Visiting Korea in August | Weather, Best Festivals and What to Pack [UPDATED FOR 2023]
The dramatic monsoon rains typical of Korea in July have passed, but you can still expect blisteringly hot weather in Korea in August.
There is some relief in sight this month though. In 2023, malbok | 말복 (the last of the 3 dog days of summer), falls on August 10th, and travel around South Korea gets progressively more comfortable from this day onwards.
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- what the weather is like during August in Korea
- the Seoul weather in August and other major cities and tourist hotspots, including Busan, Jeju, and Gangneung (East Coast)
- the best summer festivals to attend around South Korea in August
- what to wear and the best things to pack for a successful trip to Korea in August
In this guide
- 1 Visiting Korea in August
- 2 Korea in August | Weather
- 3 Planning a trip to Korea?
- 4 Korea in August | Typhoons
- 5 Limited Edition Summer Tours in Korea
- 6 Korea in August | Best Festivals and Events
- 6.1 Boryeong Mud Festival | 보령머드축제
- 6.2 Taebaek Sunflower Festival | 태백해바라기축제
- 6.3 Hangang River Festival | 한강몽땅 여름축제
- 6.4 Jeongnamjin Jangheung Aqua Festival | 정남진장흥물축제
- 6.5 Bonghwa Sweetfish Festival | 봉화은어축제
- 6.6 Busan Sea Festival | 부산 바다 축제
- 6.7 Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival | 인천 펜타포트 락페스티벌
- 6.8 Hwacheon Tomato Festival | 화천토마토축제
- 6.9 Seoul Festa | 서울페스타
- 6.10 Waterbomb: Incheon, Suwon, Sokcho, Jeju | 워터밤
- 6.11 Semiwon Lotus Cultural Festival | 연꽃문화축제
- 6.12 Tongyeong Hansan Battle Festival | 통영한산대첩축제
- 6.13 Jecheon International Music & Film Festival | 제천국제음악영화제
- 6.14 Suwon Culture Night | 수원 문화재 야행
- 6.15 2023 Water Gun Festival | 물총축제
- 6.16 Seoul Fringe Festival | 서울프린지페스티벌
- 7 Korea in August | What to Wear
- 8 Visiting Korea in August | Packing List
Visiting Korea in August
Visiting Korea in August is as challenging as July, but in a different way. There’s much less rain, more sunshine, and clearer skies, but it’s the hottest month of the year, with equally high humidity levels.
And while the constant rain in July can definitely make travel difficult, the lack of it in August, can make the air feel as heavy as a stone. Prepare to sweat. A LOT!
School age children in Korea have summer vacations in the month of August, so there’s a corresponding major surge in domestic travel around the country at this time.
If you’re planning your visit to Korea in August, and want to go to Jeju Island, Gangwon-do, or any coastal areas, it’s wise to book day tours and hotels as early as possible. Stuff gets fully booked up incredibly fast this month.
Korea in August | Weather
The August weather in Korea is nothing less than exhausting, so it’s important to hydrate well, slather on sunscreen, and take breaks in air conditioning or shaded spots. With a little advance planning, you can still get out there and enjoy all that South Korea has to offer in the summer months.
In August, average daily temperatures around Korea range from a low of 20°C | 69°F to a high of 30°C | 86°F. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Until you factor in the humidity, which brings the heat index up to a soul-sucking 35°C | 95°F.
Still… for me, August in Korea is preferable to July. It’s hot, uncomfortable, and muggy, but at least you don’t have to contend with constant rain and depressing grey skies.
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Korea in August | Travel Essentials
Hotels and Other Accommodation
Travel Insurance for South Korea
Wifi, SIM Cards, and Portable Wifi
Airport Transfers and Luggage Delivery
Money-Saving Transit and Transport Passes
Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tours
Day Tours and Discounted Admission Tickets
Korea in August | Seoul Weather
Seoul in August is steaming, scorching hot, with high humidity and much more sun. This is the hottest month of the year, with a heat index hovering around 35.4°C | 95.7°F. However, average high temperatures actually decrease 2°C | 4°F over the course of the month, from 29°C | 85°F to 27°C | to 81°F.
