1. Try out skiing/snowboarding/snow tubing

One of the best things about winter’s arrival is the chance to enjoy skiing and snowboarding. Ski resorts in Korea offer slopes for a variety of skill levels, from absolute beginners to experts. The resorts also come equipped with modern facilities for visitors’ convenience. Most people visit ski resorts in Gangwon-do, the region that receives the most annual snowfall, or in the outskirts of Seoul. Most resorts are large, leisure-focused facilities that stay open all year round and are nestled in beautiful natural surroundings.

Find out about the available ski resorts in Korea here.

Did you know?

Some of the listed places are already carefully planned in our partners’ tour packages. Check them out here to find out more!

2. Experience ice-fishing or challenge yourself to bare-hand fishing in winter!

Barehanded fishing is perhaps the most exciting activity at most of the winter festivals in Korea. This style of fishing is perfect for visitors who literally want to jump all in. Registration is mostly simple with registration on-site, and each participant is given a festival tee-shirt and shorts to change into. There are also separate events for women and children so everyone can enjoy catching their own fish. After the event is over, participants may thaw out their feet with a warm foot bath.

If you don’t feel up to the challenge, you can always enjoy ice fishing above the frozen stream. This is the most representative event of Korea winter festivals, taking place on ice that is at least 30cm thick.

Here are some of the most representative Korea winter festivals:

Hongcheon River Ginseng Trout Festival at Hongcheon county in Gangwon Province

Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival at Hwacheon county in Gangwon Province

Jaraseom Singsing Winter Festival at Gapyeong county in Gyeonggi-do Province

Inje Icefish Festival at Inje county in Gangwon Province

Pyeongchang Trout Festival at Pyeongchang county in Gangwon Province

Did you know?

Some of the listed places are already carefully planned in our partners’ tour packages. Check them out here to find out more!

3. Take that instagram-worthy Korea snowy sceneries

When snow falls, everything turns shining silver and silence spreads across Korea. Korea’s snow-capped landscape is simply the most beautiful and peaceful any person would love to capture on their cameras. For those who are lucky, you may even have the chance to capture falling snow in your pictures. But for those who are looking for a snow coated landscape, you may try checking out the following:

Korean temples

Baekyangsa Temple at Jangseon county in Jeollanam-do Province

Sangwonsa Temple at Pyeongchang county in Gangwon Province

Woljeongsa Temple (appeared in popular Korean drama: Goblin) at Pyeongchang county in Gangwon Province

Fortresses

Gongju Gongsanseong Fortess at Gongju city in Chungcheongnam-do Province

Jinju Fortress at Jinju city in Gyeonggi-do Province

Suwon Hwaseong Fortress at Suwon city in Gyeonggi-do Province

Seoul Fortress Wall in Seoul city

Hanok villages

Bukchon Hanok village in Seoul city

Jeonju Hanok Village at Jeonju city in Jeollabuk-do Province

 

Mountains

Seorak Mountain at Sokcho city in Gangwon Province

Deogyusan National Park at in Muju county in Jeollabuk-do Province

Hallasan Mountain in Jeju Island

Taebaeksan Mountain at Taebaek city in Gangwon Province

Did you know?

Some of the listed places are already carefully planned in our partners’ tour packages. Check them out here to find out more!

Warm up in the Jjimjil-bang (Korean sauna)

The best place to spend winter is inside where you can be warm and toasty! What better place than in a jjimjilbang, Korea’s traditional sauna. At a jjimjilbang, you can try sauna rooms in a wide range of temperatures from steaming hot to freezing cold, as well as try out new experiences. For instance, you can look like Princess Leia with a rolled towel on your head or try traditional steamed eggs.

Visitors who are exhausted from a long day of sightseeing are recommended to visit jjimjil-bang. Most jimjil-bang establishments in Korea are equipped with all kinds of great entertainment along with their main sauna facilities, allowing visitors to spend leisure time as they relax. With the growing popularity, jjimjil-bang facilities have captured not only the hearts of Koreans but also visitors from abroad, giving the opportunity for jjimjil-bang businesses to spread outside of Korea.

The term “jjimjil” refers to the treatment of illness through perspiration from the old belief that sweating helps release toxins. Hence, jimjil-bang was initially built to offer a sauna experience through bathing in hot pools and relaxing in sauna rooms. Jjimjil- bang is usually equipped with multiple sauna rooms built from different materials, such as mud, charcoal, and salt, and set to temperatures ranging from 40°C to 80°C.

Did you know?

Some of the listed places are already carefully planned in our partners’ tour packages. Check them out here to find out more!

