Things to do in Gangneung
Gangneung is a coastal city found in the east coast of South Korea and it’s only 2 hours from Seoul via the KTX, making it a perfect day-trip destination if you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Apart from pristine beaches lined with cafes and restaurants, it’s well-known for housing many traditional markets and being the filming site of BTS’ You Never Walk Alone album and the 2016 hit drama Goblin. We’ve curated a list of 20 places to visit and things to do in Gangneung, so you can plan your day trip itinerary and maximise your day in this city.
But before we dive into all that Gangneung has to offer, here’s a recommended fuss-free way to get from Seoul to Gangneung. The quickest way is to hop on a KTX from Seoul station that’ll bring you all the way to Gangneung station. A one-way trip will take approximately 2 hours and cost KRW20,000-KRW30,000 (~USD16.20-USD24.30). You can check out the timings and make reservations here.
Jumunjin Beach (주문진해변)
Image credit: @ooh.white.eye
While there are many beaches in Gangneung to chill at to get a perfect tan and have a go at various water sports, Jumunjin Beach is probably one of the most popular, for it has many sights, cafes, and restaurants.
Address: 210, Jumunbuk-ro, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea
1. Jumunjin Breakwater
Image credit: tvN/Netflix
Goblin’s cinematography and filming locations left many viewers in awe, and Jumunjin Breakwater is one of the most iconic sites that fans still can’t forget till today.
Image credit: @lego_mimi
Avid fans will remember that this is where Eun-tak and Kim Shin first officially met as she accidentally summoned him, along with a bouquet of buckwheat flowers in his hand, after blowing out the candles from her birthday cake.
Image credit: @izrylwilson
Address: 81-32 Gyohyang-ri, Jumunjin-eup, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea
2. BTS bus stop
Image credit: @bonvinichiara
Ever wondered where to find the bus stop from BTS’ You Never Walk Alone album cover? It’s right here at Jumunjin Beach. Although it’s a replica bus stop specifically set up by the city to serve as a photo spot, it’s still a must-visit location for ardent fans. On top of that, parts of Jimin’s cuts in the Spring Day music video was also filmed on this beach.
Address: 210, Jumunbuk-ro, Jumunjin-eup, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea
3. Chodang Gelato 초당젤라또
Image credit: @ovoot
You might get rather peckish after taking a stroll on the beach and visiting the various filming sights mentioned. While there are many food options along the beach, Chodang Gelato is the place to head to for a quick ice cream fix.
Image credit: @chodanggelato
Not only is it conveniently located right in front of Jumunjin Breakwater, its full-length glass windows make it a good location for those who might want to enjoy the view of the sea, minus inclement weather.
Image credit: @iamcake_macaron
For KRW4,500 (~USD3.70) a scoop, you can choose from a decent spread of flavours such as soondubu (tofu), mugwort, pine nut, black sesame, vanilla, pistachio, yoghurt, and bamboo. To balance out the sweetness, order an americano that’s priced only at KRW3,000 (~USD2.40).
Address: 1605, Haean-ro, Jumunjin-eup, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do
Opening hours: Wed – Mon 10AM-7PM, Closed on Tue
4. Coffee Bada 커피바다
Image credit: @coffeebada__
If a coffee fix is all you need for a midday pick-me-up, check out Coffee Bada. It’s a cafe with a balcony on the edge of the sea, providing a good spot for you to rest and relax with a good brew in one hand.
Image credit: @ahram.ham
The brews here are affordable, with an iced Americano and iced latte going for KRW5,000 (~USD4.10) and KRW5,500 (KRW4.50) respectively. For a popular non-caffeinated drink, try their sea soda (바다소다) – a glass of blue fizzy soda topped with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Address: 2F, 1822 Haean-ro, Jumunjin-eup, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea
Opening hours: 10AM-11PM, Daily
5. Daeyoung Yoo Tong 대영유통
Image credit: @captain5017
Being a coastal city means that you can expect really fresh seafood in Gangneung, one of the must-try seafood restaurants around the beach is Daeyoung Yoo Tong. With a huge crab hung right at its storefront, there’s no prize for guessing what the restaurant is best known for.
