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  >  Asia   >  Korea   >  New Year’s Eve in Seoul 2024 | Spectacular Fireworks, Festivals, and Sunrises!
lotte world tower fireworks new year in seoul

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?

fireworks korea new year in seoul

Where will you celebrate the New Year in Seoul?

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • where to see fireworks on New Year’s Eve in Seoul
  • the best places to watch the first sunrise of 2024 in Korea
  • places to countdown on December 31st
  • the best areas to stay for a night of celebrating in Seoul
  • what to wear and how to get around

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Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Seoul

Ringing in a New Year 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.

Are you ready to welcome 2024?

If you should find yourself celebrating the New Year in Korea, 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.

new year's eve in korea | jeongdongjin beach

Wish lanterns released into the sky for New Year’s Eve in Korea © Kim Jiho, Korea Tourism Organization

*I’ll be updating this article as new events are announced, so check back closer to New Year’s Eve 2024 in Seoul for updated info… events and info tend to be shared last minute in Korea.

Where to Celebrate the New Year in Seoul

As the New Year in Korea approaches, countdowns will be happening all over the city. Here’s some suggestions for where to countdown in Seoul.

NYE in Seoul | bosingak bell

The Bosingak Bell is a classic place to countdown © Seoul Metropolitan Government / Penta Press

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.

bosingak bell new year eve in seoul

The ringing of the Bosingak Bell for NYE is one of Seoul’s oldest traditions © Korea.net (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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 Eve’s event in Seoul, so be prepared for some crowds, getting there and back.

new year's eve in seoul | bosingak bell ringing ceremony

The crowds for NYE in Seoul grow every year © Seoul Metropolitan Government / Penta Press

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.

READ NEXT: Myeongdong is close to everything. Here are 15 excellent hotels to book in Myeongdong for New Year’s Eve in Seoul.

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.

Seoul Winta Festival | 서울윈터페스타

Festival Dates: December 15th, 2023 – January 31st, 2024

Address: Various locations including DDP, Sejongdaero, Gwanghwamun Square, Cheonggyecheon, Seoul Square and more

This is a brand new festival taking place for the first time this year in Seoul. There are some huge events planned, linking 7 iconic attractions in the city together under the theme of “Light.”

On New Year’s Eve 2024 in Seoul, countdown to midnight simultaneously at various locations from Bosingak Pavilion to Sejong-daero. In particular, watch out for an all-new 12-diametre midnight sun, and several light festivals. Keep your eyes peeled for more details on their website.

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.

lotte world tower fireworks new year in seoul

The fireworks off Lotte World Tower for New Year in Seoul promise to be epic. Photo by Nchavance (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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 Seoul’s new year festivities in 2024.

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.

new year in Seoul | starfield library

The Christmas tree at Starfield Library changes every year.

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 on the very last day of 2023.

seoul nightclub korea

Wanna celebrate the New Year in Seoul clubbing? There’s lots of choices © Chan Hyuk Moon / Unsplash

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 Korea, 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.

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.

Sledding is a great winter activity in Korea ⓒ KTO Lee Beomsu

herb island lighting festival

All the sparkling lights at Herb Island in Pocheon.

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.

new year in korea | sunrise festivals

Making wishes on the first sunrise of the year is a New Year in Korea tradition.

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.

achasan new year in seoul sunrise

Wishes made on the first sunrise of the year are more powerful. Photo by Michael Kim/3-legged-crow@Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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

Jeongdongjin is mostly known for that crazy cruise ship on a cliff (Sun Cruise Resort), but on New Year’s Eve, the bigger draw is Sandglass Park.

new year's eve in Korea | sandglass park in Jeongdongjin

This massive sandglass is turned over on New Year’s Eve in Korea © Kim Jiho, Korea Tourism Organization

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 AT DDP + JEONGDONGJIN BEACH SUNRISE TOUR  |  Countdown to 2024 in Seoul at the stunning Dongdaemun Design Plaza with a media art show and fireworks, then head 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.

new year in korea | homigot village sunrise festival

You’ll see this striking scene at Homigot Village © Kim Jiho, Korea Tourism Organization

Be sure to sample some free tteokguk – which is a traditional New Year’s Day dish for Koreans.

SPENDING NYE IN BUSAN?  |  Countdown at Yongdusan Park, watch fireworks, explore Gamcheon Village in the midnight hours, then head to Homigot Village for the iconic first sunrise of the 2024. Check full details here.

Ganjeolgot Sunrise Festival | 울산 간절곶 해맞이축제

Festival Dates: December 31st, 2023 – January 1st, 2024

Address: 39-2, Ganjeolgot 1-gil, Ulju-gun, Ulsan | 울산광역시 울주군 서생면 간절곶1길 39-2 (서생면)

Ganjeolgot Cape in Ulsan is the first place to see the sunrise in Korea, because it sticks out into the ocean. This festival includes special performances, fireworks displays, traditional bowls of tteokguk, and much more.

new year's eve in korea | ganjeolgot cape

Ganjeoljot Cape sees Korea’s first sunrise of 2024 © Doit Company, No Sihyeon, Korea Tourism Organization

GANJEOLGOT SUNRISE FESTIVAL + GYEONGJU DAY TOUR  |  Greet the first light of 2024 at Ganjeolgot Cape, then explore UNESCO World Heritage sites in Gyeonju on this well-timed tour from Busan. 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.

The Fairmont Ambassador has special meals at their Spectrum restaurant for New Year’s Eve in Seoul, while you can enjoy the Lucky Winter package at the JW Marriott Hotel.

And of course, the Grand Hyatt Seoul, with its stunning ice rink, is one of the best places to be during Christmas in Korea.

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.

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.

new year in seoul | countdown fantasy 2024

Countdown Fantasy happens every NYE in Seoul © Countdown Fantasy

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 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 2024.

Fortunately, there are a few options, that don’t involve desperately chasing down high-demand taxis, in the freezing cold.

namdaemun at night korea

Partying late into the night? © tylerdurden1 (CC BY 2.0)

Seoul Subway

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 a Night Bus

Owl bus routes run after midnight. Fares are typically double what they are during the daytime. During New Year’s Eve in Seoul, temporary extended hours and routes are typically added. Official details haven’t been released for NYE 2024 yet, but this happens every single year. It will happen again this year too. Don’t worry!

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.

snow in seoul

New Year’s Eve in Seoul can be incredibly cold. Dress warm!

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.

arte museum | yeosu korea

Hope all your dreams come true in 2024. Happy new year!

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New Year’s Eve in Seoul, Korea: Essential Info and FAQs

1
Where to go on New Year's Eve in Seoul? For New Year's Eve in Seoul, you can watch incredible fireworks at Lotte World Tower or Coex Mall, countdown at Dongdaemun Design Plaza, hear the Bosingak Bell ring, or dance the night away at the Ice Palace Party on Some Sevit Island.
2
Do Koreans celebrate on December 31st? While New Year's Eve isn't as culturally significant as Seollal or Lunar New Year, plenty of people celebrate the transition from one calendar year to another, with parties, fireworks, sunrise festivals, and countdowns.
3
How do Koreans say ``Happy New Year?`` Happy New Year in hangul is 새해 복 많이 받으세요 | Saehae Bok Mani Badeuseyo.
4
What do South Koreans eat on New Year's Eve? It's traditional to eat tteokguk - a delicious rice cake soup that symbolizes new beginnings. It's also believed to give you good luck for the following year. It's also said that you don't gain a year in age until you have a bowl of tteokguk.

Happy new year! How will you countdown to 2024 in Seoul?

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