>  Asia   >  Korea   >  8 Things to do at Gyeongpo Beach in Gangneung for a Perfect Summer Escape
gyeongpo beach in korea

When the monsoon rains, intense heat, and crazy humidity of Seoul’s summer starts to drive me insane, Gyeongpo Beach is my go-to escape from the big city.

It’s either that or injecting ice straight into my veins. However, since that isn’t really an option (is it?), a quick break to Gangneung and Korea’s East Coast is just what the doctor ordered.

gyeongpo beach korea

Gyeongpo Beach is a perfectly lovely place to spend a weekend… or two.

It’s super easy to get to from Seoul and so incredibly gorgeous, I bet you’ll fall in love with Gyeongpo Beach too!

*Any purchases made through affiliate links here help run this site. Support my blog here

Gyeongpo Beach | 경포수욕장

Address: 514, Changhae-ro, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do | 강원도 강릉시 창해로 514 (안현동)

Gyeongpo Beach is one of the absolute best beaches not just on the East coast, but in all of Korea. It’s a 4 kilometre swathe of white sand, backed by fresh pine trees, that faces the massive Pacific Ocean.

gyeongpo beach in gangneung

Gyeongpo Beach is one of the best beaches on Korea’s East Coast

The first time I saw it, I felt as though my eyes were deceiving me. The water was such a glorious shade of blue, that I couldn’t quite believe we were still in Korea. But we were. And not that far from Seoul at that.

Best of all, it’s an easy journey by bus or KTX from Seoul. If you really need to escape the city, a day trip IS entirely possible, but there’s so many things to do in Gyeongpo Beach, I recommend spending at least one night.

Planning a trip to Korea?

Connect with other travellers | Ask and get answers to all your travel questions | Learn about all the best things to do in Korea | Join our Korea Travel Planning + Guide Facebook Group now.

panorama of busan

How to go to Gyeongpo Beach from Seoul

Address: 514, Changhae-ro, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do | 강원특별자치도 강릉시 창해로 514

The city of Gangeung is the transit hub for most cities and beaches on Korea’s East Coast.

There isn’t a train or subway line in Gyeongpo Beach, so you’ll have to get to Gangneung first, and travel onwards using other methods. Fortunately, it’s just 6-km away from Gangneung.

gyeongpo beach

Gyeongpo Beach is just 6-km away from Gangneung © Kim Jiho, Korea Tourism Organization

Seoul to Gangneung by KTX (high-speed train)

Taking the KTX high speed train is undeniably the fastest, most comfortable way to get from Seoul to Gangneung. The KTX leaves from Seoul Station on the north side of the city, and ends up at Gangneung Station (which was built for the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics).

There’s a train almost every hour, and it takes approximately 1 hour 50 minutes to reach Gangneung.

Gyeongpo Beach | Gangneung Station

The KTX to Gangneung Station is fast and convenient © Mobius6 (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Be sure to factor in your travel time to Seoul Station, when you’re deciding how you’ll get to Gangneung. It can take an hour or more to get there, depending on where you’re staying in the city.

KOREA RAIL PASS  |  A Korea Rail Pass lets you explore the country with extra comfort, speed, and convenience – at a cheaper price. With unlimited rides via high-speed rail to over 600 stations on 80 different routes, it’s the ultimate in hassle-free travel. Check full details here.

Seoul to Gangneung by Bus

If you don’t have a car, an express or long-distance bus is a very comfortable and relatively affordable option for getting to Gyeongpo Beach.

There are many bus terminals in Seoul, but the most convenient one for getting from Seoul to Gangneung is the Dong (East) Seoul Terminal. It’s located just outside of Gangbyun Station on Line 2 of the Seoul subway.

express bus terminal in seoul korea

You can catch an express bus to Gangneung from Seoul © Kim Jiho, Korea Tourism Organization

If you’ve never traveled by express bus in Korea, you’re in for a treat. Typically, express buses are super modern and comfortable, with wide business class style seats, air conditioning or heating as appropriate and run exactly on time.

The bus will make enough rest stops, so there’s no need to worry about hunger pangs or needing the bathroom.

