I’ve moved to the city of Suwon which is located about 1 hour south of Seoul. It’s home to just over 1 million residents although it feels like a lot more and it’s famous for the Hwaseong Fortress (to come in another post!). It’s the last remaining walled city in South Korea and also home to Samsung’s headquarters. Suwon is also a major education hub housing 11 universities!
Suwon has great metro and train connections to Seoul and surrounding areas and there are airport buses that reach Suwon. The most convenient way to get around in Suwon though are buses. Google maps is pretty much useless in Korea. A better app to use would be Naver Maps which will also be able to tell you which buses/what stops and walking routes which are more accurate than google maps. There is clear signage of bus stops with an electronic board at each stop indicating what buses are about to arrive and there are also lists with all the bus routes and stops. My standards were pretty low as some bus stops in Australia just have a measly “bus stop” sign attached to a pole in the middle of the street.
There are many parks around with gym equipment at all the parks that I have seen so far. There are dog parks, oldies going for walks and babies. I have noticed that there were barely any young children around when I was out for my morning walk the other day but assumed that they were all at school or in kindergarten. Let’s save schooling for a different post.
Suwon can be a great day trip or weekend trip from Seoul if you want to venture to a different city. Of course, I would recommend the fortress and streets surrounding it. There are plenty of cafes and rooftop places to take a break from walking the 5km length of the wall.
Assuming that you will be travelling from Seoul, you will likely arrive at Suwon station which is a connection hub where metro lines 1 and 2 meet to change to get to the west of Seoul, train connections to the rest of the country and also a bus interchange. The streets surrounding the station are bustling at night. In particular, Suwon station rodeo street. There are stores on the ground floor and plenty of bars, restaurants and coffee shops on the upper floors of buildings. There are food stalls at night in the middle of this walk way but they seem to be more expensive than if you were eating in an actual restaurant.