How To Enjoy Winter In Korea: All The Best Tips

There’s nothing like seeing the snow falling delicately upon the black tiled rooftop of an extravagant royal palace and knowing that winter in Korea is about to start. After the beautiful autumn leaves have given up their final branch, the cold winds blow and snows arrive on the Land of Morning Calm. This sets the scene for some fantastic winter festivals, snowball fighting, winter sports, delicious hot foods, and lots more.

Winter in Korea is a tough season, but one that also adds incredible new challenges and opportunities to experience new sights, tastes, and sensations. Don’t be put off by the cold temperature. Embrace winter in Korea (preferably with a hot pack) and see all the wonders that this season can bring. There’s nothing like seeing the best sights in Korea all covered in soft white snow.

Top Tips To Help You Enjoy Winter In Korea

I’ve been in Korea for several winters – some of which were freezing cold with snow falling regularly, others were less severe and had lots of sunny days. During these Korean winters I’ve travelled all over the country and experienced so much. I’ve put those experiences in this article, as well as lots of other really useful winter in Korea tips.

Winter is long (over 4 months) with a plethora of different activities to enjoy. There is no ‘perfect’ winter in Korea – every year the weather changes and the amount of snow that falls goes up or down. There are some ‘perfect’ activities though, and I want to share all of these with you so you can enjoy Korean winter to its fullest.

In this article, I’m going to delve into the various winter activities, foods, experiences, and sights, as well as provide essential tips for surviving the cold weather.

Read on to find out all the best winter in Korea tips that’ll give you an incredible winter experience in Korea.

Disclaimer: This article may contain affiliate links, which means I may earn commission if you book after clicking. This won’t cost you anything extra, but helps me to keep on writing content for you. Thanks for your support.

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Goldfish bread

Best Things About Winter In Korea

For me, the best things about winter in Korea have to be the delicious Korean winter foods, the chance of snow blanketing everything in white, and the unique winter festivals.

As a keen hiker, the chance to go hiking in the beautiful Korean mountains and see the desolate landscape bathed in crystalline white snowflakes is irresistible. Skiers and snowboarders will also really enjoy the snow-covered mountains.

I’m sure the first thing most people want to know about in a guide to winter in Korea is the weather, so here’s what you need to know.


Nami Island, where you can see snow in Korea

1: Fun Activities To Do In Winter In Korea

Korea has so many places to visit at any time of the year, but some really come alive or look even more beautiful in the snow. Read on to see what places should be top of your winter in Korea itinerary.

Many sights are adapted to the cold, dark days to make them come alive during winter. For example, the main theme parks have a host of winter activities to keep you entertained.

One of my favourite places to visit during winter are the national parks to see some of the 8,000+ mountains in Korea draped in white, silky snow.

And, of course, some things you can only do during winter, such as skating, sledding, skiing, and snowboarding.


1.1: Theme Parks To Visit During Winter In Korea

Great for families, couples, and fun lovers, Korea’s major theme parks are amazing any time of year.

Here’s a breakdown of the three of the biggest theme parks in Korea that are worth a visit in winter.


Everland Theme Park near Seoul, South Korea

Everland

There are two major winter festivals in Everland.

Firstly, ‘Winter Wonderland‘ runs from November 1st to December 31st. There are lots of Christmas-themed light displays, musical performances, marches, and more. Find out more right here.

Secondly, ‘Everland’s Snow Festival‘ runs from January 1st to mid-March. You’ll find a lot more snow and ice based events here as winter really gets started, including a snow play park, snow zootopia, the snow avenue, and more. Find out more from right here.

>>Book discount travel and entrance tickets from Klook.


Lotte World in Seoul, South Korea

Lotte World

Because Lotte World is indoors, you can enjoy all the wonderful rides and attractions at any time of the year. Winter is even better as you can escape any bad weather and stay warm while you have fun.

Find out about all of the fun rides and attractions right here.

