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  >  Asia   >  Visiting Korea in August | Weather, Best Festivals and What to Pack [2022]
korea in august | peaceland pocheon

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 2022, malbok | 말복 (the last of the 3 dog days of summer), falls on August 15th, and travel around South Korea gets progressively more comfortable from this day onwards.

korea in august | peaceland pocheon

August in Korea is hot, hot, hot… but there’s plenty to do!

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

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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.

korea in august | naengmyun ice bowl

It’s so hot in Korea in August, you might have to resort to an ice bowl.

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!

August is undoubtedly the best month of summer to head to one of the many beaches around Korea for some relief, splash around at a huge water park, or relax poolside at a luxury hotel.

korea in august | daecheon beach

August is the best month for swimming in Korea © Kim Jiho, Korea Tourism Organization

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 | mountain valley

Families flock to beaches, mountains, and campsites during August in Korea © Lee Beomsu, Korea Tourism Organization

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.

August in Korea | camping in korea near wonju

Camping with the family near mountain streams is very popular in Korea in August.

In August, average daily temperatures in Korea range from a low of 24°C | 74°F to a high of 29°C | 85°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 | 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.

korea in august | line at tosokchon

The line at Tosokchon for samgyetang will be long in August © Jeon Han, Korea.net / Korean Culture and Information Service (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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).

korea in august | starfield library in seoul

Starfield Library is a good place to spend an afternoon.

*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.

INDOOR ACTIVITIES  |  In Korea in August, you sometimes you just need the relief of air conditioning blasting at -500°C. Here’s some ideas.

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%.

korea in august | gwangalli beach busan

August is the perfect month for a Busan beach! © Live Studio, Korea Tourism Organization

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.

august in korea | yangyang surfyy beach

East Coast beaches are perfect in August © Kim Jiho, Korea Tourism Organization

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.

korea in august | hamdeok beach

In August, Hamdeok Beach on Jeju is perfection © Cafe Delmoondo

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.

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.

Korea in August | Maemiseong with rocky beach and sea in front

Maemiseong Fortress on Geoje Island was built by hand, by one man – to protect the land from future typhoons.

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).

VISIT GEOJE ISLAND AND OEDO BOTANIA FROM BUSAN  |  See Geoje Island, Maemiseong Fortress, and the stunning marine botanical garden – the Oedo Botania – on a day tour from Busan. See more details here.

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 3 year long pandemic hiatus.

Busan Sea Festival | 부산 바다 축제

Festival Dates: until August 7th, 2022

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.

august in korea | busan sea festival

There are different events at 5 separate beaches in Busan © Busan Metropolitan city (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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?  |  Explore the best attractions in Busan on this jam packed tour to the Taejongdae, Gamcheon Culture Village, Songdo Skywalk, Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, and more. Click for more info on the Busan full-day City Tour here.

Jeongnamjin Jangheung Aqua Festival | 정남진장흥물축제

Festival Dates: until August 7th, 2022

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).

Korea in August | Jeongnamjin Jangheung Water Festival

Prepare to get soaked at the Aqua Festival © Kim Jiho, Korea Tourism Organization

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).

Bonghwa Sweetfish Festival | 봉화은어축제

Festival Dates: unti August 7th, 2022

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.

Details here.

Taebaek Sunflower Festival | 태백해바라기축제

Festival Dates: until August 7th, 2022

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.

korea in august | sunflowers at taebaek botanical garden

Guwau Village has the largest sunflower patch in Korea © Kim Jiho, Korea Tourism Organization

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).

Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival |인천 펜타포트 락페스티벌

 Festival Dates: August 5th – 7th, 2022

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.

korea in august | pentaport rock festival

Pentaport is one of the biggest festivals in Korea © Heeyon Kim (CC BY 2.0)

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 5th – 7th, 2022

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 |워터밤

Festival Dates: August 10th – 14th, 2022

Address:25, Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 송파구 올림픽로 25 (잠실동)

Seoul Festa is billed as Seoul’s biggest event ever… and it just might be. The K-pop Super Live concert, featuring Psy, Rain, NCT Dream, and other K-pop stars is just the start.

