Our Gangneung Travel Essentials lays out the essential information you need to help you plan your trip to one of the most popular destinations in South Korea. No matter how frequently you travel, some questions will always need answers: What’s the weather like? How can I get from Yangyang International Airport to my hotel? What currency and type of plug do I need?

    We have all these answers plus other basic info about the best time to go, getting there, getting around, and a few useful travel tips. You’ll also learn about the most popular landmarks in Gangneung such as Ojukheon, Seongyojang, and Chamsori Gramophone Museum and Edison Science Museum. It’s all compiled in this Gangneung Travel Essentials. After reading this short and easy-to-read guide, you will be a little more prepared to start your trip to Gangneung, South Korea.

    1

    When is the best time to travel to Gangneung?

    • Gangneung is on the northeast coast of South Korea. It has a humid subtropical climate with an all-year-round average temperature of 13°C.
    • The warmest months in Gangneung are July and August with an average temperature of 24°C, while January is the coldest month with a daily average of 0°C.
    • It rains around 7 days per month from October to February. Rainfall increases between March and June with an average of 9 wet days per month, reaching a peak in the July–August period with up to 15 rainy days per month. Snowfall is often expected between November and March.
    • Summer (June–August) is the peak season in Gangneung. It’s busier, hot, humid, and accommodations rates are higher at this time of the year.
    • The best times to visit Gangneung are in spring and autumn. The April–May and September–October periods are a bit cooler but bring decent weather and more affordable hotel prices than the summer.
    2

    Gangneung basics

    • Plug type: C and F
    • Electricity: 220 V – 60 Hz
    • Currency: South Korean won (₩)
    • International dialing code: +82 33
    • Emergency telephone number: 119 (fire and medical emergency), 112 (police)
    3

    How to get to Gangneung?

    Buses to Gangneung

    The most common way to get to Gangneung is by bus from Seoul. Seoul and Gangneung are about 170 km apart and the journey by bus takes about 3 hours. Buses leave from Dong Seoul Bus terminal every 30 to 50 minutes from 6.30 am to 11 pm.

    Trains to Gangneung

    KTX is the main railroad company that serves Gangneung from Seoul and most major cities in South Korea. Tickets are dispensed from automated vending machines in stations. The journey takes a bit more than 2 hours. About 20 daily departures are available between 8 am and 10.30 pm. Although the trip is done faster by train than by bus, buses remain more popular due to their cheaper fares.

    Yangyang International Airport (YNY)

    Yangyang International Airport is a small airport mostly serving domestic flights. It’s 40 km north of Gangneung, as the crow flies, and it’s about a 50-minute drive from downtown.

    Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the airport. Ground transportation options available are as follows:

    • Taxi cab stands are in front of the terminals.
    • A shuttle bus found between Gates 2 and 3 in front of the international terminal can take you to the Yangyang intercity bus terminal. From there, buses to Gangneung are available.
    • Automobile rental agencies are found in Yangyang town center, next to the intercity bus terminal.
    4

    How to get around Gangneung?

    Travel tips

    Gangneung is a rather small town and its center can easily be explored on foot or by bicycle. For longer distances, an efficient bus system is available, as well as taxi cabs.

    Transportation cards in Gangneung

    Using a prepaid transportation card is an easy way of getting around Gangneung using public transportation and taxi cabs. Very popular in South Korea, prepaid cards save you time and money and they entitle you to discounts on bus fares. Note that if you already bought a T-money Card in Seoul, it can also be used in Gangneung. Transportation cards are available in convenience stores – Buy the Way, GS25, and others – and from vending machines inside the bus terminal.

    Traveling by bus in Gangneung

    Gangneung is served by 2 bus companies, Dongjin and Dongshae Sangsa. Over 80 routes, a few of them running until 8.50 pm, cover the town and surrounding neighborhoods. Unfortunately, most buses in Gangneung do not have information written in English at bus stops. Aboard the bus, the announcement of the next destination is also done only in Korean. Fares can be paid in cash – the exact change is required – or with a prepaid transportation card. You exit the bus from the rear door.

    Taking a taxi cab in Gangneung

    Taxi cabs are available just about everywhere in Gangneung. All of them are metered with fares determined by distance and time. Virtually all taxi cabs operating in Gangneung accept cash, credit cards, and prepaid transportation cards.

    • Standard taxi cabs can be easily flagged down on the streets. As most taxi cab drivers do not speak English, having your destination address written in Korean on a piece of paper is a good idea.
    • You can also use the Gangneung Foreigner Tourist Taxi cab Service. This service is a cross between a taxi cab ride and a tour with a guide, as they can be hired for the day. The plus side of these vehicles is their English-speaking drivers. They can be booked at the Tourist Information Center in the Gangneung KTX train station. You’ll need to show your passport and fill in an application form.

    Renting a automobile in Gangneung

    Unless you’re planning on taking long trips outside Gangneung, renting a automobile is not the most recommended option for getting around the city. But if you decide to do so, you must be 21 years old or older and have an international drivers’ license in addition to your foreign drivers’ license of over 1 year.

    Riding a bicycle in Gangneung

    Riding a bike can be a pleasant option for exploring Gangneung on clear days. You can freely explore Gangneung and its surrounding neighborhoods, and you can also find popular cycling route maps online. Bike rental shops include Bike Story (+82 (0)10-4212-6078), Cherry Bike (+82 (0)10-4972-7252), and Alton Bike Gangneung Dealership (+82 (0)33-641-3311), among others.

    5

    What are the main annual events in Gangneung?

    Gyeongpo Cherry Blossom Festival

    • April
    • This major event celebrating the start of spring takes you on a 4-km-long walk on a path framed by flowering cherry trees. You can make stops at Gyeongpodae Pavilion and in adjacent Gyeongpo Beach for wonderful photo opportunities.
    • Where: Gyeongpo Lake

    Gangneung Danoje Festival

    • June
    • Gangneung Danoje Festival is listed as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity event by UNESCO. Held since the early 17th century, it pays tribute to the Taebaek Mountain Range deities through traditional music, oral narrative poetry, and other performances.
    • Where: Gangneung

    Gyeongpo Summer Festival

    • August
    • Held for the first time in 1992, Gyeongpo Summer Festival presents many fun and exciting things to see and do. These range from K-pop concerts and art exhibitions to sand sculpture contests and beach volley tournaments.
    • Where: Gyeongpo Beach
    6

    What are the main landmarks in Gangneung?

    Ojukheon

    Ojukheon is a historic site near Gyeongpo Lake where artist Shin Saimdang and philosopher Yulgok Yi I were born. The name Ojukheon means “the house of black bamboo”. The complex is also home to Yulgok Memorial Hall, the Municipal Museum, and a beautiful, expansive park.

    Seongyojang

    Seongyojang is an upper-class, 99-room residential complex from the Joseon era, near Ojukheon. Rich traditional Korean architectural features are on display within the complex. The grounds are neatly landscaped, offering plenty of opportunities for photos and relaxing walks.

    Chamsori Gramophone & Edison Science Museums

    The Chamsori Gramophone Museum and Edison Science Museum near Gyeongpo Lake are among the largest private museums in South Korea. The Edison Science Museum is dedicated to the namesake inventor, while the Chamsori Gramophone Museum focuses on audio-related exhibits.

    Hourglass Park

    Hourglass Park served as a filming location for the K-drama, Sandglass, which had such high national viewership ratings back in 1995. You can find the Jeongdongjin Time Museum, railbikes, and a massive hourglass statue that's illuminated at night here.

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