26th September 2023

12 Best Things to Do in Gangneung, South Korea You Can’t Miss (2023)

Looking for the best things to do in Gangneung? If so, we’ve got you covered in this blog post.

From our past experience of leading group trips here, we can assure you that Gangneung is a treasure trove of enchantment waiting to be explored.

Get ready to embark on an epic journey through this coastal haven, where history, nature, and art blend seamlessly to create unforgettable experiences.

So, join us as we dive into the best things to do in Gangneung, and get ready to be swept away by the magic of this captivating South Korean gem!

5 Facts about Gangneung

  • Located on South Korea’s eastern coast.
  • Known for its stunning beaches and picturesque coastal landscapes.
  • Home to historical sites like Ojukheon House and Gyeongpodae Pavilion.
  • Offers a rich cultural heritage and vibrant local food scene.
  • Surrounded by natural wonders, including Seoraksan National Park.

Best Things to Do in Gangneung

1. Discover Ojukheon House

Immerse yourself in history at Ojukheon House, the birthplace of the illustrious Confucian scholar, Yulgok Yi I. Serenely situated amid lush gardens and age-old trees, this living relic transports visitors to the 16th century, adorned with intricate wooden architecture and tranquil courtyards.

Spring and autumn add a magical touch, enveloping the site in cherry blossoms and vibrant foliage, making it the perfect time to visit this cultural treasure.

  • Location: 24 Ojukheon-gil, Gangneung, Gangwon-do, South Korea.
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring and Autumn.
  • Famous For: Birthplace of Confucian scholar Yulgok Yi I and traditional Korean architecture.

2. Learn About Local History At Gangneung Municipal Museum

Unravel the captivating tapestry of Gangneung’s past at the Gangneung Municipal Museum. This repository of history and culture beckons travelers year-round with its engaging exhibits and artifacts.

Delve into the intriguing stories of legendary figures, folklore, and the profound impact of this coastal region on Korean heritage. Visitors of all ages can revel in the museum’s interactive displays, making it an educational and entertaining experience for everyone.

  • Location: 117, Ojukheon-ro, Gangneung, Gangwon-do, South Korea.
  • Best Time to Visit: All Year Round.
  • Famous For: Exhibits showcasing Gangneung’s rich history and cultural heritage.

3. Take In The Beauty Of Jumunjin Breakwater

Indulge in nature’s captivating spectacle at Jumunjin Breakwater, a picturesque spot where the vastness of the East Sea meets rugged coastal rocks. Let the rhythmic crashing of waves serenade your senses as you stroll along the winding breakwater.

This idyllic setting, blessed with awe-inspiring sunrise views, beckons photographers and dreamers alike, offering a glimpse of heaven touching the earth.

  • Location: Jumunjin Breakwater, Gangneung, Gangwon-do, South Korea.
  • Best Time to Visit: Early mornings for enchanting sunrise views.
  • Famous For: Stunning coastal scenery and mesmerizing sunrise vistas.

4. Taste Local Delicacies At Jungang Market

Embark on a culinary adventure at Jungang Market, a bustling hub brimming with an array of delectable treats. Savor the tantalizing flavors of traditional Korean dishes, fresh seafood caught just off the coast, and a myriad of delightful street food options.

Let the scents of simmering stews and savory pancakes guide your appetite, leaving you with a gastronomic experience to cherish.

  • Location: Jungang Market, Gangneung, Gangwon-do, South Korea.
  • Best Time to Visit: All Year Round.
  • Famous For: A vibrant food scene and an abundance of fresh seafood delights.

5. Explore Gyeongpodae Pavilion

Unveil the breathtaking charm of Gyeongpodae Pavilion, perched gracefully beside the serene Gyeongpo Lake. This historic pavilion, encircled by a lush canopy of trees, offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

As the sun sets over the horizon, the pavilion transforms into a haven of tranquility, inviting visitors to relish the beauty of dusk.

  • Location: Gyeongpodae Pavilion, Gangneung, Gangwon-do, South Korea.
  • Best Time to Visit: Evening for a mesmerizing sunset experience.
  • Famous For: Spectacular views of Gyeongpo Lake and the surrounding natural beauty.

6. Wander Through Anmok Coffee Street

For the coffee connoisseur, Anmok Coffee Street is a haven of aromatic delights. Set against the backdrop of the East Sea, this charming street boasts an assortment of cozy cafes and artisanal coffee roasters.

Sip on expertly crafted brews while the gentle sea breeze and soothing sounds of crashing waves create a sensory symphony like no other.

  • Location: Anmok Coffee Street, Gangneung, Gangwon-do, South Korea.
  • Best Time to Visit: All Year Round.
  • Famous For: A vibrant coffee culture and a stunning coastal ambiance.

