Season’s Greetings! A Wonderful Christmas Awaits in Seoul
When Christmas season comes around in Korea, festive lights adorn the streets and Christmas carols fill the air. Charming decorations can be found throughout the cities to lift up the holiday spirit. If you’re planning a winter trip to Korea this year, check out some of the elegantly decorated places in Seoul for a memorable Christmas!
Spend a Cozy Christmas at Luxurious Hotels
Every Christmas, visitors’ eyes are drawn to the model train village at Millennium Seoul Hilton. Marking the 22nd anniversary this year, the display will be available for viewing until January 21, 2018. The model trains are not only beautiful to look at, but they also serve as a charity fundraising project, with the money raised going to social welfare facilities. Located at the fountain area of the hotel's lower lobby, the layout features a stunning display of trains amid a wintery landscape of mountains and small communities. Visitors will feel as if they are at Santa’s village, enjoying souvenirs and holiday snacks at Milton Station House and taking photos with Santa Claus. Visitors will also be greeted by a 10-m high rotating Christmas tree at the center of 1st floor lobby.
- ☞ Address: 50, Sowol-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul
- ☞ Directions: Seoul Station (Seoul Subway Line 1, 4, AREX), Exit 10. Walk approx. 6min.
- ☞ Christmas model train display: December 5, 2017 - January 21, 2018 Lower Lobby
- ☞ Website: www.hilton.co.kr (Korean only)
Located in the lobby of the Grand Hyatt Seoul, a Christmas tree spangled with colorful LED lights illuminates the surrounding lobby and the decorations throughout the hotel create a festive Christmas holiday atmosphere. In particular, the vivid red poinsettias beneath the bright chandeliers create an outstanding Christmas aura, serving as perfect backdrops for photos to send along with well wishes to family and friends. The view of Seoul from the lobby’s lounge seems even more special during this time of the year. Visitors with a bit more time can also enjoy a romantic evening at the hotel’s ice skating rink. The rink provides a beautiful view of Seoul’s nightscape, accented by thousands of tiny lights strung through the trees.
- ☞ Address: 322, Sowol-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
- ☞ Directions: Hangangjin Station (Seoul Subway Line 6), Exit 2. Take Bus No. 405 and get off at Hyatt Hotel Bus Stop.
- ☞ Grand Hyatt Seoul Ice Rink
- - Period: December 3, 2017 - February 28, 2018
- - Operating hours: Weekdays 12:00-21:00 / Weekends & Public holidays 10:00-21:00 (Opens 10:00 a.m. from Monday to Friday beginning December 25, 2017 until January 19, 2018)
- ☞ Website: www.hyatt.com (Korean, English)
Seoul’s nightscape seems even brighter than usual when looked down upon from The Shilla Seoul. The hotel offers a variety of packages every end of the year and decorates The Library on the 1st floor with a grand Christmas tree. The Executive Lounge located on the 23rd floor provides a splendid view of Seoul’s nightscape through the ceiling-to-floor windows. If you’re looking for the perfect spot to spend a romantic winter evening, The Shilla Seoul might be just the place for you.
- ☞ Address: 249, Dongho-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul
- ☞ Directions: Dongguk Univ. Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 5. Walk approx. 7 min.
- ☞ Website: www.shilla.net (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Enjoy a Festive Christmas Outdoors
Lotte Department Store is welcoming this year’s Christmas with gorgeous lights and beautiful Christmas trees displayed around the building. In particular, the chandelier-like light ornaments brighten the pathway that connects the main building to Avenuel, serving as a perfect backdrop for photos. As for Lotte Young Plaza, PyeongChang 2018 mascots Soohorang and Bandabi are displayed, greeting visitors to the mall as well as winning the hearts of family visitors.
- ☞ Address: 81, Namdaemun-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul (Main branch)
- ☞ Directions: Euljiro 1(il)-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), connected to station.
Shinsegae Department Store continues to keep the classical holiday look with a bright star shining from the top of its giant Christmas tree. The star serves as a “guiding star” to light the way for shoppers through the dark night. Other decorations sure to please are the lighted ornaments shaped like Christmas gifts, changing colors to the Christmas carol music playing in the background.
- ☞ Address: 63, Sogong-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul (Main branch)
- ☞ Directions: Hoehyeon Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), connected to station.
A large Christmas Tree Zone is installed at the outdoor plaza of Kyungbang Times Square. In addition to the large tree, other attractions include a starlight garden, a village of red-roofed houses and Christmas tin soldiers to create a feeling of the Christmas season. Special events and a Santa music performance will take place on Christmas and Christmas Eve.
- ☞ Address: 15, Yeongjung-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul
- ☞ Directions: Yeongdeungpo Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), connected to station.
- ☞ Website: www.timessquare.co.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Galleria Luxury Hall is decorated this year in the theme “The Sound of Christmas,” showcasing the luxury brand Cartier. The building is wrapped with vibrant red ribbons that represent Cartier, resembling a giant gift-wrapped box. At the Luxury Hall East, visitors will find a Christmas tree made of illuminated gift boxes stacked upon each along with two gallantly decorated evergreen Christmas trees nearby. Statues of Cartier bellhops add an extra charm to the beautiful Christmas trees.
- ☞ Address
- - Luxury Hall EAST: Apgujeongrodeo Station (Seoul Subway Bundang Line), Exit 7.
- - Luxury Hall WEST: Apgujeongrodeo Station (Seoul Subway Bundang Line), Exit 2.
- ☞ Website: dept.galleria.co.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
This year’s giant Christmas tree at Seoul Plaza brightened the surrounding area on December 2. Decorated with illuminated ornaments such as reindeers and the Christmas sleigh, the tree reaches approximately 20 m in height. The tree will remain lit until January 8, 2018, so don’t forget to stop by and enjoy the festive atmosphere while you’re in Seoul!
- ☞ Address: 110, Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul
- ☞ Directions: City Hall Station (Seoul Subway Line 1, 2), Exit 5, 6.
Myeong-dong Cathedral is the largest Gothic-style building in Korea's modern architecture history. The cathedral is located in Myeong-dong, Seoul's trendiest shopping district. During the Christmas season, the area surrounding the cathedral shimmers brightly with decorations that portray a message of thanks and blessings, including the nativity scene. A reenactment of laying baby Jesus in a manger will take place on Christmas Eve, a once in a year special event where everyone is invited to watch.
- ☞ Address: 74, Myeongdong-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
- ☞ Directions: Myeongdong Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exit 8. Walk approx. 8min.
* This column was last updated in November 2017, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details from the official websites before visiting.