10 Tempting Ways to Celebrate the New Year in Seoul 2024 [UPDATED 2023]
Was 2023 the fastest year on record, or am I just getting old? Wow – this one passed in a literal flash. Fortunately, it was a pretty good flash, and I’m ready to usher in a fresh New Year in Seoul. Are you?
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- where to countdown to 2024 for New Year’s Eve in Seoul
- where to catch fireworks for the new year in Seoul
- the best places to watch the first sunrise of the year
- how to get around on New Year Eve’s in Seoul
- what to wear to be comfortable
- which areas are best to stay after a night of celebrating in Seoul
In this guide
- 1 Celebrating the New Year in Seoul
- 2 Where to Celebrate the New Year in Seoul
- 3 Fireworks for New Year’s Eve in Seoul
- 4 Limited Edition Winter Tours in Korea
- 5 Parties to Ring in the New Year in Seoul
- 6 Book a Winter Staycation
- 7 New Year in Seoul | Clubs
- 8 New Year in Seoul | Concerts
- 9 New Year in Korea | Watch the Sunrise
- 10 New Year in Seoul | Essential Info
Celebrating the New Year in Seoul
Ringing in New Year’s Eve in Seoul doesn’t hold the same cultural significance as Seollal, but that doesn’t mean people don’t head out in force to celebrate the transition from one calendar year to another.
If you should find yourself celebrating the new year in Seoul, you’re in luck! Whether your vibe is a huge party with friends, gawking at fireworks, making a wish on a sunrise, or a luxury staycation with the family, you’ll be absolutely spoiled for choice.
Read on to discover the best parties, performances and events to attend in Seoul to countdown to 2024.
*I’ll be updating this article as new events are announced, so check back closer to New Year’s Eve 2024 for updated info… events and info tend to be shared last minute in Korea.
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Day Tours and Discounted Admission Tickets
Where to Celebrate the New Year in Seoul
As New Year’s Eve in Seoul approaches, countdowns will be happening all over the city. Here’s some suggestions for where to countdown in Seoul.
Bosingak Bell-Ringing Ceremony | 보신각타종행사
Address: 54, Jong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 종로구 종로 54 (관철동)
If you want to ring in the new year (literally), in the most traditional of ways, head over to Jongno and listen to the Bosingak Bell being rung 33 times.
This is a New Year’s Eve in Seoul tradition that’s rooted way back to the Joseon Dynasty Era, when the very same bell was rung to signal the start and end of each day.
It’ll be rung by 16 different people, including the Mayor of Seoul, and followed by a fireworks display. It symbolizes prosperity and good luck for the following year.
The ceremony starts at 11PM and ends around 1:30AM. Hundreds of thousands of people head to Jongno area for this New Year in Seoul event, so be prepared for some crowds, getting there and back.
If you prefer to avoid the masses and the frigid temperatures of winter in Korea, this ceremony is also televised, so you can watch from the warmth and comfort of your home or hotel room.
Seoul Light DDP 2023 Winter | 서울라이트
Festival Dates: December 21st, 2023 – January 1st, 2024
Address: 281, Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 중구 을지로 281 (을지로7가)
Seoul Light is a large-scale media light event that takes place multiple times a year at the futuristic Dongdaemun Design Plaza. For the winter edition, they’ve got something really special planned, with alternating shows of Cookie Run Kingdom and Digital Atlantis on the agenda.
Regular shows run from 18:00 – 22:00, on the half hour, but head to DDP on New Year’s Eve in Seoul for a special countdown and fireworks starting at 23:55PM. It’ll be followed by a Sound Interaction show, featuring DJ Fenner and Second Moon.
It’s free to attend. Get full details here.
Fireworks for New Year’s Eve in Seoul
Fireworks and New Year’s Eve go together like peanut butter and jam. In Seoul, for New Year’s Eve, there are a few places that commonly have fireworks displays.
Lotte World Tower Fireworks | 롯데월드타워
Address: 300, Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 송파구 올림픽로 300
There’s usually an incredible display of fireworks off the Lotte World Tower in Jamsil, to mark the coming of the New Year in Seoul. This is the tallest building in Korea, with 123 stories, and it’s truly a sight to behold. Make no mistake about it. This will be dazzling.
Last year, there was no announcement about fireworks at Lotte World Tower, but sure enough at the stroke of midnight, fireworks lit up the night sky. I’d expect no different for NYE 2024 in Seoul.
Starfield COEX Mall Fireworks | 스타필드 코엑스몰
Address: 513, Yeongdong-daero, Gangnam-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 강남구 영동대로 513 (삼성동)
In 2023, Starfield Coex Mall surprised us with a drone show utilizing 600 different drones, and fireworks off the top of the building. Nothing has been officially announced yet, but a combination of fireworks AND drones to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Seoul in 2024 is likely.
