CONTRIBUTED BY ELIZABETH BONNER
My family loves aquariums. My kids get so excited every time we go and they are great places that you can check out year round regardless of the outside weather. We had been to three aquariums in the Seoul area and thought we had pretty much seen all of there here. I recently found out about the Hanwha Aqua Planet in Ilsan and had to take my kids to check it out! It’s been so hot here this summer and this is a great place to escape the heat and have fun for several hours. It’s also just a 25- 30 minute easy drive from Yongsan in regular traffic.
Once you arrive at the parking lot for Aqua Planet, you can see that the aquarium is huge. The building is shaped like a silver futuristic cruise ship and is very interesting looking. There is also plenty of outside parking in an actual outside parking lot, not a typical parking garage like back in downtown Seoul. Parking is also free with your paid admission receipt. The costs for the admission tickets to the aquarium are a little high at 27,000 won per adult, and 22,000 won for children and seniors. Children under 36 months are free though. However, since this place is an aquarium and small zoo and it combines features of both, that helps make up for the steeper admission fees.
Aqua Planet features two different galleries: The Aqua and The Jungle. The Aqua is the aquarium portion and includes Deep-sea Fish, Sharks, Jelly Fish, Deep Blue Ocean, Penguins, Otters, Beavers, Ocean Arena, Touch Pools, and the Freshwater Zone and Tunnel.
The Jungle is the zoo portion and includes many jungle animals such as Jaguars, Lemurs, and reptiles. There is also The Parrot Village where you can interact with hundreds of birds. There is a great gift shop to explore and a good sized food court on the first floor with several options.
My family really enjoyed our trip to Aqua planet and we were there for a few hours. If my children were a little bit older we probably would have stayed even longer and spent more time at each of the exhibits. One thing to note about Aqua Planet is that many things are in English, however not as much as compared to other aquariums in downtown Seoul in my opinion.
As with many places in Korea, it does get crowded. I suggest going early in the day and being there at 10am when they open. Right next door to Aqua Planet is a place called OneMount and there are several other food options there including McDonalds, On the Border and Outback Steakhouse. We drove to Aqua Planet and it was an easy 25 minute drive. You can also get there by subway if you take Line 3 and get off at Juyeop Station exit 2. Then walk straight ahead for 10-15 minutes towards the OneMount Mall area and it is right there.
Hanwha Aqua Planet Ilsan
Hours: Open year round, 10:00am – 7:00pm.
Admission: Adult 27,000 won, Youth 24,000, Children and Seniors 22,000. Children under 36 months are free.
Address: 282 Hanyangworld-ro, Ilsanseo-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do
GPS Coordinates: 37.6754336, 126.75059940
Subway: Line 3, Juyeop Station exit 2.
Parking is free with your paid admission receipt.