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Why Cheonggyecheon is special ?
Cheonggyecheon is an 11 km long modern stream that runs through downtown Seoul. Created as part of an urban renewal project, Cheonggyecheon is a restoration of the stream that was once there before during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). The stream was covered with an elevated highway after the Korean War (1950-1953), as part of the country's post-war economic development. Then in 2003, the elevated highway was removed to restore the stream to its present form today. The stream starts from Cheonggye Plaza, a popular cultural arts venue, and passes under a total of 22 bridges before flowing into the Hangang (River), with many attractions along its length.
What to explore at Cheonggyecheon?
Visiting Cheonggyecheon, you can admire spectacular views. You can see “Spring” Tower: a Cheonggye Plaza landmark. The two main attractions of Cheonggye Plaza are the “Spring” Tower and the Candlelight Fountain. “Spring” is a sculpture by Swedish pop artist, Claes Oldenburg and serves as a striking backdrop for the wide variety of cultural events held at the plaza. The Candlelight Fountain is a 4 m long, two-layered waterfall that flows into the stream, and marks the start of Cheonggyecheon flowing current towards the Hangang. Candlelight Fountain is particularly stunning at night with its multi-colored illuminations.
Gwangtonggyo: Gwangtonggyo was the largest of Cheonggyecheon bridges during the Joseon Dynasty, but it was buried underground during the country's post-war economic development. Recently restored to its former glory, Gwangtonggyo has an old-fashioned charm which makes it one of the most photogenic places on the stream and very popular with tourists.
Tunnel Fountain: The Tunnel Fountain covers a 50 m stretch of the footpath that runs alongside the stream. It features 42 bank-mounted nozzles that shoot 16 m-long jets of water above visitors’ heads. The jets of water arch overhead into the stream to form a delightful water tunnel through which visitors can walk and feel the simple pleasure a light refreshing mist against their faces. Gwangtonggyo was the largest of Cheonggyecheon's bridges during the Joseon Dynasty, but it was buried underground during the country's post-war economic development. Recently restored to its former glory, Gwangtonggyo has an old-fashioned charm which makes it one of the most photogenic places on the stream and very popular with tourists.
Cheonggyecheon Museum: Cheonggyecheon’s turbulent history is on display at the Cheonggyecheon Museum which opened in September 2005. The museum offers visitors the chance to learn about the many changes the stream has seen, including being buried underground and being restored. The story is told with the help of a scale-model and period photographs. Admission is free.
How to get to Cheonggyecheon?
City Hall, Jonggak, Jongno 3-ga, Jongno 5-ga, Dongdaemun, Sinseol-dong (Seoul Subway Line 1)
City Hall, Euljiro 1-ga, Euljiro 3-ga, Euljiro 4-ga, Sindang, Sangwangsimni (Seoul Subway Line 2)
Jongno 3-ga (Seoul Subway Line 1, 3 and 5)
Dongdaemun History & Culture Park (Seoul Subway Line 4)
Gwanghwamun (Seoul Subway Line 5)
Take any bus bound for Gwanghwamun or Jongno.
- Pristine and relaxing modern wonder
- Relaxing walk along the stream
- A little stream of water in a huge city
- Unique Place for a Walk
- A stroll in a park with clean and calm water
110, Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul
Tips for you
Hide under one of the many bridges with a book (or iPad) and escape the summer heat with beautiful scenery. You may just forget you're in a huge city ...
Cheonggyecheon stream is a beautiful and clean break from the hustle and bustle of Seoul. Before coming to Korea, I was really amazed with how the government took the initiative to rehabilitate the stream. Seeing it first hand showed me how successful that gamble was. In our trip, I visited it twice. My first first visit was in early Sunday morning. I expected more people when I went there but I guess it was time for people to rest. The stream was very clean and relaxing. I seemed like a good place to do a morning jog too. I was delighted to see a huge bird hover across the stream as well. My second visit was the section near the plaza in front of Gyeongbokgung palace. It was section with a wishing section and had floats and displays. There were lots of people, locals and tourists, just enjoying the park. If you're an old soul like me looking for places to relax and sightsee when you travel, this is a good place to go to :)