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Gangneung Day Trip Without a Car | 강릉

Are you looking for a perfect day trip from Seoul? Are you a fan of the seaside, art and BTS? Then this day trip to Gangneung (강릉) is ideal for you! Vist BTS bus stop location from the famous You Never Walk Alone album cover and experience the immersive ARTE Museum. In this blog post, I share my complete day trip with cost breakdown and timestamps to help you plan your perfect escape to South Korea's Eastern coast. In any season and without a car. For less than 85,000 KRW!

Getting There | Optimal Routes for Every Traveler

You can get to Gangneung and back by car or a combination of KTX, intercity buses, and local buses. I opted for the bus due to its affordability and convenient schedule, which aligned with my plans. Besides being the cheapest option, Korean intercity buses also offer comfortable, affordable travel with armchair-like seats.

You can find bus schedules and prices here (change the language to English in the top left corner where it says 한국어). Sadly, to my knowledge, the only way for you to purchase Korean intercity bus tickets directly on the official site is if you have a Korean card. However, you can purchase them directly at ticket offices at the bus terminals or via the Trazzy website here.

* Please note that times might vary depending on days and seasons. Always double-check official sources before travelling.

#1 Seoul Express Bus Terminal to Gangneung Intercity Bus Terminal  | Early Start

⏰ 8:20 - 11:10* (2:50h)

💰 24,600 KRW per bus ticket

Take a morning bus from Seoul's Express Bus Terminal (서울고속버스터미널) to Gangneung Intercity Bus Terminal (강릉시외버스터미널). A one-way ticket costs around 24,600 KRW (17.42 EUR | 15.24 GBP | 18.63 USD), and the round trip costs around  49,200 KRW (34.84 EUR | 30.48 GBP | 37.26 USD). The journey, about 2 hours and 50 minutes each way departs at 8:20, and you will arrive at Gangneung Bus Terminal around 11:10, with a brief stop at the bus service area for snacks and a restroom break.

#2 Gangneung to BTS Bus Stop | Getting to BTS 버스정류장

⏰ 11:20*-12:30* (1h)

📍 Korean address: BTS 버스정류장, 강원 강릉시 주문진읍 향호리 8-55 link to Naver maps

📍 English address: BTS bus stop, 8-55 Hyangho-ri, Jumunjin-eup, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do

To reach the BTS bus stop from the Gangneung bus terminal, consider taking direct local buses like 314 or 302. You can use your T-money card for local buses. Check Naver maps for the fastest route by inputting your start and end points. You may need to walk or transfer buses. The bus ride from Gangneung bust terminal to the BTS bus stop takes about an hour.

Plan a minimum of three hours to reach the BTS bus stop from Seoul using intercity buses and local buses. So start your day early!

You can find a more detailed description of how to reach the BTS bus stop without a car here.

After you’ve taken plenty of pictures and explored the beach, make your way towards Gangneung. It will take about one hour to get to one of my favourite experiences in South Korea - the immersive media art exhibition ARTE Museum Valley Gangneung. 

#3 BTS Bus Stop to ARTE Museum Valley Gangneung (아르떼뮤지엄 강릉) | Immersive Art Exhibition 

⏰ 13:43 - 14:51 (1:10h*) 

📍 아르떼뮤지엄 강릉, 강원도 강릉시 난설헌로 131

🎟️ Entry Ticket: 20,000 KRW per ticket, including Tea Bar (입장권+TEA BAR 성인), ticket sale

⏳15-18h (3h)

Check Naver maps for the fastest route by inputting your start and end points to get there. Note that fewer buses might run during the weekend and public holidays, so plan accordingly. If you are tight on time, you can also get a taxi, which is a faster but more expensive option.

Get ready to have your mind blown by visiting one of my favourite galleries/museums of all time! 

First, WHAT is the ARTE Museum? This innovative media art exhibition reimagines elements of nature through immersive media art. Works created with the theme of ETERNAL NATURE provide a completely immersive experience with visual intensity, sensuous sound, and elegant scent. At the Gangneung branch, you can admire 18 colourful media art exhibitions reflecting the regional characteristics of Gangwon-do and Gangneung.


⏰ Most guides say the average viewing time is 90 minutes. I recommend setting aside at least 2 hours to completely immerse yourself in the exhibition and take plenty of photos. I also recommend getting a ticket that includes the Tea Bar experience. You get served tea on the table that interacts with the cup. When you move the cup across the table, it creates beautiful patterns that follow your teacup.

The first time I came across the ARTE Museum was in Jeju, where I fell in love with the concept of using immersive art to showcase the power of nature. Whilst the first ARTE Museum opened in Jeju in 2020, there are now 6 in total (Jeju, Gangneung and Yeousu in Korea, one in Hong Kong, one on Chengdu (China) and one in Las Vegas. Their website states two more are coming, one in Busan and one in Dubai.

#4 ARTE Museum Valley Gangneung to Gangneung Intercity Bus Terminal to Seoul | Back to the City

🚎 Gangneung to Seoul

⏰ 20:00*-22:50*

💰 24,600 per ticket)

IMPORTANT: Please remember that ARTE Museum is located slightly out of the city so the local bus services might be sparse or irregular, especially on weekends. My friend and I had to catch a taxi from the museum to the bus stop as the bus services were unreliable at the time of our visit. Since we were visiting the museum slightly out of season, we spent about 15 minutes before getting a taxi.

It takes about 30 minutes with a 202-1 or 202-2 bus and about 15 minutes with a car/taxi to get from the ARTE Museum Gangneung to the Gangneung Intercity Bus Terminal. 

Cost Breakdown

🚎 Return bus ticket (Seoul - Gangneung) = 49,200 KRW (34.84 EUR | 30.48 GBP | 37.26 USD)

🚍 Local buses = 6,000* KRW (4.16 EUR | 3.56 GBP | 4.51 USD)

🎟️ Entry Ticket = 20,000 KRW including Tea Bar (입장권+TEA BAR 성인) (13.87 EUR | 11.85 GBP | 15.03 USD)

🚕 Taxi = 7,000* KRW (4.86 EUR | 4.15 GBP | 5.26 USD)

🟰 Total 82,200* KRW  (57.73 EUR | 48.71 GBP | 61.76 USD)


In conclusion, whether you're captivated by Gangneung's scenic landscapes or vibrant art scene, there's something for everyone to enjoy. As you wrap up your visit to this charming destination, take with you the memories of a day brimming with adventure, inspiration, and the unique charm of Gangneung. 


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