Suwon is the remaining completely walled city in South . It is traditionally known as “The City of Filial Piety”.  Located just an hour train ride from Seoul. Hwaseong (Brilliant Castle/ Fortress) is the wall surrounding the center of Suwon.  It Hwaseong Fortress was built over two and a half years, from 1794 to 1796. Hwaseong Fortress was constructed under the guidance of Yu Hyeong-Won and Jeong Yak-Yong, and is believed to have been constructed very scientifically.

The fortress wall was built using Seokjae and Jeondol (bricks) and the holes between the bricks are just big enough to fire guns, arrows, or long spears through in case of an attack.

The fortress was built as a display of the King’s filial piety towards his father Jangheonseja and to build a new pioneer city with its own economic power.


The fortress was designated as Historic Site No. 3 in January 1963, and in December 1997, it was designated a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.

Suwon Hwaseong Cultural Festival takes place in autumn. It showcases different performances and events are held at the fortress every day.

How to get there:

There are two ways to get to Suwon from Seoul – the subway or KTX.

  • via subway  – takes 75 minutes from Seoul Station and it is crowded,
  • via KTX
    • To take KTX, go to Seoul Station and buy a ticket. To take the subway, line 1 to Suwon Station.
    • It has assigned seats and takes 30 minutes and costs only about ₩3000.


Things to do:

  • Gukgung (Korean Traditional Archery)

 

– Basic understanding of Gukgung, demonstration of posture, and experience shooting with bow and arrow.
– Operating hours: 30 min. intervals beginning from 09:30 (excluding lunch hours 12:30-13:30)
– Location: Hwaseong Yeonmudae Post
Fee: 2,000 won (10 arrows per lesson)
* Available to visitors aged 7 and over / Maximum of 25-30 people can participate per lesson
* Lesson is subject to cancellation due to weather conditions such as rain or snow.

  • Hwaseong Fortress Tourist Trolley

 

A tourist trolley with a design inspired by the royal vehicle used by King Gojong and palanquins of the Joseon Dynasty
Operating hours: 10:00-16:30, operates 12 times a day in 30 min. intervals (excluding lunch hours 12:00-12:30)
Route: Yeonmudae Post – Hwahongmun Gate – Hwaseomun Gate – Paldalsan Mountain – Hwaseong Haenggung Palace – Paldalmun Traditional Market – Suwon Hwaseong Museum – Yeonmudae Post
Ticket Offices: Yeonmudae Post Ticket Office (+82-31-228-4686), Hwaseong Haeggung Palace Ticket Office (+82-31-228-4683)
Fees: Individual – Adults 3,000 won, Teenagers 2,000 won, Children 1,000 won / Group – Adults 2,400 won, Teenagers 1,600 won, Children 800 won) / Senior citizens (ages 65 and over) 1,500 won
* Trolley will not be in operation during rain or snow.

  • Bell of Hyowon – Bell Ringing Experience

    Operating hours: Winter season (November-February) 09:00-17:00 / Summer Season (March-October) 09:00-18:00
    Location: Paldalsan Mountain peak
    Fees: 1-2 people 1,000 won (3 strikes) / 3-4 people 2,000 won (3 strikes)

  • Velotaxi / Electric Bicycle Taxi

    Operating hours: Tuesday – Sunday 09:30-17:20 (operates 7 times a day, excluding lunch hours 12:20-13:30)
    Location: Next to Tourist Information Desk at Hwaseong Fortress Square
    Fees: Adults 5,000 won / Teenagers 3,000 won / Children 1,000 won
    Course A (Hwaseong Fortress Square – Suwoncheon Stream – Hwahongmun Gate – Janganmun Gate – Hwaseomun Gate – Hwaseong Fortress Square)
    Course B (Hwaseong Fortress Square – Janganmun Gate – Jangan Park – Hwaseomun Gate – House of Na Hye-seok – Hwaseong Fortress Square)
    Course C (Hwaseong Fortress Square – Beautiful Haenggung Street – Tongdak (Chicken) Street – Suwoncheon Stream – Hwahongmun Gate – Hwaseong Fortress Square)
    * Free of charge for infants accompanied by an adult.
    * Departs at 30 min. of every hour (three bikes depart at the same time with 10 min. breaks)
    * Velotaxi and Electric Bicycle Taxis will not be in operation during snow or rain and in winter.
    ※ Two people maximum per bike. The one-time ride takes approx. 50 min.

  • Flying Suwon

    Operating hours: 09:30-21:00
    Location: Suwon Hwaseong Fortress Changnyongmun Gate Parking Lot Area
    Fees: Adults 18,000 won / Teenagers 17,000 won / Children 15,000 won
    Inquiries: Flying Suwon Corp. (+82-31-247-1300)
    * Group (12 people or more) – 10% discount (not applicable with other discounts)
    * Schedule is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances. Inquiry in advance is highly recommended.

  • Animation Video – Tour of Hwaseong Fortress with Hwaseong the Mascot

    Operating hours: November-February 09:00-16:30 / March-October 09:30-17:00
    Location: Underground Media Room in Hwaseong Fortress Hongbogwan (Promotion) building
    Fees: Free of charge (first-come, first-served / 65 seats total)
    Inquiries: Suwon Hwaseong Fortress Hongbogwan (+82-31-290-3601)
    * Must arrive at least 3 minutes before show time. At least 4 people required for screening.
    * Schedule is subject to change due to events or unforeseen circumstances. Inquiry in advance is highly recommended.

 

This Post Has 24 Comments

  1. The archery looks fascinating. What a great idea! Good informative article

  2. It’s amazing how well they constructed structures back then as it still looks in such great shape. This would be so interesting to visit and learn a bit about the history of it all at the same time.

    1. Yes the walls are still complete and intact. A complete walkthrough the Korean history.

  3. Hwaseong Fortress looks really intriguing. I always love these old forts that are heritage site. there is so much of history in these structures. the stone structures must hide so many stories of bravery and valour, of battles won and lost, of triumphs and defeat. would love to visit the place some day.

  4. We had never heard of the Hwaseong Fortress before your post. Looks fascinating. We would love to try our hand at the archery!

  5. I would love to attend the animation video of Hwaseong fortress. Sound and Light shows and animation videos are a great way to know about the place before exploring the premises.

  6. Planning to visit South Korea soon. Will surely add this to my list. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  7. The korean arckery with that strange design to be shooted with the bow…

  8. A fortress in Korean, how very interesting. I have never seen a blog post showing this part of Korea and I most definitely interested to take a visit. I want to do the archery and for 1.75 dollars the rate is pretty cheap. I did archery in the past and I loved it so yeah, I would do this when I get to Suwon.

    1. Thanks. Yes It’s a must-try experience. The cheapest one i’ve done so far for an archery. 😂

  9. Oh I so love to explore fortresses. I would like to visit this one when I am around in Korea. Thanks for all the details you have put here, will really help one plan a day trip

  10. A heritage site with lots of activities to choose from! I should include this to my South Korea bucket list.

  11. This definitely is a lovely place to visit – quite interesting from the glimpses that you have given. I had never heard of it and now that I have, will be researching more on it. Thanks for drawing my attention to it.

  12. There are a lot of activities to do in this cultural heritage site! I am hoping to get here and try archery!!! I have never tried it! It must be an awesome experience! And even if i couldnt do them, i could still enjoy the autumn leaves! Really eyeing on this next destination!

    1. Yes Erica. This is also a must visit destination in South Korea. Hope you can go there someday

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