What to Do In & Around Seoul During Seollal 2021
Korean Lunar New Year or Seollal (설날) is one of the two biggest holidays in South Korea. Traditionally, people visit their hometown or travel somewhere to observe the 3-day holiday, which leaves Seoul less crowded and quiet. However, Seollal in 2021 is expected to be a bit different given the pandemic. With the social distancing guidelines, many people may just stay in the capital and find meaningful activities that will help them make the most of the weekend. If you’re one of those people, here are some of the attractions and activities in and around Seoul that you may consider booking for the Korean Lunar New Year, which falls on February 11-13 this year:
1. Visit the newest aquarium in Korea
In January 2021, Hanhwa Aqua Planet opened its fifth location: Aqua Planet Gwanggyo. If you want to be among the first to visit the newly-opened attraction, make your way to Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do, which is just 1-1.5 hours away from Seoul. Similar to the Hanhwa Aqua Planet aquariums in Jeju, Seoul, Yeosu, and Ilsan, the Gwanggyo location features grand displays of the underwater world as well as interactive activities that solo adventurers, couples, friends, and families can enjoy.
- TICKET PRICE: ₩22,100 on WAUG (vs. regular price of ₩26,000)
- ADDRESS: Forena Gwanggyo B1 300, Gwanggyo Lake Park-ro, Yeongtong-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do
- GETTING HERE: Find directions here.
- HOURS: 10:30am-7:30pm
First time to use WAUG? You’ll get an extra ₩3,000 discount coupon that you can use on your first booking! 🎉
2. Take a cultural immersion in Korean Folk Village
If you plan to visit Aqua Planet Gwanggyo, you can make the most of your trip to Gyeonggi by visiting Korean Folk Village, which is just an hour away from the aquarium. As a traditional attraction, Korean Folk Village is the perfect place to visit during Seollal. They usually hold special events during the holidays, including plays, dances, and rice cake pounding. Of course, touring Korean Folk Village will also give you the opportunity to immerse in the culture of the country. From seeing traditional houses and shrines to touring museums and even retro arcades, you’ll surely gain a greater appreciation of Korea’s roots. (Oh, and if you’ve seen Korean dramas like 100 Days My Prince, Arang and the Magistrate, Jewel in the Palace, Moon Embracing the Sun, and My Love from the Star, you’ll see a lot of their shooting locations here!)
- TICKET PRICE: ₩19,590 on WAUG (vs. regular price of ₩22,000)
- ADDRESS: 90 Minsokchon-ro, Giheung-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do
- GETTING HERE: Find information here.
- HOURS: 10am-9:30pm
3-5. Spend a day in Jongno-gu
Jongno-gu is a rich traditional neighborhood in Seoul, which makes it one of the best places to visit during Seollal or Korean New Year in 2021. If you want to explore or rediscover this area, consider these 3 activities that you can do in a day: rent a hanbok, tour Gyeongbokgung, and eat at a nice hanok restaurant in the area!
Start your Jongno course by renting a set of hanbok, the Korean traditional costume! You can visit Hanboknam near Gyeongbokgung, which offers regular and luxury options. Rent one here starting at only ₩6,600 (vs. regular price of ₩10,000)!
After putting on your hanbok, make your way to Gyeongbokgung and rediscover one of the most significant tourist spots in the country! If you’ve been here before COVID-19, then it may be a great idea to revisit since there’ll be a lot less visitors, which makes it more comfortable to move around and take new photos of the attraction. (Admission to Gyeongbokgung is free for guests who are wearing a hanbok.)
After spending your day in Gyeongbokgung, stop by a hanok restaurant in Jongno to complete the experience! You can visit this burger restaurant that serves juicy burgers with crispy fries or karaage. Book them below to enjoy a discount:
6. Visit an Instagrammable hanok cafe
If you like spending time in a cafe alone or with your friends, how about ditching your usual chain for a hanok coffeeshop this Korean new year? You can visit Cafe Nieun in Jongno-gu, which has a wide space for chilling and working. You can order their signature Carrot Cake + Americano set on WAUG here for only ₩13,500!
