Christmas In Seoul: The 2017 Holiday Guide To Markets, Lights & Events!

The Christmas season has begun and with that everyone is in search of where to get the holiday goods, gifts and more. I culled this list of markets to check out with mulled wine to quench the holiday thirst, gardens with twinkling lights and events with chili cook-offs and every other holiday event I could find. What will you get into this holiday season?

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a certain percentage of a sale if you purchase after clicking. These funds go to maintain the site… and if there’s any left over, to a bottle of red wine to go with dinner. ^^)

Check out this complete list of where to go and what to see for lights, ice rinks, food, fun and more this holiday season!

Christmas Markets

Market, Mingle, & Jingle

December 16, 2017; 12:00pm ~ 8:00pm

Located at Vineworks in Sangsu, this event is hosted by yours truly. Bringing together an array of artsy and artisanal vendors from 12:00pm until 5:00pm, there will also be mulled wine and food to eat and sup on while you shop. Oh and did I mention if you pre-register, you’ll get two glasses of mulled wine as soon as you enter? Perfect gifts for the family, friends and friends that have become family in your life. Along with the great gift options, there will also be food to eat up, mulled wine to drink and plenty of it to go around. Live music will keep this party festive and fun and we hope you’ll join us for an afternoon of merriment and wine while you support our local businesses. (Event)

The European Christmas Market

December 2 & 3, 2017

Located at Seongbukcheon Fountain Square, this market is a great place to find food and items from Bulgaria, Austria, Spain, the Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Finland and plenty more European countries. Goods donated from embassies are on sale along with ginger bread houses and other cute knick-knacks that could be perfect stocking stuffers. (Website)

Marche de Noel

December 9, 2017: 10:00am ~ 4:30pm

The French Christmas Market takes place in the small Ginkgo Park next to the French School in the Seocho District of Seoul. This market gets more and more popular as the years go by and yet stays in the very tiny Ginkgo Park. With that in mind, it’s best to get there early, get some delicious French treats and then get out to sit and enjoy the dishes without being stepped on. Well worth the bumping though. (Website)

Kintex Christmas Fair

December 8-17, 2017

This is the largest Christmas fair in the country. For ten days at Kintex in Ilsan, everything from decorative party supplies to stationary, holiday desserts and more are on sale. Not only is shopping on the docket, but there is also a Christmas Jazz Recital, Christmas themed classes and more. This is THE place to for all of your Christmas decor needs. (Website)

German Christmas Market

December 2, 2017; 5:00pm ~ 8:00pm

Check out the German School Seoul International for traditional German delicacies, lucky draw fun and more Christmas stylings the way Germans celebrate the season. (Website)

Twinkling Sparkling Lights!

Merry Christmas, blurred Christmas tree lightsFrom the Galleria Department Store to Seoul Plaza, Times Square and Lotte Department Store in Sogong-dong, there are a number of places to go in order to see a grandiose Christmas tree in all it’s splendor, but to get that much more into the spirit, head to these places for all of those twinkling lit up hot spots that will remind you of Christmas back home. Myeong-dong, where you’ll likely be headed for some Christmas gifts anyway also has numerous building facades lit up for the holidays so stay into the evening to see them in all their festive glory.

Santa’s Village at Herb Island

Through the month of December and into the spring

Back in the States, some families pile into their cars and drive along lanes of houses that are lit up every which way. In Korea… that’s a little tough to do, BUT that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the lights and Santa decor. Head to Herb Island and visit Santa’s Village located in a nut pine forest. The village takes their inspiration from Finland’s village of the same name and showcases 300 Santa sculptures, Christmas trees and a 300 meter long light tunnel. (Website)

Lighting Festival at The Garden Of the Morning Calm

December 8, 2017 ~ March 25, 2018

Another garden to see some beautiful holiday lights twinkling in the night is Garden of the Morning Calm. Nestled in the mountains just outside of Seoul, this makes for a great day trip or weekend away from the city. More than 5,000 plants in the gardens, scenic walkways and 6 million LED lights are calling. Head to Gapyeong now! (Website)

Lotte World’s “Christmas Miracle”

November 11 ~ December 31, 2017

Lotte World really goes all out for holidays so if you want to jump head first into the jingle bells and lights, this is the place to do just that. Highlights include the Miracle Santa Village with a large Christmas tree shaped like Santa. Frolic with the fairies in the Christmas parade and sing along with the musicals. This would be some good family fun. (Website)

