If you’re in Seoul and looking for places to visit in the evening, then Banpo Bridge is definitely one place you should visit! But what’s so exciting about a bridge you say? Lots!
Built in 1982, Banpo Bridge connects the Seocho and Yongsan districts. Directly beneath Banpo Bridge is Jamsu Bridge, which is essentially a walkway for pedestrians and those on bikes. So you’ve got a bridge on top of another bridge, but that’s not what makes it so exciting! Banpo Bridge was added in as part of the Hangang Renaissance Project, launched in 2007, in efforts to revive the river as a world-class attraction for citizens and tourists under the principles of “restoration” and “creation” (source). And this project has certainly pulled in people as an attraction! But what sets Banpo Bridge apart?
At night, Banpo Bridge transforms and turns into the ‘Moonlight Rainbow Fountain’ (달빛무지개 분수). Fountains run along the whole of the bridge, and are accompanied by over 10,000 LED nozzles, so when turned on, you get can amazing display of water and light. These lights constantly change colour, hence the rainbow in the name, creating a beautiful display. The water used comes directly from the Han River, and is continuously pumped around in circles, making the Bridge’s display eco-friendly. The Bridge has some pretty impressive stats – it’s 1,140m long, shoots out 190 tons of water per minute, has 38 water pumps and 380 nozzles on either side, which draw 190 tons of water per minute from the river 20 meters below the deck, and shoots as far as 43 meters horizontally. (source) All in all, this makes for some very impressive viewing. It’s also a record breaker, being the longest bridge fountain in the world!
The light displays happen a couple times a day during weekdays (12:00, 20:00, 21:00 ), and more frequently at the weekends (20:00, 20:30, 21:00, 21:30). On the south-east side of the Bridge, there’s a really nice area where you can sit and watch the displays. Just to the left of the Bridge in this area is the Floating Island (세빛둥둥섬), a fully buoyant island on the Han made up of three flower themed sections. Sitting at this spot is the perfect viewing area for the displays, especially as the Floating Island is lit up too.
If you’re going to Banpo Bridge, be prepared – it’s date central. We strolled on down just in time to catch one of the light displays starting and as we settled down to watch the show on some steps, we realised we were surrounded by couples on dates. People had really come prepared; there were picnics, massive amount of take out food brought along, cameras set up – these people were ready! This is certainly an amazing spot to take a special someone. Not only is the water and light display super romantic, but love songs are blasted out along the bridge to go along with the lights. If you’re going with friends, be prepared to get super emotional and tell each other what a beautiful time you’re having together (or maybe that was just us….). To top our night off wonderfully, some buskers came along after the display and started to serenade the crowds. So romantic.
Banpo Bridge is a great place to go with friends or that special person. Take along some food and drinks and have a great and relaxing evening with a fantastic view. It’s a guaranteed good time!
To get there, the closest metro station is Dongjak Station (Line 4), exit 1 or 2, or Express Bus Terminal Station (Line 3,7 or 9), exit 8-1. More information about performance times and how to get there, look here.