The concept of Petite France encapsulates “Rose, Asteroid and Le Petit Prince”. It is a French cultural village that houses 16 French-styled buildings where visitors can lodge, experience French art, culture, food, clothing and lifestyle. It is well-loved for its vibrant European-style architecture and the interactive ways that it tells the tale of The Little Prince. Read on as I will bring you through a virtual tour in Petite France through my writing and pictures.
|Subway||Get off at Cheongpyeong Station or Gapyeong Station (Gyeongchun Line)|
Hop on the Gapyeong Tour Bus
Get off at Cheongpyeong Station (Gyeongchun Line)
Go to Cheongpyeong Terminal (10 minutes on foot, 3800 won by taxi)
Hop on the bus to Goseong-ri
|Bus||Hop on the bus to Cheongpyeong Terminal from Dongseoul Terminal or Sangbong Terminal|
Get off at Cheongpyeong Terminal
Hop on the intercity bus to Goseong-ri
|ITX||Get off at Cheongpyeong Station or Gapyeong Station (Gyeongchun Line)|
Hop on the Gapyeong Tour Bus
Address: 1063, Hoban-ro, Cheongpyeong-myeon, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do
Admission Fees and Operating Hours
|Teenagers (Middle to high school age)||8000 won|
|Children (36 months to elementary school age)||6000 won|
Operation Hours: 9:00am to 6:00pm (Opens all year long)
Note that the last admission will be one hour before the closing time.
Petite France at a Glance
Look at the jaw-dropping valley view from the bus stop in front of Petite France.
From the bus stop, walk straight for around 2 minutes and you will reach the main gate of Petite France.
Buy your tickets from the ticket office and there you go – entering the mystical unique French village! Petite France is full of these colorful attractive buildings that give off French vibes. I visited here during winter, so there are Christmas decorations and lightings everywhere. They look as pretty as a picture!
This is the guide map of Petite France. You can find it near the main entrance. Don’t forget to grab the brochures at the ticket office too! It is a big help especially when you are looking for the performance location.
There are numerous fascinating attractions here where you can immerse yourself into French culture. First, I visited the European Doll House as it is located just right next to the ticket office. It is a doll house decorated with about 300 dolls from European Medieval Times. The dolls are hundreds of years old, and it was displayed in different themes.
Then, I went to the Antique Porcelain House. The porcelain dolls made by Meissen, Dresden, prestigious European porcelain manufacturers, are being displayed here. You can appreciate porcelain dolls with exquisite engraving even down to the wrinkles of the skirt as well as life-like facial expressions.
This is the European Style Living Room, “Salle de Sejour”. A hearth, antique furniture and artwork are arranged inside and floors, walls and ceilings were crafted from timber imported directly from France. You can experience European-style living room with its antique and cozy mood as if you are visiting a summer house in Europe.
The picture below shows the Saint-Exupery Museum. It was established in accordance with the license agreement with Saint-Exupery Foundation in Korea for the very first time. In this little museum, you can observe various kinds of works by Saint-Exupery and characters in Le Petit Prince.
This is one of my top pick attractions – the Marionette House! Marionette is a puppet controlled from above using wires or strings depending on regional variations. You can appreciate a variety of Marionettes, which you can see only in performances, up close. When entering the Marionette House, you can feel the exotic mood as if you are walking along a small alley in Czech Republic.
French Art Performances
When I visited Petite France, there were only two performances available on that day. I managed to watch the Marionette Dance Performance. With the delicate Marionette as if it is alive and the catchy music choice, I really fell in love with the performance. It was very entertaining and humorous at the same time.
Moreover, I was lucky enough to watch the Orgel Demonstration as well. It is a special music tour to appreciate music from Orgel made 200 years ago to recently made Orgel. You will gain knowledge on the history of a variety of Orgel.
The sound of this Orgel comes from paper.
According to the performer, this is the most expensive item in Petite France. The bird was stuffed with special material when it was alive so that it keeps the shape it had. It was very cruel to the bird because animals have rights to live too. Back then, people did this because of their greed to hear bird chirping sound.
There are different performances every day with different time slots. Check out the performance timetable here!
Many said that Petite France is not worth the visit, does not live up to its reputation and did not meet their expectations. However, I personally had a really splendid time there and learned a lot about French culture. I was extremely overwhelmed with the tiny little details in each exhibition room. I managed to take pictures at every single spot I want because it was less crowded when I visited the French village. Nevertheless, out of all attractions, what caught my attention the most was the sensational French art performances! To have an insightful experience on French culture, Petite France is a must-visit attraction that you should not miss out on a Gapyeong Tour!
Spoilers ahead! Currently, a replica of an Italian village is being constructed near the back gate of Petite France. The construction is 90% completed and will be opened to public by March 2021. A tvN drama series called “Vincenzo” featuring Song Joong-ki, Jeon Yeo-been and Ok Taec-yeon is filmed in this Italian village. You can watch the trailer here! This is a sneak peek of how the Italian village looks like.