Bike in Korea – from tips on hiring a ‘Seoul Bike’ to the best places to go by bicycle

Hello, active travellers! Are you curious about bike in Korea? There are so many great places to explore by bike in Korea. Why not immerse yourself in the charm of cycling through panoramic natural landscapes? From big cities to rivers, lakes, and coasts. Safe bike paths and rental systems are waiting for you. In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about cycling in Korea, from Seoul Bike, the country’s public bicycle system, to local cycling destinations and rental tips. This article is part of our guide to exploring Korea by bike: 55 Tips for Getting to Know Korea for Foreigners series.

Touring the sights of Seoul by bike in Korea

  • Han River Bikeway: A well-developed cycling path along the Han River, the lifeblood of Seoul, stretches from Yanghwa Bridge to Paldang Bridge and covers a total of 80 kilometres. The views of the city at night and the natural surroundings are stunning.
  • Namsan Circular Bike Path: Circle Namsan Mountain, which towers over the centre of Seoul, and enjoy panoramic views of the city on this 8-kilometre loop around the mountainside. It’s a refreshing ride through the forest.
  • Gyeonguisun Forest Path Bikeway: This 6.3km route runs from Yongsan Station to Hongdae Entrance. It’s a linear park made from recycled railway tracks. Look over the fence to get a sense of the city centre. The photo zone on the railway tracks is also popular.
Bike in Korea

Bike destinations in Korea’s beautiful countryside in all four seasons

  • Spring, Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Ride: Gyeongju is famous for its cherry blossoms, and we recommend the 20km course that connects Bomun Complex, Bulguksa Temple, Cheomseongdae, and more. Ride happily through the cherry blossom tunnels. Feel the breath of 2,000 years of history.
  • Ganghwado Coastal Road in summer: Ganghwa-do is an island just across the Ganghwa Bridge, and this 70km route circles the coastline. The best part is riding by the beach at Seaside Resort, famous for its windmills.
  • Autumn, Chuncheon Bike Path: In the lakeside city of Chuncheon, there’s a 27km route that loops around Lake Uiram. The backdrop of autumn coloured mountains and lakes will fill you with emotion.
  • Winter, Ara Bikeway: This 40km cycle path is located at the mouth of the Nakdong River in Busan. It’s beautiful in winter too, with ecological parks and migratory bird sanctuaries. Feel the winter in Busan with the sea breeze.

Ride Seoul’s public bicycles on Seoul Bike

  • About Seoul Bike: Seoul Bike is the city’s public bicycle system. After signing up, you can rent and return bikes from rental stations around the city. It’s easy and affordable, making it popular with Seoulites and international tourists alike.
  • How to use Seoul Bike: Sign up for a membership on the Seoul Bike app or website. You’ll need to register your passport number and card details, then use the app to rent a bike and return it to your preferred location. You can choose between a 1,000 won/1 hour or 2,000 won/2 hour pass.
  • Recommended Seoul rides: We recommend the city centre route, which takes you from Bukchon Hanok Village to Jongno and Cheonggyecheon, or the royal palace route, which starts at Deoksugung Palace, passes Gyeongbokgung Palace, Gwanghwamun Gate, and ends at the Han River.

Bike rental in countryside destinations

  • Gyeongju Public Bike Tasila: Gyeongju City has a public bicycle service called Tasila. You can rent them from various locations via their website, and the best part is the cost. A one-day pass costs 1,000 won for two and a half hours of use.
  • Ganghwa Island Bike Rental: There are bike rental shops all over Ganghwa Island, including at the entrance to Ganghwa Bridge. Prices vary from shop to shop, but you can ride all day for around 20,000 won. Electric bikes are also popular.
  • Cycling around Jeju: Jeju Island has a well-developed ‘circumference path’ cycling route that takes you around 50km in one day, including Yongnuni Oreum, Sanbangsan Mountain and Hamdeok Beach. You can rent a bike from any of the bike shops in Jeju City.

Tips for renting a bike

  • Check your safety tips: Go over basic safety tips before you rent a bike. Things like obeying traffic signals, not riding on sidewalks, and having lights on at night are a must, as is wearing a helmet.
  • Check the bike’s condition: Before you rent, make sure to check the bike’s condition, including brakes, tyres, and chain. If there are any problems, ask for a replacement immediately. An uncomfortable bike can cause an accident.
  • Be aware of the rental area: Check the traffic and road conditions in the area where you’ll be cycling. Avoid narrow roads with no shoulder and heavy traffic. Different areas also have different bike parking rules, so be careful when returning your bike.

Useful apps for bike in Korea

  • Naver Maps and Kakao Maps: These mapping apps cover major roads, small side streets, and even basic bike navigation. They also have relatively good English language support.
  • Strava: This app is used by cycling enthusiasts all over the world. It’s great for logging and analysing routes, sharing them with riders around the world and competing in real-time leaderboards.

Cycling safety tips and tricks

  • Obey traffic laws: Cycling in Korea requires you to obey traffic laws: use pedestrian crossings, ride on the right, and never drink and drive.
  • Wear safety gear: Helmets are mandatory. Wrist guards and knee pads are also a good idea, and if you’re riding at night, make sure you have a headlight and reflectors.
  • Check the weather forecast: Korea has rainy seasons and typhoons in the summer, so be sure to check the forecast before you ride. If heavy rain or strong winds are forecast, it’s best to avoid outdoor activities.

With so many cycle lanes, why not try cycling in Korea? We’ve got the lowdown on everything from rentals to popular routes, so all you need to do is get out there and try it for yourself. Hop on a tandem in Seoul and explore the city centre, or find a bike rental shop in your favourite countryside destination.

From the Han River to Namsan, from Gyeongju to Jeju. Discover hidden gems as you cycle across the country. Feeling the wind in your hair as you ride through the open countryside will have you squealing with delight, and we’re sure you’ll make some happy memories. Just follow the safety tips and enjoy the ride. We wish you an unforgettable trip to Korea with your bike!

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