It’ll also feature the Seoul E-PRIX – Korea’s first electric vehicle racing event, themed festivals at Hangang Park, and Night Gatekeeper events at Deoksugung Palace and Sungnyemun Gate, and the NEXT Seoul 2022 exhibition.

Korea’s largest EDM festival in Korea – the World DJ Festival will be held concurrently at Jamsil Auxiliary Stadium from August 11th – 13th.

If that isn’t enough, the Seoul Shopping Festa will run all throughout the month of August in Korea, offering up to 50% off at over 3,000 shopping venues and hotels around Seoul.

See more details here and here.

Hangang River Festival | 한강몽땅 여름축제

Festival Dates: until August 15th, 2022

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.

korea in august | banpo hangang park

Banpo Hangang Park is one of the event locations for the Hangang River Festival

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.

SEOUL BY YACHT  |  See Seoul’s gorgeous night views and the Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain up close from a luxury yacht on the Han River. Departs from the Some Sevit Floating Islands in Banpo Hangang Park. Click here for more info.

Semiwon Lotus Cultural Festival | 연꽃문화축제

Festival Dates: until August 15th, 2022

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.

august in korea | lotuses at semiwon

Lotus are in full bloom at the Semiwon in August © Kim Jiho, Korea Tourism Organization

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).

Boryeong Mud Festival | 보령머드축제

Festival Dates: until August 15th, 2022

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.

south korea in august | Boryeong Mud Festival

Mud galore! © Kim Jiho, Korea Tourism Organization

If you do plan to attend this event and stay overnight, book hotels in Boryeong early, especially if you’re going over a weekend.

SHUTTLE BUS TO BORYEONG  |  Public transport to Boryeong is time-consuming and requires multiple transfers. Make it easy to attend the Mud Festival on a day trip from Seoul, by hopping on a round-trip shuttle bus instead. Click for more details here.

Tongyeong Hansan Battle Festival | 통영한산대첩축제

Festival Dates: August 6th – 14th, 2022

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

korea in august | tongyeong

See turtleships in battle in Tongyeong © Tourism Consulting Team, Moon Yuseon, KTO

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 11th – 16th, 2022

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 12th – 14th, 2022

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.

Seoul Fringe Festival | 서울프린지페스티벌

Festival Dates: August 11th – 28th, 2022

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.

korea in august | hongdae

Hongdae is known for creative expression ⓒ Lee Bumsu, Korea Tourism Organization

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.

korea in august | Yeonmisan Nature Art Park

Dripping sweat at Yeonmisan Nature Art Park in Gongju, despite wearing Airism clothing.

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

1
August in South Korea is insanely hot and humid. Cotton isn't actually the best fabric to wear, since it holds moisture. It's better to wear lightweight fabrics like linen or technical fabrics designed to wick sweat.
2
If you want to blend in at the beach, you'll be most comfortable in a rash guard and shorts. That's what most Koreans wear to the beach. However, if you're more comfortable in a bikini at the beach, it wouldn't be frowned upon.
3
It's best to dress on the conservative side, if you don't want to draw unwelcome attention. For women, a low neckline or bare shoulders will attract eyes, but a super short skirt or shorts won't (go figure). For men, wandering around shirtless is a definite no-no.
august in korea | yeosu expo

You’ll want to pack the right clothing to survive August in Korea.

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
  • sunglasses
  • 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)
korea in august | bongeunsa

Lotus plants at Bongeunsa Temple in Gangnam

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Korea in August: Essential Info and FAQs

1
Is August a good time to visit Korea? August in Korea is very hot, sunny, and humid, making it a perfect time to head to one the country's many beaches. Schools are out for the summer this month, so it can be tourist spots can be very busy and crowded. This is a month where it's best to plan in advance.
2
How hot is Korea in August? Average daily temperatures range from 23°C | 72°F to 29°C | 85°F, but it feels a lot hotter. South Korea in August is incredibly hot and humid, with a real feel temperature closer to 36°C.
3
Is Korea rainy in August? It's technically monsoon season in Korea in August, but typically there's more rainfall in the month of July.
4
What is there to do in Korea in August? August is the best month of the year to go to the beach, visit a mountain stream, or hang out by the pool. There are also a ton of festivals to go to in Korea in August.

All ready for the perfect trip to Korea in August? What have you got planned?

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