>>Book discount tickets with Klook.


OneMount Snow Park

One Mount’s Snow Park

One Mount’s Snow Park, located just outside of Seoul is the first and largest winter theme park in South Korea.

You can try lots of fun winter events here, including bowling on ice, sledding, ice slides, and watch the fun parades and winter performances.

>>Book tickets with Klook here.


Ice Skating in Seoul

1.2: Ice Skating In Korea

Koreans love to go ice skating in winter and you can find ice skating rinks popping up all over the country. Here are some of the best ones you can find in Seoul and also one in Busan.

Seoul:
Seoul Plaza Ice Rink
Mokdong Ice Rink
Lotte World Ice Rink
Olympic Park Ice Skating Rink
Grand Hyatt Seoul Ice Rink

Busan:
Shinsegae Centum City Ice Rink


Hiking in South Korea is amazing

1.3: Mountain Hiking & Trekking In Korea

Above are some of the pictures I’ve taken during my years of hiking and exploring Korea’s incredible natural beauty while it is blanketed in snow.

If you feel like seeing sights like this and want to get out of the big cities when you visit Korea, here are some of my recommendations for the best places to hike or trek.

Mount Deogyusan (Muju) – a great day trip from Seoul, this is one of my favourite mountains to climb in winter. Amazing sights along the way, including temples covered in snow. You can take a cable car and ski in the same area, too.

>>Book a day trip from Seoul to get here more easily.

Seonjaryeong Ridge (Pyeongchang) – Seonjaryeong is perfect for trekking due to its low slopes and is located in one of the snowiest areas in South Korea.

Bukhansan National Park (Seoul) – located in northern Seoul, this is a great chance to get some snow without leaving the city. Great views over Seoul and the surrounding mountains.

Hallasan National Park (Jeju) – the highest peak in South Korea also gives you an incredible view of the whole of Jeju Island. A full day of hiking and snowy peaks make this unmissable for snow-loving hikers coming to Korea.

If you want to go hiking, be prepared for colder weather and bring more suitable clothing and equipment, including crampons, hiking boots, and snow-proof clothing.


Korean sauna at a Jjimjjilbang

1.4: Relax In A Korean Sauna

After a busy day out in the cold, cold weather, there is perhaps nothing better than warming your body in a Korean sauna. Known as ‘jjimjjilbangs‘ in Korean, saunas can offer anything from a simple hot tub to an extravagant range of hot (or cold) pools, steam rooms, massages, hot rooms, and more.

You can even spend the night in some of them, a great emergency hotel room or budget option when visiting a different city for a night. I’ve certainly stayed in a few as I’ve travelled Korea.

Here is a list of the best saunas in South Korea. Check one out and feel amazing.


Skiing & Snowboarding

2: Where To Go Skiing & Snowboarding In Korea

Korea is great for winter sports (hence hosting the Winter Olympics in 2018) and there are loads of great ski resorts in Korea where you can shred the gnar all day long.

Here is a list of some of the best places in Korea for winter sports:


Vivaldi Ski World Resort (Near Seoul)

The most popular ski resort in Korea, with state of the art facilities and amazing courses. There are 12 slopes and 10 lifts here, with something suitable for any level.
>>Click here for tour a 2D1N tour package.

Vivaldi Ski Resort in Korea

Alpensia Ski Resort (Pyeongchang)

One of the main resorts used for the 2018 Winter Olympics, Alpensia Ski Resort offers a range of winter activities for levels of all ages. There are 6 courses for various skill levels.
>>Click here for tour a 2D1N tour package.

Alpensia Ski Resort In Koreaa

Bears Town Ski Resort (Near Seoul)

Definitely one of the best skiing destinations in Korea. This resort has over 11 slopes and 8 lifts. The tracks are varied, with courses for all skill levels, from beginners to experts.
>>Click here for tour a 1 day tour package.

