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15 Best Things To Do At Imjingak Park Near Seoul, South Korea

15 Best Things To Do At Imjingak Park Near Seoul, South Korea

Imjingak Park is located near one of the most heavily militarized regions in the world. Along the border of the DMZ between North and South Korea, Imjingak Park should not be missed when visiting Seoul.

Visitors can explore museums, war memorials, observatories and even ride a pirate ship. In our detailed Imjingak Park guide, we will show you:

  • Where to find Imjingak Park and how to get there
  • 15 best things to do at Imjingak Park
  • Numerous tips for you visit
  • Our personal photos from Imjingak Park

Now, let’s explore Imjingak Peace Park!

Our Imjingak Park Experience

Man and woman taking a photograph in front of an old steam locomotive
Mark and Kristen posing for a photo at Imjingak Park

We visited Imjingak Park as part of a DMZ Tour in March 2023 after the covid pandemic lockdowns. This guide will show you everything you can do in this fascinating area.

During this time, the entire park was open for visitors. Imjingak Park is the closest you can get to the DMZ without booking a guided tour.

Want to visit the DMZ? You can not visit the DMZ unless you have booked a guided tour. Don’t miss our DMZ tour review if you are interested in exploring the South Korea and North Korea border.

What Is Imjingak Park?

White Imjingak park sign showing distance to Seoul and Gaeseong
Imjingak Park sign indicating distance to Seoul in South Korean and Gaeseong in North Korea

Imjingak Park was built for North Korean refugees after the announcement of the Korean Agreement following the Korean War. But this region now serves as a leading tourist destination in Korea with over 6 million annual visitors.

Located very close to North Korea, this park showcases the difficulties of the Korean War as well as the current division between North and South Korea.

The Imjingak Peace Park incorporates museums, monuments, a Unification Park and a North Korea Center. Built in 1972, Imjingak was built in the hopes North and South Korea lean towards unification.

It’s important to note that Imjingak Park has several interchangeable names so you can expect any of the following terms:

  • Imjingak Resort
  • Pyeonghwa Nuri Park
  • Imjingak Nuri Peace Park

This park will most likely be your first stop on a DMZ tour. We will discuss the best ways to visit the park if you don’t want to book a tour later in this guide.

Where Is Imjingak Park In South Korea?

Map showcasing Imjingak Park on border with North and South Korea
Map location of Imjingak Park on border with North and South Korea

Imjingak Park is located 7km (about 4.5 miles) from the Military Demarcation Line along the banks of the Imjingang River which divides North and South Korea.

Address: 177, Imjingak-ro, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do South Korea

How To Get To Imjingak Park

You have four options for getting to Imjingak Peace Park:

1. Book a DMZ Tour with a guide. This is how we visited Imjingak Park and most tours will stop at this location before visiting any other part of the DMZ.

2. Take town shuttle bus # 058 (daily service) and get off at Imjingang bus stop. You can also use ordinary bus #93-3 or express bus # 7300, but these options are weekend service only.

3. Take the subway to Imjingang Station (along the Gyeongui-Jungang line).

4. Drive yourself and park in the Imjingak parking lot. Compare prices on Discover Cars or Rental Cars for the best deal if you need to rent a car.

Buses and cars parked in the main Imjingak Parking Lot
Large parking lot at Imjingak Park

If you drive, there is a large parking lot in front of the Korean Peninsula Ecological Peace Tourism Center and you can park for free.

Heading to Seoul during your trip? Check out the best things to do in Seoul next.

15 Best Things To Do At Imjingak Peace Park

A few of the attractions in the peace park will cost an additional fee so we will let you know what is free and what will cost you extra.

Here are the best things you can do when visiting Imjingak Park:

Close up view of Freedom Bridge in the DMZ at Imjingak park
Close up view of the Freedom Bridge at Imjingak

1. See The Freedom Bridge

The Freedom Bridge is one of the most popular attractions at Imjingak Park. Built in 1953, this bridge was temporarily built to exchange 12,773 Prisoners of War (POWs).

After the Korean War, prisoners crossed the Freedom Bridge on foot after coming to the bridge of the Gyeongui train line by motor vehicles.

Many of the guided tours of the DMZ will highlight the Freedom Bridge.

