South Korea not only has autumn with red and yellow leaves being the best time to self-sufficient traveling (solo traveling), but winter is also an ideal time to visit this land of kimchi. Why? Because a lot of great things are only available in winter (read the article below you will know), but especially in Korea there will be a thing in Vietnam – a tropical country does not has, that is SNOW. When the winter comes, Korea will be covered in snow, extremely beautiful. Traveling to South Korea in the winter, you will be comfortably to playing with snow, skiing as well as participating in activities such as ice fishing, visiting beautiful spots which will be thousands of times more beautiful in the winter. So, are you planning a trip to Korea in this winter (travel to Korea in December) but do not know where to go, what to do? Let’s check out our Korea winter travel blog (Korea winter trip blog, Korea december travel blog) to explore best places to travel in Korea in winter (best places to visit in Korea during winter), some useful Korea winter travel tips (travel tips to Korea in winter) and suggested Korea winter itinerary (Korea winter travel itinerary) to find out the answer! Now, let’s joining Living Nomads to discover interesting things when travel to Korea in winter.
- South Korea winter festivals — Top 3 winter festival in Korea you must attend
- Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort Review — Review a ski day in Gangwon, super cool, extremely value for money
- Skiing in South Korea — Top 5 best ski resorts in Korea
- Bomnal Cafe Jeju review — Check-in & virtual living at the super beautiful Bomnal Jeju coffee shop
- Gogung Bibimbap Insadong review — Tasting the famous Bibimbap mixed rice at Gogung Insadong restaurant
Some useful Korea winter travel tips: Things to keep in mind when traveling to South Korea in the winter (Things you need to know when travel to Korea in december)
What month does the Korean winter start and how long does it last?
Normally, winter in Korea will last from December to the end of February next year. The weather is characterized by so cold, freezing cold due to the influence of cold air from Siberia with temperatures ranging from -6 degrees Celcius and 3 degrees Celcius. During this time, it will snow a lot. By the end of February it will start to get warmer and has spring rain.
Clothes and essential things you should have to go to Korea in the winter
For those who live in the tropics when traveling to South Korea in the winter for the first time, be sure to prepare plenty of warm clothes, gloves, scarves, and wool hats (especially don’t forget the gauze facial masks because the cold air will make your skin is very dried or if you breathe in the cold air often, your nose will be sore or you may catch a cold easily). You should wear a lot of thin layers will keep warm longer than wearing 1-2 thick heavy clothes, will not be as warm. If possible, you can buy heat tech clothes sold a lot at Uniqlo, super warm when wearing.
In addition, at convenience stores sell all kinds of heating bags, even hot drinks such as coffee, fruit juice, sip a little bit is warm, so if you feel cold, remember to buy.
Oh, I forgot something important: SKIN CARE CREAM!!! Make sure you always carry it with you if you don’t want dry skin like a toad, flaky to look a bit scary because the winter in Korea is cold dry, so the humidity is quite low, and remember to bring a mineral spray bottle is perfect.
Because in the winter, the road is quite a lot snow and slippery, you should not walk too much, partly because it is cold, partly because if you are not careful, you can easily get fall. If you go sightseeing close to place you stay, you can walk, but if you go a little far, then remember to choose public transport, fast and safe and also warm because in the winter they will turns on the heater system under the seats of the tram and bus, very warm. Remember to buy T-money card to use public transport.
If you want to go sightseeing for free while using the public transport, you can book Discover Seoul Pass, this card integrates with T-money card, so you can traveling by public transport and go to places to visit without fees, very convenient.
Korea winter travel blog: Experiences and top things to do you should try
Coming to Korea in the winter without going skiing? It will be no meaning anymore! Every winter, both tourists and Koreans are eager to ski. For those who have never skied, don’t be afraid, in ski resorts there are many classes with instructors with basic/advanced courses for skiers to learn how to ski faster and easier. We list a few of the ski resorts that we verified and recommend you should try, with these ski resorts, It will include services such as pick-up, drop-off, ski classes (depending on package), clothing, ski equipment, generally will be fully equipped, all you have to do is book service and ready to go, without having to worry about anything.
