There are so many ways to go to the Naminara Republic from Seoul. We chose the hardest but cheapest way since this is a backpacking trip. But first let me give you a rundown on the different ways to reach Nami Island.
One: via Shuttle Bus
The bus departs from Insadong with only one trip a day. You better book at least one day before your intended visit to secure a seat.
At Seoul station, take Line 1 going to City Hall and get off at Jonggak station, that’s two stations away by the way. At Jonggak station get off at Exit 3 and walk a few hundred meters to Tapgol Park in Insadong. Right next to it is where the bus stop to Nami is located.
The bus leaves at 9:30am heading to Nami Island ferry wharf and return at exactly 4:00pm going back to Insadong. Two way ticket costs KRW23,000 which already includes the KRW8,000 entry visa to Nami Island.
Some people choose to buy one way ticket and opts to take the train going back but of course that still depends on your itinerary.
Here’s the telephone number for reservation:
02-753-1247 (in Korea) or +82-2 -753-1247 (outside of Korea)
Two: via ITX train
You can either take the train from Yongsan Station or Cheongnyangni Station, whichever is more convenient to you. The train costs KRW4,800 one way and the ride will take about 40-55minutes to Gapyeong Station.
At Gapyeong Station, you can either take a 5-10min ride taxi with fare about KRW3,000-4,000 or wait for the **Gapyeong Tour Bus which costs KRW 6,000 (Again, whichever you prefer) to take you to the ferry wharf.
Here’s where to book online: KORAIL booking online
**I’ll discuss further about Gapyeong Tour Bus later on this post.
Three: via regular subway train
This is the cheapest way to go to Nami Island but more hassle because you have to change subway lines thrice. Don’t falter because it does look complicated but it really is easy.
This is what we chose so let’s start off from Myeongdong, because that is our starting point:
Our guesthouse in Myeongdong as I’ve discussed in my previous post is just in the middle of the three subway stations: Myeongdong station Line 4, Euljiro 1(il)-ga Line 2, and Euljiro 3(sam)-ga Line 2. So we can go either way. The train ride will take about 1hour and 30mins and cost us about KRW2,250.
So for this time, Euljiro 3(sam)-ga is the most convenient to us.
- From Euljiro 3(sam)-ga, take train heading to Euljiro 4(sa)-ga which will get you to Wangsimni station.
- From Wangsimni station, change to Gyeongi-Jungang Line and take the train heading to Cheongnyangni and get off at Mangu station.
- From Mangu station, change to Gyeongchun line and take the train heading to Sinnae which will take you to Gapyeong Station.
We had an early head start, so we we’re able to catch the first Gapyeong tour bus that departs from the Gapyeong station at 9:10am. (I was the timekeeper so I was strict to time-in our schedule)
You just have to buy the KRW6,000 ticket from the driver and you can you use it to hop on and hop off the whole day. This is convenient if you plan to visit other sites around the area.
From the Gapyeong station, get off at Nami Island bus stop and walk straight ahead for about two minutes to reach the ferry wharf. You buy the discounted KRW8,ooo visa fee (for foreigners) from the “immigration officers” and take the 5-minute ferry ride.
There is one other way to get to the island, which is via zipline that costs KRW38,000. Of course, we thought it wasn’t worth it. It’s just too expensive for a budget trip.
Naminara Republic (Nami Island)
You can rent a bike for KRW4,000 for first thirty minutes (single bike).
The island was named after General Nami.
The ferry departs every 20 minutes, I think. so we got out of Nami Island just after lunch in time to catch the 1:15 bus going to Petite France. I don’t recommend a taxi because it’s a little expensive. The ride takes about thirty minutes.
If you have a discount coupon, the entrance fee is only KRW6,000. Again, we took advantage of those. There is no physical activity here. I think we only spent about an hour and a half here. If we knew it would be like this, we could’ve added Garden of Morning Calm in our itinerary.
If you are a fan of My Love From the Star, Secret Garden, and Beethoven Virus then this is just the right place for you.
We catch the 2:40pm bus headed to Cheongpyeong Station. It will take more time to head back to Gapyeong Stati0n. and Gapyeong is two stations further than Cheongpyeong when headed to Seoul. The ride is the same reverse style.
From Cheongpyeong station, you can either get off at Mangu station (like earlier) or you can get off at Sangbong this time (When you’re on your way back, you’ll realize that you are already familiar with the stations).
Change to Gyeongui-Jungang. We got a little confused when we we’re at the Mangu station. A lady saw us and offered help. I don’t know about others saying Koreans are rude and aren’t helpful to tourists but our seven-day experience proved otherwise. The language barrier wasn’t even a hindrance. She told us she’s headed to Wangsimni herself and let us follow her.
When we all got off at Wangsimni station, we didn’t forget to say our thanks. We changed to Line 2 heading to Sangwangsimni and decided to get off at Dongdaemun History & Culture Park since it was still too early.
We didn’t see much of the market because Dongdaemun is usually alive at night. Malls and street vendors open at 10pm until 5am. That’s another thing we plan to experience when we go back.
Dongdaemun Design Plaza
One thing you shouldn’t miss is the beauty of DDP. It’s so huge that I couldn’t fit it on my lens no matter how far I go. (If only I remembered to do it in Panorama but I guess was too busy admiring its beauty my brain didn’t function).