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garden of morning calm lighting festival in winter

Holiday festivals can be found all over Korea, but the Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival in winter is definitely one of the biggest and brightest. If you’re visiting South Korea at this time, this lighting festival is well worth your time and effort.

garden of morning calm lighting festival in winter

The Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival is sure to brighten a cold, winter night in Korea

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The Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival | 아침고요수목원 오색별빛정원전

The Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival has an awe-inspiring display of glimmering lights and festive cheer. You’ll be totally wowed by the sight of tens of thousands of twinkling bulbs brightening the night sky, as far as the eye can see.

I am not exaggerating in the least. There are literally 30,000 bulbs, illuminating over 30,000㎡ of the Garden.

illuminated arched tunnel at the garden of morning calm lighting festivalAnyone from couples to solo travellers to families with small children can enjoy this event. There are separate areas to explore, with displays and exhibitions decorated around the themes of animals, love, flowers, and more.

Look out for illuminated arch tunnels, a glowing horse and carriage, and my personal favourite – a swing in front of a twinkling heart. There is no shortage of interactive spots at the Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival to take the perfect pics for the season.

garden of morning calm lighting festival

This was one of my favourite photo spots at the Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival.

ALPACA WORLD + THE GARDEN OF MORNING CALM LIGHTING FESTIVAL  |  Pet fluffy alpacas and see the Garden of Morning Calm’s stunning Starlight Festival on this day tour designed with plenty of time to explore. Check full details and availability here.

When is the Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival?

Festival Dates: December 9th, 2022 – March 23rd, 2023

The Lighting Festival will take place at the Garden of Morning Calm in winter from December 9th to March 23rd. During the festival, opening hours are extended late into the night, so visitors can fully enjoy the spectacle after dark. I’d budget at least 2 hours to wander the grounds, to avoid feeling overly rushed.

garden of morning calm winter lighting festival

In winter, the Garden of Morning Calm has extended hours for the Lighting festival

Typically, the lights come on just before sunset at 17:00, and stay on until 21:00 on weekdays and 23:00 on Saturdays.

The Garden of Morning Calm IS also open during daylight hours, starting from 8:00, so it’s possible to spend an entire day there if you wish. Unless it snows however, there’s not much point to visiting earlier in the day, since most of the flora will be wilted.

garden of morning calm in winter

It’s better to visit the Garden of Morning Calm at night in winter.

Visiting the Garden of Morning Calm in Winter

If you want to see snow during winter, the Lighting Festival at the Garden of Morning Calm is a good place to try. After all, what could be more romantic than white snow-covered mountains, aglow with gleaming lights. It’s enough to make you think you’re in your own private life-sized snowglobe.

lighting festival at garden of morning calm in winter

All the shiny, sparkling lights

The best time to see the snowy landscapes of your dreams is early to mid-February. This is when weather stations in Gapyeong report the largest amounts of snow on the ground in the region. Be sure to check the weather forecast before you go!

Limited Edition Winter Tours in Korea

Winter in Korea might feel downright brutal, but there’s plenty of fun things to do to help you forget the cold. Don’t miss these special events and activities that are only available in Korea for 2 or 3 months of the year.

Ice Fountain Festival at Alps Village in Cheongyang, Korea

The Alps Village Ice Fountain Festival is an excellent winter festival.

sledding at snowy land at vivaldi park

You can try sledding in a raft at Vivaldi Park Snowy Land in winter. Trust me, it’s a blast!

What to Wear to the Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival in Winter

In the Korean winter months of December, January and February, temperatures at the Garden of Morning Calm range from -11°C | 12°F to 4°C | 40°F. In other words, it’s freezing cold… especially after the sun goes down.

garden of morning calm lighting festival

Appropriate winter wear is necessary when visiting the Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival.

Since the Lighting Festival is best enjoyed at night (duh), it’s important to dress appropriately so you can appreciate it comfortably. While there are a few cafes and indoor spaces available on the grounds, they aren’t heated very well.

There really isn’t anywhere at the Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival to get a respite from the frigid air.

Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival in Winter

Parkas, boots, hats, and gloves are the order of the day during winter at the Garden of Morning Calm

A parka, hat, and gloves are minimum requirements. If you’re someone that gets cold easily, warm boots, thick socks, a scarf, and Heattech layering or similar might be helpful.

Disposable hot packs in your pockets will do wonders at keeping your hands (and even your feet) warm. You can pick these up for a couple thousand won in any convenience store, Daiso, or pharmacy.

How to get to the Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival from Seoul

Address: 432, Sumogwon-ro, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do | 경기도 가평군 상면 수목원로 432

The Garden of Morning Calm is approximately 65-km northeast of Seoul in Gapyeong-gun. It’s part of Gyeonggi-do Province. If you have a car, you can drive there yourself in around an hour, depending on traffic.

There’s parking available on site, though it does get quite busy during the festival.

garden of morning calm lighting festival

It’s easiest to drive yourself to the Garden of Morning Calm.

If you don’t have your own car, there are a number of ways for getting to the Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival, either via public transit or on a day tour. I’ll run down the options below.

Join an all-inclusive tour

In combination with Nami Island, Alpaca World, Petite France, and the Gangchon Rail Bike, the Garden of Morning Calm is one of the most popular day trips from Seoul. With good reason. I’ve visited some of these destinations multiple times myself, and they’re totally worth a visit.

nami island sign with autumn foliage in the background

Nami Island is worth a visit in every season.

