The annual monsoon season in Korea brings varying levels of rain but no matter how much it pours don’t let it dampen your spirits as there’s plenty to do while staying dry!
Like in any city, museums are highly sought after on rainy days and Seoul is fortunate to house a variety of museums that caters to all interests and tastes. Popular art museums include the Leeum Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul Museum of Art, and the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art while history fans will want to check out the National Museum of Korea, the Seoul Museum of History, and the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History. If you have children with you the interactive Trick Eye Museum or Grevin Museum Seoul are recommended or the Museum Kimchikan where you can learn and make your own kimchi to take home! Other options for families include Lotte World, which includes an indoor amusement park as well as other entertainment and shopping facilities or aquariums such as the ones within Coex, the 63 Building, or Lotte World Tower.
Options are also plentiful for shopping enthusiasts with various large-scale indoor malls found at Coex, Yeongdeungpo Time Square, IFC, and Lotte World Tower. Duty free malls and stores are also found throughout the city including some of the world’s largest duty free stores. For a more unique shopping experience, try the numerous underground arcades found in areas like Euljiro, Jongno, and Gangnam which feature smaller mom and pop stores selling various Korean goods and merchandise.
Rainy days also makes for perfect self-pampering time. Areas like Gangnam, Apgujeong, and Sinsa are well known for their many spas, luxury hair salons, world-class dermatology clinics, and nail care centers. Because of the global popularity of K-beauty and styles, many of these facilities are now well accustomed to international clients. For a more Korean experience, Korean jjimjilbangs with their heated rooms, various baths, and the infamous Korean style skin scrubs are a uniquely Korean experience and various mid to large-scale centers are found throughout the city.
If you’re traveling alone or prefer some alone time Seoul’s coffee culture and cafes are well known throughout Asia. Trendy cafes of all sizes featuring hand roasted and specialty coffee by award-winning baristas are found throughout the city but popular clusters for these top cafes include neighborhoods such as Sangsudong, Hannamdong, Seongsudong, Ikseondong, and Hapjeongdong. Bookstores are also prevalent throughout the city with large-scale book retailers like Kyobo, Youngpoong, and the used books chain Aladdin found in various parts of Seoul.
Movie theaters are especially popular on rainy days and features both Korean and Western films. If you’re an early bird or night owl, there are discounts for the first and last movies of the day. Other popular indoor activities include noraebang, also known as karaoke rooms, PC bangs featuring computers to surf the net and play computer games, and also multi-room games which feature things like board games, cards, and video games. Don’t forget to also check out the One More Trip.net online platform where you can purchase various unique experiences like Korean tea drinking with foot spa or Korean brewery tour to enjoy an unforgettable time.
On rainy days many locals will flock to grab a bowl of kalguksu or knife-cut noodles which come in both seafood and meat-based broth. Restaurants serving this non-spicy dish are common but particularly well-known restaurants are heavily concentrated in older neighborhoods like Jongno. Another rainy day food pairing are jeon, which are various battered and fried food, and makgeolli also known as rice wine. To experience it in true Korean fashion, try visiting one of the traditional markets, or alleys like the jeon golmok in Gongdeok.