Being stuck in Seoul when the skies darken and the rain starts to fall is certainly not how most people plan their holiday in Korea! I’ve been in the same situation in many places around the world, my plans being rained off, and having to improvise something else to do, which certainly wasn’t fun or convenient. Therefore, I decided to create this list of awesome things to do in Seoul when it’s raining.
You really don’t need to let the bad weather ruin your holiday. From unique cafes to interesting museums, family fun activities, and cultural locations free from the rain, there’s all sorts of things to do in Seoul when it’s raining.
For those who are checking this because they’ve been caught out by the rain, be sure to check out the map below to help you figure out where to head to most easily. Or you can use this guide to plan some activities later on if you’re expecting it to rain. Travellers visiting Korea during the summer (monsoon season) will probably need to plan for the rain a lot.
Of course, these indoor activities in Seoul are perfect even when the weather is fine. You might even find some incredible things to do that you didn’t even know existed before. Make sure to add them to your South Korea Bucket List if you haven’t arrived in Korea yet.
Whatever the reason you’re checking out this list of rainy day activities in Seoul, I hope you’ll find something enjoyable (and dry) that will help you make the most of your time in Korea’s amazing capital.
While you’re in Seoul, you might also enjoy some of my other guides to the city, including free activities and ways to save money in Seoul:
Please Note: Due to the ongoing coronavirus situation in Korea and around the world, some of these places may be closed. I suggest checking to see if each place is open before visiting. For more information about the ongoing coronavirus situation regarding travel to Korea, please check out my guide to the coronavirus in Korea.
Quick & Simple Ideas For When It’s Raining In Seoul
I hope that this list will provide an option that will suit most types of travellers, whatever your situation, and above all I hope that you’ll have a great time whatever you choose to do.
If you want have any other suggestions for things to do in Seoul when it’s raining, then please leave me a comment below, or share your ideas with the Korea Travel Advice & Planning group on Facebook.
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Locations Of Things To Do In Seoul When It’s Raining
Use this map to find out the locations of all the things to do in Seoul when it’s raining that I’ve mentioned in this post. This will help you find something to do more easily when the rain starts falling suddenly.
Please note: You will need to use Google Maps to open this map.
Here are my top 25 favourite things to do in Seoul when it’s raining. I’ve broken these down into 5 categories to make it easier to find something appropriate for you. These categories are family friendly, unique cafes, shopping fun, cultural & historical, and evening activities.
Family Fun Places In Seoul
It can be tough to find things to do in Seoul when it’s raining when you have to think of the needs of a whole family. Below are some ideas that should keep everyone amused (and dry), young or old.
1: Trick Eye Museum – Hongdae
The Trick Eye Museum in Hongdae is a great place and fun for all the family.
Top of my list of things to do in Seoul when it’s raining, this place has so much to keep everyone amused.
Not only are there the traditional trick eye pictures to amaze and confuse, there’s also new AR (augmented reality) illusions.
This is actually the world’s first AR museum and it really brings the pictures and experience to life in ways not possible before. Be sure to check it out.
2: Nanta Cooking Musical – Hongdae & Myeongdong
Be sure not to miss Cookin’ Nanta at one of their locations in Seoul.
This is a unique, wacky theatrical performance where energetic chefs bang pots and pans while preparing delicious traditional Korean foods.
Featuring audience participation, you could have the chance to become part of the action and perhaps even be part of their wedding ceremony during the show!
High energy and certain to keep everyone amused.
3: COEX Aquarium – Gangnam
Inside the giant COEX shopping centre in Gangnam is the delightful COEX Aquarium.
This is a great place to escape the rain and see some animals that actually enjoy being wet.
This awesome aquarium introduces some of Korea’s finest fish, as well as taking you on a journey around the oceans of the world.
There are feeding shows, touch labs, performances, and so much to see here.
This should be top on any nature lovers list of things to do in Seoul when it’s raining.
4: Alive Museum – Insadong
If you happen to be exploring the popular Insadong area when it starts to rain, then why not pop into the Alive Museum?
This unique museum features lots of interactive art displays to create ‘illusionistic art’ and makes for some hilarious shots.
Want to see one of the family being eaten alive, part of a video game, or racing around the streets of Seoul? This is the place for you.
5: Grevin Museum – Myeongdong Area
Originally from France, the Grevin Museum is one of the world’s premier waxwork museums and a great way to learn more about Korean culture.
Find out about Korean celebrities and influential people in Korean society.
Not only that, explore the world and meet famous world leaders, sports stars, celebrities, and many more people. Great for those unbelievable photos with your favourite stars.
Unique Cafes In Seoul
One of my favourite things to do in Seoul when it’s raining, and even when it’s not, is to visit a cafe.
