Christmas is just around the corner. As we know you don’t want to miss any of the pre-holidays opportunities, we updated our list of Top 10 theme guide for Advent season. Here is our guide for celebrating Christmas in Seoul!
Celebrating Christmas in Seoul might be a bit different than what you may know in other countries especially in Americas or Europe. For Koreans, the festivities tend to be mostly for young romantic couples, as well naturally as being a religious feast for Christians. In any case, all ingredients are united to make the Christmas atmosphere in Seoul very special: it’s chilly, often snowy, night lights illuminating the city, Christmas carols all around.
See for yourself what to expect:
1. Where can Santa Claus find the best gifts
- Namdaemun and Dongdaemun Market for a large selection of toys, textiles or local products
- Insadong with numerous small shops and galleries
- Costco has a special toys and gifts selection starting from early November
- Find some Korean-English kids books in Kyobo, What The Book, Seoul Selection or other English bookstores
2. Ideas for Decorations, Christmas Trees, Ornaments
- New Core Outlet / Kim’s Club: 4th Floor of the main building for a good selection of interior decoration, e.g. ornaments, tablecloth, candles, etc.
- Costco for Christmas Trees both reasonably affordable and with a natural feel (remember it is almost impossible to get a real Christmas tree in Korea)
- Main Department Stores – Lotte, Shinsegae, eMart – all have specialized shops providing all Christmas articles. You can easily find Advent calendars in most eMarts for example.
- Express Bus Terminal Market (Gangnam Flower Market) located on the 3rd and 4th floor of the Daehae Building next to the Bus Terminal
- Namdaemun and Dongdaemun Markets
3. Gourmet corner
- Baking your own cakes and pastries: Bangsan Market with its Bakers’ alley in the Dongdaemun area
- You may place special orders for your turkey or other Christmas specialty through most luxury hotels (usually their Deli or main Restaurant). Orders can also be placed through the Austrian-style Meili’s Deli tel. 02-797-3820 in Itaewon.
- Chocolate: There are several small chocolate artisans around the city. You can try Amandier, Cacaoboom, Dear Chocolate
- Food floors of main Department Stores have good selection: Hyundai, Galleria, Shinsegae, Lotte, SSG Food Market
4. Christmas Traditional Markets
- British Christmas Fair on Nov 26, 2013: 10:00 – 12:00, Hallasan Room, The Seoul Club
- European Christmas Market on Nov 29~30, 2013, Hansung Univ. station Exit#2
- German International School’s Christmas Market on Dec 7 from 4:30pm to 8:00pm
- French Christmas Market on Dec 14 from from 10:00am to 4:00pm, Gingko Park Seorae Maeul
5. Street Lights & Giant Christmas Trees
- Many illuminations on the facades from the main Department Stores Shinsegae and Lotte Department Stores in Sogong-dong
- Seoul Plaza
- Millenium Hilton Christmas Train from Nov 21, 2013 till Feb 2, 2014
6. Shows, Events, Parties & Craft
- Czech-style Christmas party with plenty of traditional Christmas craft making at Norang Cafe on Dec 14 and 15. Don’t forget to book in advance!
- Nutcracker’s Universal Ballet from Dec 20 to 31, 2013
- Main Theme Parks will have joyful Christmas parades and shows: Lotte World, Everland, Seoul Land
- Yeoksam Winter’s Tale Christmas Party on Dec 12 in Yeoksam Global Village Center
7. Ring-the-Bells activities
- Grand Hyatt Iceskating every year from December to February the outdoor pool and the sun deck are transformed into a 910 square metre ice skating rink
- Lotte World Indoor Ice Skating Rink
- Sangam WorldCup Rink, date to be confirmed
- Seoul Plaza Rink from Dec 16, 2013 to Feb 23, 2014
- Korean Children’s Center Snow Sledding Field from Dec 14, 2013 to Feb 23, 2014
8. Seoul’s special Christmas cakes
The Christmas cake has become such a popular item that any bakery launches its own line of Christmas cakes. Just stop by your favorite bakery shop. You can’t miss it;-)
9. Special Holidays Hotel Packages
Check out the news pages from all major international hotels. Great deals are usually available for a romantic dinner, stay or spa!
10. Special Nature Treats!
- Garden of Morning Calm and its Lighting Festival starting on Dec 6, 2013
- Dream forest
- Namhansanseong Park
- Achasean Mountain
- Check out the ski resorts snow conditions