seoraksan National Park.
5. Suraksan Mountain a quiet hike in Seoul’s outskirts:
Do not confuse it with Seoraksan. It is a less popular but quiet trail in the outskirts of Seoul, preferable for those who want some alone time far from the crowd of the city.
The Suraksan top peak has a magnificent view of rolling hills surrounding the mountain, with a height of 638 meters above the sea-level. Its main attraction points are Hangnimsa temple, adorned with colorful lanterns and wind chimes.
Difficulty level: Moderate
Distance covered: N/A
Duration: approximately 3.5 hours.
How to get to Suraksan Mountain?
Get on the Seoul Metro to Danggogae Station (Line 4). Get out through exit 4, follow the Seoul trail sign and then “Top of the Suraksan (Mt.)”. Getting to the trailhead is a little hard as you will need to go through residential areas. In case you get lost, ask the amicable residents for directions of the route.
Special note: the icy trails might be little slippery, particularly in winter, which can give rise to unwanted slip and fall from the trail. So, while visiting Suraksan in winter, take a pair of hiking boots with supportive spikes under the sole.
6. Seoul fortress wall hike:
Seoul fortress is one of the best trails to hike in central Seoul. The trail is 18.6 km long. Seoul wall is very popular for hikers and travelers and this hike is very easy with Seoul Magnificent view. Hike one of these below trails for the best view of hiking in Seoul.
Inwangsan Seoul Fortress.
Though Inwangsan stands at the lowest of the list of height, with its highest peak of 338 meters, it has a trail with lots to explore.
The trail will take you along the ancient fortress wall, while you’ll be able to have a good look at Gyeongbokgung Palace, the Blue House (the president’s residence), Namsan Park.
You can take some really good shots with your camera, except for the president’s house, of course for security issues. The trek is quite easy with steps, stairs and marked trails, but might get really tiring near the top.
Difficulty level: Easy
Distance covered: 1.5 kilometers to the peak
Duration: approximately 1.5 hours.
How to get to Inwangsan?
From Dongnimmun Station (Line 3), take Exit 2, and get on bus 1020, 7212 or 7022 to reach Jahamun bus stop. Cross the road that you find on your left and walk uphill all the way. Walk straight through the Inwangsan Jarak-gil trail until you find a police post. The wooden stairs you can see nearby is the trailhead.
Bugaksan fortress wall.
Bugaksan comprises of a series of trails which are a part of the ancient Seoul city walls circuit. Starting from Changuimun Gate and ending at Hyehwamun Gate, the complete trail is exactly located in an active military zone because it traverses the high-security Blue House (the president’s house).
Since you’ll be entering into a high-security zone, you’re required to bring your passport with you; visa or ARCs may not be accepted. There is also a strict schedule for starting and ending hours for the trial.
So, keep that in mind before going. You can connect this trail with Inwangsan, in case you would like to follow through a mega trekking trip along the city walls.
Difficulty level: Easy
Distance covered: 4.7 kilometers
Duration: 3 hours (avg.)
How to get to Bugaksan?
From Gyeongbokgung Station, take Exit 3, get on Green bus No. 7212, 1020 or 7022, then, Get off the bus at Jahamungogae Ridge, the trail is just 2 minutes on foot.
Namhansanseong Fortress Wall.
Namhansanseong is a mountain which sits at the southeast of Seoul and is home for the grand fortress Namhansanseong. The area has extra-ordinary hiking trails with historic views that follow the grounds of the fortress and the ancient city walls.
From the mountain or fortress, you can get scenic bird’s eye views of both the city of Seoul and the Lotte Tower.
It’s quite a trek to get, starting from the city, but once you can manage your time, plans and energy together, the trail is very much worth visiting.
You can see the tombstone of Seo Heun-Nam, visit Cheongryangdang Shaman Shrine. Janggyeongsa temple is another important landmark there.
Difficulty level: Moderate
Distance covered: 10.1 kilometers
Duration: 3-4 hours
How to get to Namhansanseong Wall?
By subway– Get off at Sanseong Station (Seoul Subway Line 8), choose Exit No. 2. Get City Bus No. 9; get off at Namhansanseong bus stop.