- PRICE: ₩13,500 on WAUG (vs. regular price of ₩14,500) for cake and coffee
- ADDRESS: Jongro-gu, Yeulgok.ro 102, Seoul
- HOURS: 10am-8pm
7. Explore Insadong and enjoy a buffet experience
Looking for things to do in Seoul during Seollal for couples? Head on over to Insadong and stroll the traditional alleys that look very romantic in the day and night! You can also visit the Tapgol Park in the area, which is one of the first parks in the country.
After a day of touring, head on over to Top Cloud O-Five restaurant and enjoy a semi-buffet dining experience with your date. Here, you can enjoy unlimited salad, soup, appetizers, and dessert and feast on a main of your choice!
- PRICE: starts at ₩35,150 on WAUG (vs. regular price of ₩37,000)
- ADDRESS: 5/F 49 Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
- HOURS: 12-2:30pm for lunch and 6-9pm for dinner
8. Spend Seollal in a ski resort
Want to spend Korean new year outdoors? Consider visiting a ski resort, where you can also make the most of the winter season! We’ve listed the best ski resorts in Korea here, but if you’re looking for one that’s near Seoul, then consider Vivaldi Park. Here, you can enjoy skiing and snowboarding as well as sledding and snow tubing in their Snowy Land attraction!
- LIFT TICKET PRICE: starts at ₩40,900 on WAUG (vs. regular price of ₩61,000)
- ADDRESS: 262, Hanchigol-gil, Seomyeon, Hongcheon-gun, Gangwon-do
9-10. Go bungee jumping or paragliding
Speaking of the outdoors, if you want to have a fun-filled long weekend, you may also try bungee jumping or paragliding in South Korea!
For bungee jumping, make your way to this facility in Inje, which is just 2.5 hours away from Seoul. The site is actually the highest bungee jump in Korea, which BTS members themselves have tried conquered! Get more details here.
For paragliding, one of the best spots in South Korea is found in Danyang. We’ve written a full guide about the activity here, but if you want to go ahead and book, you can do so here for only ₩75,000 (vs. regular price of ₩89,000).
11. Go car camping
Able to drive in Korea? How about trying cha-bak or car camping? WAUG offers an overnight vehicle rental package here for only ₩129,000 (vs. regular price of ₩200,000), but if you already have an SUV, then you can just book the basic camping supplies to complete your Seollal trip!
12. Eat the traditional rice cake soup at Hancook Restaurant (N Seoul Tower)
As tradition goes, Koreans age up during Seollal, but before they do, they must finish a hot bowl of Rice Cake Soup. (However, nowadays, many mark their aging-up at the start of the Gregorian calendar or on January 1st). If you want to experience this tradition on the Lunar New Year 2021, then visit Hancook Restaurant inside N Seoul Tower. They’re offering a special Rice Cake Soup with Dumplings (떡 만두국 or Tteok Mandu Guk), which you can enjoy as you take in the view of the Seoul city skyline! (You can pair the traditional soup with some Dakgangjeong or Fried Chicken, too!)
- PRICE: ₩23,500 on WAUG (vs. regular price of ₩27,200)
- ADDRESS: 105, Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (Tower 3/F, N Seoul Tower)
How to Book Activities in Seoul for Seollal on WAUG
If you’re unfamiliar with booking attractions, activities, and restaurants online, just follow these 5 simple steps:
- Log in or sign up for an account here.
- Proceed to the booking page of your preferred attraction and activity.
- Select the date, product, and quantity.
- Check out with your card. (Set the page’s currency to KRW to activate other payment options, like Naver Pay and mobile payment!)
- Wait for your vouchers on the WAUG app, which you can download below:
Discover more activities near you
Looking for more options to book for the Korean New Year weekend? Download the WAUG app here and find more restaurants, attractions, and activities in Seoul, Busan, Jeju, Gyeonggi-do, and more!
TIP: Check out the Korean platform on the WAUG app to see camping sites, pension houses, and more! These categories are exclusive on the Korean interface. (Language > Korean)