- Jisan Forest Ski Resort Sightseeing Trip and Winter Sports Experience in Gyeonggi-do from Seoul
- 2D1N Vivaldi Park Resort Ski Trip from Seoul by S.A. Tour
- Daemyung Vivaldi Park Ski World Tickets (With Round-trip Transfers)
- Gangwon-do Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort Day Tour
- [Early Bird Promo] Oak Valley Resort Ski Day Trip from Seoul by JKN Tour
Outdoor skating rinks
Almost everywhere in Korea has outdoor skating rinks. These rinks are naturally formed due to the cold weather and skating is definitely one of the activities you should try to experience the true Korean winter.
Jjimjilbang (Korean sauna)
There is nowhere is the culture of public bathing (Jjimjilbang) as clear and unique as in Korea. Koreans view public baths as a place to gather, relax and even entertainment. If those who are big fans of Korean movies will see their parents quarreled -> going to bed in a public bathroom, dating secretly (???) -> also going to a public bathroom, avoiding debt -> also at public baths, etc… in general in Korean dramas. It is very fun to go to public baths, guys, both eat well and be clean again. Especially in the cold winter when we go into some saunas and then go out, the feeling how cool it is, wonderful, smooth skin and very relaxing. In the winter of that year when I first came to Korea, and also visited the public bathroom once and it really cure, only want to stay longer. If you want to know why, you can read my first report about going to Korean public bath here.
You can book tickets to try Jjimjilbang in Korea below
- Admission Ticket To Dragon Hill Spa
- Traditional Korean Bathhouse in Insadong
- Myeongdong Traditional Sauna
Pyeongchang ice fishing
The Inje Ice Fishing festival held at Soyangho Lake in Pyeongchang is one of the most famous festivals in Korea. If you have the opportunity to travel to Korea in the winter right on the occasion of the festival, join thousands of other visitors to experience this exciting activity. If you catch a fish, you can also take your fish to a restaurant and process it into a dish. This year’s festival is held on December 21, 2019 ~ February 2, 2020.
The experience that only have in the winter, you will be sitting on the small seats on the frozen river, in front of the circular holes to drop fishing rods. It feels the same as in the North Pole or Eskimo. In addition, the ice fishing festival also organizes interesting games, such as sledding, catching fish with bare hands, tug of war, bowling, etc.. surly you will not be bored. As always, book your experience at Klook for a pick-up and drop-off, free admission as well as fishing gear: Pyeongchang Trout Festival and Ice Fishing Winter Day Tour from Seoul by S.A Tour.
Korea winter travel blog: Best places to travel in Korea in winter (best places to visit in Korea during winter)
Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace when snow fall
Central Seoul still is Korea’s most popular tourist hot spot, with many ‘must-see’ attractions such as Gwanghwamun Square, Namdaemun Market, Gyeongbokgung Palace and Bukcheon Hanok Village. And the largest palace among five grand palaces: Gyeongbukgung is a place with beautiful views all year round, spectacular architecture surrounded by Bugak mountain. When snow start falling, the palace turned into a magical place and became one of the top must-visit destinations in Seoul in the winter!
The legendary island appears in every season at every corner of Blog Living Nomads, why? Because it is beautiful in every season, beautiful from summer to autumn, from autumn to winter, from winter to spring, generally beautiful all year round, each season has a different beauty, surprising? If you’ve ever watched the movie Winter Sonata or cry when you see Bae Young Jun heartbroken because of love, do not miss Nami once in a winter in your life. The snow covered everywhere, breathtaking beautiful, romantic as like in movies !!!
Day trip to Nami Island + skiing in Vivaldi Ski Resort: To help you make the most of & enjoy your time in Korea, we would suggest a somewhat cool experience, that is visit Nami Island and then go skiing only in 1 day. This day tour includes pick-up and drop-off, entrance tickets, clothes, ski equipment, in general full equipment. Going 2 places that takes only 1 day is too convenient. Link to book here, winter is coming soon, book quickly to avoid run out of tickets: Nami Island, Petite France, and Vivaldi Park Ski World Tour.
Nam San Tower
Namsan Tower (N Seoul Tower) is a symbol of Seoul. The tower was built in 1969 on the top of Nam San Mountain, which is located between central Seoul and Nam San Park. N Seoul Tower has a height of 237m. Traveling to Korea in winter, visitors can take the cable car to Namsan Mountain or walk on the winding road to see the whole of Seoul from above, especially the extremely romantic night view.
In winter, this largest amusement park in Korea will also have many special activities such as ice skating, ice fishing, in addition to the usual popular games. Book tickets at Klook for a 55% discount compared to buying tickets at the gate. Link to book: [Limited Offer] Everland 1 Day Ticket (QR Code Direct Entry).