7. Hiking Achasan in Seoul.
Though it is a little lesser known than Bukhansan, Achasan offers some of the most memorable hiking experience around Seoul.
In comparison to Seoul’s other high-risers, Achasan is a lot steeper, which makes it even more challenging for the hardcore hikers.
View of Seoul city from Achasan at night:
Once you are all your way up to Achasan’s ridge (only within around 30 minutes), there are options of hiking courses, (ranging from 1.5-2.5 hours), to experience all the views.
One of the most exciting parts of the journey is that Achasan Park is equipped with military fortifications that date back to the Goguryeo Era (37BC-668AD) incorporating Achasanseong Fortress.
How to get to Achasan?
Get on Seoul Metro Line 5 for Achasan Station. Take Exit 2, walk straight along Cheonho-daero; then, turn left at Jayang-ro. Walk for 3 blocks and then, swing right at the Y-junction. Walk along the road and turn right at Yeonghwasa-ro. The entrance to Achasan Park is on your right just above past the school.
8. Dobongsan Hiking.
For a more rugged hiking experience, head towards Dobongsan. Having a 740-meter high peak right in the middle of Bukhansan National Park, it’s claimed to be the hardest of the best hikes in Seoul.
You might feel a little away from the city sometimes, but, the highly enthusiastic crowd out there will remind you of the city in no time.
Starting from the city, the main ascent towards Dobongsan heads through a densely-green valley and reaches up to the ridgeline. Once you’re on the ridge, you’ll have lots of choices to enjoy your hike.
Be cautious about the height and the uneven terrains, even if you are a professional hiker, you’ll need some extra skills to nail the trail.
How to get to Dobongsan?
Dobongsan is a pretty easy one to reach. Just get on the subway to Dobongsan Station (Lines 1 and Line 7). Through Exit 1, cross the street, walk straight through the street vendors for the hikers to take entry in Bukhansan National Park.
There are also some little underrated trails nearby Seoul; you can pay a visit if you have got a good vacation.
9. Gwanaksan trail Hiking:
Gwanaksan is a small and very beautiful mountain in the Southern part of Seoul. It is not that much tall as Bukhansan or Dobongsan, yet, the view from above is truly spectacular. After reaching the peak, you’ll find a stunning temple.
How to go to Gwanaksan Mountain?
From Gwacheon station (line number 4), take Exit 2.Take the escalator up, and the mountains are already above the trees. Walk straight ahead for the sign of Library Junction. After crossing the street, you need to walk straight looking for the sign of Gwanaksan 1 KM away. Carry on hiking, until you reach the trail. Take help from the locals if needed.
10. Buramsan Mountain.
It is a rocky mountain having the highest elevation of 508 meters. If you want to enjoy a nightscape from a mountain top, Buramsan is your go-to-trail. The scenario is marvelous and the peak is quite within your reach.
For photography lovers, this trail is a nature’s gift. It’s pretty much beginner-friendly, needs only 2-3 hours to explore the entire trail.
How to get to Buramsan Mountain?
From Seoul station, take Line 4 and get off at Sanggye Station, through Exit 1. Walk towards the road until the road curves to its right. Take a right turn, and the trail entrance is right in front. Or, you can go to Danggogae Station, take line number 4, through Exit 2. Walk 15 minutes ascent from the exit to reach the trail.
Where to stay in Seoul: Pro tips for hikers.
The best hiking trails of Seoul are scattered in and around the entire Seoul city. So, you need to stay close to the trails you intend to visit.
Among a lot of options available, you should narrow your choices down to neighborhoods like Insadong, Myeongdong or Hongdae. Available hotels or motels:
If you are within a decent budget, this is your pick in the culture-rich region of Insadong. With clear modern designs and on-spot cafeteria adorned with retro-euro leanings offer a pleasant stay out there.
Liberal about your budget? Being a newbie in the Seoul residence list, it stands out the list with its artistic and cozy rooms with innovative designs.
Whether you are sipping a cocktail at the exclusive bar and lounge or wandering around Myeongdong, going shopping in Namdaemun Market; this luxurious 4-star is going to win your heart all the way.
The Westin Chosun:
Looking for some incredibly luxurious 5-star experience? You need to get your wallet a little more loaded for this exotic hotel in Seoul.
