Most of our adventures as a family take place during the daytime, in large part because of our young kiddos. We hike places like Bukhansan National Park during the day, but we don’t enjoy very crowded places so, occasionally, we adventure in the evening. The last time we did an evening adventure was when we went to Daejeon Expo Bridge, and that was a couple months ago. So, it felt like a good time for another evening adventure, visiting Suwon Hwaseong Fortress at night.
Exploring Suwon Hwaseong Fortress
During the Joseon dynasty, Suwon was one the main government centers and, historically, Hwaseong Fortress was built to protect the city within. Built in the 1700s, it perfectly showcased King Jeongo’s love for his father, Prince Sado, whose remains were once housed in its interior. The Suwon Hwaseong Fortress walls span 5.7 kilometers, Paldalsan Mountain lies at the center.
While Ryan’s a big history buff, I’m partial to pretty sights and cultural experiences, so visiting Suwon Hwaseong Fortress was the perfect place for both of us – and our littles – to visit. We went to Suwon intent on taking a trip high above the fortress and city in the Suwon balloon, but we got so much more. The Suwon balloon requires tickets, and our wait time was about 2.5 hours, so we had plenty of time to walk along part of the wall, admire the kites flying high above, and climbing parts of the wall, itself.
Flying Suwon Over Suwon Hwaseong Fortress at Night
While beautiful during the day, the Suwon Hwaseong Fortress lights up (literally) at night. Yes, you can see more of the city during the day, but seeing the winding illuminated wall at night, as well as the city spreading out into the distance is a one-of-a-kind experience ideal for the whole family. So, we decided to take a trip in the Suwon balloon from Flying Suwon.
Flying Suwon is easy to locate because it’s a tethered balloon, rather than a hot air balloon, and it lowers and rises throughout the day from 11 AM to 9 PM on the weekend. We bought our tickets around 5:45 PM, and our lift number was 218. At the time we purchased them, the lift number was at 146. So, we had 2.5 hours to explore around the wall whilst waiting for our turn. Each trip in the Flying Suwon balloon is 10 minutes at the top, and during that time, you’ll have epic views of the Suwon Hwaseong Fortress and surrounding city illuminated at night.
What to Know About Visiting Suwon Hwaseong Fortress & Flying Suwon
Parking: There are multiple paid parking lots around the Suwon Fortress, and there are both upper and lower lots for the Flying Suwon balloon. However, they fill up fast. To skirt around trying to find additional lots, we parked on a side street around a quarter mile from the Flying Suwon balloon lots that ended up being free.
Cost: There are different costs associated with visiting the Suwon Hwaseong Fortress. I’ve broken down costs below:
- Suwon Fotress – Adults: W1,000, Teens: W700, Children: W500
- Flying Suwon: Adults: W18,000, Elementary: W15,000, Kinder Age & Below: W12,000
Tips & Recommendations: Wear comfortable walking shoes! There are hundreds (literally) of steps to walk while exploring the fortress area, so you’ll want to take advantage of it. While both the Suwon Fortress and Flying Suwon are open all year, it’s important to wear weather appropriate clothing, too. Ask us how cold I was up at the top of that balloon 😉
Address: To get to the fortress, input the following address in Naver or Kakao – 경기도 수원시 장안구 수성로 320 — to get to the Suwon balloon lot, input the following into Naver or Kakao: 경기도 수원시 팔달구 경수대로 697