Bears Town Ski Resort In Korea

Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort (Near Seoul)

The stunning Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort offers skiing, snowboard, and snow sledding. You can also hike around the area and see the beautiful Korean nature.
>>Click here for tour a 1 day tour package.

Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort In Korea

Yongpyong Ski Resort (Pyeongchang)

Another resort used for the 2018 Winter Olympics. This is a large ski resort that has 28 slopes to choose from. Very popular with ski and snowboarding enthusiasts.
>>Click here for tour a 1 day tour package.

Yongpyong Ski Resort In Korea

Beautiful Hanok Homestays in Bukchon Hanok Village, Seoul, South Korea

3: Book A Hanok Stay – Real Korean Winter Experience

If you’re looking for an authentic Korean experience, why not try a hanok stay? Hanok are traditional Korean buildings and you can try spending the night in one.

Did you know that Koreans traditionally heated their houses through an underfloor heating system called ondol?

This is still popular across Korea and if you book a hanok stay you can certainly feel just how warm and cosy it is. Sleep on a futon on the floor and feel the heat seeping up into your body.

You can book a hanok stay in places like Bukchon Hanok Village, Jeonju Hanok Village, and across South Korea.

Here are a couple of great places I’d recommend if you want to try a hanok stay in Seoul:


Bonum 1957 Hanok and Boutique ****

One the most luxurious hanok hotels in Seoul, this beautiful traditional house offers all modern conveniences. Furthermore, you’ll find a stunning garden, terrace, and wonderful traditional furniture and decorations throughout. All rooms include heating, air-con, WiFi, and a private bathroom.
>>Click here to book a stay.


Cheong Yeon Jae Hanok Hotel **

Cheong Yeon Jae Hanok Hotel offers a traditional Korean sleeping experience in the heart of Bukchon Hanok Village. Sleep on comfortable futons that will certainly straighten your back after a busy day seeing the sights. Comes with air-con, heating, WiFi, and western-style bathrooms.
>>Click here to book a stay.


Gongsimga Hanok Guesthouse **

Ideally situated in Bukchon, and just a short walk away from Gyeongbokgung Palace and Insadong, this guesthouse has real charm. This is certainly a great place for budget travellers to get a real Korean experience without breaking their budget. Comes with WiFi, air con, heating, and a private bathroom.
>>Click here to book a stay.


Dajayon Hanok Stay **

Located close to Jongmyo Shrine and Changdeokgung Palace, this hanok stay experience is great for all travellers and provides a home away from home experience. Comes with a delicious continental breakfast, free WiFi, air con, heating, and a private bathroom.
>>Click here to book a stay.


Me catching my lunch at the Ice Fishing Festival in Korea

4: Festivals During Winter In Korea

A guide to any season wouldn’t be complete without touching on some of the many wonderful festivals celebrated across Korea. As with many other Korean festivals, towns and cities go all out to put on a good show.

Here are a selection of some of the best Korean winter festivals for you to join and enjoy.


Ice Fishing Festivals in Korea, a great place to see snow outside of Seoul

4.1: Ice Fishing & Catching Festivals In Korea

There are several towns across Korea that take advantage of the frozen rivers to put on ice fishing festivals. Grab a small fishing rod and bag, drop it into the ice, and then catch your lunch.

There are often many other activities, such as tubing, catching fish with your hands, and sledging. Furthermore, you can usually find snow & ice sculptures on display.

Click below to find out more about the best ice fishing festivals in South Korea. The dates are all for winter 2019 / 2020.


Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Fishing Festival – Jan 4 ~ 26

Located in northern South Korea, the Hwacheong Sancheoneo Ice Fishing Festival is a lot of fun. This was my first winter festival in Korea and I loved it. I spent the whole day here and there is lots to do, just like the Pyeongchang Trout Festival. I even managed to catch a yummy fish
>>Click here to book a 1 day tour.


