Does it snow in Seoul? And are there any fun snow-related things you can do in Seoul during winters? Read this article to find out!
Whether you’re visiting South Korea or Alaska, the winter season is perhaps the best time to travel. But, why?
The answer is pretty simple and includes only one word, i.e., snow. Indeed every tourist loves heading towards mountains and dreams of catching gorgeous snowfall.
However, it’s usually best to double-check a few things before visiting anywhere, especially when you’re travelling only to see snowfall.
Related: Things To Do In Itaewon Seoul
Now, if you’re planning to visit Seoul in the upcoming months, then you must be wondering about its weather.
Moreover, you’ll be hoping to see some snowfall in the wintery wonderland of Seoul. But, does it snow in Seoul, and if yes, then what’s the best time to visit?
Don’t worry, as I’ll answer all of these questions in this article. So make sure you read it until the end and for now, let’s get started:
Does it snow in Seoul?
If I’ve to answer in the shortest length possible, then my answer is yes. However, it’s not that easy to explain through one word.
South Korea’s winter season generally starts with November’s last week and usually ends around the last week of April.
During these five to six months, the overall temperature can drop down pretty quickly. However, if you live in southern cities like Busan, winters might end quite shortly for you.
On the other hand, in northern cities like Seoul, winters generally last long, and if you’re lucky, you might see some snowfall.
Yes, it snows in Seoul, but no one can predict its arrival. Moreover, there’s no guarantee that the snow will stick around for weeks.
However, if you’re eager to see some snow in Seoul only, then I’d suggest you move towards the countryside. The city’s outskirts usually carry fallen snowflakes longer than the busy streets of Seoul’s city.
Also, the first two weeks of December are traditionally the best time to see snowfall in Seoul.
Overall Climate of Seoul in Winters
While the city has a pretty hot and humid climate during summer, dry winters and frosty nights are Seoul’s identity in the winters. Moreover, due to Siberian winds, the city’s average temperature during winter can go as low as -20℃.
Generally, January is the coldest month of every year, with record-breaking temperatures.
Unlike other months, January also sees more snow as it usually carries 6-8 snowy days every year.
However, as I mentioned earlier, there’s no guarantee of snowfall in Seoul and moving towards mountains becomes an obvious choice.
Best places in Seoul to visit during the snowfall
There’s no doubt that whenever it snows in Seoul, the whole city looks nothing short of a paradise.
However, there are a few specific places where you’ll see the most tourists and photographers. For instance, I was able to catch snowfall during last year’s winter, and I decided to travel to Changgyeonggung Palace.
Moreover, I was lucky enough to enjoy the snowy scenes by myself as the whole place was less-crowded than other famous spots.
If you’re looking forward to enjoying the view from a certain height, then I’d recommend visiting Seoul Fortress Wall. However, if you’re planning to go there, make sure you’re carrying your passports as the place is a restricted zone and heavily guarded.
Lastly, if you’re planning to have a full sorted weekend break, then the resorts of Gangwon-do mountain aren’t a bad choice.
The peak usually gets covered completely in snow during the winters, and you can also take cable cars to enjoy the view from the top.
Now that I’ve covered some of the best places to visit, let’s talk about a few exciting activities that you can do during Seoul’s winters.
Ski Resorts and Snow Sledding In Seoul
It won’t matter whether you are a beginner or professional in skiing, as Seoul’s mountain region has some of the best ski resorts for everyone.
With more than 10 slopes and an ideal place for beginners, Vivaldi Ski Resort is one of my favourite skiing places in Seoul. However, keep in mind that the resort is around a 1.5-hour drive away from Seoul city. Hence, if you’re up for some driving as well, then this is the right place.
If you’re looking for something close to the city, then Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort is the best option. It’s perhaps the nearest ski resort to Seoul and offers 8 slopes for skiing lovers.
I understand if you’re travelling with younger kids and don’t feel like skiing for safety purposes. But don’t worry, as you can enjoy some safe snow sledding at Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort too.
