Gangneung is the largest coastal city in Gangwon Province and the third largest in the country. This said stunning beaches are the biggest draws of the area. Museums and cafes are also waiting to be explored. This city is so beautiful, many K-dramas and movies have been filmed here.
Getting to Gangneung from Seoul
South Korea has an extensive public transportation system, so you can travel around the country via trains and buses. Getting the T-Money card will save you time as it not only works as a transportation card, but it can also be used in selected stores.
You can take a bus from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal located in Gangbyeon Station (Subway Line 2) to Gangneung. The average bus fare for adults is about 20,000 won and the ride takes 2 hours and 20 minutes.
With the high-speed KTX, you can get to Gangneung from Seoul in two hours. A standard ticket in economy class costs roughly 27,600 won. You can purchase tickets from Korail.
It takes approximately two hours and 23 minutes to drive from Seoul to Gangneung. The two cities are 218KM apart. There are rest stops along the way where you can take a break.
Things to Do in Gangneung
1. Chodang Dubu Village
As with its name, Chodang Dubu Village is a food street of restaurants serving dubu (tofu) dishes. Though the street of over 20 restaurants sells dubu, you’ll find that each restaurant has its unique take on it. Moreover, saltwater from the East Sea is used to create the famed tofu that is said to be lighter than commercial tofu. Chodang Dubu Village is named after a famous family of poets.
Address: 99, Chodangsundubu-gil
2. Jumunjin Bus Stop (BTS Bus Stop)
Featured on BTS’s “You Never Walk Alone” album cover, this coastal bus stop serves as a photo spot for BTS fans. In addition, the beach where the bus stop is located is a popular summertime attraction for families. Expect calm waves, clear waters, and a pleasant scent from the pine forest nearby.
Address: 210, Jumunbuk-ro, Jumunjin-eup
3. Juminjin Fish Market
Jumunjin Fish Market was founded in 1936 and is situated in Gangneung next to Jumunjin Port, home to a large fleet of squid boats. It is the largest seafood market on the east coast and includes a dried seafood market and a sashimi center. The market is a favorite among both Koreans and international visitors.
Market specialties include a variety of fresh seafood caught on the east coast such as squid, mackerel, pollacks, pikes, and crabs. At the market, visitors can purchase these items (and a number of dried seafood products) at inexpensive prices, as well as get a taste of fresh, delicious sashimi.
Address: 4-1, Sijang 1-gil
4. Yeongjin Beach
You might recognise this beach if you’ve watched the drama “Guardian: The Lonely and Great God” because it’s where the leads met for the first time. Relax as you stroll down the beach with the waves crashing in the background. Grab a drink and chill out at a cafe along the beach.
Address: 1609, Haean-ro
5. Haslla Art World
Be part of the artwork at Hasllla Art World. If your idea of museums are paintings on a wall, you’ll certainly change your mind at this interactive museum. There are entire floors of stunning photozones. You could probably take an entire years’ worth of photos and videos here. What’s more, the entire museum is built on a cliff that overlooks the beautiful Gangwon coast.
Address: 1441 Yulgok-ro, Gangdong-myeon
Operating Hours: Daily, 9am to 6pm
6. Arte Museum
Awaken your artistic side at Arte Museum. Ever since it opened in December 2021, it has become one of Gangneung’s most popular attractions. Korea’s largest immersive media art exhibition is located by Gyeongpo Lake. The 4,975 sqm museum houses 13 media artworks that reflect the Eternal Nature theme. A visit to Arte Museum is a completely immersive experience that engages the five senses.
Address: 505-4, Chodang-dong
Operating hours: Daily, 10am to 8pm (Last Admission at 7pm)
7. Heonhwa-ro Coastal Drive
Drive down one of Korea’s most scenic routes. It’s the closest road to the sea and offers incredible views of the vast sea, white sand beaches and coastal cliffs. In fact, the sea is so close that the waves often splash onto the road.
Address: Heonhwa-ro, Simgok-ri
Unlimited 4G/LTE SIM Card
Did someone say unlimited data? YES! This SIM card ensures that you’ll never be stuck in a situation where your TikTok vid stops uploading the moment you leave a place with free WiFi.
Regardless of whether you have zero sense of direction or a pro at finding your way around, you’ll needKakao Map. Apart from finding the shortest route (no time to waste!) to your destination, it also lets you discover nearby restaurants and attractions.
Gangneung Tour Smart Guide
You’ll need the Gangneung Tour Smart Guide (App Store/Google Play), a free guide app developed by the Gangneung City Government. Use this to plan your itinerary. You can enter the number indicated on tourist sites into the app to trigger an audio guide.
Be sure to visit Gangneung and see what this beautiful coastal city has to offer.
Bonus Trip Idea: Strawberry Picking
Looking for more unique experiences for your trip to South Korea? Why not try strawberry picking? This day tour takes you to an organic farm near Seoul, so you can have a taste of some of the sweetest strawberries in the country!
Featured images via gangneung.go.kr and KKday