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  >  Asia   >  Summer in Korea | 43 Awesome Activities, Fun Festivals, and Cool Things to do in 2022
summer in korea | indi around glamping

Hot, humid, and sticky pretty much sums up summer in Korea. What do you do when a stroll to the convenience store feels like a marathon, but it’s the only time you can get to South Korea?

Don’t let it stop you!

summer in korea | indi around glamping

Hooray! There’s so much to do during summer in Korea!

In this complete guide to Korea in summer, you’ll discover:

  • the climate and weather in Korea from June to August
  • perfect activities to take advantage of in Korea in summer
  • the best festivals to attend across the country during summer in South Korea
  • the freshest foods and coolest desserts to eat to fight the heat and humidity
  • what to pack and wear to survive a Korean summer

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Summer in Korea | What to Expect

In Korea in summer, the comfortable climate of spring gives way to monsoon rains, high humidity, and scorching temperatures. Beaches open all over the country, portable fans make their yearly appearance, and night time activities peak as people take advantage of cooler evening temperatures.

summer in korea | Geoje Island

Korea in summer requires a trip to the beach!

From mid-June onwards, humidity starts to rise, and by July, it’s at almost unbearable levels. Add in (potentially) heavy monsoon rains, and searing temperatures, and it’s a wonder that anyone visits Korea in summer at all.

But they do. En masse. With Korean diaspora heading home during summer school vacations, and travellers visiting from all over the world, summer in Korea is literally heaving with people.

summer in korea | odongdo island

You’ll need an umbrella if you’re visiting Korea in summer.

If you’re planning your travels to South Korea for summer, it’s wise to book flights, reserve accommodation and choose summer tours far, far in advance, since the best places, in the most convenient locations, get snatched up right away.

When is Summer in Korea? | Summer Weather

Summer in South Korea starts in June and ends in August. The temperature doesn’t actually change that much, rising only about 5°C in total from the end of May. Humidity levels however, can reach almost 100% on some days, making those extra 5°C feel like a whole lot more.

summer in korea | rainfall

The rain can be intense during summer in Korea.

South Korea also experiences summer monsoons (장마 in Korean), so prepare for precipitation (possibly major) and perhaps a typhoon or two.

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

Korea in Summer | June Weather

June is a shoulder month, as spring transitions fully into summer in Korea. Temperatures remain relatively stable over the course of the month, only varying by a couple of degrees, from 25 – 27°C / 81°F during daylight hours.

For the first few weeks of June, it cools down a bit at night, so the days can still feel relatively comfortable.

summer in korea | yeosu cafe at night

June in Korea is the perfect month to hang out at seaside cafes at night.

By mid-month though, humidity levels start to rise. By the end of June, it sits at an average of 54%. It’s safe to say that 25°C at the beginning of June feels a LOT cooler than 27°C at the end of June.

Korea in Summer | July Weather

With high humidity, soaring temperatures, and the possibility of major precipitation, July can be a difficult month for weather in Korea. Daily highs reach 29°C / 84°F, and the nights are just a few degrees cooler.

During summer in Korea though, humidity is the biggest factor in terms of comfort. By the end of July, it can reach an average high of 91%, meaning that hot, humid days are followed by equally painful hot, humid nights.

summer in korea | cloudy skies

It’s overcast about 50% of the time in July.

The skies are cloudy and overcast about 50% of the time in July. This is not actually a big surprise given that it usually rains for over half the days of the month. It’s not all bad though. The rainfall can provide a very welcome respite from the hot, humid conditions of summer in Korea.

starfield library in seoul

The stunning Starfield Library is wonderful to visit on rainy days.

You should definitely have an aresenal of rainy day activities planned for a trip to Korea in July. Indulging in a Korean facial, seeing a traditional Korean folk arts concert, shopping at Starfield Coex Mall or spending the day at Lotte World Aquarium and Lotte World Amusement Park are good options for a gloomy day.

Korea in Summer | August Weather

The hottest day of the Korean summer is typically around August 4th, but from then on, temperature, precipitation, and humidity start to decrease, albeit slowly. By the end of the month, the temperature has fallen to 27°C and humidity is back down to the levels seen at the end of June.

summer in korea | sunset

August in Korea is hot, hot, hot!

That doesn’t mean the August weather in Korea is comfortable though. It isn’t. Overall, it’s the hottest month of summer in Korea, with an average temperature of 29.6°C. Combined with the high humidity, it can feel as hot as 36°C / 97°F or higher. This is definitely the month to take a day trip out to a beach near Seoul for some relief.

Korea Weather in Summer | Typhoons

Typhoons affect Korea from July to September. In recent years, typhoons have hit the Peninsula pretty regularly over the summer in South Korea, but few of them have been deadly. It can however, mean high winds, flash floods, landslides, and property damage – usually in the southern regions of the country.

summer in korea | typhoons

Typhoons can cause flooding, mudslides and property damage © 울진군청 (KOGL Type 1)

The most damaging typhoon to hit Korea in recent history, was Typhoon Maemi in September of 2003. 117 people were killed by this storm, and high winds and floods knocked out power lines, destroyed shipyards, businesses, and much more. Overall damage was estimated in the billions of dollars.

summer in korea | geoje island

Maemiseong Fortress was inspired by Typhoon Maemi and built by hand by one man.

At least one good thing came out of Typhoon Maemi though – the inspiration for Maemiseong Fortress, which has become a hotspot for taking photos on Geoje Island.

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. Check availability of Geoje Island + Oedo Botania day tour from Busan here.

Summer in Korea | Best Activities & Things to Do

The not-so-perfect weather is undoubtedly a factor during summer in Korea, but there’s so many excellent activities and things to do, that it’ll be nothing more than an afterthought you have to struggle through sometimes.

summer in korea | sand pit by jamsil hangang park

You won’t run out of things to do in Korea in summer.