Day tour of visiting Everland and night skiing at Jisan Forest Ski Resort (From Seoul) is also quite unique, for those who love experience, you can try here: Jisan Forest Ski Resort Night Time Skiing with Everland Ticket.
In addition to Everland, you can also explore other famous theme parks such as Lotte World and Seoul Land.
Korea winter travel blog: Enjoy the food in the winter
Barbecue: Spring, summer, autumn, winter also is delicious, not just winter, but the feeling of smoke and heat out from the grill will make you feel much more interesting. Korean barbecue restaurants are mostly everywhere, you can visit Hongdae district, the entertainment area to try. Remember to order the soju bottle for the full set meal.
Odeng (fish cake): The ingredients include: fish meat is finely ground and then mixed with flour, add seasonings of salt, rice vinegar, sugar, then make into strips or squeezed into long tubing and golden fried.
Tteokbokki: A famous street food of the land of kimchi. The cake is made from garaetteok rice cake, mixed with gochujang chutney, adding meat, eggs, spices and green onion.
Grilled sweet potatoes, roasted chestnuts: Especially chestnuts, I swear it’s so tasty that make you forget the way back. There are many street vendors on the sidewalks, you can drop by to buy very easily.
Other specialty: In addition the foods above, you also can try Bungeoppang (Korean Fish Shaped Pastry), Mandu (Korean Dumplings), Hotteok (Korean Sweet Pancakes), Kimbap (Korean Sushi Roll) etc… are typical Korean dishes, remember to try them, but these are quite oily and greasy.
Suggested Korea winter itinerary 5 days (Korea winter travel itinerary 5 days)
Day 1: Take a flight from Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh City to Seoul City (nonstop flight, flight time is about 4 hours; transit will takes about 7 hours).
Day 2: Explore Seoul
- Gyeongbokgung Palace
- The National Folk Museum of Korea
- Blue House (the executive office and official residence of the President of South Korea)
- Bukchon Hanok Village
- Cheonggyecheon Stream
- Gwanghwamun Square
Day 3: Seoul – Everland Theme Park – Shopping
- Explore Everland
- Shop at the famous Korean Ginseng and Cosmetic stores.
Day 4: Day trip to Nami Island – Learn how to make Kimchi – Try wearing Hanbok
- Join Kim Chi making class.
- Back to Seoul, you stop to buy Korean ginseng and lingzhi.
Day 5: Return to Hanoi/HCM
- Check–in N Seoul Tower
- Shop for souvenirs at the duty free shops at the airport
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in and from Seoul you can refer to
- Private Incheon International Airport Transfers (ICN) for Seoul
- Private Incheon Airport Transfers (ICN) for Seoul
- Incheon International Airport (ICN) Limousine Bus Transfers for Seoul (Gangnam District)
- Klook Exclusive Seoul 5 Day Pass
- Discover Seoul Pass (BTS Edition Available)
- [SALE] Instant Ticket! Korea Rail Pass (KR PASS) 2/3/4/5 Days to travel around the cities in Korea
- Private Incheon Airport (ICN) and Gimpo Airport (GMP) Transfers for Seoul by S.A Tour
- Everland Private Car Charter with Admission Ticket by Wondertrip
- KAL Limousine Bus Ticket for Seoul
- [Limited Offer] AREX Incheon Airport Express Train One Way Ticket in Seoul
- Bukchon Oneday Hanbok Rental Experience (4/24 Hrs)
- Nami Island, Petite France, Garden of Morning Calm, and Gangchon Rail Bike Day Tour from Seoul
- Seoul City Sightseeing Bus (Downtown Palace Namsan Course/Seoul Panorama Course)
- [Limited Offer] Incheon International Airport (ICN) Luggage Services (Between Airport and Hotel) by Safex
- 4G Prepaid SIM Card (SK Airports Pick Up) for South Korea
- [Sale] Hanbok Experience (Hanboknam Gyeongbokgung Store) with Korean Hairstyling
- [SALE] South Korea 4G Pocket WiFi (KR Airports Pick Up) from KT Olleh
- 4G WiFi (MY Airport Pick Up) for South Korea (Unlimited Data)
- 4G Portable WiFi for South Korea from Uroaming (Unlimited Data)
Are you looking for more Korea travel guide and top things to do in Korea: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Check out here.