Korea is a beautiful and intriguing place to visit. Much like Japan, Korea combines wonderful natural sights with spectacular cultural curiosities that will have all kinds of visitors hooked. Its booming cities are filled with towering high rises and extensive food and culture districts, while rural Korea has preserved, much of the fascinating culture that separates its people from others in the region. There are some wonderful places to visit in Korea during winter as the season is a charming time to visit the region, partly because of the fact that the snow that it gets adds an element of romance. Take a look at this list of the best tourist places and choose the best places for yourself. Make sure to pack your camera to witness some beautiful landscapes.
Why Visit Korea During Winter?
The snow is perhaps the best reason to visit Korea in winter since that means not only getting a chance to indulge in exciting activities such as skiing and sledding but also getting to savor special winter street food like sweet potato and chestnuts, which is not available at other times of the year! And the snowfall and winters make it one of the best time to visit Korea in winter.
26 Best Places To Visit In Korea During Winter In 2020-21
To spend a relaxing vacation and get cozy amidst the pristine surroundings of this Winterland of Asia, these are the best places to visit in Korea during winter that would charm you away.
- Bukhansan National Park: A Grand Piece Of Land
- Gangchon Rail Bike Park: Have Some Fun
- Nami Island: A Romantic Haven
- Jagalchi Fish Market: Find Variety Of Fishes
- Jung-gu, Busan: For A Festive Spirit
- Seonjaryeong Mountain: A High Trek
- Taebaek: The Best Snow Festival
- Hwacheon-gun: The Ultimate Snow Festival
- Camellia Hill: A Korean Paradise
- Seogwipo: An Interesting Destination
- Vivaldi Park Ski World: Enjoy The Snowy Slopes
- The Garden Of Morning Calm: Relax Yourself
- Everland Theme Park: Discover New Thrills
- LED Rose Garden: For Lots Of Light
- Seoul Plaza – Ice Skating Rink: Have Ice Fun
- High 1 Ski Resort: Best Place To Enjoy Winters
- Wondaeri Birch Forest: A Beautiful Sight For Eyes
- Yongpyong Ski Resort: A Peaceful Place To Spend Winters
- Daegwallyeong Sheep Farm: A Nice Playground For Children
- Onyang Hot Spring: Rejuvenate Yourself
- Geoje Island: Explore The Paradise
- Boseong Green Tea Plantation: Feel Like A Celebrity
- Pocheon Herb Island: Relish Dishes With Fresh Herbs
- N Seoul Tower: Witness The Skyline
- Olympic Park: Adventurous Expeditions
- Boseong Green Tea Plantation Light Festival: For Green Tea Lovers
1. Bukhansan National Park: A Grand Piece Of Land
The natural reserve is a great outing if you want to exert yourself physically while staying in the capital. The park has three peaks, the highest of which rises up to 836 meters. The hikes usually take 7-8 hours and offer the most stunning views of the city and the blood-red forest resting under a blanket of snow. Mountain cats and oriental temples are features that you will not find anywhere else on the planet but here, so that definitely qualifies Bukhansan National Park as one of the top places to visit in South Korea during winter 2021.
Location: Near Seoul
2. Gangchon Rail Bike Park: Have Some Fun
Exploring the countryside during your winter in Korea 2021 has never been more fun than with the rail bikes that you can ride at the Gangchon Rail Bike Park. The Bukhangan river that flows parallel to the tracks freezes over in winters and the ride offers exquisite views of the snow-clad forests. Although the whole thing is about 90 minutes long, it involves only 50 minutes of actual cycling so you don’t tire too much.
Location: Gimyujeong Station
Cost: INR 1828 for two wheeler
Timings: 9 AM – 3 PM
3. Nami Island: A Romantic Haven
Nami Island is the height of the specific winter beauty that Korea is fast acquiring a reputation for and is one of the most romantic places to visit in Korea during winter. This beautiful island is filled with ancient redwood trees, and they turn into beautiful ice cones of nature after any snowfall, brimming with feather-light snow after any snowfall. From here, you can also try and take a shuttle bus to La Petite France, a French cultural village that was built in the honor of the author of Le Petit Prince.
Location: Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do
Entry fees: INR 487, also carry a passport
Timings: 7:30 AM – 9:40 PM
4. Jagalchi Fish Market: Find Variety Of Fishes
Korea, like Japan, has a distinctive flavor for seafood, and nowhere is it more apparent than Busan’s Jagalchi Fish Market. And with the fat content of the fish and other seafood growing during winters, the treats only get tastier in the cold weather. You can buy raw fish, octopus, crabs, and rows of other creatures that you can probably not identify. The next step is to take the fresh produce to any restaurant of your choice and have it prepared your way.
