When planning a trip to Seoul, Ilsan is one of the best day trip destinations you can find especially considering it's less than an hour away from anywhere in Seoul by the subway.
Ilsan is somewhat similar to Seoul but is less crowded, cheaper, and has its own unique charms.
I was lucky enough to live in Ilsan for a year and am going to reveal all my favorite spots you can’t miss on your next visit.
My favorite area in Ilsan has a calm, almost European-style vibe with unique architecture and of course, amazing cafes and restaurants.
It’s the perfect peaceful escape from the constant hustle and bustle you will find in Seoul.
Ilsan is located just outside of Seoul and is easily accessible by the Seoul Metro and buses.
You can reach Ilsan from Hongdae in under 30 mins by subway making it one of the easiest day trips from Seoul.
Take the Gyeongui-Jungang Line (경의중앙) and get off at Pungsan(풍산)Station.
I recommend downloading the app KakaoMetro, there you can check the subway times, and plan your route seamlessly.
Peace Peace is famous for their mouth-watering homemade pies with a sign at the door saying “pie makes it all better” and they definitely aren’t wrong.
I had a hard time deciding what pie to choose but ultimately settled on the tiramisu pie and wasn’t disappointed!
Pie isn’t a common dessert in Korea so it makes this amazing dessert and cafe shop even more special.
Mirukku Coffee is known for serving almost unique dessert-like coffee and tea.
I love their speciality drink called Flat-tea which is nutty sea-salt caramel flavored tea and is absolutely delicous.
Precoffee is a modern cafe with a chill atmosphere perfect for chatting with friends.
They have an excellent selection of cookies and if you love sweet drinks you will not be disappointed!
I recommend trying the Einnispanner latte which is an americano with homemade cream on top.
If you are a cake lover like me, Junicake is a must-go spot in Ilsan.
Here you can find a cake for every taste, including the famous Korean favorite strawberry cream cake which pairs perfectly with an iced coffee.
Miwansung is a beautiful cafe in a garden-like setting with outdoor setting when the weather is nice.
This is the perfect photo-op spot with the flowers and plants, plus there aren't any cafes like it in Seoul.
Sokoa is a delicious Japanese curry restaurant specializing in tasty curries.
I especially love that you can try 2 different curries at once, which is great if you are like me and can never decide what to order.
Along with amazing curries they also make a mean katsu sandwich.
The Stairs Ramen is a cute and kitchy traditional-style Japanese Ramen Restaurant in Ilsan.
I went here with one of my friends who has visited Japan before and she said it almost transported her back to Tokyo as the taste was that authentic.
Peach Springs is a popular American-style brunch cafe offering classic favorites such as avocado toast and pancakes along with refreshing fresh-pressed juices.
I’m sad that I only discovered it right before I was moving out of Ilsan because it’s that tasty!
Ginger and Treacle is a unique spot you can’t find anywhere else in Korea.
It’s a British-style brunch and pub run by British expats living in Ilsan.
I tried a traditional British-style breakfast for the first time here and was hooked by their flavorful homemade sausages.
Walk Along Ilsan Lake Park
Ilsan Lake Park is arguably the most famous attraction in all of Ilsan.
It is one of the largest man-made parks in all of Asia stretching over 900,000 square meters.
Here you can expect to see lots of cute dogs and beautiful scenery.
You can also rent a bike in various spots around the park which is the best way to explore the entire area easily.
La Felicita is a huge dining and shopping complex right outside Jeongbalsan station.
It’s filled with different cuisines, bars, and cafes that stay open past midnight so it’s a fun place to go if you are looking for a new nightlife spot to try.
Creating your own custom rings as a fun activity is definitely something I’ve only seen in Korea.
Korean couples traditionally buy couple rings after their 100 days anniversary as a sign of their commitment.
Even if you aren’t in a relationship it would be a unique activity to try with friends or even creating cute ring for yourself as a souvenir.