Guides + Tips Summer in Korea

Summer Delights in Seoul: Top Things to Do and Essential Tips for a Memorable Season

Summer in Seoul can be hot and humid, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors all day. The city is filled with fun and exciting activities that will keep you cool and entertained all summer long. Whether you’re looking to explore the great outdoors or indulge in some delicious summer treats, Seoul has something for everyone. Here are our top picks for the best things to do in Seoul during the hotter months.

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    But before we jump right into the fun to-do list, it’s important to know what to expect in terms of weather and how to prepare for it. 

    What’s the Weather Like During Summer in Seoul?

    Summer in Seoul typically lasts from June to early September, with temperatures averaging around 28-30°C (82-86°F) during the day. However, temperatures can reach up to 35°C (95°F) on the hottest days, so it’s important to stay hydrated and take breaks in air-conditioned areas. Humidity levels can also be high, making it feel even hotter outside. You can expect occasional rain showers or thunderstorms, but they usually don’t last long and can provide relief from the heat. Although it isn’t the best time to visit the city, many popular tourist spots can still be crowded during this time due to the many outdoor events and festivals taking place.

    So, now you know how hot Seoul can be during this time of year, are you ready to beat the heat and explore the city this summer? Check out our list of fun and refreshing activities to make the most of the season!

    Things to Do During Summer in Seoul

    Cool Down with Patbingsu

    There’s no better dessert for beating the heat in Seoul than a refreshing bowl of Patbingsu (팥빙수)! This popular Korean dessert is a summer staple, and there are countless variations to try. From classic red bean and fruit flavors to modern takes with matcha or chocolate, you’re sure to find a Patbingsu that hits the spot.

    Highly recommended cafes serving Patbingsu:

    • Any Sulbing (설빙) chain stores [link]
    • Damkkot Famille Branch [map]
    • Patkkochnamu Shinsegae Dept. Store Gangnam Branch [map]
    • Meal Top Newcore Outlet Gangnam Branch [map]
    • Dongbinggo Main Branch [map]
    Picnic by the Han River

    The Han River is one of Seoul’s most iconic landmarks, and during the summer months, it becomes a popular spot for picnics and other fun outdoor activities. There are many parks along the river where you can rent a mat or bring your own and enjoy a relaxing afternoon with friends and family. You can also rent bicycles and ride along the bike path that runs alongside the river.

    Highly recommended picnic places by the Han River:

    Dipping Feet in Streams

    Seoul boasts a remarkable abundance of waterways, making it one of its most captivating attributes. Flowing amidst the bustling clusters of buildings and towering skyscrapers are enchanting streams, predominantly derived from tributaries of the Han River. These streams have been carefully preserved to provide visitors with serene vistas and a tranquil ambiance. Particularly during the scorching summer months, they transform into idyllic sanctuaries, offering respite from the city’s sweltering heat and humidity.

    Highly recommended streams in Seoul:

    • Cheonggyecheon | 청계천 [map]
    • Jungnangcheon | 중랑천 [map]
    • Yangjaecheon | 양재천 [map]
    • Dorimcheon | 도림천 [map]
    • Anyangcheon | 안양천 [map]
    Indulge in Samgyetang (Ginseng Chicken Soup)

    Summer is the season for Samgyetang (삼계탕), a traditional Korean dish made with a whole chicken stuffed with rice, garlic, and ginseng. This dish is believed to help cool the body down during the hot summer months and is a popular dish among Koreans. Many restaurants in Seoul specialize in Samgyetang, and it’s a must-try dish if you’re visiting during the summer.

    Highly recommended places for Samgyetang

    • Naerim Homemade Chicken Soup Yeoksam Branch [map]
    • Yaksu Hanbang Chicken Soup [map]
    • Apgujeong Yeongyang Center [map]
    • Jin Abalone Chicken Soup Main Branch [map]
    • Tosokchon Chicken Soup [map]
    Enjoy Summer Flowers

    During the summer season, Seoul comes alive with an exquisite array of blossoms adorning its numerous parks and gardens. From the captivating lotus festival held in August to the enchanting orange trumpet vines and vibrant cosmos flowers that grace the landscape in September, the city offers a myriad of beautiful distractions to help you escape the scorching heat. Discover the best locations in the city to witness these stunning floral displays in this informative post.

