Seoul has a knack for taking advantage of hosting international sporting events and using those opportunities to develop facilities that are continually used long after said sporting events are over (see World Cup Park). To host the 1986 Asian Games and the 1988 Summer Olympics, Seoul developed this tract of land with the plan of combining nature and athletics.
They certainly did a good job. Seoul Olympic Park is not only jam-packed with athletic facilities, but it is also teeming with magnificent natural landscapes.
The Scouting Report
Olympic Park is big; you can spend all day at Olympic Park and not get bored. It is beautiful; the reprieve it provides to those living in the urban jungle of Seoul who need a taste of nature is exactly what the doctor ordered. It is diverse; whether you want to play sports, watch sports, learn about history, or nap in the shade of a tree, this park is the place for you.
Olympic Park is a great place to learn a little about Korea's past. The park is home to two history museums, Mongchon Museum of History and the Seoul Baekje Museum. In addition to the museums, the park also actively preserves an ancient earthen fortress, Monchon.
The Seoul Baekje Museum is located between South Gates 2 and 3. It provides information into the Baekje Dynasty, which Seoul was the capital of for 493 years.
The Mongchon Museum complements the Baekje Museum well. It houses various relics found in the area from the Baekje Dynasty.
The land on which Olympic Park was built was the home of Monchon Fortress during the above-mentioned Baekje Dynasty. While building the park, great effort was made to preserve or reflect the ancient function of this land.
Are you an organized sports junkie? If so, Olympic Park is your cup of tea. The park is filled to the brim with athletic facilities and venues. Among many other things, it has got outdoor basketball courts (perfect for pick-up games), the SK Handball Arena (which surprisingly supports an active handball scene), an olympic-sized swimming pool, a velodrome, and more.
Some of these venues still serve their primary functions. Others have taken on the role of hosting concerts and other shows that come to Seoul needing a temporary home. Musical acts--Korean and foreign--regularly have concerts in Olympic Park.
If sports are not your thing...if you're much more into the arts, Olympic Park has you covered, too. Not only are there several buildings on location that host world-class musical acts (as mentioned above), but the Seoul Olympic Museum of Art is a fantastic art gallery. The SOMA displays its work inside and outside the building. There are sculptures and other art displays found in bunches near the art museum. However, it is not uncommon to see art sculptures spread all throughout the grounds. The park is filled with interesting sculptures.
Check out the Seoul Museum of Art website for more information.
Basically, whether you are looking for a place to exercise, have a picnic, enjoy art, learn about history, or listen to a live musical performance, Seoul's Olympic Park is likely to have something for you. It is an excellent destination for the entire family. There is something for everyone and enough of it to last all day.
Sports and Recreation
- Bicycle Paths
- Seoul Olympic Museum
- Open Space
- Skating Area
- Swimming Pool
- Walking/Running Path
If you need help finding things to do in Olympic Park, this map is very useful and easy to use.
Elsewhere on the Web
- Olympic Park Website
- Seoul's Olympic Park - by The Korea Blog
- Olympic Park - by Life in Korea
- Olympic Park - by Kids Fun in Seoul
- Olympic Park - by The Seoul Guide
- Walk Around The 1988 Seoul Olympic Park - by Kimchee Guesthouse
- Seoul Olympic Park - by Korea Ye!
- Free Things To Do In Seoul - Olympic Park - by Travels With Drea
- One Tree Hill in Olympic Park - by The Misty City
- The Best Park in Seoul - Olympic Park - by Kimchibytes
- Winter Vacation; Seoul Day 4, Olympic Park... - by Taegeukgi: Heaven, Earth, Fire, & Water
Check out the Olympic Park photo album to see more pictures of the area.
How To Get There
Where: Seoul-si, Songpa-gu, Bangi-dong
From Line 5 - Olympic Park Station (올림픽공원역):
-Use exit 3 and enjoy the park.
From Line 8 - Mongchontoseong Station (몽촌토성역):
-Walk out of exit 1. You will be in the park looking at the peace gate.
* * * * * * * * * *
Originally posted April 10, 2015
Updated November 7, 2015