Visiting Hwaseong Fortress, Palace, and Cafes in Suwon, Korea
On a blustery Friday in July, I took a bus to Suwon located just an hour south of Seoul. I decided to finally explore the famous Hwaseong Fortress and the surrounding area and the Korean Tourism Organization was kind enough to ask me to take over their Instagram Stories as a I traveled around. To see my footage for them, visit travelgram_korea.
Of course, our trip had to start with coffee:
Jung Jiyoung Coffee Roasters
The area around Hwaseong Fortress is filled with gorgeous cafes and many of them boast rooftops with incredible views of the ancient structure. Jung Jiyoung Coffee Roasters has two locations next to each other, each with their own fantastic view and rooftop. I got there right when they opened at noon and snagged a seat with a view of the wall and a stunning rose bush. I was happy enough with my coffee but then the cafe filled with the smell of freshly baked bread and I hear a bell going off downstairs. It turns out that croissants and pain au chocolat come straight out of the oven at 12:30pm and so I had to get one. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad pain au chocolat but this one was definitely on the ‘very very good’ end of the spectrum :)
Hours: 12pm-10pm (bread comes out at 12:30) CLOSED on Mondays
Address: 경기도 수원시 팔달구 장안동 22-15 (Paldal-gu Jangan-dong 22-15)
This was the main gate that the king would use when he was entering Suwon. You can walk into it, under it, and around it lol! There is a pathway at the top of the stairs that legitimately takes you back hundreds of years in the blink of an eye.
Address: 경기도 수원시 팔달구 장안동 329 (Paldal-gu Jangan-dong 329)
I followed the fortress wall to the eastern gate which doubles as a bridge. You can come into the pavilion (after you take your shoes off) and take a break in the shade it provides. You have a lush green stream on one side and a fountain on the other. You can walk down the Suwon Stream from here if you’d like, but I wanted to see more of the wall so I headed back the way I came.
Address: 경기도 수원시 팔달구 북수동 25-4 (Paldal-gu Buksu-dong 25-4)
This is the address to a restaurant next to it, you can’t miss the gate!
Farm to Hanok
After walking for about 20 minutes, I decided it was time for lunch. I veered off the wall’s path and headed to Farm to Hanok, a restaurant serving up salads and sandwiches nearby the Palace. I had a shrimp sandwich and I was taken aback by how delicious it was. It seemed like a popular local spot and there were lots of families and couples there when I arrived.
After lunch I walked another 5 minutes or so to the Palace, which is where the royal family stayed whenever Seoul wasn’t safe for them. The palace was stunning and there was lots of information posted in multiple languages, but having about a million mannequins hidden in the rooms definitely freaked me out a little haha. They jumped out when you least expected! The tickets are only 1,000won and you’re free to explore as long as you’d like!
Address: 경기도 수원시 팔달구 남창동 6-2 (Paldal-gu Namchang-dong 6-2)
My final stop before my bus home was Cafe Choan, a cafe specializing in teas that looks over the Suwon Stream. This also seemed to be a local hot spot because there were only two tables left in the two story cafe when I got there! They had a few dessert available, but I just got their iced hojicha to cool off and it was perfect. They gave me a cup of ice and an entire pot of tea!
After taking in the view, I hopped on my bus back to Seoul and am already thinking about when I can head back to Suwon :)