    Embrace the Thrills of Han River Water Sports

    If you have a passion for water sports, the Han River presents an exciting array of activities throughout the summer season. Embark on a thrilling adventure by renting a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard, allowing you to navigate the river at your own pace. Alternatively, join a guided tour that offers a leisurely paddle down the river, providing both guidance and an immersive experience. For those seeking a more relaxed adventure, indulge in the mesmerizing day or night views of the Han River aboard a spacious river cruise. 

    Suggested deals for water activities on the Han River

    Enjoy the city’s summer festival

    Seoul is also known for its lively summer festivals, with events taking place all across the city. One of the most popular festivals is the Water Gun Festival in Sinchon (신촌물총축제), which has been held every July since 2013. This downtown festival features large-scale parades and exciting concerts, but the main attraction is the massive water gun battle that takes place on Yonsei-ro. This festival is perfect for cooling off on a hot summer day while having fun with friends.

    Another popular festival is the Yeowoorak Festival (여우락), which has been heating up the summer every year since 2010. Yeowoorak, which means “Here is our music,” is Korea’s representative national music festival. It brings together some of the country’s best musicians and performers for a week-long celebration of music and culture.

    If you’re looking for a more eclectic mix of arts and culture, the Seoul Fringe Festival (서울프린지페스티벌) is a must-see. It has been held annually every summer since 1998 and is open to artists of all genres, from dance to music and media art. The festival takes place in various locations across the city and features performances, exhibitions, and installations from both local and international artists. It’s a great way to explore the city’s vibrant art scene while enjoying the warm summer weather.

    Dive into Seoul’s Buzzing Café Scene

    Seoul is famous for its lively cafe culture, with cafes scattered throughout every neighborhood. Besides offering cozy corners and delicious caffeinated drinks, they make the perfect escape during the summer months. If you’re up for cafe hopping, popular areas like Hongdae, Garosugil, and Samcheong-dong are a must-visit. You’ll find everything from charming traditional tea houses to trendy cafes that are Instagram-worthy. Don’t miss out on my extensive post that lists all the best cafes in Seoul, so you can plan your ultimate coffee adventure and beat the summer heat in style.

    Make a Splash at Korea’s Fun Water Parks

    Although most of the water parks are located outside of Seoul, many of them offer shuttle buses from the city for easy access. These water parks are a great way to cool off and have fun during the summer months, with attractions such as water slides, wave pools, and lazy rivers. Some popular water parks near Seoul include Caribbean Bay, which is located in the Everland theme park, and Vivaldi Ocean World in Hongcheon, which is an all time favorite water park in Korea. These parks are perfect for a day trip from Seoul, and there are plenty of activities and attractions to keep the whole family entertained.

    More Water Park Selections

    Essential Items for Korea’s Summer

    In addition to the exciting activities that Seoul offers during the summer, it’s important to be equipped with essential items while exploring the city and braving the heat. Make sure to carry these indispensable items to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience throughout your summer adventures in Seoul.

    • Sunscreen: Protect your skin from the strong sun rays by applying sunscreen with a high SPF. Reapply every few hours, especially if you are sweating or swimming.
    • Sunglasses and hat: These will help shield your eyes and face from the sun, reducing the risk of sunburn and skin damage.
    • Water bottle: It’s essential to stay hydrated in the heat, so carry a refillable water bottle with you at all times. There are many drinking fountains and water stations located throughout the city.
    • Light, breathable clothing: Wear light, breathable clothing such as cotton or linen to stay cool and comfortable in the heat. Avoid dark colors and heavy fabrics.
    • Towel: Carry a small towel or handkerchief to wipe sweat off your face and neck.
    • Portable fan or handheld misting device: These are great for keeping cool while waiting in line or walking around in the heat.
    • Snacks: Pack some snacks such as energy bars or fruits to keep you fueled and energized throughout the day.

    By carrying these essential items, you can ensure a comfortable and enjoyable exploration of Seoul during the hot summer.

    So there you have it, the top things to do in Seoul during the summer! From cooling down with Patbingsu to participating in summer festivals, Seoul is a great place to be during the warmer months. So pack your sunscreen, grab your friends, and enjoy all that this amazing city has to offer!

    Places Mentioned in This Post

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