Suwon

Suwon (수원,水原) is both the provincial capital and largest city in Gyeonggi province. The city is about 30km from Seoul and has a population of just over one million.

Understand

A modern city surrounded by traditional architecture

Suwon is a major South Korean city that is somewhat overshadowed by its proximity to Seoul. Well known nationally for being the only city to retain its historic city walls, as well as the center of Samsung's global research & development.

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 
Daily highs (°C) 2.1 5.0 10.6 17.9 23.0 26.8 28.8 29.8 25.9 20.0 12.0 5.0
Nightly lows (°C) -7.4 -5.0 0.0 5.9 12.0 17.4 21.7 22.1 16.4 8.8 1.8 -4.4
Precipitation (mm) 22.4 24.2 47.9 61.3 97.8 129.2 351.1 299.8 153.9 53.1 49.7 21.8

Korea Meteorological Administration

Get in

For visitors to Seoul, Suwon can be treated like another suburb although it will still take around an hour to get there.

By subway

Take Seoul subway line 1 (blue) south - Cheonan line. Ensure that you are on the correct section of the train as it later splits and travels on two separate lines: the Incheon line (west) and Cheonan line (south).

By train

It is also possible to take a commuter train from Seoul station. This is much faster (30-45min) and costs about ₩2,600, but runs more infrequently.

By bus

From Gangnam station in Seoul there is bus 5100 to the Yeongtong area in Suwon. From Sadang station in Seoul you can take bus 7000 to Suwon.

There is also a bus service connecting Castle Hotel in Suwon with Incheon International Airport, which takes 60-90min. This service operates 06:20-22:30 to the hotel and 04:50-20:30 to the airport, every 20-30min and costs ₩12,000.

Get around

By bus

The bus lines in Suwon are reliable and cheap. Most major stops have a list of available bus lines with route information. Green buses typically run inside the city, and larger blue and red buses take passengers to Seoul and neighboring cities. While mainly listed in Korean, most major stops and points of interest are also listed in English.

By taxi

Taxis are prevalent in Suwon, and easy to use. Several offer "free translation" services. You should know a major feature near your destination as the taxi drivers may not know specific addresses or minor building names, however with a little patience and understanding you will find a taxi willing to get you near your destination. Some will even call "English speaking" friends or relatives to help. Taxis are easily identified, mainly gray, white or black with lit signs on top and in the front windows. Black taxis are called "luxury" taxis, tend to be more comfortable/larger cars, go slower, and cost more. The gray or white taxis tend to get you there faster and cheaper, but may drive more recklessly.

By train

  Suwon station(수원역) is the major station in Suwon. High speed KTX trains stop at Suwon station, as well as the slower Neuriro, Mugungwha, Saemaeul trains.

This train station is also on Line 1 of the Seoul metro network.

By subway

There are currently four stops on Seoul subway Line 1 that service the Suwon area. Suwon Station is the most central and largest, the second largest in the country, and also houses the train station proper, where you can catch a train to nearly anywhere else in South Korea. The Seryu, Hwaseo, and Sungkyunkwan University stations are the others. There is currently another subway line under construction to service other parts of the city.

By bicycle

Cycling in Suwon is easy as the sidewalks are wide and many are combination sidewalk and bike path. There are only a few challenging hills in Suwon and pedestrian traffic is not congestive in most areas.

On foot

Suwon is a large city, but walking can be a nice alternative to driving around downtown, the markets and the fortress proper. Whilst the walk between Suwon train station and the fortress is doable at a stretch, the Intercity Bus Terminal on the south side is well too far away, via a polluted mess of urban sprawl.

See

Night view of Janganmun, the north gate to Hwaseong fortress

Do

Buy

You can find many cloth and jewellery retail outlets near Paldalmun (Nammun), which is a part of Hwaseong Fortress and is a famous place in Suwon for buying winter clothes, apparels and cosmetics.

You can shop for brands like Chanel, Boss, Diesel and other international fashion chains at Galleria or the Suwon station mall.

Eat

The food court in the mall at the train/metro station offers an excellent quality Korean meal- for a very nice price. One can get a fantastic meal for ₩4,500 and select from many choices; there's a showcase displaying all your choices. Besides plentiful traditional Korean restaurants, there are many places which serve other cuisines and fast food. Suwon is famous for its Galbi (sweet marinated ribs). Restaurants near the Yeongtong Square (Sagori) serve Galbi. There's also an excellent Galbi restaurant right across the street from the World Cup Soccer stadium. Vegetarian restaurants are hard to find, but they do exist.

Drink

Major nightlife seems to revolve around three areas: Ingyedong, Yeongtong, and Nammun (Paldamun).

In Ingyedong you will find an amazing number of hofs, bars, restaurants, hostess bars etc. There's also several Korean nightclubs such as Juliana, Boss etc.

Nammun is big among the university students of Suwon. It has a fashion street and the majority of nightlife is centered on Rodeo Street which is behind the main street to the left of Nammun Gate.

Other areas that offer some nightlife options include the Ajou University area and the Suwon Station area. Where you will find:

Yeongtong has the one of the major concentration of foreigners in Suwon city. Most of them are employees of Samsung Co. and the second dominant group are English teachers.

Sleep

Budget

There are dozens of love-hotel style motels (모텔) in Suwon, starting from ₩25,000 for a double room. They can be found in clusters near Suwon Station, in the Ingyedong party area and behind Ramada Hotel. Another cheap option are 'warm rooms' or jjimjilbang (찜질방) that can be found all over the city.

Mid range

Go next

Head up to Seoul via Anyang or Uiwang or down south to the hot springs resort of Asan and neighbouring Cheonan, hosting Korea's independence hall.

Routes through Suwon

Yongsan  NW  SE  Seo-daejeon
Seoul Yongsan  NW  SE  Cheonan
Incheon  W  SE  Cheonan


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, February 19, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.