The best things to do in Sokcho showcase everything that this tranquil seaside destination on South Korea’s East Coast has to offer. One of the northernmost towns on the East Coast, Sokcho is a quaint getaway from the busy streets of Seoul. Being so far removed from the capital gives Sokcho a character that will win you over as soon as you start exploring what’s on offer.

    Getting to Sokcho is effortless, with options for both rail and bus transit available. Buses run directly from the Seoul Express Bus Terminal, while KTX, Korea’s high-speed rail network, runs from Seoul Station to the neighboring coastal town of Gangneung. From here, it takes approximately 45 minutes by either bus or taxi cab to get to Sokcho. Keep reading for a full guide on how to spend your time in this South Korean seaside escape.

    What are the best things to do in Sokcho?

    1

    Sokcho Beach

    Enjoy a stroll along the water’s edge

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Budget
    • Photo

    Sokcho Beach is a pristine coastline that stretches around 2 km in length. Dipping your toes in the refreshing East Sea should be the first thing you do when you arrive in Sokcho, especially considering that the bus terminal is a short hop from the beach entrance.

    One of the best ways to appreciate the beauty of this serene beach is by taking photos of the many sculptures and art installations along the shore. The most popular art piece on the Sokcho beachfront is the colossal statue of a couple in an embrace, which is sure to set the mood for your trip. Cap your visit to Sokcho Beach with a visit to one of the nearby pocha (tent bars), where you can enjoy freshly caught fish and hearty soups.

    Location: 186 Haeoreum-ro, Joyang-dong, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 6 am to midnight

    Phone: +82 (0)33-639-2027

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    2

    Sokcho Eye

    A thrilling attraction offering amazing views of the East Sea

    • Couples
    • Families
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    The Sokcho Eye provides brilliant 360-degree vistas of the East Sea, Sokcho’s town center, and the imposing Seoraksan mountain range. The 6-seater and ultra-modern Ferris capsules reach a height of 65 meters, and a trip takes approximately 15 minutes.

    In true Korean fashion, there is a café on the 1st floor of the Ferris wheel, while a terrace occupies the 4th floor. Located right on the beachfront, this unique location makes the Sokcho Eye one-of-a-kind as far as South Korean attractions go.

    Location: 186-1 Haeoreum-ro, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea

    Open: Monday–Friday from 11 am to 8 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 9 pm, Sunday from 10 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +82 (0)33-632-0090

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    3

    Sinheungsa Temple

    A peaceful escape at the foot of Seoraksan

    • Budget
    • History
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    Sinheungsa is a 1,500-year-old Buddhist temple set in the Seorak National Park. The entrance leads you into the temple courtyard, where you are greeted by daecheong (intricate patterns and inscriptions) adorning the walls and ceilings of this historic shrine.

    Sinheungs Temple is remarkably well-preserved considering it has survived many disasters throughout the centuries. Each of the buildings in the sprawling temple grounds holds a special place in Buddhist tradition and temple stays are hosted here throughout the year. The temple acts as the starting point for hiking trails to the nearby Dalmabong and Sejonbong peaks, making it a great entry point into the vast yet serene Seorak mountain range.

    Location: 1137 Seoraksan-ro, Seorak-dong, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 4 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +82 (0)33-636-7044

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    4

    Yeongrang Lake

    Where water meets mountains

    • Couples
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    • Adventure

    While Yeongrang Lake has always been a prominent Sokcho attraction, the walking path around the lake makes it easier than ever for visitors to experience the beauty of this natural wonder. A floating bridge spanning 400 meters connects 2 sides of the lake and provides striking views of Beombawi.

    Visitors to Yeongrang Lake can choose from 2 walking paths – Course A is a 3.5-km loop while Course B runs for 4.6 km. Both routes are lined with historical monuments and ample seating neighborhoods. Yeongrang Lake is especially picturesque during cherry blossom season, as the trees alongside the lake create a sea of bright pink blooms around late April.

    Location: 600-27 Geumho-dong, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea

    Open: 24/7

    Phone: +82 (0)33-639-2690

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    5

    Yeonggeumjeong Pavilion

    A great spot to capture your East Coast memories

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    The Yeonggeumjeong Pavilion is a prime Sokcho photo spot. Sitting at the end of the Dongmyeong Bridge, this ornate landmark is built on a small outcrop of rocks near the Dongmyeong Harbor.

