Chuncheon, Gangwon-do, is one of the most underrated destinations in Korea. Accessible by the Seoul Metropolitan Subway system, many Seoulites visit Chuncheon-si for a day trip. However, there is plenty to see and do should you decide to stay overnight. Notably, there are several romantic destinations and activities on offer, making it the ideal place to visit with your partner. Let’s take an overnight trip to Chuncheon!
Han River kayaking may be the talk of the town, but there’s nothing better than paddling a canoe in the fresh mountain air. Canoeing in Chuncheon is the perfect adventure activity and super cheap too! For just 10,000 won per person, you will receive a step-by-step canoe lesson from an instructor and a fun paddle across the river. And don’t worry, life jackets are provided!
There are lockers for you to store your belongings in free of charge. If you want, you can bring your phone along during the ride, but if you drop it in the water, they won’t help you get it back! Anything you bring on board is your responsibility.
King Canoe Dock Address: 684 Songam-dong, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do Operating Hours: 8:00am - 9:00pm everyday Directions: Take bus no. 6 or Seomyeon2(Seomyeon 201, 206) to Songam Sports Town stop. King Canoe Dock is approx. 5 minutes walk from here.
Located just north of Chuncheon is Happy Meadow Farm, an idyllic animal farm and the perfect place to spend an afternoon during your trip. The entry fee costs 6,000 per person and includes grass and food pellets you can feed to the animals. If you’re looking for something healing to do, this is it. Enjoy feeding rabbits, horses and sheep in the middle of nature!
You are sure to snap some amazing photos with the animals and the stunning mountain and river in the backdrop. Moreover, the ultimate photozone is located just after the sheep paddock, away from the main attractions. It is a bit of a trek to get there, but the photozone is 100% worth it!
The only downside of Happy Meadow Farm is that transport can be quite expensive from Chuncheon. Our return trip via taxi was approx. 35,000 won. However, you can keep costs down if you go with a group of friends. Nonetheless, this was a highlight of my trip and I’d love to go again.
Happy Meadow Farm (Happy Chowon)
Address: 330-48 Chunhwa-ro, Sabuk-myeon, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do
Operating Hours: 10:00am - 7:00pm; - 5:00pm during winter season
Directions: Take bus no. Sabuk3-1(Sabuk304)* to Happy Meadow Farm stop.
** Very infrequent bus
The most famous food in Chuncheon is dakgalbi. In fact, they even have a designated dakgalbi street in the city centre, lined entirely with dakgalbi restaurants. Dakgalbi is marinated chicken, usually stir-fried with veg and other accompaniments like cheese or egg. It comes in varying levels of spice, with some restaurants offering multiple spice levels, while others just feature the one dish.
There are 2 types of dakgalbi: charcoal and pan. While the main ingredients are the same, the cooking methods produce different flavours. During your trip to Chuncheon, you’ll have the chance to try both! Here are my recommendations:
Serving up pan dakgalbi, Myeongmul is a favourite amongst Chuncheon locals and dakgalbi lovers from afar. While the food was delicious, the main benefit of eating here is that the waiters speak English. Therefore, if you’re worried about the dish being too spicy, or even cooking it incorrectly, you can let the waiter know.
This may be your first time trying dak-galbi, but you’ve no doubt eaten stir-fried rice before. After eating pan dakgalbi, it is common to make stir-fried rice (‘boggeum-bab‘ in Korean) in the same pan. You put the pan on a gentle heat and spread out the rice across the pan, scraping off and mixing a few minutes later. The crispy rice soaks up all the delicious flavour from the pan and goes deliciously with the leftover chicken and veg.
Naturally, some people consider stir-fried rice the highlight of the meal! When eaten in this way, it is called ‘mamuri-boggeum-bab‘ meaning ‘stir-fried rice to round off’ the meal. At Chuncheon Myeongmul Dakgalbi, dakgalbi for 2 is approx. 26,000 won, including fried rice at the end.
Chuncheon Myeongmul Dakgalbi
Address: 37-85 Samcheon-dong, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do
Operating Hours: 11:00am - 10:00pm weekdays, closed weekends.