The Seoul weather in August is technically one of Korea’s wet months, with precipitation expected on around half the days of the month. In my experience though, in Korea in August, rain falls off and on, unless there’s a typhoon. It’s usually not cause for concern (on most days), and really not enough to cool things down much (unfortunately).
*Personal note: I don’t tolerate humidity well at all, and find August in Korea to be quite difficult. It’s been incredibly hot here over the last week, reaching temperatures in the mid-30s and higher.
It does start to cool down a bit in the evenings, so wandering around Seoul after the sun goes down can actually be quite pleasant. However, I do recommend planning some indoor activities for the peak afternoon hours to cope with the insane heat and potential rain.
Korea Weather in August | Busan
Busan benefits from its location on the southeastern coast of Korea. It’s slightly cooler than Seoul in August, with average daily temperatures of 24°C | 76.5°F to 28°C | 82°F. The heat index is estimated at 32°C | 90°F, with an average humidity of 81%.
In Busan in August, you can expect little rain and the most hours of sunshine per day. The sea water is also at its warmest at 26.3°C | 79.3°F in August. This is literally the perfect time to chill out on one of the city’s many beaches.
TRAVEL TIP TO SAVE MONEY | Planning to travel from Seoul to Busan via KTX high-speed train? It’s actually CHEAPER to use a Korea Rail Pass than to book separate tickets (111,000 vs 120,000 won).
Beyond that, a Korea Rail Pass gives you UNLIMITED rides on high-speed, regular, AND tourist trains to 600 stations on 80 different routes, for the number of days you choose. Add in the english customer service you get with Klook, and it makes no sense NOT to get one. Click here for more information about the KR Rail Pass.
Korea Weather in August | Gangneung (East Coast)
The Korea weather in August on the East Coast beaches is quite a bit cooler than in the interior. Gangneung in August has average daily temperatures ranging from 20°C | 69°F to 26°C | 78°F, with an average humidity of 83%. The sea temperature is perfect for swimming at 24°C | 75°F.
In my experience, it can feel a bit chilly at night by the sea, if it’s breezy, so be prepared with a light windbreaker or hoodie if you’re prone to feeling cold.
AFFORDABLE PRIVATE TAXI TOUR | This 3 hour private taxi tour of Gangneung area sites provides incredible value at just 20,000 won per car (max 4 people).
Choose between K-WAVE, Coffee City, or Gangneung History Tour to see famous sites like the BTS bus stop, Anmok Beach Coffee Street, Gyeongpo Lake, or Ohjukheon in total comfort. Check availability and select a private taxi tour here.
Korea Weather in August | Jeju Island
Jeju has a temperate humid climate, and in August, the temperatures range from 24°C | 76°F to 30°C | 86°F, with 13 days of rain, totalling around 260-mm of precipitation. August on Jeju is actually the month with the most rain, but it can be a welcome relief from the high humidity and heat index of 36°C | 97°F.
Overall though, if you’re in the mood to swim, August is a wonderful time to visit Jeju Island. The sea water is at its warmest, and there’s plenty of sunshine. Beware though – the UV index is at its highest, and you’ll burn incredibly fast, so slather on that sunscreen and wear a hat.
TIP | Jeju is a surprisingly large island, and public transit can be slow and time-consuming. If you don’t have a ton of time, your best options are to rent a car and drive yourself, or join a group tour of major Jeju Island sites.
- Eastern Jeju Discovery: Horse riding, Seongeup Folk Village, Women Diver Show (Haenyeo Museum on rainy days), Seongsan Sunrise Peak + Manjang Cave
- Western Island Exploration: Hyeopjae Beach, Hallim Park, O’sulloc Green Tea Field, Sanbang Cruise + Cheonjeyeon Waterfall
- Southern Jeju Adventure: Mysterious Road, Hallasan, Alive Museum, Jusangjeolli Lava Cliff, Lonely Rock + Jeongbang falls
- Jeju Island UNESCO Day Tour: UNESCO sites like Manjang Cave, Seongsan Ilchubong Peak, and Hallasan
Korea in August | Typhoons
Typhoon season in South Korea is from July to September. There have been quite a few typhoons over the last few years, but very few of them have been cause for major concern. It can however, mean flash floods, mudslides, and property damage – particularly on the coastal regions of Korea, and on Jeju Island.
