Garden of Morning Calm is one of the most loved attractions outside of Seoul.
he name Garden of Morning Calm is coined by the Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore who called Korea the “Land of Morning Calm.” This name describes quite accurately the picturesque and carefully landscaped garden in Gapyeong. The garden grounds span 300,000 m², and over 5,000 different plant species are presented. No surprise, it attracts over a million visitors a year.
Located in Gapyeong, one of the preferred destinations for year-round recreation as it’s conveniently close to Seoul. The garden is designed to spread beauty all four seasons. What you will see and experience will be slightly different depending on the weather and season. Here’s what to expect depending on what time of the year you may visit the garden:
In spring, the early cherry blossom and tulip garden is stunning. As nature wakes up and the weather warms up, the whole park is covered in beautiful spring flowers. There’s a special exhibit of wildflowers (March) that are hard to spot in the wild, adding to the extraordinary variety of spring flowers – magnolias, azalea, Japanese apricot, forsythia, and many more. The Spring Flower Festival in the Garden of Morning Calm runs through April and May.
Summer in the Garden of Morning Calm
In Summer, the garden is in full colors – the green of the magnificent trees contrasts with the summer flowers blooming in beautiful colors – hydrangea, clematis, rose, peony root, phlox, veronica, horsemint, daylily can be seen in different portions of the garden. Particular highlights during the summer are the hydrangea and Rose of Sharon exhibitions.
Fall in the Garden of Morning Calm
The fall is so dramatic and beautiful! The slopes of the surrounding mountains are dramatically colored in fall colors. Somehow foliage in Korea is very intensive and vivid. Add to that the fantastic arrangement of chrysanthemum – wild and cultivated, as well as the saturated red of the maple trees sprinkled around the garden, and your mind will be blown away! If you visit the park during the autumn, don’t miss the wild chrysanthemum and maple festival.
Winter in the Garden of Morning Calm
Winter is the only season I haven’t experienced the garden, but the garden is covered with gorgeous LED lights at night from what I’ve seen. You need to go by car to see that, as public transport ends before it’s the right time for the colorful lights.
The best will be to plan a visit if there’s snow and you can stay in the night for the Starlight light show.
Special Annual Events
Seasonal festivals in Garden of Morning Calm
April ~ May Spring Flower Festival
June ~ July Hydrangea Exhibition
Oct ~ Nov Maple Festival
Oct ~ Nov Chrysanthemum Exhibition
Dec ~ March The Starlight Festival
For detailed information about the upcoming festivals check Garden of Morning Calm website.
Book Organized Trip
Must-Do and See in the Garden of Morning Calm
The oldest tree, believed to be over 1000 years old, the Millennium Juniper, is the Garden of Morning Calm’s signature tree. It’s awe-inspiring, and the big lawn surrounding it just emphasizes its size and age.
Beautifully landscaped garden, taking up a vast area, it’s home to hundreds of colorful flowers during spring, summer, and autumn.
Road to Heaven
The Road to Heaven is one of the most famous sights of the Garden of Morning Calm. The path leading deep into the garden literally looks like the path leading to paradise! To get that celestial view, you need to go up on one of the wooden observation decks.
J’s Cottage Garden
J’s Cottage Garden is an English cottage-style garden surrounded by lush flower bushes. There is a rose tunnel and beautiful benches for couples to take a rest and talk romantically to each other.
Korean Pond Garden
The Korean Pond Garden is one of the most beautiful parts of the park. It’s in the rear end of the garden, and lots of people miss seeing it as there’s so much to do and know before you reach it. Sit in the tea house overlooking the pond and enjoying the fantastic views over a traditional Korean tea.
It’s a beautiful walk in a part of the garden with lots of birch trees and various seasonal flowers. The white wooden church-like building at the end of the section has been the background for many K-dramas.
The Hometown Garden depicts the charm of Korean architecture. On display is a traditional house showcasing the livelihood of the Korean people in the past. It is best to visit just before sunset when the last rays of the sun dance through the tall trees surrounding the garden.
Food and Drinks at Garden of Morning Calm
Besides exploring beautiful sites, what would be a Korean attraction site without a coffee shop or traditional Korean restaurant!
Good Morning Cafe & Bakery
It will be hard to miss the bakery as the smell of the freshly baked pastry will hunt you from afar. If the coffee shop is too busy, go down to the bakery, or consider seating outside if the weather allows. Both the bakery and the coffee shop offer great views of the garden.
Korean Food Garden
The Korean restaurant offers a variety of Korean dishes, mostly vegetarian. The restaurant offers only meals prepared with fresh, natural ingredients. Try the soybean paste stew, the wild vegetable bibimbap, or the veggie chop steak.
Tucked in the rear side of the garden, the tea house offers a great selection of traditional Korean teas, and some of the tables have a fantastic view of the Pond Garden. One of my favorite spots to rest, read a book, or just enjoy the serenity of the place.
If you want to buy a souvenir or a plant, there is a gift, herb, and plant shop in the garden. They are conveniently located close to the exit, so shop on your way out.
K-Drama Filmed in Garden of Morning Calm
The Garden of Morning Calm is a favorite spot for Korean dramas and films. The outstanding beautify, and hundreds of stunning locations make it the perfect setting for romantic scenes. Here’s a list of some of the dramas that were filmed here:
- Perfume (퍼퓸, KBS2 2019) – Min Jae-Hae (Ha Jae-suk) dreams of herself in a beautiful garden after applying perfume.