Express buses in Korea are super comfortable © mpd01605 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Go to the Dong Seoul (East) Bus Terminal. You’ll find it right across the street from Exit 3 of Gangbyeon (강변) subway station on Line 2.
Ask for tickets to Gangneung (강릉). Tickets cost from 14,000 to 17,000 won each way.
Upon reaching the Gangneung Intercity Bus Terminal, you can take a 15 minute, 7,000 won taxi ride to Gyeongpo beach, or get on public bus #202. Make sure you're headed in the right direction!
Direct buses depart from the Dong Seoul Terminal, every 15 minutes. It takes around 2.5 hours. Unless it's a holiday weekend, you can just show up at the bus terminal, get a ticket, and board a bus 15 to 30 minutes later.
If you get lost or confused, there’s a Tourist Information Centre just outside of the Gangneung Bus Terminal, where you can ask questions. They speak some English.

Seoul to Gangneung by Car

If you have a car, you can drive directly to Gyeongpo Beach yourself. It should take approximately 2.5 hours to get there under normal traffic conditions. All bets are off on holidays and summer weekends though, when it can take at least double that amount of time to reach your final destination. Maybe even longer.

seoul station korea

The KTX high speed train leaves from Seoul Station.

If you’re traveling during that time, the best option is definitely the KTX high speed train to Gangneung Station. Be sure to book as far in advance as you can. Tickets on weekends and holidays during summer regularly sell out.

Gyeongpo Beach Hotels | Where to Stay

During low season, you can literally just show up and find something on the fly. There’s a line of hotels and minbaks facing Gyeongpo Beach and it’s easy to find somewhere to fall asleep to the sound of the ocean waves.

If you’re traveling on any national holiday or during summer weekends in Korea, it’s much wiser to book something far in advance. I’m telling you this from experience. We made the mistake of just “showing up,” one hot summer day, only to find almost every single accommodation fully booked for the weekend.

Since the Gangneung area and Gyeongpo Beach are easy to get to from Seoul, it’s a big draw for locals and tourists alike. It’s wise to book as early as possible, especially if you want to stay somewhere reasonably affordable and beachfront.

St. John’s Hotel Gangneung

If you’ve got your heart set on a pool, St. John’s is a lovely and affordable 5 star option. It has fantastic ocean views, beachfront location, multiple restaurants, and super comfy rooms.

Gyeongpo Soo Hotel

The Soo Hotel is a comfortable option, with an excellent location. It’s just a 1 minute walk to the beach. Each room is equipped with air conditioning, free wifi, and either a lake or beach view.

Skybay Hotel Gyeongpo

If you ever wanted to stay in Korea’s version of Singapore’s famous Marina Bay Sands, this is your chance. The Skybay Hotel in Gyeongpo Beach has indoor and outdoor pools, a fitness centre, and other excellent facilities to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

Things to do near Gyeongpo Beach

If you tire of lounging around on fine white sand, surveying turquoise seas, there ARE other things to do near Gyeongpo Beach. From the freshest seafood, to some of Korea’s best coffee, these things are actually worth leaving the beach for.

trees at gyeongpo beach

There’s lots to do away from Gyeongpo Beach!

Admire Gyeongpodae Pavilion | 강릉 경포대

Address: 365, Gyeongpo-ro, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do | 강원도 강릉시 경포로 365 (저동)

It’s said that you can see the moon 5 times from Gyeongpodae Pavilion – once in the sky, once reflected in Gyeongpo Lake, once in the East Sea, once in your drinking glass and once in the eyes of your lover.

Cheesy or romantic? You be the judge. But the best time to do this is on the 15th day of the first Lunar month, each year. Or so they say.

cherry blossoms in korea | gyeongpodae

Gyeongpodae is simply stunning ⓒ Gangwon Office, Korea Tourism Office

From its location atop a hill, you can see majestic views of Gyeongpo Lake and the surrounding trees. Visit Korea in April for pink cherry blossoms and in October for fiery autumn hues. It’s free to enter.

ALPACA WORLD + NAMI ISLAND  |  See adorable alpacas, ride a railbike through gorgeous mountain scenery, and get lost on fairytale-like Nami Island, on the most popular day tour from Seoul. Check full details here.

