Compared to the festive vibes of Korea in December and the many icy activities of January, Korea in February feels positively serene. This last month of winter is a small chance to recharge, before cherry blossom festivals have us running all over the country again.
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- what the February weather in Korea is like
- the Seoul weather in February and other major cities and tourist hotspots, including Busan, Jeju, Pyeongchang and Gangwondo
- the best winter festivals to attend in Korea in February
- what to wear and the best things to pack for a successful trip to South Korea in February
In this guide
- 1 Visiting Korea in February
- 2 Korea in February | Weather
- 3 Planning a trip to Korea?
- 4 Korea in February | Public Holidays 2024
- 5 Limited Edition Winter / Spring Tours in Korea
- 6 Korea in February | Best Festivals and Events
- 6.1 Gwangalli Marvelous Drone Light Show | 광안리M드론라이트쇼
- 6.2 Pocheon Dongjangkun Festival | 포천 백운계곡 동장군축제
- 6.3 Jeongwol Daeboreum Fire Festival | 정월 대보름
- 6.4 Chilgapsan Ice Fountain Festival | 칠갑산얼음분수축제
- 6.5 HMA Hanteo Music Awards | 한터뮤직어워즈
- 6.6 Sanjeong Lake Sledding Festival | 산정호수썰매축제
- 6.7 Circle Chart Music Awards | 한터뮤직어워즈
- 6.8 Korea Grand Sale | 코리아그랜드세일
- 6.9 E-World Illumination | 이월드 일루미네이션
- 6.10 Gapyeong Singsing Trout Festival | 가평씽씽송어축제
- 6.11 The Garden of Morning Calm | 아침고요수목원 오색별빛정원전
- 6.12 Herb Island Light Festival | 허브아일랜드 불빛동화축제
- 7 Korea in February | What to Wear
- 8 Visiting Korea in February | Packing List
Visiting Korea in February
Many people (rightfully) save their travel time for cherry blossom season in Korea, so the number of tourists traveling to Korea in February is lower than at other times of the year. It’s a great time to visit if you’re on a budget, don’t like crowds, or just want a little peace at major attractions.
In February, it’s easier to book good value accommodation in popular neighbourhoods like Myeongdong, Hongdae, and Gangnam. With less people making a trip to South Korea, you’ll avoid major queues at the airport, and there are plenty of deals to be found.
This is the last month of winter, so it starts to get ever so slightly warmer by the end of February in Korea. That doesn’t mean it’s warm enough to throw off all your winter gear though. You’ll definitely still need it!
Korea in February | Weather
You can still expect freezing temperatures, strong winds, and bitter cold from the Korea weather in February. Average temperatures across the country range from -11°C | 13°F in Gangwon-do to 9°C | 49°F on Jeju Island.
There’s still quite a bit of snowfall in Korea in February. It’s the ideal time to head out to ski resorts, and sledding hills like Vivaldi Park Snowyland, for a day of winter fun. Ski resorts like Yongpyong and Alpensia, out in Gangwon-do are a good bet for the most real snow and best conditions.
There is some light (and heat) at the end of the tunnel though. Days get longer, and average high temperatures rise to as much as 7°C | 45°F in Seoul by the end of February in Korea.
Korea in February | Seoul Weather
It’s still quite cold in Seoul in February, with average temperatures in the range of -4°C | 26°F to 5°C | 41°F. Daily high temperatures increase a full 5°C | 8°F from January, reaching up to 7°C | 45°F in February, so there are definitely some warmer days by the end of the month.
Do not be fooled though. It’s still winter, and there are days with temperatures that reach as low as -11°C | 13°F. With average wind speeds of 15-km/hour | 9-miles/hour pretty constant throughout the month, it can feel a whole lot colder.
There’s a mix of snow and rain in Seoul during February, so be prepared with umbrellas, snow boots, and waterproof gear if you have it. In my experience, there’s always a major dump of snow near the end of the month – almost like the last gasp of winter, before balmy temperatures take over Korea for spring.
