Autumn in Korea Guides + Tips

Ultimate Guide to Visiting Hwadam Botanic Garden During Autumn

As autumn casts its enchanting spell across South Korea, nature enthusiasts and foliage admirers seek out the best destinations to witness the captivating beauty of the season. Among these remarkable places, Hwadam Botanic Garden emerges as a must-visit location. Nestled within the Konjiam Resort in Gwangju City, Gyeonggi Province, this expansive garden offers a breathtaking display of colors, with red and yellow maple trees creating a tapestry of vibrant hues. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into all the essential information, tips, and recommendations to make your visit to Hwadam Botanic Garden during autumn an unforgettable experience.

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    Understanding Hwadam Botanic Garden:

    Before embarking on your autumn adventure, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with Hwadam Botanic Garden (화담숲). This vast garden covers approximately 165,000 square meters and is operated by the LG Sangnok Foundation. Its name, “Hwadam,” in Korean, reflects the garden’s purpose as a place for people to connect with nature. With over 4,000 species of exotic and domestic flora, Hwadam Botanic Garden is a paradise for plant enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

    The Magnificence of Autumn at Hwadam Botanic Garden:

    Autumn at Hwadam Botanic Garden is a truly awe-inspiring sight. From mid-October to late November, the garden transforms into a vibrant tapestry of colors as the maple trees don their fiery crimson and golden hues. The forest-like atmosphere, carefully curated to create 17 different concepts of plant exhibitions, adds to the ethereal beauty of the garden. Visitors flock to Hwadam Botanic Garden during this season to witness nature’s spectacular show, immersing themselves in the captivating ambiance of autumn.

    Planning Your Visit:

    To ensure a seamless and enjoyable visit to Hwadam Botanic Garden during autumn, proper planning is key. Here are the essential aspects to consider:

    Best Time to See Autumn Foliage:

    For an enchanting encounter with the captivating autumn foliage at Hwadam Botanic Garden, the prime window typically spans from mid-October to late November. Personally, I suggest planning your visit during the initial week of November to catch the absolute zenith of the fall foliage display.

    Hwadamsup Operating Time

    Hwadam Botanic Garden operates under specific hours to ensure a pleasant and organized visit for all guests. However, it’s important to note that operating times may vary depending on the season and weather conditions. Therefore, it is advisable to check the latest notices or official sources before planning your visit. Here are the general operating hours for Hwadam Botanic Garden:

    • Days: Tuesday to Sunday (Closed on Mondays)
    • Opening Time: 09:00
    • Closing Time: 18:00
    • Admission Deadline: 17:00

    Please keep in mind that the admission deadline is set at 17:00, which means visitors should arrive before this time to ensure entry. It’s recommended to plan your visit accordingly, allowing ample time to explore the garden and enjoy all its offerings.

    Getting to Hwadam Botanic Garden:

    Getting to Hwadam Botanic Garden is a breeze, thanks to its convenient location approximately 52 kilometers southeast of Seoul. Whether you prefer public transportation or driving your own vehicle, here are the various options for reaching this magnificent forest:

    By Bus:

    If you’re traveling from Seoul, several bus routes will take you to Hwadam Botanic Garden:

    • Bus 1113-1: From Gangbyeon Station to Konjiam Bus Terminal (Approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes).
    • Bus 500-1: From Jamsil Station to Konjiam Bus Terminal (Approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes).
    • Bus 500-2: From Samseong Station to Konjiam Bus Terminal (Approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes).

    For visitors coming from other cities in Korea, you can first take a bus to Gonjiam Terminal, Icheon Bus Terminal, Yongin Bus Terminal, or Seongnam Bus Terminal. From there, transfer to another bus that will take you directly to Hwadam Botanic Garden.

    By Train/Subway:

    For those who prefer train or subway travel, follow these steps:

    • Take the Sinbundang Line from Seoul to Pangyo Station.
    • Transfer to the Gyeonggang Line at Pangyo Station.
    • Alight at Gonjiam Station.
    • From Gonjiam Station, you can easily hail a taxi to reach Hwadam Botanic Garden.

    By Car:

    If you have access to a car, reaching Hwadam Botanic Garden is straightforward. The garden provides several parking lots at the entrance, and the best part is that there is no parking fee.