Previous year’s festivities have included a Coex Winter Festival, “Eat the Seoul” food truck market, daily musical performances on the DaOn Stage, and an ice skating rink at K-Pop Square. I’d expect something similar for the New Year in Seoul again.
It’s free to attend, so just head to the area and see what’s happening. Be sure to check out the media light show and Christmas tree at Starfield Library while you’re there.
Limited Edition Winter Tours in Korea
There’s plenty of of special events for Christmas and New Year’s Eve, but what will you do after? Don’t miss these events and activities that are only available for 2 or 3 months of the year.
- 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 + Alpaca World OR Sledding + Strawberry Picking | December 10th, 2023 – March 12th, 2024
- Vivaldi Park Snowy Land Sledding Tour | December 10th, 2023 – February 29th, 2024
- Sanjeong Lake Sledding Festival, Herb Island + Pocheon Art Valley | December 21st, 2023 – February 9th, 2024
- Wondae-ri Birch Forest + Maebawi Icewall Day Tour | December 22nd, 2023 – February 28th, 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
- Pyeongchang Trout Fishing and Ice Festival Tour | January 2nd – 29th, 2024
- Sanjeong Lake Sledding Festival + Hantan Ice Canyon Walk | January 4th – February 10th, 2024
- Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Fishing Festival Tour from Seoul | January 6th – 28th, 2024
- Hwacheon Ice Fishing Festival + Garden of Morning Calm Starlight Festival | January 8th – 26th, 2024
- Ice Fishing and Snowflake Tour in Gangwondo | TBA for 2023 / 24
- Skiing, Snowboarding, and Sledding Tours across Korea | Various dates
Parties to Ring in the New Year in Seoul
Seoul is known for having an incredible nightlife, so New Year’s Eve in Seoul promises to be truly extraordinary. If your idea of celebrating equals DJs, dancing, parties and music, check out these special events happening for the new year in Seoul.
2024 Ice Palace New Year’s Eve Countdown Party
When: December 31st, 2023 | 9:00PM – January 1st, 2024 | 2AM
Where: Some Sevit | 세빛섬 – 2085-14, Olympic-daero, Seocho-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 서초구 올림픽대로 2085-14
Bring in the new year in Seoul, dressed in your best blue or white party clothes, at one of the city’s most stunning and iconic venues. After last year’s incredible Gatsby Party, the Ice Palace Party for New Year’s Eve in Seoul 2024 promises to be epic!
Prepare for an excellent night of ice sculptures, performances, 2 separate DJ zones, dancing, a drone show, and prize giveaways, before counting down to the new year.
I don’t know about you, but personally, I can’t think of a more beautiful place to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Seoul than the Some Sevit Floating Islands at Banpo Hangang Park.
DISCOUNTED EARLY BIRD TICKETS ON SALE NOW | Tickets to the Ice Palace New Year’s Eve Countdown at Some Sevit Island are available at a discounted early bird price now. Tickets include entrance, unlimited happy hour drinks, and a snack bar. 19+ event. Check full details here.
Book a Winter Staycation
With unique packages, decadent meals, and special offers, a staycation in a luxury hotel is an incredibly popular holiday activity for couples and families alike. It’s so popular, that hotels in Seoul are already 80% booked out until the end of 2023.
WINTER STAYCATIONS AT LUXURY HOTELS | Here are a few of the most popular luxury hotels in Seoul to check for availability, but if this is something you want to do, I’d book it soon.
- Grand Hyatt Seoul
- RYSE, Autograph Collection Marriott in Hongdae
- Four Seasons Hotel Seoul near Gwanghwamun and Gyeongbokgung Palace
- Lotte Hotel Executive Tower in Myeongdong
- Andaz Seoul in Gangnam
- Signiel Seoul in Jamsil
- Mondrian Seoul in Itaewon
- Grand Intercontinental Seoul near Coex Mall
- Banyan Tree Club and Spa
New Year in Seoul | Clubs
If you’re more of a fly by the seat of your pants kind of person, you could check out any of the big clubs, lounges, or hotels in Seoul. Many will be having special festivities to mark the dawn of the new decade.
*Events are just starting to be show up for 2023. I’ll update as soon as more info becomes available.
Clubs and Hotels to Celebrate New Years Eve in Seoul
*This will be updated as I learn of things.
- Dragon Hill Lodge | 2024 New Years Eve Party
New Year in Seoul | Concerts
If your idea of a new year in Seoul celebration includes K-pop artists, you’re in luck. There are a few performances and concerts specifically being held on the last day of 2022.