* Personal note: this is one of the coldest, snowiest winters I’ve ever experienced in Seoul. It’s snowed quite a bit, with temperatures as low as -25°C | -13°F with the windchill. It’s been so cold that snow isn’t melting instantly like usual. Bring REAL winter gear if you’re visiting Korea in February 2023.
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Korea in February | Travel Essentials
Hotels and Other Accommodation
Travel Insurance for South Korea
Wifi, SIM Cards, and Portable Wifi
Airport Transfers and Luggage Delivery
Money-Saving Transit and Transport Passes
Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tours
Day Tours and Discounted Admission Tickets
Korea Weather in February | Busan
Busan is located on the southeastern coast of Korea in Gyeongnam-do. It’s one of the warmer cities of Korea in February. It has average daily high temperatures of 8°C | 47°F, and average lows of 3°C | 38°F.
February in Busan is a little wet, with an average of 5 days of rain, totalling approximately 20-mm of precipitation. There is no snowfall in Busan.
With a sea temperature of just 13°C | 56°F, it’s dangerous to go swimming, but that doesn’t mean that you’re safe from UV rays. The UV Index starts to increase in South Korea in February. Be cautious, even when there’s cloud cover – especially if you’re prone to burning easily.
TIP | Short on time? Explore the best attractions in Busan with this jampacked tour to the Busan Skywalk, Gamcheon Culture Village, Songdo Cable Car, Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, and more. Lunch and transport included. Check availability of this day tour to all the Busan hotspots here.
Korea Weather in February | Jeju Island
February is another winter month on Jeju Island, with temperatures ranging from 4°C | 39°F to 9°C | 49°F. It rains for about 10 days of the month, but there’s not too much overall precipitation.
Lest you think it doesn’t snow on Jeju Island, stand corrected. There can be a lot of snowfall in the higher mountainous regions, and there are beautiful snowscapes to be seen on various hiking trails around Hallasan Mountain.
Be aware that flight and ferry cancellations and delays due to unfavourable weather conditions are a very real possibility if you’re traveling to Jeju in February.
GETTING AROUND JEJU ISLAND | Public transit on Jeju Island is not as efficient as in Seoul. Distances are long, and it’s a lot slower, so most visitors either take day tours, hire a taxi, rent a car, or book a private car charter.
To rent a car as a traveller to Korea, you MUST have: a book type international driver’s permit (obtained in your home country), your passport, and your driver’s license from home. Check full details and availability of rental cars on Jeju Island here (reserve as early as possible for the best selection and prices).
Korea Weather in February | Pyeongchang (Gangwon-do)
Pyeongchang in Gangwon-do is likely one of the coldest places in Korea in February, with average temperatures ranging from -11°C | 13°F to 0°C | 31°F. The temperature literally never rises above freezing in the region.
Every week, there’s an average of 2 to 3-cm of fresh snowfall in Pyeongchang, with the exception of the last week of February. I bet you’d be surprised to learn that the MOST snowfall happens around Pyeongchang in the last week of February (average 12-cm), and the first week of March (average 24-cm).
So while most ski resorts around the country are closed by the end of February in Korea, this is the ideal time to head to Gangwon-do for the best snow and conditions on the slopes.
PYEONGCHANG SKI RESORTS | The ski resorts in the Pyeongchang region are considered among the best in Korea, due to the higher amount of natural snowfall in the area. There’s a reason why Olympic Ski events were held in Pyeongchang in 2018! Head to Alpensia or Yongpyong Ski Resorts in February for some of the best skiing conditions in Korea.
Korea in February | Public Holidays 2024
One of the country’s most important national public holidays happens in Korea in January. Seollal or Lunar New Year stretches from Friday, February 9th to Sunday, February 11th, 2024. At this time, there’s a mass exodus into and out of Seoul, as people visit their hometowns around the country.