    Admission Fees:

    When planning your visit to Hwadam Botanic Garden, it’s essential to be aware of the admission fees, which vary depending on the season. Here is a breakdown of the fees for each season:

    Spring, Summer, and Autumn:

    During these seasons, the admission fees exclude the monorail ticket. Here are the rates:

    • Adults (over 19 years old): 11,000KW
    • Seniors (over 65 years old) and youths (middle school to high school students): 9,000KW
    • Children (elementary school students and older than 24 months): 7,000KW
    • Infants under 24 months: Free of charge


    In the winter season, the monorail ticket fee is included in the admission fee. The rates are as follows:

    • Adults, seniors, and youths: 10,000KW
    • Children: 8,000KW
    • Infants under 24 months: Free of charge
    All About The Monorails:

    Enhance your exploration of Hwadam Botanic Garden by taking a memorable ride on the monorail. The monorail offers different routes and durations, each with its own corresponding fees. Here are the options available:

    Option 1:

    • Route: From Platform-1 to Platform-2
    • Duration: 5 minutes
    • Fees:
      • Adults/Seniors/Youths: 5,000KW
      • Kids: 4,000KW

    Option 2:

    • Route: From Platform-1 to Platform-3
    • Duration: 10 minutes
    • Fees:
      • Adults/Seniors/Youths: 7,000KW
      • Kids: 6,000KW

    Option 3:

    • Route: From Platform-1 to Platform-1
    • Duration: 20 minutes
    • Fees:
      • Adults/Seniors/Youths: 9,000KW
      • Kids: 7,000KW

    When using the monorail at Hwadam Botanic Garden, please take note of the following important information:

    • Boarding passes can be obtained on a first-come, first-served basis at the ticket office or automatic ticket vending machines located at each platform.
    • Ensure that you use the monorail at the designated time, as no exchanges or refunds are available if you miss your boarding.
    • Intermediate drop-off and re-boarding are not allowed during the monorail journey.
    • Please be aware that the monorail’s operation may be subject to emergency inspections or weather conditions, and refunds are not available for these reasons.
    • During peak seasons such as Spring and Fall, all sections of the monorail may be sold out early, so it is advisable to plan and book your tickets in advance.
    • For specific information regarding monorail operation during the winter season, please refer to a separate notice or announcement.
    Reservation Information:

    An important development has been revealed concerning visits to Hwadam Botanic Garden in the upcoming autumn season. As per their official website, in order to provide an equitable experience for all visitors, starting from September 20th, even foreign guests will be required to make online reservations through their website.

    For the admission ticket, a reservation is a must, but reserving a monorail ticket is totally your choice. You can also grab monorail departure tickets from the self-service kiosks at Platforms 2 and 3.

    Exploring Hwadam Botanic Garden:

    Once you arrive at Hwadam Botanic Garden, prepare to be mesmerized by the array of attractions and natural wonders it has to offer. Here are some highlights of the garden:

    Must-See Attractions:

    Highlighted by a plethora of captivating sights, Hwadam Botanic Garden offers an array of must-see attractions for visitors to enjoy. One of the most beloved features is the enchanting Maple Tree Lane, adorned with vibrant red and yellow maple trees that create a breathtaking autumn spectacle. Another remarkable sight is the moss garden, located on the left side near the entrance and leading up to Monorail Station 2. This fairy-like forest is a unique gem that can only be found within the garden, making it a truly one-of-a-kind experience in Korea.

    Continuing the journey towards Station 2, visitors will be delighted by the birch forest and silver grass areas, which showcase their captivating beauty during the fall season. These picturesque landscapes provide a stunning backdrop for leisurely strolls and memorable photo opportunities. Adjacent to Station 2, a grand greenhouse-like structure stands tall, housing the captivating bonsai exhibit. Bonsai, meticulously cultivated ornamental trees or shrubs that are kept small and nurtured in pots, offer a fascinating glimpse into the art of miniature horticulture.

    For nature enthusiasts, the Pine Forest is an absolute delight. Boasting the largest collection of pine trees in South Korea, with over 1,300 specimens, this section of the park showcases the enduring beauty of evergreen trees. During winter, when a pristine blanket of snow covers the landscape, the Pine Forest transforms into a serene and ethereal wonderland.