Pyeongchang Trout Festival – Dec 21 ~ Feb 2

The Pyeongchang Trout Festival is a fun festival for all the family. Try your hand at ice fishing with a fishing rod. Alternatively, if you’re feeling really brave, jump in the water and try bare-handed ice fishing!
>>Click here to book a 1 day tour.


Inje Ice Fishing Festival – Jan 18 ~ Jan 27

Catch and cook a delicious fish here and show your survival skills. The taste of freshly caught river fish is even more satisfying than one from a restaurant. Furthermore, you can take part in ice-sports, including football and ice-fish sledging. A full day out and wonderful cultural experience.
>>Click here to find out more.


Herb Island in Winter

4.2: Winter Light Festivals In Korea

The beautiful autumn leaves may have fallen, frozen and returned back to the earth, but there are still many ways to enjoy Korean nature.

A lot of famous areas of natural beauty put on winter light festivals to keep tourists entertained and make for wonderful experiences in the dark winter days.

Click below to find out details of some of the best winter light festivals in South Korea. The dates are all for winter 2019 / 2020.


Garden Of Morning Calm Lighting Festival – Dec 15 ~ Mar 5

This is my favourite winter light festival in Korea. A short trip out from Seoul, this garden transforms into a stunning view with millions of LEDs creating a fantasy forest of light for you to walk through.

Make this an awesome day trip by combining it with fresh strawberry picking and a trip to Vivaldi Snowy World.
>>Click here to book a 1 day tour.


Boseong Green Tea Field Light Festival – Nov 29 ~ Mar 5

Boseong is famous for its gorgeous green tea fields in summer, but is still special during the dark winter days. In its 17th year, the Boseong Green Tea Field Light Festival gets better every year.

See the fields of lights and try some of the delicious Korean green tea grown in the same fields.
>>Click here to find out more.


Herb Island Light Festival – Nov ~ Apr

Stroll through the romantic gardens of Herb Island and be dazzled by the many colourful lights on display here.

Perfect for couples wanting romantic shots together with an electric background. Also features Santa’s Tunnel, with over 300 Santas to meet!
>>Click here to find out more.


Homigot New Year Sunrise Festival In South Korea

4.3: New Year Sunrise Festivals In Korea

If you’re visiting Korea during New Year then don’t miss out on the chance to celebrate like the locals do. The traditional way to do that in Korea is to watch the first sunrise of the year, preferably somewhere along the east coast of Korea.

Also be sure to enjoy a steaming bowl of mandu-guk (dumpling soup) – the traditional dish eaten on New Year’s Day.


Homigot New Year Sunrise Festival

Located on the easternmost peninsula of Korea, this is the first place to watch the sunrise hitting the Land of Morning Calm.

More than just the sunrise, the festival includes local cultural performances, a fire show, sunrise concert, and many other entertaining traditions.

Also enjoy a bowl of tteok-guk (rice cake soup), another traditional New Year’s Day dish.

Click here to book an overnight tour from Busan.


Jeju’s Seongsan New Year Sunrise Festival

A Korean New Year sunrise festival for nature lovers. Set atop Ilchulbong Peak, a UNESCO World Nature Heritage Site, visitors to Jeju can enjoy watching the first sunrise of the year in an amazing setting.

Watch the sunrise and make a wish for the New Year. This has been a traditional spot to watch the sunrise since the 13th Century. Located near Jeju’s southern city of Seogwipo.

Click here for more information.


Gyeongpo New Year Sunrise Festival

Located on the eastern city of Gangneung, with its beautiful beaches, this sunrise festival is very popular with Koreans. Start with fireworks to welcome in the new year, and then come back for an incredible sunrise on the beach.

Other cultural programmes are available on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Afterwards, enjoy the lovely beaches of Gangneung.

Click here for more information.


Winter Festivals in Korea, a great place where to see snow outside of Seoul

4.4: Other Winter Festivals In Korea

Besides these major festivals, you can also find some fun events going on across Korea. Here are 2 more of the best winter festivals in Korea.


