Everything you need to know when planning a trip to Sokcho

Sokcho is a fishing town on the northeastern coast of South Korea, located only a short bus ride away from Seoraksan National Park. In this guide we give you all the information you need before planning your trip to Sokcho. We cover how you can easily get to Sokcho as well as where to stay, how to get around and why it is worth it to spend some time here! For more information on things to see and do in the city of Sokcho, we highly recommend checking out our seperate guide on What to see and do in Sokcho!

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How to get to Sokcho from Seoul

Getting to Sokcho from Seoul is fairly easy. Everyday between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. there are Express Busses going from Seoul Express Bus Terminal towards Sokcho. A bus departs every 30 minutes and generally takes about 2:30-3h to get to its destination depending on the traffic. We paid 21.300 KR₩ for a one-way ticket per person which were a little less than 15€ (or £13, or 16US$) at the time of our South Korea trip. Check out How to travel South Korea by Express Bus (coming soon), for a more in-depth guide on the Express bus system in South Korea.

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As a tip: When inside the Seoul Express Bus Terminal, follow the signs that say Gyeongbu/Yeongdong Line to get to the correct terminal for traveling to Sokcho, because there is more than one bus terminal building!

In Sokcho, you will be arriving at Sokcho Express Bus Terminal, which is also where you can get your tickets and catch the bus back to Seoul. We did not book our tickets in advance and that was never a problem. During weekends, peak holiday season or holidays this might be different though.

How to get around Sokcho

Sokcho itself is not that huge so most of the things are easily reachable by foot. However, the city also has a bus system that can be used to get around the city. Especially if you use the bus to get from the Sokcho Express Bus Terminal/Sokcho beach towards the city centre of Sokcho there are several bus lines available (such as line 1/1-1, 7/7-1 and 9/9-1). You can pay for your bus trip in cash when entering the bus, but we highly recommend getting yourself a T-Money Card.

If you don’t know what a T-money card is: This card can be used all over South Korea for the subway as well as city busses. When entering the bus, tap the card once against the ticketing machine and then again on the machine next to the back door before exiting. A guide with more information on the T-Money Card as well as a summary of all the apps we recommend/used while navigating through South Korea will follow soon.

What to see and do in Sokcho

Especially during summer, Sokcho is a stunning beach town with some really interesting things to do! From doing a beach picnic eating their famous Mansuk Dak Gangjeong to strolling through the tourist and fishery market on the hunt for some awesome street food or walking the Oeongchi Bada Hyangiro Trail where you can still find some remnants of Sokcho’s history with North Korea: The city has something for everyone. Head to our guide on What to see and do in Sokcho for more information.

Where to stay in Sokcho

We stayed very close to Sokcho beach and we can definitely recommend this to anyone. Staying here will have two major advantages. First of all, you are very close to Sokcho Express Bus Terminal which is great as you can simply walk from and to the Express Bus terminal on the day of your arrival and departure. Second of all you are close to the beach, which is a great place to relax after your hike inside Seoraksan National Park and also a great place to spend the evening.

With that said, we stayed at the Sokcho Chonpines Beach Hotel*, which is located only one street away from the beach! The hotel room was super clean and was well worth the money. All in all we really enjoyed our stay here and can definitely recommend this hotel to anyone! We paid around 50.000 KR₩ (35€, £30, 38$) per night.

Is Sokcho worth visiting?

In our opinion the answer to this question is definitely a yes! We really liked Sokcho because of its more laid back vibe of a beach town. Life seemed to be a lot more slow paced here as compared to Seoul and from our interactions we found that people were a lot friendlier as well. I will say though that we probably also liked it here a lot because of the good weather that enabled us to go to the beach. If you are visiting during a colder and more gray season of the year, the experience might be a different one. 

How many days should you stay in Sokcho?

In our opinion you should at least spend two nights in Sokcho. One day for arrival – use the afternoon and evening to explore Sokcho. You can for instance go to the lighthouse, eat at the Sokcho Tourist and Fishery market and then stroll around Cheongchoho Lake Park during sunset. Then on your one full day go hiking inside Seoraksan National Park and spend the evening relaxing at Sokcho beach. On your third day you can either spend the morning exploring more of Sokcho and then take the bus back to Seoul (or to your next destination) in the afternoon. Or leave in the morning if there is nothing left to do for you!

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