Image credit: @uuunji
The restaurant offers a variety of live crabs in their tanks here – from domestic red crab (KRW70,000/kg, ~USD56.90) to highly priced king (KRW80,000/kg, ~USD65) and snow crab (KRW100,000/kg, ~USD81.30). Of course, you can expect to get the freshest catch served to you.
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The best way to enjoy the sweetness of the crabs is to have them steamed, and doing otherwise will earn you looks of disapproval.
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While most seafood restaurants aren’t cheap to begin with, you can be sure to get your money’s worth here. Besides the usual banchan (side dishes) like kimchi and spinach, there’s complimentary ramen, pancake, and even sashimi that come with every crab order.
Tip: Use Naver to make a reservation and you’ll be entitled to a 5% discount.
Address: 312-341 Jumun-ri, Jumunjin-eup, Gangneung, Kangwon-do, South Korea
Opening hours: Mon – Sat 9AM-3AM | Sun 9AM-12AM
6. Gyeongpo Beach
Image credit: @haekeung_travel
Unlike Jumunjin Beach, Gyeongpo Beach is known for its lush pine trees that line the entire length of the beach.
Image credit: @ye_chan___
During the summer, the beach comes to life with lots of water activities such as banana boat rides and jet skiing. If you’re looking for something more relaxing, rent a tube like the locals and head out to the sea.
Image credit: @thesunrise88
And if you’re not a beach bum, Gyeongpo Lake is just around the corner. Here, you can rent a bike or take a relaxing stroll to enjoy the scenery.
Address: 514, Changhae-ro, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea
7. Anmok Beach
Image credit: @ssssong_u
Anmok Beach, on the other hand, is situated right in front of the famous Anmok Coffee Street, where you can find a lot of cafes with an amazing view of the sea. This is practically heaven for those who are looking for a quiet place to chill with a good brew.
Image credit: @gold__royal
Address: Changhae-ro 14beon-gil, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea
8. Charmsori Gramophone & Edison Science Museum 참소리축음기 & 에디슨과학박물관
Image credit: @hujeong_park
Charmsori Gramophone & Edison Science Museum was founded in 1982 and caters to visitors of all ages. The museum houses an impressive collection of vintage gramophones and other famous inventions by Thomas Edison, such as light bulbs and projectors.
Image credit: @bin.yul.mom
But besides those, there’s also a huge collection of old-school items like movie posters, figurines, coffee bean grinders, and pachinko machines on display. Whether you’re an oldie reminiscing about the good ol’ days or a zoomer mesmerised by all these antiques, the museum is sure to keep you occupied.
Image credit: @_.gabixoxo
A trip to the museum is also inexpensive as the entrance fee for adults only costs KRW12,000 (~USD9.80). Tickets for middle and high school students are priced at KRW10,000 (~USD8.10), while children younger than that only have to pay KRW8,000 (~USD6.50).
Address: 393 Gyeongpo-ro, Gyeongpo-dong, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea
Opening hours: 9AM-6PM, Daily
9. Ojukheon House 오죽헌
Image credit: @chaerinnn_
As one of Korea’s oldest traditional houses, the well-preserved Ojukheon House sure has a long history that’s worth checking out.
Image credit: @samantha_kne
Historical figures Shin Saim-dang and Yi Yul-gok used to reside here during the Joseon Dynasty. They’re figures that you’ll come across daily in Korea as Shin Saim-dang’s likeness can be found on the KRW50,000 bill, and Yi Yul-gok on the KRW5,000 bill.
It also doesn’t cost much to explore the grounds as an adult, student, or child ticket will only set you back KRW3,000 (~USD2.50), KRW2,000 (~USD1.60), and KRW1,000 (~USD0.80) respectively.
