Making angels, having snowball fights, and witnessing snowfall are probably on the bucket list of many people when visiting new places that have a winter season. But there's more to the cold temperatures — a.k.a puffy jacket season — than just snow-related good stuff. Snow is more common in Korea during December and January, but Seoul itself often experiences a dry-cold winter.
With this in mind, we're giving you a list of things you can do — both with and without snow — in South Korea if you happen to be visiting during December to February.
What to do in Korea in winter time
1. Try your hand at winter sports in Gyeonggi-do
Up for an adrenaline rush? Try snow skiing on one of the slopes at Jisan Ski Resort in Gyeonggi-do! And what’s great about this is that Gyeonggi-do is just around 40 minutes away from the heart of Seoul. It’s also a slope that is great for beginners, plus there are tours offered that include 1-hour beginner skiing classes. You can also try snowboarding and sledding at the resort.
Address: Haewol-ri 274-1, Majang-myeon, Icheon-si, Gyeonggi-do
2. Immerse yourself in nature in Nami Island
Nami Island in winter is nothing short of magical. The lines of gigantic trees are covered with blankets of snow, making the view look like it came straight out of a book. You can also enjoy steaming hot red bean buns and delicious sausages freshly made and cooked every day. And if you’ve ever seen (or heard of) the 2002 Korean drama Winter Sonata, you can recreate their iconic scenes while on the island!
Address: 1, Namiseom-gil, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do
3. Wear a hanbok and roam around Gyeongbokgung Palace
One of the most popular things to do when in Korea is to try on a hanbok, the traditional Korean attire. During the winter, people explore the Gyeongbokgung Palace — the main palace during Korea’s last kingdom, Joseon — and take photos in their full costume with additional winter accessories. Imagine the entire palace covered in white snow, and you standing out in your colourful hanbok feeling like royalty.
Address: 161 Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
4. Marvel at the Cheongsong Ice Valley
The Cheongsong Ice Valley is cold even in the midsummer months. It’s home to a mysterious phenomenon that when the outside temperature in the midsummer is at 32°C, ice freezes, and when it’s lower, ice melts. But during the winter time, it turns into a scene straight out of a fairytale. The majestic ice wall stands tall for everyone to see, awaiting families and friends who want to take cool pictures — literally.
Address: 1 Naeryong-ri, Juwangsan-myeon, Cheongsong-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do
5. Spend time with sheep at Daegwallyeong Sheep Ranch
If you’re travelling with kids, here’s a great destination to visit even in the winter. The Daegwallyeong Sheep Ranch in Gangwon-do allows visitors to get up close and personal with their sheep and get to experience feeding and petting them. Plus, the views at the ranch during the winter are simply stunning. Adorable sheep, a great view and cold weather? Sounds like the perfect day to us!
Address: 483-32, Daegwallyeongmaru-gil, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do
Find out more here.
6. See the beautiful Christmas lights in Myeong-dong
Myeong-dong is one of the most popular places to drop by in Seoul. Both tourists and locals visit the area for food and shopping all year round. But during winter, there are more reasons to go to the neighbourhood: the Christmas lights. Myeongdong Cathedral, the national cathedral of the Archdiocese of Seoul and the birthplace of the Roman Catholic community in South Korea, has beautiful light displays every Christmas time that tourists fall in line to take photos with.
Address: 74 Myeongdong-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
7. Attend the Haeundae Lighting Festival
What’s a winter trip without attending a light festival? Every year, Busan hosts the Haeundae Lighting Festival in various areas near Haeundae Beach. Colourful lights illuminate the locations, creating a magical scenery that simply exudes holiday vibes. The highlight of it all are the blue lights that are strewn on the sandy beach near Haeundae Beach, making it seem like illuminated waves are dancing on the beach.
Address: 1373-30 중제1동 Haeundae-gu, Busan, South Korea
Which one are you doing first?
(Cover photo from: @visitseoul_official)
Visiting Seoul soon? Check out these celebrity-approved Korean face masks you should get.
Comments, questions or feedback? Email us at [email protected].