Explore Seoul in the New Year

See & Do Tours

Pictured: Snow on the roofs of hanok



January's Main Article




Explore Seoul in the New Year


The New Year means new opportunities to explore Seoul to the fullest!
Take in the sunrise, play in the snow, and enjoy other cool Seoul activities in 2018.




일출 아이콘

1st Sunrise of the New Year


Pictured: Sun rising over mountains


Watching the sunrise on January 1st is a popular New Year's activity in Korea. Even though the weather is cold, visitors to Seoul will find mountains and parks full of people waiting for the sun to rise on the first day of the New Year. Two of the city's most popular sunrise-viewing spots are Cheongun Park on Inwangsan Mountain and the Namsan Palgakjeong Pavilion at the base of Namsan Seoul Tower. Both locations are centrally located and easily accessible via public transportation. On Jan. 1st, there will be New Year's sunrise events taking place at the park and the pavilion. 

At Cheongun Park, there will be a live performance from a pungmul band (folk music) and activities such as writing New Year's wishes, getting a family motto written in calligraphy, and drum performances. Namsan Seoul Tower is one of the city's most beloved tourist attractions. Atop Namsan Mountain, at the base of the tower, visitors can take in the sunrise at Namsan Palgakjeong Pavilion. Take in sweeping views of the sun and the city on the first day of 2018!


More Info

Cheongun Park on Inwangsan Mountain

  Jan. 1st, 2018: 07:00 - 09:00 

  3-55 Cheongun-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul

icon_call  +82-2-2148-5002 (Jongno-gu Office)


Namsan Palgakjeong Pavilion (located at base of Namsan Seoul Tower)

  Jan. 1st, 2018:07:30 - 08:00 

  1-3 Yejang-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul

  Chungmuro Station (subway line 3, 4) exit 2, take bus No. 02 or 05 and get off at Namsan Seoul Tower

icon_call  +82-2-3396-4614




복주머니 아이콘

Fortunes and Horoscopes for the New Year


Pictured: Palm reading and fortune teller


English-speakers may be familiar with the tradition of New Year's resolutions, wherein a person will resolve to accomplish self-set goals in the New Year. In Korea, a popular tradition is getting fortunes read in order to see what the year ahead may have in store. Job prospects, love and marriage prospects, and general guidance on the future are the questions most people ask about during a fortune telling session. Though some people place great weight in the fortune telling, for most Koreans it's a fun cultural activity and way to mark the start of a new year. Visitors to Seoul can indulge in this cultural activity during their time here as there is an abundance of fortune tellers all over the city. Fortune tellers are especially easy to find in Hongdae and Gangnam. Saju, horoscopes, palm reading, and face reading are the most commonly found fortune telling methods in Korea. Stop in and visit a fortune teller to see what the future holds!




궁 아이콘

The 5 Grand Palaces & Snow in Seoul


Pictured: Seoul's grand palaces with snowfall


It wouldn't be winter in Korea without snow and a visit to Seoul in January means the odds of seeing snowfall are quite high. Experiencing snow at one of Seoul's five grand palaces is sure to make for an extra special travel memory. Not many cities can boast five ancient palaces, but Seoul is home to Changgyeonggung, Changdeokgung, Gyeongbokgung, Gyeonghuigung, and Deoksugung Palace. Each palace is beautiful and majestic in its own way and there's no cooler photo backdrop than a snow-covered palace. Visitors may want to rent hanbok to fully immerse themselves in the palace atmosphere. There are many hanbok rental stores near the city's palaces and visitors wearing hanbok get free entry to all of Seoul's palaces.


More Info

Changgyeonggung Palace

  185 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul

icon_clock  09:00 - 18:30* (closed Mondays, *closes at 17:00 during the winter)

icon_cash_money  Adult 1,000 won / Child 500 won

icon_call  +82-2-762-4868


Changdeokgung Palace

  99 Yulgok-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul

icon_clock  09:00 - 18:30* (closed Mondays, *closes at 17:00 during the winter)

icon_cash_money  Adult 3,000 won / Child 1,500 won (Huwon Secret Garden: 5,000 won / Child 2,500 won)

icon_call  +82-2-762-8261


Gyeongbokgung Palace

  22 Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul

icon_clock  09:00 - 18:00* (closed Tuesdays, *closes at 17:00 during the winter)

icon_cash_money  Adult 3,000 won / Child 1,500 won

icon_call  +82-2-3700-3900


Gyeonghuigung Palace

  1-126 Sinmunno 2(i)-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul

icon_clock  09:00 - 18:00 (closed Mondays)

icon_cash_money  Free admission

icon_call  +82-2-724-0274


Deoksugung Palace

  56 Taepyeong-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul

icon_clock  09:00 - 21:00 (closed Mondays)

icon_cash_money  Adult 1,000 won / Child 500 won

icon_call  +82-2-771-9952




육회 아이콘

Sannakji & Yukhoe


Pictured: Moving sannakji (raw sliced octopus)


Korean cuisine is incredibly diverse and uses an astonishing array of ingredients and flavors. Though there are many dishes are familiar to foreign palates like galbi or bibimbap, two of the more unusual Korean dishes that visitors can try are sannakji (sliced raw octopus) and yukhoe (beef tartare). There's a saying that raw foods are tastier in the winter, so what better time to try sannakji and yukhoe than now? The famed Gwangjang Market is a beloved attraction in Seoul and it's also full of great restaurants and food stalls. Visitors may want to schedule a trip to the market to match meal times as they will be able to sample sannakji, yukhoe, and a host of other delicious Korean foods at Gwangjang.


Pictured: Yukhoe (beef tartare) and Gwangjang Market


Sannakji (sliced raw octopus) is a whole octopus that is killed and sliced just before serving. Due to the extremely short time frame from cutting board to plate, sannakji comes out wriggling. The visuals alone make for a lasting impression. Sannakji is typically seasoned with sesame oil and sesame seeds and served with a spicy dipping sauce. Yukhoe (beef tartare) is high-quality beef that has been thinly sliced, seasoned, then served raw. Yukhoe aficionados say that yukhoe is the best way to experience the authentic taste of beef. Korean diners often pair sannakji and yukhoe with soju. Gwangjang Market is a feast for all the senses and a great place to try new foods.


More Info

Gwangjang Market

icon_clock  Monday-Saturday : 09:00 - 22:00 (closed Sunday)
  88 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul

  Jongno 5(o)-ga Station (subway lines 1, 5) exit 8

icon_call  +82-2-2267-0291