Sprawling along the north bank of the Han River, Mapo-gu is one of the 25 districts of the South Korean capital, Seoul. It’s famously home to the Seoul World Cup Stadium, which was constructed for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, as well as lively bars and late-night restaurants in its student-populated neighbourhoods.
Things to do in Mapo-gu
Stretch your legs on a walk through Gyeongui Line Forest Park, which follows the route of the century-old Gyeongui railway line. It’s affectionately known as “Yeon-tral Park” after its resemblance to New York City’s famous Central Park. Gyeongui Line Forest Park is dotted with picturesque ponds and grassy fields where you can stop to relax and connects the trendy neighbourhoods of Hongdae and Yeonnam-dong.
Another green space not to miss is Haneul Park, which translates as “Sky Park” in Korean and occupies the highest point of World Cup Park. Climb the 291 wooden stairs that lead to the top or ride the electric tram while soaking up the spectacular views across Seoul. The park is particularly popular during the annual Silver Grass Festival when the eulalia is in bloom.
You can experience Mapo-gu’s youthful culture in the Hongdae and Sinchon-ro areas, which are clustered with barbecue restaurants, rooftop bars and live music venues. Browse the eclectic boutiques or head to the Hyundai Department Store before letting loose at one of the karaoke bars. In addition to Hongik University and Myongji University, Mapo-gu is also home to Yonsei University, Sogang University and Ewha Womans University.
Getting around Mapo-gu
Mapo-gu is a 30-minute train ride from Seoul Station and is connected along Line, 2, 5 and 6 of the Seoul Metropolitan Subway. Buses travel throughout Mapo-gu and connect most of the district’s attractions.