Seoul Christmas Festival

December 8, 2017 ~ January 1, 2018

Set along the Cheonggyecheon Stream in central Seoul, this festival hosts a giant tree at Changgyecheon Plaza followed by zones of lights and holiday decor. If you’re downtown, this would be an easy enough stop off to feel the holiday spirit. (Website)

Everland Christmas Fantasy

November 24, 2017 ~ December 31, 2017

Everland is hosting a Christmas Fantasy Festival in conjunction with the lighting festival Romantic Illumination. Head into the park via a 500 meter long “Christmas Avenue, Ever Milky Way” that is lit with 120,000 LED lights. Artificial snow even falls during the White Christmas Parade. From day to night, Everland might just be hosting the brightest fest in town. (Website)

Ice Skating

There are a few different places in Seoul to get out and about, strap some ice skates to your feet and flit around on some ice. Be prepared for lines on the weekends but fun on the frozen water!

Grand Hyatt Ice Rink: December 1, 2017 ~ February (Website)

Seoul Plaza Ice Rink: Dates to be announced (Website)

Olympic Park Ice Rink: December 22, 2017 ~ February 5, 2018 (Website)

World Cup Park Rink: January 1, 2018 ~ February 17, 2018 (Website)

MBC Plaza Sangam: TBD

Lotte World Ice Rink: All Year (Website)

Mokdong Ice Rink: All Year (Website)

Taereung International Skating Rink: All Year (Website)

Seoul, Korea: Santacon 2011

Food & Fun

An Xmas Wreath Making Class

December 1, 2017; 10:00am ~ 12:00pm

Located at the Itaewon Global Center, participants will get to make Christmas wreaths with artificial flowers. Get into the holiday spirit and make something to hang on your door! (Website)

Paskong Pinoy Sa Korea

December 9, 2017 2;00pm

Join the Philippine Women’s Club for games, Christmas songs, a lucky draw, raffle prizes, and food. The group invites Filipinos, Koreans and everyone else in the expat community for an afternoon of Christmas fun Filipino style. (Website)

4th Annual Route 66 Chili Cook Off

December 9, 2017; 3:00pm ~ 7:00pm

Route 66 will be hosting their fourth annual holiday chili cook off. Pay just W30,000 and you’ll get to eat 14 chilies and vote for your favorite. Chili may not remind everyone of the holidays, but it’s warm and bubbly and deliciously North American so it could get some of you right into that holiday spirit with memories of home cooked goodness. (Website)

Santa Pub Crawl (The 9th Seoul Santacon)

December 16, 2017 at 8:30pm

Dress up like Santa Claus and toast the town… or get toasted, one of those. Join hundreds of others in red and white gallivanting around the city spreading cheer and merriment wherever they go. Drink responsibly. (Website)

Merry Christmas 2014

Holiday Concerts & Performances

Christmas With CamarataDecember 9, 2017 at 7:00pm

Concert selections include: Jingle Bells, Joy to the World, Vivaldi’s “Gloria in Excelsis”, Hark the Herald, highlights from Messiah, Do you Hear What I Hear, Patapan, The First Nowell, and SO MUCH MORE! A portion of the proceeds of this concert will go to support North Korean Refugees and the deaf community. (Website)

The Nutcracker: December 16 – 31, 2017

The Universal Ballet and the National Ballet will be presenting this well known holiday piece that will no doubt have everyone tapping their feet and dancing into the streets afterward.

The Universal Ballet (Website); The Korean National Ballet (Website)

White Christmas Cinema & Carol: December 23, 2017 at 8:00pm; (Website)

Cantata: Prince & Christmas: December 6, 2017

This performance at the Sejong Performing Arts Center  “harmonizes historical facts and dramatic imagination based on the Christmas story experienced by the last prince of the Joseon Dynasty”. To see a Christmas performance with a Korean cultural twist, this is the one for you. (Website)

There is holiday fun to be had this winter! Get out and enjoy the festivities all over the city. Happy Holidays!

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  1. December 15, 2017

    […] set to be demolished. The market, which sits in Jongno and is surrounded by popular markets like Gwangjang Market that sells delicious food and vintage clothing, doesn’t sell the sort of goods that bring in young clientele or […]

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