With Thanksgiving over, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! With the big holiday just around the corner, here are the best things to do in Seoul, Korea, on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Whether you’re single, in a relationship or with a family, we hope you’ll walk away with some ideas from this list. Take a look!
1. Harry Potter themed Christmas Party (Gangnam)
Where: Gangnam Terrace (Gangnam)
When: Dec. 6-8
Who here isn’t a Harry Potter fan? Global Seoul Mates knows how to throw the perfect Harry Potter themed party, because it’s not their first. Drink butter beer or wolfsbane potion and nibble on bertie botts and every flavor beans as you meet all of your friends’ friends at the Harry Potter themed Christmas pub party this Saturday. Come dressed as a Hogwarts student depending on which house the Sorting Hat thinks you belong–Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin–, or as your favorite character from the series. And wait, it’s not over yet. Don’t forget about the afterparty at Boombar (EDM and hip hop) in Itaewon.
$10 at the door includes 2 drinks. Click here to purchase or for more details.
2. Hilton’s Miniature Christmas Village (Jung-gu)
Where: Millennium Seoul Hilton
When: Saturday Nov. 23, 2019 – Sunday Feb. 2, 2020, every day 10:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
The Millennium Seoul Hilton’s miniature Christmas village and train tracks is a super kid-friendly option. This year marks Hilton’s 24th year displaying the Christmas village. Simply walk into the lobby and marvel at the village sitting on the foot of the 30-feet-tall Christmas tree.
Before you go, consider making a dinner reservation at Il Ponte (Italian), Cafe 395 or Taipan (Chinese), which offer seasonal specials. The English-style bar Oak Room is hosting a buffet dinner on New Year’s Eve.
And if you’re a business owner in Seoul, you can sponsor for an advertising placement on the train wagons, balloons, bridges and buildings. If interested, here’s more info on ad placement and price catalog.
Millennium Seoul Hilton (website): 50 Sowol-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul;
3. Cheonggyecheon River (Northside)
When: Dec. 8 – Jan. 1, 6 – 10 p.m. for Christmas lights. The stream is open 24/7
Seoul is a visually-stimulating city. During the holiday seasons, it gets even better. Locals and tourists love walking along the Cheonggyecheon river stream in the north side of Seoul, close to other tourist sites like Gwanghwamun, Seoul Plaza, Jongmyo Shrine and Dongdaemun. This place is Instagram-friendly with lots of photo zones. You can also fly sky lanterns for $3.
As you can see on the map, there are multiple ways to get to Cheonggyecheon. It’s a short walk from Gwanghwamun station (line 5) exit 5 or City Hall station (line 1 or 2) exit 4. If you’re on line 1, you can get off any stop from Jonggak to Dongdaemun to walk to Cheonggyecheon.
4. Concerts & Performances
Here are a few suggestions. Feel free to add to the list in the comments below!
(1) Handel’s Messiah with Camarata Chorale and Orchestra(website): Dec. 14
(3) WhiteLies Burlesque Holiday Charity Show (Facebook): Dec. 7 at View 33 (Itaewon)
(5) Find more concert tickets on StubHub
5. Ice Skating & Sledding
From the Seoul Plaza rink right in front of the Seoul City Hall to the Lotte World indoor ice skating rink, you can find ice skating rinks all over Seoul. Click here to see more on Seoul’s ice skating rinks.
6. Lotte World’s Christmas Miracle (Jamsil)
When: Nov. 10 – Dec. 31
Christmas is a great time to visit Lotte World for its Santa village, indoor ice skating rink and all-day performances and parades. The theme park is divided into outdoor and temperature-controlled indoor sections.
Lotte World (website): 240 Olympic-ro, Jamsil-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul
7. Bake Christmas cookies (Dongdaemun)
Do you have an oven or a friend who does? Hop on over to Bangsan street market in Dongdaemun to get ready to bake. At this enormous market, you can find thousands of baking ingredients (flour, vanilla extract, cocoa powder) and supplies (cake stands, pastry tips, measuring cups).
Not a baker? No worries! Indulge yourself with these baked goodies. The basement floors of local department stores (Hyundai, Shinsegae, Lotte, Galleria) are usually well-stocked with yummy desserts. Check out the video below or click here for photos of the market.
Bangsan market: 251-1 Jugyo-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul. 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. Closed on the first and third Sundays
8. Everland’s Christmas Fantasy (Yongin)
When: Nov. 11 – Dec. 31
Everland, the largest theme park in Seoul, is hosting a Christmas Fantasy festival with 120,000 LED lights and the White Christmas parade, which will be adored with artificial snow. The Everland zoo is also worth checking out.
Everland (website): 199 Everland-ro, Pogog-eup, Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do
9. Visit the magical Petite France (Gapyeong)
“The Little Prince” book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is the inspiration for this French-style village, which is home to petites museums, galleries and parks. Many K-dramas, including the variety show “Running Man,” have been filmed here. Entrance is $10.
If you have an international driver’s license (tk), Petite France is only an hour away from Seoul. You could take public transportation to Petite France, but we recommend booking a trip to avoid the hassle.
Klook offers day trips that leave from Seoul to Petite France, Nami Island, Garden of Morning Calm and Gangchon Rail Bike. Get your day trip tickets on Klook.
Petite France (website): Hoban-ro, Oeseo-myeon, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do