Stroll around Gyeongpo Lake | 경포호

Address: 365, Gyeongpo-ro, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do | 강원도 강릉시 경포로 365

Gyeongpo Lake sits just behind Gyeongpo Beach. It’s separated from the beach by a single street, so you can simply walk over when you’re craving a different scene.

gyeongpo beach | gyeongpo lake

Gyeongpo Lake and Beach are separated by a single street © DNA Studio, Korea Tourism Organization

In spring, Gyeongpo Lake is especially gorgeous because it’s rimmed with 4.3 kilometres of cherry blossom trees. These ephemeral pink buds pop open sometime in early April, and turn the whole place into a pastel-coloured wonderland.

gangneung | gyeongpo lake

Cherry blossoms bloom around Gyeongpo Lake in spring ©

The Gyeongpo Cherry Blossom festival celebrates this gorgeous natural event every year. I won’t go so far as to say it’s better than Gyeongpo Beach in summer (that would be lying), but it’s still worth your time.

You can stroll around the water, stopping to take pics along the way, or rent bicycles to explore the entire circumference of Gyeongpo Lake instead.

bicycle rental at Gyeongpo Lake

Rent bicycles and ride the circumference of Gyeongpo Lake

PRIVATE GANGNEUNG TAXI TOUR  |  See all the hotspots in Gangneung from the comfort of a private taxi tour. At just 27,000 won for 3 hours, with the option to extend, this is one of the best value tours in all of Korea. Check full details here.

Visit Nearby Beaches

The entire East Coast of Korea is lined with gorgeous expanses of sand. There are 2 beaches in particular that are relatively close to Gyeongpo Beach and easy to get to by local bus: Anmok Beach and Jumunjin Beach.

anmok beach | bossa nova cafe

Love coffee? Head to nearby Anmok Beach!

Anmok Beach is known for Gangneung Coffee Street – a strip of over 30 seaside cafes.

And if you’re ARMY, you’ll definitely want to make a stop into nearby Jumunjin Beach to see the BTS bus stop, which served as the album cover for “You Never Walk Alone.”

Jumunjin Beach | BTS bus stop

You can easily drive to the BTS bus stop if you have a car © Kim Jiho, Korea Tourism Organization

SEOUL BTS FAN DAY TOUR  |  Walk in the footsteps of BTS, to restaurants, cafes, iconic filming locations and more, on this memorable day tour designed just for BTS ARMY. Check full details here.

Indulge in the freshest seafood

Address: 514, Changhae-ro, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do | 강원도 강릉시 창해로 514 (안현동)

Since we humans can’t survive on mere sunshine and sea alone, head to one of the restaurants facing Gyeongpo Beach when in need of sustenance. There, you’ll find tanks full of fresh seafood and a lively atmosphere.

gyeongpo beach | seafood restaurants

Visit one of these restaurants for super-fresh seafood

One of my favourite Korean dishes is a spicy pot of haemultang or seafood stew. If spice is a no-go zone for you, try out jogye-gui (grilled shellfish) instead. You’ll get a huge dish full of different kinds of shellfish to roast over charcoal at your table. Watch out for popping shells!

haemultang | gyeongpo beach

Try a boiling pot of haemultang (seafood stew)

There’s not much difference between the restaurants lining this strip, so just pick any one and head in for some of the freshest seafood available in Korea.

Try Chodang Soondubu at the Chodang Dubu Village | 초당순두부마을

Address: 99, Chodangsundubu-gil, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do | 강원도 강릉시 초당순두부길 89-8 (초당동)

If you head just a little bit south of Gyeongpo Beach, you’ll find the Chodang Dubu Village. It’s named after a famous literary family known as Chodang-Heoyeop. Look out for the hanok house that’s been reconstructed where their original house stood.

gyeongpo beach | chodang sundubu village

Chodang Sundubu Village © Lee Beomsu, Korea Tourism Organization

Chodang dubu uses salt water from the East Sea in its production, resulting in a super soft tofu. This is a good choice for anyone averse to spice, as the tofu stew made here is very mild.

chodang soondubu - soft tofu stew

Chodang soondubu is not spicy at all

3D2N GANGNEUNG TOUR FROM SEOUL  |  Visit all the top sites in Gangneung on this all-inclusive tour from Seoul – includes hotel pick-up, transport, all meals, and accommodation in Gangneung, so you can fully relax. Check full details here.

Have coffee at Terarosa | 테라로사

Address: 419, Changhae-ro, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do | 강원 강릉시 창해로 419 테라로사 경포대점

Coffee and writers go hand in hand, right? Well, there’s no better place to experience this than in Gangneung. All those creative types living in Gangneung are credited for pioneering coffee culture in Korea.