7. Visit Jeongdongjin Beach

Embrace the serenity of Jeongdongjin Beach, a tranquil oasis blessed with breathtaking sunrise vistas. Nestled between azure waters and rugged cliffs, this pristine beach offers a serene escape from the bustling world.

Witness the magical moment when the sun emerges from the horizon, painting the sky with a kaleidoscope of colors, and feel the gentle caress of the sea breeze on your skin.

  • Location: Jeongdongjin Beach, Gangneung, Gangwon-do, South Korea.
  • Best Time to Visit: Early mornings for captivating sunrise views.
  • Famous For: Picturesque beach setting and enchanting sunrise scenes.

8. Hike At Seoraksan National Park

Embark on an exhilarating adventure at Seoraksan National Park, a majestic wilderness teeming with natural wonders. Towering peaks, dense forests, and cascading waterfalls create a breathtaking backdrop for hikers and nature enthusiasts.

Choose from a myriad of trails catering to various skill levels and immerse yourself in the raw beauty of this protected sanctuary.

  • Location: Seoraksan National Park, Gangneung, Gangwon-do, South Korea.
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring and Autumn for pleasant weather and vibrant foliage.
  • Famous For: Majestic peaks, rich biodiversity, and awe-inspiring hiking trails.

9. Experience The Chamsil (Nongoldam) Trail

Escape to the secluded tranquility of the Chamsil Trail, also known as Nongoldam, where verdant mountains embrace the shimmering sea. Meander along this coastal path, relishing the sounds of nature and the soothing rhythm of waves.

Be mesmerized by the harmony of land and water as you bask in the solitude of this hidden gem.

  • Location: Chamsil Trail (Nongoldam), Gangneung, Gangwon-do, South Korea.
  • Best Time to Visit: All Year Round.
  • Famous For: Serene coastal hike and immersive nature experience.

10. Enjoy A Day At Haslla Art World

Indulge your senses in the art and nature fusion at Haslla Art World, an open-air gallery set amidst breathtaking landscapes. Marvel at a collection of sculptures and art installations that harmonize with the surroundings.

Let creativity ignite your spirit as you roam through this captivating sanctuary where art and nature intertwine in perfect harmony.

  • Location: Haslla Art World, Gangneung, Gangwon-do, South Korea.
  • Best Time to Visit: All Year Round.
  • Famous For: Unique outdoor art installations and a scenic art-filled escape.

11. Relax At Sacheon Beach

Unwind and rejuvenate at Sacheon Beach, a hidden gem offering serenity and seclusion. Find solace on the sandy shores, take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters, or simply soak up the sun while gazing at the azure horizon.

Sacheon Beach offers a tranquil respite for those seeking a peaceful escape.

  • Location: Sacheon Beach, Gangneung, Gangwon-do, South Korea.
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring and Summer for pleasant weather and beach activities.
  • Famous For: Serene and secluded beach setting.

12. Marvel At Odaesan Woljeongsa Temple

Unravel the spiritual charm of Odaesan Woljeongsa Temple, nestled amidst the serene Odaesan Mountain. Admire the intricate architecture of this ancient Buddhist temple, which exudes a sense of tranquility.

Let the temple’s surroundings, encompassed by lush forests, invite you to embrace moments of peace and introspection.

  • Location: Odaesan Woljeongsa Temple, Gangneung, Gangwon-do, South Korea.
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring and Autumn for pleasant weather and vibrant natural beauty.
  • Famous For: Ancient Buddhist temple and serene mountain setting.

Best Time to Visit Gangneung

The best time to visit Gangneung is during the spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November) seasons. During these periods, the weather is pleasant, with mild temperatures and less rainfall.

Spring brings cherry blossoms and vibrant blooms, while autumn adorns the region with breathtaking fall foliage, making it an ideal time for sightseeing, outdoor activities, and exploring the city’s natural beauty.

How to Get to Gangneung

  • By Air: The nearest airport is Yangyang International Airport (YNY), located about 50 kilometers away from Gangneung. You can take domestic flights to Yangyang Airport from major cities in South Korea and then use local transportation to reach Gangneung.
  • By Train: Gangneung is connected to Seoul by the high-speed KTX train, making it a popular option for travelers. The KTX train journey takes around 2.5 to 3 hours from Seoul to Gangneung, providing a comfortable and efficient mode of transportation.
  • By Bus: There are regular intercity buses operating from major cities in South Korea to Gangneung. The bus journey offers an affordable option and allows you to enjoy scenic views along the way.

