Winters in Korea are known to be harsh, but there are plenty of things to do during winter in South Korea. Festivals, performances, and events abound across the country despite plunging temperatures. If you’re wondering about Korean winter activities, then look no further!
Those not afraid of fully embracing the cold can get outside with snow sports, ice rinks, and ice fishing festivals, and you can also enjoy the pleasant sights in and around Seoul. You can also stay warm indoors while enjoying some music. From markets to ice sculptures, sunrise festivals to sledding, there’s plenty of things to do during this Korean winter.
The Pyeongchang Trout Festival takes place during winter in the town of Jinbu-myeon. Trout farming first started in Pyeongchang due to its cold, clear waters. Visitors to the festival can enjoy a variety of programs including ice and lure fishing for trout, snow programs, ice programs, folk programs, and more.
There will also be traditional folk games including sledding and top spinning, and sports such as riding 4-wheel ATVs, snow rafting, sleigh trains. Any trout caught from ice fishing and lure fishing can be prepared right away at a nearby restaurant.
Opens: Late December Price: ₩13,000 for a fishing ticket, ₩25,000 for a tent to keep the wind off of your face, and ₩3,000 to take your fish to a restaurant and request for it to be cooked/prepared. For more information: Visit http://www.festival700.or.kr/
Enjoy on-snow and ice events for all ages! Likewise, get to see wonderful snow sculptures and the breathtaking Taebaeksan mountain. Fees start at ₩2,000.
Opens: 2 weeks in January For more information: Check updates on festival.taebaek.go.kr (Korean) or call the Taebaek-si Tourism Information Center at +82-33-550-2828 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese).
The patron saint of skiing and snowboarding stations in Korea offering 28 slopes and an elevation of 1350m. Count on three hours travel time from Seoul (shuttle bus and car only). With 28 different slopes of varying difficulty, Yongpyong is a great destination for winter sports.
The new kid on the block, with a summit of approximately 1150 m. The casino is nearby for apres-ski gambling, there are plenty of accommodation options nearby, it has a proper snow (not hard ice) mogul run, and best of all it is rail-accessible.
Opens: Mid November – early April Entrance Fee: High1 Ski charges ₩78,000 for a day pass and also offers a variety of half day passes, evening passes and season tickets. For more information: Visit http://www.high1.com/eng/skiInfo/html.high1
Perhaps the most scenic layout of any ski resort in Korea. A beautiful panorama awaits you at the highest summit of any ski station in the country (approximately 1530m). With plenty of options for accommodation, Muju is also rail-accessible and the only major ski resort south of Seoul.
The ‘Snow Buster’ sledding hill in Everland during winter is a great attraction for families and Seoulites who don’t ski and prefer a more laidback winter sport. Everland provides the slope, the sleds, and the snow, as well as several other helpful facilities such as heated lounges with refreshments and snacks. Another huge bonus? Everland installed a ‘tube lift’ for the ‘Snow Buster’, meaning you can sled to the bottom, climb back up to the top and do it all over again without getting (too) tired.
Spavis, a waterpark in Asan, makes the most of a frozen wintry lake and offers ‘ice diving’ as a winter activity. If you feel like braving the cold, strip down to your bathers and soak in a heated pool in the freezing cold. Surrounded by snow, it’s a nice way to relax and enjoy the mineral-rich hot springs. And if you get tired of the ice diving, there’s a variety of novelty pools, water slides and saunas.
Entrance Fee: ₩64,000 for high season, ₩37,000 for low season Hours: 9:00 – 19:00 during the high season, 10:00 – 18:00 during the middle season. After 4PM, customers will receive a 50% discount on the admission fee. For more information: Check http://www.spavis.co.kr/reservation.guide.asp
Practice your skills, or take some classes to learn ice skating. Either way, it’ll be a fun leisure activity among friends or even a nice date idea. In some venues, there may also be snow sledding hills, snow playgrounds, and other diverse winter activities.
One Mount, an indoor winter theme park located in Ilsan, offers a large indoor ice skating rink separated for both skaters and sledders.
Entrance Fee: ₩35,000 for all-day tickets, foreign customers get 50% off admission fees (don’t forget your relevant identification!) Skate Rental: ₩5,000 – personal skates are not allowed. Hours: 10:00 – 18:00 during weekdays, 10:00 – 19:00 during weekends. For more information: Visit http://en.onemount.co.kr/
Lotte World contains a giant and fully enclosed hockey-sized ice skating rink that is open year round. Hours are from 11AM-10:30PM on weekdays, and 10AM-10:30PM on weekends. The cost for 3 hours of skating ranges from around ₩10,000 – ₩15,000.
Yeouido Park is a great skating destination for the whole family. As well as an indoor ice skating rink, Yeouido Ice Park features a sledding slope and a snow ‘playground’. Day passes are priced at only ₩2,000. This ice rink is 1,800sqm and open from 10AM-9.30PM throughout the winter season, last year the rink opened the first week of December.
Known as one of Seoul’s most beautiful skating rinks, the Grand Hyatt hotel transforms their outdoor swimming pool area into a beautiful and romantic winter wonderland. Featuring twinkling fairy lights and decorated trees, the lovely winter ambiance makes it a popular winter date destination.
Aiins World, Korea’s miniature theme park, now holds their ‘World Nightview Fantasy Lighting Festival’ throughout the year. However, we think it’s beautiful to see in the crisp coldness of winter. Located in Bucheon-si, the theme park is easily accessible via public transport (Seoul Subway Line 7).
If the LED roses at the DDP aren’t enough, see the whole Pocheon Herb Island filled with Christmas lights! The Light & Fairy Tale Story Festival never fails to wow guests with the truly fantastical decor. Starting in November, you can also try various Christmas-themed activities like tree, candlestick, and souvenir soap-making.
Entrance Fee: ₩6,000 for weekdays For more information: Check out en.ggtour.or.kr (English) or herbisland.co.kr (English, Korean, Chinese) for more information.
This London-based band comprised of a hip-hop producer, a classical composer, a house DJ, and a singer-songwriter with credits including Drake, Kwabs, Foxes, Raleigh Ritchie, and Klangkarussell, PREP fuse elements of R&B, funk, and jazz into a melting pot of blissfully-styled pop. If you missed them at Seoul Jazz Festival, you will not want to miss them this winter.
Tickets start at ₩77,000 and are available to purchase via Interpark.
Alternative R&B revolutionary The Weeknd remains one of the most enigmatic artists of the 21st century. The Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum-selling trendsetter will be visiting Seoul on December 15th. Don’t miss your chance to see this legendary artist.
Tickets start at ₩88,000 and are available to purchase via LiveNation.