It makes sense to visit some of these places on the same day, because they are geographically close to each other, but not that close to Seoul.

Many tours also offer many stops in one day, but in my opinion, visiting more than 3 places on a single day is a bit too much. You’ll just end up rushing around and not really enjoying anything. It’s better to pick 2 or 3 places at most.

petite france in winter

Many tours also offer a stop at Petite France (but if you’re visiting from Europe, I’d skip it).

If you don’t have a car, you’ll have to rely on expensive taxis, local buses, or the Gapyeong City Tour bus to get between locations. It’s time-consuming and inefficient to say the least. And really, who wants to deal with waiting for public transport when it’s -100 degrees outside, with Siberian winds blowing in your face.

garden of morning calm lighting festival

There are a lot of day tour options for the Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival.

Joining an all-inclusive tour that includes the convenience of round-trip transport from Seoul and between all locations + admission fees is absolutely the best way to visit the Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival and other attractions in the area if you don’t have a car. Check out all the options here.

TIP  |  Seeing the Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival, sledding at Snowy Land, and picking sweet strawberries are 3 of Korea’s best winter activities, and you can do them ALL on this convenient one-day tour. Check full details here.

Using Public Transport

If you ONLY want to visit the Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival, and nothing else, your only option is to get there using public transit. Keep in mind that ANY public transit route from Seoul to the Garden of Morning Calm requires multiple transfers and quite a bit of time.

garden of morning calm lighting festival winter

You can use public transit to visit the Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival.

If you are set on using public transportation, be sure to check and double check your final destinations, because it can be super confusing. Many transit stations have the exact same name, but are in slightly different locations (like Cheongpyeong subway station vs Cheongpyeong ITX train station vs Cheongpyeong bus terminal).

garden of morning calm winter lighting festival

There are tons of thousands of lights at the Garden of Morning Calm in winter.

I’ll provide a detailed overview of all the different ways you can get to the Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival using public transit below. I recommend mapping your route personally on an app like Naver Maps for the most accuracy.

PRIVATE CAR CHARTER  |  If you’re traveling with a large group, family, or just want ultimate convenience and comfort, a private car charter might be your best choice. Check out all the options here.

Using the ITX-Cheongchun Train

1
Go to the either Yongsan Station or Cheongnyangni Station. Make sure you go to the ITX TRAIN station, which is connected to the subway, but is totally separate.
2
Get tickets to the Cheongpyeong Station in Gapyeong. It takes around an hour and costs between 5,500 to 9,500 won one way. You can book in advance on the KORAIL website.
3
From Cheongpyeong Station, you can either take a 15 minute taxi ride (16,000 won), or catch bus #30-6 or #30-7 (1,550 won) to the Garden of Morning Calm (32 minutes).
4
Alternatively, you can hop on the Gapyeong City Tour Bus to the Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival right from Cheongpyeong Station.

Via Metro Seoul Subway

1
Take the subway to Cheongpyeong Station on the Gyeongchun Line, Exit 1 (takes around 2 hours and costs 2,150 won). You can check routes and timing on Naver Maps, or the Subway Korea app.
2
Once you've reached Cheongpyeong Station, you can either take a 15 minute taxi ride (16,000 won), or take bus 30-6 or 30-7 (1,550 won) to the Garden of Morning Calm (32 minutes).
3
Alternatively, you can hop on the Gapyeong City Tour Bus to the Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival right from Cheongpyeong Station.

On a Long Distance or Express Bus

1
Go to the Dong Seoul (East) Bus Terminal. You’ll find it right across the street from Exit 3 of Gangbyeon (강변) subway station on Line 2.
2
Ask for tickets to the Cheongpyeong Bus Terminal in Gapyeong. Tickets cost around 6000 won one way.
3
From Cheongpyeong Bus Terminal, you can either take a 20 minute taxi ride (17,000 won), or a 40 minute bus ride (1,550 won) to the Garden of Morning Calm. Look for bus numbers 30-6 or 30-7.
4
Alternatively, you can transfer to Cheongpyeong Station about 1-km away, then get on the Gapyeong City Tour Bus to the Garden of Morning Calm.
girl at the garden of morning calm lighting festival

The Garden of Morning Calm is an excellent family activity.

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Garden of Morning Calm: Essential Info and FAQs

1
Is it worth going to the Garden of Morning Calm? The Garden of Morning Calm is worth a visit in every season, for its different flowers and plants. Going to the lighting festival is a super popular winter activity in Korea.
2
How big is the Garden of Morning Calm? The Garden of Morning Calm is 30,000㎡ - it's massive!
3
How long will it take to see the Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival? You should budget at least 2-3 hours to see everything at the Lighting Festival.
4
Is it cold at the Garden of Morning in winter? It's VERY cold. To enjoy the festival to its fullest, be sure to dress extra warm. There's not a lot of indoor areas to get out of the cold at the Garden.

You’re all set now with everything you need to know to visit the Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival this winter. Who’s going?

Comments:

  • December 2, 2020

    Stunning.
    Nice sharing.

    reply...
  • December 2, 2020

    A magnificent garden! 🙂

    reply...
  • December 1, 2020

    Wow! This looks amazing.
    Alison

    reply...
  • November 30, 2020

    how beautiful!

    reply...

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