The 23rd Winter Olympics are almost here and will take place from February 9-25 in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Located in the Taebaek Mountains, Pyeongchang is a popular destination for winter sports fans and athletes alike. Athletes from 94 countries will compete in 102 events across 15 sports in the 2018 Pyeongchang Games. Pyeongchang will be the first Winter Olympics to showcase over 100 medal events.
At 10 Magazine, we’ve created the ultimate guide to help you navigate the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
Tickets are still available and prices for different events will range between 20,000 KRW to 900,000 KRW per person. Opening and closing ceremony tickets cost between 220,000 KRW and 1.5 million KRW.
Keep in mind that tickets for more popular sports (ice hockey, figure skating) tend to be pricier than those for other events. The average price for a ticket to the men’s ice hockey tournament final is 300,000 KRW and the best seats are priced at 900,000 KRW.
If you’re not currently in South Korea, you can purchase tickets via authorized resellers such as StubHub. However, be wary of scams and remember that all legitimate tickets come with a QR code, hologram, and name of the original ticket holder. If you want to browse events by country, check out CoSport and Jet Set Sports (official sponsor of Team USA). The safest method is to buy tickets directly from the official website.
Note: Due to the IOC’s partnership with Visa, all transactions related to Pyeongchang 2018 must be done through Visa accounts. This also applies to tickets bought on third-party sites such as StubHub.
Within Pyeongchang, you can find a variety of hotels and pensions. The official site of the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics has an interactive map of available accommodations that you can choose from, along with the contact information for each option.
For those traveling on a budget, the nearby cities of Wonju, Sokcho, Goseong, Yangyang, Donghae, Samcheok, and Hoengseong offer lodgings averaging 100 USD per night. However, if you do decide to stay in a satellite city, remember that it takes one hour to drive to Pyeongchang from these locations.
Note: There are free shuttle buses operating from Wonju, Donghae, and Sokcho, but reservations must be made in advance.
Travelling To The Events
After arriving at Incheon International Airport, you should make their way to either Seoul Station or Cheongnyangni Station either via rail, taxi, or airport bus. From there, you can take the Gyeonggang KTX (high-speed train) directly to Pyeongchang and Gangneung. Depending on your point of embarkation, it will take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours to arrive at Pyeongchang via the KTX. The Gyeonggang KTX is scheduled to have 51 daily trains between February 1st to the 28th to accommodate the Olympic games.
If you’d rather travel via bus to the events, head to Dong-Seoul Terminal (located at Gangbyeon Station Line 2) from ICN airport; at Dong-Seoul Terminal there will be hourly buses heading to Gangneung Bus Terminal, located in the next city over from Pyeongchang. Fares for adults will cost 13,700 KRW per ticket, while fares for students will be 11,000 KRW per ticket. Depending on traffic, the average commute time will be 1 to 3 hours. For more information on transportation to and around Pyeongchang, visit the official website.
Once you’ve arrived, be sure to familiarize yourself with the two main venues where the games will take place. The Alpensia Resort of Pyeongchang will host the opening and closing ceremonies as well as snow sport events like skiing, snowboarding, and bobsledding.
The nearby coastal city of Gangneung will host ice sports events such as hockey, figure skating, speed skating, and curling. For women’s ice hockey, the Kwandong Hockey Centre of the Catholic Kwandong University will be the sole venue.
All of the cities will provide free shuttle buses that will take fans directly to the venues. If you want more information on bus routes and schedules, download the official app for the 2018 Winter Olympics via iPhone or Android. Available languages on the app include English, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and French.
Note: The app also includes information regarding tourist attractions, GPS location services, and real-time news.
Ice hockey will no doubt be one of the most popular sports of these games. Before buying a hockey ticket, keep in mind that this year’s Winter Olympics will not feature NHL players due to a disagreement over insurance policies. Instead, rosters will be comprised of semi-pro and amateur players.
The women’s ice hockey tournament will feature a unified Korean team with players from both North and South Korea playing alongside each other. North Korea has also agreed to send a delegation of athletes and performers to the games in an effort to advance the spirit of Korean unity.
Athletes to Watch
As with every Olympics, there are athletes who shine brightest on the biggest stage. Some names to keep an eye on include Chloe Kim and Adam Rippon.
Chloe is a snowboarding wunderkind who could potentially be the youngest American to ever medal at the Olympics. She shocked the world, at the age of 13, by taking silver at the X Games, which technically qualified her for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Although she was too young for Sochi, the now 17-year-old has firmly secured her place as an early gold medal favorite for Pyeongchang. Her Korean heritage will also ensure that audiences in both America and Korea are keeping close tabs.
Adam is the first openly gay American athlete to qualify for the Olympics. However, his sexual orientation is only a part of who he is. At the age of 28, Rippon is no spring chicken by figure skating standards. After experiencing years of near misses, Rippon finally qualified for his first Olympic showcase in Pyeongchang 2018. Rippon’s trademark move is called the “Rippon Lutz,” and he’s determined to make more history by becoming the first openly gay American to medal at the Olympics.
In case of emergencies, visitors should dial 112, which is the local equivalent of 911. If you’re calling from overseas and wish to report an emergency, dial +82-2-112. Also, if you’re a Verizon Wireless customer, keep in mind that you can have your international fees for the month of February waived during your stay in Korea.
Thanks for checking out the ultimate guide to the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. If there’s something you feel we missed, don’t be shy to drop us an e-mail!