Cross-Country Routes icon.

Hangang
Bicycle Path

Flow with the Han River through Seoul and into Korea’s heart.

Let the parade of landmarks begin!

The Hangang Bicycle Path (한강자전거길) traverses both the Han (한강; Hangang) and South Han (남한강; Namhangang) River along the Cross-Country Route.

Beginning on Seoul’s western boundary, where the Ara Bike Path finished, the course cruises through the capital and follows the South Han River into Chungu (충주시), the center of the Korean peninsula.

The Stats
Start
Seoul City
(서울시)
← 192 km →
11 hours
End
Chungju City
(충주시)
Checkpoints Logo
Checkpoints (10)
Bus Icon
Bus Terminals
Link button to Kakao Maps directions.
Directions
Link button to Kakao Maps Highlights.
Highlights

City-to-City Path Breakdown

Explore the north side of the Hangang Bike path in Seoul.

Ride the south side of the Hangang Bicycle Path in Seoul.

Sail through converted railroad tunnels and by hulking water gates.

Pass river islands and arrive at the toes of the Sobaek Mountains.

Learn the history and geography of Korea’s most important river.

Hangang Bike Path Overview

A picture of Namsan Tower from the Hangang Bike Path in Seoul, South Korea.
The Hangang Bicycle Path flows through Seoul along the Han River.

The Hangang Bicycle Path starts at the left limit of Seoul, where the Ara Bicycle Path stops. The route slides through Seoul, into Gyeonggi Province (경기도), and ends at Chungju Dam (충주댐).

Three Han Rivers

Bike riders on the Bukhangang Bridge
The Hangang Bicycle Path crosses Yangpyeong Dumulmeori (양평 두물머리), where the North and South Han Rivers meet, just outside of Seoul.

Three bicycle paths fit under the Hangang Bike Path label. Let’s break it down by looking at how the Han River forms.

The Nam and The Buk

The Han begins just outside of Seoul, in Yangpyeong County (양평군). Before, it courses through Korea as two rivers: the Bukhangang (북한강) and the Namhangang (남한강).

Let’s dissect their names.

  • “Gang” (강) means “river”
  • “Nam” (남) means “south”
  • Buk” (북) means “north”

So Buk + Han + Gang (북 + 한 + 강) translates to North Han River.

And Nam + Han + Gang (남 + 한 + 강) means South Han River.

Lost in Translation

Korean words often get lost in translation. Some translators convert every Hangul (Korean) utterance into English. For example:

  • Banpo-daegyo (반포대교) – “daegyo” means large. “Banpo Bridge.” It’s big.
  • Jeju-do (제주도) – “do” means island. “Jeju Island.”
  • Ipo-bo (이포보) – “bo” means weir. “Ipo Weir.”
  • Insa-dong (인사동) – “dong” means neighborhood. “Insa Neighborhood.”
  • Hangang (한강) – “gang” means river. “Han River.”

All those consonant-dense bike path names are just a case of overzealous transcribers.

  • Hangang Bike Path — “Han River Bike Path”
  • Nakdonggang Bike Path — “Nakdong River Bike Path”
  • Yeongsangang Bike Path — “Yeongsan River Bike Path”

Korea by Bike aims to translate every Korean word. Unless it’s an official title, no phoneticizing.

Three Han Bicycle Paths

Along all three sections of the Han River, a bicycle paths follows:

Hangang (Seoul) Bicycle Path

The Hangang (Seoul) Bicycle Path claims the Han River as it flows through Seoul. It ends at Paldang Bridge (팔당대교) just at the edge of Hanam City (하남).

Namhangang Bicycle Path

The Namhangang (South Han River) Bicycle Path picks up where the Seoul path leaves off. From Paldang Bridge, it carries riders through Gyeonggi Province (경기도) and ends in Chungju City.

(The Namhangang Bicycle Path follows the Cross-Country Route and connects with the Saejae Bicycle Path.)

A picture of the Bukhangang Bridge outside of Seoul.
The Bukhangang Bridge connects the Hangang Bicycle Path in Seoul to the Namhangang Bicycle Path.
Bukhangang Bicycle Path

The Bukhangang (North Han River) Bicycle Path starts at the convergence of the North and South Han Rivers a couple kilometers east of Seoul.

From Balgeun Gwangjang Certification Center (밝은광장 인증센터), it weaves along the North Han River 70 kilometers and finishes in Chuncheon City (춘천시).

(The Bukhangang Bicycle Path isn’t a part of the Cross-Country Route and doesn’t connect with any other certification bike path.)