These are days off for most Koreans, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have trouble finding things to do. Most tourist sites and restaurants will be open to the public, and a number of special events will happen to mark Seollal.
If you’re planning to travel around South Korea near these dates, it’s very important that you book accommodation as far in advance as possible. With 25 million people potentially traveling in and out of Seoul at the exact same time, trains, buses and the best hotels in the best neighbourhoods get booked up fast.
Valentine’s Day in Korea
Valentine’s Day is a romantic holiday in Korea, just like in other countries around the world. However, it’s celebrated with a slightly Korean twist.
On February 14th, WOMEN in Korea give their partners chocolate, sweets, and other gifts for Valentine’s Day. It’s also an opportunity for women to confess their feelings to a crush, if they’re brave enough.
Here are some ideas for a romantic Valentine’s Day in Seoul:
Limited Edition Winter / Spring Tours in Korea
If you’re visiting Korea in February, it’s likely your last chance to participate in snow, ice, and lighting festivals around the country. Why? Because everything starts to melt, as we head into the warmer spring months.
- Elysian Ski Resort + Nami Island + the Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival | December 11th, 2023 – February 23rd, 2024
- Alpaca World + Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival | December 9th, 2023 – March 11th, 2024
- Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival, Snowy Land + Strawberry Picking | TBA for 2023 / 24
- Vivaldi Park Snowy Land Sledding Tour | December 10th, 2023 – February 29th, 2024
- Eobi Ice Valley, Nami Island, Alpaca World + Garden of Morning Calm | December 26th, 2023 – February 29th, 2024
- Cheongyang Alps Village Ice Fountain Festival + Strawberry Picking | December 26th, 2023 – February 29th, 2024
- Ice Fishing and Snowflake Tour in Gangwondo | TBA for 2023 / 24
- Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Fishing Festival Tour from Seoul | TBA for 2023 / 24
- Skiing, Snowboarding, and Sledding Tours across Korea | Various dates
Spring Tours in Korea
Plum blossoms in Gwangyang Maehwa Village are usually the first sign of spring in Korea, with petals bursting into bloom at the end of March. Like cherry blossom season in Korea, the dates for most of these tours is incredibly limited. Most run for just a few short weeks, so catch them while you can!
- Gwangyang Maehwa & Jeonju Hanok Village Tour | March 13th – 24th, 2023
- Jeju Island Package: Flight, Private Tour + Hotel Option | March 20th – April 9th, 2023
- Jeju Island Cherry Blossoms and Canola Private Taxi or Van Tour | March 21st – April 10th, 2023
- Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival Tour from Busan | March 24th – April 9th, 2023
- Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival Tour from Seoul or Busan | March 27th – April 6th, 2023
- Exclusive VIP Tour Jinhae Gunhangje Cherry Blossom Festival | March 27th – April 7th, 2023
- Chasing Cherry Blossoms in Busan | March 27th – April 12th, 2023
- Daegu E-WORLD Land & Spring Cherry Blossom Day Tour | March 28th – April 7th, 2023
- Chasing Cherry Blossoms in Seoul and Gyeonggi-do | April 5th – 16th, 2023
- Ganghwa Island Cherry Blossom & Luge Ride Experience | April 9th – 17th, 2023
- Eden Cherry Blossom Festival + Alpaca World + Nami Island | April 11th – 18th, 2023
- Taean Tulip Festival + Strawberry Picking Experience | April 14th – May 7th, 2023
- Pink King Cherry Blossom Tour from Seoul | April 15th – April 30th, 2023
Korea in February | Best Festivals and Events
There’s a very slight pause in the busy festival schedule in the last few weeks of February in Korea. There’s an incredible variety of events coming up in the busy spring months of April and May, so maybe it’s just a small chance for us to catch our breath.
Not to worry though – even in its quietest months, there’s still plenty to do in Korea.
Visiting Korea at another time of the year? Learn about the weather and festivals for each month in the following detailed guides.
