Seoul in January

Seoul in January

Seoul is a beautiful city brimming with fascinating history, curious culture, and heaps to do. So, if you fancy seeing all its brilliance for yourself, why not head there in the off-season? If you can handle the cold and aren't seeking warmer climates on your vacation, Seoul in January might be the perfect destination for you. Need some convincing? Let's talk about it. Read on, and discover what you can get up to in Seoul in January!


  • Seoul weather in January
  • Seasonal events in January
  • Seoul in January - what to do
  • Seasonal dishes
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Seoul Weather in January

This could go one of two ways; either you're happy with a cold vacation or not. And when we say cold, we mean cold. Average temperatures hover somewhere between 26°F to 14°F. That's incredibly chilly, so dress to impress. Big boats, hats, and even boots with traction will help if it snows. Yes, it snows. But doesn't that just make it all the more magical?

The good news out of all of this is that January - or winter in general - sees much lighter tourist footfall compared to the warmer months. Bigger attractions will have smaller lines, and you'll likely run into fewer travelers on your...travels. That's not to say that no one visits then; many people take the opportunity for cheaper flights, better hotel deals, and minimal queues. But it's still a great time to explore the city, as long as you wrap up!

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Seasonal Events in January

So, what seasonal events take place over January in Seoul? Well, lucky for you, there are a fair few to choose from!

Firstly, there's the Seoul Lantern Festival, which doesn't start in January but goes from December until the middle of February. So, you'll be there for the middle of it! The festival features stunning lantern displays and parades showcasing South Korea's history, culture, and tradition. If you like lanterns or want to immerse yourself in local customs, go check it out!

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You could also check out the Seoul Food and Hospitality Expo, a culinary event. Showcasing the very best chefs creating the very best dishes, you'll be free to try tons of Korean dishes such as hotteok, a sweet pancake filled with brown sugar and cinnamon, and tteokguk. This traditional rice cake soup is often eaten during the Lunar New Year. Nice.

And, thanks to the potential snow, winter sports explode over January. You can go watch ice hockey tournaments, ski competitions, and even get involved yourself! Ice rinks and ski resorts are massively popular when the temperature drops, so why not see what all the fuss is about?

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Seoul in January - What to do?

Want some more inspiration for your Seoul vacation? Let's explore some of the city's best indoor attractions, so you can beat the chill!

How about a show that stir-fries up some big laughs, amazing acrobatics, and song that'll get stuck in your head? It's called Cookin' Nanta, and it's brilliant. Telling of three wedding chefs who run into more and more issues, it's a slapstick sensation full of knife juggling, magic tricks, and dance numbers. Music is created with the pots and pans on hand, creating a unique soundtrack you won't hear anything else. Perfect for kids and adults alike, Cookin' Nanta is one unmissable show.

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If you prefer your entertainment with a mind-bending slant, check out Dynamic Maze. It's a massive indoor playground that lets you swing, jump, and dive through a mystical obstacle course. With a mirror maze, rope bridge, and plenty more things to overcome, it's great fun that'll get the blood pumping. And, when it's so cold outside, your body could do with the warm-up.

Then, if you're sick of the sight of white snow and need some colors to amp up your vacation, head straight to the Colorpool Museum and surround yourself with every color under the sun. So what do you get? Well, you'll find nine themed zones, each centered around a specific color. Each color brings you a new experience too, so while one moment you might be sliding into a ball pit, the next, rainbow confetti could be raining down on you.

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Seoul Seasonal Dishes to check out in January

And finally, we can't forget the food. It's one of the main reasons so many people visit South Korea. In fact, Korean food, and especially street food, has swept the west over the past couple of decades. And for a good reason, it's delicious! Of course, you'll find tons of Korean food in Seoul, but did you know there are some seasonal dishes that'll warm you right up?

One of the most popular is budae-jjigae - a spicy stew made with sausage, spam, kimchi, and instant noodles. Created after the Korean war with food scarcity in mind, it was a combination of existing ingredients and foodstuffs from the US Army. It might sound odd, but trust us, it's golden.

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Another is dakbokkeumtang, which is a spicy chicken stew made with Korean chili paste - or 'gochujang', potatoes, carrots, and onions. Perfect for the winter months, it'll numb your tongue and put a spring in your step!

If you're looking for something of the sweeter variety, try hot snacks like bungeoppang, which is a fish-shaped pastry filled with sweet red bean paste, or hotteok, a pancake filled with cinnamon and brown sugar. Delicious.

And that's everything you need to know about visiting Seoul in January! If you're up for braving the colder climate, you'll find a wonderful place free from the tourism rush. Regardless of when you visit, you'll want to get the best bang for your buck, right? Well, look no further than Go City! With our All-Inclusive Pass and Explorer Pass, you can see all of Seoul's best bits for one low price!

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