Guest post By Jason Yu
Summer in Korea is pretty awesome. There’s a lot to do during the summer months. Between the many festivals, music DJ concerts, and places to bike, there’s a lot you can indulge yourself in. Below are 13 events and places you can do during the summer here in Korea.
Just be warned though. Korea’s pretty hot during the summer, so stay cool and bring water.
1) Han River (Seoul)
If you ever visit Seoul, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll pass along the Han River by subway or bus. The Han River is popular for running, biking, and water sports during the summer. Many people also go here for picnics, dates, and to take the family out. If you’re into free (or relatively inexpensive) strolls along the river, Han River will be up your alley.
Where: All along Seoul
2) Everland (Gyeonggi-do)
About an hour away from Gangnam in Seoul, Everland is basically Korea’s Disneyland. Who needs Mickey Mouse and crew when you can ride on a camel here? The amusement park is divided into five sections: Global Fair, Zoo-Topia, European Adventure, Magic Land and American Adventure. And much like it’s Disneyland counterpart, there’s a slew of rollercoasters, drops, and rides to go on. In the summer season, live DJs and singers often come out for an Everland concert.
Just be warned, there’s a ton of kids on the weekend.
3) Ultra Korea (Seoul)
Are you into electronic dance music (EDM) and DJ scene? If you wanna get your EDM on, you can’t go wrong with Ultra Korea. With a slew of DJs coming from Europe, the US, Japan, and Korea, you’ll easily find a DJ or eight you like. Ultra Korea is a two day event of craziness, beer, and music all rolled into one.
Where: Usually Jamsil Stadium, Seoul
When: 2nd week of June
4) R-16 (Seoul)
Ever seen the “Step Up” movies and go “damn, I wish I could do those b-boy (breakdance) moves!” Even if you’re not a b-boy or b-girl, you can still go out and watch some of the best performers at R-16. R-16 stands for “respect” and the championships, held in Seoul, features the top 16 teams from around the world. The three types of dance include popping, locking, and b-boy. Korea has some of the finest b-boy crews out there, so prepare to be impressed.
Where: Usually Olympic Park, Seoul for the world championships. Gyeonggi-do for the nationals.
When: 1st week of July
5) K-pop concerts (Seoul)
If K-pop and idols are your thing, summer is one of the best times to be in Seoul. Many K-pop groups release their summer albums, and thus, want to promote them shortly after. And what better way to promote it than having a concert. Going to a concert live is an experience all on its own, as the fan chants, cheering, glow sticks, singing will be seen.
Seeing all the preparation of a concert, the choreography, the skits, and dancing non-stop also makes you appreciate how crazy it must be to become a K-pop star.
Where: Usually Olympic Park, Seoul
When: All throughout summer
Site: Ticket Interpark
6) Halla Mountain (Jeju)
Many Koreans say to visit Jeju Island for good reason. Jeju is a beautiful place to visit, especially during the summer. One of places to visit is Halla Mountain, the highest mountain in Korea. It has many hiking trails and are less than 10 km long. Just be careful hiking here, as it can get crazy windy.
Where: Jeju Island
7) Ansan Rock Festival (Ansan)
Rock festivals are all the rage in the summer. The Ansan Rock Festival is a three-day event, as attendees can sleep there. The event invites some of the most known rock, folk, and indie bands from not only Korea, but Europe, the US, and Japan.
Where: Ansan (about an hour to an hour and a half from Seoul)
When: Last week of July
8) Pentaport Rock Festival (Incheon)
Much like the Ansan Rock Festival, the Pentaport Rock Festival is the other big rock festival during the summer. The concert invites over 60 bands to check out. Since the festival is hosted in Incheon, you can also check out the port city during your time at Pentaport.