Note: The ticketing counter closes at 5PM
Address: 24 Yulgok-ro 3139 beon-gil, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea
Opening hours: 9AM-6PM, Daily
10. Seongyojang House 선교장
Image credit: @nyeon_a
Another traditional compound worth a visit is Seongyojang House, which used to be the residence of Lee Nae-beon (1703-1781), who hailed from a noble family in Gangneung. Unlike other traditional houses that have been taken over in the name of national conservation, Lee’s descendants still reside here.
Image adapted from: @mk_ilsang
The lush greenery scattered across the place is well-maintained and you can expect a different scenery with each change of season. You’ll also come across the place’s main feature – a pond filled with lotus flowers.
For a unique overnight experience, Seongyojang House offers a hanok stay in one of the many housing options available on their website here. A night’s stay will cost you KRW70,000 to KRW700,000 depending on the type of accommodation you choose.
Address: 63, Unjeong-gil, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea
Opening hours: 9AM-6PM, Daily
11. Gangneung Coffee Museum
Image credit: @teaarena_studio
Gangneung Coffee Museum may be located outside of the city, but it’s definitely a trip worth making for all coffee lovers out there.
Image adapted from: @teaarena_studio
At KRW8,000 (~USD6.50) for an adult and KRW7,000 (~USD5.70) for both seniors and children, you get to learn more about the coffee-making process as well as its history.
Image credit: @hl2dcz
At this museum, you can even try your hand at various experiences with an additional fee of KRW10,000 each (~USD8.10). A few of the more popular experiences include having a go at roasting your own coffee beans, as well as making your own hand-drip coffee.
Note: Last admission into the museum is at 6PM.
Address: 2171-19, Wangsan-ro, Wangsan-myeon, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do
Opening hours: 10AM-7PM, Daily
12. Kaffe KIWA 카페기와
Image credit: @jjooo_sh
Kaffe KIWA is an old rustic hanok cafe with a charming interior design, tastefully decorated with mismatched furniture and hanging potted plants.
Image adapted from: @sssssu_ng
Don’t be fooled by its run-down exterior because this glasshouse-like cafe opens up to a large space that’s brightly lit with lots of natural light.
Image credit: @limone.life_
The cafe serves classics like cafe latte (KRW4,500, ~USD3.70) and vanilla latte (KRW5,000, ~USD4.10). But for something to cool yourself down with after a long day of sightseeing, we recommend a full-bodied homemade smoothie (KRW6,000, ~USD4.90). They offer various flavours such as strawberry banana, strawberry yogurt, blueberry yogurt, and mango yogurt.
Image credit: @_jiminy
It’ll be a sin to leave Korea without having a bingsu fix. While there’s only two flavours offered here – injeolmi (KRW11,000, ~USD9.00) and black sesame (KRW13,000, ~USD10.60) – you’ll definitely be satisfied with the serving size as well as the generous amount of toppings that come with every bowl.
Image credit: @il.olol__
If you’ve always been a fan of waffle ice cream, try the injeolmi toast with ice cream (KRW6,000, ~USD4.90). It comes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and two slices of thick toasted bread covered in injeolmi powder and almond flakes.
Address: 15 Chodangwon-gil 54beon-gil, Chodang-dong, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea
Opening hours: 10AM-10PM, Daily
13. Owol Coffee 오월커피
Image credit: @chuijoo
Found in the old city center of Gangneung, Owol Coffee operates in a well-preserved old jeoksan gaok (old Japanese house).
Image adapted from: @k_j_soo
This standalone 2-storey wooden house takes on a uniform theme from its exterior to its interior. With simple white walls, contrasting wooden window panes, and stylish furniture, it’s a perfect spot to chill and just soak in the ambience.
Image credit: @simplace_
The menu at Owol Coffee is simple, but a must-try combination is none other than its famous carrot cake (KRW5,000, ~USD4.10) and vanilla einspänner coffee (KRW5,500, ~USD4.50). The latter features an espresso topped off with a layer of whipped cream, which is sure to give you an instant energy boost.
Address: 11-2 Gyeonggang-ro 2046beon-gil, Nammun-dong, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea
Opening hours: 10AM-10PM, Daily
14. Bon Bon Roastery 봉봉방앗간
Image credit: @aramshim
What used to be an old mill has been transformed into a cafe known as Bon Bon Roastery. Little has been done to revamp this old and worn-down exterior, but it’s exactly this shabby-chic charm that draws customers in.