Read on to learn about all the best activities, events, festivals, places to visit, and things to do in South Korea in summer.

Summer in Korea | Swimming

The second summer hits Korea, all I dream about is dunking my steaming body into a cooling body of water. Fortunately, that’s pretty easy here. From swimming pools to beaches to water parks and mountain streams, there’s plenty of options.

summer in korea | swimming

There’s a ton of places to swim during summer in Korea.

Hit the beach

Sun, sand, and surf. Who doesn’t want to hit a beach the second it gets hot. Fortunately, spectacular Korean beaches can be found on the west, east, and south coasts, with some of the best surrounding the country’s semi-tropical paradise island, Jeju-do.

summer in korea | gujora beach on Geoje Island

Sun, sand, and cafe at Gujora Beach on Geoje Island.

Top 5 beaches to visit during summer in Korea

There are literally hundreds of beaches to visit during a Korean summer. Here are my favourites… so far.

Hanagae Beach, Muuido Island | 하나개해수욕장

Address: San189beonji, Muui-dong, Jung-gu, Incheon | 인천광역시 중구 무의동 산189번지 (무의동)

If you’re looking for a beach you can actually visit on a day trip from Seoul, your best bet is the West Coast beaches near Incheon. My favourite of them is Hanagae Beach on Muuido Island, but you can check out this guide to beaches near Seoul for a full rundown.

summer in korea | sunset on hanagae beach on muuido island

This walkway is wonderful to stroll on during sunset at Hanagae Beach.

Gyeongpo Beach, Gangneung | 경포 해수욕장

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

Gyeongpo Beach on Korea’s East Coast is a perfect weekend escape. It has a 4-km long, sandy beach, gorgeous blue water, and a ton of fun activities and sites to see in the immediate area.

summer in Korea | gyeongpo beach in gangneung

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

TAXI TOUR OF GANGNEUNG  |  This 3 hour private taxi tour of Gangneung area sites is 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.

Anmok Beach & Gangneung Coffee Street | 안목해변

Address: 20-1, Changhae-ro 14beon-gil, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do | 강원도 강릉시 창해로14번길 20-1

If you’re a coffee-addict like me, Anmok Beach and Gangneung Coffee Street might be your idea of summer in Korea nirvana. It’s home to a strip of over 30 stunning seaside cafes, with views out to cool, blue expanses. Anmok Beach is super close to Gyeongpo Beach, so you could reasonably visit both of them on the same trip.

summer in korea | bossa nova cafe, gangneung coffee street

Coffee and sea go hand in hand on Anmok Beach.

Hamdeok Beach, Jeju Island | 함덕 서우봉해변

Address: 519-10, Johamhaean-ro, Jeju-si, Jeju-do | 제주특별자치도 제주시 조천읍 조함해안로 519-10

There’s no doubt that Jeju Island has some of the best beaches in Korea. One of my favourites is Hamdeok Beach, because it’s shielded from wind by Seoubong Mountain, has clean sand, and super calm water that’s perfect for families. There’s also a huge sandbar that disappears every night, and reappears every morning.

summer in korea | hamdeok beach on jeju island

Cafe Delmoondo has wonderful views over gorgeous Hamdeok Beach.

RENTING A CAR ON JEJU ISLAND  |  Public transit on Jeju Island is not as efficient as in Seoul. Distances are long, and it’s a lot slower, so Koreans usually rent a car to see the island properly.

To rent a car as a traveller to Korea, you MUST have: a book type international driver’s permit (obtained in your home country), your passport, and your driver’s license from home. Check availability and prices of rental cars on Jeju Island here.

Wahyeon Beach, Geoje Island | 와현 모래숲해변

Address: Gyeongsangnam-do, Geoje-si | 일운면 와현해변길 34

Gujora and Hakdong are probably the most famous beaches on Geoje Island, but my favourite was definitely laid back Wahyeon Beach.

summer in korea | wahyeon beach on geoje island

Wahyeon Beach on Geoje Island has a chilled out vibe.

The water here is calm and gentle, the sand is soft, and there are wonderful views out across the sea. You’ll definitely find more locals than tourists at Wahyeon Beach during summer in Korea.

SEOUL TO BUSAN VIA HIGH SPEED RAIL  |  If you’re traveling round-trip from Seoul to Busan on the KTX, a Korea Rail Pass is cheaper than booking tickets individually at a cost of 111,000 won vs 119,600 won.

You’ll also benefit from unlimited rides via high-speed rail to over 600 stations on 80 different routes, and customer service in english. It’s the ultimate in hassle-free travel. Check out Korea Rail passes on Klook here.

Splash in a refreshing mountain stream

Korea is 70% mountainous, so one of the best things to do during summer in Korea is head to a mountain valley or 계곡. This is a fun place for families and groups of friends to cool off in a super clean and refreshing natural setting.

summer in korea | mountain stream

Visiting a 계곡 is a perfect family activity during summer in Korea ©칼빈500 (CC BY-SA 4.0)

It’s easy to find 계곡 pretty much all over the country, but if you can’t make it out of Seoul, head to Nadeul road at Gwanaksan Mountain. This trail is around 6-km long and follows various streams in the mountain valley. During summer in Korea, the downstream area is open to the public for swimming.

Cool off at a Water Park

Kids and the young at heart will love splashing around at a huge water park during summer in Korea. Many waterparks in Korea are attached to hotel resorts, so keep an eye out for all-inclusive hotel packages and promotions to save money.

summer in korea | public water fountain

If you can’t get to a water park, you can search for a free public water fountain or 바닥분수 in hangeul.

I’ll rundown some of the best, most popular water parks in Korea below, but here are some of the other major ones to check out around the country.

