Christmas is just around the corner. Here is our yearly Top 10 theme guide for the Advent season and celebrating Christmas in Seoul in 2014!
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 25, 2014 10AM-1PM, The Seoul Club
- European Christmas Market on Dec 6 and 7, 2014 Seongbukcheon Fountain Square
- German International School’s Christmas Market on Dec 13, 2014 4:30PM-8PM on the school premises
- French Christmas Market Dec 13, 2014 10AM-4PM, Ginkgo Parc next to the French School
- Korea Christmas fair in Kintex Hall 7 – Dec 12 to 14th
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
- Millennium Hilton Christmas Train from Nov 20, 2014 till Jan 18, 2015
6. Shows, Events, Parties & Craft
- Christmas concert at Seoul Arts Centre – Dec 25, 2014 – Christmas songs and carols by Richard Yongjae O’Neill and Yuki Kuramoto
- The Little Singers of Paris – Dec 19 to 20, 2014 from 8pm in Seoul Arts Centre
- Nutcracker’s Universal Ballet from Dec 19 to 31, 2014
- Main Theme Parks will have joyful Christmas parades and shows: Lotte World, Everland, Seoul Land
7. Ring-the-Bells activities
- Grand Hyatt Iceskating opened from Dec 6, 2014 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 20, 2014
- Korean Children’s Center Snow Sledding Field from Dec 20, 2014 to Feb 22, 2015
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 – from Dec 05, 2014 to March 15, 2015
- Dream forest
- Namhansanseong Park
- Achasean Mountain
- Check out the ski resorts snow conditions