We’re right in the middle of summer now and if you’re looking for relief from Seoul’s hot and humid season, here are some ideas.
What’s summertime without a good swimming pool? Luckily Seoul has six outdoor swimming pools on the Han River at Ttukseom, Yeouido, Gwangnaru, Mangwon, Jamwon, and Jamsil. Each pool is located right by the Han River and divided by age group with shower facilities, simple eating options and, best of all, very affordable. This year’s Han River pools will be open through August 23. Besides holding a swimming pool, Ttukseom Han River Park is a well-known water sports center for jet skiing, wind sailing, and more. In addition to rental facilities, some even offer lessons for beginners. Check the park’s homepage for more information.
If you’re looking for larger-scaled swimming pools a number of aquatic parks are found near Seoul making them easy day trips. “C” Bay in Yongin city’s Everland and “O”World at the Vivaldi Park in Gangwondo are the best known while newer additions like Gimhae’s “L” Water Park and Ilsand’s “O”mount Waterpark have been making splashes in recent years. These aquatic parks feature a range of amusement and entertainment options including wave pools, water slides, raft rides, and more. Do note that these water parks are extremely popular in summer season, particularly on weekends and holidays. For more exclusive pools, check with the city’s top hotels many which feature indoor and outdoor pools that are available for paid visits to non-staying guests as well.
Another enjoyable way to beat the heat is to catch one of the many thrilling entertainment shows and performances around town. The Sejong Center and the Seoul Art Center offers a range of summer concerts and performances appealing to most genres. For a cheaper option, the Seoul Donhwamun Traditional Theater offers a range of afternoon concerts in summer in which seats are only 10,000 Korean Won. Don’t forget there are many family-friendly performances around the city including Nanta, Jeongdong Theater, Bibap, Pangshow, Painters: HERO, and more that are non-verbal and entertaining.
If you’re looking for an epic water fight, bring your water guns to the popular Sinchon Water Gun Festival which takes place this year from July 8 through 9. The annual Hangang Summer Festival will kick off on July 21 and run through August 20 featuring water sports, music performances, water fights, food trucks, and more. At the Olympic Stadium, the Waterbomb Festival featuring water gun fights and some of Korea’s hottest Korean hip hop acts will take place on July 29 but be sure to book your tickets in advance!
For newer attractions, the immense Lotte World Tower is well worth a visit for its many things to see and do while staying indoors. In addition to restaurants and shops, the mega structure also houses an aquarium, concert hall, and observatory in one of the world’s tallest buildings. At Starfield Coex Mall, a massive open library housing 50,000 books has recently opened with the towering books shelves an impressive sight. If the sun isn’t too hot, don’t forget to explore the new Seoullo 7017 pedestrian sky park for the pleasant stroll and scenic views on this former vehicle overpass.
For those with a sweet tooth, Seoul’s famous café culture brings a range of mouthwatering treats every year. Some of this year’s trending desserts include tomato bingsu, iced lattes topped with mini donuts, and even a black ice cream made with squid ink.
Lastly, if it’s your first time in Seoul but you’re dreading the idea of exploring the city outside in the summer heat, guided pedicab tours from groups like Artee Riders will not only customize pedicab tours pedaled by multilingual guides but give you a fun way to explore the city without walking everywhere.