Vivaldi Park Ocean World | 비발디파크 오션월드

Address: 62, Hanchigol-gil, Hongcheon-gun, Gangwon-do | 강원도 홍천군 서면 한치골길 262

If you’re looking for an all-inclusive hotel package that’s perfect for the family, I can’t recommend Vivaldi Park and the Sono Hotels enough. They’re so much fun and such great value that I’ve booked packages at Vivaldi Park in both autumn and winter myself, and plan to visit again this summer… and then again in spring too!

summer in korea | vivaldi park infinity pool

Enjoying the infinity pool on our autumn staycation at Sono Felice Resort.

Hotel packages are designed for each season, and include buffet breakfast, accommodation, amusement park rides, and weather-appropriate activities at incredible value. In autumn, we opted for the heated outdoor infinity pool, and in winter, we chose a day at Snowy Land sledding park.

korea in winter | snowy land at vivaldi park

Sledding at Snowy Land is the seasonal activity for winter at Vivaldi Park.

During summer in Korea, of course, we’ll be heading to Ocean World (discounted admission tickets) – Vivaldi Park’s huge 99,174㎡ Egyptian themed water park for slides, pools, and total fun in the sun. Check out all-inclusive hotel packages at Vivaldi Park Resort here.

Caribbean Bay | 캐리비안베이

Address: 199, Everland-ro, Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do | 경기도 용인시 처인구 포곡읍 에버랜드로 199

Want to play at the biggest indoor / outdoor water park in Korea? Head to Caribbean Bay at Everland in Yongin for huge pools, a lazy river, relaxing spas and saunas, water slides, and an artificial wave pool.

There’s gentle water slides for little ones, and for the thrillseekers, crazy slides like the Aqua Loop, which end in a terrifying 18-metre drop.

SPEND A FULL DAY AT EVERLAND  |  Everland Theme Park is located in Yongin, about an hour’s drive from Seoul. This day tour includes admission tickets + round-trip shuttle bus transportation from 3 convenient pick-up points in Seoul to make your day totally stress-free. Check availability of full day tours to Everland Theme Park here.

Gimhae Lotte Water Park | 김해롯데워터파크

Address: 555, Jangyu-ro, Gimhae-si, Gyeongsangnam-do | 경상남도 김해시 장유로 555

Lotte Water Park near Busan is one of the newest water parks to enter the summer in Korea scene. Designed around a Polynesian theme, it has some of the biggest facilities in the country, including a 135-m long outdoor wave pool, 38-m long indoor wave pool, and an incredibly long 118-m Tornado Slide.

There’s even a 389-m long zipline that takes you straight toward the wave pool!

CAN’T MAKE IT DOWN TO BUSAN?  |  Welli Hilli Water Planet is a brand new 40,000-㎡, state of the art water park in Gangwon-do. There are indoor and outdoor zones with lazy rivers, wave pools, water slides, boomerang zones, spa zones, and much more. This tour can also be combined with a stop at Yeoju Premium Outlets – a designer outlet operated by Shinsegae Simon. Check availability of day tours to Welli Hilli Water Planet here.

Chill by the pool

If you can’t get to a beach to cool down during summer in Korea, chilling by the pool is the next best thing. There are both public and commercial swimming pools available all over the country, but not nearly enough to satisfy a population the size of Korea in my opinion.

On peak weekends and super-hot days, they can be seriously crowded and busy, so plan accordingly.

summer in korea | swimming pools

Head to the pool during summer in Korea.. but maybe avoid weekends if you want a little peace.

Hotel Swimming Pools

Booking a staycation at a luxury hotel with a swimming pool is a super popular thing to do – especially for families in landlocked Seoul looking to escape the brutal heat of summer in Korea.

Reserve EARLY if a staycation at a city hotel, or private pool villa near the beach is high on your list of things to do in Korea in summer.

There are gorgeous hotels with swimming pools all over the country, but here are a few that I’ve got on my list (one can dream, right?):

Signiel Busan

Signiel Busan has gorgeous furnishings, world class dining, panoramic views, and an incredible infinity pool overlooking Haeundae Beach. If you’re looking for luxury in Busan, this is one of the best.

Banyan Tree Club and Spa

If privacy’s what you’re after, one of the most exclusive swimming pools in Seoul must be the Banyan Tree Club and Spa. ONLY overnight guests and members of the Club can use their stunning Oasis Pool.

St. Johns Hotel in Gangneung

Gangneung is a major hub for visitors traveling to the East Coast for beach relaxation during summer in Korea. St. Johns is a massive hotel with a stunning swimming pool and a perfect beachfront location.

Grand Hyatt Seoul

The Grand Hyatt is probably one of the best known hotels in South Korea. It’s where Barack Obama chose to stay when he visitied Seoul! You can enjoy gorgeous views of the city, while lounging next to their Olympic-sized outdoor pool, on a blazing hot summer afternoon in Korea.

Shilla Seoul

Shilla Seoul’s outdoor pool is called “Urban Island.” It has heated pools, jacuzzis, cabanas and sunbeds on offer, as well as excellent views of the N Seoul Tower.

Sun Cruise Resort & Yacht

You’ve probably seen pictures of this crazy cruise ship perched precariously atop a cliff, without realizing it’s in Korea. Well, it is, and it’s located on Jeongdongjin Beach. During summer in Korea, you can enjoy their gorgeous outdoor pool, hike the seaside badabuchae-gil, and visit their on-site theme / art park.

I’ve been trying to spend a night at the quirky Sun Cruise Resort and Yacht for as long as I can remember, but somehow it never works out. Maybe this will finally be the year!

Public Swimming Pools by the Han River

Opening Dates and Hours: June 24th – August 21st, 2022, from 9AM – 7PM daily. Details here.

There are 8 outdoor swimming pools located near the Han River in Seoul. They’re at Ttukseom, Yeouido, Gwangnaru, Mangwon, Jamwon, Jamsil, Nanji, and Yanghwa Hangang Parks.