5. Do it the Korean way, check out the food cart culture in Korea this winter

With the arrival of winter’s cold bite comes a variety of Korean winter snacks and foods. Savory and sweet winter street foods like bungeoppang, hotteok, baked sweet potatoes, and hoppang, just to name a few, are all-time favourite snacks for Koreans regardless of age.

Carts and stalls selling these food items increase in number as temperatures drop, becoming easily spotted at every street corner, thus drawing people to warm themselves up and have a bite before continuing their journey. Standing around the cooking stoves, this not only helps everyone forget about the chilly winter weather for a moment, but also brings back childhood memories for Koreans.

What to look out for at the food cart/store?

Tteokbokki is a widely popular dish in Korea that has a very distinctive spicy, yet sweet, flavor. The main ingredient of tteokbokki is garae tteok (rice cake formed into a long white cylinder shape), which is mixed with eomuk (fish cake) and various vegetables like onions, cabbage, and carrots, and red pepper paste. The mixture is heated and served with a hot cup of broth that the eomuk was cooked in.

Tteok-bokki is easily found all across Korea. Tteokbokki franchise restaurants have also increased in numbers and a wider variety of tteokbokki flavors are available including ones using curry, cheese, and jajang (black soybean sauce). Prices vary by store, but you can generally expect to pay 2,500 to 3,500 won per serving with complimentary refills of eomuk broth.

Yet another street food snack that Koreans like to eat as the temperatures drop is kkochi eomuk (fish cake skewers). Eomuk is prepared on skewers then boiled in a broth flavored with radishes and kelp. Unlike tteokbokki, eomuk is not spicy and is a great complement to help soothe the spicy taste of tteokbokki, and of course it’s the menu to look for when you want to speed up the thawing of your body. Kkochi eomuk usually cost anywhere from 500 to 1,000 won and are often sold at the same stands as tteok-bokki.

Roasted chestnuts, or gunbam in Korean, are one of the most popular winter snacks as they can easily be prepared at home. Roasted chestnuts take a long time to cook thoroughly but a longer cooking time ensures that you get the best flavor. They are usually sold near traditional markets in small paper bags for 2,000 to 3,000 won.

Hotteok is probably the most friendly winter snack favored by locals and international visitors alike. In winter, places such as Insa-dong and Namdaemun Market in Seoul are dotted with hotteok vendors serving up these delicious little pancakes.

Hotteok is made with dough from glutinous rice flour and filled with a mix of sugar, peanuts, and cinnamon. The round and flat pancakes are then lightly fried in oil. Some variations include hotteok stuffed with vegetables or seeds. Be careful when you take that first bite; although the brown-sugar filling is delicious, it is often very hot. Like many of the other street foods in Korea, hotteok is a steal at only 700 to 1,000 won a piece.

Did you know?

Some of the listed places are already carefully planned in our partners’ tour packages. Check them out here to find out more!

6. Posing for a photograph with snow/ice sculptures

Not an active person? The magnificent snow and ice sculptures by artists displayed at various Snow/Ice festivals in Korea are definitely something you can look forward to. These festivals are a favourite for Koreans of all ages during the winter seasons and the reason why they head outdoors.

Here are some popular snow/ice festivals with snow/ice sculptures:

Daegwallyeong Snow Festival at Pyeongchang county in Gangwon Province

Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival at Hwacheon county in Gangwon Province

Taebaeksan Mountain Snow Festival at Taebaek city in Gangwon Province

Did you know?

Some of the listed places are already carefully planned in our partners’ tour packages. Check them out here to find out more!

7. Stay in a traditional hanok with ondol flooring

Hanok refers to houses built in the traditional Korean style. While tile-roofed and thatch-roofed hanoks were equally common, the former were typically noblemen residences while the latter were mostly houses of the commoners in the past. These days, most traditional hanok that are still lived in have modern facilities installed within.

There are two main charms to hanoks. The first is the unique heating system of ‘ondol.’ A layer of stone is laid down below the flooring and when heated, the heat spreads up into every room of the house, keeping both the floor and the air surprisingly warm in winter. The use of ondol has influenced the Korean culture to a lifestyle of sitting on the floor, even in modern times. Because the floor is used for eating, sleeping, and general leisure time, people take off their shoes when entering a Korean home. This custom started with hanok and the ondol system.

The second attractive point to hanok houses is that they are environmentally friendly. The materials needed to build a hanok house are free from chemicals, making it a healthy environment. The pillars, rafters, doors, windows, and floor are wooden, while the walls are a mixture of straw and dirt. The paper to cover the frames of doors and windows were made from tree pulp.

