Coming from the UK where the slightest sprinkle of snow is a novelty, we were pretty excited to visit the Taebaeksan Snow Festival (태백산 눈축제) to see some of it’s famous snow sculptures.
We braved the freezing temperatures (-10 to be exact, brrr) and made the three hour bus journey from Seoul to the city of Taebaek, a small mountain town in Gangwon Province (scroll to the bottom of this post for more information on how to reach the festival.)
The festival’s main attraction is it’s giant snow sculptures which are pretty impressive to see in real life.
There were over thirty different sculptures placed on three separate levels on the mountain. This year the festival showcased a ‘European Village’ with European themed sculptures.
It was amazing to see the detail that had been carved into the snow and ice.
You could also go sledding and tubing, but this was mainly aimed at kids (much to Dave’s disappointment.)
Our favourite attraction was the snow cafe – even the tables and chairs were made from blocks of ice. It was free to sit inside where you could grab a coffee or hot chocolate (3,000 won) to help ‘warm you up.’
We spent around 3 hours checking out the snow sculptures, any longer and I think we would’ve turned into one ourselves!
There are food tents and restaurants at the entrance to the festival if you need to escape the cold.
Overall, we had a fun time at the Taebaeksan Snow Festival – especially as we hardly ever get to see any snow at home in the UK.
Taebaeksan Snow Festival is completely free to visit – which is great, but it’s a lengthy and expensive journey from Seoul and in our opinion, too far for a day trip.
We recommend staying for the weekend and exploring the city of Taebaek, which is also popular for hiking.
Travel Tips: Being completely surrounded by snow and ice there was no escaping the freezing temperature – be sure to wrap up warm if you plan on visiting. We’d recommend wearing snow boots or hiking shoes with a good grip unless you plan on hitting the deck like me!
Rating 7/10: Admission is completely free! A great way to spend a Winter day if you want to escape the city. We were impressed by the snow sculptures, but if you’re used to spending time in the snow then this festival might not be that exciting for you.
When: The festival is held across two weekends in January, click here for more information on dates.
How to get there: From Dong Seoul bus terminal, catch a bus bound for Taebaek (23,000 won) which takes around 3 hours. Once you arrive at Taebaek bus terminal, head to the right side of the terminal and catch bus number 7 to the snow festival (runs every 30-60 minutes throughout the day.)
What’s your favourite Winter festival in Korea?