*The pools at Jamsil Hangang Park and Mangwon Hangang Park are closed in 2022 for renovations.

summer in korea | hangang park swimming pools

There are 8 swimming pools in Hangang Parks across Seoul.

Most of these parks have multiple pools to be used by different age groups, waterslides, play areas, showers, change rooms and food stalls, but facilities differ slightly at each location.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to wear some kind of swim cap or head covering to enter most pools in Korea. I usually get by with just a baseball cap.

summer in korea | public swimming pools

Some kind of head covering is required to enter the Hangang Park pools.

Summer in Korea | Water Sports

If the thought of just bobbing around in a super refreshing body of water is too boring for you, don’t worry. There’s a ton of water based activities and sports for athletic types to try out during summer in Korea.

summer in korea | floating on the Hangang

Try out some water sports during summer in Korea.

It is very hot and humid though, so be sure to hydrate well and slather on protective sunscreen. Whether the sun is out or not, there are strong UV rays in these months that will burn you very quickly… especially if you’re out on the water.

Learn how to surf

There are quite a few places to learn how to surf during summer in Korea, but Surfyy Beach in Yangyang is the only one completely dedicated to surfing. This is a 1-km long private beach zone inside Hajodae Beach that has perfect waves and a super chilled out vibe, complete with bean bag chairs and lazy hammocks.

summer in korea | Yangyang Surffy Beach

Surfyy Beach is one of the best places to surf in Korea in summer © Kim Jiho, Korea Tourism Organization

Other popular spots to learn how to ride the waves during summer in Korea are:

Stand Up Paddle Boarding

SUP or Stand Up Paddle Boarding has become a popular summer sport in Korea in recent years, due to its accessibility for beginners. The calm waters of Gwangalli Beach in Busan are considered one of the best places to try out SUP yourself.

summer in korea | paddle boarding gwangalli beach busan

Try your balance on a paddle board © Busan & Ulsan Office, Design Geulggol, Korea Tourism Organization

Other places in Korea to try stand up paddle boarding:

Wanna Kayak, Snorkel AND SUP?  |  Do all 3 at Jeju Island’s Hado Beach, which is known for crystal clear waters and gorgeous views out to Udo Island. Sign up for a day full of water activities on Jeju here.

Visit Asia’s Largest Wave Park

Address: 2690 Jeongwang-dong, Siheung-si

If you can’t make it out to one of Korea’s coasts, head to Wave Park for an exciting day at Asia’s largest wave park!

Located just 45 minutes away from Incheon Airport and 90 minutes from Seoul, in Siheung, Wave Park has over 20 different artificial waves, ranging from knee-high beginner waves to super massive and steep waves for experienced surfers.

If you can’t surf, no worries. You can take lessons at the Surfing Academy or take part in other aquatic sports like kayaking, SUP and swimming in zones with and without waves, for the non-surfers among us.

Rafting

In winter time, crowds flock to the ski resorts of mountainous Gangwon-do, but during summer in Korea, river rafting is where it’s at. Popular areas for rafting are Naerincheon River in Inje, Donggang River in Yeongwon, and Hantangang River in Cheorwon.

summer in korea | rafting

Rafting in Korea © Park Seonggeun, Korea Tourism Organization

The rapids are relatively gentle, but this is a great activity for the family to take part in, amongst beautiful scenery, on a hot, summer day.

LEGOLAND (+ Cute Alpacas or Nami Island)  |  The newly opened Legoland Korea in Gangwon-do is the 2nd largest Legoland in the world, with 7 different theme parks to explore – Lego Mini City, Building Block Street, Lego Castle, Ninja World, Pirate Coast, Mini World and Block Park. Check availability of Legoland + Alpaca World tours in Korea here.

Summer in Korea | Outdoor Activities

Don’t let the jawdropping heat turn you into a shut-in. From hiking to biking to glamping, there are so many outdoor activities on offer during summer in Korea, you’ll be absolutely spoiled for choice. Pick up a portable fan and get out there!

summer in Kore | camping in korea near wonju

There’s plenty to do outside, despite the heat.

Go camping or glamping

Whether you prefer to pitch a tent on a mountain, or relax in a luxurious caravan, spending a night in the great outdoors is super easy in Korea. Many campsites also offer full gear rental, so it’s possible even if you’re not an experienced camper.

summer in korea | camping

There are many ways to camp in Korea in summer.

It’s very hot during summer in Korea however, so I recommend camping or glamping where there’s a body of water available to cool off in.

Wild camping is generally allowed here, so if you’ve got your own gear, try setting up near one of Korea’s many mountain streams for swimming during the day, and marshmallow roasting at night.

summer in korea | camping

Set up camp next to a cool mountain stream.

In recent years, glamping sites have sprouted up around Korea like weeds, so finding one is pretty easy with a quick online search. With amenities ranging from swimming pools, to beach views, to air conditioning, your only limit will be your budget.

For peak times, like weekends and summer vacation, you definitely need to reserve as far in advance as possible.

summer in korea | glamping

Indiaround in Yongin is a super cute place to glamp.

Go for a bike ride

Biking is one of the best ways to really experience the sights, sounds, and smells of a place, while exploring local culture. You’ll undoubtedly work up a sweat if you’re visiting during summer in Korea, but you’ll also benefit from a breeze as you pedal near majestic palaces, vibrant markets, and through winding alleyways.

summer in korea | biking next to the Han River

See Seoul by bike for a totally unique experience.

Try it independently by renting a Seoul Bike, or meet up with other travelers on an all-inclusive guided bike tour of Seoul’s best sights.

Mobility issues?  |  This fun e-Bike tour takes the work out of biking around Seoul. On this tour, you’ll glide easily up and down 2 mountains to some of the city”s best viewpoints, see tranquil temples, and explore vibrant markets. Check availability of a highlights of Seoul e-Bike tour.