- Korea in April: Chasing Cherry Blossoms
- Korea in May: In Full Bloom
- Korea in June: The Best Month of Summer
- Korea in July: The Peak of Summer
- Korea in August: Summer Vacation for EVERYONE!
- Korea in September: Autumn Relief
- Korea in October: Full on Fall Foliage
- Korea in November: Autumn to Winter Transition
- Korea in December: Christmas Lights Galore
- Korea in January: The Coldest Month of the Year
Gwangalli Marvelous Drone Light Show | 광안리M드론라이트쇼
Festival dates: TBA for 2024, but Saturdays from February 4th – 25th in 2023
Address: 219, Gwanganhaebyeon-ro, Suyeong-gu, Busan (부산광역시 수영구 광안해변로 219)
The Gwangalli M Drone Show isn’t just a February in Korea event, but a permanent drone show that takes place in front of stunning Gwangandaegyo Bridge in Busan. It uses 500 drones to spectacularly paint the night sky according to different themes, every Saturday night.
From March to September, you can catch the drone show at 8PM or 10PM, and at 7PM and 9PM from October to February in South Korea. It runs for about 10 minutes, and it’s free!
Get full details on their website (Korean only).
Pocheon Dongjangkun Festival | 포천 백운계곡 동장군축제
Festival dates: TBA for 2024, but December 22nd, 2022 to February 5th, 2023 last year
Address: 2381, Hwadong-ro, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do | 경기도 포천시 이동면 화동로 2381
Head to Doridol Village in Pocheon for the Dongjangkun Festival, where you can ice fish, ride a sled, or play traditional games. Don’t forget to eat some galbi (ribs) and makgeolli (rice wine) – which the region is famous for.
Pocheon is a lot colder than Seoul during February in Korea, despite being just an hour or so away. There’s lots of snowfall and ice, so prepare for this festival with serious winter gear.
Jeongwol Daeboreum Fire Festival | 정월 대보름
Festival dates: TBA for 2024, but February 5th in 2023
Address: Haeundae Beach, 264, Haeundaehaebyeon-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan | 부산광역시 해운대구 해운대해변로 264 (우동)
The Jeongwol Daeboreum Fire Festival takes place on the first full moon after Korean Lunar New Year. There are a number of traditional customs meant to pray for good health and fortune in the coming year, including Jisin-balgi (tribute to the Earth God), a Korean Circle Dance, and the burning of the Daljip.
The Daljip is basically a huge straw bonfire. It’s burnt on Jeongwol Daeboreum by the light of the full moon and definitely should not be missed.
There are multiple venues throughout Busan for the Daeboreum Fire Festival, but main events take place on Haeundae Beach. Check their website for a full list of locations and activities.
BUSAN NIGHT TOUR | Check out Busan’s glittering lights on this affordable tour that hits all of the city’s best night time spots. Choose between Gwangalli Beach, 168 Steps, The Bay 101, and Yeongdo Seaside Park OR visit Gamcheon Culture Village, the Songdo Cable Car, and Cheonmasan. Check full details and availability here.
Chilgapsan Ice Fountain Festival | 칠갑산얼음분수축제
Festival dates: TBA for 2024, but December 26th, 2022 – February 10th, 2023 last year
Address: 175-11, Cheonjangho-gil, Cheongyang-gun, Chungcheongnam-do | 충청남도 청양군 정산면 천장호길 175-11
February is the last month to see the stunning ice formations at the Alps Village Ice Fountain Festival near Cheongyang, before it shuts down again until next winter.
There are some warm-ish days in February in Korea from time to time, so I’d make sure temperatures are still around freezing before heading out to Alps Village. You’ll be able to enjoy other winter activities available at the festival, like snow sledding, ice fishing, and bobsleigh, better that way.
ICE FOUNTAIN FESTIVAL OR EOBI ICE VALLEY | Need to see a wall of ice? Choose between the Cheongyang Ice Fountain Festival or head to Eobi Ice Valley, along with Nami Island, and the Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival. Check full details and availability here.
