Can I See Snow In Seoul In The Winter?
Can I see snow in Seoul this winter?I cannot count the number of times I’ve seen this question pop up in my inbox.
Sure, it’s a good question and I guess I’d probably wonder the same thing and since I’ve been living in Korea for ten years, maybe I seem like a good person to ask. Alas, I can never accurately answer the question due to the fact that I just don’t know.
But here is what I DO know:
Each year, the first snowfall in Seoul happens in late November or early December. If you’re here then, you might be lucky to see it. However, that is just a snowfall and it may or may not stick… it usually doesn’t stick to be honest. The thing is, snow falls in Seoul, it just only really sticks and makes for gorgeous winter wonderland scenes once or twice a winter. If it happens more than that… we’re having a very powdery winter here in Seoul. My BIGGEST TIP if you want to see snow while you’re visiting Seoul… get OUT of Seoul. It’s easier than you might think.
Keep reading and I’ll tell you some spots that you can almost definitely find snow if you’re headed to Korea this winter.
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When it does snow in Seoul, it’s pretty gorgeous. This past week, the snowflakes fell and managed to stick and the white winter wonderland that can usually only be found on the outskirts and into the countryside of Seoul was upon us city dwellers. What wonders the flakes of snow can do to a place. Seoul isn’t a wasteland by any means, but in the winter the frigid gusts of wind blowing between tall buildings downtown and the bare trees dotting the forests can make one feel as though she chose the wrong place to live. Once that powdery white blanket falls though, the whole scene changes. Everything becomes magical even the city streets of Seoul.
One of the few reasons I appreciate winter, but by far the best one, is snow.
When that snow does fall, there are numerous places that photographers love to head. Downtown, people race to the palaces to get those few shots of a Korean palace against a white backdrop that they can each winter. Most people will try to go to Gyeongbokgung Palace or Changdeokgung Palace, but if you want to have a magical palace experience where you’re likely to be alone, go find Changgyunggung Palace that is also downtown. The scenes are the same and you’ll more than likely have the views to yourself.
If you live in Mapo-gu near World Cup Stadium, then you might head to World Cup Park and walk down the beautiful meta-sequoia lined lane like I did or head up to Sky Park to get a different view than you usually can. With few others in the vicinity except for photographers hoping to get a good shot, it was the perfect place to spend the morning with snowflakes dazzling my eyes. I also walked over into the Nanji Stream Park area of the World Cup Parks and found a white field of snow all to myself.
Another place to check out after it has snowed to get great views of the surrounding city from above is the Seoul Fortress Wall. If you hike the portion of the path just behind the president’s house, the path will be cleared and safely maintained due to police presence which makes it PERFECT to get up, get some views and get down again with ease and with amazingly beautiful white snowy sights. If you do head up there, make sure to bring your passport or ARC card though as it is a restricted zone and you need ID to enter.
We’ve also visited Seooreung Royal Tombs when it snowed and were the only ones there. It was pretty magical. The tombs are in a gorgeous forested park so there is flat space and paths that are kept clear of debris, but there are also pine covered paths to wander along. It was all kinds of beautiful. Actually, the snow was falling there when it wasn’t falling in central Seoul so if you hear it’s snowing, head northwest and you might get lucky when there’s no snow to be found south of the Han River.
If you are visiting Seoul in the winter and want to ensure a glimpse of snow or really sink your boot covered feet into some, I suggest making plans to head out to the mountainous region of Gangwon-do.
!!THE BEST WAY TO SEE SNOW WHEN YOU’RE HERE!!
Not only are the sights white and beautiful, but there are resorts that cater to the skiier, snowboarder and snow bunny, too. It’s not at all difficult to head east to the mountains, so pack a bag and see what you can see. Since the winter Olympics were here, it is even easier to get out to the region than ever before. Hop on a train to get out and then get back in one day. It’s really that easy and you are far more likely to spot the magical white powder outside of Seoul than in. Get out to Vivaldi Park and you’ll definitely find some snow to sink your boots into. Enjoy an overnight there and you can access the hot springs to warm up after you get that snowy view.
Klook offers some amazing and very easy inclusive tours JUST for those people that want the snow SNOW SNOW SNOW!
- Join Klook’s Nami Island + Vivaldi Park Sightseeing Tour. You can see snow AND enjoy the island made famous from the Korean drama Winter Sonata. You can also add Petite France onto this daytrip itinerary to make for an extra special snow-filled day.
- Join this SNOW Sightseeing Tour to Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort. Get those snowy pics with a beautiful mountainous background. You can also go SLEDDING on this tour!
- Join this tour to easily get out to Snowy Land and enjoy the powdery fun with your friends or family.
- Join this tour if you want to SEE snow AND try SKIING or SNOWBOARDING after a basic lesson. This is a GREAT option if its your first time in the snow but you want to really experience a day on a mountain.
Beep :: Important Winter Related Info :: Beep
- Winter is from December ~ February.
- January is usually the coldest month of the year with average temperatures from -6C ~ 3C.
- The samhansaon (삼한사온) weather phenomenon is repeated throughout the winter. That is, a cycle of three days of cold weather followed by four days of warmer weather. Though this has become less predictable in recent years due to climate change. However, it’s good to note if you are here and want to look forward to a little rise and fall in the temps.
- Holidays during winter include: Christmas, New Year, Lunar New Year and numerous sites may have different holiday schedules, so plan accordingly. Holidays also mean that numerous sites will be open for free and offer special holiday programs so scour those websites.
- There are plenty of ski resorts that are easily accessible from Seoul and make seeing snow even more fun and worth the trip to Korea in the winter.
- The winter solstice occurs on the shortest day of the year and is known as Dongji. You should eat patjuk if you’re in Korea on this unofficial holiday if you want to go all Korean style on it.
- From celebrating ice and fish to snow and mountains, fire and lights and lanterns too, there are festivals all around the country in the winter. Get out and about and make the season special.
Winter in Korea is mighty cold and in the city the frigid frosts can freeze you to the core. Make sure you’re prepared for winter in Korea. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Bring a winter parka or coat. Just any ole’ jacket just won’t do. Be prepared for long walks outside:
Wear proper shoes or boots. A warm lining and thick soles to walk on ice and snow are super helpful and will keep your tootsies toasty:
Wear a good warm scarf because if you’re neck is uncovered, you’ll be cold no matter what!
Winter in Korea is beautiful and if you’re in Seoul when it snows, the city can be gorgeous clothed in a powdery white cape covering everything.
Know Where To Stay!
If you want a more traditional experience but still downtown near the palaces and the fun, check out the beautifully adorned Ihwa Hanok House. This is a traditional home with all of the updated amenities you would want while traveling. This is a great spot for a group traveling through the capital of Seoul.
And last but not least, if you’re looking for a spot to treat yourself, check out the Lotte Hotel Seoul. Also a great location but more of the hotel you might be looking for when traveling to a new country. I hope you enjoy your trip to Seoul, Korea!