Location: Jagalchihaean-ro, Jung-gu, Busan
Timings: 5 AM – 10 PM
5. Jung-gu, Busan: For A Festive Spirit
The 18 meter tall Christmas tree is the highlight of Christmas in Busan, which officially begins during the last week of November and goes on till January. The Busan Christmas Tree Festival takes place in the central district of Jung-gu in Busan. There are plenty of street folk performances, contests as well as caroling around Christmas during the Tree Festival. The culture of fusion makes it one of the essential places to go in Korea during winter.
Location: Gwangbok-ro, Jung-gu
Dates of the festival: Not announced yet
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6. Seonjaryeong Mountain: A High Trek
At 1,157 meters, you would think this is a hard climb, but as it turns out, the Seonjaryeong mountain is a treat for amateurs, professionals, and practically anyone who wants to enjoy the spectacular views from the top of the mountain. The trail has not-so-steep slopes and is popular with the local Gangwon people. Scaling this mountain in the winters is especially nice because of the snowy views all around that make the place look more like a scene from a movie than anything else.
Location: Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do
7. Taebaek: The Best Snow Festival
Perhaps the greatest ode to your Korea winter trip would be to go see the Taebaeksan Snow Festival. The small settlement of Taebaek has six months of winter on account of its elevation, and the town seems to have converted it into the most fabulous winter fun. Snow sculpture exhibitions, snow rafting, dog sleds, and a very charming igloo cafe are some of the highlights of this lovely festival that should definitely be on your Korean winter itinerary.
Location: Taebaek-si, Gangwon-do
Dates: January – February
Entry fees: Free
8. Hwacheon-gun: The Ultimate Snow Festival
Fishing traditions are important to the Korean people, and each region has its own style of catching the local fish. This important and beautiful part of the culture is on display at the trout festival in the city of Gangwon-do. Actually, a lot of visitors are encouraged to take part in the Hwacheon Trout Ice Festival, and the locals held them out by teaching them the local fishing method. Besides fishing, local contests in ice football, skiing, and sledding are also held during this festival.
Location: Hwacheon-gun, Gangwon-do
Dates 2020: 5 – 27 January
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9. Camellia Hill: A Korean Paradise
If Japan is known for blooming cherry trees, Korea has its own version of paradise-like flower-bearing trees in full bloom, albeit with it happening in the thick of winter! Maybe the most surreal thing you will see in Korea in December is the 20-hectare arboretum at Camellia Hill, that has 6000 camellia trees beside other wildflowers bearing all colors and manners of beautiful flowers. The beautiful walkway and lily pond only add to how beautiful this place is. The flower garden is certainly one of the curiosities of winter in Korea 2021
Location: Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
Timings: 8:30 AM – 5 PM
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10. Seogwipo: An Interesting Destination
Bordering on the bizarre, one of the most interesting places to visit in Korea during winter is the Penguin Swimming Festival in Seogwipo. No, there are no actual penguins, only locals and a lot of tourists taking off their clothes to race in the icy waters off Seogwipo near Jeju-do. After this daring attempt, the participants are treated to fish cakes and warm soup to bring them back to life.
11. Vivaldi Park Ski World: Enjoy The Snowy Slopes
One of the interesting places to visit in Korea during winter is Vivaldi Park. It turns into a ski-park in winters and attracts tourists to enjoy snowboarding and skiing. It has all the state-of-the-art facilities making it one of the most popular ski resorts in the country to spend a winter vacation here. You get a direct access to the snowy slopes making it a heaven for ski-enthusiasts. There are other leisure facilities in the resort for tourists to enjoy like a bowling alley, forest bathing site, and a bumper car.
12. The Garden Of Morning Calm: Relax Yourself
The Garden Of Morning Calm is truly blissful and one of the best places in Korea to witness a light festival during winter, it’s one of the biggest. Get ready to be dazzled by thousands of lighting flowers and glowing lights in vibrant colors.
13. Everland Theme Park: Discover New Thrills
Everland is one of the biggest and best theme parks in Korea. It includes thrilling rides and five themed zones, it has one of the steepest wooden roller coasters in the world that is bound to give you an adrenaline rush, ideal for adventure junkies.
