Trekking, K-drama filming sites, and unique cafes! All of this can be found in Wonju and fit in a 1-day itinerary.
If you are planning a weekend getaway from Seoul, Wonju might be the ideal option for you!
What’s so special about Wonju?
The city is located in Gangwondo, a Korean province on the east coast. In fact, the city is located right in the very middle of the Korean Peninsula.
If you’ve ever heard of Gangwondo, it’s very likely that you associate the province with such cities as Gangneung, Sokcho, Yangyang.
However, Wonju has a lot in store as well! It has spectacular sceneries featuring Sogeumsan mountain with rocky cliffs and Seom river, the most representative landmarks. The landscape is thus renowned as ‘Sogeumsan Grand Valley’ and attracts millions of visitors each year.
One of the best assets of Wonju is that it is only 1,5 hours drive from the capital city making it the closest Gangwon city to Seoul! If you don’t have your own car, it is easily accessible by the intercity bus system.
How to get to Wonju from Seoul?
Buses run multiple times daily, and prices range from 8,000 won ($5) to 16,000 won ($12).
What are the major landmarks and activities you should check out when visiting Wonju? More information below!
Ganhyeon Tourist Area
A recreation area with a roughly 2 hours long trekking trail laying in a canyon. The territory also features camping sites and some shops with refreshments at the foothills.
Wonju Sogeumsan Suspension Bridge: Hiking Trail (원주 소금산 출렁다리)
A must visit spot if you are a thrill-seeker and a K-drama fan! This bridge was featured on one of the episodes of a popular Korean drama ‘It’s okay to not be okay’ and has been attracting more foreign tourists since then. Walk on the 200 meters long bridge hanging 100 meters above the ground with a great view of Sogeumsan Mountain! The solid construction is reliable so it can be crossed by up to 1285 adults at once! You can feel the slight sway while walking on the surface which makes it even more of an adrenaline-rush activity. There are also multiple photo zones where you can take pictures with the beautiful scenery.
Before getting to the bridge itself you will need to do some light hiking and follow the walking trail Deck, but the view is so much worth it! (Psst! Although the area became well known because of the Suspension bridge, it now has many other facilities which include the cable car. Currently it is under construction and will be finished next year. In case you are not into physical outdoor activities, wait up until it opens in 2023)
However, we still recommend the walking route since it is not as challenging and exhausting as you may think. The whole round trip will take about 2 hours and the route is only 3.5 km long. Just make sure to visit when the weather is not too hot and humid!
Sogeumsan Ulleong Bridge
Opened earlier this year in January, this bridge is even higher and longer than its counterpart we introduced earlier. Ulleong Bridge 200 meters high and 404 meters long and some parts of the bottom are made of glass so you can see whats underneath while walking on it!
How to get there?
Take a city bus #52, 58 from Wonju Bus Terminal and get off at the Rail Park bus stop. Walk for about 8 minutes to the entrance
- 9am ~ 6pm (5pm in winter)
- 9,000KRW for adults (5,000KRW for Wonju residents)
- 5,000KRW for children (3,000KRW for Wonju residents)
After finishing the trail, you can also drop by Ganhyeon Wonju Rail Park. Take a rail bike from the old Ganhyeon Station and ride all the way to Pandae Station while admiring breathtaking views. At night the tunnels are lit up by which creates a romantic magical atmosphere.
There are different time slots, so keep this in mind before planning your visit.
동절기 – winter season Middle of November – End of February
- 2 passengers – 38,000KRW
- 4 passengers – 48,000KRW
The table contents are subject to change, so for more up-to-date information and reservation check the official homepage: http://wjrailpark.com/site/
Unlike the busy and congested Seoul (by the way, we introduced some trendy cafes in Seoul in this article), Wonju has a lot of spacious cafes which can accommodate large groups of people. Many of the cafes are also children-friendly which is why families are more than welcomed here. One of such cafes is Rotonda, a cafe with an open courtyard and toddler dining chairs. There are various desserts and pastries such as cakes, ice cream and croissants with different flavors.
- Address: Gangwon Wonju-si Jijeongmyeon Joeom-ro 56-3
L’atelier Kim Ga
Another cafe we definitely recommend visiting when in Wonju. Not only it stands out thanks to the beautiful interior and exterior design which gives off a South East Asian resort vibe. It also serves branches AND deserts which is not so common for Korean cafes.
- Address: 1154-18, Sunhwan-daero, Dong-myeon, Wonju, Gangwon-do
Miro Jungang Market
If you visit Wonju and want to experience the authentic native atmosphere, you can’t skip this destination! Miro is a traditional market where time seems to have stopped: many of the stores here have preserved their old retro looks. Apart from that, just like a traditional Korean market, it offers a variety of food options as well
- Address: 2 Jungangsijang-gil, Wonju, Gangwon-do