Seoul Weather January Averages, South Korea
What's the Weather like in Seoul in January
January is the coldest month in Seoul,quite different from the muggy summers. The average monthly temperature in January is a chilly -4°C. Daytime averages are rarely above freezing, averaging 1°C. Nights drop to -9°C. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Seoul in January was a frigid -22.5°C. The record high only reached 14.4°C.
Rain & Snow
The probability of precipitation in Seoul in January is 10%, in the form of rain, ice, or snow. Rainfall totals average only 21mm, making January one of the driest months in Seoul. It does snow in Seoul, but dry skies only produce a trace amount of snow, usually around 30mm.
January is one of the clearest months in Seoul. There is, on average, a 66% chance of clear to partly cloudy skies. The length of the days increase from 9 hours 37 minutes in the beginning of January to 10 hours 17 minutes by the end of the month. You'll get an average of five hours of sunshine each day despite the short days.
January is one of the driest months in Seoul, as far as humidity is concerned. The average relative humidity is only 64%. With the cold air and little precipitation, the air will feel colder than it really is.
January winds in Seoul average a constant 4.0 m/s throughout the month. Winds are predominately out of the north in the beginning of January, with westerly winds starting to take over towards the end of January.
You're really want to bundle up in warm clothing if you're visiting Seoul in January. Bring multiple layers of clothes, with a thick outer jacket capable of blocking the wind. A scarf and wool cap would also be a good idea. There may be times when you're dining or entering buildings where you'll be required to take off your shoes, so keep this in mind when selecting footwear. Don't forget the appropriate ski attire if you plan on visiting a ski resort. The Seoul extended forecast will tell you just how cold it will be before your visit.
Seoul Hotels in January
StayB Hotel Myeongdong
StayB Hotel is a contemporary four-star hotel in Myeongdong. This high-rise building has numerous modest rooms with simple furnishings, comfortable beds, and large window views. There are your standard rooms with hardwood floors, all the way up to panorama suites with balconies and living areas. StayB Hotel is home to HAZ Restaurant, a modern restaurant serving contemporary Japanese and Spanish food. There is also the rooftop Terrace Bar, a chic lounge area on the top floor of the hotel. StayB also has both a business center and fitness center available for guests. The hotel is a couple of blocks from the nearest bus stop.
Best Western Premier Gangnam
Seoul's Best Western Premier Gangnam is a four-star affordable hotel in the popular Gangnam district. The simple rooms have a dark wood décor, bright windows and bathrooms, WiFi, safes, and flatscreen TVs. There are also suites at the Best Western Premier Gangnam that offer separate living rooms, large bathrooms, and spacious closets. Hotel amenities include a complimentary breakfast, fitness center, and business center. A hip restaurant serves fusion cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There is also a piano lounge on the second floor. There are two bus stops within walking distance of the Best Western.
Somerset Palace Seoul
Travelers finding themselves in Seoul for an extended period may want to stay at the Somerset Palace. This four-star accommodation offers over 400 apartment-style suites in Jongno-gu, near Gyeongbokgung Palace. Studios have kitchenettes and a queen bed, and you'll also find two-bedroom executive suites with full kitchens. Somerset Palace also has a large, modern fitness center, a children's playroom, business center, and rooftop Jacuzzi. A continental breakfast is served in their Resident's Lounge, and they also have a few other restaurants serving light snacks, sushi, and pizza. The subway is five minutes away, as is the nearest bus stop.
Novotel Ambassador Doksan
Novotel Ambassador Doksanis a four-star modern hotel in a beautiful building in Doksan. The hotel offers 218 rooms with flatscreen TVs, minibars, safes, and bright bathrooms. There are also suites with kitchens & laundry for extended stays, and family rooms for families of four. The Garden Terrace serves a buffet-style layout of various Asian and Western dishes for both lunch and dinner. There is also a chic lounge bar near the hotel lobby. The Novotel Ambassador Doksan also features a fitness center, indoor pool, and sauna. The nearest bus stop is just a few steps from the front door.