Taebaeksan Mountain Snow Festival – Jan 17 ~ Feb 2

Taebaeksan is a great place to go hiking and see incredible snow-topped mountains and worth the trip alone.

Come for the festival and also enjoy exquisite snow & ice sculptures, snow sledding, live performances, and more. There’s also a parade through the snowy streets of this quaint town

Click here for more information.


Jeju Fire Festival – Mar 7 ~ Mar 11

You might not associate winter with fire, but this goes back to an old tradition of burning fields to kill harmful bugs and to prepare the ground for a new year of grass and crops.

This festival now involves setting fire to the side of one of Jeju’s many oreum (hills).

This traditional festival highlights traditional Korean lifestyle and includes a traditional wedding ceremony, too.

Click here for more information.


Korean porridge is great in winter, healthy and nutritious

5: The Most Delicious Korean Winter Foods

The best thing about winter in Korea for me is the chance to indulge in some of Korea’s best food. Korea has such a diverse range of dishes that you’ve probably never heard of. There’s a lot more than just kimchi and Korean BBQ.

Read on to find some of the best street food and dishes to enjoy in winter.


5.1: Top 3 Korean Winter Street Foods

Here are 3 of the best Korean winter street foods that you should definitely try when you visit Korea. Cheap, found all over the place, and great for keeping you warm and full of energy.


Goldfish bread, one of the best Korean winter foods for locals and tourists alike

Bungeo-Bbang – 붕어빵 (Goldfish Bread) – Arguably the most popular Korean winter food for amongst locals and tourists alike is this cute goldfish bread. Baked in a fish-shaped mould, this treat not only looks great, it also tastes great.

Stuffed with red-bean paste, something you’ll find in a lot of Korean baked goods, this fish will give you a warm, fulfilling boost of energy. Crispy on the outside, sweet and delicious on the inside.


Hotteok, korean sweet pancakes are great Korean winter foods

Hotteok – 호떡 (Korean Sweet Pancakes) – What makes this so amazing is that it tastes like a donut but is stuffed with hot, sweet syrup, cinnamon, and some crunchy nuts. This combo of fried, sweet, crunchy goodness, along with the warmth it gives you as you gingerly hold it, really gives you a boost.


Egg bread - great on a cold day

Gyeranppang – 계란빵 (Egg Bread) – A classic street food from the food stalls of Myeongdong Market and similar places. You should certainly grab one of these Korean winter street food snacks whilst out shopping for bargains.

This simply delectable dish is as basic as it sounds – an egg on top of a slice of toasted bread. Hot, gooey, a bit messy, and yet so warming and satisfying on a cold winter’s day.


5.2: Top 3 Korean Winter Dishes

There’s nothing better than escaping the cold weather and recharging with a stomach-warming bowl of delicious Korean food. You’ll find lots of soups, stews, hot pots, and freshly cooked delicacies across Korea. Here are 3 of my favourite winter dishes.


Kimchi jjigae - definitely one of the best Korean winter foods available

Kimchi Jjigae – 김치 찌개 (Kimchi Stew) – This is one of the best Korean winter foods in my opinion. It’s great for lunch or dinner and really fills you up. Any jjigae (stew) is going to be perfect to recover from the cold, but I think kimchi jjigae is the best.

A delightful mix of cabbage kimchi, tofu, cellophane noodles, pork or tuna, and vegetables, served with a portion of rice.


Dolsot bibimbap - perfect for a cold Korean winter day

Dolsot Bibimbap– 돌솥 비빔밥 (Stone Bowl Mixed Rice) – This is the winter version of one of Korea’s most popular and famous foods – bibimbap. Whereas regular bibimbap is served cold, this hot stone bowl version really mixes things up.

Instead of a fried egg, a raw egg is dropped on top and mixed together with the rice, vegetables, sauces, etc. This creates a kind of egg fried rice that is both delicious and healthy.