Where to Stay in Gangneung

1. Sun Cruise Resort and Yacht: Experience a unique stay at Sun Cruise Resort and Yacht, a distinctive hotel designed like a cruise ship overlooking the East Sea. Enjoy breathtaking ocean views from the comfortable rooms and indulge in various amenities like restaurants, a sky lounge, and even a mini-golf course.

2. Gyeongpoen Hanok Guesthouse: Immerse yourself in traditional Korean charm at Gyeongpoen Hanok Guesthouse. Nestled in a tranquil neighborhood, this beautifully restored hanok offers cozy rooms and a warm ambiance. Guests can savor homemade Korean breakfast and relish the serene surroundings.

3. Holiday Inn Resort Alpensia Pyeongchang: For those seeking a blend of luxury and nature, the Holiday Inn Resort Alpensia Pyeongchang is an excellent choice. Located near Gangneung, this resort boasts modern rooms, a spa, and easy access to the Alpensia Ski Resort and scenic countryside.

Where to Eat in Gangneung

1. Chodang Soon Tofu: Indulge in the rich flavors of Korean cuisine at Chodang Soon Tofu, renowned for its delectable soft tofu stew. Served piping hot with an array of mouthwatering side dishes, this restaurant offers a comforting and satisfying dining experience.

2. Gangneung Sikdang: For a taste of local favorites, head to Gangneung Sikdang, a beloved eatery serving authentic Gangneung-style dishes. From savory seafood pancakes to hearty bibimbap, this restaurant offers a delightful journey through the city’s culinary delights.

3. Gyeongpodae Sikdang: Situated near the iconic Gyeongpodae Pavilion, Gyeongpodae Sikdang delights diners with its stunning lake views and delicious seafood dishes. Feast on fresh catches from the East Sea, prepared with skill and finesse, making it a must-visit for seafood enthusiasts and scenic dining seekers alike.

Travel Tips & Suggestions

  • Visit Gangneung during the spring or autumn seasons for pleasant weather and beautiful natural scenery.
  • Explore local markets like Jungang Market to savor authentic Korean dishes and fresh seafood.
  • Take a relaxing stroll along Anmok Coffee Street, enjoying a cup of coffee with a view of the East Sea.
  • Plan a sunrise visit to Jeongdongjin Beach for an unforgettable and mesmerizing experience.
  • Don’t miss the opportunity to hike in Seoraksan National Park and immerse in the region’s breathtaking landscapes.
  • Experience traditional Korean culture at Ojukheon House and Gyeongpodae Pavilion, two significant historical sites.
  • Consider staying at unique accommodations like Sun Cruise Resort and Yacht for an exceptional stay.

Conclusion – Best Things to Do in Gangneung

In conclusion, Gangneung beckons with its irresistible charm, offering a delightful blend of history, nature, and cultural treasures. From exploring the birthplace of Confucian scholar Yulgok Yi I at Ojukheon House to savoring fresh seafood delights at Jungang Market, this coastal haven leaves every traveler enamored.

Bask in stunning sunrise views at Jeongdongjin Beach and hike amidst the majestic beauty of Seoraksan National Park. Whether you seek serene moments by the Gyeongpo Lake or an art-filled escape at Haslla Art World, Gangneung promises an unforgettable adventure with the best things to do in Gangneung!

FAQs – Best Things to Do in Gangneung

What are the best attractions in Gangneung?

Explore Ojukheon House, the birthplace of Confucian scholar Yulgok Yi I, and the iconic Gyeongpodae Pavilion with stunning lake views. Don’t miss the captivating sunrise at Jeongdongjin Beach and the serene hiking trails in Seoraksan National Park.

Where can I taste the local flavors in Gangneung?

Head to Jungang Market for a food adventure, trying traditional Korean dishes and fresh seafood delights. Enjoy the coastal ambiance at Anmok Coffee Street while sipping on delicious brews.

What are some unique experiences in Gangneung?

Stay at Sun Cruise Resort and Yacht for memorable lodging like a cruise ship. Immerse in art and nature at Haslla Art World, an outdoor gallery amidst breathtaking landscapes.

How can I get to Gangneung?

You can take domestic flights to Yangyang International Airport or hop on the high-speed KTX train from Seoul. Inter-city buses and self-driving options are also available.

What is the best time to visit Gangneung?

Visit during spring or autumn for pleasant weather and vibrant natural beauty. These seasons offer cherry blossoms, fall foliage, and captivating views.

Which historical sites should I visit in Gangneung?

Discover the rich heritage at Ojukheon House and Gyeongpodae Pavilion, showcasing traditional Korean architecture and cultural significance.

Are there any secluded beaches in Gangneung?

Yes, head to Sacheon Beach for a tranquil and secluded retreat by the sea. Enjoy the serene atmosphere and crystal-clear waters away from the crowds.

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