Photo: Snow Buster (Photo courtesy: Everland)
Winter has arrived in Korea, and with it comes frequent forecasts of snow and freezing nighttime temperatures that make it is easy to see why people tend to spend more time indoors. However, Korea's winter offers plenty of activities and chances for you to indulge in exercises only available during the season, such as snowboarding and skiing.
Besides these two, ice skating and sledding are two of the most popular and affordable winter leisure activities and are loved by people of all ages. The winter cold will be a distant memory as you zoom down snowy hilltops or glide gracefully across the ice. So brave the cold this winter and visit an ice skating rink or sledding park to make some unforgettable winter memories in Korea!
Photo: Seoul Plaza Ice Skating Rink
At Seoul Plaza, you can ice skate in the heart of Seoul’s bustling downtown. The best reasons to go here are its central location, as it is easily accessible by public transportation, and the low admission price. And after skating, it is just a short walk to Gwanghwamun Square and the Insa-dong neighborhood, where one can enjoy a variety of other tourist attractions. The rink opens at 10:00 a.m. and the surface of the rink is cleaned and resurfaced for 30 minutes after every hour of skating. Skate rentals are included with admission. Unlike before, visitors can also rent safety helmet, knee pads and other protection guards at free of charge.
Photo: Lotte World Indoor Ice Skating Rink
An indoor ice rink is located on the 3rd basement floor of Lotte World, one of the major amusement parks in Korea. A giant glass ceiling lets in natural sunlight while protecting skaters from the elements. At night, moving laser lights help create an even more exciting atmosphere. Around the ice rink are family restaurants and cafés where you can enjoy a nice cup of coffee or a pleasant dinner while enjoying the view of the rink. Upon presenting your ice rink ticket, you can get a 2,000 won discount if you also choose to purchase a Lotte World all-day ticket (from the ticket booth located at the Lotte World Adventure Park), so don't forget to enjoy all the other fun rides at Lotte World.
before school vacation starts)
|Mondays-Fridays||Weekends & Public Holidays||Mondays-Fridays||Weekends & Public Holidays|
Photo: Snow Buster (Photo courtesy: Everland)
Everland Snow Buster, located in Yongin, Gyeonggi-do, has a wide variety of high-speed sledding runs. There are three slopes according to difficulty: Jungfrau, Eiger, and Monch Kid's Sled. Eiger, in particular, offers twice the exhilaration with its 200m curved slope. On the other hand, Jungfrau and Eiger have each individual course designed, guaranteeing its visitors for the tripled fun on top of speed made from barrier-free designed sliders.
Family visitors can share a two-person sled or fly down the slopes solo in one-person sleds by hopping on ‘Snow Buster.’ The lift then tows riders back to the top of the run while they sit comfortably on their tube sleds, giving a relaxing ride to the top of the hill. Heaters are placed around the area for riders to warm up when needed. As the Everland all-day ticket covers the Snow Buster, you may also want to enjoy the other fun rides of the amusement park after enjoying your sled ride.
Photo: Seoul Land (Photo courtesy: Seoul Land)
The Samchulli Snow Sledding Hills at Seoulland, located in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi-do, is the ultimate experience for a family winter outing. Its concept is focused around a cartoon character called Larva. Flat plastic snow sleds provide high-speed fun. For safety, separate courses have been created for adults and children. The children's slope, where parents may ride sleds with their children, is the most popular among families. Without an automated lift to take you up the hill, you may bring your own sled and walk up to the top for another run.
At the playground adjacent to the slope, you can enjoy winter fun while making a snowman or having a snowball fight. The playground also has a snow sledding ride area exclusively for toddlers and young children. The all-day pass for Seoul Land covers the admission to this snow sledding place, but the general admission ticket does not. In this case, an additional 5,000 won (4,000 won for children) must be paid to enter.
|Olympic Park Ice Skating Rink||2015.12.17-2016.1.31||Mondays-Sundays
|* Admission: 1,500 won
* Rental: 500 won
(for 1 hour 30 minutes)
|Mokdong Ice Rink||Open year round (closed on Seollal and Chuseok holidays)||Mondays-Fridays 14:00-18:00 / Weekends & holidays 12:00-18:00||* Admission (Weekdays/Weekends):
Children 3,000 won/3,900 won
Students (middle to high school) 3,500 won/4,500 won
Adults 4,000 won/5,200 won
* Rental: 4,000 won
(for 2 hours; additional 1,000 won for every hour after exceeding the limit)
|Grand Hyatt Seoul Ice Skating Rink||2015.12.4-2016.2.28
|Mondays-Fridays 12:00-21:00 / Weekends & holidays 10:00-21:00
* Hours for weekdays are extended from 10:00 to 21:00 for the period of 2015.12.25-2016.1.24.)
|* Admission: Mondays-Thursdays 26,000 won/Fridays, Weekends & Public Holidays 30,000 won
* Rental: 20,000 won
(for 2 hours; including VAT)
|Korea University Ice Skating Rink||Open year round (closed on Seollal and Chuseok holidays)||Mondays-Fridays
* Hours change during peak seasons (summer & winter) of school break:
Mondays-Saturdays 13:00-17:50 / Sundays 14:00-17:50
|* Admission: Adults 7,000 won / Students 6,500 won/ Children 6,000 won
* Rental: 4,000 won
Ice Skating Rink
|2015.12.11-2016.3.1||Sundays-Thursdays 10:00-21:00 / Fridays-Saturdays 10:00-22:00||* Admission: 2,000 won
(for 45 minutes; including rental fees)
|Seongam MBC Ice Skating Rink||2015.12.18-2016.2.10||All day
|* Admission: Weekdays 3,000 won/ Weekends & Public holidays 5,000 won
(for 1 hour; including rental fees)
|Ttukseom Hangang Park Sledding Hill||2015.12.25-2016.2.14||All day
|* Admission: 6,000 won (accessible facilities: snow sled, snow hill, resting area / entrance to amusement facilities allowed upon extra payment of 3,000 won)|
|Yeouido Hangang Park Sledding Hill|
|Korean Children’s Center Snow Sledding Field||2015.12.23-2016.2.21||All day
|* Admission: General (Weekdays/Weekends) 10,000 won / Package (General admission + bingeo fishing experience) 15,000 won|
|Korean Folk Village Sledding Hills||2015.12.19 (Currently, slopes for children are available only. For adults, opening period is TBA during 2016.)||All day
|* Admission (all-day pass): Adults 24,000 won / Students 19,000 won / Children 17,000 won|
* Available hours and operating period for the aforementioned facilities are subject to change, depending on the weather and other unforeseen circumstances. Therefore, be sure to check the up-to-date schedules from the official website or via phone inquiries before visiting.
☞ 1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
* This column was last updated in December 2015, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details from the official websites before visiting.
<Last updated on December 31, 2015>