Starting from the infinity indoor swimming pool to the warm, relaxing world-class spa; the Korean urban vacation in Seoul is going to get your mind blown.
Hiking in Seoul Essentials:
For hiking in Seoul, you don’t need a lot of things to load your daypack. Just check on this minimal equipments and you are good to go.
Hiking shoes and socks:
Complete hiking boots might look like little overbearing for trails in Seoul (except for Dobongsan). You should go for some sturdy pair of hiking shoes with good ankle and heel support.
Choose one or two pairs of breathable, easy-to-clean socks to keep your feet dry all the way.
Hiking in Seoul can be a bit strenuous, so, you need to be as comfortable as you can out there. Buy some good, lightweight, breathable hiking clothes.
You need to choose dresses which should be made of moisture-wicking materials. Dressing in layers is the key so that you can shed or add layers as needed.
For a full-day hiking tour, you’ll need a good daypack to carry your travel essentials. For a single-day tour, you should choose the lightweight ones. If it is a multi-day trekking trip, take a spacious backpack.
It should have enough room for your hiking gears, food carrier, hydration pack, and camping essentials.
You can plan your trekking trip considering weather update; the possibility of rough weather can’t be ignored. For any Summer-time hiking trip in or around Seoul, you are going to need a raincoat in your backpack for safety purposes.
If you are visiting Seoul for exploring some autumn foliages, the wind is going to be a little cooler out there.
So, something that will protect you from the wind; keeps you warmer and comfortable is going to be needed. So, buy a few good lightweight jackets for a warm, comfy autumn trekking trip.
Although the heat of the Korean summer is not going to sweat you out too much, keeping yourself hydrated is the key to stay fit for any hiking trip.
Calculate your water requirements depending on the duration of your trip. At least half a liter of water is needed for one hour of hiking.
So, choose any collapsible water bottle or water bladder that has a sipper tube coming through your backpack. Take frequent sips, incorporate some electrolyte-rich drinks into your hydration pack.
This will prevent unnecessary muscle cramps and other sequels of dehydration.
Like any other hiking trip, you are going to need GPS, compass, phone, power bank, hiking poles, tents, tarps, and usual daytime camping essentials.
Use trekking poles efficiently to reduce the possibility of getting hiker’s knee pain. Before starting for the trails, learn some basic hiking skills like short time preparation of camping food, starting a small campfire, putting on a tent.
Check all the gadgets and ensure them being full charged before you are already on your trail.
Last moment guideline for hiking in Seoul:
On a tight schedule:
The Namsan tower mini hiking trip should be on top of your list if you want some refreshing mountain experience with some exclusive top-of-the-town views within a short time period.
Being a beginner-friendly trail, you won’t need much effort to get on this low-height trail
Lover of challenges:
The dangerously beautiful Dobongsan or Achasan will give you some unforgettable adrenaline-rush experience if you want some heart-pumping thru-hiking trip around Seoul.
Classic Seoul hike:
You must keep Bukhansan National park and Namhansanseong Fortress along the ancient city wall trail in your bucket list if you love some classic and historical hiking experience.
So, you are all set to explore the wonderful Seoul mountain trails. Let us know how it goes. Wish you all the best.
Soul HIking Video Guide.
Pin this for later or for your friends. Happy Hiking.
How to HIke In Seoul – FAQ
Where to hike near seoul?
There are many beautiful mountains in the Seoul suburb it’s really hard to choose one. I would suggest Bukhansan, Dobongsan, and Suraksan for adventurous hiker and Inwangsan, Seoul fortress wall are for the beginner. but all the hikes give you the best view.
How do you get to Bukhansanseong Hiking Center?
This is the main park entrance to hike the Bagundae peak of Bukhansan National Park. Get off at Gupabal subway station take exit 1 and you will see a bus stop. Take 8872 bus to Bukhansanseong.
How many mountains are in South Korea?
Thre are 21 highest mountain peaks in Korea and many mid and smallest peak. The highest one is on the Jeju island Hallasan.
What is the best mountain hikes in Seoul?
As I hiked mostly all of the mountains in Seoul. I would say the Bagundae peak of Bukhansan National park is the best one. With 836.6 m high You could see the entire Seoul magnificent view from here.