Suseongdong Valley locals sitting here underneath pine trees

Suseongdong Valley: A Hidden Gem in Seoul, South Korea

Suseongdong Valley is the type of place that poets and writers will go to find some inspiration. Located at the foot of Inwangsan Mountain, it’s home to more than 18,000 pine trees and rocks and is filled with greenery.

If you’re looking for a lovely place to relax and unwind after a day of exploring Seoul, then definitely go here. It’s near to a local area called Seochon, so you won’t encounter many tourists while you’re here. 

This article will guide you through exploring this hidden gem. Including its history, what to expect and how to get here. Get ready to discover one of Seoul’s best kept secrets!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below may contain affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase.

people sitting under pine trees in Seoul

The history of Suseongdong Valley

Suseongdong Valley is a place rich in history. It was loved by many poets and painters. One of them was Gyeomjae Jeongseon (also known as Jeong Seon), a famous painter. He painted the valley with a stone bridge named Giringyo.

The city of Seoul worked hard to restore this area’s beauty. They wanted people to enjoy nature in the city again. Now, Suseongdong Valley has more than 18,000 twisted pine trees and rocks! It’s definitely one of Seoul’s most beautiful places, although it’s still very underrated.

girl looking into Suseongdong Valley in Seoul

What makes this area special, is not just its greenery and scenery, but its overall calmness. Many call South Korea “the Land of the Morning Calm.” Suseodong Valley shows why that name fits so well.

Access to Inwangsan Mountain used to be prohibited after 21 January 1968, when a unit of the North Korean Special Forces infiltrated Cheongwadae (Blue House), the Presidential Office and Residence. It became accessible again for the public in 1993.

Suseongdong Valley pine trees

The natural beauty of Suseongdong Valley

What makes Suseongdong Valley so special is its tranquility and natural beauty.

Chimabawi Rock Trail

The Chimabawi Rock Trail is a must-visit part of Suseodong Valley in Seoul. This trail takes you on a scenic journey through nature, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes.

As you hike along the trail, you’ll encounter beautiful twisted pine trees and ancient rocks that add to the charm of this hidden gem. The trail also holds historical significance, as it was once cherished by poets and painters during the Joseon era.

So put on your hiking boots and get ready for an adventure through the stunning Chimabawi Rock Trail in Suseodong Valley!

Map of Suseongdong Valley

Hidden tales and stories

Suseongdong Valley in Seoul is not only known for its natural beauty, but also for the hidden tales and stories that are connected with its history. In the Joseon era, many poets and painters were inspired by the charm of this valley.

As mentioned above, a famous painter named Gyeomjae Jeongseon, even depicted Suseodong Valley in his paintings. These hidden stories add to the charm of this beautiful place and make it a must-visit destination for those who appreciate both nature and history.

Seoul surrounded by pine trees

Exploring Suseongdong Valley

Go on an adventure through Suseongdong Valley as you navigate the course map and discover the beauty of this hidden gem.

Suseongdong literally means ”sound of waters”. The original source of the water is the Cheonggyecheon Stream.

At the valley you can soak your feet in the waters at the small stream. Yet it’s not really deep enough to go swimming here, so keep this in mind. When it’s dry, there won’t be a lot of water at the stream.

There’s a small bridge that you can cross to get to the other side. There are also public toilets here, which is very convenient if you’re going to spend the day here for a nice picnic.

If you feel overstimulated, perhaps after a day of wandering around vibrant Myeongdong or lively Hongdae, come here to breathe and just be.

I highly recommend walking one of the trails at Inwangsan Mountain after relaxing at the valley for a bit.

Tips for visiting Suseongdong Valley

Here are some tips to help you plan your visit:

  • The valley looks the most beautiful when the sun is shining
  • There are parking spots here
  • Make sure to bring sunscreen, a hat, and comfortable shoes for exploring the valley’s trails and taking in the natural beauty
  • Don’t forget to pack water and snacks for your adventure
  • It’s a great place to go for a picnic
  • There are public toilets here
  • Always leave the area as clean (or cleaner) than how you found it
  • When it’s dry, don’t expect there to be a lot of water in the stream of the valley
  • From the valley you can hike further trails in Inwangsan Mountain
  • After exploring the valley you can also head to Chungwoon Literature Museum, a hidden gem nearby
  • When you walk back, wander through Sejong Village Food Street and have some dinner here
parking spaces near the valley

How to get to Suseongdong Valley?

To get to Suseongdong Valley in Seoul, you can take the subway and get off at Gwanghwamun Station. From here you can walk towards Gwanghwamun Square and continue along the path to reach the valley. It’s a short distance away and accessible by foot.

Another option is to take a bus to the last stop of Jongno Village Bus No. 09, which is easily accessible from Gwanghwamun or Gyeongbokgung Station (exit 3).

Alternatively, you can also take a taxi to reach the valley if you prefer. There’s a parking lot at the beginning of the valley. Once you arrive, be prepared to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of this hidden gem in Seoul.

Personally, I first visited Gyeongbokgung Palace and when I exited through one of the gates, I wandered to Suseongdong Valley. This took around 20 to 30 minutes.

Although I got lost at first, it’s a wonderful walk and shows you a side of Seoul that you probably haven’t seen before. There are lots of nice cafes along the way where you can have a small pit stop during your wandering.

exit at Gyeongbokgung Palace
The exit I walked out @Gyeongbokgung Palace to continue my journey to the valley

When you walk back to one of the subway stations, I highly advise you to walk through Sejong Village Food Street to experience the local atmosphere and grab some tasty food. I stumbled upon this lively street by accident and accidentally ordered intestines in Korean (the latter I wouldn’t advise).

Sejong food street in Seoul
Sejong Food Street
Sejong Village Food Street: a nice surprise

The address of Suseongdong Valley is: 03034  185-3, Ogin-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul  

The address in Korean: 서울특별시 종로구 옥인동 185-3

In conclusion

Suseongdong Valley is sure to charm nature lovers and those looking for a peaceful escape in Seoul. It’s perfect to visit after a day of exploring the capital city.

With its tranquil setting, green pine trees and historical significance, Suseongdong Valley is a must-visit for people looking to spend some time in nature. Explore this hidden gem and immerse yourself in the natural beauty that Seoul has to offer.

Away with Danae

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