My first (and only time so far) going to Nami Island was last December, so I had to do a bit of research on how to get there. Of course, the first option that came to mind was via subway, but it honestly wasn’t the most convenient way to get there since Nami Island is not exactly in Seoul (it’s in Chuncheon!)
Thankfully, the Nami Island official webpage is rather user-friendly even for its English site, and there is a lot of information on the various ways to get there.
As we were staying in Myeongdong at that time, it seemed that shuttle bus was a viable option because it actually picks up passengers in Myeongdong. However, I think it’s still slightly misleading that they label ‘Namdaemun Market’ and ‘Myeongdong’ as two separate stops like this because we found out that the Myeongdong stop (back alley of Shinsegae Department Store) was actually really near Namdaemun Market – probably even nearer to Namdaemun Market than it is to Myeongdong Station. You can check out more information on the bus stops and their locations here.
I would advise if you aren’t too sure of where the locations are, scout the area one day in advance. That’s what we did, which ended up being really helpful the next morning. Another solution is to ask the hotel counter staff. I found that the staff at Hotel Skypark were really helpful and knowledgeable about the Myeongdong area, and they helped us on a lot of occasions.
If you have plans of staying over on Nami Island or don’t wish to take the return bus back to Seoul (the bus leaves from Gapyeong Wharf in the afternoon, around 3-4PM), you can opt for a one-way ticket. If not, a round-way ticket for an adult would cost 25 to 28,000 won (including ferry ticket and entrance ticket).
The selection of dates and filling in of personal data was easy enough, but the payment process was truly painful. If you want to save some hassle, you can actually purchase tickets on the spot instead of booking online, but these are subject to availability. I personally wouldn’t bet on it because when we went, the whole bus was full, but if you’re going during an off-peak period, it may be a lot less packed.
After we settled the payment and booking of tickets, we emailed firstname.lastname@example.org to let them know we wanted to board at the ‘Myeongdong’ stop instead of ‘Namdaemun’. This is very important if you want to board at Myeongdong because the only selection you can make during booking is ‘Namdaemun’.
On the day itself, if you’re boarding at Shinsegae’s back alley, look out for this sign so that you know you’re actually waiting at the correct place:
The bus ride was comfortable enough, but it takes about 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the traffic conditions. There was a crazy jam on the day we went, so it took about 2 hours to get from Myeongdong to Gapyeong Wharf.
I’ll talk more about my time on Nami Island in a separate post – I hope this has been a useful mini-guide of sorts if you’re not sure how to get to Nami Island via shuttle bus 🙂