HMA Hanteo Music Awards | 한터뮤직어워즈
Festival dates: TBA for 2024, but February 10th – 11th in 2023
Address: Jamsil Arena, 25, Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 송파구 올림픽로 25 (잠실동)
Hanteo has been tracking the explosive growth of K-pop in Korea and around the world, with real-time data, since 1993. Celebrate with K-pop idols on their 30th Anniversary, at the Hanteo Music Awards this February in Korea.
The line-up is yet to be announced, but it’s sure to be a good one. Grab an HMA Hanteo Awards Ticket Package here.
Sanjeong Lake Sledding Festival | 산정호수썰매축제
Festival dates: TBA for 2024, but December 30th, 2022 – February 12th, 2023 last year
Address: 89, Sanjeonghosu-ro 411beon-gil, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do | 경기도 포천시 영북면 산정호수로411번길 104
Frozen Sanjeong Lake is the site of one of the cutest festivals around Korea in February. Ride an adorable duck sled, pedal a penguin bicycle, make gigantic snowmen, and basically enjoy one of the snowiest places I’ve ever seen in Korea.
The Sanjeong Lake Sledding Festival is perfect for families, with a small amusement park, food stalls, and other amenities on-site. My daughter didn’t want to leave!
TRAVELING WITH A LARGE GROUP? | If you’re traveling with family or a large group, a private car charter might be the best, most affordable way to see popular attractions and tourist sights outside of Seoul. Check full details and availability here.
Circle Chart Music Awards | 한터뮤직어워즈
Festival dates: TBA for 2024, but February 18th in 2023
Address: KSPO Dome, 424, Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 송파구 올림픽로 424 (방이동)
The Circle Chart Music Awards (formerly the Gaon Chart Awards) celebrates the most popular artists and albums of the year. It’s one of the biggest K-pop awards shows around, with an incredible line-up of performances guaranteed.
The female artist’s line-up includes: aespa, STAYC, NMIXX, Kep1er, (G)I-DLE’s Miyeon, and Choi Ye Na. Male artists will be announced soon!
Check out ticket packages for the Circle Chart Music Awards here.
Korea Grand Sale | 코리아그랜드세일
Festival Dates: TBA for 2024, but January 12th – February 28th in 2023
Address: Various locations
One big advantage of visiting Korea in February, is that you can take advantage of the Korea Grand Sale. This festival promotes culture, tourism and shopping to travelers all year round, but the biggest discounts and promotions are reserved for January and February.
From free room upgrades to discounted flight deals to special coupon books for restaurants and shopping, it’s definitely worth checking their website for all the deals.
TRADITIONAL FOLK PERFORMANCES AT THE GUGAK CENTRE | Watching a super affordable performance at the National Gugak Centre in Seoul is a must-do activity for any culture enthusiasts interested in Korean traditional folk arts. Be sure to visit the excellent free museum nearby to try out some traditional instruments yourself! Get full details here.
E-World Illumination | 이월드 일루미네이션
Festival Dates: TBA for 2024, but November 19th, 2022 to February 28th, 2023 last year
Address: 200, Duryugongwon-ro, Dalseo-gu, Daegu | 대구광역시 달서구 두류공원로 200
For the entire month of February in Korea, the Illumination Festival in Daegu stuns with 10-million lights decorating E-World and the landmark 83 Tower. Look out for gorgeous photo zones, including a sparkling 250-metre long road, and a dazzling garden of 100,000 LED roses.
There’s also 4 different outdoor amusement parks at Daegu E-World, with a ton of thrilling rides for all ages to explore. Don’t forget to head up the 83 Tower Observatory for excellent views of Daegu at night.
More details here.
BEST VIEWS OF SEOUL | The views from Seoul Sky Observatory are simply extraordinary. The observatory sits at the top of Korea’s tallest building – the Lotte World Tower, 555-metres up! Get more info here.