If a typhoon should hit while you’re visiting Korea in August, it’s best to stay indoors, shut the windows tight and avoid places where there could be flooding or mudslides (but really, don’t stress too much about it – odds of real danger are low).
Limited Edition Summer Tours in Korea
Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of the scorching heat with activities at water parks, beaches, and on boats. From gorgeous lotus flowers to a beach full of mud, there’s a ton of unique events and festivals designed just for the hot, hot summer months in Korea.
- Dolphin Spotting on a Jeju Gimnyeong Yacht Cruise | May 10th – September 9th, 2023
- Jarasum Namdo Flower Festival + Nami Island + Alpaca Ranch | May 26th – July 1st, 2023
- Club Nine Water Park Day Tour | June 1st – September 28th, 2023
- In the SOOP BTS Tour | June 2nd – August 27th, 2023
- SBS M&C Overnight Sunrise EDM Party on Nine Beach in Donghae | June 3rd – August 26th, 2023
- World DJ Festival | June 2nd – 4th 2023
- Lotte Family K-Pop Concert | June 16th – 18th, 2023
- Buyeo Lotus Flower Festival + Jeonju Hanok Villlage | July 10th – 28th, 2023
- Boryeong Mud Festival, Daecheon Beach + Suspension Bridge | July 21st – August 4th, 2023
- Boryeong Mud Festival | July 21st – August 26th, 2023
Korea in August | Best Festivals and Events
August in South Korea promises to be an exciting month, with some of the biggest festivals of the year making a full comeback, after a 4 year long pandemic hiatus.
Visiting Korea at another time of the year? Learn about weather and festivals for other months in Korea, in the following detailed guides.
- Korea in January: The Coldest Month of the Year
- Korea in February: The Final Month of Winter
- Korea in March: First Signs of Spring
- Korea in April: Chasing Cherry Blossoms
- Korea in May: In Full Bloom
- Korea in June: The Best Month of Summer
- Korea in July: The Peak of Summer
- Korea in September: Autumn Relief
- Korea in October: Full on Fall Foliage
- Korea in November: Autumn to Winter Transition
- Korea in December: Christmas Lights Galore
Boryeong Mud Festival | 보령머드축제
Festival Dates: July 21st – August 6th, 2023
Address: 897-15, Daehae-ro, Boryeong-si, Chungcheongnam-do | 충청남도 보령시 대해로 897-15 (신흑동)
In South Korea in August, thousands of people descend upon Daecheon Beach in Chuncheongnam-do to coat themselves in nutrient-rich Boryeong mud by day, and party to K-pop and EDM at night.
With events like giant mud baths, mud mazes, and mud slides, it’s no surprise that this is one of the most popular festivals in Korea.
If you do plan to attend this event and stay overnight, book hotels in Boryeong early, especially if you’re going over a weekend.
BORYEONG MUD FESTIVAL | Public transport to Boryeong is time-consuming and requires multiple transfers. It’s much easier to join a day tour that takes you to the festival, and other sights in the area. Click for more details here.
Taebaek Sunflower Festival | 태백해바라기축제
Festival Dates: July 21st – August 15th, 2023
Address: 38-33, Guwau-gil, Taebaek-si, Gangwon-do | 강원도 태백시 구와우길 38-33 (황지동)
Be refreshed among the neverending yellow sunflowers and colourful wildflowers in Taebaek’s Guwau Village. It has a massive 661,157㎡ field of pretty wildflowers, as well as the largest patch of sunflowers in Korea.
Admission is free, and you can feed goats, plant succulents, and of course, get excellent pictures for your feed.
Get more details here (Korean only).
Hangang River Festival | 한강몽땅 여름축제
Festival Dates: July 27th – August 13th, 2023
Address: Various Hangang Parks around Seoul
The summer edition of the Hangang River Festival returns to Korea in August. Events and activities will take place at various Han River Parks across Seoul, with many centred around Yeouido, Jamsil, and Banpo Hangang Park.
Watch out for a crazy PET boat race in Jamsil, a 42km night walk along the river bank, a music picnic in Yeouido, a puppet theatre for kids at Ttukseom Hangang Park, and much, much more.
