From unlimited wine festivals to Shakespearean plays to lantern-lighting ceremonies, there are tons happening this May in Seoul. Why not take part in a tribute to the former kings and queens of the Joseon Dynasty? Or grab tickets to Korea’s biggest EDM festival? Or be one of the first to know about the latest Korean beauty trends through a premier beauty exhibition?
Here at 10 Magazine, we’ve compiled a list of 10 things you should do in Seoul this May.
The New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Korea will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its wine festival in the beautiful outdoor garden of the Grand Hyatt Seoul. This year’s theme “Pure Discovery New Zealand Wine” offers guests the chance to try over 20 kinds of wine from New Zealand’s best vineyards.
The Gwanghwamun International Art Festival offers a variety of activities every year including exhibitions, arts and crafts, and live performances. This year’s festival will be held at the Sejong Art Center, Gwanghwamun Square, and Seoul Art Metro Center. The Sejong Art Center will offer free admission to showcase their 4 exhibits, 1 outdoor event, and 11 art programs. On May 5, in conjunction with Children’s Day, Gwanghwamun Square will host a Children Art Contest for elementary students. From May 22nd to 27th the Seoul Art Metro Center will hold the 9th annual Seoul Love Children’s Drawing Competition, which is a children’s painting festival designed to help children cultivate their emotions through art.
From May 5th to 13th, The Seoul Shakespeare Company will perform the classic play The Merchant of Venice. You can reserve your ticket online here and pay for it at the theatre on the day of the performance. Regular tickets cost 25,000 KRW, while university students (with valid ID) pay 20,000 KRW. All ticket payments must be in cash, as the theatre is not equipped with a card reader. The only exception is for large groups, which have the option of pre-paying by bank transfer. There is no assigned seating, so be sure to arrive a bit earlier to claim good seats. Depending on availability, tickets may be purchased at the door.
Jongmyo Daeje is an annual ritual that pays tribute to the former kings and queens of the Joseon Dynasty. The event has been designated as a UNESCO Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. In addition to the parade, the event includes traditional music and dance performances. Jongmyo Daeje is a fantastic way to experience the rich depth of Korean history. For more information regarding this event, click here.
Dua Lipa, one of Britain’s hottest new singer-songwriters, will be performing at Yes24 Live Hall on May 6 in her first ever solo concert in Korea. Lipa’s lively performance at the 2017 Pentaport Rock Festival in Incheon helped propel her to stardom in Korea, making this year’s performance a highly anticipated event. Tickets are available via ticketbis or viagogo. For more information about the venue, check out the listing of Yes24 Live Hall on our 10 Directory.
Cosmobeauty Seoul is Korea’s most renowned beauty exhibition. Here, both domestic and international beauty companies unveil their latest products to the public; the annual event also features the latest Korean beauty trends in cosmetics, hair care, health, and more through dozens of booths, seminars, and activities. General admission costs 5,000 KRW, while groups of over 20 people pay 3,000 KRW each. For more information about the exhibition or to purchase a ticket, click here. For more information about the venue, check out the listing of COEX on our 10 Directory.
Also known as Yeon Deung Hoe (연등회), this lantern-lighting ceremony has become Korea’s most popular festival amongst foreigners. The tradition of lantern-lighting dates back thousands of years and symbolizes the lighting of one’s heart. Participants in the lotus lantern contest have the opportunity to create their own personal lantern, while visitors can view traditional lanterns along the Cheonggyecheon Stream. At night, the lanterns light up the stream to create a beautiful display of colors.
Don’t forget to check out the Lantern Parade on May 12. Before the parade, attend the Buddhist Cheer Rally at Dongguk University Stadium from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm. Then, from 5:00 pm to 9:30 pm, the streets of Jogno will be a sea of lanterns, dance, and song. For more information about performance times, click here.
The Seoul Eco Film Festival is the biggest and only film festival in Korea that focuses on environmental issues. This year, the Korea Green Foundation will screen 51 films from over 20 countries that promote the festival’s message of environmental conservation. For more information regarding screening times and tickets, click here. For more information about the venue, check out the listing of Ewha Womans University on our 10 Directory.
The 12th Seoul Jazz Festival will feature an all-star lineup with performances by Lauryn Hill, Branford Marsalis Quartet, Jessie J, Heize, Hyuk Oh, and others. A limited amount of 1-day passes are still available for 155,000 KRW. Children under the age of 7 with a parent or guardian can enter the festival for free. For more information, click here.For more information about the venue, check out the listing of Olympic Park on our 10 Directory.
Korea’s biggest EDM festival returns on May 26 with an impressive line-up featuring Porter Robinson, Black Tiger Sex Machine, Boys Noize, and others. 1 and 2-day tickets cost 89,000 and 119,000 KRW respectively, and can be purchased online here. Click here for more information. Tickets must be picked up on-site during the day of the event. For more information about the venue, check out the listing of Olympic Park on our 10 Directory.