Taebaeksan Snow Festival

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.

Huge snow sculptures at the Taebaeksan Snow Festival

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.)

Taebaek is a small mountain town in Gangwon Province

Admission into the festival is free

The festival’s main attraction is it’s giant snow sculptures which are pretty impressive to see in real life.

Taebaeksan Snow Festival's main attraction is it's giant snow sculptures

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.

Arrive early if you want to avoid the crowds, the festival gets very busy after midday

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.’

A snow cafe made from blocks of ice

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

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’d 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. Make sure you wear snow boots or hiking shoes with a good grip unless you plan on hitting the deck.

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 Taebaeksan Snow 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?

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11 Comments

  1. 5th March 2017 / 5:59 pm

    Even after a spending a year living in Korea, I must admit that this festival had eluded my attention although it certainly does look a lot of fun. And really, when it’s free, albeit quite a distance from Seoul, it really is worth the effort. Certainly, those sculptures are beyond impressive although it must be absolutely heartbreaking for the artist when the spring rolls around and they begin to melt!

  2. 5th March 2017 / 12:24 pm

    What a great festival to be a part of! It does look so festive with so many sights and activities to do. But those snow sculptures alone are what got my curiosity. It is amazing the amount of work and creativity was needed to make them!

  3. 4th March 2017 / 7:51 pm

    Wow!! that’s a beautiful day out, the snow sculptures are really huge. We visited an ice gallery in TITLIS, Switzerland which had very small sculptures compared to the one in Taebaeksan. We loved that windmill made of show like the one in Amsterdam .. European Theme :).

  4. 4th March 2017 / 4:35 pm

    That looks like so much fun! We dont get a lot of snow here in Cape Town either and I have only built a snowman once here.It was pretty sad looking haha not like these awesome sculptures. Its also cool that its free as you cant find a lot of free events anymore.

  5. 4th March 2017 / 2:21 pm

    I have been to the Ice Hotel in Sweden and fell in love with ice wonders there…and your post has got back all those memories. I loved the snow sculptures…and the fact that you can see them on a sunny day! It seems to be a perfect place to visit with kids….thanks for sharing!

  6. 4th March 2017 / 12:03 am

    Is everything really made of snow??? It looks so cool!!! I love snow and playing with it when it’s winter and this place looks like an amazing plan! If I ever visit South Korea I’ll think about doing it in winter so I can enjoy this place. And if it’s free, there’s no excuse! 😉

  7. 3rd March 2017 / 8:58 pm

    Sounds like a great way to spend a weekend. Going to see ice sculptures one day and hiking the surrounds the next. I got cold by just looking at your beautiful photos haha. A hot chocolate would be really nice right now in the rainy Sydney and I will just close my eyes and imagine myself to be in China!

  8. 3rd March 2017 / 5:37 pm

    While I have spent a lot of time in the snow, the Taebaeksan Snow Festival still looks pretty interesting. The snow sculptures are so great! I love the beluga whale. I think I would want to go sledding, too. Good idea to spend the night and add in some hiking the next day.

  9. 3rd March 2017 / 4:27 pm

    This is what I call winter and winter fun!! I used to live in London and you are so right the snow there is a novelty. Now we are in Australia and you managed to make me miss cold and snow lol! I love winter as you have pictured here. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  10. 20th January 2017 / 1:50 pm

    Your pictures look awesome! Missed an opportunity to go last year and this year. Definitely, have to check it out from what I see. Great blog.

  11. Steph
    17th January 2017 / 1:39 pm

    Love it! Why isn’t there a picture of you hitting the deck?

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