Check full event listings here (Korean only).
Jeongnamjin Jangheung Aqua Festival | 정남진장흥물축제
Festival Dates: July 29th – August 6th, 2023
Address: 21, Jangheung-ro, Jangheung-gun, Jeollanam-do | 전라남도 장흥군 장흥읍 장흥로 21 (장흥읍)
This Jeongnamjin Jangheung Aqua Festival in Jeollanamdo is the perfect festival for families to escape the searing heat of August in South Korea. The highlight is a massive water fight, that not only uses water guns but also water cannons and a helicopter dropping water from above (don’t way I didn’t warn you).
Families can also dive into the clean and refreshing waters in this area to try out water biking, canoeing, banana boats, water slides, and other fun activities.
Festival details here (only in Korean).
SEASONAL LOCAL FESTIVALS TOUR | Going to a festival in Korea is one of the best ways to get insight into local culture, while exploring new parts of the country. There’s always one happening SOMEWHERE in Korea. This excellent day tour takes all the guesswork out of it for you by offering trips to the best festivals of the season.
Bonghwa Sweetfish Festival | 봉화은어축제
Festival Dates: July 29th – August 6th, 2023
Address: Naeseongcheon Stream area in Bonghwa-eup | 경상북도 봉화군 봉화읍 내성리 506
Sweetfish are plentiful in Korea in August, and the most delicious can be found on the banks of the Nakdonggang and Seomjingang Rivers, near Bonghwa in Gyeongsangbuk-do Province.
At the Bonghwa Sweetfish Festival, wade into the refreshing river water and try catching these slippery creatures with traditional nets, or even with your bare hands. Cap off the day by grilling up your fresh catch on a charcoal bbq.
Busan Sea Festival | 부산 바다 축제
Festival Dates: August 1st – 6th, 2023
Address: Beaches around Busan – Haeundae, Gwangalli, Dadaepo, Songdo, and Songjeong Beaches
Summer in Korea means Busan, and the Busan Sea Festival is an awesome way to celebrate the cool sea and hot sun at 5 of the city’s beaches. From pool parties to live music to DJ contests to surfing, there’s something for everyone, because each beach has a different vibe and events.
For a quieter evening by the sea, spend your day checking out folk and jazz performances at Dadaepo and Songdo instead of heading to busy Haeundae Beach.
Check more details here.
SHORT ON TIME IN BUSAN? | Attractions in Busan are spread out and take time to get to. Explore the best paces in Busan on this efficient tour to Taejongdae, Gamcheon Culture Village, Songdo Skywalk, Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, and more. Click for more info on the Busan full-day City Tour here.
Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival | 인천 펜타포트 락페스티벌
Festival Dates: August 4th – 6th, 2023
Address: 350, Central-ro, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon | 인천광역시 연수구 센트럴로 350 (송도동)
The Pentaport Rock Festival is one of the BIGGEST live music events happening during August in Korea. Held in Incheon at Songdo Moonlight Festival Park, Pentaport attracts both local and international acts.
Tickets are sold in 1 to 3 day passes, and range in price from 80,000 to 200,000 won. Check their website for details and a full line-up.
Hwacheon Tomato Festival | 화천토마토축제
Festival Dates: August 3rd – 6th, 2023
Address: Munhwamaeul 1(il)-gil, Sanae-myeon, Hwacheon-gun, Gangwon-do | 강원도 화천군 사내면 문화마을 일원 및 사내생활체육공원
Taking place over the first weekend of August, prepare to get your tomato on in Hwacheon. The Tomato Festival was inspired by Spain’s famous “La Tomatilla Festival,” and has been celebrated since 2003.
At the festival, prepare to crush and stomp 80 tons of tomatoes, in various events, including the popular “Gold Ring Tomato Hunt,” tomato wrestling, and a tomato slide.
Hwacheon tomatoes are known for their sweetness and high quality, so be sure to grab a box before you leave.
Check their website for details (Korean only).
TRAVEL TIP | If you don’t have a car, you can reach Hwacheon in about 1.5 -2 hours using a combo of inter-city and local buses. Alternatively, grab a round-trip shuttle bus package, that includes tomato festival SWAG, and an english-speaking guide. Click here for more info.
