Winter in Korea is quite cold with temperatures as low as -20°C. Are you planning a trip to the ‘land of kimchi’ this season, but don’t know where to start? So what makes this country outstanding in winter? Joining us to find out what you should try when coming to Korea through in the winter in the article below! So, what to do in Korea in winter and what to do in Seoul in winter? Let’s check out our suggested 9+ best things to do in Korea in winter and best things to do in Seoul in winter, what to do in South Korea in winter as follows!
- Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort Review — Review a ski day in Gangwon, super cool, extremely value for money
- When is the best time to visit Seoul? — The best, worst, cheapest & best season to visit Seoul
- Seoul cherry blossom 2024 forecast — 9 best places to see cherry blossoms in Seoul
- Korea winter travel blog — Some useful tips, top things to do & best places to travel in Korea in winter
- Seoul autumn foliage 2023 forecast — The time & 13+ best places to see autumn leaves in Seoul
Go ice skating at Seoul Plaza Ice Skating Rink (# best things to do in seoul in winter)
Winter in the land of kimchi starts in December and ends in mid-March. The first thing any tourist visiting Korea will experience is watching the snowfall and participating in exciting outdoor sports activities. During the coldest times of the year, all the parks, tourist attractions and mountain slopes are covered with picturesque white snow.
Ice skating is also one of the great things to do first in the cold winter in Korea. Visitors can try it at any time, but to experience ice skating and falling snow in an outdoor ice rink is a unique experience during the winter. Especially if you go around Christmas time, the decorations and ambient lighting will add a warm, fuzzy feeling as you glide along the ice.
There are quite a few outdoor ice skating rinks open around Seoul, for example: Grand Hyatt in Itaewon and Olympic Park in Songpa-gu, Seoul Plaza (City Hall) seems to be the destination that attracts the most tourists. With a fairly cheap price, suitable for every tourist’s budget, about 1,000 KRW per person per hour, including skate rental. If you need extra gloves and a locker to store your belongings can be rented for another 1,000 KRW.
In addition, there will also be a separate ice skating rink for children and beginners. Children’s helmets are also provided free of charge if needed.
- Address: Seoul plaza, Songpa-gu, Seoul, South Korea
- Opening hours: Monday-Thursday: 10am to 10pm, Friday-Sunday: 10am to 11pm (Including holidays)
Stroll around Bukchon Hanok village (# what to do in seoul in december)
It is a 600-year-old ancient village with peaceful beauty in the heart of Seoul. Bukchon Hanok Ancient Village is one of the famous tourist destinations that attracts visitors in the winter to immerse themselves in the ancient space and experience the unique traditional culture of Korea.
With a location in the north of Seoul, located between Jongmyo royal shrine, Changdeok palace and Gyeongbokgung palace. This beautiful village gathers about 900 hanok houses, all built in a unique architectural style with natural materials but typical of houses in the ancient village.
This is an ideal place for young people from many parts of the world to have the opportunity to learn about the culture and history of the land of kimchi. You can experience courses such as making handicrafts, embroidering bags or most especially renting traditional Hanbok costumes. In winter, the whole village will be covered in white snow, this is an opportunity for you to save beautiful photos for yourself.
In addition, you can visit any roadside restaurant in the village to enjoy Korean snacks such as spicy rice cakes, fish cakes, fried chicken skewers…
Address: Bukchon Hanok Cultural Village, Seoul, Korea.
Experience the sauna (# what to do in seoul in winter)
Coming to Korea in winter, what any tourist will experience is soaking in hot springs or public saunas.
Many tourists often choose natural hot springs located outside the city to relax and have a quiet space to rest. Among them,
Spa in Seoul and Spa Land in Busan are two tourist destinations that attract ten of thousands of visitors every year.
In addition, an address also popular with tourists during winter in the land of kimchi is the unique Korean-style public sauna, also known as Jjimjilbang. These bathhouses will often have saunas, hot tubs and bedrooms to help tourists stay warm and relax comfortably. Besides, there are also tea rooms, karaoke rooms and fast food restaurants that are both comfortable and cozy.
Christmas concerts and events
Winter in Korea starts in December and that is also the start of Christmas holidays here. Therefore, many families or young people want to enjoy their vacation at this time in the land of kimchi.
In particular, although it is not a major festival in the country, many concerts are held here during Christmas. You can go to Interpark or the leading ticket sales sites in Korea to research and buy tickets.
In addition, the roads and major city centers are also decorated with many Christmas trees and beautifully shaped bright light bulbs. Besides, the Christmas party will not be complete without traditional dishes such as grilled beef, a warm bowl of seaweed soup, and cups of fragrant wine to gather together happily.
