The Korea Herald


Top 3 places to avoid during Christmas in Seoul

By Suk Gee-hyun

Published : Dec. 14, 2015 - 11:15

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With Christmas just around the corner, people are wondering where and how to spend some quality holiday time with their loved ones.

Some of you may get some ideas from Korean dramas in which couples watch the ball drop at a hotel party or walk on streets aglow with the Christmas spirit.

But try that in real life, and there’s a good chance that you won’t be able to recover by the New Year, getting shoved and bumped by the huge crowds.

So, if you happen to be in Seoul during the holiday season, forget these places on the list below.

1. Myeong-dong
Myeongdong, Seoul. ( Myeongdong, Seoul. (

For some, Myeong-dong could be on top of the list when planning Christmas dates. Yes, the neon lights, Christmas decorations and street shopping sound like the perfect way to spend the day, but you’re probably not the only one thinking going there.

The crazy crowd in Myeong-dong’s main shopping street, stretching from the Lotte Department Store to the Catholic church, make it all but impassable, even during an ordinary weekend.

Just thinking about the situation is painful.

2. Gangnam 

The main Gangnam station road in Seoul. ( The main Gangnam station road in Seoul. (

Gangnam Station is one of the biggest transportation hubs providing convenient access to and from Seoul to nearby regions. Plus, the area has a lot of businesses, restaurants and a lively nightlife, eventually drawing an average of 200,000 to 210,000 people daily.

3. Itaewon

A scene from UV's A scene from UV's "Itaewon Freedom" music video. (Youtube)

If anyone was in Itaewon on this year’s Halloween, they would easily agree that planning a Christmas date in the area would be insane.

Of course, Itaewon is choc-a-block with trendy bars and restaurants, providing the most festive activities to enjoy in Seoul. But that is, only if you can make it to your destination.

Last Halloween, it was nearly impossible to walk a block near the subway station. Many Koreans came because they opt to think any holiday or events that originate from the West are most enjoyable in Itaewon, where one can meet people of diverse nationalities and cultures. The place is also notorious for being unable to catch a cab in the evening, so it’s already late to regret once you are there.

By Suk Gee-hyun (