Image credit: @aramshim
The interior of the cafe makes you feel right at home, with exposed concrete walls and no-frills furnishing.
Image credit: @make.a_chance
Hand-drip coffees are known to bring out the best flavours of the coffee beans, and over here, a hot hand-drip coffee costs only KRW5,000 (~USD4.10). To have it cold, you’ll just have to add on KRW500 (~USD0.40).
Image credit: @curious.foodie
There are also options for people who don’t want coffee. Besides a comforting cup of hot choco (KRW5,000, ~USD4.10) and a refreshing lemonade (KRW5,000, ~USD4.10), the cafe also offers nourishing drinks such as herbal tea (KRW4,500, ~USD3.70).
Address: 17-1 Gyeonggang-ro 2024beon-gil, Myeongju-dong, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea
Opening hours: Tue – Sat 11AM-9PM | Sun 11AM-6PM, Closed on Mon
15. Cafe Toenmaru 카페 툇마루
Image credit: @wantyouyul
If there’s a cafe you can’t miss out on your trip to Gangneung, it’s got to be Cafe Toenmaru. This brick building is almost never empty as coffee lovers flock to this cafe for its top-notch brew.
The cafe’s interior screams old-school but the area is expansive and you won’t have to worry about not getting a seat.
Image credit: @_870916_h_
The coffee menu here includes unconventional drinks like coconut latte (KRW5,000, ~USD4.10). But a highly-raved-about drink that keeps customers returning has to be Maru coffee (KRW5,500, ~USD4.50). Unlike your usual caffeinated drinks, this one comes with an interesting mix of cold milk, steamed espresso, and black sesame cream.
For a dessert to accompany your drinks, try the tofu cake (KRW3,000, ~USD2.40). It’s a lighter version of a classic cheesecake – smooth in texture with a fragrant and crumbly biscuit base.
Address: 266-3 Chodang-dong, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea
Opening hours: Wed – Fri 11AM-10PM | Sat 11AM-9PM | Sun & Mon11AM-10PM, Closed on Tue
16. Terarosa Coffee 테라로사 커피
Image credit: @bb___in_323
Terarosa Coffee is a coffee chain, and the outlet at Gangneung is one of the largest. Apart from the cafe, the space also accommodates a museum, an art shop, as well as a restaurant.
The cafe has both indoor and outdoor seating areas.
Image credit: @jjjang_mj
The drink menu here is relatively extensive. If you’re looking for a good brew, choose from their hand-drip options that include Ethiopia Guji Hambeta (KRW6,000, ~USD4.90) and Colombia Juan (KRW5,500, ~USD4.50).
On days when you need something refreshing to perk yourself up, we recommend having the iced hibiscus or apple-beet juice (KRW6,000 each, ~USD4.90).
The cafe also has a bakery that serves good bakes and desserts. Those with a sweet tooth can order a tiramisu (KRW5,500, ~USD4.50) and a panna cotta (KRW7,000, ~USD5.70). However, if you’re hankering for a savoury treat, check out the bread selection which includes options like baguette, sour dough, and croissant.
Image adapted from: @hogisimlife
If you’re still hungry, head to the restaurant within the space.
Image adapted from: @hogisimlife
The restaurant offers affordable mains that are not only tasty but also pleasing to the eyes. Crowd favourites include shakshuka (KRW15,000, ~USD12.20) and gnocchi (KRW21,000, ~USD17.10). But if you’re willing to splurge a little, give their wet aged hanwoo sirloin steak (KRW45,000, ~USD36.60) a try.
Image credit: @jyun__ju
The museum opens from 10AM to 5PM and you can either make an online reservation here or purchase tickets from the ticketing counter. The admission fee is only KRW12,000 (~USD9.80), and you’ll be able to see the process of coffee-making and admire the antique roasters that are on display.