The Unified Hangang Bicycle Path

Let’s simplify. In most contexts, we clump the Hangang (Seoul) Bicycle Path and Namhangang Bicycle Path into one. The Hangang Bicycle Path.

Visit the Bukhangang Bicycle Path page to learn more

Certification

To complete the Hangang Bicycle Path and Cross-Country certifications, collect all the stamps along both the Hangang (Seoul) Bicycle Path and Namhangang Bicycle Paths.

You don’t need stamps from the Bukhangang Bicycle Path for either the Hangang Bicycle Path or Cross-Country certifications.

Missed Checkpoints
A South Korean bike passport and certification stamp in a certification center.
Did you miss the Ttukseom Observatory Complex certification center? How about the Gwangnaru Bicycle Park stamp? Don’t worry. One automatically counts for the other.

In Seoul, the Ttukseom Observatory Complex and Gwangnaru Bicycle Park certification centers lie across the river from one another. Grab one and the other automatically count towards the Hangang and Cross-Country certifications.

While the Chungju Dam (충주댐) technically ends the Hangang Bike Path, the certification center sits ten kilometers (20 km return) from the Cross-Country route.

Just trying to get the Cross-Country certification? Skip it. Want the Grand Slam or Hangang certifications? Saddle up for a detour. You’ll need it.

Highlights

The Hangang Bicycle Path might be the most diverse of all certification bike paths. After crossing Korea’s most populous and landmark-spotted city, it chugs along an old railroad before settling into a countryside of gentle currents and chirping groves.

Seoul Highlights

A picture of Lotte World Tower at night in Seoul, South Korea.
Day or night, Lotte World Tower (롯데월드타워) — the 5th tallest in the world at 123-stories — makes an impression on Seoul’s skyline.

Want to see all of Seoul? No one can fit all the highlights in a single itinerary. So we focus on the landmarks on or near the Han River in Seoul in our city-to-city breakdown. 

We further divide the route into North Side and South Side guides. Then we explore the sights in and around the eleven Hangang Parks along both banks of the Han River in Seoul.

North Side:

South Side:

From an insect inspired exhibition space to a Grand Fountain Bridge, each riverside park holds unique curiosities and attractions.

And because the Han River bisects Seoul, the bike paths slither near the capital’s major landmarks. The North Side explores old Seoul. The South Side visits modernity.

Namhangang Highlights

A view of the Tomb of King Sejong (영녕릉) in Yeoju, South Korea.
Visit the Tomb of King Sejong (영녕릉) in Yeoju. Why? Sejong the Great is considered to be one of the greatest rulers in the country’s history.

Outside of Korea’s capital, the Namhangang Bicycle Path tracks the South Han River into the middle of Korea.

The first chunk of bike road zooms down an old railroad route, through hillside tunnels, and past quaint towns and scaled down cities.

Weird Weirs & Green Galore

The Namhangang Bike Path introduces the first of many awe-inspiring weirs.

What’s so great about weirs?

A picture of Ipo-bo weir along the Hangang Bicycle Path in South Korea.
The orbs topping Ipo Weir (이포보) near the town of Yangpyeong (양평) look like relics from an alien civilization.

These ain’t your aunty’s weirs. Built as a part of the Four Rivers Project (4대강 정비 사업), each water-regulating structure hangs over the Han’s ancient waters like modern pieces of art

This portion of the bike route also changes the backdrop from skyscrapers to green blanketed mountains.

Among the clumpy riverbed sit a series of islands. Each ecological haven hosts migratory birds, river dwelling fauna, and arbor adoring campers.

Views of the Namhangang

Local tourist boards compiled a list of Eight Scenic Views along the Namhangang Bicycle Path. Excluding Seoul, they reflect the natural and people-made sights along the South Han River.

Types of Paths & Difficulty

The Hangang Bicycle Path doesn’t inspire fear. Much of the route rides on bike-only paths. Outside cities, the path jumps onto bucolic roads only a handful of times.

What about elevation? A few spiky hills south of Seoul. With rest, water, and snacks, they cause only minor cases of quad and glute burn.

The Seoul City Paths

Much like the Ara Bicycle Path, “leisure” best describes Seoul’s bike paths. No vehicle roads. No shared pedestrian walkways. Just an uninterrupted cycling path that tracks the Han River’s flat course.

A picture of the bicycle path in Yanghwa Hangang Park through Seoul in South Korea.
The bike paths in Seoul don't offer much of a physical challenge. They follow the flat course of the Han River.
The Passes of Most Resistance

Two exceptions to the flatness rule: the Amsa (South Side) and Mieumnaru (North Side) Passes.