Delicious mandu guk at one of the traditional markets in Korea

Mandu-guk  – 만두국 (Dumpling Soup) – A good mandu-guk will be packed full of scrummy dumplings filled with kimchi, meat, or seafood. Also squeezed in with the dumplings, you might find tteok 떡 (rice cakes), sliced vegetables, ground meat, or even an egg.

This is definitely one of the best Korean winter foods and is even eaten on a special day in Korea. Koreans start the New Year with a bowl of mandu-guk. If you’re in South Korea at the time, be sure to try it.


The Best Korean Winter Foods To Keep You Warm


6: Public Holidays During Winter In Korea

There are several major holidays in South Korea during winter that you should be aware of.

This will help you plan your travels and let you know what not to miss out on, including big New Year’s Eve fireworks displays.


Santa Parade on Christmas Day in Korea

6.1: Christmas Day In Korea

South Korea has a large Christian population and therefore Christmas Day is a public holiday. That’s not to say that it’s celebrated in the same way as it is in the West, but it’s still a day to spend time with family and loved ones.

As with many other big holidays (including Halloween), Korea has embraced global trends and you’ll therefore see lots of statues of Santa Claus, trees with decorations, and the usual Christmas scenes you might see in London or New York.

If you’re worried that things will be closed, it’s good to check ahead and be sure. Don’t worry though, most things should still be open during Christmas in Korea. There’ll just be more people out enjoying this day off work.

Join them in enjoying this holiday and see the sights, such as the big Christmas tree in Seoul Plaza and winter lights along Cheonggyecheon Stream.

For religious ceremonies, head over to Myeongdong Cathedral where you can see a nativity scene and reenactment of the birth of Jesus on Christmas Eve.


New Year's Eve Fireworks in Seoul

6.2: New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day In Korea

New Year’s Eve is celebrated with a bang in South Korea. That’s with the bang of a giant bell used in Buddhist ceremonies, and then the bang of colourful fireworks in the night sky.

Following on from the evening’s celebrations, head to the beach to watch the sun rise on a new year, and eat a bowl of mandu-guk (dumpling soup).

If you’re in Korea for New Year’s Eve, then check out the public events and be one the first people in the world to welcome in the new year.


In Seoul, be sure to check out the bell ringing ceremony in Bosingak Belfry near Jongak Subway Station before the stroke of midnight. There should be fireworks nearby, too.

For fireworks, head to COEX Mall in Gangnam, Lotte World Tower in Jamsil, N Seoul Tower on Namsan, or along the Han River.

For nightclubs and rooftop bars with a great atmosphere during New Year’s Eve, check out this article.


In Busan, head over to Haeddong Yonggungsa Temple or Taejongdae Park to see the sun rise. For bell ringing and fireworks, head to Yongdusan Park.


COEX Mall Fireworks & Sunrise In Gyeongpodae Tour

Celebrate New Year’s Eve and the start of the new year in style with this incredible tour.

Starting in Gangnam to see the colourful fireworks display outside COEX Mall, and ending on the east coast to watch the very first sunrise of the year.

Certainly an unforgettable way to start the new year!

Click here to book this tour.


Seollal Traditional Korean Games

6.3: Seollal – Korean Lunar New Year

Seollal is the start of the Korean Lunar New Year and lasts for several days. The dates of this holiday change this year and will be from Friday 24th January until Monday 27th January 2020.

This is a very important holiday for Koreans and a lot of people will travel back to their hometowns to spend the holiday with their families.

What this means for tourists is that many shops and restaurants are closed, especially on the main day – Saturday 25th January.

There is some good news, though. Many of the major attractions, sights and amusement parks stay open during this time and even put on special cultural shows and games to educate people about this holiday and Korean culture.

Be sure to check opening times during this holiday and plan your trip accordingly.

Find out more about the culture and traditions of Seollal.