14. LED Rose Garden: For Lots Of Light
The rose garden is not your usual garden with flowers planted, this extraordinary Rose garden consists of 25,550 LED roses that are symbolic of the number of days since liberation.
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15. Seoul Plaza – Ice Skating Rink: Have Ice Fun
If you are visiting Korea in the winters, then one experience that you should definitely have in the winters is ice skating. Head straight to the Seoul Plaza where you can go swish-swish on the frozen bed of ice. It is one of the most exciting ways to spend your time on your winter vacation in Korea. This place is apt for both beginners and experienced.
16. High 1 Ski Resort: Best Place To Enjoy Winters
The best way to enjoy the winters in Korea is by checking you and your family in a ski resort where you can ski all you want and lie in the hot water tub for the rest of the parts of your vacation. You could also enjoy Gondola rides if you are not a fan of skiing. You can either spend a day here or extend your vacation.
17. Wondaeri Birch Forest: A Beautiful Sight For Eyes
You might think why a forest is worth a visit but that’s where you are wrong because the Wondaeri Birch Forest is one of the most beautiful places in Korea. The sight of 700,000 tall birch trees soaring high to the sky and with snow all around is astounding. It is a perfect place to fun hide and seek and make a snowman in the forest. This is surely one of the best places in Korea during winter.
18. Yongpyong Ski Resort: A Peaceful Place To Spend Winters
Yongpyong Ski Resort is another great place to spend your winter vacation in Korea. What makes this resort special is that it was the venue for 2021 Winter Olympics. It has 28 ski slopes in total and have a Gondola ride for non skiers. You could even enjoy the rides in the water park or plan to stay in their on-site accommodations.
19. Daegwallyeong Sheep Farm: A Nice Playground For Children
You can think of unlimited fun things to do in a vast land covered with snow. If you cannot, that means you are not fun-loving and should not visit Daegwallyeong Sheep Farm. A vast farm that gets covered with heaps of snow becomes a snowy playground for children and adults like. Enjoy making a snowman or throwing snowballs at each other. Yu also take swing on the tree. This is one of the best places to go in Korea during winter.
20. Onyang Hot Spring: Rejuvenate Yourself
One of the top places to go in Korea during winter is Onyang Hot Spring which gives a chance to rejuvenate on your Korean vacation. The hot spring is believed to be founded 1,300 years ago which is why it is one of the oldest hot springs in Korea. The spring is said to heal arthritis, skin problems, high blood pressure, geriatric diseases, and liver diseases. Earlier, kings used to resort to this place to heal their ailments and relax. Taking a dip in this hot water, that too in winter is something that no one can afford to miss. Also, one can easily reach this destination by taking a 90-minute ride to the north side of Seoul.
Location: South Korea, Chungcheongnam-do, Asan-si, Oncheon-daero, 1459
21. Geoje Island: Explore The Paradise
If you are planning a vacation to Korea in January then make sure that you visit the second largest island in Korea. Set off the coast of Busan, Geoje Island boasts of bewitching views. As the island is set on the south side, the temperature in winter does not dip too much and thus it is one of the best places to resort to in winter in Korea. Moreover, the island offers some amazing places to visit like Oedo-Botania, a marine botanical garden, and Hallyeo Maritime National Park. The place is no less than a paradise so you make sure that you include it in your itinerary.
Location: South Korea
22. Boseong Green Tea Plantation: Feel Like A Celebrity
Also called the Daehan Dawon Tourist Tea Plantation, this plantation is sprawled in an area of 5,000,000 square meters. The place is now counted among the top places to visit in Korea in winter after it got featured in the SK Telecom commercial and in a Korean drama – The Legend of the Blue Sea. The tea plantation is equipped with beautiful lights so it is better to visit this place at night and stroll in between.
Location: 763-65 Nokcha-ro, Boseong-eup, Boseong-gun, Jeollanam-do, South Korea
Timings: 9 am – 6:30 pm (Thursday – Tuesday), 9 am – 5:30 pm (Wednesday)
23. Pocheon Herb Island: Relish Dishes With Fresh Herbs
Another amazing place to explore in Korea in January is Pocheon Herb Island which was established in the year 1998. The island is home to several Mediterranean herbs which are used to relax the body. The best part about this place is that you can opt for making herbal soaps, candles, and crafts. Moreover, you can also relish some tasty dishes that incorporate these fresh herbs and add a different level of flavors. After the sun goes down, the garden lits up with thousands of light which makes it a perfect romantic tourist spot to explore with your partner.