Near the eastern reaches of the Han River in Seoul, the bike road climbs an unavoidable hill fifty meters up. 

Each stretch earns infamy not for their challenging ascent, but the mix of inexperienced sightseers and speeding marathoners. Rider-on-rider accidents occur aplenty. 

The Crowds

Being the most populous city in Korea has upsides. More landmarks. More hidden gems. Better bike paths. 

The downsides? People.

In the sunny months, Seoul’s parks swell with families, waddling young ones, canoodling couples, and shaved uber-cyclists hitting highway speeds. 

Beware! When approaching popular areas like Yeouido and Ttukseom expect park goers with awareness disabilities.

Pedestrians will step into bike lanes without looking. Cyclists will check their phones mid-pedal. And, kids? Not even the most advanced supercomputers could calculate their feral movements.

The Namhangang Paths

Most of the route along the Namhangang (South Han River) follows protected bike lanes. However, the farther outside of Seoul, the more you’ll encounter country roads.

The Railroad Path
A picture of a cyclists riding through the decommissioned train tunnels of the Namhangang Bicycle Path.
The opening stages of the Namhangang Bicycle Path follow a decommissioned train route. LEDs adorn old tunnels.

The opening stages, from Hanam to Yangpyeong, creep along a decommissioned railroad track. Borrowing the same efficient route, the bike path chugs along a flat, protected path.

However, during this span, a few local roads hop across the path. Traffic signals regulate both cars and bikes at these intersections.

Farmers & Fishers

Think building a recreational bike path in the sparsely populated countryside is a waste of tax dollars? Well, local governments agree.

A good portion of the Namhangang Bike Path follows bike-only roads. However, municipalities often co opt the path to allow farmers and locals access to farm fields and the river.

Don’t show surprise when you find yourself:

  • playing chicken with a chugging tractor.
  • swerving around mud clumps dropped from fist-wide treads.
  • dodging a fisherman’s SUV sneaking closer to a fishing spot.
A picture of a bicycle along the Hangang Bicycle Path in Korea.
The Namhangang briefly hops on country roads a few times. Don't worry! Traffic is light.
Country Roads

When riverside hills force their way onto the Namhangang Bike Path, bike-only lanes detour onto vehicle-dwelling pavement.

Near Gangcheon (강천섬) and Binaesom (비내섬) Islands, the cycling path shoots away from the river and onto thinly trafficked country roads. 

A pair of hills rising 70 meters (Gangcheon) and 52 meters (Binaesom) accompany the detours; the steepest climbs on the Namhangang Bike Path.

How To Get There

The Hangang Bike Path is the easiest to access in Korea. Why? Seoul and its satellites. They offer three convenient transportation options for you and your bike.

Subway

It’s the weekend (or national holiday). You’re in Seoul. What’s the best way to the bike paths? Subway. (Most subways lines forbid anything larger than a folding bike on weekdays.)
Start Line
Where does the Hangang Bicycle Path start? The eastern end of the Ara Bicycle Path. The nearest subway stop is Banghwa Station (방화역) on Seoul’s Subway Line 5. From there, ride two kilometers to the Ara Hangang Lock (아라한강갑문) certification center. You can also access the Hangang Bike Path by jumping on the Airport Express (AREX). Get off at Gyeyang Station (계양역). Cycle eight kilometers down to Hangang Path’s start line.
Hangang (Seoul) Finish Line
While Seoul’s subways don’t reach Chungju City — the Hangang Path’s end — they reach Hanam City, the end of Seoul’s Hangang Bike Path. To reach Hop on Subway Line 5. Get off at either Misa (미사역) or Hanam Pungsan (하남풍산) Stations. They sit closest to the bike path in Hanam.
Subway Lines
A picture of the inside of a subway in Seoul, South Korea.
Stick you bike in the front or back cars of a subway on the weekends.
Many of Seoul’s subway lines touch the Hangang Bicycle Path through Seoul. Here are the four most useful lines: 

Commuter Train

Ten commuter trains integrate into the Seoul Subway System. All pass into the capital’s satellite cities. Like subways, most allow full-size bikes aboard on weekends and holidays.

Two commuter lines, Gyeongchun and Gyeongui–Jungang, scoot along the Namhangang and Bukhangang Bike Paths outside Seoul.

Gyeongchun Line

The Gyeongchun Line (경춘선) carries cyclists from the center of Seoul to the city of Chuncheon City (춘천시).

Hop on this train if you want to tackle the Bukhangang Bicycle Path. It doesn’t touch any part of the Hangang Bicycle Path, however.