7: Weather During Winter In Korea

Winters are usually long, cold and dry. Seoul’s mean temperature in January is -5 degrees Celsius to – 2.5° Celsius (23°- 27,5° Fahrenheit).

Ok, let’s get this out of the way first, what is the weather like during winter in Korea? Well, it’s going to be cold. Winter runs from November to March and it’ll be cold throughout those months.

How cold depends on your perspective. Travellers from Canada or Norway might not be too bothered, those from Thailand or the Philippines may be in for a shock.

The temperature drops a lot during winter and falls below zero celsius most days in the evenings. The coldest I’ve experienced was -18 degrees celsius. That was at night.

But don’t worry as most indoor locations are well heated. Public transport, shops, museums, galleries, hotels, etc., will mostly have heating and there are ways to stay warm.


Snowy scenes during winter in Korea

7.1: Will It Snow During Winter In Korea?

There is no definite answer to this. I can say that it doesn’t snow all the time. The earliest I’ve seen snow is mid-November and the latest was mid-March.

Seoul is in the north and so will have more snow than somewhere like Busan or Jeju Island, which are way down in the south.

In my experience, it snows the most in January and February. It still snows in other months, but it’s not as likely.

If you really want to see snow, then I’d recommend getting out into the mountains. This is where you’re most likely to see snow and they are certainly some of the best places to enjoy playing in the snow.

If it does snow, then check out the article below about all the best things to do in winter in Korea when it is snowing.

>>Read Now: Where To See Snow In Seoul & Korea


How to stay warm when there is snow in Seoul, Korea

7.2: How To Stay Warm During Winter In Korea

Korean people have long had to endure many cold winter days and nights, so they have many ways to keep in the heat. Read on for some tips about how to stay warm during winter in Korea.


What To Wear During Winter

The picture below shows how I dress during winter. This was taken in January and I’m layered up with a fleece, neck warmer and hat (I took it off for the picture).

Three layers, but I can easily reduce them when I get inside and back into the heat.

Me hiking in winter in Korea

Jacket – I’d definitely recommend a thick jacket if you’re here in January or February. Most Koreans wear long down jackets. If you’re travelling in November, December, or March, then you should be ok with a regular jacket and some warm jumpers / sweaters.

Tops – Thermal clothes are great for keeping warm in winter and if you’re visiting Seoul or any major city, then it might be worth buying some heat-tech clothing from Uniqlo. Long sleeved sweaters / jumpers are recommended.

Legs – The wind can blow all around, so covering up your legs will keep in a lot of heat. Leggings or long johns under your trousers / pants can really help, too.

Boots – If you’re going to be out in the snow, then definitely bring some waterproof boots or hiking shoes. For walking around Seoul and other cities, you should be ok with some warm trainers / sneakers. Again, waterproofing is an advantage in case it snows.

Socks – It’ll be cold and the wind can get to your toes, so thick wooly socks are great. You can buy them cheaply from Seoul’s many markets, such as Myeongdong Market and Namdaemun Market.

Of course, if you plan to go skiing, snowboarding or hiking, then you’ll want clothes appropriate for those activities.


What Should I Pack For Winter In Korea?

Besides the clothes mentioned above, there are a few other things that will be really useful for surviving winter in Korea. Including:

A hat, scarf, and gloves really help and I usually don’t travel without them during winter time.

Sunglasses – definitely bring a pair. The snow is dazzling and can hurt your eyes. The weather is good during winter with lots of sun and clear skies.*
*good weather not guaranteed!

Sunscreen – also highly recommended, especially if you’re outdoors all day.

Skin cream and lip balm – Korean winters are very dry, so it is good to use face and hand skin cream, as well as lip balm. Good news though, Korea has so many cosmetic shops and you can easily pick them up while you’re here.

Heat packs – those that go in your pocket or can be stuck inside your clothes are really helpful during winter in Korea. You can buy them from most convenience stores, pharmacies, supermarkets and tourist shops. There are even foot warmers you can stick in your shoes.