Location: South Korea, Gyeonggi-do, Pocheon-si, Sinbuk-myeon, Cheongsin-ro 947beon-gil, 35 KR
Timings: 9 am – 10 pm
24. N Seoul Tower: Witness The Skyline
N Seoul Tower is counted among the best places to visit in Korea during winter as it is the major landmark of Korea. One can visit this place during the day time but visiting this place at night is a different thing altogether. Visit N Seoul Tower during the dusk and take a walk in the vicinity with your partner and lock a message as everyone does. Then get to the viewing platform on time to witness the most beautiful sunset and Seoul skyline which keeps changing every minute.
Location: 105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan 2(i)ga-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Timings: 10 am – 11 pm (Sunday-Friday), 10 am – 12 pm (Saturday)
25. Olympic Park: Adventurous Expeditions
The Olympic Park in South Korea is an enormous skating rink that is frequently visited by visitors holidaying here and looking for some interesting adventures. The park organizes Ice Skating during winters where you can indulge in this awesome sport with your friends and kids.
Entry fees: INR 3,000-6,000
Timings: 9:00AM to 7:50PM
26. Boseong Green Tea Plantation Light Festival: For Green Tea Lovers
Another interesting experience of South Korea in winters is being a part of the Boseong Green Tea Plantation Light Festival which is organised between November to January. The festival gives you a chance to taste an enormous range of green teas and you can also check out various green tea based beauty products here.
Entry fees: No entry fee
Timings: 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
11 Things To Do In Korea During Winter
With plenty of things to do in Korea during winter, here are some festival in Korea that you can attend during the winter season and make the most of your trip.
- Petite France Korea Lighting Festival: Enjoy Unlimited
- Strawberry Picking: Have An Amazing Time
- VR Game Cafe: A Slice Of Technology
- Taste Delicious Food: Savor Your Taste Buds
- Visit The Teahouses: Warm Yourself Up
- Insadong: Go For Shopping
- Jjimjilbang: Take A Dip In The Hot Waters
- Sky31: Enjoy Delicacies With A Scenic View
- K-Live Theatres: Ride The Hallyu Wave
- Luxurious Baths: Visit A Mogyoktang
- Namdaemun: Visit The Salt Cave Healing Centre
1. Petite France Korea Lighting Festival: Enjoy Unlimited
Get a slice of Christmas in Europe by attending the Petite France that is definitely a place to during winter in Korea 2021. It will transport you to a France village as it’s the best imitation of Montpellier, France with fairy tale lights.
2. Strawberry Picking: Have An Amazing Time
Go strawberry picking at a warm greenhouse in Korea and escape the chills. Korea has some of the most delicious and juicy strawberries in the world and this activity is the perfect way to indulge in juicy strawberries. Visit the farm in Namyangju that is the best for strawberry picking.
3. VR Game Cafe: A Slice Of Technology
Virtual Reality games are really popular in Korea and it’s no surpirise that they are because of the technological advancement of the country. Gather your friends and family and enjoy these VR games that are available at places all over Korea and is considered as one of the most enjoyable things to do in Korea.
4. Taste Delicious Food: Savor Your Taste Buds
Seoul has a wide array of street food and there are a few dishes that taste even better in winter! If you’re looking for something savory, keep your eyes peeled for Tteok-bokki, which are rice cakes cooked in a spicy red chilli paste and sometimes served with fish cakes.
Another popular snack is gyeran bbang, which is basically bread with eggs. This is a small steamed bread with a whole egg inside and it can come with different toppings.
5. Visit The Teahouses: Warm Yourself Up
Enjoy the winter at Seoul by sipping a piping hot cup of tea with a side of sweet rice cakes. If you want to experience a traditional teahouses, then head to Insadong where the side lanes are filled with them. A few amazing teahouses include: Dawon Traditional Tea Garden, Yetchatjip, Suyeon Mountain Tea Room, and Shin Old Tea House.
6. Insadong: Go For Shopping
Winter in Korea calls for some pretty fuzzy gloves and woolen sweaters to protect yourself from the cold. If you are looking for cheap places to buy mittens and hats then you might not find a better place than Insadong which is famous for its traditional Korean goods. You can choose gloves from a variety of hundred that too at not high costs. It is a haven for both shopaholics and non-shopaholics so make sure that you shop from here in Korea. Make sure that you visit Insadong on your vacation as it is one of the top places to visit in Korea during winter.
