Autumn in Korea Guides + Tips

Capturing the Magic of Autumn at Café Relax: Seoul’s Ultimate Leaf-Peeping Destination

Having resided far from the northernmost region of Seoul for a significant period, the thought of that area rarely crossed my mind. However, during the previous autumn season, an enticing experience led me to Ui-dong in Gangbuk District—a mesmerizing sight that I simply couldn’t afford to overlook: the breathtaking autumn foliage at Café Relax (옥류헌릴렉스). In this write-up, I aim to present the sheer photogenic allure of Café Relax, particularly during the autumn season, and convince you to include this destination in your upcoming Seoul itinerary!

Jump To:

    Ideal Location of Café Relax:

    Nestled on Samyang-ro 181-gil (삼양로181길), Cafe Relax enjoys a prime position along a road that winds its way uphill, near the renowned Bukhansan National Park of Bukhan Mountain, the highest peak within Seoul’s city limits. Benefiting from this advantageous placement, Cafe Relax is immersed in a tranquil forested ambiance, which seems to have inspired its name. As autumn arrives, envision the awe-inspiring transformation that occurs, as the surroundings morph into a captivating haven adorned with leaves painted in vivid hues of crimson red and glowing yellow. It truly is a spectacle that should not be missed.

    Seats in High Demand During Fall Season:

    Before we dive into the amazing photo spots inside Cafe Relax, let me tell you one thing about this place—it’s huge! Among all the cafes in Seoul, Cafe Relax takes the prize for being the most spacious. With its long and steep layout, you’ll discover at least seven different seating zones to choose from. But here’s the deal: since those stunning autumn foliage photos from Cafe Relax have gone viral, it can be a real challenge to find an available seat during peak season. So, a good advice would be to try to get there early in the morning to increase your chances of snagging a spot.

    Where to Capture the Essence of Autumn at Café Relax:

    With numerous inviting seats scattered throughout the café, there’s no shortage of cozy spots to enjoy its relaxing ambiance. However, when it comes to capturing the enchanting hues of autumn foliage, these specific locations at Café Relax are absolute must-sees for your photography adventure:

    Byeolgwan Cafe Zone:

    Prepare to be dazzled at the Byeolgwan Cafe (별관카페) Zone, situated at the highest point of the cafe. This hidden gem offers awe-inspiring views of a lush mountainside by Ui Stream (우이천), creating a breathtaking treat for the eye. In addition, this particular zone, exclusively designated for adults, is one of just two areas where tranquility and serenity prevail, making it exceptionally special.

    As you explore, keep an eye out for signs directing you to this beloved photo spot, conveniently located near the restroom facilities. Once inside, you’ll be greeted by panoramic windows that frame the vibrant red leaves in the most enchanting way, making it an absolute favorite among visitors seeking that picture-perfect moment.

    Believe it or not, there’s more to unveil in the the Byeolgwan Cafe Zone! Step outside onto the charming terrace, where you’ll find comfy beanbag chairs inviting you to kick back, relax, and soak in the natural beauty. Just a friendly tip: during the foliage season, this spot tends to fill up very quickly, so be sure to arrive early to secure your slice of leaf-peeping paradise.

    Gyegogbyeolgwan Zone:

    Gyegogbyeolgwan (계곡별관) is the grandest wooden house situated downstream, just a stone’s throw away from the stairway that extends from the Bonghwang (봉황) seating area. Now, don’t get deceived by its initial appearance, as this charming house may have an old and rustic feel. However, on a sunny day, it transforms into a picturesque haven, offering a breathtaking view of the golden foliage that blankets the deciduous trees clustered along the creek. It’s truly a sight to behold!


    Daehyeonhoejang (대현회장) is another quaint wooden house. It is nestled right next to the Gyegogbyeolgwan. As you follow the narrow cement embankment adjacent to this house, you’ll stumble upon a secluded space where you can dip your feet in the creek. This hidden spot offers a perfect opportunity for an incredible photo shoot, with the stunning foliage as a backdrop. You won’t believe that such a mesmerizing scene, typically associated with serene nature, can be found right in the bustling city of Seoul! Consider yourself fortunate if you stumble upon this hidden gem – it’s a discovery worth celebrating!

    Outdoor Patio Umbrella Zone:

    Located right below the Byeolgwan viewing area, this seating arrangement offers a unique experience of getting up close and personal with nature. This well-maintained wooden terrace extends into the Ui Stream and is adorned with stylish patio umbrellas and comfortable furniture, including premium resort-quality couches reminiscent of a poolside retreat. It’s the perfect setting to unwind and indulge in ultimate relaxation while being surrounded by the captivating foliage.

