Create your own Fairytale at Korea’s Petite France
February 04, 2017
If you are a fan of Korean television shows, movies and K-pop, you will most likely want to visit filming locations when in Korea. Petite France was a filming location for the popular Korean television drama, My Love from the Star. The theme of the park is Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s novel, The Little Prince. Hence, Petite France is beautifully decorated to resemble a small rural village in France.
Located within this French Cultural Village are attractions such as the European Doll House, Antiques Flea Market, Gallery “Cote d’Azur”, Saint-Exupery Memorial Hall, and Traditional French House, just to name a few. The Antiques Flea Market, also known as “Antika”, is modeled after Saint Quen flea market, one of the top 3 flea markets in France, and displays and sells various kinds of antiques.
Let your inner artsy-fartsy side emerge when entering Gallery “Cote d’Azur” as you’ll feel the atmosphere of the southern region of France with art painting. Works by local sculptors are also displayed.
Saint-Exupery Memorial Hall was established by executing the license agreement with the only Saint-Exupery Foundation in Korea. You can appreciate the life of Saint-Exupery, his various kinds of works and Petit Prince characters.
Explore further inside Petite France and you’ll come across the Traditional French House which is over 200 years old. Old timbers, roof tiles and bricks will draw your attention. The daily articles inside show the clothing, food and living culture of France. There are also the rooms of Maison de Marie and Maison de Jean. The former is decorated with rare original furniture which was used by the French upper class women living in Southern France while the latter features old vintage furniture from France and fine porcelain dolls made by Meissen, the first European porcelain maker. Moreover, there are also paintings by famous French artists exhibited in the space.
If you’ve more time to spare at Petite France, especially if you’re there with your children, there are free performances to entertain the young and old. Traditional French Hand Puppet Show (Guignol) started in the 1800s, and you can be the hero in a fairytale presented by cute dolls here. There are also the traditional Czech string puppet show, Marionette dance performance, orgel demonstration, and street musicians showing off their talents at Petite France.
Want to get a bird’s eye view of Petite France? Head to the Observatory or the Bell Tower of Love. We visited Petite France during the Christmas period, and it was even more romantic!
Directions from Seoul
Taking the ITX is the fastest method, and we booked a hotel that’s 2 minutes away from Cheongnyangni Station. There’s a direct ITX train which brings you to Gapyeong Station. Upon your arrival at Gapyeong Station, approach the helpful and friendly station staff, who will direct you to the shuttle bus queue. It’s not hard to miss the queue as there will be others who are visiting Petite France as well. It costs 6,000krw per person to board the shuttle bus and you can alight at any stop along the shuttle bus route, board the bus again to your next destination, before ending your journey back at Gapyeong Station after a full day of exploration. So, do remember to keep your shuttle bus ticket properly!
The Gapyeong tour site bus operation schedule is listed at the bus stop. Just check the timing for the buses and alight at Petite France.
Petite France Details
Address: 1063, Hoban-ro, Cheongpyeong-myeon, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do (616-2, Goseong-ri)
Opening Hours: 9am to 6pm (last admission an hour before closing time)
Entrance Fee: 8,000krw per adult, 6,000krw per youth in middle and high school and 5,000krw for children 3 years old and below
It took about 2 hours for us to explore Petite France, but if you plan well, you’ll be able to check out Nami Island and Garden of Morning Calm on the same day too, which was exactly what we did. While both Nami Island and Garden of Morning Calm are more ideal for couples, Petite France is a good place for families.