Hang out by the Hangang

The mighty Han River runs through the centre of Seoul, dividing the north and south areas of the city. Fortunately, it’s easily accessible from multiple neighbourhoods, and there’s a ton of stuff to do riverside.

summer in korea | hangang river

Seoul is divided in half by the mighty Han River © Song Seung-woock, Korea Travel Tourism

Whether you choose to hop on a Han River cruise, picnic among locals with kimbap and chimak, pitch a tent to chill, or board a yacht – no visit to Korea in summer is complete without spending at least a little bit of time next to this iconic waterway.

There are 12 separate (but connected) Hangang Parks with green space, amenities, bike paths, restaurants, cafes, and more to explore. If you only have time to visit one of the Hangang Parks, I’d choose either Yeouido Hangang Park or Banpo Hangang Park.

summer in korea | banpo hangang park

Pitching a tent next to the Hangang and having a picnic is a popular summer activity in Seoul.

One word of warning though: during summer in Korea, there can be flooding from monsoon rains, so always confirm that the Hangang Park you want to visit is open before going.

Find some shade in a Seoul park

Seoul can seem like a mass of concrete blocks, but a full quarter of the city is actually made up of vast green spaces. These parks are all (mostly) totally free to enter, have excellent amenities, and usually have several different activities available to participate in.

summer in korea | olympic park

Olympic Park in Jamsil was built for the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul.

Aside from the Han River Parks, these are some of the best green spaces in Seoul to find some shade during summer in Korea.

summer in korea | seoul botanic park

There are outdoor spaces and a huge greenhouse at the Seoul Botanic Garden.

Hwadam Forest + Gwangmyeong Cave Tour  |  The Gwangmyeong Caves are incredibly cool in summer and also happen to be one of Korea’s 100 Must-See destinations. Hwadam Forest is known for absolutely stunning landscapes. Enjoy them both along with an ice cream making experience to help cool you off. Get full details here.

Summer in Korea | Explore at Night

Seoul is a 24 hour city year round, but in Korea in summer, this is especially true. The streets come to life and are pulsing with activity as people seek to escape the sun’s punishing rays.

Here’s a few suggestions for how you can spend some of those hot summer nights.

summer in korea | seoul at night cityscape

In Korea in summer, Seoul comes to life at night © Camelpress, Korea Tourism Organization

See the Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain

The Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain is one of Seoul’s most famous attractions. During summer in Korea, the show runs both day and night – but head there after dark for cooler temperatures, glowing lights, and the possibility of a refreshing mist cooling you off.

summer in korea | banpo bridge rainbow fountain at night

The Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain is best seen at night © Photo by 서울특별시 소방재난본부 (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Get lost at the Bamdokkaebi Night Market | 서울 밤도깨비 야시장

After a 3 year-long COVID hiatus, the Bamdokkaebi Night Market is set to take over the streets of Seoul once again. Taking place at 6 locations around the city, you can expect food trucks, unique products, and an exciting vibe, under brightly coloured tents.

korea in summer | bamdokkaebi night market

The Bamdokkaebi night market is one of Seoul’s most popular attractions © Lee Bumsu, Korea Tourism Organization

Each of the Bamdokkaebi night markets have varying hours, opening days, and events, so be sure to check for more details here.

KOREAN FOOD TOUR  |  Get in ma belly! On this wonderful food tour, you’ll visit 4 different restaurants with a local guide, who will introduce you to delicious dishes, dining customs, and a drinking game or two. Join a guided food and drink tour in Seoul here.

Go for an Evening Stroll at Cheonggyecheon Stream | 청계천

If you’re among the tourist hordes visiting Korea during summer vacation, stops at Gyeongbokgung Palace, Insadong and the Bukchon Hanok Village are required travelling.

summer in korea | cheonggyecheon stream

Cheonggyecheon Stream is a tiny bit of coolness in the middle of Seoul © Kim Jiho, Korea Tourism Organization

After snapping that all-important hanbok selfie, head to nearby Cheonggyecheon Stream in the evening to relax and refresh yourself. It’s an average of 3.6°C COOLER than other parts of Seoul, due to the flowing water and natural environment.

SEOUL AT NIGHT BUS TOUR  |  See the neon lights and glowing night views of Seoul on a double-decker bus. This tour includes a 30 minute stop at iconic Namsan Tower, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the entire city below you. Get discounted tickets for the Seoul City Night Bus Tour.

Go hiking after sunset

Korea is 70% mountainous, so hiking is an incredibly popular hobby. Wait till after the sun sets and you can avoid potential heatstroke while watching the city’s sparkling lights come to life.

summer in korea | Seoul City Wall hike

Hike the Seoul fortress wall after the sun has gone down © Lee Geum-seon, Korea Tourism Organization

There are national parks all over the country, but if you’re staying in Seoul, make your way around the Hanyangdoseong fortress wall, or challenge yourself with a hiking / climbing adventure on Bukhansan or Gwanaksan Mountain.

Summer in Korea | Head Indoors

Ok, let’s get real here for a second. Some days, it really is TOO hot, TOO humid, TOO rainy and TOO soul-suckingly exhausting to do all the summer in Korea things.

That’s when it’s time to head indoors for the sweet relief of air-conditioning blasting at -500°C.

summer in korea | rainbow slush

Sometimes even a rainbow slushie can’t combat the heat 🙁

Does the heat make you want to shoot something?  |  Here’s the perfect thing. Choose from over 100 different firearms and learn how to shoot at the Myeongdong Shooting Range.

Visit one of Korea’s Many Museums

There are excellent museums all over the country, ranging from fine art, to experiential, to quirky. With free exhibits, gorgeous architecture, and high powered air-conditioning, visitng a museum is an affordable and interesting way to escape the heat of summer in Korea.

summer in korea | war memorial

The War Memorial of Korea is free and worth a visit! It also has a Children’s Museum.

