Train or Bus from Hongdae to Nami Island and Petite France?

Nami Island is one of the favorite destination for tourist to Seoul and Korean drama fans alike. Fortunately, for those staying in Hongdae, getting to Nami Island and Petite France from Hongdae is relatively simple. Here are the two options to go from Hongik University Station in Hongdae to Nami Island and Petite France:

How to Go From Hongdae to Nami Island and Petite France

OPTION A: Train (Self guided)

  • Hongik University Station -> Mangu (Take Gyeongui Jungang LINE train) -> Gapyeong Station (Gyeongchun LINE train) -> Nami Island (Gapyeong City Tour Bus)
    • Cost: Two-way Train Ticket (KRW4900) + Gapyeong City Tour Bus Ticket (KRW6000) + Nami Island Admission Ticket (KRW10,000) + Petite France Admission (KRW8000) = KRW37,000
    • Time: 2 hours of travelling time (one way), anytime during the day.

OPTION B: Tour Bus (Guided Tour)

  • 7:20am Hongik University Station EXIT 4 bus stop -> 9:30am Nami Island 
  • 1:00pm Nami Island -> 1:30pm Petite France
  • 3:00pm Petite France -> 5:00pm Hongik University Station EXIT 4 bus stop
    • Cost: KRW42,000 (all-in, including Nami Island and Petite France Tickets - pre-booking required)
    • Time: As shown above, only one departure a day
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How to Take Train from Hongik University Station to Nami Island and Petite France

The main advantage of taking train from Hongik University Station to Nami Island is flexibility in time. You can depart from Hongdae to Nami Island anytime you want. The disadvantage is that you need to change train line at Mangu Station and take Gapyeong City Tour Bus at Gapyeong Station to go to Nami Island Ferry Wharf. 
[CLICK TO ENLARGE] Train Route from Hongik University Station to Gapyeong Station to go to Nami Island
Having said that, let's look at how to take a train from Hongik University Station to Gapyeong station as the first step. From Hongik Univeristy Station, you should take a train on Gyeongui Jungang Line  to go to Mangu Station. Upon arrival at Mangu Station, you should change train line to the Gyoengchun Line to go to Gaypeong Station. The map for train route from Hongik University Station, Hongdae to Gapyeong Station is shown above. 
The train ticket fare is 2450Won one way if you buy ticket at station. If you use card (e.g. T-Money card), then the fare is slightly cheaper, 2350Won. Therefore, the round trip train ticket from Hongik University Station to Gapyeong Station and return will be 4900Won (ticket) or 4700Won(card).
The train journey from Hongdae to Gapyeong Station is about 1 hour and 35 minutes. This is a long ride because the train will stop at 28 stations along the way. After leaving Hongik University Station, the train will stop at Sogang University, Gongdeok, Hyochang Park, Yongsan, Ichoon, Seobinggu, Hannam, Oksu, Eungbong, Wangsimni, Chengnyanggi, Hoegi, Jungnang,, Sangbong, before arriving at Mangu. 
Upon arriving at Mangu Station, remember to disembark the train because you need to change train line here to Gyeongchun Line to go to Gapyeong Station. From Mangu Station, the train will stop at Sinnae, Galmae, Byeolla, Teogyewon, Sareung, Geumgok, Pyeongnae Hopyeong, Cheonmasan, Maseok, Daeseong-ri, Cheongpyeong, Sangcheon, before arriving at Gapyeong. Again, remember to disembark the train at Gapyeong Station because this is the station to go to Nami Island.

From Gapyeong Station to Nami Island and Petite France

Here you are at Gapyeong Station, about 5 minutes drive away from Nami Island ferry wharf. To go from Gapyeong Station to Nami Island ferry wharf, you can actually take taxi, bus or even walk. However, if you are planning to go to Petite France as well, the most recommended way is to take Gapyeong City Tour Bus (Course A) from Gapyeong Station to Nami Island ferry whalf. The bus route is shown below:
[CLICK TO ENLARGE] Gapyeong City Tour Bus - Bus route from Gapyeong Station to Nami Island and Petite France
The ticket fare for Gapyeong City Tour Bus is KRW8000 per person for whole day unlimited ride. Therefore, keep the ticket after you have arrived at Nami Island because you can take the same bus to Petite France and to return to Gapyeong Station. Note that the bus operates from 9am to 7.30pm at the frequency of 30 minutes to 60 minutes. Do allow some time between destination taking into consideration the waiting for Gapyeong City Tour Bus.
Upon arriving at Namiseom Island bus stop, alight the bus and walk shortly to the Nami Island ferry wharf to purchase your admission ticket for Nami Island (KRW10000 per person), which include the return ferry ride to the island and "admission passport" for Nami Island.
After you have spent time enjoying the beautiful Nami Island, you can take the ferry back to the ferry whalf and take the bus (same direction) to Petite France. Finally, after visiting Petite France, take the Gapyeong City Tour Bus in the opposite direction to return to Gapyeong Station to take train back to Hongdae. The train route back to Hongdae is exactly opposite of your arriving route. 
That is it. The long ride using train to Nami Island. Yes, the journey is long and not straight forward, but the beauty and charm of Nami Island and Petite France will definitely make your journey more than worthwhile. If you do not like the hassles of changing train and waiting for bus, you can consider the direct tour bus from Hongdae to Nami Island and Petite France.
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Taking Direct Tour Bus from Hongik Univeristy Station to Nami Island and Petite France

Taking tour bus is, of course, much simpler and less stressful. Just wait for the tour bus at the bus stop at EXIT 4 of Hongik University Station by 7.20am in the morning and you are taken care of. The same tour bus will take you direct to Nami Island, pick you up at Nami Island and send you to Petite France, and finally pick you up from Petite France and send you back to Hongdae at the same bus stop (EXIT 4, Hongik University Station), all at predesignated time and located. An tour guide will also explain to you about your destinations and things to do there. 
Bus Stop at EXIT 4, Hongik University Station - Tour Bus depart from here to Nami Island and Petite France from at 7.20am daily [Note: pre-booking required]
The only problem with tour bus is that there is only one departure from Hongdae per day, that is at 7.20am. This might be a bit early for some of you. Also, pre-booking is A MUST for tour bus. You cannot just hope on the bus without booking. In fact, it is normally quite full at holiday season. Therefore, you should try to book as early as you can once your travel date is confirmed. 
In terms of cost, the tour bus is KRW42,000, which is only KRW5000Won (about USD4) more expensive than the train option. This is not much considering that it is a guided tour with round trip transfer to Nami Island and Petite which save you all the trouble and let you enjoy these beautiful and romantic icons to the fullest.