Your quick guide to cycling in Korea.

A man walking next to the bike path in Seoul. In the background you can see namsan tower
The bike path along the Han River in Seoul overlooks Namsan Tower.

What’s the best way to see a country? By train? By car? How about cycling in Korea?

That’s impossible. A country is too big to cross on a bike? Have you hear of South Korea. Sixty million people live in area the size of Indiana.

With such a big tax base, Korea can afford to plow bike paths clear from north to south. This world-class cycling infrastructure provides sightseeing wonders, delicious food , and inexpensive accommodations.

To aid you, we created a handy cycling guide. This guide will give you a city-by-city guide to cycling across Korea. We’ll tell you the points of interest and where those all-important checkpoints are to stamp your bicycle passport.

The Bike Paths

Korea has hundreds of kilometers of bike path. Along the coasts. Through the heartland. The The Four Rivers Path spans 633 km from top to bottom. That’s 633 km of asphalt for you to explore!

As you cross this beautiful country, you’ll flow down four rivers, traverse a mountain, and discover paragons of modern infrastructure.

Finally, a complete guide to tell you where to go, where to stay, and how to get there.

A photo of the futuristic bridge that leads to Gyeongcheon Island Park  (경천섬공원) near the city of Sangju.
The futuristic bridge leads to Gyeongcheon Island Park (경천섬공원) near the city of Sangju.

Where do we start?

You’ve got two options. You can set tread to asphalt in Incheon (인천), Seoul’s sister city in the northwest. Or you can push off in beach city of Busan (부산), the southeast tip of Korea.

How long are we talking?

633 kilometers. How long is that? If we ride at an average of 15.5 kilometers per hour, we’d hit the finish around forty-one hours later. If you’re not looking to test the limits of the human body, that’ll be seven or eight days. Six hours of riding per day.

A temple near the city of Namji in the south. The overlooks the Nakdong River flows behind.
A temple near the city of Namji in the south. The overlooks the Nakdong River flows behind.

Do we have to cycle the entire country in one go?

Of course not. Korea has a terrific intercity bus system. Stay a night or two in a fancy love motel (모텔). Or, pop your bike into the luggage compartment under the bus and hop to the next city.

Are there any rewards for completing our trip?

Funny you should ask. Korea builds its tourist industry one photo opportunity at a time. The government recreation department provides a way to document every leg of your journey.

They’re called Certification Checkpoints: red phone booths dropped at major places of interest along the route. Buy a Certification Handbook at one of the Certification Centers and then stamp your progress from start to finish. You’ll receive a certificate or even medal once you collect all the stamps.

When you are cycling in korea you can see red telephone booths like the one shown in the picture
The Certification Checkpoints are located at major points of interest along the bike routes.

This a helpful guide to puncture your fears and inflate your confidence. Let’s start the journey in Incheon.

Incheon, here we come.