Gyeongui–Jungang Line

Want to ride on the Namhangang portion of the Hangang Bike Path? Gyeongui–Jungang Line (경의·중앙선) is the simplest transportation out of Seoul.

The line snakes east/west through Seoul. In Namyangju City, it meets then runs beside the Hangang Bike Path for 30 kilometers, all the way to Yangpyeong County (양평역).

In Seoul, the Gyeongui–Jungang Line stops near Ichon Hangang Park (이촌역; 서빙고역; 한남역; 옥수역).

Outside of Seoul, from Namyangju (덕소역; 도심역; 팔당역) to Yangpyeong, the line stops at eight train stations beside on the Hangang Bike Path.

Cyclists use the Gyeongui–Jungang Line to pop out of the metropolis for a scenic ride on weekends. Come sundown, they swing by the nearest train stations and jet home by supper.

Intercity Bus

While subways and trains are best for getting around Seoul on the weekends, intercity buses let riders access far-flung parts of the Hangang Bike Path and beyond. 

They travel to every city and county along the Han River 365 days a year. Just buy a ticket, nestle your bike in the intercity bus’s luggage compartment underbelly, and hop aboard.

Bus Terminals in Seoul

There are five bus terminals to choose from in Seoul. Lucky for you, the two most trafficked perch near the Han River.

Dong Seoul Bus Terminal (동서울종합터미널) lies in the eastern regions of the city. It lies only a couple hundred meters from the North Side bike road.

Even more convenient, just across the street, find Gangbyeon Station (강변역), which services Seoul’s Subway Line 5 (5호선).

A picture of the Dong Seoul Bus Terminal (동서울종합버스터미널) in Seoul, South Korea.
The Dong (East) Seoul Bus Terminal is one of the best hubs to get in and out of Seoul with your bike.

Seoul Express Bus Terminal (서울고속버스터미널) rests farther from the path: about a kilometer south of Banpo Hangang Park (반포한강공원), in the center of Seoul.

Like Dong Seoul, a subway stop — Express Bus Terminal Station (고속터미널역) — feeds into the building. It serves Subways Line 3, Line 7, and Line 9.

South Han River Bus Terminals

On the Namhangang? Intercity buses will carry you to all the settlements along the Namhangang Bicycle Path.

Unlike Seoul, each city has one bus terminal perched in the middle of their downtowns. 

After your bus arrives, just hop on your bike and pedal a few kilometers to the South Han River.

Districts on the Han

Below find a complete list of cities, counties, and provinces on the Han River. You can also find links the bike path breakdowns.

Seoul Special City (서울특별시; Seoul-si) is the gravitational center of Korea. Like London is to the U.K., Paris is to France, everything flows to and from the megacity. It:

  • is the capital of South Korea.
  • claims the headquarters of most Korean corporations.
  • houses the biggest K-Pop labels.
  • boasts the most awe-inspiring cultural relics.

Gyeonggi Province (경기도) is the most populous province in Korea. Why? The name says it all, translating to “the area around the capital.” But the province not only surrounds Seoul City (서울특별시; Seoul-si), the largest city. It also cuddles up to Incheon (인천시), Korea’s third largest metropolis.

Hanam City (하남시; Hanam-si) is satellite cities of Seoul (서울특별시; Seoul-si). First established in 1989, the city closely ties itself to the capital, borrowing many resources, including a subway (Line 5; 5호선) and commuter train (Gyeongui–Jungang Line; 경의·중앙선).

Yangpyeong County (양평군) sits on the South Han River (남한강; Namhangang) near the middle-north of South Korea. Its borders touch the bottom of Hanam City (하남시) in the north and the top of Yeoju City (여주시) in the south.

Yeoju City (여주시) lies on the southeastern edge of of Gyeonggi Province (경기도; Gyeonggi-do). South Korea recognizes Yeoju for two things.

  1. Its farmlands were some of the first to cultivate rice on the Korean peninsula.
  2. And the city birthed and holds the tombs for some of Korea’s most important leaders.

North Chungcheong Province (충청북도) sits in the center of South Korea. It is the only landlocked province in the country.

The province’s name comes from its two historically important cities, Chungju (충주시) and Cheongju (청주시). Chungju + Cheongju = ChungCheong.

Chungju City (충주시; Chungju-si) sits near the middle of South Korea in North Chungcheong Province (충청북도; Chungcheongbuk-do).

Just east of the city, you’ll find Chungju Lake. This body of water transforms the Donggang River (동강강) into the South Han River (남한강; Namhangang). This makes Chungju City the first or last stop on the Hangang Bicycle Path.