Guides + Tips Summer in Korea

A Picnic Date by The Han River with a Scenic View of Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain

Are you looking for a romantic and unforgettable date idea in Seoul? Well, how about a picnic by the river with a beautiful sight of a fountain that lights up after dark? It is an excellent opportunity to spend quality time with your significant other, enjoy delicious food, and take in the stunning views. If you are down for this idyllic experience, you are in for a treat! In this entry, I am going to bring you through some important tips to help settle your picnic in one of the most beautiful spots in the city.  

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    Picnic Location

    One of the best ways to have a lovely and relaxing meetup in Seoul is to go somewhere close to the city’s beloved waterway, the Han River. And the riverbank area by the Banpo Bridge is where you can find all the glams that were mentioned earlier, with a glimpse of the Seoul Tower on the other side of the river as a plus. 

    To see the exact location, put down ‘Banpo Bridge Moonlight Rainbow Fountain’ on your map and that, my friends, is where that magical view awaits. 

    About Banpo Bridge Moonlight Rainbow Fountain 

    Banpodaegyo or Banpo Bridge is the two-storied road bridge that spans across the Han River linking Seocho-gu in southern Seoul and Yongsan-gu in the north. The bridge is famous for its Moonlight Rainbow Fountain which is created by a set of 380 water jets and lines of rainbow lights installed on both sides of the overpass. As the sun sets over the Han River in the warm months, the Moonlight Rainbow Fountain comes to life. The water jets shoot up into the air, creating a stunning display of colors that dance to the rhythm of the mood lighting kind of music.  

    The Fountain Show Time and Season

    Unfortunately the fountain doesn’t run all year round. Although the operation period of the colorful water show has been pretty erratic and varied depending on the weather conditions, here is the latest updated time schedule:

    Months to see the rainbow fountain: 

    The Banpo Bridge Moonlight Rainbow Fountain operates daily from April to October. Therefore from November to March, there is no show. 

    Show time: 

    The fountain show typically runs for 20-30 minutes for each interval and begins at around 7:30PM. The last show, however, depends on the month of your visit. During the spring and autumn months (April-June, September-October), the shows are managed to display at 7:30PM, 8:00PM, 8:30PM, and 9:00PM. In summer (July-August), there is an extra round later at 9:30PM.   

    Even if there is a substantial time table, it is important to note that the fountain show may be canceled in the event of bad weather or maintenance work. Therefore, it is always a good idea to check the official website for any updates before heading to the Banpo Bridge.

    How to bring food for the picnic at Han River’s Banpo Bridge

    Food is the star of this activity. And if you don’t want to get into the hassle of preparing the dishes, there are ways to bring/find them close to the river. Here are some of the popular options:

    Rent a set from a picnic service provider

    This is an ideal way if you’d like the food to come with a photogenic set of picnic gears. In Seoul, there are tons of the picnic rental service providers that offer a variety of picnic sets that include everything you need, including a picnic mat, plates, utensils, cups, napkins, photo props, and even a small table. Many providers also include food and drinks for an additional fee. All you need to do is go to the meetup point to receive the picnic basket of your choice, some even comes in a cart for the ease of mobility. 

    However, if you are a non-Korean speaker, this option can be a huff because the reservation will only be available in Korean. Another downside for renting a picnic service is that the food selection is very limited and may be not to your liking. The common food option that the service usually offers is either sandwiches or Kimbap (Korean style rice roll). 

    But if you are comfortable with communicating using Korean, here is the list of the picnic rental services available in Banpo Bridge area: 

    Order from an eating app

    Having a very decent system of ordering food delivery is one of the aspects I love about living in Korea. It is simple, easy and very accurate. Once the order is placed, the food will be prepared and delivered to the location that you have pinpointed. Whether you are sitting at home or waiting outside by the Han River, the food will be safely handed to you within a specified time frame. The popular eating apps in Korea include Coupang Eats, Baedal Minjok, and Yogiyo. My favorite option is Coupang Eats because it is available in English. However, one potential hurdle of ordering food this way is you will be asked to provide a valid mobile phone number in Korea in order to use the apps. 

    Talk to the chicken delivery gentlemen

    If you have been to any parks that are situated alongside the Han River during the picnic season, you might have noticed a lot of men wearing a helmet wandering around with flyers in their hands, and wondered who they are. These are chicken delivery men sent by the fried chicken restaurants to take orders directly from visitors to the river. And if a box of crispy chicken and a cold beer are what you’d opt for the picnic, ordering from these guys is one of the most convenient choices.

    Buy a take-out from nearby restaurants/convenience stores

    If all of the aforementioned options are kinda moot, of course, there is the easiest and simplest way: buying takeouts from eateries on your way to the bridge or visiting the closest retail store. Next to the Banpo Bridge Moonlight Rainbow Fountain viewing area, on the other side of the bridge, is where you will find the three shining islets, Sebitseom, and on the one on the left (Gabitseom), there is a newly opened GS25 convenience store. 

    The Closest GS25 (Source: Naver Map)

    If you plan to access the Bridge by means of a subway, you may want to come out of exit 4 of the Express Bus Terminal Underground Shopping center. From exit 4 en route to the Han River, you will find 7/11 and a branch of CU along with a Redcap Pizza chain, where you can swing by and grab some delicious fare for the picnic.

    Direction to the Picnic Area from Express Bus Terminal Underground Shopping Center Exit 4
    (Source: Naver Map)

    Tips to Enjoy the Picnic

    Even though it is an uncomplicated way to have a fun date, the best view for the picnic at Banpo Bridge comes as the sun leaves the city skyline. During this time, there are things to keep in mind so your romantic evening at the bridge won’t get interrupted.

    Bring sunscreen: Banpo Bridge is an open area with direct sunlight. If you are planning to come early to secure the best spot for the view, it’s important to protect yourself from sunburn. 

    Bring insect repellent: bugs and mosquitos are the real mood killers, pack up some insect repellent to prevent any unwanted pests from disrupting your picnic. 

    Bring a picnic blanket: The area can get quite windy, especially in the evenings. Bring an extra piece of cloth to help keep you warm and cozy while waiting for the fountain show.  

    There you have it all about picnicking at one of the most romantic spots in the city! From the stunning rainbow fountain show to the scenic views of the Han River, there’s no shortage of things to enjoy while sharing a meal with your loved one at the Banpo Bridge. Whether you choose to bring your own food and supplies or opt for a take-out or rental service, there are plenty of ways to make your picnic extra special. Oh! And don’t forget to dispose of any trash in the designated bins and avoid leaving any items behind. 

    Gallery: a beautiful evening at Banpo Bridge 

    Access Map to Banpo Bridge

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