Did you know?

Some of the listed places are already carefully planned in our partners’ tour packages. Check them out here to find out more!

8. Ride on the snow flower train

Freshly-fallen snow covering the mountains like a white blanket never fails to impress, no matter how much you look at it. There is a train in Korea that offers a view of this breathtaking scenic wonder. It’s called the “Snow Flower Train” (Nunkkot Yeolcha; 눈꽃열차). This train goes around, under, and over various mountains that give you a panoramic view of this beautiful snowy landscape. The train stops temporarily at a station built high in the mountains, giving passengers a chance to take in the scenery close up. The station may be small, but the nature surrounding it will invigorate your senses and rejuvenate your spirit.

Chujeon Station, the highest-elevation train station in Korea, sits at an altitude of 855 meters above sea level. Aside from the midsummer, the average temperature at this high elevation stays low enough that it’s a good idea to have a space heater ready to go at all times. Since most passengers are Korean citizens, non-Korean tourists are recommended to use a travel agency to book tickets for the Snow Flower Train.

9. Visit one of these romantic lighting festivals in Korea!

In winter, when the days become shorter than the nights, a diversity of lighting festivals begins in Korea. With LED lights, these lighting festivals create a fantastically bright, romantic atmosphere in the evening that is perfect for taking pictures with family and friends.

Here are some of the popular lighting festivals:

Boseong Tea Plantation Light Festival at Boseong county in Jeollanam-do Province

Herb Island Light Festival at Pocheon city in Gyeonggi-do Province

Jeju Herb Dongsan Light Festival at Jeju Island

Little Prince Lighting Festival at Gapyeong county in Gyeonggi-do Province

The Garden of Morning Calm at Gapyeong county in Gyeonggi-do Province

Did you know?

Some of the listed places are already carefully planned in our partners’ tour packages. Check them out here to find out more!

10. Ice Skate outdoor and enjoy winter to the fullest!

As winter approaches, it comes with snow and ice! Korea’s winter offers plenty of activities and opportunities to indulge in winter fun. Ice skating is one of the most affordable and easily accessible winter leisure activities for all ages. 

So brace the cold this winter and visit any of the listed ice skating rink to make some unforgettable winter memories in Korea! 

1

1. Try out skiing/snowboarding/snow tubing

One of the best things about winter’s arrival is the chance to enjoy skiing and snowboarding. Ski resorts in Korea offer slopes for a variety of skill levels, from absolute beginners to experts. The resorts also come equipped with modern facilities for visitors’ convenience. Most people visit ski resorts in Gangwon-do, the region that receives the most annual snowfall, or in the outskirts of Seoul. Most resorts are large, leisure-focused facilities that stay open all year round and are nestled in beautiful natural surroundings.

Find out about the available ski resorts in Korea here.

Did you know?

Some of the listed places are already carefully planned in our partners’ tour packages. Check them out here to find out more!

2

2. Experience ice-fishing or challenge yourself to bare-hand fishing in winter!

Barehanded fishing is perhaps the most exciting activity at most of the winter festivals in Korea. This style of fishing is perfect for visitors who literally want to jump all in. Registration is mostly simple with registration on-site, and each participant is given a festival tee-shirt and shorts to change into. There are also separate events for women and children so everyone can enjoy catching their own fish. After the event is over, participants may thaw out their feet with a warm foot bath.

If you don’t feel up to the challenge, you can always enjoy ice fishing above the frozen stream. This is the most representative event of Korea winter festivals, taking place on ice that is at least 30cm thick.

Here are some of the most representative Korea winter festivals:

Hongcheon River Ginseng Trout Festival at Hongcheon county in Gangwon Province

Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival at Hwacheon county in Gangwon Province

Jaraseom Singsing Winter Festival at Gapyeong county in Gyeonggi-do Province

Inje Icefish Festival at Inje county in Gangwon Province

Pyeongchang Trout Festival at Pyeongchang county in Gangwon Province

Did you know?

Some of the listed places are already carefully planned in our partners’ tour packages. Check them out here to find out more!