Bars and Restaurants
Namdaemun is one of South Korea's infamous food markets, and also one of the oldest at over 600 years of operation. Here you'll find a variety of traditional Korean cuisine, as well as other crafts and souvenirs. Most of the food stalls are open all day long. Some of the dishes you'll be able to taste here include Kalguksu, a noodle soup with an anchovy, tofu, and seaweed broth. There are also many different varieties of dumplings, fishcakes, and rice cakes, and pig's feet for the more adventurous. The speed and efficiency of the food stalls in this extremely crowded area will amaze you.
Jungsik is a cozy traditional Korean restaurant in Gangnam. It is on critic's lists and has earned a two-star Michelin rating. The dining room is very simple, and the staff is very accommodating and most speak great English. They serve four and five-course meals, as well as a la carte offerings. Menu items include scallops, sea urchin, tenderloin steak, and black cod, all served Korean-style. They also have a full bar with over 300 varieties of wine. Jungsik is open Monday through Sunday from 12PM to 3PM for lunch and 5:30PM to 10:30PM for dinner. Reservations are accepted and they also offer private dining rooms.
One of the most popular restaurants in Myeongdong is Migabon, a casual low-key restaurant specializing in Korean porridges. This is a wonderful dining option for cold Korean winters. If you're new to Korean porridge, the helpful staff will be more than happy to help you choose a good one. Some of the more popular choices are pumpkin porridge, ginseng chicken soup, and pine & abalone porridge. Be warned that the queue can be quite long at times. Migabon is open daily from 8AM until 10PM with a break from 4 to 5.
Café Mamas City Hall
Café Mamas is a cozy brunch restaurant that makes a great place to escape the cold. It is located near city hall and can get very crowded during the lunch hours. Café Mamas specializes in paninis made with different cheeses, meats, and vegetables inside. They also have a great selection of salads with fresh fruits. Their menu also includes fresh smoothies, juices, hot chocolate, coffee, and hot soups. Café Mamas is open Monday through Friday from 7:30AM until 10PM and on the weekends from 9AM to 9PM.
Things to do in Seoul in January
Myeongdong is one of Seoul's busiest districts and has attractions for everyone, in every season. The history buffs should check out Deoksugung Palace, a 16th-century attraction that is beautifully lit at night. Seoul City Hall is a beautiful glass structure that was recently completely rebuilt. The largest vertical garden in the world is inside this fascinating building. There are numerous culturally rich entertainment options in Myeongdong, including artistic shows at Nanta Theatre, opera & musical performances at the National Theater of Korea, and musical Miso performances at the Jeongdong Theatre. As you're out exploring the streets of Myeongdong you'll find no shortage of shops and Korean restaurants to break up the day.
New Year Celebrations
You'll definitely be part of a big party if you find yourself in Seoul during New Years. The big tradition in Seoul to ring in the New Year is literally ringing in the new year. Bosingak Bell Pavilion is home to the Bosingak Bell, a bell that was used to signal the start and end of every day for hundreds of years before now. These days it is rung 33 times on midnight during New Years. There is a fireworks display south of the river near COEX, and you'll find parties going all night long in most neighborhoods.
Seoul is home to five remarkable palaces. Gyeongbokgung was the main palace for the Joseon dynasty, which ruled Korea for over 500 years. The palace was built in the late 14thcentury and has since been restored to its original form. Tours depart the information center a few times per day where you'll have an English-speaking interpretive guide. You can also just walk around the palace grounds on your own. Visiting hours in January are from Wednesday through Monday from 9AM until 5PM. There is an entrance fee.
Vivaldi Park Ski World
A lot of money was pumped into South Korea when it held the 2018 Winter Olympics, and you should take advantage of this if you participate in winter sports. One of the closest ski resorts to Seoul is Vivaldi Park, which is approximately one hour from the city. Vivaldi Park is small by most standards, having only 12 runs. There are runs for everyone though, with a few beginner slopes, an expert slope, and the rest for intermediate to advanced skiers & snowboarders. Vivaldi Park also offers a gondola if you just want to ride up to the top for the views. There are numerous eateries at the resort for when you get hungry. It is recommended to go during the week this is the most-visited ski park in South Korea and gets very crowded on the weekends.