Seoul Festa | 서울페스타
Festival Dates: TBA for Summer 2023, but April 30th – May 7th for Spring
Address:25, Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 송파구 올림픽로 25 (잠실동)
Seoul Festa was billed as Seoul’s biggest event ever… and it just might’ve been. The K-pop Super Live concert, featuring Psy, Rain, NCT Dream, and other K-pop stars was just the start.
In 2022, Seoul Festa featured the Seoul E-PRIX – Korea’s first electric vehicle racing event, themed festivals at Hangang Park, Nihgt Gatekeeper events at Deoksugung Palace and Sungnyemun Gate, and the NEXT Seoul exhibition.
If that wasn’t enough, the Seoul Shopping Festa ran throughout the month of August in Korea, offering up to 50% off at over 3,000 shopping venues and hotels around Seoul. I’d expect nothing less from Seoul Festa in 2023.
Waterbomb: Incheon, Suwon, Sokcho, Jeju | 워터밤
Festival Dates in 2023: Incheon – August 5th | Suwon – August 12th | Sokcho – August 19th | Jeju – August 26th
WATERBOMB features live performances from K-POP stars and DJs, a tropical lounge, and massive exploding water cannons. The highlight is definitely the crazy water gun battle where you fight along your favourite celebs.
Events start in Seoul at the end of June, and rotate their way to multiple cities over the course of the entire summer in Korea 2023.
This is a 19+ event, that’s definitely not suitable for young children, as you can see from the video (don’t watch if flashing lights bother you). Check the line-up and get tickets here.
Semiwon Lotus Cultural Festival | 연꽃문화축제
Festival Dates: until August 15th, 2023
Address: 93, Yangsu-ro, Yangpyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do | 경기도 양평군 양서면 양수로 93All
Lotus blooms beautifully in Korea during August, and the Semiwon is one of the best and closest spots near Seoul to see these gorgeous flowers. It’s located near Dumulmeori, where the heads of the Bukhan and Namhan Rivers meet.
At the Semiwon Lotus Cultural Festival, enjoy a serene stroll through the garden or participate in various lotus leaf centred activities, like fan making.
Check more details here (Korean only).
JEONJU HANOK VILLAGE + BUYEO LOTUS FESTIVAL | Marvel at 800 traditional hanok homes in Jeonju, and the sight of tens of thousands of stunning red lotus flowers in full bloom in the former Baekje capital city of Buyeo. Check full details here.
Tongyeong Hansan Battle Festival | 통영한산대첩축제
Festival Dates: August 4th – 13th, 2023
Address: 328, Tongyeonghaean-ro, Tongyeong-si, Gyeongsangnam-do | 경상남도 통영시 통영해안로 328 (중앙동)
At the Tongyeong Hansan Battle Festival, witness a reenactment of the 1592 Great Battle of Hansan. This was an all-out war between the Joseon fleet and Japan’s amphibious fleet, and one of most significant sea battles in Korean history.
Won by revered Korean Admiral Yi Sun-Sin, it prevented the colonization of Korea by Japan for a further 300 years.
Families are sure to love the excitement of this festival, which features an air show, fireworks, live performances, and experiential programs for children at Yi Sun-sin waterpark. Check the website for more details (Korean only).
FROM BUSAN: GEOJE ISLAND OR TONGYEONG | Geoje and Tongyeong are 2 lovely islands near Busan worth visiting. I’ve spent the last 2 summer on Geoje Island! Choose marine beauty at Windy Hill, Oedo Botania, and Maemiseong Fortress on Geoje OR opt for more adventure on the Tongyeong Skyline Luge. See full details here.
Jecheon International Music & Film Festival | 제천국제음악영화제
Festival Dates: August 10th – 14th, 2023
Address: 14-1, Uibyeong-daero 12-gil, Jecheon-si, Chungcheongbuk-do | 충청북도 제천시 의병대로12길 14-1 (명동)
The Jecheon International Music and Film Festival typically takes place during August in Korea, and showcases movies and documentaries that combine film and music, in gorgeous natural settings.
There’s a separate musical program that features live concerts, outdoors on the shores of Cheongpung Lake and Uilimji. Check details here.
