Does It Snow In Seoul & Korea? | Things To Do During The Korea Snow Season
Does South Korea get snow? When does it snow in Seoul? Does it snow in Seoul in January? What is the snowfall in Korea? How to enjoy snow in Korea? Read on to find out more about the Korea snow season!
The winter season in Korea starts end of November and lasts till early May. Depending on what part of Korea you’ll be visiting, the winter in Korea can be vastly different. In the South of the country, like Busan and Jeju, winter is much shorter than in Seoul and Gangwon-do province. The more you head into the mountain, the colder it gets and the longer winter lasts. This blog post covers everything you need to know about snow in Seoul and the rest of Korea.
- What To Know About Snow In Seoul & Korea
- Does It Snow In Korea?
- Does It Snow In Seoul?
- When Does It Snow In Korea?
- Where To See Snow In Seoul & Korea
- Frequently Asked Questions
What To Know About Snow In Seoul & Korea
- Packing List: The average temperature in winter in Korea is around -5°C. Make sure to layer up and bring enough thick clothes, socks, a hat, scarf and gloves. Check what to wear in winter in Korea here.
- Holidays: The following national Korean holidays are falling during the winter season. Hangeul Day, Christmas, New Year’s Day, Lunar New Year and Independence Movement Day. Especially during the Lunar New Year holidays the roads will be jam packed, therefor it is recommended to stay in Seoul instead of going for day trips.
- Busy Period: December is the busiest period for tourism to the ski resorts. January and February are much less busy, especially during week days.
- Insurance: If you are planning on going skiing or snowboarding, make sure to buy an international travel insurance. Accidents can happen, so better properly insured than sorry.
Does It Snow In Korea?
YES! It snows in Korea and quite a lot actually, especially in the mountainous areas in the North East. The best months to enjoy snow in South Korea is December, January and February. During these days the snow stays and is of good quality. Especially in the mountains, the snow is perfect to enjoy skiing, snowboarding or other winter sports. On top of winter sports there are many winter festivals happening all over the country, like the Hwacheon Ice Fishing Festival, which are a must-see. Various light festivals are held around the country during the winter season, creating the most beautiful views in this winter wonderland!
The south of the country has way less snow than the north, but still gets a bit of snow. There is around 5 days of snow in Busan and Jeju island gets around 3. The more you go south the shorter the snow months get in Korea. Check the things to do in Busan in winter here.
Does It Snow In Seoul?
YES, but it hardly sticks. As Seoul is a major city, the snow in Seoul hardly sticks, due to the salt that is being sprinkled on the roads and pavements to prevent accidents. The only places where the snow stays is in the palaces and parks. It is highly recommended to get out of Seoul to see and enjoy the snow. There are many easy day trips from Seoul which will take you to ski resorts, the national parks or one of the many festivals.
When Does It Snow In Korea?
The first day of the snow normally happens around the end of November. In 2016 the first day of snow in Korea was on the 22nd of November, 20th of November in 2017 and 24th of November in 2018. From this time till early March there will be snow fall. Most of the snow falls in January, which usually has around 8 snowy days. December has around 6 snowy days and February around 5.
Where To See Snow In Seoul & Korea
Ready, steady, snow! Listed below are the best places to visit in Korea during winter where you can see and enjoy the snow. From winter sports to enjoying the stunning landscapes and much more!
1. Skiing Or Snowboarding
This is the highlight of winter! Korea has over 20 different ski resorts all over the country. The best ski resorts in Korea are located deep in the mountains of Gangwon-do but there are some smaller resorts close to Seoul and Busan.
TIP! There are special package deals available online for foreigners only. These offer up to 50% discount and include ski lesson, shuttle bus, ski gear and outfit. It is highly recommended booking one of these trips instead of purchasing tickets on site.
1.1 Ski Resorts For Beginners
If it’s your first time skiing or snowboarding, then there is no need to go to the biggest ski resort far away from Seoul as most likely you’ll stay on the beginner slope. For beginners there are some great resorts, like Vivaldi Park, less than 1,5 hours drive away from the capital.
- Vivaldi Ski Resort: this resort has 12 slopes and is the perfect place to learn how to ski and snowboard as the beginner slope has the perfect distance and slope angle. Check prices here.
- Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort: Elysian is one of the closest ski resorts from Seoul and can even be reached by subway from Seoul. It is a small resort with only 8 slopes, but great for beginners. Check prices here.
- Welli Hilli: a bit further away from Seoul, so instead of a day trip it is perfect for a 2 or 3 day skiing trip or a one day trip by KTX. It has 18 slopes and is great for people of all levels. Check prices here.
- Oak Valley: this is the more luxury ski resort in Korea. It is rather small and a bit pricey, but great for those who are looking for other things to do as attached to the resort is a golf club and the stunning Museum SAN. Check prices here.
- Eden Valley (day trip from Busan): for people staying only in Busan, this resort is the closest one. Check prices here.
1.2 Intermediate Or Advanced Skiers
If it’s not your first time skiing and you are able to go on intermediate or advanced slopes, then pick a ski resort a bit further away from Seoul.
