Falling in love with a destination during your travels is normal. Some people extend their stay especially if they already established a connection with the place. For others, memento such as key-chains, magnets, and postcards are enough to remember the destination. For some, it’s beyond that. As shared by our tour guide, the person behind Petite France traveled to France and fell in love with the country’s landscapes, buildings, and people. With that, he decided to build his own French-inspired village.
Petite France is located in Gapyeong, about 20 minutes away by bus from Nami Island. My visit to the attraction is part of the Nami Island and Petite France tour I availed from Klook Travel. The village is open all-year round so there’s no reason for you to miss the attraction. If visiting Europe is not yet feasible, Petite France provides French-culture galleries where you can feel and breath Europe.
It has more than two dozens of attractions including those that are related to Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s Little Prince. There’s a large statue of the Little Prince before the main gate with a mural on the adjacent wall depicting the French village. A smaller version of the Little Prince makes a perfect spot for photos with the French-inspired houses on the background.
Everyone can roam freely inside Petite France and start at the Antiques Flea Market “Antika”. Tables outside the building display ceramic while walls and cabinets inside are filled with ceramics having intricate paintings and patterns. Next cluster of buildings houses the French gamehouses, Beethoven Virus filming site, Petite France’s event hall, and Maestro and Outdoor cafes. Mentioned area is connected to the three-story observatory offering a view of Cheongpyeongho Lake.
Continue your tour within the park from the observatory to the butterfly park on the Pond de Fabre. It is a 130-meter wooden bridge canopied with trees and a spot for a sweeping view of the village and the lush landscape that surrounds it.
On the far end of the area are exhibition halls for antique porcelains and grand display of European-style living room. There’s also the multimedia hall and Cote d’Azur gallery. Gallery Cote d’Azur, with all its wall painted with fiery red, allows every guest to feel the atmosphere of France’s southern region with several paintings displayed.
Don’t miss the chance to fulfill your fairytale dream as the park offers an experience where you can change to your favorite fairytale dress. Clustered buildings on the fountain square near the main gate include a store, gift shop, the European doll house, and Saint-Exupery memorial hall. In addition, one of the buildings is the venue of an art experience where everyone can try oil painting.
Some buildings serve as accommodation for tourists intending to spend an overnight stay in the French village. These places are not accessible to park visitors yet areas like Maison de Marie and Maison de Jean let you wonder on how European-style bedrooms look like.
If you’re lucky, watch some art performances like hand puppet shows, dance performances, Orgel demonstration, and street musicians. Petite France’s amphitheater serves as venue for some of these performances.
As its name suggests, Petite France is a small village that covering all spots is doable in just an hour. Apart from the French-inspired houses and Little Prince stuff, the attraction is famous for Korean-drama fans. It’s the filming location of series like My Love from a Star, The Secret Garden, and Beethoven Virus.
Not a fan of Korean-dramas, I like Petite France because of the colorful and the striking views. I also wonder how the walkway looks like during early spring when it’s time for cherry blossoms. It was the last spot of the Gapyeong day tour and spending two hours at the tourist attraction was too much. On the brighter side, if your goal is to bombard your social media with cool and nice photos, Petite France is definitely worth a visit.
Address: 1063, Hoban-ro, Cheongpyeong-myeon, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do
Contact No.: +82-31-584-8200