Directions: Take bus no. 4 to Samcheondong Sageori stop. Turn around and walk straight until you reach Chuncheon Myeongmul Dakgalbi on your left.
The best place for charcoal dakgalbi is Jangho Dakgalbi. Charcoal dakgalbi is less common than pan, and so this place was more expensive than what I was used to. Nonetheless, the meal was absolutely delicious. There were a unique variety of flavours available to choose from; we chose Lemon and Yangnyeom flavours.
This meal also cost approx. 26,000 won, but the portions were smaller and rice was not included. However, I actually preferred to eat the charcoal dakgalbi with lettuce wraps instead of rice.
Address: 682 Sinsaembat-ro, Sinbuk-eub, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do
Operating Hours: 10:00am - 9:30pm everyday
Directions: Take bus no. 11, 12 or 13 to Sangcheon Elementary School stop. Turn around and take the first left to find Jangho Dakgalbi.
A must-visit cafe in Chuncheon. As you may have guessed, the theme of this cafe is that of Santorini, an iconic village in Greece, known for its white walls and blue dome rooftops.
I highly recommend that you visit this cafe around sunset, because the view is absolutely stunning. What’s more, the tower bell rings at 7pm every evening. In that moment, you will suddenly feel as though you’ve teleported to Europe!
Santorini Cafe Address: 1154-97 Sunhwandae-ro, Dong-myeon, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do Operating Hours: 9:30am - 9:00pm everyday Directions: Not easily accessible by public transport; taxi recommended.
Twosome Place is a popular franchise cafe that can be found just about anywhere in Korea, but the one in Chuncheon is anything-but-ordinary. This Twosome Place includes a circular skywalk with glass flooring and a photobooth! We went at night time which made for a fascinating view, but not the best photos. I recommend visiting during the daytime, ideally at sunset.
Twosome Place Chuncheon Gubongsan Address: 1154-105 Sunhwandae-ro, Dong-myeon, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do Operating Hours: 10:30am - 10:00pm Directions: Not easily accessible by public transport; taxi recommended.
Found alongside both of the previously mentioned cafes, GC Atelier is a bakery specialising in homemade desserts with high-quality ingredients. It’s the perfect place to grab a quick breakfast or lunch, or to buy some snacks for an upcoming journey.
Croissant? Bun? Tart? Just choose your weapon. What’s more, its owned by renowned French patisserie chef, Gontran Cherrier — hence the ‘GC.’
Gontran Cherrier GC Atelier Address: 236 Geonil-gil, Dong-myeon, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do Operating Hours: 10:00am - 10:00pm everyday Directions: Not easily accessible by public transport; taxi recommended.
Gamza Batt is another unique cafe, found just beside Jangho Dakgalbi — the perfect place for dessert. Interestingly, their signature menu item are potato buns that come in 3 different flavours: original, cheese and curry.
You don’t usually find a curry-flavoured pastry on the menu in cafes, so its definitely a must-try if you visit Gamza Batt.
Address: 674 Sinsaembat-ro, Sinbuk-eub, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do
Operating Hours: 10:00am - 8:30pm everyday
Directions: Take bus no. 11, 12 or 13 to Sangcheon Elementary School stop. Turn around and walk straight until you reach Gamza Batt on your left
You can travel to Chuncheon directly from Seoul via the Gyeongchun Subway Line. From Sinnae station (Seoul) to Chuncheon Station is approx. 1h 20min. However, its worth noting that public transport in Chuncheon can be quite time-consuming and inconvenient. Many of the local buses and subways have long interval times. Therefore, if possible, I recommend renting a car. It will allow you to enjoy your short trip in full and make the experience more meaningful.
During our trip, we stayed that the Vivaldi Motel. The Vivaldi Motel is an inexpensive and convenient place to stay in Chuncheon. We enjoyed a king-bedroom for just 30,000 won per night, as well as being right in the centre of the city, so we could travel with ease.
It’s also located less than 5 minutes’ walk from the canoeing club.
Address: 296 Sports Town-gil, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do
Directions: Take bus no. 6 to Cycle Stadium stop. Vivaldi Motel is across the street from the bus stop.