- High One Ski Resort: one of the best ski resorts for intermediate and advanced skiers. It has 18 slopes and is the resort that gets the most natural snow a year. Check prices here.
- Phoenix Park: this was one of the resorts used during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in 2018. It is a superb resort with some of the best slopes. Check prices here.
- Yongpyong Resort: the biggest resort in the whole of Korea. This ski resort has 28 slopes, suitable for both beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers. This is a great family resort and also the host of the yearly ski festival. Check prices here.
- Alpensia Ski Resort: a tiny resort with only 6 slopes, located just next to Yongpyong ski resort. The nice thing about this resort is the beginner slope, which is long and perfect to learn how to ski. This resort is the least busy, so waiting times at the ski lift are super short compared to other resorts. Check prices here.
2. Go Ice Fishing
Ice fishing in Korea is a popular winter activity. During January, when the ice on the rivers and lakes are thick enough for people to stand on, the best ice fishing festivals are happening. The majority of these festivals take place in Gangwon-do and are the perfect day trip from Seoul. This is a great activity to do with the whole family as most festivals have more than just ice fishing. Other activities include ice sculptures, sledding, ice skating and more. Buy festival tickets here.
- Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival
- Pyeongchang Trout Festival
- Jaraseom Singsing Winter Festival
- Cheongpyeong Snowflake Festival
3. Snowy Landscapes In National Parks
The mountains in Gangwon-do are absolutely gorgeous when snow covered. The most famous mountain range is Taebaek mountain with the highest mountain being the famous Seoraksan mountain. Seoraksan is stunning all year around, but especially beautiful when snow covered.
- Wondaeri Birch Forest: a stunning white birch forest which is especially beautiful when covered in snow.
- Seoraksan Mountain: located in Sokcho, this mountain is a must visit. You can hike to the peak or just take the cable car to the top. Check prices here.
- Nami Island: Nami island is fun all year around, but the snow turns this little island into something magical, straight out of Korean drama. Check how to get to Nami Island here.
4. Snow Sledding
Don’t feel like skiing or snowboarding but still want to have lots of snow fun? Then going snow sledding is a great activity, especially when coming with younger kids to Seoul.
- Snowy Land: this winter fun park is located in Vivaldi Ski resort, but requires separate entrance tickets. Buy tickets here now.
- Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort
- Jisan Ski Resort
- Gapyeong Sledding Hills
- Seoul Land: Seoul’s first attraction park is Seoul Land, a fun park for young and old, with options to visit the zoo and go on the sky lift. During winter, the is a huge tube sledding slope installed. Buy entrance tickets here.
- Everland: all year around there are different festivals taking place in Everland. During December there is Winter Wonderland and during January, February and March the snow festival takes place. Buy tickets here.
5. Light Festivals
Light festivals are the wonders of winter! The beautiful lights create a cozy atmosphere, especially during Christmas in Korea. The most famous winter light festival is happening in Garden of Morning Calm, which also receive some days of snow. So if you are lucky, you can see the lights in the snowy landscape. Most of these light shows are running during the whole Korea snow season from early December to end of February and are best enjoyed at night.
- Garden Of The Morning Calm Lighting Festival: one of the biggest light festivals in Korea and takes place in the stunning Garden of Morning Calm in Gapyeong. Buy tickets here.
- Ansan Starlight Village Photo Land
- Herb Island Light Festival
- World Nightview Fantasy Lighting Festival
- Winter Wonderland Everland
- LED Rose Garden at Dongdaemun Design Plaza: this is a permanent installation but is especially beautiful when there is snow in Seoul.
6. Rail Bike In The Snow
A romantic activity when there is snow in Korea! This is fun all year around, but the ride is especially beautiful in winter when the whole landscape is covered in a white landscape. Don’t worry about feeling cold as by peddling you’ll heat up your whole body.
- Gapyeong Rail Bike
- Yangpyeong Bike
- Jeju Rail Bike
- Gangchon Rail Bike
7. Ice Diving
Don’t mind the cold weather, then maybe ice diving is something for you! Spavis, a water park in Asan, doesn’t close it outdoor swimming pools during the winter months, so visitors can enjoy swimming outside in the ice cold water and enjoy the stunning snow landscapes. More info here.
8. Palaces With Snow In Seoul
The palaces are absolutely stunning in winter when covered in snow. One a snowy day in Seoul, head to Gyeongbokgung or Changdeokgung Palace and use this opportunity to take loads of beautiful unique pictures.
9. Ice Skating
Another must do winter activity is ice skating! Especially when traveling to Seoul with kids. There are many outdoor ice skating rinks located all around the city with the best ones listed below.
- Seoul City Hall Ice Skating Rink
- Olympic Park Ice Skating Rink
- Yeouido Ice Park
- Grand Hyatt Ice Skating Rink
Frequently Asked Questions
No, most likely there won’t be any snow in Seoul in March, but you will still be able to find snow in the mountains of Korea.
Averagely there are around 6 snowy days in December.
There is a possibility that it will snow in Seoul on Christmas but this is not guaranteed.