The Christmas season is upon us again, when you can’t help but look at the street lights and big Christmas trees and feel all warm and fuzzy inside. In times like these, you might want to take your significant other to celebrate Christmas in Seoul in style, but since picnic dates and beach trips are out, a different kind of vibe is needed for Christmas dates. Whether you’re starting a budding romance or celebrating years together, here are some of the best things to do for couples at Christmas in Seoul – just don’t forget to wrap up warm!
1. Pose for pictures under a Seoul Christmas tree
Downtown Seoul is downright magical if you walk through the Christmas trees and lights that illuminate the street. The feeling of being on the street and feeling the holiday spirit is great at any time, but you can also head to these Christmas trees to create unforgettable Christmas dates! These are just a few of our favourite places in Seoul with gorgeously decorated trees:
- Shinsegae Department Store, Myeongdong
- COEX Starfield Library
- Times Square, Yeongdeungpo
- Hyundai Department Store Trade Centre
- The Hyundai Seoul Christmas Market
2. Sit under a Starry Night at Seoul’s Van Gogh immersive experience
It’s Christmas, and a time of year when romance reigns everywhere. Amidst all these powerful emotions, enter Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience and immerse yourself in the world of the Dutch master’s art, and all the emotion it evokes. With 360-degree media mapping of Van Gogh’s work filling the walls, the experience surrounds you with artwork and makes for a wonderful spot to pull up a chair or relax with your date. Find your tickets to Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience here.
3. Whirl around the rink on an ice skating date
Fun and romantic Christmas dates don’t come much better than skating on an ice rink, so how about a ride? Five ice rinks in Seoul alone are already open for the season, and we’ll be announcing upcoming openings soon, so bring your significant other for a glide.
- Seoul City Hall Plaza Ice Rink
- Lotte World Ice Rink
- Hyatt Hotels Ice Rink
- Banyan Tree Club & Spa Seoul
- Herdsman Ice Rink
Even though it’s tempting to stay at home for a warm Christmas with family, friends, and lovers, there’s still a city to explore, so why not go to the aquarium for an indoor date? COEX Aquarium has prepared a special underwater performance and ecological information session in time for the Christmas season. In this unforgettable place, which is also home to the largest shark habitat in Korea, you can see marine life freely roaming the main tank and underwater tunnel.
5. Shop at outlet stores decorated for the holidays
There are more outlets in and around Seoul than you might think. Especially during the holidays, they are decorated with a Christmas market theme, so you can enjoy the Christmas atmosphere whilst you get your shopping done. Outlet chains such as Lotte and Hyundai offer a wide range of brands and prices, so you can pick up gifts for yourself and your loved ones.
6. Enjoy a ski, board, or snowboard date at the slopes
Seoul’s winter weather makes skis, boards, and sleds a great choice of entertainment. So what better way to enjoy the holidays than to take a date to the ski slopes for Christmas and New Year’s? In nearby Gwangju-si, for instance, the Konjiam Resort has great snow conditions and is loved by skiers and boarders alike.
7. Take an overnight trip to a nearby town
For a change of scenery, why not head out of Seoul for the holidays? While Yangyang, Gangneung, and Busan are popular destinations, there are many other areas that are accessible by road or train from Seoul, such as Pyeongchang and Ganghwado. On a snowy winter day, we recommend warming up in one of the hanoks in Jeonggangwon, heated by the warmth of the underfloor heating!
8. Check out the giant Christmas tree at Seoul Plaza
For more than 60 years, a giant Christmas tree has graced Seoul Plaza each winter. This year, the concept of the ‘Christmas Tree of Joseon’ is a mix of Korean style and Christian culture, using butterfly ornaments and violets. The 16-meter-high, 6-meter-wide tree can be seen in Seoul Square right now, and it’s one of the best things to do in Seoul at Christmas, so take a date and check it out.
The Christmas and New Year’s holidays bring a variety of concerts and performances from the global phenomenon Candlelight Concerts. From Christmas holiday specials to major singers giving holiday concerts, it’s the season to be a Candlelight fan, so check ahead to see if your significant other’s favorite concert is happening! See all upcoming Candlelight concerts in Seoul here.
10. Enjoy the mega winter festival, Seoul Winter Festa
From December 15 to January 21, seven of Seoul’s most iconic landmarks will come together for the first-ever winter festival, Seoul Winter Festa 2023. From DDP, Gwanghwamun Square, Open Songhyeon Green Square, Cheonggyecheon, Seoul Plaza, Boseonggak, and Sejongdae Boulevard, you can see a spectacular display of colourful lights that map new facades onto iconic buildings. For more information, visit Seoul City Hall’s official Instagram.
11. Take a hot spring bath in an open-air bath
The wind is cold, but the water is warm, so it’s the best season to enjoy an open-air bath. If you’re looking for a romantic atmosphere for your Christmas date, we recommend an open-air bath. If you’re in and around Seoul, or even if you’re a little farther afield, you can visit one of Korea’s authentic baths where you can sit back and relax with a view. There’s nothing more relaxing and romantic than that!