Photo : Participants in a templestay program (Credit : Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism) 【 Photo: Participants in a templestay program (Credit: Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism) 】

A templestay is a wonderful way to rediscover oneself. The sound of temple bells resonates within the tranquil temple grounds, rendering peace in the hearts of temple visitors. A templestay provides sanctuary from city life, as well as time and space for meditation and healing. Read on to learn more about this popular traditional culture experience program.

Templestay Introduction

Templestay is a unique opportunity to experience Korean Buddhism, its daily lifestyle, rituals and spirituality. It generally entails staying at a Buddhist temple and engaging in daily monastic activities. Today, templestay is considered as one of the most popular programs among locals and foreigners for experiencing Korean Buddhism.

Templestay Program

  • Photo : Templestay programs (Credit : Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism)
  • Photo : Templestay programs (Credit : Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism)
【 Photo: Templestay programs (Credit: Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism) 】

Generally, a templestay program includes a Buddhist service, seon meditation, the 108 prostrations, and communal work. Some programs also educate participants on monastic meal offering and tea ceremony rituals.

  • Photo : Mihwangsa Temple lit with lanterns (Credit : Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism) 【 Photo: Mihwangsa Temple lit with lanterns 】
    (Credit: Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism)
  • Photo : Lotus Lantern Festival at Tongdosa Temple【 Photo: Lotus Lantern Festival at Tongdosa Temple 】

Another common program is making a lotus lantern, a form of Buddhist art; the lotus-shaped lantern symbolizes a light that brightens the dark world. Lanterns are hung on Buddha’s Birthday, eighth day of the fourth month on the lunar calendar, at all the temples and cities throughout Korea. During the month of Buddha's birthday, a variety of events, such as the Lotus Lantern Festival, are held throughout the nation, attracting many tourists from near and far.

* Related column
Traditional Charm & Excitement Meet at the Lotus Lantern Festival

Temples Offering Regular Templestay Programs for Foreign Nationals

Please visit the Templestay website for information and reservations.

  • Templestay Website: www.templestay.com (Korean, English)
  • Major temples offering a templestay program
Major temples offering a Templestay program
Region Temple
Seoul Myogaksa Temple
31, Jong-ro 63ga-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
(서울특별시 종로구 종로63가길 31)
Website: www.myogaksa.net (Korean, English)
Geumseonsa Temple         
137, Bibong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
(서울특별시 종로구 비봉길 137)
Website: www.geumsunsa.org (Korean only)
Bongeunsa Temple
531, Bongeunsa-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
(서울특별시 강남구 봉은사로 531)
Website: www.bongeunsa.org (Korean only)
International Seon Center
167, Mokdongdong-ro, Yangcheon-gu, Seoul
(서울특별시 양천구 목동동로 167)
Website: seoncenter.com (Korean, English)
Central Region Jeondeungsa Temple
37-41, Jeondeungsa-ro, Gilsang-myeon, Ganghwa-gun, Incheon
(인천광역시 강화군 길상면 전등사로 37-41)
Website: jeondeungsa.org (Korean only)
Yongjusa Temple 
136, Yongju-ro, Hwaseong-si, Gyeonggi-do
(경기도 화성시 용주로 136)
Website: www.yongjoosa.or.kr (Korean only)
Woljeongsa Temple
374-8, Odaesan-ro, Jinbu-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do
(강원도 평창군 진부면 오대산로 374-8)
Website: woljeongsa.org (Korean, English)
Southern Region Donghwasa Temple
1, Donghwasa 1-gil, Dong-gu, Daegu
(대구광역시 동구 동화사1길 1)
Website: www.donghwasa.net (Korean only)
Geumsansa Temple
1, Moak 15-gil, Geumsan-myeon, Gimje-si, Jeollabuk-do
(전라북도 김제시 금산면 모악15길 1)
Website: www.geumsansa.org (Korean only)
Seonunsa Temple
250, Seonunsa-ro, Asan-myeon, Gochang-gun, Jeollabuk-do
(전라북도 고창군 아산면 선운사로 250)
Website: www.seonunsa.org (Korean, English)
Mihwangsa Temple
164, Mihwangsa-gil, Songji-myeon, Haenam-gun, Jeollanam-do
(전라남도 해남군 송지면 미황사길 164)
Website: www.mihwangsa.com (Korean, English)
Golgulsa Temple  
101-5, Gireum-ro, Yangbuk-myeon, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
(경상북도 경주시 양북면 기림로 101-5)
Website: www.golgulsa.com (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Haeinsa Temple
122, Haeinsa-gil, Gaya-myeon, Hapcheon-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do
(경상남도 합천군 가야면 해인사길 122)
Website: www.haeinsa.or.kr (Korean only)
Jikjisa Temple
95, Jikjisa-gil, Daehang-myeon, Gimcheon-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
(경상북도 김천시 대항면 직지사길 95)
Website: www.jikjisa.or.kr (Korean only)
Beomeosa Temple
250, Beomeosa-ro, Geumjeong-gu, Busan
(부산광역시 금정구 범어사로 250)
Website: www.beomeo.kr (Korean, English)
Yakchunsa Temple
293-28, Eeodo-ro, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
(제주특별자치도 서귀포시 이어도로 293-28)
Website: www.yakchunsa.org (Korean, English, Chinese)

How to Participate

The Templestay Center is located across from Jogyesa Temple in Seoul. The center provides comprehensive information on templestay programs and the temples that offer templestay programs. The center also provides language assistance in English and reservation services. For those who cannot visit the center in person, reservations can be made through the website.

More info
  • Address: Templestay Information Center 1F, 56, Ujeongguk-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
    (서울특별시 종로구 우정국로 56 템플스테이 통합정보센터 1층)
  • Operating hours: PR Center 09:00-19:00 (Closed on public holidays)
  • Website: www.templestay.com (Korean, English)
  • Directions
    Jonggak Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 2. Walk approx. 5min.
    Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6. Walk approx. 5min.
  • Templestay inquiries: +82-2-2031-2000 (Korean, English)
  • 1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese, Thai, Malay)

This page was last updated on September 20, 2018, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here.