    Don’t forget to venture down the sleek iron stairs leading to the creek embankment. Taking a leisurely stroll along the tranquil bank is an absolute must to fully immerse yourself in the soothing atmosphere.

    For those seeking a mind-blowing shot amidst the autumn foliage, here’s a pro tip: head upstream to the overpass while leaving your companion stationed by the Patio Umbrella Zone. Exit the cafe’s rear gate and continue beyond the “현미장” signage until you reach the bridge. Standing in the middle of this bridge, you’ll capture an incredible autumn photo with the peak of deciduous trees in the surrounding area.

    However, please be aware that the small road leads to the private property of the 현미장 pension, so avoid going beyond that point unless you have prior arrangements with the owner. Additionally, it’s important to be respectful by refraining from making loud noises while taking your shots on the bridge.

    Cozy Indoor Design:

    Alright, I’ve spilled the beans on all the must-visit spots within Cafe Relax that offer stunning autumn views. But before I wrap up, let me share an extra tidbit with you. Believe it or not, every nook and cranny of Cafe Relax is meticulously designed and thoughtfully organized. In addition to the hidden photogenic autumn spots scattered throughout the cafe, you’ll also discover some beautifully modern interiors. It’s a haven that caters to everyone’s taste.

    If you’re seeking a snug and cozy seating area with a touch of contemporary cafe interior design, look no further. You can choose to settle down either at the main building where you place your order (카운터동) or at its annex (본관). Both locations offer a welcoming ambiance that will make you feel right at home. So, whether you’re capturing the perfect shot or simply looking to unwind in a stylish setting, Cafe Relax has got you covered.

    Best Time to Visit:

    During my visit to Café Relax last autumn on October 29th, I was fortunate enough to witness the breathtaking beauty of the fall foliage at its peak. If you’re interested in experiencing the enchanting autumn scenery, I highly recommend planning your visit to the café during the same time frame. The period extending from the last week of October to the first week of November is particularly recommended for this purpose.

    How to Get to Café Relax:

    Getting to Cafe Relax is a breeze, and here’s the scoop. The most convenient option is to hop on the subway and alight at Bukhansan Ui Station (북한산우이역) on the Ui-Sinseol Line. From there, simply take a leisurely 10-minute walk from exit 1 along Samyang-ro 181-gil, and you’ll find yourself at Café Relax. It’s a pleasant stroll that allows you to soak in the charming surroundings.

    If you’re not up for a hilly walk, don’t fret! Taxis are also available from the station. However, I’d recommend opting for the walk because during weekends, the Samyang-ro 181-gil Road tends to get quite busy. Plus, taxi drivers might decline short-distance rides when the destination is nearby. By walking, you’ll not only avoid the hustle and bustle, but you might stumble upon delightful views of autumn foliage along the way—a bonus treat for nature lovers like yourself!

    An autumn splendor you can come across on the way!

    In a nutshell, Café Relax in Ui-dong, Seoul, is a total autumn paradise that will leave you in awe. From its fantastic location near Bukhansan National Park to its endless photo-worthy spots, this cafe is a dream come true for leaf-lovers and Instagram enthusiasts. Whether you’re chilling in the cozy interiors, exploring the stunning outdoor zones, or getting lost in the vibrant foliage, Cafe Relax is a must-visit spot in Seoul. So grab your camera, bring your friends, and get ready to soak up the autumn vibes at Cafe Relax, where nature’s beauty meets urban charm. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss!

    Gallery: More Autumn Photos Shot at Café Relax

    Access Map:

    Quick Info About Café Relax:

    Address: 서울 강북구 삼양로181길 142
    Naver Map: Click Link
    Hours: 11:00AM~9:30PM (Everyday)
    Instagram: @cafe_relax._
    Date of My Visit: October 29, 2022

    Other Seoul Café Post You Might Like:

    Did this entry help you? Or Did you enjoy my photos? Help support my small blog by giving a little cup of joe. I am always grateful when readers reach out wanting to support 🙂

    p.s. This post is independently created. However, when you book or purchase something through the retail links, I may earn an affiliate commission to help keep Ploy’s Little Atlas running. Thank you very much for your support!

    p.p.s All images used (unless specified) are owned by the author of the blog and permission is required for a repost. Please, reach out via social media channels to ask beforehand if you’d like to use them.