Things to Do in Gangwon During Christmas for The Perfect Getaway

Things to Do in Gangwon During Christmas

Here's how to spend a magical Christmas in Gangwon!

When you’re in Asia, there are only a few places that usually come to mind when thinking about spending Christmas outside your home country. Needless to say, South Korea happens to be one of them. While Seoul ticks many of what it takes to enjoy the holiday season — from experiencing snow to witnessing themed festivities — there’s no denying that Christmas activities in Gangwon are just as worthwhile, too.

Located northeast of the South Korean capital, Gangwon is one of those provinces in the country that has made a name for itself as a sought-after winter destination in Asia. In fact, you might have already come across its name from being the host province of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics back in 2018. Soon, the Winter Youth Olympics in 2024 as well. But these facts aside, what really awaits you in Gangwon during the Christmas season?

Also read: Gangwon Day Trip Itineraries from Seoul: One for Every Kind of Traveller!

1. Skiing, skiing, and more skiing

gangwon skiing christmas

Image credit: Gangwon Tourism Organisation

No visit to Gangwon is complete without hitting its slopes once snow falls on this side of South Korea for a one-of-a-kind skiing adventure. With so many people coming here for this sole purpose especially come Christmas, it’s a good thing that there are a number of ski resorts in Gangwon that can cater to all your skiing needs. Be sure to check out Alpensia Ski Resort in Pyeongchang, High1 Resort in Jeongseon, and Oak Valley Resort in Wonju!

2. Partake in dreamy winter festivals

gangwon winter festivals

Image credit: Gangwon Tourism Organisation

Much like skiing, Gangwon winter festivals have long been part of the Christmas extravaganza in South Korea. For one, the Taebaeksan Mountain Snow Festival is a definite must-experience, primarily because it would remind you of the timeless tradition of families building a snowman together. Only this time, the experience is taken up a notch with giant snow sculptures of iconic figures and landmarks from around the world.

If you stay around long enough in the province, you can even experience the Inje Ice Fishing Festival, the Pyeongchang Ice Fishing Festival, and the Hwacheon Trout Festival. As their names suggest, these unique winter-time events in Gangwon are all about celebrating the experience of ice fishing! 

At most of the festivals, you can even have your catch cooked on the spot so you can savour the fruits of your labour! Don’t worry if it’s your first time, there are plenty of helpful locals who will help you get used to it!

3. Warm yourself with Christmas soups

Image credit: Junho Jung

No matter how busy everyone is throughout the year, Christmas is that one time of the year wherein you and your loved ones can truly enjoy a meal together. And knowing how chilly it gets in Gangwon around this time, savouring Gangwon soup bowls should be a no-brainer. Head over to restaurants in Chuncheon and Gangneung and you’re most likely to come across dishes called gamja ongsimi (potato dough soup) and hwangtae haejangguk (pollack soup). You won’t regret them!

4. Visit unique local markets

Gangwon christmas market

Image credit: Gangwon Tourism Organisation

Wherever you are in the world, one thing you can never take away from Christmas celebrations is the gift-giving activities this season is known for. The same applies to spending the holidays in Gangwon. But rather than go for generic presents, why not make the most of your stay in the locale by buying uniquely Gangwon or South Korean items? For the best rates and wide selection of gifts, go to either the Gangneung Jungang Market, the Sokcho Jungang Market, or the Wonju Miro Market.

Also read: The Most Popular Cities in Gangwon Province: Highlights & Things to Do

5. Revel in the beautiful winter scenery

gangwon christmas scenery

Image credit: Gangwon Tourism Organisation

At Gangwon’s winter wonderland, sometimes you’ll feel the urge to just relax and take in the beauty of the surroundings. This is especially true if you’ve already spent a good chunk of your time doing the above-mentioned activities. Luckily for you, the province does not disappoint even in this aspect of your Christmas holiday.

The easiest choice for you would be to settle down in a nice Gangwon cafe overlooking the city or mountains, like Instagrammable Terarosa Coffee in Gangneung. Or, stop by Daegwallyeong Pass in the Pyeongchang Alps. However, given Gangwon cities are located in coastal areas, you also have the option to chill out (no pun intended) with mesmerising views of the South Korean water. Word has it that for the best sunset views during Christmas time, the city of Sokcho is the one to beat.

Enjoy the holidays with Christmas activities in Gangwon

It’s been long established that Gangwon is a haven of winter attractions in South Korea. But for your next visit to the province, mix it up a bit by prioritising Christmas activities in Gangwon, South Korea’s very own winter wonderland. Whether you’re after some adventure, eating, or simply admiring the views — this exciting and magical South Korean holiday destination will have you wanting for more.

For more information, visit Gangwon Tourism Organization’s official website.

Brought to you by Gangwon Tourism Organization.

About Author

Joser Ferreras
Joser Ferreras

Joser is a senior writer for TripZilla based in Manila, Philippines. He mostly covers travel, people, and business.