    Yeonggeumjeong is named for the sounds that waves make when crashing against the rocks, similar to that of the Korean lute. Getting up early to see daybreak at the Yeonggeumjeong Pavilion is a visual feast. The bridge connecting the pavilion to the mainland gets illuminated with artificial lights from sunset onwards.

    Location: 43 Yeonggeumjeong-ro, Dongmyeong-dong, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea

    Open: 24/7

    Phone: +82 (0)33-639-2690

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    6

    Seoraksan

    This striking mountain range will leave you breathless

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Photo

    Seoraksan is the highest peak in the Taebaek mountain range, which is part of the dramatic landscape of Gangwon-do province. A must-see near the base of the mountain is the Great Buddha of Reunification. Standing 14.6 meters, this statue represents the hopes and wishes for a peaceful unification between North and South Korea. Venture a little bit farther and you’ll find Sinheungsa Temple, which was built during the Joseon Dynasty.

    The Seoraksan Cable Automobile can take you to the Gwongeumseong Fortress, which sits at 700 meters above sea level. At the top, an observation deck provides panoramic views of the fortress ruins and the Ulsanbawi rock formations. The area is especially breathtaking when covered in a dusting of white snow during winter.

    Location: 1137 Seoraksan-ro, Seorak-dong, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 6 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +82 (0)33-636-7700

    Map
    7

    Sokcho Fishery Market

    The quintessential Korean seafood market experience

    The Sokcho Fishery Market contains almost every imaginable seafood delicacy under one roof, from freshly caught squid to dried seaweed snacks. Something of an assault on the senses, a visit to the largest fishery market in Sokcho is an experience that every visitor to the city should try.

    You can enjoy a wide range of local street food, such as tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), fried soy sauce chicken, and steamed makgeolli (rice wine) bread. The Sokcho Fishery Market is a great place to immerse yourself in South Korean culture through an authentic culinary experience.

    Location: 16 Jungang-ro 147beon-gil, Jungang-dong, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 9.30 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +82 (0)33-633-3501

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    8

    Cheoksan Hot Spring Recreation Village

    Unwind and relax in soothing waters

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Group

    The Cheoksan Hot Spring Village is built around a 450-metre-deep aquifer that heats water to approximately 50°C. Rich in minerals such as sodium, sulfur and radium, these hot springs are great for soothing and invigorating tired muscles.

    A must-visit is the Foot Bath Park, where you can soak your feet in the warm water for free. If you’d like to stay a bit longer, the Cheoksan Hot Spring Village offers private lodgings with a hot tub in each room – a great option for couples, families or groups.

    Location: 939-7 Nohak-dong, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 5.30 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +82 (0)33-636-4806

    Map
    9

    Sokcho Lighthouse Observatory

    Viewpoint with unobstructed scenes of the Korean East Coast

    • History
    • Photo

    The Sokcho Lighthouse Observatory has been shining a light for ships sailing across the East Sea since 1957. This clifftop landmark offers breathtaking vistas of both the Seoraksan mountain range and the East Sea.

    A rather steep staircase leads to this Sokcho beacon, so it’s a good idea to pace yourself when making your way to the top. The lighthouse has an observation deck containing models and explanations of its function and history. Beyond serving as a tourist attraction, the Sokcho Lighthouse Observatory sends signals to boats as far as 35 km away, making it a vital part of ensuring maritime safety along South Korea’s East Coast.

    Location: 8-28 Yeonggeumjeong-ro 5-gil, Yeongrang-dong, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea

    Open: Hours vary by season

    Phone: +82 (0)33-633-3406

    Map
    10

    Seorak Sunrise Park

    A must-visit spot for enjoying Sokcho’s coastal vistas

    • Couples
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    The Seorak Sunrise Park in Sokcho is a great place to experience the sunrise on South Korea’s East Coast. The park itself contains various sculptures, pathways, and plazas, all of which provide stunning views of daybreak.

    Locally known as Naemulchi Park, it was named by Joseon-era scholar Song Si-yeol after a village submerged by heavy rain. Some of the sculptures, such as the Mermaid Lovers, contain a special backstory. Legend has it that a heartbroken villager pining after his lost maiden sat on a rock waiting for her, only for her to never return.

    Location: 178-9 Daepo-dong, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea

    Open: 24/7

    Phone: +82 (0)33-636-3736

    Map
    Stuart Hendricks | Compulsive Traveler

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