Suwon Culture Night | 수원 문화재 야행
Festival Dates: August 11th – 13th, 2023
Address: 825, Jeongjo-ro, Paldal-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do | 경기도 수원시 팔달구 정조로 825
Suwon Culture Night is your chance to see the UNESCO listed Hwaseong Fortress stunningly illuminated at night, while experiencing 8 different media art and cultural activities. This is a great option for August in Korea, because it happens in the evening when it’s just a little bit cooler.
Events take place along the winding walls of Hwaseong Fortress and the surrounding area, from 6:00PM to 11:00PM each day. Check details here (Korean only).
HWASEONG FORTRESS IS A MUST-SEE | UNESCO listed in 1997, Hwaseong Fortress is one of Korea’s most important historical treasures. With 5.74-km of wall, 4 impressive main gates, and a number of intact defensive features like artillery towers, floodgates, and bunkers, it’s the only fully walled fortress left in Korea. See Hwaseong Fortress gorgeously lit at night or visit on a guided day tour from Seoul.
2023 Water Gun Festival | 물총축제
Festival Dates: August 12th – 13th, 2023
Address: Oil Tank Culture Park | 87, Jeungsan-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
One of the best ways to escape the crazy humidity of August in Korea is at the Water Gun Festival. In previous years, this festival shut down the streets near Hongdae and Sinchon for street performances, DJs, and of course the biggest watergun fight you’ve ever seen.
For 2023, the event has been moved to the Oil Tank Culture Park. No big surprise that the Water Gun Festival is one of the most popular and iconic summer festivals in Seoul. Get tickets asap if you want to go. Details here (Korean only).
SEOUL PUB CRAWL | Water gun battle by day. Pub crawl to 4 of Hongdae’s ‘s best bars and clubs by night. Meet other travelers, get 3+ free shots, and skip the line at some of Seoul’s hottest clubs! Check details here.
Seoul Fringe Festival | 서울프린지페스티벌
Festival Dates: August 11th – 27th, 2023
Address: Various venues around Mapo-gu & Seodaemun-gu, Seoul
The Seoul Fringe Festival takes place over the last half of August in Korea. It promotes artistic freedom of expression, by promoting independent artists in a number of indoor and outdoor venues around Mapo-gu.
Wander the streets around Hongdae University and watch out for drama, dance, mime, music, and arts performances by both groups and individuals.
Check their website for more details.
Korea in August | What to Wear
To survive Korea’s weather in August, it’s best to wear lightweight clothing that wicks sweat. Breezy linens, technical fabrics, and clothing lines like Uniqlo’s Airism are made specifically to deal with a hot, muggy climate.
You can expect some rain this month, so it’s useful to have waterproof shoes, Crocs type sandals, and quick-dry clothing. I wouldn’t recommend wearing a raincoat during August in Korea. It’s much too hot and muggy and you’d feel like you were suffocating.
Tips for What to Wear in Korea in August
Visiting Korea in August | Packing List
Here’s a rough guideline of items to pack for the Korea weather in August.
Korea in August | Bring from Home
- travel documents: passport, itineraries, hotel reservations, plane tickets, travel visas, insurance
- international driver’s license if you plan to rent a car
- adaptor / plug
- lightweight t-shirts, tank tops
- shorts, skirts, capris
- summery dresses
- thin windbreaker or shell, light hoodie or cardigan
- swimsuits, rash guards, board shorts
- deodorant, feminine hygiene items
- comfortable running shoes or sandals with good grip for lots of walking (waterproof shoes are good at this time of year)
- any special prescription medications you need
- allergy medications if you’re sensitive to pollen and dust
- eyeglasses, contact lenses
Buy in Korea
- umbrella if it rains / parasol
- personal fan
- disposable air pollution masks
- batteries / charging cables (super cheap at Daiso)
- skincare products like sunscreen (high quality and cheap in Korea!)
- eyeglasses and contact lenses can be purchased just by walking into a store (a free eye test will be provided)
- birth control can be purchased over the counter, without a prescription (but all brands may not be available)
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Korea in August: Essential Info and FAQs
All ready for the perfect trip to Korea in August? What have you got planned?