3

3. Take that instagram-worthy Korea snowy sceneries

When snow falls, everything turns shining silver and silence spreads across Korea. Korea’s snow-capped landscape is simply the most beautiful and peaceful any person would love to capture on their cameras. For those who are lucky, you may even have the chance to capture falling snow in your pictures. But for those who are looking for a snow coated landscape, you may try checking out the following:

Korean temples

Baekyangsa Temple at Jangseon county in Jeollanam-do Province

Sangwonsa Temple at Pyeongchang county in Gangwon Province

Woljeongsa Temple (appeared in popular Korean drama: Goblin) at Pyeongchang county in Gangwon Province

Fortresses

Gongju Gongsanseong Fortess at Gongju city in Chungcheongnam-do Province

Jinju Fortress at Jinju city in Gyeonggi-do Province

Suwon Hwaseong Fortress at Suwon city in Gyeonggi-do Province

Seoul Fortress Wall in Seoul city

Hanok villages

Bukchon Hanok village in Seoul city

Jeonju Hanok Village at Jeonju city in Jeollabuk-do Province

 

Mountains

Seorak Mountain at Sokcho city in Gangwon Province

Deogyusan National Park at in Muju county in Jeollabuk-do Province

Hallasan Mountain in Jeju Island

Taebaeksan Mountain at Taebaek city in Gangwon Province

Did you know?

Some of the listed places are already carefully planned in our partners’ tour packages. Check them out here to find out more!

4

Warm up in the Jjimjil-bang (Korean sauna)

The best place to spend winter is inside where you can be warm and toasty! What better place than in a jjimjilbang, Korea’s traditional sauna. At a jjimjilbang, you can try sauna rooms in a wide range of temperatures from steaming hot to freezing cold, as well as try out new experiences. For instance, you can look like Princess Leia with a rolled towel on your head or try traditional steamed eggs.

Visitors who are exhausted from a long day of sightseeing are recommended to visit jjimjil-bang. Most jimjil-bang establishments in Korea are equipped with all kinds of great entertainment along with their main sauna facilities, allowing visitors to spend leisure time as they relax. With the growing popularity, jjimjil-bang facilities have captured not only the hearts of Koreans but also visitors from abroad, giving the opportunity for jjimjil-bang businesses to spread outside of Korea.

The term “jjimjil” refers to the treatment of illness through perspiration from the old belief that sweating helps release toxins. Hence, jimjil-bang was initially built to offer a sauna experience through bathing in hot pools and relaxing in sauna rooms. Jjimjil- bang is usually equipped with multiple sauna rooms built from different materials, such as mud, charcoal, and salt, and set to temperatures ranging from 40°C to 80°C.

Did you know?

Some of the listed places are already carefully planned in our partners’ tour packages. Check them out here to find out more!

5

5. Do it the Korean way, check out the food cart culture in Korea this winter

With the arrival of winter’s cold bite comes a variety of Korean winter snacks and foods. Savory and sweet winter street foods like bungeoppang, hotteok, baked sweet potatoes, and hoppang, just to name a few, are all-time favourite snacks for Koreans regardless of age.

Carts and stalls selling these food items increase in number as temperatures drop, becoming easily spotted at every street corner, thus drawing people to warm themselves up and have a bite before continuing their journey. Standing around the cooking stoves, this not only helps everyone forget about the chilly winter weather for a moment, but also brings back childhood memories for Koreans.

What to look out for at the food cart/store?

Tteokbokki is a widely popular dish in Korea that has a very distinctive spicy, yet sweet, flavor. The main ingredient of tteokbokki is garae tteok (rice cake formed into a long white cylinder shape), which is mixed with eomuk (fish cake) and various vegetables like onions, cabbage, and carrots, and red pepper paste. The mixture is heated and served with a hot cup of broth that the eomuk was cooked in.

Tteok-bokki is easily found all across Korea. Tteokbokki franchise restaurants have also increased in numbers and a wider variety of tteokbokki flavors are available including ones using curry, cheese, and jajang (black soybean sauce). Prices vary by store, but you can generally expect to pay 2,500 to 3,500 won per serving with complimentary refills of eomuk broth.

Yet another street food snack that Koreans like to eat as the temperatures drop is kkochi eomuk (fish cake skewers). Eomuk is prepared on skewers then boiled in a broth flavored with radishes and kelp. Unlike tteokbokki, eomuk is not spicy and is a great complement to help soothe the spicy taste of tteokbokki, and of course it’s the menu to look for when you want to speed up the thawing of your body. Kkochi eomuk usually cost anywhere from 500 to 1,000 won and are often sold at the same stands as tteok-bokki.

Roasted chestnuts, or gunbam in Korean, are one of the most popular winter snacks as they can easily be prepared at home. Roasted chestnuts take a long time to cook thoroughly but a longer cooking time ensures that you get the best flavor. They are usually sold near traditional markets in small paper bags for 2,000 to 3,000 won.

Hotteok is probably the most friendly winter snack favored by locals and international visitors alike. In winter, places such as Insa-dong and Namdaemun Market in Seoul are dotted with hotteok vendors serving up these delicious little pancakes.