Cost: Free

DMZ Peace Bell at Imjingak park with ornate roof
Stunning red and green Peace Bell

2. Visit The Peace Bell

Another great spot to visit at Imjingak Park is the Peace Bell. It was created with national reunification in mind and hopes of peace for humankind.

The Peace Bell has 21 steps and weighs 21 tons to symbolize the 21st century.

Cost: Free

Old Korean War steam locomotive at Jangdan Station on the Gyeongui Line
Old Steam Locomotive from the Korean War

3. Don’t Miss The Steam Locomotive at Jangdan Station

The steam locomotive at Jangdan Station is located on the old Gyeongui train line which was destroyed by the bombings of the war.

This old locomotive is unique because you can still see the bullet holes and today, it is meant to be a symbol for the current division of Korea.

Many unification events are held here in Imjingak Park and this attraction serves as one of the most popular locations along the DMZ because tourists can visit without going through security checkpoints.

Cost: Free

Entrance to the Dokgae Bridge
Paid entrance to the Dokgae Bridge

4. Walk Out On Dokgae Bridge

This unique attraction reproduces the original railroad bridge that was also destroyed during the bombings of the Korean War.

The Dokgae Bridge measures 105m by 5m and visitors will experience a clear view of the Imjingang River within the restricted area for civilians.

Cost: Additional entry fee

Front view of the Imjingak Park Pavilion and observatory
Front view of the Imjingak Pavilion

5. Climb The Imjingak Pavilion

Imjingak Pavilion was built for refugees right after the Armistice Agreement between North and South Korea. We recommend you climb to the rooftop observatory to see a birdseye view of the restricted area.

At the top of the observatory, visitors will find multiple tower viewers. Because of the high view, this is a great place to see what else you might want to do in the peace park.

Cost: Free

Mangbaedan Altar at Imjingak Park in honor of Korean War abductees
The Mangbardan Altar at Imjingak Park

6. Pay Your Respects At The Mangbardan Altar

The Mangbaedan Altar has become a famous place where South Koreans who have been separated from their families in the north canpay tribute to loved ones.

On both Seollal (New Year’s Day) and Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving), families gather here to be as close to their hometowns and families as possible.

Cost: Free

Woman reading an exhibit in the National Memorial for Abductees during the Korean War
Kristen reading an exhibit inside the National Memorial For Abductees

7. Learn At The National Memorial For Abductees During The Korean War

If you can spare the time at Imjingak Park, the National Memorial for Abductees during the Korean War is worth your effort.

However, you may need a few minutes after the museum to compose yourself because what you will learn about is absolutely heartbreaking.

The National Memorial for Abductees reflects on the history of South Korean citizens abducted by North Korea and strives to recognize the victims current struggles.

We won’t get into much detail here but on June 25th, 1950 at 4:00 am with no declaration, North Korea crossed the 38th parallel into South Korea marking the first aggression of the Korean War.

During this invasion, North Korea implemented plans to abduct South Koreans. It is estimated about 100,000 South Korean civilians were abducted during the war.

Despite continued efforts by the South Korean government to repatriate the abductees, many of them have not returned from North Korea causing immense pain and suffering for their families back home.

Cost: Free

Travel Tip: Most of the exhibits in the museum are in Korean, but there are English translations scattered through each exhibit. You can also use Google Translate to read the Korean text.

Woman walking near the exhibition hall for the Underground Military Bunker
Kristen walking past the BEAT 131 underground exhibit

8. Explore An Underground Military Bunker At BEAT 131

Inside visitors will step into an actual military bunker including intelligence room and a video experience exhibition hall. However, the BEAT 131 bunker will cost an additional fee to enter.

This underground bunker showcases military goods and offers a hand-on experience of media as well as additional video footage of the DMZ.

Cost: Additional entry fee

Two cable cars along the Imjingak Peace Gondola
Imjingak Peace Gondola with cable cars traveling over the CCZ

9. Ride The Imjingak Peace Gondola

If you want to experience the world’s only gondola that travels through a Civilian Controlled Zone (CCZ), this is your chance to ride a cable car through the DMZ.

The Imjingak Peace Gondola is 1.7 km (1.0 mile) long traveling between a north and south station over the Imjingang River.

