Happy Korean Lunar New Year!

To celebrate the Lunar New Year Koreans hold a holiday called ‘Seollal‘. Seollal is easily one of the biggest holidays in Korea and will be celebrated this year from February 9th to the 12th.

During the holiday period, many Koreans head back to their hometown to see their families and pay respect to their ancestors. As most head out of Seoul to do so, the usually bustling city becomes a lot more peaceful. Many businesses across the country from major department stores to small local shops close during the holiday period. Although the city may be quiet, there’s still plenty of special events, tourist attractions, and activities to do during Seollal!

Check out these destinations where you can celebrate and make the most of your trip during the Korean Lunar New Year holiday!

Click the title below to jump directly to that section:

  1. Theme Parks
  2. Korean Royal Palaces 
  3. National Folk Museum
  4. Namsangol Hanok Village
  5. Korean Folk Village
  6. Winter Festivals
  7. Nami Island

1. Theme Parks

South Korea’s three best theme parks Everland, Lotte World, and Seoul Land are open during the Korean Lunar New Year and offer various attractions and Seollal-themed events including light shows and parades.

1) Everland

Titled “Bao Family in Winter Topia Snow Park”, Everland’s theme this year centers around the family of pandas that have made the theme park their home. The park will offer special menu items, themed areas, and attractions through March 1st including a photo spot with a truly giant inflatable panda. Even the members of Tomorrow x Together made a visit to check out the event and meet the Bao family!

2) Lotte World

Lotte World Adventure is using this opportunity to celebrate its 35th anniversary with a special mapping show. The light show ‘Luminous Memories of the Magical World!’ is mapped directly onto the Magic Island Magic Castle and shows every night at 8:40pm through February 25th.

3) Seoul Land

Seoul Land is celebrating the Year of the Dragon with the theme ‘Happy New Dragon’ across their park. With this theme, they have incorporated lucky green dragons throughout the park as well as a special wishing rope. Here, you can write your New years wish, and if you tie it to the hanging ropes the lucky dragon will make it come true!


2. Korean Royal Palaces

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by ikajh4 이카 (@ikajh4)

If you’ve been meaning to visit the royal palaces, Seollal is the perfect time to go. Four of the royal palaces in Seoul (Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Changgyeonggung, Deoksugungand ) will hold regular operating hours and showcase various traditional events and programs for attendees during Seollal. Entry to the palaces is free for all visitors wearing a Hanbok, which makes it the perfect opportunity to immersive yourself (and save on admission!) by renting a Hanbok for your visit.

Available programs include traditional rituals, games, and activities that you can participate in along with performances like the famous “changing of the guards” ceremony.


Reserve your Hanbok in advance:

Check out these detailed Royal Palace tours:

*For free admission to all four royal palaces and Seoul’s major attractions, get the Discover Seoul Pass on Trazy!


3. National Folk Museum of Korea

Korean Lunar New Year Seollal

Museums may be dry to some but visit one during Seollal and you’ll find out just how exciting they can be!

During Seollal, the National Folk Museum of Korea located in Gyeongbokgung Palace offers a range of hands-on programs and exhibitions such as arts and crafts and traditional folk games for visitors of all ages to enjoy including Korean traditional games like “paengichigi (top spinning)”, “jegichagi (hacky sack)” and “yut nori (a board game where you throw sticks)”. The living museum is open daily from 10:00am ~ 6:30pm.


4. Namsangol Hanok Village

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by @0.yong.0

The Namsangol Hanok Village, around Chungmuro Subway Station, is a collection of five traditional Korean houses from the Joseon Dynasty that have been restored and preserved. As part of the Seollal festivities, you can register for various experiences involving Korean traditional percussions, folk songs, games, and more. The event is typically free for all attendees and more details will be released soon!


5. Korean Folk Village

Korean Lunar New Year Seollal

The Korean Folk Village hosts annual Seollal events such as folk games and traditional Korean music performances. Be sure to visit to watch tightrope walking, horseback martial arts, and role-playing by actors donned in makeup and hanbok that will transport you back to the Joseon dynasty. The museum operates daily from 10:00am ~ 6:30pm.

Join Hassle-Free Day Tours to Korean Folk Village:


6. Winter Festivals

There are many special winter festivals you can easily visit for a quick day trip from Seoul!
Check out these festivals for the Seollal holiday.

1) Chilgapsan Ice Fountain Festival

Every winter, the Chilgapsan Ice Fountain Festival takes place at the magical Cheongyang Alps Village. Make winter memories by stepping into a frozen kingdom with massive ice fountains, ice sculptures, and igloos. And you won’t want to miss the opportunity to go bobsledding & more!

2) Eobi Ice Valley

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Francis Lam (@lam5067)

Found at the base of Eobi Mountain, between Mt. Youngmun and Mt. Yumyeong, the Eobi Ice Valley is a must-visit for winter tourists in Korea. Although smaller than those at Cheongsong, the ice formation at Eobi Valley holds its own unique charm. The name ““Eobi” (魚飛), which translates to “fish flying” in English, is said to come from the abundance of fish that made the crystal clear water of the valley their home. 


7. Nami Island

Nami Island is another great place to visit during the Seollal holidays as it’s open every day! We also highly recommend visiting nearby hot spots like the Garden of Morning Calm, Petite France, Italian Village, and Gangchon Rail Bike while you’re in the area.

Check out hand-picked Nami Island tours & more here!


8. Han River Ferry Cruise

Han River (Hangang River) Ferry Cruise is one of the best ways to enjoy the scenery of Seoul. You can see some of the most famous landmarks on the cruise such as N Seoul Tower, and the 63 Building.

During Seollal you can enjoy the Han River Ferry Cruise along with live music performances and a spectacular fireworks show. They even offer a luxurious buffet cruise! Consider having a nice dinner with your special someone along with live music & fireworks to celebrate Korean Lunar New Year!

For more details, click here.


9. Other destinations to visit during the Seollal holiday

Other major tourist attractions open during the Korean Lunar New Year holiday include N Seoul Tower, COEX Aquarium, and Myeongdong Nanta Theatre.  If you visit Jamsil, you can enjoy a trip to Lotte World, Lotte World Aquarium, and Lotte World Tower Seoul Sky. All of which are easy to reach by subway and are the perfect place to visit with your family and friends.


If you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to check out Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop, for more fun and exciting posts like this one!

[Photo Credits]

Everland Blog

KOREA.NET – Official page of the Republic of Korea Korea_2013_Seollal_06 via photopin (license)

13 thoughts on “Korean Lunar New Year 2024 – Where to Visit in Seoul

    1. Hello! While Dongdaemun Shopping Complex & Shopping Town will be closed during Seollal holidays (Jan 27~30), the Migliore building will be closed only on Jan 27~28 and will open on Jan 30. Namdaemun Market and Gwangjang Market will also be closed during the Seollal holidays but this may vary by stores and buildings.

  1. Hello! I’m trying to find somewhere for a dinner on Saturday 28th, preferably Korean food. Every restaurant seems to be closed for the holidays! Do you have any recommendations, preferably in the Insadong area? Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.