The Korea Herald


[Travel Bits] Festivals, sights across Korea

By Choi Si-young

Published : Dec. 29, 2023 - 09:01

    • Link copied

Gwanghwamun Square Market

Potentially the largest winter market in the capital is taking place at Gwanghwamun Square through Jan. 21, 2024. Open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., the market not only sells seasonal goods, including crafts, but also offers street food from food trucks.

The Seoul Lantern Festival is taking place concurrently, across Gwanghwamun Square and just to the south at Cheonggye Plaza and Seoul Plaza. The Gwanghwamun Square Market and lighting show are open during the same period in the evening.

Both events are free. More information is available at

Ganghwa Smelt Festival

Ice fishing for smelt, a small bony fish that resembles trout in structure, is available at Ganghwa Island, Incheon throughout February next year.

Ice sledding is offered for those bringing with them children, and families can enjoy street food cooked at nearby eateries. Shinseonji Fishing Park is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.

Entry fees for adults, middle schoolers and older, are 13,000 won, and 7,000 won for those younger. Toddlers three or younger are not charged but identification is needed. Fish bait and gear such as chairs are sold separately. Check for updates at

Gapyeong Lighting Garden

From December to mid-March next year, the Garden of Morning Calm in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi Province, will be illuminated between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. for a unique experience taking a stroll under the lights in the garden in the chill of the midwinter evening.

Admission is 11,000 won for adults, 8,500 won for middle and high school students and 7,500 won for those younger. Seniors aged 65 and older are eligible for discounts upon presenting identification. For more information, visit

Nature Park

A zoo for those curious about how animals survive winter has opened in Daegu.

Visitors can feed the animals and enjoy the nearby flower garden and playground. Through early January, guests will receive presents if they buy a “Lucky Bag” sold on the spot.

Admission is priced at 20,000 won for adults and 18,000 won for elementary school students and younger children. The zoo is open Wednesday to Monday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with last entry at 5 p.m. More details are available at

Jeju Camellia Festival

Winter on Jeju Island would not be complete without camellia flowers, a symbol of the island itself. The resort island invites visitors tired of the freezing cold to its camellia festival, which runs to the end of January next year.

At Hueree Park, visitors will be surrounded by blooming camellias in lush greenhouses, gardens and trails. Jeju tangerines add a flavor that makes the trip all worthwhile. Fees for adults are 13,000 won, or 10,000 to 11,000 won for those younger, depending on age.

Tickets do not include the citrus fruit, sold additionally for 8,000 won. The park opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m., though visitors often leave the place a little past 5 p.m., as the sun sets earlier on the island in the winter. Visit for updates.