One of the great things about living in a city on a river is the abundance of bike paths, and Seoul is no exception. Stretching all over the city, you can find paths connecting even the furthest corners. Technically I can bike from the most Northern point of Seoul all the way to my flat 30km south without ever coming across a road. While you’re still unmistakably in the city, this convenience lends itself to great adventures.
Every so often, so about once a week, I go biking with some friends along the Han. While I don’t own a bike (and I probably should with the amount that I go) you can rent them quite cheaply at many stands along the river. I’ve seen rental places in Sinsa, Ttukseom resort, Yeouido and by rainbow bridge – so there are plenty of places to be found.
This place under the Banpo Bridge I’ve found is a great, central location. It’s about a 10 minute walk from Sinsa Station on the orange line.
The one I go to most often is in Sinsa under the Hannam bridge, and it rents bikes for 3000 KRW an hour. You can pay 6000 KRW an hour and rent an “advanced” or tandem bike, but they’re all basically the same. We usually rent for a few hours and go exploring some far reaches of the city.
While road rules for cars in Korea are pretty much imaginary (it’s difficult for me to go a day without seeing someone nearly kill someone else with their car) the rules of the bike lanes are oddly respected. Make sure if you’re in a group, you ride in a single file line. Even if the lane is large enough to accommodate you all abreast, you’ll still get a mean look and a side comment from an ajoshi (old man) who’s dressed like he’s training for the Tour De France.
If you’re looking for something to do in Seoul with friends, or by yourself, renting a bike is an active way to see the city. Just make sure to check that your brakes work first!