Top 5 Must-See Places in Gangneung & Donghae, South Korea

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Gangwon-do is blessed with beautiful natural scenery, but it has more to offer than nature’s gifts. The beautiful coastal towns of Gangneung and Donghae are attracting tourists’ attention with newly opened attractions. By taking KTX-Eum from Seoul Station, Gangneung can be reached in just 2 hours and Donghae in 2 hours and 30 minutes. Enjoy a vacation away from Seoul in search of old and new attractions in Gangneung and Donghae.

Discover sensational media art at ARTE Museum Valley Gangneung

Gangneung Valley ARTE Museum

WATERFALL-INFINITE Exhibition

FLOWER-COSMOS exhibition

ARTE Museum Valley Gangneung opened in December 2021. It is the third ARTE museum to open, following branches in Jeju and Yeosu. ARTE Museum is an exhibition gallery that uses video, mirrors, sound and scent to create a fascinating space where you can enjoy media art using your senses. As soon as you enter you will be embraced by darkness with only the lights and sounds of media artwork to guide you. The exhibition gallery is divided into 12 spaces according to different themes, such as flowers, waves and the beach to name a few.


Expose BEACH-CLOUD

ARTE Shop, the souvenir shop

One thing to remember is to watch your steps and progress slowly so you don’t run into any mirrors. In addition, the passages leading to the entrance and exit of each thematic space are designed as a labyrinth, so visitors are advised to use the brochure as a guide to find their way around. At the end of the final exhibition is ARTE Shop, where you can buy souvenirs like diffusers, handmade soaps, scented candles, and more. ARTE Museum Valley is the perfect place to spend your time rain or shine as all exhibits are indoors.

Watch the ARTE Museum Valley media art video via Facebook

Gangneung Valley ARTE Museum

  • Address: 131, Nanseolheon-ro, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do (강원도 강릉시 난설헌로 131)
  • Business hours : 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. (last admission 7:00 p.m.)
    * Open 24/7
  • Requests: +82-1899-5008
  • Website

Every shot is a masterpiece at Haslla Art World


View from Haslla Art World

Exterior of Haslla Art World

Vivid colors of the artwork inside

Haslla Art World is located on top of a small hill by the sea. The name of the museum “Haslla” refers to the name of Gangneung in the past. The museum features various dimensional works of art displayed both indoors and outdoors.


Chair surrounded by colorful flowers

Outdoor exposure

A chair surrounded by colorful flowers and an outdoor display with the blue ocean in the background are some of the contemporary artworks that serve as photo spots that will make you forget about time. Apart from the exhibition gallery, Haslla Art World also has a restaurant, a cafe and a hotel with rooms designed with an artistic touch.

Haslla Art World

  • Address: 1441, Yulgok-ro, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do (강원도 강릉시 강동면 율곡로 1441)
  • Business hours : 9:00-18:00
    * Open 24/7
  • Requests: +82-33-644-9411
  • Website

Must-see attraction in Gangneung, Ojukheon House


Entrance to Ojukheon House

Ojukheon house built in the early Joseon period

Statue of Yulgok Yi-i

Ojukheon House was so named because of the many ojuk, or black bamboo trees, planted in the area. Ojukheon House is a must-see attraction in Gangneung, not only for its beautiful scenery but also for its historical significance. Ojukheon House is the birthplace of Yulgok Yi-i, one of the most famous scholars of the Joseon Dynasty. Her portrait appears on the Korean 5,000 won note and a portrait of her mother Shin Saimdang appears on the Korean 50,000 won note.


Handprints of actress Lee Young-ae and actor Song Seung-heon

Black or ojuk bamboos

Ojukheon House was a filming site for the drama “Saimdang, Memoir of Colors (2017)” and it has a stone plaque with handprints of the main cast of the drama shortly after passing the entrance. Inside the premises are the building Ojukheon House, Munseongsa, sarangchae (main chamber), eojaegak, Yulgok Yi-i Memorial Hall and Gangneung City Museum.

Ojukheon House

  • Address: 24, Yulgok-ro 3139beon-gil, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do (강원도 강릉시 율곡로 3139번길 24)
  • Business hours : 09:00-18:00 (Last entry 1 hour before closing)
    * Closed on January 1, Seollal (Korean New Year) and Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) holidays
  • Requests: +82-33-660-3301
  • Website

Seaside mural village featured in dramas, Nongoldam-gil Street


View of the East Sea from Nongoldam-gil Street

Staircase and alleys in Nongoldam-gil

Mukho Lighthouse

Donghae Nondamgol-gil Street is a small road in a neighborhood on a hill. Follow the staircase and the alleys to reach Mukho Lighthouse on top of a hill from where you can admire the view of the East Sea. The houses and walls are decorated with murals that depict the golden age of Mukhohang Port and the village in the 1970s.


Gift shop in Nongoldam-gil street

Mural in Nongoldam-gil Street

Nongoldam-gil Street featured in several dramas. In “The Heirs (2013)”, this area was the filming location of Cha Eun-sang’s (Park Shin-hye) house, while Mukho Lighthouse made an appearance in “Brilliant Legacy (2009)”, which starred Han Hyo-joo. and Lee Seung-gi. Walk a little further from the top of the hill to get to the next destination, Dojjaebigol Sky Valley.

Donghae Nongoldam-gil Street

  • Address: 97, Ilchul-ro, Donghae-si, Gangwon-do (강원도동해시일출로 97)
  • Requests: +82-33-530-2231
  • Website

Hot place open in 2021, Dojjaebigol Sky Valley


Sky valley view from Dojjaebigol

Entrance to Dojjaebigol Sky Valley

Skywalk Clear Floor

Opened in June 2021, Dojjaebigol Sky Valley is equipped with tourist attractions such as Sky Cycle, Giant Slide and Skywalk view. The Skywalk has a clear glass floor to show visitors a thrilling view 59 meters below their feet.


Dojjaebigol Haerang Observatory

Dokkaebi club-shaped observatory

The word dojjaebi is a dialect of Gangwon-do and Gyeongsang-do for dokkaebi, Korean goblins who appear in folktales. The valley was named after the mythical creatures due to a legend about the dojjaebi in the valley. If you follow the downhill path towards the ocean from Dojjaebigol Sky Valley, you will soon reach the Haerang Observatory which juts out into the sea. You will notice from afar that the observatory deck is oval in shape, which is actually designed to look like a club used by dokkaebi. Haerang Observatory also has a transparent glass floor that allows visitors to see the blue waters right below their feet.

Sky Valley of Dojjaebigol

  • Address: 2-109, Mukhojin-dong, Donghae-si, Gangwon-do (강원도동해시묵호진동 2-109)
  • Business hours : Summer 10:00-18:00 / Winter 10:00-17:00
    * Closed on Mondays
  • Requests: 82-33-530-2042
    * Dojjaebigol Haerang Observatory is open all year round, except in case of inclement weather conditions

1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese, Thai, Malay)

* This column was last updated in April 2022 and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check the details before visiting.

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