Ice fishing in Hwacheon
Hwacheon is located in Gangwon province, about 120km northeast of Seoul and borders North Korea. This is the first area of Korea to freeze every winter.
Therefore, the ice fishing festival in Hwacheon is one of the 7 wonders of tourism and one of the 4 largest winter festivals in the world. Every year, this place attracts millions of tourists and local people.
When you come here, you will experience ice fishing with your bare hands, this activity takes place all day and night. Festival participants drop fishing lines through holes in the ice that have been carved to catch “sancheoneo” – a landlocked species of trout that only lives in very clean fresh water. Children can especially participate, so if you travel with the whole family, this will be a meaningful and wonderful experience.
Enjoy street food
Coming to Korea in winter to enjoy dishes with hot and spicy flavors that warm the senses and bring a warm atmosphere will be the top choice of every tourist. Winter here is quite appealing. Step out on any street on the street and you will see carts full of hot dishes or crowded small roadside stalls.
Most tourists who visit are attracted by the steaming plates of food and attractive colors. If you try a piece and enjoy the spicy taste and ecstatic aroma, the whole cold winter space will seem to be warmed. The street food here is quite diverse and rich, you can find it anywhere, for example tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), Odeng (fish cake skewers dipped in broth), Gamja sausage (French fried sausage) and Mattang (candied sweet potato)…
Tasting ice cream
Many people will think this is strange because the winter weather is cold but enjoying ice cream is equally cold. However, if you try it, it will be a completely new and wonderful experience.
When enjoying ice cream sticks in the cold weather here, instead of being cold, you will feel extremely warm. The feeling of the ice cream melting in your mouth, both cold and warm, will definitely make you unforgettable.
Especially, if you go with your lover or it’s a honeymoon trip, don’t miss the bingsu ice cream. With a very simple flavor of just shaved ice cream and sweet red bean paste on top of the cup and enhanced by yogurt and condensed milk, you can add a little almond, red apple or some other ingredients. This is also a type of ice cream that not only people but foreign tourists love when they visit Korea.
Visit Nami Island
It is a semicircular island located near Seoul. If you have ever heard of or watched the famous Korean drama “Winter Sonata”, you will definitely know about this destination right away. Nami Island at any time is beautiful and attracts tourists, but winter is probably the most beautiful and worth a visit time. In winter, Nami Island will be covered in pristine white snow with picturesque landscapes.
When you come here, you will be immersed in a poetic natural scenery with rows of straight, spindly but strong trees. In particular, this place also has roads full of white snow, walking on these roads to watch the tiny first snowflakes flying in the wind. Although the scenery is cold, it will give you unforgettable emotions.
Satisfy yourself in shopping paradise
Korea is known as a shopping paradise and attracts many tourists to enjoy it here. Just being in the largest capital city, Seoul, is enough to make ‘shoppers’ not want to go home.
There are many shopping areas here from shopping malls, close-together clothing stores, cosmetic stores to Myeongdong neighborhoods, Dongdaemun market, Namdaemun… From high-end brands yo affordable stores, various brands, all products are very diverse and rich.
In addition, if you visit Busan there will also be many stores to choose from, the most prominent is probably the Shinsage Centum City shopping center with 14 modern floors. Besides, there is also Lotte Duty, Seomyeon underground shopping center, Lotte Mall Dong Busan… These locations will be shopping lands for you.
Things to note when traveling to Korea in winter
Korean winter lasts from the end of November to the end of March. Especially in the morning and evening, the temperature can drop below zero and snow falls. Take note of this note from us to make your Korean winter trip perfect:
Clothes to avoid the cold: Prepare a thick and warm outerwear, wool hat to cover the ears, gloves and scarf, etc. If you have enough money, you can buy long life jackets at shopping malls or Spao, Uniqlo stores, etc. These brands often sell life jackets every winter with super warm and trendy models. According to my personal experience, you should wear layers of clothing because it will keep you warm better instead of wearing a thick, heavy shirt.
The heating bags sold at 7 Eleven stores are our savior. If you go out to play in the evening, you should buy a few heating bags to put inside your shirt or hold in your hand to warm up. Purchase at 7 Eleven and pay easily with T-money multi-function card. To buy the card and details on how to use it, please see the link below.
Skin lotion: If you have sensitive skin, you should prepare lotion because cold air will make your skin dry and flaky.
Coming to Korea in December will definitely bring you wonderful and meaningful experiences. Hopefully Living Nomads’ sharing above will provide useful information about winter for your upcoming trip to Korea. Wishing you a fun and happy trip!
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 finding more top things to do in Seoul: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Let’s check it out here.