Terarosa Coffee originated in nearby Gangneung

Get your caffeine fix at Terarosa Cafe. It’s one of Korea’s original coffee roasters, and you’ll find this bohemian feeling location right across the street from Gyeongpo Beach.

Visit the Chamsori Gramophone & Edison Science Museum | 참소리축음기 & 에디슨과학박물관

Address: 393, Gyeongpo-ro, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do | 강원도 강릉시 경포로 393

Admiring a collection of gramophones is probably not what you planned for a beach vacay, but the Chamsori Gramophone Museum is the largest in the world.

It has an astonishing 4,500 phonographs and 150,000 records on display, from 20 different countries around the world.

gyeongpo beach | edison science museum

Edison Science Museum © Lee Bumsu, Korea Tourism Organization

In the Edison Science Museum section, you can see 850 of the inventor’s creations, including the light bulb, phonograph, projector, and battery car.

Edison and his early phonograph (Public domain)

Visit the Gyeongpo Aquarium | 경포 아쿠아리움

Address: 131, Nanseolheon-ro, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do | 강원 강릉시 난설헌로 131

At the Gyeongpo Aquarium, you can see over 25,000 sea creatures from 255 species. There are also experience programs like riding a boat and fishing at the outdoor area.

gyeongpo beach | gyeongpo aquarium

Gyeongpo Aquarium © Gangwon Office, Korea Tourism Organization

Did this article help you? Writers (and moms especially) need caffeine!

Help support my small business with a cup of coffee.

Gyeongpo Beach: Essential Info and FAQs

When is the beach open? Gyeongpo Beach is open from 6AM - midnight, with swimming hours from 6AM - 6PM, during summer.
Where is Gyeongpo Beach located? Gyeongpo Beach is located on Korea's East Coast, about 6-km away from Gangeung City.
Is there parking available? There's limited parking available right next to Gyeongpo Beach, but in summer it can be difficult to find a spot.
What facilities are available at Gyeongpo Beach? There are restrooms, shower booths, and changing rooms available at the beach.

Ready to hit the beach? What will you do at Gyeongpo Beach? 


  • January 16, 2020

    wow. I am sold by a gramophone museum! Seriously that sounds awesome!

  • deep

    April 10, 2015

    Hi, thanks for the share. I am in Korea right now and wanted to know if it is possible to get there and make it back to Seoul in a day. I have heard about the cherry blossom festival close to the geongpodae lake . Might plan to visit tomorrow if it doesn’t take much time. ^^

  • July 9, 2014

    Reblogged this on Journey Forgotten and commented:
    A beautiful yet not too famous tourist spot in Gangneung! Maybe you can add this place into your list!

  • May 6, 2014

    Oh this is on my agenda! I’m always trying to find a close-ish beach to go for a weekend. Thank you!

    • May 7, 2014

      Oh, it was wonderful!! I’d advise going before July if you can, in order to enjoy the peaceful vibes. 🙂 I think it gets pretty crowded in July/August….

  • September 16, 2013

    Oooh, the food looks incredible. And thanks for the accommodation tip 🙂 It’s something to keep in mind when I eventually do go there!!

    • September 18, 2013

      Hi Surya 🙂 Yes, the food was delicious! Something about the food outside of the city – it just tastes so fresh. It’s definitely worth visiting there, but do make sure that it’s low season. I think it can be near impossible to find somewhere to stay without advance booking otherwise!

  • September 16, 2013

    Hi Shelley and Bear!! Just wanted to tell you that I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award 🙂 You can read all about it here Cheers from Turkey, Laura

  • September 16, 2013

    Looks fantastic! Another weekend trip, slightly further afield, is to get an overnight train to Yeosu in the south of the country. From there you can get a boat out to some gorgeously remote islands or just travel around the peninsula to tiny villages with cute temples. It’s so peaceful, it feels like a different country than when you’re in Seoul.

    • September 18, 2013

      Sounds like an awesome trip…and we’re definitely gonna focus on traveling other parts of Korea this year. I wonder if travel to Yeosu is better since the World Expo last year? Next on my list is Ulleungdo. Did you visit there?

  • September 14, 2013

    SO worth it! We’re definitely going back there again! 🙂

  • September 12, 2013

    I told you it was worth it! Glad you had a chance to get away. ^^


post a comment