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How cold does it get in Seoul?


Seoul is the capital city of South Korea and is known for its vibrant culture, rich history, and extreme weather conditions. In this article, we will explore how cold it gets in Seoul during the winter months.

Geographical Location and Climate

Seoul is located in the northern hemisphere and experiences four distinct seasons. The city has a humid continental climate, which means it has hot summers and cold winters. The temperature in Seoul varies depending on the season and its geographical location.

Winter Weather in Seoul

The winter season in Seoul starts from December and lasts until February. During this period, the temperature drops significantly, and the city experiences heavy snowfall. The average temperature during this time is around -6 degrees Celsius.

Lowest Temperature Recorded in Seoul

The lowest temperature ever recorded in Seoul was -24 degrees Celsius in January 2001. This record-breaking temperature caused significant damage to the city’s infrastructure, including frozen water pipes and power outages.

Preparing for Cold Weather

Seoul residents prepare for the harsh winter weather by investing in warm clothing, including thermal underwear, thick coats, gloves, hats, and scarves. Many also use heated blankets or mats to stay warm indoors.

Indoor Heating Systems

To combat the cold weather, most buildings in Seoul have indoor heating systems installed. These systems are designed to provide warmth throughout the building and are essential for keeping residents comfortable during the winter months.

Transportation During Winter

The winter weather in Seoul can make transportation difficult. The city’s public transportation system, including buses and trains, can experience delays due to snow and icy conditions on the roads.

Snow Removal Strategies

The Seoul government employs various strategies to remove snow from the roads and sidewalks during the winter months. This includes the use of snowplows, salt, and other de-icing agents.

Winter Activities in Seoul

Despite the harsh winter weather, Seoul residents enjoy various winter activities, including ice skating, skiing, and snowboarding. These activities are popular among tourists as well.

Winter Festivals in Seoul

Seoul hosts several winter festivals during the colder months of the year. These festivals showcase traditional Korean culture and offer visitors a chance to experience unique winter activities.

Climate Change Impact

Climate change is affecting the weather patterns in Seoul, resulting in milder winters and less snowfall. This has led to concerns about the impact on winter tourism and the city’s economy.


In conclusion, Seoul experiences extremely cold weather during the winter months, with temperatures dropping to as low as -24 degrees Celsius. Despite these conditions, residents and tourists alike can enjoy various winter activities and festivals while also being mindful of preparing for the harsh weather.

Does it snow a lot in Seoul?

Seoul experiences snowfall during the winter season, although it is difficult to predict. Generally, the highest snowfall in Korea occurs during January or February, which is when Seoul typically experiences a few weeks of snow.

What is the coldest month in Seoul Korea?

The climate in Seoul has a significant temperature range throughout the year. The coldest month, January, typically has an average temperature of 26 °F (-3 °C), while the warmest month, August, usually has an average temperature of 78 °F (25 °C).

Does it get really cold in Seoul?

Seoul experiences very cold, windy, and dry weather during the winter months, with temperatures dropping as low as -15°C on the coldest days. Despite this, there are still many recreational activities available for visitors to enjoy during their stay in the city.

Is Seoul colder than New York?

In terms of temperature, Seoul tends to be warmer than New York, with an average mean temperature of 13.89°C (57.0°F) compared to New York’s 13.27°C (55.89°F). The difference in temperature between the two cities is only 0.62°C (33.12°F).

Is Seoul colder than Tokyo?

Despite having a comparable latitude, Tokyo remains significantly warmer than Seoul during the winter season. This is attributed to the fact that South Korea is attached to the Asian continent, causing a cool effect, while Japan is an island, and does not experience the same effect.

What are the 4 seasons in Korea?

Throughout the country, seasonal variations are minimal with four distinct seasons. Spring (April to June) is delightful, summer (July to August) is humid and wet, autumn (September to November) is refreshing, and winter (December to March) is freezing cold and snowy but dry.

Winter Tourism in Seoul

Despite the challenges of the winter season, Seoul’s tourism industry is still thriving. Many visitors come to the city during the winter months to experience the unique winter culture and activities. The city offers a range of winter-themed tours and experiences, including snow-covered temples, ice fishing, and traditional Korean sauna experiences.

Impact on Agriculture

The harsh winter weather also impacts agriculture in Seoul and surrounding areas. The cold temperatures and heavy snowfall can damage crops and affect livestock. Farmers must take extra precautions to protect their crops and animals during the winter season.

Winter Food in Seoul

Seoul’s cuisine is also influenced by the winter weather. Many traditional Korean dishes are designed to provide warmth and comfort during the colder months. Popular winter foods include hot soups, stews, and porridges. Some of these dishes are also believed to have medicinal properties that can help fight off colds and other winter illnesses.

Winter Safety Precautions

Due to the extreme weather conditions, it’s essential to take extra safety precautions during the winter season. This includes being aware of potential hazards like icy sidewalks and roads, dressing appropriately for the cold weather, and keeping emergency supplies like blankets and flashlights on hand.

Environmental Impact

Seoul’s winter weather also has an environmental impact. Heavy snowfall can lead to increased air pollution levels as more people use cars or public transportation instead of walking or cycling. The use of de-icing agents like salt can also have negative effects on local ecosystems if not used responsibly.


In summary, Seoul’s winter weather is an essential aspect of the city’s culture and identity. While it presents challenges for residents, businesses, and tourists, it also offers unique opportunities for winter activities and experiences. As the city continues to develop and adapt to changing weather patterns, it’s essential to balance the economic and cultural benefits of winter tourism with the need to protect the environment and ensure safety for all.

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