The modern city Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is one of the largest cities in the world. The city is situated on the Han River and is surrounded by eight mountains with fascinating landscapes. This topography of Seoul gives it a natural advantage for natural running routes in Seoul. It makes it a paradise for runners, and there are many unique and challenging mix of terrains for runners of all proficiency levels with few to 10s of kilometers.
We will take a look at some of the best trails for traveling runners looking to continue their run hobby while in Seoul.
Namsan South Mountain Park
Namsan Park, also known as South Mountain Park, is located in the heart of Seoul. The 900-foot high South Mountain (Namsan Park) is an oasis of green with great views. The park has 10 km long paved paths, offering multiple running options for beginners as well as advanced runners. There is an additional 2 km climb to the Seoul Tower on the mountain, located at the park’s southwest corner, for runners to challenge themselves.
You can also check out the Ihwa Mural Village near the Namsan Mountain Park.
In the southwest of Seoul is the Olympic Park, the site of the 1988 Olympic games, Today, it is a popular place for running and walking, with several multi-use forest trails that are 1.3 km to 4.3 km long with a maximum elevation gain of 61 m. Some are quite hilly! These Seoul running routes and trails are good for all skill levels. They are named Lakeside Lane, Fortress Lane, Memory Lane, Lovers’ Lane, and Youth Lane.
Here, you can enjoy running through World Peace Gate, run around 88 Lake, and splendid flower gardens. Many of the local 5 km and 10 km races and marathons start and end at Olympic Park.
The Olympic Park is worth visiting to see some of the Olympic statues, Olympic Museum, and Cultural Center.
Bukhansan National Park
It is a 78 square km national park in the north of Seoul with Bukhansan Mountain, the highest peak of the city. Bukhansan is known as the “Lungs of Seoul” because of the highest peak’s shape that is about 835 meters high. It has several trails for a run, walk, or hike that is wooded with varying surfaces.
The Bukhansan running routes in Seoul have options to run from 6.5 km to 9.1 km and are considered as one of the most challenging routes to conquer. From the trails, one can see a bird’s eye view of Seoul, which makes Bukhansan one of the most popular running tourism destinations.
Riverside Park, on the banks of the Han-Gang (the Han River), is located between the Banpo and Hannam bridges, on the river’s south bank. This Park offers incredible views of the Han River.
The park has the 21.1 km of running course for the Seoul Marathon. Each year Many Seoul running clubs organize their runs here.
Yeouido Hangang Park and Hangang Loop
In addition to Riverside Park, running along the beautiful greenbelt of Han River (Han-Gang) is one of the most popular places to run in Seoul. The river has numerous bridges and multi-use flat paths along the water with great views of the river, connecting them.
The stretch between the Dongiak Bridge in the west and the Dongho Bridge in the East with paths on both banks of the river forms the 10 km loop. There are other options for loops with smaller runs.
A large, popular park is the Hangang Park on Yeouido Island in the river plus running paths. The perimeter of the park has a path for running, which is about 8 km long. Runners from all over come here to enjoy their run and scenic beauty.
This park hosts a variety of marathons and concerts throughout the year. Hangang Park is also famous for hosting the annual cherry blossom festival in spring and the fireworks festival in the fall.
The large and well-maintained campus of a private university, Yonsei University, Seoul, is located at the base of Ansan Mountain. The hilly campus has many running paths, wooded trails, and a forest park. The serene environment gives an excellent opportunity for runners to get off the busy streets.
Runners can have varied runs, simple ones to complex ones, for example, university trails combined with Ansan trails with a route to the 900-foot summit with lots of steps or the gentle 7 km path around the base of the Ansan mountain.
World Cup (Millennium) Park
A landfill site in the Sangam-dong-gil section of Seoul was converted into the World Cup Stadium and World Cup (Millennium) Park. It is an ecological park built-in 2002 to commemorate the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup Games in the new millennium.
Five interconnected parks adjacent to the World Cup Park make this is a favorite spot for runners. There are easy to difficult, non-overlapping miles of Multi-Use trails and running routes in Seoul with different distances. The perimeter of the park is about 8 km.