So you are staying in Seoul for the summer—lucky you!
Forget about the scorching sun, the dry weather, and the oppressing heat, South Korea’s capital offers you a whirlwind of entertainment options fit for all tastes. Pick the one that suits you the most, and you are bound to turn your summer into a magical opportunity to create everlasting memories.
Don’t know where to start? We got your back! Check the best things to do in Seoul this summer, and start getting ready for a life-changing experience.
1. Visit a palace (while wearing a Hanbok!)
If you are visiting Seoul this summer, you cannot miss out on the beauty of the capital city’s historical jewels—The Five Grand Palaces of Seoul.
To make it a genuine Korean experience, make sure to tour the palaces while wearing a traditional hanbok. While the clothing is beautiful and is bound to enhance your experience, it also has an unexpected advantage—entrance to all five palaces is free if you wear one!
Rent it from a couple of hours, and embrace Korean culture.
2. Splash around at the Waterbomb Festival.
Summer equals three things—music, waterparks, and festivals, also known as the ultimate trifecta of a good time during vacations. Seoul takes this to the next level with the Waterbomb Festival, one of the most ingenious, fun, and outright quintessential events for the capital city during July.
The festival features live bands and DJs playing as water splashes all around the attendees—who pick a team and engage in deadly water gun fights!
This year it’ll take place on July 20 and 21—if you are lucky enough to be in the city during those dates, buy a ticket and enjoy a peak summer experience.
3. Enjoy the best music!
Some of you prefer to enjoy your music without water splashing around, that’s understandable. Luckily, Seoul offers abundant alternatives for all sorts of music lovers, particularly during summer.
While local gigs and musicians are plentiful in most cafés, restaurants, and public spaces, you can also opt for more elaborate music festivals. This year offers two popular options for Electronic Dance Music (EDM) lovers—5tardium and Ultra Korea, both taking place in June. A must for fans of the genre!
4. Have fun in Lotte World.
Lotte World is a recreation complex and an iconic location of South Korea, featuring the world's largest indoor theme park. In other words, a stop you don’t want to miss if you are a fan of all things entertaining and amusing—and we sure hope you are!
Not a fan of rollercoasters? Do not worry— this is not a simple theme park.
Beyond the indoors location, Lotte World also has an outdoor amusement park, a luxury hotel, shopping malls, sports centers, and even an ice skating rink, ideal to escape the heat!
5. Explore Insa-dong.
Soak in Korean culture and rescue the most beautiful of its artistic expressions by exploring Insa-dong, located at the heart of Seoul.
Consisting of the main street and multiple alleys, you are bound to find multiple galleries, restaurants, cafés, teahouses, and miscellaneous hubs brimming with art and cuisine—a glimpse of Korean culture, whether traditional or contemporary.
Make sure to visit during the weekends—on Saturdays and Sundays traffic is forbidden, so you are free to explore it to your heart’s content.
6. Discover 63 Square.
Measuring over 249 meters, 63 Square is one of Seoul’s most distinctive buildings and a must for every tourist—and local.
Its 63 floors feature entertainment and dining options suited for everyone’s tastes. One of the most popular summer destinations is Aqua Planet 63, an aquarium presenting otter shows, corals, aquatic flora, and live mermaid shows. Equally renowned is 63 Art, an art gallery and observatory.
63 Square also introduces plenty of restaurants and meal options. Korean, Japanese, European and global cuisine gather together in high-class restaurants that provide delicious meals and an excellent view of Seoul.
7. Go to one of Seoul’s themed cafés.
If staying outdoors under the scorching sun is far too strenuous for you, why not spend some time visiting some of Seoul's themed cafés?
While cafés are widespread at the capital city, the broad variety of options has led to a phenomenon intrinsically Korean—coffee shops centered on a unique gimmick, be it Hello Kitty, animal farms and nature, or maybe even bathrooms and bodily functions.
While unconventional, they make for a fantastic afternoon and a memorable experience.
8. Cool down at the Cheonggyecheon stream.
As you may have seen, there is a lot to do in Seoul during the summer.
However, you have to be careful—the hot weather is bound to catch up on your busy agenda if you don't freshen up, and there's no better place to do so than by the Cheonggyecheon stream.
This artificial stream extends for over 11 km and features over 22 bridges. During hot summer days, it becomes a meeting spot to soak tired feet and enjoy a fresh breeze next to cultural displays and charming cafés.