7. Jjimjilbang: Take A Dip In The Hot Waters
Jjimjilbangs are basically hot public baths and saunas which are furnished with showers, hot tubs, and massage tables. Jjimjil literally translates into heating hence the name of these places. Many people, athletes, and sportsperson resort to this place to rejuvenate themselves after a match. You will find segregated areas for both men and women here. A bath in the hot tub in the Korean winters will definitely amp up your energy level. So, make sure that you choose one of the Jjimjilbangs as they are the best places to visit in Korea during winter.
8. Sky31: Enjoy Delicacies With A Scenic View
Another interesting thing to do in South Korea is visiting the tallest building here, that’s Sky31 and enjoy scrumptious delicacies while capturing the bird eye of the dazzling Seoul city. The beautiful restaurant on the 31st floor of this magnificent skyscraper is quite popular in the city for offering a delicious range of international cuisine and the views from this place are truly enthralling.
Location: SKY31 Food Avenue
9. K-Live Theatres: Ride The Hallyu Wave
These days Hallyu has emerged as a major part of Korean lifestyle and it is one of the best experiences giving you the actual vibe of this beautiful country. Visit the Hallyu Theme Park known for celebrating the music and success of ‘Gangnam Style’. So just head to the K-Live theatre in Dongdaemun and enjoy the electrifying performance by the artists.
Location: K-Live theatre in Dongdaemun
10. Luxurious Baths: Visit A Mogyoktang
Korea is known for its popular bath house. So you can pamper yourself on your Korean holiday by visiting the nearest mogyoktang, that is, a luxurious bath house. These reviving sites offer relaxation, revitalization, and a skin-brushing scrub.
Location: These are located in almost all the localities. For traditional Korean sauna, you can go to Jjimjilbang
11. Namdaemun: Visit The Salt Cave Healing Centre
Another interesting thing that makes your Korean vacation truly a reviving one is booking a session at the Salt Cave Healing Centre. These centres are known for their treatment of certain allergies and general fatigue. So if you really want to make your Korean vacay a reviving experience then you must surely visit any of these centres.
Location: Salt Cave Healing Centre near Namdaemun
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Travel Tips For Korea In Winter
Keep these tips handy while traveling to South Korea in winter so not only the weather is bearable but you have ultimate fun on your vacation.
- One of the key factors to keeping warm during winter weather is to keep the head warm. Easy ways to accomplish this are thick scarves, ear muffs and beanies.
- Wintercoats with big, fluffy collars of wool or fur – real or fake – and jackets with fur-lined hoods give that extra layer of insulation.
- Carry ugg-like boots to keep your feet warm. Choose the ones tht are easy to slip on and off.
- Do not miss watching the sunrise on your vacation because these are more beautiful in Korea. So are the sunsets.
So, if you have Korea on your mind for your next holiday, winters are perhaps the best season to experience the place and the culture. As mentioned above, there are some wonderful places to visit in Korea during winter. Of course, there is also the inherent natural beauty and mystique of the place that makes it interesting. The local customs and traditions are fascinating, and against the beautiful contrast of snow-clad Korea, the picture is just gorgeous. To witness these gorgeous settings of nature, plan your holiday to South Korea with TravelTriangle.
Frequently Asked Questions About Places To Visit In Korea
Q: How cold does it get in Korea in the winter time?
A: January is the coldest month in Korea with temperatures dropping below -10 degrees Celsius. The winters last from December to February.
Q: Is it cold in Korea in December?
A: Yes, it is. there are cold winds blowing from December to January. There is even chances of snowfall.
Q: What is winter like in South Korea?
A: Very cold. The temperatures drop belowzero, chilly wind blows, and snowfall occurs.
Q: Why is Korea colder than Japan?
A: It is because Japan lies due north and is, therefore, sheltered from cold winds coming from Siberia.
Q: What is there to do in South Korea in winter?
A: The travelers can experience ice skating and ice fishing, go on a shopping spree, attend a concert while in South Korea in winter.
Q: Does Korea experience snowfall?
A: Before planning a vacation it is important to keep in mind one of the most essential travel tips to visit Korea in winter is to keep a check on the weather. The winter hits Korea around the month of December to January and the average temperature remains between minus six degrees Celsius to three degree Celsius. At this time the country also experiences snowfall but in a very meager rate.
Q: What is there to do in Seoul during winter?
A: There are plenty of things to enjoy in Seoul during winter like ice-skating, skiing, snow-boarding. You can also warm up in cozy tea houses which locals enjoy doing in the winter season.
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