There are so many cafes to try in Seoul, but the ones below are more unusual than standard chain coffee shops.
They’ll help add to the unique experience that a trip to Seoul provides.
6: Thanks Nature Sheep Cafe – Hongdae
Top of my list of things to do when it’s raining in Seoul is to check out one of the many animal cafes. My favorite is the Thanks Nature Sheep Cafe where you can see cute sheep while you sip a refreshing coffee.
Please act responsibly when you visit and be kind to the animals.
7: Blind Alley Raccoon Cafe – Yongsan
I couldn’t just mention one animal cafe on this list. Therefore, second is another unique animal cafe that has spawned a lot of imitations across South Korea – the Blind Alley Raccoon Cafe.
Located in Yongsan, this cafe features two parts. First, relax with a coffee and sweet dessert. Second, get disinfected and meet the raccoons. The raccoons are inquisitive and will happily take food from your hand.
Apparently, the cafe now also has two small pigs and a corgi for you to share your break time with!
8: Harry Potter Themed Cafe – Platform 9 3/4 – Hongdae
Even if you didn’t receive your letter from Hogwarts, there’s still a chance for a magical Harry Potter experience in Seoul. Escape the rain and choose your wand in King Cross 9 3/4 – a Harry Potter inspired cafe in Hongdae.
There are several other themed cafes in Seoul, including the Line Friends Cafe and a cafe for Kakao Characters. There are plenty of places to take fun pictures and you can find time to dry off from the rain.
9: SLKO Slime Cafe – Various Locations
Over the last couple of years, slime cafes have become a big thing in South Korea. These are perfect spots to let your creative side flow and get a bit messy.
SLKO is one of the biggest chains with locations across Seoul. Their site is in Korean, however, you can copy the address into Google Maps to find out where the stores are.
Other creative cafes include DB Story where you can build your own cell phone case.
Find out more:
10: Immerse Yourself In Online Gaming At A PC Room
This is what a lot of Korean teenagers (and adults) choose to do regardless of the weather. Online gaming is a massive business in Korea and some of the best players in the world come from Korea.
Where do they train? At a PC Room, also known as a PC-bang (bang is Korean for room). You’ll see these places all over Seoul, usually near to noraebang (karaoke rooms) and pool halls.
If you’re travelling alone, then this could be one of the best things to do in Seoul when it’s raining and you want to keep dry. Of course, there’s room for everyone who wants to play all the biggest online games, such as Overwatch, Battleground, and Starcraft.
Korea has some of the highest Internet speeds in the world, and you might be surprised at how fast and responsive online gaming is in Korea.
There are thousands of PC-bangs across Seoul. You can often find them away from the busy dining areas and near stations.
Other Great Cafes In Seoul
There are too many wonderful cafes in Seoul to mention in this post. However, I want to mention a few more that have a great view and are good for watching the rain.
Firstly, Darak Cafe in the Jeongdong Observatory, which is located in the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s Seosomun Building 1. It has great views of City Hall and the Deoksugung Palace. The observatory and cafe are open on weekends and public holidays from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Secondly, one of my favourite cafes in Seoul for relaxing and eating cake is A Twosome Place. You can find locations all across Seoul.
Finally, one of my absolute favourite local coffee shops (post coming soon) is Fritz Coffee. They have 3 locations in Seoul, including one right next to Changdeokgung Palace.
Check the map to see all of these locations.
Shopping & Souvenirs In Seoul
Many people come to Seoul for the great selection of shops and Korean goods on sale across the city. You might already have plans to spend some of your time in the traditional markets or giant shopping centres.
What better time to do that then when the rain starts to fall and you suddenly don’t want to be outside?
11: Starfield COEX Mall – Gangnam
Shopping enthusiasts won’t want to miss out on the COEX Mall. Asia’s largest underground shopping mall has something for everyone. Local and international brands can be found here, ranging from basic items to the finest luxury bags and goods.
Movie lovers will enjoy the 17 screen cinema. You can learn about Korean culture from performances put on in open spaces. There’s even the COEX Aquarium, a great place for families to avoid the rain in Seoul.
12: Lotte World Tower – Jamsil
The Lotte World Tower in Jamsil stands like a diamond finger pointing up into the heavens in the centre of Seoul.
It’s hard to miss the world’s 6th tallest building which stands at 555 metres above the pristine Seokchon Lake. This is Korea’s largest department store specialising in luxury and duty free goods.
When you’ve finished shopping, you can watch the rain from the Seoul Sky Observatory on the upper floors.
13: Traditional Markets – Various Locations
Popping into a traditional market is one of the things I usually do when it’s raining in Korea. These undercover markets are great for learning about the more traditional side of Korea.
