My Summer in Seoul Experiences + Tips (Worth it?)

Most of my visits to Seoul have been during the summer and warmer months, from May to August.

I’m from northern California where the weather is mildly cool and I’ve traveled to southeast Asian countries dozens of times, where it’s summer all-year long.

Much to say, I was SWEATING for most of my summer in Seoul trips.

And it’s still totally worth it.

If you’re only able to travel during summer in Seoul, go for it.

Here’s practical tips, places to go, and summer in Seoul events to help make the most of your trip!

If you’re new to South Korea, make sure to read my travel guide to South Korea or watch the vlog 🎥:

Things I wish I knew before traveling to Seoul 🇰🇷 South Korea Travel Tips

Summer in Seoul Weather

A couple walks down the wet, reflective streets of Ikseon-dong Hanok Village in Seoul, South Korea, sharing an umbrella on a rainy day during summer in Seoul. Traditional Hanok buildings line the narrow alley, adorned with signs in Korean, as the quaint urban scene conveys a serene ambiance despite the weather.

During the months of May to August that I’ve visited Seoul, it was either humid, hot, raining, or all three.

I still had a great time visiting incredible places to visit in Seoul.

Here’s the weather for early to late summer months in Seoul using 2023 data:

May: Ranges from 15°C to 30°C (59°F to 86°F).

June: Ranges from 20°C to 32°C (68°F to 90°F).

July: Ranges from 23°C to 34°C (73°F to 94°F).

August: Ranges from 23°C to 35°C (73°F to 96°F).

(I’ve also visited Seoul in September where the weather is still quite warm).

If you could only choose one month to visit Seoul in summer, I recommend visiting in May to early June before rainy season starts in Seoul.

If you can only visit after mid-June, make sure to pack an umbrella and shoes that dry fast. (Though you’ll get lots of sunny days.)

What to Pack for Summer in Seoul

Handkerchief (you’ll be sweating).

▢ Reusable tote bag to place your items and carry around a water bottle and umbrella.

▢ Sunscreen and/or hat.

▢ Umbrella is a must during summer in Seoul. The weather can be unpredictable. You can purchase an umbrella at most convenience stores.

Portable fan, especially if you’re going to an outdoor event.

What to Wear During Summer in Seoul

A triptych of summer moments: On the left, a woman stands in the doorway of a historic Korean palace building; in the center, she captures a mirror selfie in a Seoul hotel room, wearing a plaid dress; and on the right, she strolls down a shaded, stone pathway through the lush Namsan Park

South Korea is generally still a conservative place, clothing-wise. While skirts are the norm, sleeveless tops like spaghetti straps are not.

While I don’t subscribe to dictating what others put on their body, I still try to follow the local culture.

(No matter how much I dripped sweat and while every local still looked flawless in the heat. 😜)

Light-weight and breathable long-sleeves or light button-down blouse to protect your skin from the sun, especially if you’re going to an outdoor event.

Shorts, skirts, or light-weight pants. Soaked jeans from the rain or from your sweat is not fun, no matter how cute jeans are.

Hat. Though wearing a hat can bring a lot of sweat on your forehead and hair, it protects your face from the scorching sun.

▢ Good and breathable walking shoes that also dry fast. You’re most likely going to be walking A LOT, and sometimes in the rain. I wear Xero Shoes – I can walk for hours and not have sore feet and they dry fast.

Flip flops for summer in Seoul? Most people do not wear flip flops outside. Sandals would be better.

General Tips for Summer in Seoul

Yeouido Hangang Park Summer Day View with cement seating

Sometimes you just can’t wait for the heat to pass and have to move on with being a tourist. For these times, here are some tips:

  • Stay hydrated! Pack electrolytes with you and mix it in your water bottle or drink it in the morning before you start your day. I usually pack electrolyte packets from LMNT.
  • Carry a water bottle with you and don’t hesitate to buy water from the many convenience stores.
  • Rest when you need to. Don’t be shy to use a bench if you need to take a quick breather.
  • Take a bathroom break to splash some water on your face or pat down all the sweat. I did this often. 😆
  • If you’re going to an outdoor event like a concert, don’t push yourself and step away if you need to. I’m one to bear through heat and crowds for a good concert spot, but it’s not worth it if you’re feeling off. Don’t push it!

Summer in Seoul Events to Look Out For

Fans waiting outside a big white Olympic Park building

Music festivals are especially popular during summer in Seoul.

I went to my first outdoor music festival in Seoul. While it was closer to September, it was still scorching hot and reached the 90’s°F / 30s°C. Thankfully, water bottles at music festivals in Seoul aren’t outrageously priced like in the US.

Here are some summer in Seoul events and festivals to attend:

Water Bomb Festival in Seoul (July 5-7)

The Water Bomb Festival is one of the most popular summer festivals in Seoul and takes places in several cities across South Korea. The main draw is the music festival, but there’s also water-related activities and entertainement.

Hangang River Festival (2024 dates TBA, usually August)

You can enjoy different activities like boat races, yacht rides, and programs along the Han River. Plus, there’s jazz music, picnics, performances, and art programs.

Sinchon Water Gun Festival (2024 dates TBA, usually August)

The Sinchon Water Gun Festival is an event where participants engage in water gun battles in various locations around Seoul, usually in Sinchon.

Boryeong Mud Festival (July 19 – August 4)

This summer festival is held in Boryeong, a city southwest of Seoul. It’s famous for its mud-based activities, including mud wrestling, mudslides, and mud baths.

For more summer in Seoul events and music festivals specifically, you can also visit ticketing websites for foreigners:

Indoor Places to Visit During Summer in Seoul

A large mall ceiling-high bookshelf filled with books at COEX Mall. Tops places to visit in Seoul

If you’re looking for an escape from the heat or rain during the summer, here are some places to visit in Seoul:

Shopping Malls

Museums

  • National Museum of Korea
  • Seoul Museum of Art
  • Seoul Arts Center

Other Indoor Locations:

You can also visit cooler outdoor places with shades like Seoul Forest and Cheonggyecheon Stream.

🌳 Check out other parks in Seoul to visit.

Things to Do at Night During Summer in Seoul

Cheonggyecheon Stream during summer night - Seoul, South Korea

To escape the summer heat but still visit main attractions in Seoul, try visiting at night. There’s usually still lots of people visiting at night and most areas are lit up.

  • Banpo Hangang Park & Bridge
  • Yeouido Hangang Park
  • Namsan Tower at night
  • Cheonggyecheon Stream
  • DDP light shows
  • Fortress Walls of Seoul
  • Myeongdong Street
  • Hongdae Street

Check out these Summer in Seoul Night Tours:

Have a great time exploring summer in Seoul!

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