To ride the Peace Gondola, you will have to pay an additional fee, but if you have booked a DMZ tour this might be included or you will receive a discounted rate.

Imjingak Station (parking lot of Imjingak Park) includes:

  • Paju Agricultural Specialities Marker
  • GS25 Convenience Store
  • Ticket Office
  • Cafe 9977
  • Dunkin’ Donuts
  • PICSOLVE Photo Service
  • Provence Bakery

The DMZ Station (upper platform of Camp Greaves) includes:

  • Rooftop Observatory
  • Cafe Forbidden Place
  • DMZ Gift Shop
  • Outdoor Trail (to Imkingang Observatory)
  • Gallery Greaves
  • Camp Greaves (sometimes closed)

Once on the North side, you can visit the Peace Lighthouse, the Dobo Bridge, Pyeonghwajeong Pavilion and the No Border Crossing sign.

Cost: Adults 11,000 KRW + 9,000 KRW for the general cabin

If you want to book a DMZ tour with a Gondola ride, you can book it on Get Your Guide or Viator.

Woman purchasing North Korean Currency at Imjingak Park near the DMZ
Kristen purchasing a few notes of North Korean currency

10. Buy North Korean Currency

If you like to collect money, don’t miss your chance to buy North Korean currency. You can find the money stand from above located just past Imjingak Pavilion.

When we visited, you could purchase both old and new currency. Honestly, it was a little overpriced but you probably won’t get the chance to buy North Korean currency again.

Cost: Varies

11. Admire The Ground For New Millennium

This sculpture won’t take much of your time, but it’s meant to have a big impact. The Ground For New Millennium is made of both an upper and lower portion which are meant to represent different ideas.

The lower portion of the statue symbolizes the past while the upper portion symbolizes the future. This monument was built in hopes of world peace and democratic reunification.

Cost: Free

Pirate ship and train at Imjingak Park
The Pirate Ship inside Imjingak Park

12. Ride The Pirate Ship In Pyeonghwa Land

If you are traveling with kids to Imjingak Park, they will have the chance to visit an amusement park! This one took us by surprise because an amusement park is the last thing you would expect at the DMZ.

At the time we visited, Imjingak Park had a pirate ship, swings, a rideable train and a carousel. The amusement park is located adjacent to the main parking lot.

Cost: Varies

Local food stalls serving Korean food at Imjingak Park
Local food stalls selling Korean food options

13. Fuel Up With Local Food

All of these activities will certainly help you work up an appetite. You can find local food stalls selling dumplings, noodles and many fried options. This was the cheapest option for dining in the park.

We tried the corn dog and the sausage rice cake to fuel up with a quick snack before our DMZ tour.

But if you want to have a sit down meal, there are a few options on the second floor of the Korean Peninsula Ecological Peace Tourism Center including both local and international options.

Try to find the robot delivering meals to customers!

White round robot delivering meals to customers at Imjingak Park
Very cool robot serving meals to visitors!

For those who love Dunkin’ Donuts, you can find a small Dunks on the second floor of Imjingak Station. We couldn’t resist stopping by for a donut…

Woman purchasing two donuts at Dunkin donuts
Kristen treating herself to a good old fashioned Dunkin’ Donut

14. Stop By The Korean Peninsula Ecological Peace Tourism Center

The tourism center is where your tour guide will pick up your tickets for touring the DMZ. You can also find food as well as restrooms located inside the building.

If you climb to the second story, you will also find a lunge area with a few picnic benches. Another highlight is the Imjingak Riverside Culture & Eco Trail (9.1km) which begins nearby.

Parking lot with Monuments for Unification in the distance
Monuments For Unification next to the Parking Lot on a hazy day

15. Walk Through The Monuments For Unification

On the other side of Imjingak Park, you will find a large green space filled with walking trails. Because we spent so much time inside the museum, we ran out of time to fully explore this section.

In addition to the Monuments of Unification, there are a few more things in the area including:

  • Candlelight Pavilion
  • Hill of Music
  • Hill of Wind
  • DMZ Ecotourism Support center
  • Cafe Annyeong

You could easily spend a whole day in Imjingak Park if your South Korea itinerary allowed!

