Have you ever daydreamed about your first snowfall? Catching snowflakes, building a snowman, having a snow fight with friends and love ones perhaps?
Korea is geographically situated in a temperate climate zone at medium latitude. As a result, it has four distinct seasons. Spring typically starts from March to May then comes the steamy summer from June to August. Cooling fresh autumn breeze flows from September to November, and the freezing, yet fun winter lasts from December through to February. Spring and autumn enjoy beautiful clear and dry weather while the summer tends to be steamy hot and humid. As for winter, cool and dry weather invites visitors across the world travel to Korea to experience its romantic snowfalls and enjoy winter sports, as well as “Gimjang” or the winter kimchi making tradition. The temperature during winter ranges between -6 oC to 3 oC so it can be very freezing for visitors from tropical countries. Despite the cold, there are plenty of activities to warm you up from skiing and snowboarding on snow-capped mountains, basking in hot springs, outdoor ice-skating in the middle of the city, and going on a romantic Christmas date in Seoul.
Seoul, the city of over 10 million people, isn’t just the heart of Korea’s culture, economics, and politics, but this vibrant city is also the destination that should be high on your list of places to explore once in a lifetime. The city is home to the country’s finest historical museums, botanical gardens, nature reserves, and ancient palaces dated back to the 14th century, but Seoul is also one of the most advanced cities in the world with high-tech modern buildings and COEX Mall, Asia’s largest underground shopping center. It’s impossible to explore everything Seoul has to offer in one visit, so you might have to extend your vacation by at least a month to experience amazing sites and attractions of this stunning South Korean capital.
The Places You Must Try for First Seoul Winter
Everland & Everland Snow Sledding Slopes
Located in Yongin, Gyeonggi-do, around 2 hour drive from Seoul, Everland is the largest themed park in Souh Korea with over 7 million visitors flocking to experience its wonders. The park is divided into Everland, a themed park, and Caribbean Bay, a water park, each with its own exciting attractions and activities for a whole day or two! Walking into Everland, you’ll be transported into the world of fun imagination at the Global Village zone where you’ll find restaurants and food stalls to fuel you up before heading to the 4 connecting amusement zones.
The Zootopia, European Adventure, Magic Land, and American Adventure. As the name suggest, Zootopia is a great start of a family trip or any trip. There is a petting zoo, pony rides, animal shows, and a small zoo with polar bears, sea lions, penguins, bears, tigers and primates. Join Zootopia’s highlighted “Lost Valley Safari Adventure” and venture aboard the world’s first specialized convertible amphibian vehicle through a contained habitat where wild animals, including ligers and bears, roam freely. Moving clockwise towards the European Adventure, this zone brings the elegant European charm to Korea with European architectures and flowers gardens.
If you plan to ride on the “T Express”, make sure you don’t stuff yourself at a selection of European style restaurants in the zone. The reason? At 104 km per hour and 77 degree slope, the steepest slope in the world, this wooden roller coaster can really make you scream.
The Magic Land is where imagination runs wild and fables come to life. Built around Aesop’s fables, Magic Land features the “Aesop’s Village” where you get to meet fairy tale characters and experience Grandpa Aesop’s fountain of wisdom, as well as fun rides like the Racing Coaster that is based on Aesop’s fable of the race between the Tortoise and the Hare.
The last and the most exciting zone is the American Adventure. This zone is built based on the theme of 500 years of American history, from the time when Columbus discovered the continent to the 1960s when Elvis Presley, the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” burst on the music scene. Start off on the Columbus Adventure and ride the ship that Columbus once sailed and began the great adventure to a new continent! Then catch the Wild West Champion Rodeo ride before fast forwarding to the 1950s at Rock Ville. The powerful Double Rock Spin will give you the exhilarating thrill of your life as it executes 4 consecutive full spins at a height of 20 meters!
Although Everland is fun throughout the year, but it gets extra exciting in winter when the Snow Buster opens! No matter what your age is, Everland Snow Buster is the ultimate winter wonderland for everyone, from children to adults. There are a wide variety of exciting high-speed sled runs on 3 slopes with different difficulty. Take the two-person sled and fly down the slopes with your lover one and comfortably get towed up the top again on the tube lift. If the weather ever gets too cold, you can always stop by the heaters placed around the area to warm up and get ready for another sled slide.
One day ticket : Adults 52,000 won Children 41,000 won
Night Ticket 17.00 ~ : Adults 43,000 won Children 34,000 won
The N Seoul
Located on Namsan Mountain in central Seoul, N Seoul Tower is where you should be to experience the panoramic views of Seoul from the highest point in the city. The tower is a popular place to unwind for locals and tourists alike thanks to its mountain surroundings of Namsan Park and extraordinary facilities, including a digital observatory, a roof terrace, the HanCook restaurant, the n.Grill restaurant, and the Haneul (Sky) Restroom.
Although there are other observatory decks in skyscrapers around Seoul, N Seoul’s digital observatory is unique as it doesn’t just offer 360 degree views, but also features LCD screens that recount the 600 years history of Seoul. Above the observatory, visitors are encouraged to try n.Grill, the tower’s signature French fine dining restaurant with revolving floor. The restaurant revolves a complete 360 degree rotation every 48 minutes and allows diners to gaze a complete cityscape.
With serene setting and romantic sceneries, N Seoul Tower is the destination for lovers looking for a sweet date. This is where the “Locks of Love” is located and thousands of lovers made their mark of undying affection by locking away a padlock to the fence and throw the key away. However, the keys thrown away were starting to cause environmental problem and the tower now offers the Postbox of Love for lovers to leave their padlock key, and a part of the revenue made from the keys collected will be donated to underprivileged children. Another lover attraction are the heart chairs with leaning edges that slide you closer to that certain someone!
Connecting between Sinsa and Apgujeong, Garosugil may not yet be a famous tourist attraction, but it’s definitely a popular destination for locals youngsters. The 700 meters street is lined with gingko trees, chic boutiques, and hip cafés by young designers and entrepreneurs, as well as high-end boutiques. Café culture is also a big part of Garosugil as locals love to hangout here and enjoy a cup of great coffee or savour gourmet food at myriad of great restaurants along the street. Besides shopping and eating, Garosugil is home to a number of stylish art gallery which earned it the reputation of the Soho of Seoul.
Seoul may already have a lot to offer, but if you love chic local lifestyle and a place to take photos, Garosugil is a not to miss destination!
Operating time: 10.00 – 23.00
How to get there: Take subway line 3 to Sinsa station. Take Exit 8 and go straight for 15 minutes until you see J-Tower. Turn left before you reach the building and you are there!
Tip: Garosugil gets extra photogenic during autumn.