Olympic Park with pond and ducks in foreground.

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Olympic Park

Top choice in Gangnam & Southern Seoul

This large and pleasant park was the focus of the 1988 Olympics. Strolling its paths takes you past its stadiums surrounded by plenty of greenery, ponds and open-air sculptures. There's a gallery of modern art and two museums on the history of the Baekje dynasty. The park contains the remains of the Mongchon-toseong (Mongchon Fortress), an earth rampart surrounded by a moat, built in the 3rd century AD during the Baekje dynasty.

Attractions built for the 1988 Seoul Olympics include the indoor swimming pool, sometimes open to the public, tennis courts, three gymnasiums (gymnasium 1 hosts major concerts) and the velodrome. The latter is now used by punters who gamble on bicycle and even motor-boat races. On Wednesdays and Thursdays between March and December, motor boats race three times round a 600m course at Misari (20km east of Seoul) while gamblers watch the races on screens.

Scattered like buckshot around the park are over 200 sculptures, some larger than a house. Designed and made by sculptors from around the world, most of the artwork is puzzling even after reading the artists’ descriptions of their work. Groups picnic among the art and the trees.

The bunker-like SOMA has a tempting cafe and shop, a permanent display of Olympics-themed video art by Nam June Paik and five galleries for special exhibitions.

The Olympic Museum has screens showing the exciting highlights of the 1988 Seoul Olympics, together with a brief history of the Olympics.

Fast food, a convenience store and the excellent Seasons Table are at the World Peace Gate near the main entrance, where rollerbladers glide along on warm evenings and weekends.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Gangnam & Southern Seoul attractions

1. Seoul Baekje Museum

0.32 MILES

Olympic Park’s Seoul Baekje Museum illuminates the history and culture of Hanseong (18 BC–AD 475), when this part of Seoul was the capital of the Baekje…


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Bunker-like SOMA features modern and contemporary art in six galleries. Most are special paid exhibitions, covering both local and big-name international…

3. Mongchon Museum

0.36 MILES

Mongchon Museum has some precious golden relics of the Baekje kings, a seven-pronged sword and the usual dull pots. The history of human settlement here…

4. Seoul Olympic Museum

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Seoul's Olympic Museum has been completely updated as an interactive museum to not only show highlights of the 1988 Olympics but also the thrills of the…

5. World Peace Gate


Standing at the main entrance to Olympic Park is the colossal World Peace Gate, with its striking winged arches designed by Kim Jung-up for the 1988…

6. Lotte World Tower


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