Where: Incheon (about an hour away from Seoul)
When: First week of August
9) Haeundae Beach (Busan)
If you’re into the beaches, sand, water, and seeing beach bodies, it’s all about Haeundae Beach in Busan. While Busan does have more beaches than just Haeundae, this beach has a fun, vibrant, crazy feel during the hot, summer months. The Haeundae area, with its bars, aquarium, and hotels, are awesome as well.
When: Anytime, but July – August is recommended
10) Buyeo Seodong Lotus Festival (Buyeo-gun, Chungcheongnam-do)
To see some of Korea’s natural beauty, this lotus festival is where it’s at. The performance of Prince Seodong and Princess Seonhwa is the most famous event at the festival. While you’re here, do check outthe face painting, drinking lotus tea, and making soap.
When: 2nd to 3rd week of July
11) Boryeong Mud Festival (Boryeong)
The event that brings out probably the most international attendees, the Boryeong Mud Festival is all about playing with mud. Mud wrestling, mud sliding, and mud swimming are all fair game at the event. You can even get a mud message, if wrestling with your fellow attendee isn’t your cup of tea. During all these mud festivities, music can be heard in the background, while fireworks are shot later at night.
Where: Boryeong, Chungcheongnam-do
When: mid-July (10 days)
12) Pohang International Fireworks Festival (Pohang)
If seeing a beautiful night sky mixed with fireworks is your thing, the Pohang International Fireworks Festival is the event to go. Pohang, the city that the festival takes place in, is known for its coast, beaches, and steel industry. Besides the fireworks show, live concerts and art contests take place during the festival.
When: Last week of July / first week of August
13) Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (Bucheon)
To get your movie on, this film festival will satisfy your cinema needs. As the 2nd largest movie festival, it houses a mix of sci-fi, thriller, horror, and mystery movies. It also promotes not just mainstream films, but independent films as well.
Where: Bucheon (about 20 min. west of Seoul)
When: 3rd week of July to the 4th week of July (about 10 days)
Nice list there, Jason! I’ve been to Buyeo and loved the tombs as well as Sabi there.
There’s lots of stuff to do in and around Jeolla though, and I’d like to put my current digs in Yeosu on the next list! There’s tons of stuff to do here and around, with places like Suncheon and Boseong not far away. If not at the beaches in Yeosu, Suncheon Bay always has something going and Boseong’s Green Tea fields are a glorious way to spend an afternoon.
Korea Burn was a pretty cool festival, also. It’s up near Taean and is officially sanctioned by the Burning Man event in Nevada, USA. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a weekend “away” from Korea.
I’m sure you know about all these places but just wanted to add them on☺ Thanks for sharing this!
Thanks for the comment! Glad you mentioned things to do in Jeolla and Yeosu. I always wanted to check out more of Korea during the summer, so I’ll definitely have to check out your suggestions.
As for Korea Burn, I’ve heard about it, but never been there. It’s pretty cool how Burning Man is now in Korea.
Thanks so much again for your suggestions. Looks like I learned something new again!
howzit my name is lwandile and im from durban south africa.i was thinking about studying in seoul when i graduate,i am black (not black black black) i am brown skinned so i was wondering how Koreans reacted to black people? would they be afraid of me? do they like black people?
You should not care about what they think if you wants to go then go….☺
Thanks for the great ideas of things to do in Korea. I would love to go there and get ideas about new technology and then learn how to patent an idea here in the US. If I plan a trip soon, I’ll let you know.
DMZ worth visiting?
Totally! Very unique experience
This weekend Raw Travel TV (a unique travel show) will be going to Korea. Maybe it gives some cool ideas for what to do in Seoul.
Their website says “SOUTH KOREA – PREMIERES JUN. 2ND & 3RD
Raw Travel explores the magical but modern capital city of Seoul, South Korea and the surrounding areas, including a stop at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) with a peek into North Korea.*Repeats Aug. 25th-26th*’
Thanks for sharing these great ideas of things to do in Korea. I would like to go get ideas about new things, ideas and many things to learn.
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