If you have kids, be sure to check for special Children’s Museums. Many are attached to the main museums and offer specialized interactive exhibits designed specifically for children to learn and be entertained.

summer in korea | museums

The Gyeongju National Museum has an excellent interactive Chilrdren’s Museum.

Art, History & Science Museums

Here’s just a few of the big museums to check out across Korea in summer, but do a quick online search and you’ll find a ton more.

summer in korea | yongwol y park

Yongwol Y Park is undeniably instagrammable.

Instagrammable Museums

There’s a whole other category of “museums” in Korea that are pretty much designed for hanging out and taking fun pictures. Check these out when you need something gorgeous for your feed.

summer in korea | arte museum yeosu

The immersive media art exhibitions at Arte Museum transport you to another world.

Spend the Day at the Mall

With entertainment, restaurants, and special events, malls are for much more than shopping these days. There are huge malls located across Seoul, but head south of the river to visit 2 of the best: Starfield Coex Mall in Gangnam and Lotte World Mall in Jamsil.

summer in korea | bongeunsa temple

Bongeunsa’s Maitreya watches over Starfield Coex Mall ⓒ Kim Jiho, Korea Tourism Organization

Starfield Coex Mall

At Starfield Coex Mall, take gorgeous pictures at the iconic Starfield Library, see sharks at Coex Aquarium, or get tossed around at a 4D movie at the Megabox Movie Theatre.

Learn about everything there is to do in my full guide to Starfield Coex Mall.

Lotte World Mall and Lotte Mall

There’s so much to do at these 2 adjacent Lotte malls in Jamsil, that you could easily spend a couple of days. I should know. These malls are a few blocks from my house, and I’ve probably spent weeks and weeks and weeks, wandering around inside, with my daughter when summer in Korea is just too much to handle.

summer in korea | lotte world mall

There are a lot of big attractions near the Lotte Malls in Jamsil.

Besides shopping and eating, here’s some of the things you can get up to in Lotte World Mall.

summer in korea | lotte world aquarium

You can experience 5 oceans, 650 species, and 55,000 sea creatures at the.Lotte World Aquarium.

SONGPA L PASS  |  If you plan to visit Lotte World Theme Park, Seoul Sky Observatory, AND the Lotte World Aquarium, the Songpa L Pass is one of the best value deals out there. It gives you access to all 3 attractions at an incredible discount (65,000 won for the pass vs 119,000 on site).

All 3 places are located in Songpa-gu (hence the name), within easy walking distance of each other, so it’s definitely possible to visit all of them in a single day. Check details of the Songpa L Pass here.

Best Summer Festivals in Korea

The cherry blossom and spring flower festivals are long gone, but summer in South Korea is packed with even MORE festivals to enjoy. From epic water gun fights to huge EDM parties to mud festivals, you’ll have no trouble filling your weekends with activities.

summer in korea | Jeongnamjin Jangheung Water Festival

Summer in Korea is FULL of festivals © Kim Jiho, Korea Tourism Organization

With so many festivals to choose from, and only so many weekends to a summer season, you’re going to have to be selective about where you go. The following are the best, most popular events to go to during summer in Korea. There WILL be crowds… but also a ton of fun.

Semiwon Lotus Flower Festival | 세미원

Festival Dates: late June – August

Address: 93, Yangsu-ro, Yangpyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do | 경기도 양평군 양서면 양수로 93All 

Water lilies, including lotus flowers bloom beautifully during summer in Korea. Located near Dumulmeori, where the heads of the Bukhan and Namhan Rivers meet, the Semiwon is one of the best and closest spots near Seoul to see these gorgeous flowers.

summer in korea | lotuses at semiwon

The Semiwon is a great place to see lotuses © Kim Jiho, Korea Tourism Organization

Take a serene stroll through the garden, surrounded by hundreds of different types of water lilies, and participate in various hands-on activities, like making handkerchiefs and fans out of lotus leaves, or try eating rice in a lotus leaf. It’s incredibly delicious!

2022 Daegu Chimac Festival | 대구치맥페스티벌

Festival Dates: July 6th – 10th, 2022

Address: 7, Gongwonsunhwan-ro, Dalseo-gu, Daegu | 대구 달서구 공원순환로 7 두류공원야구장

Could Korean fried chicken washed down with an ice cold beer be the best food and drink combo in history? I think it’s possible – especially when you’re dealing with the hot, sweaty climate of a summer in Korea.

summer in korea | daegu chimac festival

Fried chicken and beer might be the best summer combination © Kim Jiho, Korea Tourism Organization

You can test out the theory yourself at the Daegu Chimac Festival, while dancing your heart out, chicken wing in one hand, beer in the other.

PS: If you didn’t know already – CHI = Chicken and MAK = Maekju (the Korean word for beer)

Details here.

Sinchon Water Gun Festival 2022 | 신촌물총축제

Festival Dates: July 30th – 31st, 2022

Address: Area of Yeonse-ro road in Sinchon | 18-63, Changcheon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul

One of the best ways to escape the heat and humidity of summer in Korea is at the incredible Sinchon Water Gun Festival. Every July, this festival shuts down the streets near Hongdae and Sinchon for street performances, DJs, and of course the biggest watergun fight you’ve ever seen.

summer in korea | sinchon watergun festival

Epic watergun fight on the streets of Seoul? Yes please. © Korea.net / Korean Culture and Information Service (CC BY-SA 2.0)

No big surprise that the Sinchon Water Gun Festival is one of the most popular and iconic summer festivals in Seoul. Get tickets asap if you want to go.

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.