They’re also great places for sampling some traditional Korean dishes and picking up some bargains.
Check out the underground shops in Namdaemun Market, the indoor shopping in Dongdaemun, and the Seoul Folk Flea Market for some unique experiences.
14: Shilla I-Park – Yongsan
Conveniently located above Yongsan Station, just two stops from Seoul Station, the Shilla I-Park Mall is a world-class shopping venue.
Featuring a wide range of shops, restaurants, and cultural experiences, you won’t run out of things to do in Seoul when it’s raining outside.
Furthermore, you can find the world’s largest IMAX screen in here. Shopping, food, entertainment, this place has it all.
15: Shinsagae Department Store – Myeongdong & Gangnam
With two locations in Seoul, and a history of quality and service, the Shinsagae Department Stores are some of the best in Korea.
The Myeongdong branch (pictured) was Korea’s first ever department store.
You’ll find all the best luxury brands here, and in a convenient location near hotels and transport connections. Stay inside and shop to your heart’s content.
If you pick up a Korea Tour Card, you can often get some discounts, too.
Other Shopping Areas In Seoul
Besides the above mentioned places, there are also lots of other big department stores to visit, including Lotte Young in Myeongdong and Times Square Mall in Yeongdeungpo.
Around Dongdaemun Design Park there are several malls, including Lotte Fitin, APM, Doota, and Migliore.
All of these are pinned on the map.
Korean Culture & History In Seoul For When It’s Raining
There are so many great cultural and historical sights to see in Seoul, including Seoul’s wonderful palaces and parks. Sadly, these aren’t much fun in the rain.
So to experience cultural things in Seoul, even when it’s raining, keep on reading.
16: War Memorial & National Museum Of Korea – Yongsan
Start with the recent conflicts with North Korea at the War Memorial, then move backwards through the history of conflict on this troubled peninsula.
Then, jump on the subway (Line 4) for one stop and you’ll find yourself at the National Museum of Korea. Go back to the stone age and see how Korea developed into the modern nation it is now. Dozens of rooms full of exhibitions to learn about, and interact with, Korea’s fascinating history.
Find Out More:
17: Stalk K-Pop Stars At Big K-Pop Headquarters In Gangnam
Korean pop culture fans probably have this on their radar, and a rainy day in Seoul is the just as good a time to visit as any. In fact, seeing as most people will be put off by the rain, it’s less likely to be crowded and you can hopefully see your favourite stars. Yes, you’ll still get wet, but don’t let that put you off.
The Cheongdam area of Gangnam (north of COEX & Bongeunsa Temple) is home to the headquarters of some of the biggest names in K-Pop, including JYP Entertainment, FNC Entertainment, and SM Entertainment.
Together, these companies are responsible for some of the biggest acts in K-Pop, including EXO, Red Velvet, Girl’s Generation, AOA, TWICE, and lots more.
Stalkers, I mean fans, can explore this area near Cheongdam Station (check the map at the start for locations) and might even bump into some of their favourite K-Pop stars and other Korean celebrities. There are also numerous cafes and restaurants owned by the singers in the area. For a full list of places across Seoul, check out the link below.
True fans can even book a tour of the area and be shown the top spots to see K-Pop stars, visit shops and cafes owned and frequented by various K-Pop celebrities, and see famous filming locations from K-Pop videos and dance practices.
18: Korean Cooking Classes – Various Locations
There are so many wonderful traditional Korean dishes to sample when visiting Seoul, wouldn’t it be even better if you could learn some to share with your friends.
Take time out of the rain to get hot and spicy in the kitchen with a Korean cooking class. Learn how to make delicious classics such as ginseng chicken soup, seafood pancakes, bibimbap, and lots more.
Don’t miss the chance to learn a new skill when you travel to Korea.
19: Art Museums In Seoul – Various Locations
Wandering around slowly, taking in the finer details of some great art, is one of the best things to do in Seoul when it’s raining.
Seoul has so many great art museums and galleries, with fresh exhibitions and installations popping up all the time.
20: Seoul Museum Of History – Jongno-Gu
Experience the traditional culture of Seoul at this really interesting collection on all things Seoul at the Seoul Museum of History.
Featuring relics from the past few centuries, as well as modern online cyber-displays, you can really immerse yourself in the life of a Seoulite.
You might want to bring an umbrella to see the outdoor exhibition. However, it’s worth getting a little bit wet to see the well-preserved artifacts on display.
Evening Activities In Seoul When It’s Raining
Seoul never sleeps and there’s nothing worse than having to stay in your hotel when the rain starts pouring down and missing out on the incredible nightlife in Seoul.