Moreover, the famous city’s biggest highlight, Seoul Land, also offers sledding during the winter season.
Phoenix Park and Gapyeong Sledding Hills are a few honourable mentions that deserve to be here as well.
Ice Fishing in Gangwon-do
As I mentioned earlier, Gangwon-do is another fun place to visit during Seoul’s snowy season.
Apart from the mountain full of snow, the place also hosts an ice fishing festival every year. After doing some research, I decided to visit the festival during the winter of 2019.
Sadly, I wasn’t lucky enough to catch even one fish, but you can also try your luck and beat my total score of zero.
Apart from fishing, you can also enjoy some other fun activities like ice sculptures, ice skating, sledding, etc. Overall, a visit to Gangwon-do won’t disappoint you, and it’s one of the best day trips from Seoul.
Celebrate the Light Festivals in Seoul
Honestly, I believe there’s nothing better than celebrating the light festivals in Seoul during the snowy season. It’s pretty impossible for other things to overtake the warmth and coziness of these festivals.
Located on the eastern side of Seoul, Garden of Morning Calm hosts one of the biggest light festivals in the whole country.
The extraordinary combination of beautiful lights and cold snow attracts thousands of tourists every year. As a result, you can enjoy these festivals/light shows throughout the whole winter season.
Apart from this, you can also enjoy these light festivals at Everland’s Winter Wonderland and LED Rose Garden as well.
Go Ice Skating in Seoul
If you’re travelling with kids and not looking for activities like sledding, then you might enjoy some Ice Skating in Seoul. Luckily, the city has numerous places for ice skating, and many of them are situated pretty close to the main town.
For instance, Seoul Plaza Skating Rink is one of the most popular spots for ice skating in Seoul. The plaza is located next to the famous City Hall and is fairly accessible through different modes of transport.
Moreover, places like Yeouido Ice Park, Grand Hyatt Ice Skating Park, etc., are also great choices to enjoy outdoor ice skating.
So, if you’re going to visit such an outdoor ice skating park, I’d recommend making a snowman in the snowy playground as well.
Warm Teahouses, Themed Cafes and Winter Foods
All the activities mentioned above are full of excitement and adventure. But, it doesn’t mean that every traveller is looking for such kinds of adrenaline boost. Hence, if you’re looking for a bit calmer environment, then this section is for you.
A hot cup of tea in a cozy themed cafe with some famous Gyeran Bbang to enjoy, that’s the perfect combination for your winters.
Luckily, the city has tons of themed cafes located pretty much everywhere in the city.
However, if your plan doesn’t include themed cafes and their strange ideas, you can also try visiting some traditional teahouses.
Shin Old Tea House and Suyeon Mountain Tea Room are my favourite teahouses in the whole city. Moreover, Seoul’s winter street food can enhance this experience with dishes like Tteokbokki, Hotteok, Gyeran Bbang, etc.
Summarising my thoughts on Seoul’s Snowy Season
I know that the winter season can sound pretty boring and full of laziness for many of us. But, if you’re in Seoul city, there are numerous things to experience that can replace your laziness with adventure.
From ice skating to visiting ski resorts, the town has pretty much everything to offer for everyone.
Thanks to the recent Winter Olympics as well, the city has now more than ever ski resorts, ice skating parks and adventure parks.
For those keen on catching snowfall, the idea of snow in Seoul might sound disappointing at first.
However, I can assure you that the city sees enough snow for everyone to enjoy. But no one can predict when it’ll happen again.
As per the climate and weather reports, you’re most likely to see snowfall in January. But, if you’re lucky enough, then you might catch a few glimpses in late December too.
Despite such uncertainty, Seoul offers tons of fun things to make your next winter memorable.
For me, there’s nothing better than starting your day at Gangwon-do with snowboarding and then the evening at a traditional teahouse.
I hope this article will help you a lot if you’re trying to find some activities in Seoul.
But, if I’ve managed to miss any other exciting activity, then feel free to let me know about it. Until then, stay warm and enjoy your winters!