Gapyeong Singsing Trout Festival | 가평씽씽송어축제
Festival Dates: TBA for 2024, but December 23rd, 2022 to March 1st, 2023 last year
Address: 119, Gapyeongjebang-gil, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do | 경기도 가평군 가평읍 가평제방길 119
The Gapyeong Singsing Trout Festival is one of the only ice fishing festivals that continues on until the end of February in South Korea.
Check out hands-on programs and winter activities like ice fishing and sledding, snow sledding, or riding bumper cars on ice. Be sure to get any trout you catch grilled on-site, so you can eat it while it’s super fresh.
The Garden of Morning Calm | 아침고요수목원 오색별빛정원전
Festival dates: TBA for 2024, but December 9th, 2022 – March 23rd, 2023 last year
Address: 432, Sumogwon-ro, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do | 경기도 가평군 상면 수목원로 432
The Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival is the biggest one in Korea, and well worth a visit if you’re visiting South Korea in February. Prepare to be wowed by the sight of tens of thousands of glowing lights in every possible colour covering acres and acres of land.
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.
Herb Island Light Festival | 허브아일랜드 불빛동화축제
Festival Dates: TBA for 2024, but February 1st – December 31st in 2023
Address: 35, Cheongsin-ro 947beon-gil, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do | 경기도 포천시 신북면 청신로947번길 35
If you can’t get enough of sparkling lights, the Herb Island Lighting Festival is not too far from Seoul. You could combine it with a trip to Pocheon Art Valley, with strawberry picking, or visit one of the winter festivals in Pocheon at the same time.
Herb Island is a huge botanical garden so the light displays are spread out around the large grounds, so be prepared for a little walking.
There are also hands-on activities, like herbal soap and candle-making on-site. If you’re traveling independently, I recommend getting there before sunset, so you can take advantage of all those activities too.
Check their website for full details (Korean only).
Korea in February | What to Wear
While there can be a few “warm-ish” days in Korea in February, it’s still very much winter. Sub-zero temperatures, Siberian winds, and bitter cold are the norm, so you should prepare your clothing accordingly.
You’ll need a super warm winter parka, heattech inner wear, hats, scarves, and mittens to survive the February weather in Korea.
It’s a lot colder once the sun sets, so if you’re exploring Seoul at night, throwing a couple of hot packs into your pockets can be very helpful. These can be picked up for very cheap in any convenience store, Daiso, or supermarket.
Snowfall is likely in February in South Korea… especially this year. If the snow sticks around, it’s useful to wear some type of waterproof winter boots or running shoes, with good tread. The sidewalks can get pretty slippery.
Tips for What to Wear in Korea in February
Visiting Korea in February | Packing List
Here’s a rough guideline of items to pack for the Korea weather in February.
Bring from Home
- travel documents: passport, itineraries, hotel reservations, plane tickets, travel visas, insurance
- adaptor / plug
- long sleeved shirts, sweaters, hoodies, cardigans
- warm pants, fleece-lined leggings, thick tights
- winter skirts or dresses
- deodorant, feminine hygiene items
- comfortable running shoes for lots of walking (water resistant shoes are good at this time of year)
- warm winter boots if you plan to be outside a lot
- winter gear like a down jacket, scarf, mittens, gloves, and hat, snow pants if you plan to ski or snowboard
- any special medications you might need
Buy in Korea
- hot packs (at the convenience store or DAISO)
- gloves, scarves, and winter hats are cheap and easy to buy everywhere
- HEATTECH inner layers for warmth (Uniqlo)
- umbrella if it rains
- disposable air pollution / medical masks
- batteries / charging cables (super cheap at Daiso)
- skincare products like sunscreen (high quality and cheap in Korea!)
- eyeglasses and contact lenses can be purchased just by walking into a store (a free eye test will be provided)
- birth control can be purchased over the counter, without a prescription (but all brands may not be available)
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Korea in February: Essential Info and FAQs
All ready for the perfect trip to Korea in February? What have you got planned?