Boryeong Mud Festival | 보령머드축제

Festival Dates: July 16th – August 15th, 2022

Address: 897-15, Daehae-ro, Boryeong-si, Chungcheongnam-do | 충청남도 보령시 대해로 897-15 (신흑동)

I’m gonna go out on a limb here, and say that this is probably THE most popular and famous festival for international visitors to Korea in summer.

summer in korea | Boryeong Mud Festival

Prepare to get dirty at the Boryeong Mud Festival © Jeong Sung-joo, Korea Travel Organization

Every year, thousands of people flock to Daecheon Beach in Chuncheongnam-do to coat themselves in nutrient-rich Boryeong mud by day, and party to K-pop and EDM at night. I mean, you can’t really argue with festival events like giant mud baths, mud mazes, mud painting, and mud slides, can you?

summer in korea | Boryeong Mud Festival

Mud, mud, mud! © Kim Jiho, Korea Tourism Organization

If you do plan to attend this event, book hotels in Boryeong and transport EARLY… especially if you’re going over a weekend.

SHUTTLE BUS TO BORYEONG  |  Hop on this round-trip shuttle bus to Boryeong and prepare to get muddy at one of Korea’s most popular summer festivals. Check details here.

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 during happening during summer in Korea. Held in Incheon at Songdo Moonlight Festival Park, Pentaport attracts both local and international acts. Past performers have included the likes of Nine Inch Nails, Dua Lipa, Weezer, and Psy.

summer in korea | pentaport rock festival

Pentaport is one of the biggest live music 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. They go on sale in the 2nd week of May. Check their website for details.

Muju Firefly Festival | 무주 반딧불축제

Festival Dates: August 27th –  September 4th, 2022

Address: 326-17, Hanpungnu-ro, Muju-gun, Jeollabuk-do | 전라북도 무주군 무주읍 한풍루로 326-17 (설천면)

The Muju Firefly Festival isn’t technically during the peak of summer in Korea, but I’m sneaking it in because it’s one I’ve always wanted to go to. Muju is a natural habitat for fireflies, so it’s possible to see a field full of romantic flickering lights easily.

Check their website for more details.

Summer in Korea | Other Festivals

If you can’t make it to the super-popular summer festivals in Korea, not to worry. There’s a ton more to choose from!

korea in june | gwanno mask dance at gangneung danoje festival

The UNESCO listed Gangneung Danoje Festival is 1000 years old © IR Studio, Korea Tourism Organization

If you prefer a more detailed rundown of what to expect at each of these festivals, be sure to check out my monthly guides (August will be published soon).

summer in korea | busan sea festival

Enjoy the Busan Sea Festival during summer in Korea © Busan Metropolitan city (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Daejeon Craft Beer & Music Festival | 대전 수제맥주&뮤직페스티벌

  • Festival Dates and Location: May 5th – June 10th, 2022
  • Address: 480, Daedeok-daero, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon | 대전광역시 유성구 대덕대로 480 (도룡동)

Gangneung Danoje Festival | 강릉단오제

  • Festival Dates: May 30th – June 6th, 2022
  • Address: 1, Danojang-gil, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do | 강원도 강릉시 단오장길 1
  • More details on their website.

World DJ Festival

  • Festival Dates: June 4th – 6th, 2022
  • Address: Jamsil Olympic Stadium, 25, Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 송파구 올림픽로 25 (잠실동)
  • Website here.

5TARDIUM EDM Festival

  • Festival Dates: TBA for 2022, but usually last weekend of June
  • Address: Nanji Hangang Park | 난지한강공원
  • More details here.

WATERBOMB Festival 2022

  • Festival Dates: Seoul – June 24th – June 26th. Daegu – July 23rd. Incheon – August 6th. Suwon – August 13th, 2022.
  • Address: Various locations in Seoul, Daegu, Incheon, and Suwon
  • Check for full details and tickets here

Garden of Morning Calm Rose of Sharon Festival | 아침고요수목원 무궁화 축제

  • Festival Dates: all of July 2022
  • Address: 432, Sumogwon-ro, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do | 경기도 가평군 상면 수목원로 432 (상면)
  • Website

Pocheon Herb Island Lavender Festival | 포천 허브아일랜드 라벤더 페스티벌

  • Festival Dates: all of July and August, 2022
  • Address: 35, Cheongsin-ro 947beon-gil, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do | 경기도 포천시 신북면 청신로947번길 35 (신북면)
  • More details here.

Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival | 부천 국제판타스틱영화제

  • Festival Dates: July 7th – 17th, 2022
  • Address: 210, Gilju-ro, Bucheon-si, Gyeonggi-do | 경기도 부천시 길주로 210 (중동)
  • Get more details here.

Buyeo Seodong Lotus Festival | 부여서동연꽃축제

  • Festival Dates: July 14th – 17th, 2022
  • Address: 52, Gungnam-ro, Buyeo-gun, Chungcheongnam-do | 충청남도 부여군 부여읍 궁남로 52 / 부여 궁남지 일원

The Color Run Seoul

  • Festival Dates: TBA for 2022, but usually mid-July
  • Address: 25, Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 송파구 올림픽로 25 (잠실동)
  • Sign up for updates here.

Taebak Sunflower Festival | 태백해바라기축제

  • Festival Dates: July 22nd – August 7th, 2022
  • Address: 강원도 태백시 구와우길 38-20 구와우마을
  • Get more details here.

Bonghwa Sweetfish Festival | 봉화은어축제

  • Festival Dates: July 30th – August 7th, 2022
  • Address: Naeseongcheon Stream area in Bonghwa-eup | 경상북도 봉화군 봉화읍 내성리 506
  • Check out their website here.

Jeongnamjin Jangheung Aqua Festival | 정남진장흥물축제

  • Festival Dates: July 30th – August 7th, 2022
  • Address:21, Jangheung-ro, Jangheung-gun, Jeollanam-do | 전라남도 장흥군 장흥읍 장흥로 21 (장흥읍)
  • Festival details here (only in Korean).

Busan Sea Festival | 부산 바다 축제

  • Festival Dates: July 30th – August 7th, 2022
  • Address: Beaches around Busan – Haeundae, Gwangalli, Dadaepo, Songdo, and Songjeong Beaches

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)
  • Check details here.