- Your House Helper (당신의하우스헬퍼, KBS2 2018) – Kim JiwWoon (Ha Seok-Jin) comes into the park on a first date with Im Da-young (Bona of WJSN)
- Jugglers (저글러스, KBS2 2018) – Nam Chi-won (Choi Daniel) and Jwa Yun-i (Baek Jin-hee) walk in the garden in the closing scene of the last episode
- I’m Not A Robot (로봇이 아니야, MBC, 2018) – Sun-hye (Lee Min-ji) teaches Kim Min-kyu (Yoo Seung-ho) how to dating and the art of kissing.
- Black (블랙, OCN 2017) – Kang Ha-Ram (Go Ara) dies in the garden while sitting on a bench and holding Joon’s bracelet
- School 2017 (학교, KBS2 2017) – Hyun Tae-Woon’s (Kim Jung-Hyun) mother is buried here, later on, he brings his girlfriend Ra Eun-Ho (Kim Se-Jeong) here on a date.
Other dramas filmed here: Missing: The Other Side (미씽: 그들이 있었다, OCN 2020); Lovely Horribly (러블리호러블리, KBS2 2018); Moonlight Drawn By Clouds/Love in the Moonlight (구르미 그린 달빛, KBS2 2016); She Was Pretty (그녀는 예뻤다, MBC 2015; Discovery of Love/Discovery of Romance (연애의 발견, KBS2 2014); My Princess (마이 프린세스, MBC 2011); Mary Stayed Out All Night/Marry Me, Mary! (메리는외박중, KBS2 2010); Smile Again, Dong Hae (웃어라동해야, KBS1 2010-11)
How to Explore the Garden of Morning Calm
The garden is vast, and most likely, you will not be able to cover it all, or you might be able, but that must be very tiring. My suggestion is to visit first the highlights – study the map and choose spots you must see. Then take a break at some of the coffee/food stops, charge and continue your exploration.
When is the best time to visit?
Every season in the garden is unique and offers unlimited opportunities to entertain all your senses. My favorite seasons are spring due to the abundance of spring flowers and trees blooming and autumn – the colors of the Korean foliage are so saturated and powerful, it almost looks out of this earth.
Other Exciting Things to Do Close to the Garden of Morning Calm
Popular entertainment park covering an island in Hangang River. Regular ferry service to the island is included in the ticket.
Petit France is a French-themed village offering various experiences and glimpses of European architecture and culture.
Beautiful arboretum located in Chunchon but easily accessible from the Garden of Morning Calm. It was modeled after a famous European garden and is used for filming the location of multiple k-drama shows.
Edelweiss Swiss Theme Park 에델바이스 테마파크
Edelweiss Swiss Theme Park is a Swiss-themed cultural village offering buildings and experiences related to Switzerland, such as coffee, chocolate, and cheese museums.
Great camping site and facilitates, featuring beautiful lights park and more
Cheongpyeong Lake 청평호반
Big recreational area with lots of water-related activities, coffee shops, and restaurants
Gapyeong Rail Bike
Railbike course stretching from Gapyeong to Gyeonggang Station passing through Gapyeong Rail Bridge. The ride offers scenic views, and the round trip is 8.6km long. Bike fare: ₩25,0000 for two, ₩35,000 for four people.
Garden of Morning Calm
How to Get to The Garden of Morning Calm
The easiest way to get to the Garden of Morning Calm is by car. From Seoul, it might take between 1 to 2 hours, depending on the traffic. Especially during the weekend, the traffic to the Gapyeong area can be really heavy. My advice will be to leave Seoul as early as possible.
- Seoul to Cheongpyeong Station
- ITX-Cheongchun from Yongsan Station (₩4,800, ~50 min) – direct train, fast and convenient, need to book a ticket in advance from KTX Korail website – (link to KTX)
- Subway from Cheongnyangni (₩1,959 – 1:10 min) – you need to calculate the time to get to Cheongnyangni Station (20 min with Line 1 from Seoul Station)
- Cheongpyeong Station to The Garden of Morning Calm
- Taxi – it takes 20 min and costs around ₩20,000
- City Bus – runs around 20 times a day, so you need to check the time table as waiting time might be significant
A detailed and up-to-date public transport timetable of The Garden of Morning Calm refers to the official website.
Gapyeong Tourist Shuttle Bus
The shuttle bus operates 2 courses:
A-course: Gapyeong Bus Terminal > Gapyeong Station > Jarasum > Gapyeong Rail Bike > Nami Island > Geaumdae-ri Hall > Interactive Art Museum > Bokjang-ri Samgori > Petite France > Homyeong-ri >Cheongpyeong Bus Terminal > Cheongpyeong Station > Garden of Morning Calm
B-course: Mok-dong Bus Terminal > Hyeonam Agriculture Museum > Gapyeong Rail Bike > Jarasum > Gapyeong Station > Cheongpyeong Station > Nut Pine-scented Greenwoods > Chi-Ong Arts Center > Garden of Morning Calm
A-course runs 15 times a day, starting from 9 AM and finishing around 8 PM. For an up-to-date timetable of the tourist shuttle bus, visit their website.
The Garden of Morning Calm | 아침고요수목원
432, Sumogwon-ro, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do
경기도 가평군 상면 수목원로 432
Individuals – Adults 9,500 won / Teenagers 7,000 won / Children 6,000 won
Groups – Adults 8,500 won / Teenagers 6,000 won / Children 5,000 won