Countdown Fantasy Seoul 2023 – 2024 | 카운트 다운 판타지
Dates: December 30th – 31st, 2023
Venue: KINTEX, 217-60, Kintex-ro, Ilsanseo-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do 경기도 고양시 일산서구 킨텍스로 217-60
Celebrate the new year in Seoul at Countdown Fantasy. Performers include the likes of 쏜애플 THORNAPPLE, LUCY 루시, MY AUNT MARY 마이앤트메리, 실리카겔 Silica Gel, Xdinary Heroes 엑스디너리 히어로즈, and many, many more over the course of 2 days at KINTEX.
Get full details and check for tickets here.
Countdown Seoul 2024
Prior to that global pandemic, there was a huge K-pop concert and party at Times Square in Yeongdeungpo to countdown the new year in Seoul. I’ll update this if the event goes ahead, but so far, I haven’t heard a thing.
New Year in Korea | Watch the Sunrise
Festival Dates: December 31st, 2023 – January 1st, 2024
Making wishes on the first sunrise of the year is a traditional way to welcome a new year in Korea. It’s believed that these wishes are more powerful, bringing good luck for the entire year to come – so it’s a super popular way to spend the first day of the year.
There are special sunrise events for the new year in Seoul, but it’s worth heading out of the city for a sunrise festival, if this is something you’re interested in.
Achasan Sunrise Festival | 아차산 해맞이축제
Address: 127, Walkerhill-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 광진구 워커힐로 127 (광장동)
The Achasan Sunrise Festival is a good one to visit if you don’t want to travel too far out of Seoul. It’s easy to access using public transportation, and it takes just 15 minutes to hike up to the viewing spot.
Be warned though – this is one of the more popular places to visit to watch a sunrise for the New Year in Seoul. Pre-pandemic, 40,000 visitors attended.
If Achasan is too far from you, you can check out Haneul Park or Maebongsan Mountain to make a wish for the New Year in Korea.
Jeongdongjin Sunrise Festival | 정동진 해맞이 축제 모래시계회전식
Festival Dates: December 31st, 2023 – January 1st, 2024
Address: Jeongdongjin2-ri, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do | 강원도 강릉시 강동면 정동진2리
This sandglass is so huge that it takes an entire year for the sand to trickle completely through it. Weighing a whopping 40-tons, it’s turned over precisely at midnight on New Year’s Eve in Korea.
SEOUL LIGHT COUNTDOWN + JEONGDONGJIN BEACH SUNRISE TOUR | Countdown to 2023 in Seoul at the stunning Dongdaemun Design Plaza, then head out to Jeongdongjin Beach to make wishes on the first sunrise of the year. Check full details here.
Homigot Sunrise Festival | 호미곶 한민족 해맞이축전
Festival Dates: December 31st, 2023 – January 1st, 2024
Address:136, Haemaji-ro, Nam-gu, Pohang-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do | 경상북도 포항시 남구 호미곶면 해맞이로 136
At the Homigot Sunrise Festival, enjoy cultural performances, a fireworks show, sunrise concert and other inspirational events like kite-flying and launching hope balloons filled with wishes for the new year.
Be sure to sample some free tteokguk – which is a traditional New Year’s Day dish for Koreans.
SPENDING NYE IN BUSAN? | Countdown at the Busan Tower, explore Gamcheon Village in the midnight hours, see all of Busan from the peak of Mount Hwangryeongsan, then see an iconic sunrise on Homigot Village. Check full details here.
New Year in Seoul | Essential Info
Getting around on New Year’s Eve
Seoul Metro and most bus routes end just around midnight, so figuring out how to get around on New Year’s Eve in Seoul is one of the biggest concerns people have… especially if you plan to celebrate right into 2023.
Fortunately, there are a few options, that don’t involve desperately chasing down high-demand taxis, in the freezing cold.
You can take the Seoul subway until 2AM. While there hasn’t been a formal announcement about this yet, subway hours have typically been extended until around 2AM for the new year in Seoul.
Take an “Owl” Bus
Owl bus routes run after midnight. Fares are typically double what they are during the daytime. During New Year’s Eve in Seoul, 4 additional Owl routes are being added. They’ll run until 3:30AM and connect with other typical night bus routes. Find more info here.
What to wear on New Year’s Eve in Seoul
If you plan to be outside for any length of time, be sure to bundle up. Seoul’s weather has a way of sneaking up on you. It feels okay at first, but once it seeps into your bones, getting warm is pretty much impossible. It’s intensely cold in Korea during winter, especially after the sun goes down.
I recommend thermals or heattechs, hot packs in your pockets, warm gloves, thick socks, hat or earmuffs, and a parka of some kind. If it’s a windy evening, you can also consider a scarf or mask to cover your face. (You can pick facemasks up in any convenience store or pharmacy).
Essentially, you should try to cover as much of your exposed skin as possible, when you’re outside.
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New Year in Seoul, Korea: Essential Info and FAQs
Happy new year! How will you countdown to 2024 in Seoul?