The museum shop also sells unique souvenirs, such as tote bags and coffee mugs, that you can bring home for yourself and your loved ones.
Address: 7, Hyeoncheon-gil, Gujeong-myeon, Gangneung, Gangwon-do, South Korea.
Opening hours: 9AM-9PM, Daily
17. Jumunjin Fish Market (주문진수산시장)
Image credit: @anne0103
Jumunjin Fish Market is one of the largest fish markets in Gangneung. Situated right next to Jumunjin Port, you can expect to get the freshest catches over here.
Image adapted from: @yeoni.___
Similar to the ever-famous Noryangjin Market, you can purchase whatever seafood you want from the stalls and head to a restaurant inside the market to have them prepared and cooked.
Jumunjin Fish Market is famous for its squids and you should have it raw to taste its natural sweetness. If you’re adventurous enough, try the blowfish sashimi.
For a fancier meal, you definitely need to try their domestic red crab.
Address: 4-1, Sijang 1-gil, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 7AM-10PM, Sat & Sun 7AM-9PM
18. Gangneung Jungang Market 강릉 강릉중앙시장
Image credit: @toi.et_moi
Gangneung Jungang Market is a convenient place to get your hands on popular local snacks as it’s located near Gangneung KTX station. A few snacks worth your calories are croquettes, dakgangjeong (fried chicken doused in sweet and spicy sauce), and hotteok (sweet pancake).
Image credit: @park_lou
Suje Eomuk Croquette (수제 어묵고로케) is a famous stall in the market that specialises in fried croquettes. At only KRW2,000 (~USD1.60), you can expect each croquette to be stuffed to the brim with cheese, kimchi, sweet potato, or red bean.
Image credit: @suyong6
Suje Eomuk Croquette
Address: 8 Geumseong-ro 13beon-gil, Jungang-dong, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea
Gangneung Jungang Market
Address: 21 Geumsong-ro, Gangneung-so, Gangwon-do, South Korea
Opening hours: 8.30AM-9PM, Daily
19. Anmok Coffee Street 안목커피거리
Image credit: @ssolvely_ps
Located along Anmok Beach, Anmok Coffee Street is a must-visit for coffee lovers who want to sip on coffee while enjoying the sound of the waves. There are plenty of cafes in the area, so you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Image adapted from: @gold__royal
Mm Coffee Roastery boasts an amazing view of the beach and sea, and also has an outdoor seating area decked out with bean bags as well as a canopy to shield you from the sun.
Image credit: @iam_hyo_1
If you’re not so keen on being exposed to UV rays, BOSSA NOVA has indoor seating that comes with a great view as well.
Address: 17, Changhae-ro, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea
20. Chodang Dubu Village 초당두부마을
Image credit: @is_sue_
Gangneung is well-known for its tofu made from all-natural ingredients. And at Chodang Dubu Village, practically every restaurant sells handmade tofu soup. Packed with a ton of protein, tofu is nutritious and suitable for vegetarians.
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One of the more popular restaurants found in this village is Chosun Pine House & Soondubu Gelato (초당소나무집 & 순두부젤라또). The restaurant serves normal set meals, but also has a booming side business that specialises in sundubu gelato. It comes in 4 flavours – original sundubu, injeolmi, coffee, and aronia berry – and costs KRW3,000 (~USD2.40) per scoop.
Chosun Pine House & Soondubu Gelato
Address: 354-4 Chodang-dong, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea
Opening hours: Wed – Mon 7.30AM-8PM, Closed on Tue
Chodang Dubu Village
Address: 99, Chodangsundubu-gil, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea
Places to visit in Gangneung
Gangneung is a perfect place for a day trip out of Seoul. From pristine beaches to aesthetic cafes and amazing food streets, this city sure has a lot to offer. If you’re ever making a trip to Seoul, be sure to allocate a day to check out Gangneung as well.
Here are other things you shouldn’t miss out on when in Seoul:
- 10 ice cream shops in Seoul
- 8 things to do in Seoul at night
- 8 Korean drinking games
- Korean drinking culture
- Seongsu-dong guide
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