Hotteok is made with dough from glutinous rice flour and filled with a mix of sugar, peanuts, and cinnamon. The round and flat pancakes are then lightly fried in oil. Some variations include hotteok stuffed with vegetables or seeds. Be careful when you take that first bite; although the brown-sugar filling is delicious, it is often very hot. Like many of the other street foods in Korea, hotteok is a steal at only 700 to 1,000 won a piece.

Did you know?

Some of the listed places are already carefully planned in our partners’ tour packages. Check them out here to find out more!

6

6. Posing for a photograph with snow/ice sculptures

Not an active person? The magnificent snow and ice sculptures by artists displayed at various Snow/Ice festivals in Korea are definitely something you can look forward to. These festivals are a favourite for Koreans of all ages during the winter seasons and the reason why they head outdoors.

Here are some popular snow/ice festivals with snow/ice sculptures:

Daegwallyeong Snow Festival at Pyeongchang county in Gangwon Province

Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival at Hwacheon county in Gangwon Province

Taebaeksan Mountain Snow Festival at Taebaek city in Gangwon Province

Did you know?

Some of the listed places are already carefully planned in our partners’ tour packages. Check them out here to find out more!

7

7. Stay in a traditional hanok with ondol flooring

Hanok refers to houses built in the traditional Korean style. While tile-roofed and thatch-roofed hanoks were equally common, the former were typically noblemen residences while the latter were mostly houses of the commoners in the past. These days, most traditional hanok that are still lived in have modern facilities installed within.

There are two main charms to hanoks. The first is the unique heating system of ‘ondol.’ A layer of stone is laid down below the flooring and when heated, the heat spreads up into every room of the house, keeping both the floor and the air surprisingly warm in winter. The use of ondol has influenced the Korean culture to a lifestyle of sitting on the floor, even in modern times. Because the floor is used for eating, sleeping, and general leisure time, people take off their shoes when entering a Korean home. This custom started with hanok and the ondol system.

The second attractive point to hanok houses is that they are environmentally friendly. The materials needed to build a hanok house are free from chemicals, making it a healthy environment. The pillars, rafters, doors, windows, and floor are wooden, while the walls are a mixture of straw and dirt. The paper to cover the frames of doors and windows were made from tree pulp.

Did you know?

Some of the listed places are already carefully planned in our partners’ tour packages. Check them out here to find out more!

8

8. Ride on the snow flower train

Freshly-fallen snow covering the mountains like a white blanket never fails to impress, no matter how much you look at it. There is a train in Korea that offers a view of this breathtaking scenic wonder. It’s called the “Snow Flower Train” (Nunkkot Yeolcha; 눈꽃열차). This train goes around, under, and over various mountains that give you a panoramic view of this beautiful snowy landscape. The train stops temporarily at a station built high in the mountains, giving passengers a chance to take in the scenery close up. The station may be small, but the nature surrounding it will invigorate your senses and rejuvenate your spirit.

Chujeon Station, the highest-elevation train station in Korea, sits at an altitude of 855 meters above sea level. Aside from the midsummer, the average temperature at this high elevation stays low enough that it’s a good idea to have a space heater ready to go at all times. Since most passengers are Korean citizens, non-Korean tourists are recommended to use a travel agency to book tickets for the Snow Flower Train.

9

9. Visit one of these romantic lighting festivals in Korea!

In winter, when the days become shorter than the nights, a diversity of lighting festivals begins in Korea. With LED lights, these lighting festivals create a fantastically bright, romantic atmosphere in the evening that is perfect for taking pictures with family and friends.

Here are some of the popular lighting festivals:

Boseong Tea Plantation Light Festival at Boseong county in Jeollanam-do Province

Herb Island Light Festival at Pocheon city in Gyeonggi-do Province

Jeju Herb Dongsan Light Festival at Jeju Island

Little Prince Lighting Festival at Gapyeong county in Gyeonggi-do Province

The Garden of Morning Calm at Gapyeong county in Gyeonggi-do Province

Did you know?

Some of the listed places are already carefully planned in our partners’ tour packages. Check them out here to find out more!

10

10. Ice Skate outdoor and enjoy winter to the fullest!

As winter approaches, it comes with snow and ice! Korea’s winter offers plenty of activities and opportunities to indulge in winter fun. Ice skating is one of the most affordable and easily accessible winter leisure activities for all ages. 

So brace the cold this winter and visit any of the listed ice skating rink to make some unforgettable winter memories in Korea!