Christmas in Seoul
‘Tis the season! As Christmas kicks into full swing, bundle up and head on out to see Seoul’s streets come alive with twinkling lights, street vendors selling piping-hot treats, and hundreds of love-struck youngsters. Don’t let the swarms of Seoulites with their special someone give you the winter blues! Whether you’re gliding around on the ice rinks or keeping that winter appetite satisfied, there are plenty of festive activities to make for the perfect Christmas in Seoul.
Shinsegae Department Store
It’s the most magical show of the year
With its colourful illuminations and throngs of shoppers, Myeongdong is the very picture of Christmas cheer. To really bask in the yuletide glow, head over to the Shinsegae Department Store in the center of bustling Myeongdong where you’ll see the magnificent 20m LED tree dripping with fairy lights. With an extra dollop of winter wonder thanks to the musical light show projected behind, this captivating sight will surely take your breath away. Have your mobile at the ready! The extravagant lights and colours dancing to the rhythm of classic carols across the exterior of Seoul’s oldest department building are perfect for your Instastory. After indulging in some Christmas shopping, make sure to stroll past City Hall up to Cheonggye Plaza and revel in the merry sight of the decadently decorated Christmas trees here too.
Christmas in Seoul
Seoul Christmas Festival, Cheonggyecheon
All I want for Christmas is fun
Located in the heart of the city, Seoul Christmas Festival at Cheonggyecheon wows the crowds every winter with its jaw-dropping displays. The stream is transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with a towering Christmas tree, carols, themed photo-zones and elaborate light installations. Decorations change each year to jazz things up a bit, and fabulously themed arrangements of LED lights from a dream palace to Santa’s village are presented each year. The Christmas Eve show and New Years Eve events are also a must. Swing by the food vendors on your way out and pick up a steaming-hot fishcake to keep yourself warm against the frigid air.
The Seoul Christmas Festival is held from mid-December until early January, with the lights on display from 5:00pm-10:00pm on weekdays and until 11:00pm on weekends.
Starfield Library, COEX
Have yourself a fairytale Christmas
If you’ve ever been to Seoul around Christmas, you’ll know that the chill of winter nights here can really cut to the bone. Can’t stand the cold but still want to get in on the festivities? Take a leaf out of our book and head to COEX Starfield Library where you’ll be transported to a Christmas wonderland straight out of a fairytale. Created by American artist Mike Stilkey, a staggering 9m-high tree made up of 14,000 books stacked volume upon volume stretches all the way up to the twinkling moon and stars floating above. Join the crowd of awestruck Christmas shoppers and bask in the beauty and uniqueness of this mesmerizing installation.
Galleria Department Store
It’s beginning to look a lot like a Chanel Christmas
One of Seoul’s most lavish department stores, Galleria collaborates with a luxury brand to bling up its exterior in a festive yet fashionable makeover each year. This year, the glorious Chanel has been tapped to transform Galleria’s outside walls into a giant Christmas present. Under the theme of ‘The Christmas Atelier’, the building is intricately adorned with red ribbons and Chanel gift boxes majestically cascading down from the seemingly open lid at the top. After ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’, head towards Cheongdamdong roundabout to check out the other luxury boutiques and their classic Christmas decorations (Cartier, anyone?). The extravagant and romantic displays welcome shoppers and passerby alike so don’t worry about breaking the bank in order to enjoy this idyllic Christmas scene.
A Christmas spectacle is comin’ to town
IFC Mall rings in the season with some good old-fashioned holiday magic every December with its unmissable Christmas Mall Festival. Inside, you’ll find over two thousand folded paper cranes dangling from gorgeous Christmas trees – a selfie heaven, no doubt. With a whopping 10m tree guarding its main doors, IFC is definitely a spectacle worth seeking out. Pop by over the weekend to enjoy musical performances and other events, and make sure to check out the Christmas market, which is open from December 21st until the 25th. Who knows, you might even spot Santa himself doing some last-minute shopping. Endless crowds making you a bit bah humbug? Head over to the nearby Christmas market at Hangang Park for a calmer dose of festivities.