Looking for a day of museums, country breezes, and adorable cafes outside of Seoul? Heyri Art Valley is your answer. Just a 45 minute bus ride outside of Seoul, you’re guaranteed for a great day! Living nearby, I have spent A LOT of time in Heyri, so I’ve gotten to find a lot of hidden gems.
Take the 2200 Red Bus from Hapejong or Hongdae. It will take you directly to Heyri. It’s hard to miss! There are a couple gates (entrances) to Heyri that the bus stops at, so if you miss one, you can just get off at the next. Heyri is pretty big and it’s easy to get lost in, but that’s part of the fun! The last bus back to Seoul is around 23:00 so don’t worry about missing the bus.
Check out: Heyri Art Valley (헤이리 예술마을)
Here are my all-time favorite restaurants in Heyri:
1. Pizza Sorrento
Wood-fired pizza galore in a comfortable setting. My go-to order is the Mushroom Pizza. Feeling adventurous, try the Blueberry Pizza or the Risotto in a Pumpkin. Both are divine!
2. Cozy House
Looking for traditional Korean Food? Look no further. You will happily fill your belly with a Vegetarian FEAST! This spot is much more authentic than the majority of bread and pizza-pasta places in Heyri. My go to order is a veggie-rice bowl and a traditional potato pancake. Note- this is more of a lunch spot!
3. Hyemil Burger
Sometimes you just crave a good American burger and french fries when you’re in Korea. Head to Hyemil for your classic burger or get adventurous and try their Hawaiin Burger with Pineapple on it!
Brand new (2020) and absolutely gorgeous. Their pasta is delicious too! Take a step inside and you instantly feel like you are on a posh vacation. Make sure to explore all of the floors and don’t miss the rooftop!
1. Experience Cafe
This cafe is my favorite in Heyri! The inside is stunning, there is a large outside patio with lots of greenery, they have a large selection of coffees, AND they have wine slushies…. say what?! Additionally, they have an outdoor bunny cafe. The bunnies get to stay outside in a huge enclosed area so they can do lots of exercising. They also have underground holes, where they can hide, if they aren’t in the mood to socialize. I’m always a bit skeptical when it comes to animal cafes in Korea but this cafe does it right and you can tell the owners really care about their furry friends.
2. Le Silence
Delicious bread in a super spacious and trendy cafe. You really can’t go wrong. Le Silence is also open late at night so it’s a great place to head if you want a yummy dessert before heading back to the city.
3. 9 Block
Another spacious cafe with delicious drinks and yummy paninis. There is an outdoor seating section for nice days but you will also enjoy the atmosphere inside. Have I mentioned that it is attached to a bookstore? You won’t find many books in English, but it’s a great place to wander and take some pictures.
It can be hard to find a good churro in Korea, but this place satisfies any craving you may have! Plus, it’s in an insta-worthy cafe covered in vines. Unfortunately, this place is only open on the weekends. But even if it’s closed, you can snap a shot of the gorgeous cafe from the outside!
1. Museum of Modern History of Korea
Stop in here for a trip back in time. This museum is honestly one of my favorites in Korea and a must see! I didn’t know what to expect when I went but was BLOWN away. Essentially, for W7,000, you are transported to the world of Korea in the 1960s. It is a lot bigger than you would expect and the highlight is walking in a life-sized street replica of Korea in the 60s.
2. Coca-Cola Museum
Nearby Spots to Checkout
1. Gyeonggi Future Education Center (English Village)
A lot of K-dramas and K-pop music videos are shot here, as it looks like a village in Europe. At English Village, you will find a mini-Stonehenge, European phone booths, a city hall and concert hall. If you want to grab a coffee at English Village, One Summer Day is a great stop for excellent drinks. I highly recommend the Coconut Espresso Smoothie. If you’re lucky, you also might find the owner’s gorgeous collie or cats roaming about. Other than coffee and photos, there isn’t much to do for adults to do in English Village. Check it out though- it’s right across the street from Heyri Gate 10.
2. North Korean look-out & Best place for sunsets
Walk to the Stonehenge replica in front of English Village and follow the road straight up a hill. Keep walking to the top. It is slightly overgrown but you will know you’re going the right way when you pass a deserted parking lot. You will see an old telescope and a wooden box that you can stand on. Look out toward the road and get a chance to peer towards North Korea and see some excellent sunsets!
Best time to visit
The weekends are usually PACKED and Heyri feels more like a festival with arts and crafts vendors than a country escape. That said, weekends are usually the best time to catch everything open. The energy is also lots of fun and you will see lots of adorable families and Korean couples in matching outfits. If crowds aren’t your thing, Heyri is pretty spread out so you can easily find a spot to yourself even on the busiest weekend.
Visit in the fall for gorgeous colors in Paju, not to mention a beautiful bus ride out to the countryside! On the bus, you’ll notice the DMZ! How cool to be driving right along the border of North Korea, right?!