If you’re anything like me, you absolutely love Christmas time! I might be guilty of listening to Christmas music in every season, and crave that first sip of egg nog that comes with the magical holiday.
However, if you are living in Korea, you might find yourself missing out on some of the Christmas spirit that you’re used to. Luckily, South Korea does celebrate Christmas, and it is a national holiday (meaning you won’t have to work that day….probably). Other Asian countries are a majority Buddhist and don’t recognize the holiday.
While Christmas seems to be becoming more popular year after year, it still is nothing like the festivities you’d find at a Christmas market in Germany, or the celebrations at Rockefeller Center in New York City. Let’s look at two different Christmas Festivals in Seoul you must check out if you are trying to get into the Christmas spirit.
European Christmas Market 2019
This is one of those annual events that I always plan to check out, but never actually do. Until this year. The European Christmas Market took place at Hansung University Station on December 7-8. This market is in a small area with roughly a dozen tents representing different European countries serving various foods and drinks. There is also a stage with a variety of live entertainment.
Is the festival fun? Yes.
Is the festival expensive? Yes.
Is the festival super crowded with long lines and a lack of places to sit and enjoy your over-priced meal? Yes.
Overall, if you decide to go to the European Christmas Market in Seoul, I’d recommend not coming hungry as you’re going to find yourself dropping cash left and right. Come and enjoy some snacks, but be prepared to wait in long lines for the most popular tents (I’m looking at you, France!)
I would highly recommend coming as early as possible before the crowds get too large. The best part of the festival is donning your holiday apparel and enjoying some mulled wine.
Seoul Christmas Festival 2019
This annual event is one that I look forward to every year. Located downtown along the Cheonggyecheon Stream from Cheonggye Plaza to Jangtonggyo Bridge.
Visitors can expect a large Christmas tree at the plaza, along with a stage with various concerts and performances. There are some amazing light displays that are perfect for those Instagram feeds.
Walk down the stream and you’ll find dozens of lights and lantern displays lit up. The theme of the displays change every year, so this is a festival you can plan to visit annually.
The Seoul Christmas Festival 2019 runs until January 1, 2020.
I recommend trying to visit during the week, and early in the evening. The festival is especially busy on the weekends, making it more difficult to get that perfect snapshot.