Part of the joy of the Yuletide season is visiting Christmas markets. Although not as grand as those found in some European cities, Seoul has places where one can shop for Christmas decorations, gifts and treats.
Han River Park
Seoul’s Bamdokkaebi Night Market’s official 2019 run ended in mid-October, but is back for a special Christmas edition.
Opening today at the Multiplaza inside Yeouido Han River Park, the market’s Bamdokkaebi charm is intact -- a mix of delectable food, drinks, live music and a night view of the city, plus the Christmas ambiance with all the lights and decorations.
Some 30 food trucks will serve up Christmas treats from Western countries as well as local food. Over 60 vendors and handcraft artists are to join. There will be live music as well.
The market continues until Dec. 29. Hours are 5-10 p.m. on Dec. 23, 24, and 27 and 3-9 p.m. on Dec. 25, 28 and 29. Closed Dec. 26-27. For more information, visit https://www.bamdokkaebi.org (Korean only).
The pedestrian-only street Yonsei-ro is beautifully lit up for Christmas. Starting Saturday, it will host a Christmas-themed street fair for small and midsize enterprises sponsored by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups.
Nearly 1,400 companies have registered as vendors at the event, which entails not just an outdoor marketplace but a series of promotional activities including K-pop concerts.
To celebrate the opening of the market on Saturday, girl group Mamamoo and Jeon Ji-yoon from the now-disbanded 4Minute are to perform at 6. Various artists will perform at the same time every day and there will also be a lucky draw. One of the prizes is a Hyundai Motor vehicle.
The market stretches from the entrance to Yonsei University as far as Sinchon Station and is open 3-9 p.m. every day from Saturday through Dec. 29.
For more information, visit http://2019christmasmarket.com (Korean only).
Seoul City Hall
The plaza in front of Seoul City Hall has turned into a Christmas market with a tree that stands 20 meters tall. A total of 27 vendors and 22 food trucks are there to make year-end shopping more joyful, but what really makes it special is the ice rink, set to open Friday, and its location. Check out the palace Deoksugung, where the quaint stonewall walkway is lit up with hanging lanterns, and the light-filled Cheonggye Stream, the venue for the city’s ambitious winter festival.