    Also, make sure not to miss the opportunity to visit the hanok-style tea house, offering a truly majestic view. Here, you can indulge in delightful beverages such as lotus leaf tea, mulberry leaf tea, or even a classic Americano while immersing yourself in the awe-inspiring scenery of the forest. As you enjoy your drink, take a moment to appreciate the serene atmosphere and captivating beauty that surrounds you.

    Walking Trails and Monorail Rides:

    Hwadam Botanic Garden features well-maintained walking trails that allow visitors to explore the garden at their own pace. These trails offer breathtaking views of the autumn foliage and provide an opportunity to immerse yourself in the forest-like surroundings. Alternatively, the monorail rides provide a unique vantage point, allowing you to admire the garden’s beauty from above. Choose the monorail route that suits your preferences and enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the vibrant colors.

    Connecting with Nature: Unique Experiences:

    Apart from visual delights, Hwadam Botanic Garden offers opportunities to connect with nature on a deeper level. Take part in guided tours or educational programs to learn more about the diverse plant species and the importance of ecological preservation. Engage in hands-on activities like flower arranging or terrarium-making workshops to enhance your understanding and appreciation of the botanical world.

    Other Things to Keep in Mind:

    To make the most of your visit to Hwadam Botanic Garden during autumn, consider the following tips:

    • Inspect Your Brought Items:

    Please be aware that the staff may conduct checks upon your entry to the premises. This is to ensure that prohibited items are not brought in. If you happen to have such items in your possession, you can utilize the paid storage lockers located near the entrance. Here is a compilation of some items that are not allowed, as they might inconvenience other visitors:

    1. Alcoholic beverages, 
    2. picnic blankets/mats, 
    3. tents, 
    4. sun shelters, 
    5. cooking utensils, 
    6. agricultural tools, 
    7. tripods, 
    8. balls, 
    9. kick/electric scooters, 
    10. drones
    • Dress Comfortably and Prepare for the Outdoors:

    As you’ll be spending time exploring the vast garden, it’s important to dress comfortably and appropriately for the outdoors. Wear sturdy walking shoes or sneakers, as you may be walking for several hours. Dress in layers to accommodate changing weather conditions, as autumn temperatures can vary throughout the day. Bring a light jacket or sweater in case it gets chilly. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.

    • Food and Beverage Guidelines:

    Please refrain from bringing outside food into the area. You have the option to store it in a locker or enjoy it at the designated dining area on the left side of the ticket office plaza before entering. Please be aware that there are no water purifiers or drinking fountains within the arboretum. However, you’ll find beverage vending machines at the Plum Garden entrance, Observatory, Pine Garden, and Bonsai Garden exit for your convenience.

    • Capture the Moment – Photography Tips:

    Autumn at Hwadam Botanic Garden provides a stunning backdrop for photography enthusiasts. Capture the vibrant colors and natural beauty with your camera or smartphone. Early mornings and late afternoons often offer the best lighting for photography. Don’t forget to respect the environment and other visitors while taking photos.

    • Respect Nature and Follow Garden Etiquette:

    As you enjoy the splendor of Hwadam Botanic Garden, remember to respect nature and follow garden etiquette. Stay on designated paths and refrain from damaging or picking the plants. Keep noise levels low to preserve the serene atmosphere. Dispose of any trash responsibly and leave the garden as pristine as you found it.

    • Strict No-Pet Policy:

    With the sole exception of guide dogs assisting the visually impaired, pets are not permitted to enter Hwadam Botanic Garden.


    Visiting Hwadam Botanic Garden during autumn is an extraordinary experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature’s seasonal transformation. With its vast collection of plant species, breathtaking autumn foliage, and well-maintained facilities, the garden offers a memorable outing for nature enthusiasts and photography lovers alike. By following this ultimate guide, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your visit. From planning your trip and exploring the garden’s attractions to capturing unforgettable moments and respecting the environment, Hwadam Botanic Garden promises an unforgettable autumn adventure. So, pack your comfiest shoes, grab your camera, and prepare to be enchanted by the vibrant colors and serene ambiance of Hwadam Botanic Garden during this coming autumn.

    Gallery: More Autumn Shots from Hwadamsup

    Access Map:

    Quick Info About Hwadam Botanical Garden:

    Address: 경기 광주시 도척면 도척윗로 278-1
    Naver Map: Link

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    Last update: September 21, 2023