Travel Tip: The 3rd Tunnel, Dora Observatory and the Joint Security Area (JSA) are not located in Imjingak Park. You will need to book a DMZ tour to visit these specific areas.

American and South Korean Memorial at Imjingak Park
American and South Korean War Memorial

Is Imjingak Park Worth Visiting?

Yes, Imjingak Park is worth visiting because this is the closest point you can get to the DMZ without having to go through extra security precautions and booking a tour.

In all honesty, it can be very sad walking around the park learning about what took place in this area, but it’s important for visitors to learn about the history of the Korean War and these bordering countries.

Pros To Visiting Imjingak Park

  • Visitors can visit on their own or as part of a tour
  • Many things to do in the park so your time can be spent well
  • One of the best ways to understand history between North and South Korea

Cons To Visiting Imjingak Park

  • Can be an extremely harrowing experience
  • Will take up a significant amount of time
  • Limited amount of English in certain exhibits

Photos For Imjingak Park

We took many photos at Imjingak Park and these are a few of our favorites.

Person walking through doorway at Imjingak Park
Kristen exploring a walking trail at Imjingak Park
South Korean War Monument at Imjingak Park
South Korean War Memorial
Visitors exploring a section of Imjingak Park
Our tour group at the old steam locomotive
Four memprative stamps at Imjingak Park for visitors
Stamps available for use at Imjingak Park to celebrate loved ones
Stone staircase leaving to Imjingak Pavilion
Stone staircase leading up to Imjingak Pavilion
Rideable black and red train in South Korea
Train rides are available for families at Imjingak Park
A section of the Gyeongui Line in South Korea
A section of the Gyeongui Line destroyed by the Korean War
Many colorful ribbons tied to a barbed wire fence to honog abductions from the Korean War
Colorful ribbons tied on a barbwire fence
Miari-gogae Monument honoring Korean War abductees
Miari-gogae Monument to honor Korean War abductees
Four large exhibits showcasing Korean War photos
Old photography from the Korean War
Red and yellow cable car along the Imjingak peace Gondola
Red and yellow cable car traveling over the Civilian Control Zone (CCZ)
Freedom Bridge at Imjingak park designated by Gyeonggi-do
The Freedom Bridge at Imjingak Park
Front view of an old Korean War Steam Locomotive
Close up view of the Steam Locomotive with bullet holes
Tower viewers on the top of Imjingak Pavilion
Tower Viewers overlooking the DMZ from Imjingak Pavilion

Imjingak Park FAQ’s

Let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about Imjingak Park.

Can you visit the Imjingak Peace Park without a tour?

You can visit Imjingak Park on your own, but to visit the DMZ, you will need to book a guided tour.

What is the best thing to do at Imjingak Park?

The best thing to do at Imjingak Park is ride the Gondola, buy your very own North Korean currency and visit the National Memorial for Abductees.

Can you bring dogs to Imjingak Peace Park?

Pets are not permitted at Imjingak Peace Park, but we did see a few dogs in the parking lot.

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Want more Seoul content? Head over to our South Korea Travel Guides to explore the very best of Seoul and beyond.

We hope this guide featuring the best things to do at Imjingak Park helps with planning your visit to Seoul, South Korea!

Please let us know if you have any questions about visiting Imjingak Park below in the comments and have a great trip.

Happy Travels,

Mark and Kristen

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Saturday 8th of July 2023

Many thanks for the detailed information. Is it possible to visit a tour directly from Imjingak Park or do all tours start in Seoul? Thanks so much!

Mark and Kristen Morgan

Tuesday 11th of July 2023

Hi Julia, the easiest way to book a DMZ tour is with a reputable company and all of the tours we saw at Imjingak Park originated in Seoul. Your best bet would be to contact that particular tour company to ask if you can begin at Imjingak Park. Tour group operators must queue for DMZ tickets once they arrive at Imjingak Park because these tickets are currently distributed on a first come first serve basis. Many tour groups arrive early to make sure they secure tickets for their group so it might be very difficult for you to find a tour at Imjingak Park for this reason. If you are able to get tickets at Imjingak Park, would you please let us know because others may have the same question? 🙂 Thank you and have a great trip!