7.3: Can I Still Go Sightseeing During Winter in Korea?

Yes!

There are so many wonderful things to do in South Korea, and most of these are still available during any time of the year. And of course, so many things to do in winter in Korea

The main palaces in Seoul, temples across the country, traditional markets, gardens and parks, museums, galleries, cafes, and more are still open for business and ready to show you all of Korea’s unique charm.

In fact, I sometimes prefer seeing these sights in winter. The impressive Korean architecture found in the palaces and temples looks even more beautiful covered in snow.

For instance, the deep greens accentuated by the glaring white snow in the picture below are a real sight to be seen.

Korean temple covered in snow during winter

8: Final Winter In Korea Survival Tips

Finally, I want to say again how important it is to wear the right clothes. The ice can be slippery, the weather is bone-numbingly cold at times, and the snow can get everywhere. Be prepared for the weather and you should be fine.

Even if you’re not, Korea has all you will ever need to survive and you can buy stuff in Korea.*
*OK, clothes and shoes can be an issue if you require certain sizes.

Stay warm and drink lots of hot drinks. Try the Korean winter snack foods and dishes, you won’t regret it. Nothing like a bit of spice to warm you up inside, but be careful with some of it or you’ll be sweating like a turkey at Christmas.

Heat packs, whilst not too great environmentally, are a wonderful way to keep warm and stop your fingers from falling off.

If you’re going hiking, ask whether or not you’ll need crampons (probably) to stop you slipping on the ice. And try to bring some hiking poles, too.

Don’t miss out on the chance to see the first sun rise of the year and do as much as you can to make your trip as memorable as possible.

Be brave, eat the exotic dishes, join in, and make new friends.

Have a great winter in Korea!

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Then I’d wholeheartedly recommend 90 Day Korean to help you study Korean wherever you are in the world. Their great courses are tailored to your language learning needs, whatever your level. Featuring weekly lessons, exciting challenges, native-Korean proofreading, email support, regular tests, and lots, lots more. You’ll master essential Korean language in no time and make lots of Korean friends.


Winter In Korea FAQs

Finally, here’s a few FAQs about winter in Korea, in case the above information didn’t cover enough for you.

What Are The Winter Months In Korea?

Winter in Korea starts in mid-November as the last of the autumn leaves falls to the ground. Winter lasts until early March, when the temperature rapidly increases in the new spring.

How Cold Is It During Winter In Korea?

Korean winters can be very cold and dry. The coldest time is in January and February and the temperature is often below zero degrees Celsius even during the day.

Does It Snow In Korea?

Yes! It does snow, but it doesn’t snow all the time. The most likely time to see snow in Korea is during January and February when it’s coldest. However, it’s also possible to see snow as early and November and as late as mid-March.

When Can I See Snow In Korea?

Seoul is in the northern half of Korea and is one of the best places to see snow. However, it can snow anywhere in Korea during winter. Here is my guide to the best places to see snow in Korea. It will help you plan some incredible winter snow-sighting trips.

What’s The Best Thing To Do During Winter In Korea?

The most unique things about winter in Korea are the incredible winter festivals and the chance to eat some really delicious Korean winter foods. Snowman building, snowball fights, exploring Seoul’s royal palaces, and ice skating are also some great activities for Korean winter.

What Should I Wear During Winter In Korea?

Wrap up warm! Hat, gloves, scarf, and lots of layers are a must during Korean winter. You can buy loads of great winter clothes in Korea, as well as heat packs that you can slip in your pockets or stick inside your clothes. Good shoes are also essential to stop you slipping on the icy streets.

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Here are some other great articles that you might want to read about travelling in Korea. Remember, if you have any questions about anything, please feel free to post a comment or join the Korea Travel Advice and Planning Facebook Group.

5 thoughts on “How To Enjoy Winter In Korea: All The Best Tips”

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