Tongyeong Hansan Battle Festival | 통영한산대첩축제

  • Festival Dates: August 12th – 16th, 2022
  • Address: 328, Tongyeonghaean-ro, Tongyeong-si, Gyeongsangnam-do | 경상남도 통영시 통영해안로 328 (중앙동)
  • Check their website for more details (Korean only).

Seoul Fringe Festival | 서울프린지페스티벌

  • Festival Dates: August 11th – 28th, 2022
  • Address: 87, Jeungsan-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 마포구 증산로 87 (성산동)
  • Check their website for more details.

Summer in Korea | Best Foods to Eat

There’s different foods to go with every season in Korea, and summer is no different. These foods help to combat the high temperatures, and fortify you to deal with the exhausting humidity of a summer in Korea.

Here are the best meals to chase down in the months of June, July, and August.

summer in korea | food

Eating is one of the best parts of visiting Korea!

Mul Naengmyun | 물냉면

Nothing refreshes me more from inside out than an icy bowl of mul naengmung. It’s a dish made up of thin noodles made from a combination of buckwheat and potato flours. They’re served in a fresh broth, and topped with slices of daikon radish, cucumber and egg.

summer in korea | mul naengmyun

Mul naengmyun is super refreshing on a hot, summer day.

Try an affordable and fresh version at Yooksam Naengmyun or search out famous Pyeongyang cold noodles at Woo Lae Oak, which has been open since 1946!

Other cold soups to search out in Korea during summer are: kongguksu | 콩국수 and chogye guksu | 초계국수.

TRY FOOD FIT FOR ROYALTY  |  The Royal Cuisine of the Joseon Dynasty was designated as National Intangible Cultural Property No. 38, and Jihwaja is THE place to try it. Run by the Hwang Family, Jihwaja is a national treasure and legacy that traces back to the last 2 kings of the Joseon Dynasty, with authentic recipes preserved and passed down through generations. See degustation menu options here.

Bingsu | 빙수

Comprised of a bowl of shaved ice, and topped with a broad variety of ingredients from fruit to rice cakes to red beans, bingsu is the most classic dessert to eat during a Korean summer to cool down.

summer in korea | patbingsu

Patbingsu (red bean) is the most classic type of bingsu.

What started as a humble dessert of shaved ice topped with sweetened red beans and condensed milk, can now be found in every variation known to humankind. I can’t justify paying 98,000 won for a shine muscat bingsu, so I usually head to Sulbing for their huge variety of tasty and affordable desserts.

Samgyetang | 삼계탕

Samgyetang falls under the category of iyeol chiyeol | 이열치열 foods. These are dishes that are meant to fight the fire of summer in Korea with equally hot foods. This could be spicy concoctions or hot soups with herbal ingredients like ginseng and jujube that fortify the system.

summer in korea | samgyetang

Samgyetang is a whole boiled young chicken with fortifying ingredients © Korea.net / Korean Culture and Information Service (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Other iyeol chiyeol foods to look out for during a Korean summer are: nakji bokkeum, jangeo, and yukgaejang.

You can try samgyetang all over the city, but Tosokchon near Gyeongbokgung Palace and Korea Samgyetang are 2 of the oldest and most famous places in Seoul. Make sure you bring a personal fan – you’ll likely have to wait in line.

summer in korea | line at tosokchon samgyetang

Be prepared to wait in line! © Jeon Han, Korea.net / Korean Culture and Information Service (CC BY-SA 2.0)

What to Wear in Korea in Summer

Lightweight and airy are the name of the game when it comes to what to wear during summer in Korea. You’ll be most comfortable in t-shirts, shorts, skirts, and dresses while wandering the scorching streets of Seoul.

summer in korea | bamdokkaebi night market

Shorts, t-shirts, and sneakers are pretty much the summer in Korea uniform.

Cotton is not actually the best fabric to wear for a Korean summer because it holds moisture, and well… it’s damn humid. You’ll feel much more comfortable in linens or technical fabrics designed to wick sweat.

If you’re shopping in Korea, check Uniqlo for their Airism line, which is designed specifically to deal with the hot, muggy climate.

summer in korea | Yeonmisan Nature Art Park

Yes, we are sweating, despite wearing Airism clothing. At least it dries quickly.

People walk A LOT here, so comfortable sandals or light sneakers are recommended. To best deal with rain and slippery streets, I live in either Crocs type sandals or my Loom waterproof sneakers.

For women, sleeveless shirts, dresses, and modest tank tops are becoming more and more common, but it’s still best to dress on the conservative side if you don’t want to draw unwelcome attention. For men, going shirtless on city streets is a definite no no in Korea.

summer in korea | hyeopjae beach in jeju

You’ll blend in at the beach most if you wear a rash guard.

When going to the beach, water park or swimming pool, most Koreans are fully covered in rash guards… even the men. You’ll stand out a bit if you choose to wear a bikini or go shirtless, but as long as you’re comfortable, don’t mind the stares.

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Summer in Korea: Essential Info and FAQs

1
When is summer in Korea? The summer months in Korea are June, July, and August.
2
How hot is it in Korea during summer? Summer is the hottest time of year in Korea. Temperatures reach 30°C and humidity and precipitation are at their peak in July and August. There are monsoon rains, and summer is also typhoon season in Korea.
3
What is Korea in summer like? Korean summer is very hot, humid, and wet. Because of the rain and cloud cover, it's the least sunny of Korea's seasons.
4
What is there to do during summer in Korea? You can attend a huge variety of music, culture, and summer festivals, go camping or glamping, visit a mountain stream or water park, learn to surf, or relax in one of the country's many amazing parks. Korea is a peninsula, surrounded by water on 3 sides, so a trip to one of the country's many beaches is always a good idea!

Now you’re all set for a visit to Korea in summer! What awesome summer activities do you have planned for your trip?

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