These next few things to do in Seoul when it’s raining are for those who want to keep busy at night, even into the small hours, whilst staying dry.
21: The World’s Biggest IMAX Screen – Yongsan
Not only is the world’s largest IMAX screen located in Seoul, it’s also one of the best cinema experiences you’re likely to have.
This IMAX also includes immersive technologies, such as Screen X, which projects the movie on the side walls as well as the main screen.
Furthermore, you’ll be really immersed with 4DX technology, which adds in environmental effects, such as rain, scents, and even moving chairs. Escape the rain in Seoul by getting wet while watching a movie!
22: Korean Sauna (Jjimjjilbang) – Various Locations
There’s no better way to wash away the troubles of a busy day exploring Seoul, or to warm up after a soaking from the rain than in a Korean sauna.
Known as Jjimjjilbangs, these are great places to unwind and recharge your batteries in hot (or cold) water, in a steam room, or in the communal hot rooms.
There are great saunas all over Seoul and you can even stay overnight in them if you want to. Not only is this one of the top things to do in Seoul when it’s raining, it’s also how I recommend you end a busy weekend in Seoul. Saunas are great for relieving your aches and pains and washing away the dirt built up after a hard day of exploring.
23: Karaoke Room (Noraebang) – Various Locations
There are two good reasons why you should visit a noraebang – a Korean karaoke room.
First, this is a great place to visit when it’s raining and other places are closed.
Second, you’ll be spending the evening as a large number of Koreans do, young and old. Singing and dancing in these karaoke rooms is one of the most popular pastimes in Korea.
There are hundreds of noraebangs across Seoul and you’ll find a good mix of Western and Korean songs.
24: All Night Coffee Shops – Various Locations
You might be used to coffee shops closing in the early evening, but Korea is a country that never sleeps. There are many big coffee shop chains in Korea and most of them close after midnight. Some of them even stay open for 24 hours!
These cafes serve as more comfortable meeting places for friends and couples who don’t want to be in a dark bar, but instead drink some fresh coffee and munch on a sweet treat while chatting.
Check into a cafe to escape the rain and watch it falling with a hot brew. Of course, this isn’t just one of those things to do in Seoul when it’s raining, you can do this any time.
25: Clubbing In Seoul – Various Locations
Seoul has some great clubs and nightlife. Two of the best locations in Seoul for clubbing are Gangnam and Hongdae.
Korea’s nightclubs aren’t reserved for the weekends, as locals like to party any night of the week. You’ll probably find a club open even on a Monday night. If you’re a fan of clubbing, why not escape the rain and dance the night away.
Be prepared, though. Find out a bit about what is tolerable in the Korean clubbing scene and stay safe while having fun.
Please note: due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in Seoul, it is not recommended to visit bars and clubs at this time. Many have been closed due to local bans on these establishments to prevent further infections.
The Best Thing To Do In Seoul When It’s Raining
There’s one more thing on the list of things to do in Seoul when it’s raining, and this might be the most important one…
26: Grab An Umbrella And Walk In The Rain In Seoul – Everywhere
Seoul is an incredible city and there is no excuse to waste a minute of it by staying inside the whole time. Even when it’s raining, you can still explore with a pair of good boots and an umbrella.
You can buy umbrellas from one of the thousands of convenience stores scattered throughout the city. Make no excuses, get out there, get a bit wet, but see some of the best city views you’ll ever see.
Wandering around at night in the rain is a pleasure in itself. If you run out of things to do in Seoul when it’s raining, this is always an option.
Even More Things To Do In Seoul When It’s Raining
I’m really grateful for your comments on here, on Facebook and other places. You’re always giving me suggestions for other things to do in Seoul when it’s raining. So I’m going to keep updating this list (which means it’ll be much bigger than 25), thanks to the excellent help from you guys.
Therefore, here are so more great things to do when it’s raining in Seoul.
27: Color Pool Museum
If you’re in Insadong, then you have even more incredible places to stay dry from the rain. Besides the aforementioned Alive Museum and Slime Cafe, there’s also the newly opened Color Pool Museum to check out. In the words of the museum:
“We hope you will have a wonderful day that shines brightly at the Color Pool Museum, where the wonderful encounters of colors and scents unfold.“
Featuring a rainbow range of coloured halls to check out, each with their own them, you’re sure to find the chance to take some incredible photos here. Each of the 9 themed rooms has its own color that reflects its ‘scent’, such as the romantic rose hall (one for couples) or the aquamarine ocean breeze hall (ball pools and unicorns).
The rooms are filled with an eclectic mix of giant inflatables, ball pits, slides, balloons, bright colours, confetti, extravagance, and happiness. You can play fun games and bring out your creative side in this unique artsy area in Insadong.
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