How to Survive Winter in Korea

It is officially wintertime in Korea for the next foreseeable future and the winters here can be nothing less than miserable. For most of us, staying in bed all day long, binge watching CSI episodes on cable TV (the only English show that ever seems to play here) is the only way we can make it through the worst season of them all. Well, no more, friends! We’ve got a few tips and tricks that will help you finally want to crawl out of bed and attempt to be a real human being this winter in South Korea.

How to Survive Winter // SOUTH KOREA

We first covered all of these in our most recent vlog on our YouTube Channel, so if you haven’t already, head on over and subscribe and maybe even give this video a watch. For those of you too lazy frozen from winter’s icy grip to watch a video, we have made some pretty neat-o gifs from that video and a quick write up covering all the information about how to survive winter in South Korea.


1. Make Mulled Wine

How to Survive Winter in Korea

Is there anything better than mulled wine during the wintertime? We would wager that the answer is no, there is not. Winter has a way of soaking into your bones and the only thing that is one hundred percent guaranteed to warm you up is a bit of spiced and mulled wine. Plus there is the added benefit of being a bit wine tipsy and therefore not caring whether you have frostbite from your drafty apartment or not. Making it is super easy, just add as much spices (cinnamon, brown sugar, cloves, nutmeg) to taste as well as squeezed orange and the zest with a touch of lemon juice. Slowly heat and make sure you never boil it as you don’t want to burn off the alcohol. Strain and enjoy!

How to Survive Winter // SOUTH KOREA


2. Roll Around on the Floor

How to Survive Winter in Korea

Korean heating used to be so strange and foreign to us. Where’s the central heating?! What do you mean people lay on their floors for warmth, isn’t that a bit… dirty? Fast forward four years and here I am, rolling around on the floor in absolute ecstasy. Cold toes? NO MORE! Too poor to afford furniture? Who cares, Imma sit on the floor anyway! The floor is lined with pipes or tubing which are heated and then they transfer heat into the room by radiation. Typically these types of heating systems are more energy efficient than central heat as no air gets lost in ducts and people with allergies aren’t bothered by air stirred up by vents blowing air into the room. There has never been a better reason to clean your floors!

How to Survive Winter // SOUTH KOREA

3. Delivery Food

How to Survive Winter in Korea

It’s winter, and let’s face it, none of us want to ever leave our warm homes even to venture out to buy groceries. So why do it? Let’s all just carb load and get fat together until it finally ends and spring arrives! Korea has an amazing food delivery system, Yogiyo, an app which allows you to browse different restaurants that deliver in your area and order them without ever having to have human interaction! What could possibly be better for us shut ins?

How to Survive Winter // SOUTH KOREA

4. Bubble Wrap

How to Survive Winter in Korea

Yeah, okay, we look like we make have gone off our rocker a bit in this one, or perhaps the mulled wine finally got to us, but I promise there is a good reason for the bubble wrap. If you happen to get stuck in an older apartment in Korea, the windows are likely single paned and drafty. Instead of cranking up your ondol heating to molten lava, head to the store and grab a roll of bubble wrap. In the wintertime, these can be found in most stores. Application is super simple, too. First, wash your windows with some bleach water and with them still wet, lay down the bubble wrap. Trim and done.

How to Survive Winter // SOUTH KOREA


5. Decorate for Christmas

How to Survive Winter in Korea

How can anyone honestly survive winter without putting up a tree and some lights? Unless you are a Scrooge and hate all things magical, this is a necessity for getting through the depths of winter. Korea has recently been upping its game on Christmas and you can now find more Christmas decorations than ever before at Emart and Lotte Mart. However, if you prefer to be cheap and don’t care if your tree looks like a Charlie Brown Christmas twig, then Daiso, the Korean dollar store, is our suggestion.

How to Survive Winter // SOUTH KOREA

Is there anything we missed? What do you do to make it through Korea’s wintertime? Let us know in the comments below!

How to Survive // THIS WINTER



2017-03-06T09:20:58+00:00 By |Guides, Korea|14 Comments


  1. Absolute Wanderlust December 14, 2016 at 7:02 am - Reply

    Cute post guys! I must say I’ve never had mulled wine before…In NZ Christmas is always during summer and we’ve never really had spiced wine as a tradition! I do love the quick vid of you putting up the tree hehe, Merry Christmas! 🙂

  2. Shelley @Travel-Stained December 14, 2016 at 10:16 am - Reply

    Haha amazing! I had never heard of bubble wrap as insulation, but they just put it on my sister-in-law’s windows, totally obscuring her downtown view of Gangnam from the 14 floor in the process (FAIL). Korean winter is pretty brutal though, so it might be worth it, I guess. In winter here, I cannot seem to survive without eating at least 1 bubbly spicy Korean stew at least once a week. Warms me from the inside out. 😀

  3. The Soul of Seoul December 14, 2016 at 11:34 am - Reply

    Hhaha.. you guys are so funny. But YES, all of these things are necessary. I’ve never made mulled wine, but now I really want a glass of it. Hooked. Hot stews too, I agree with Shelley. ^^

  4. Chasing KM December 14, 2016 at 2:01 pm - Reply

    Love the GIFs from your video (my fave is stephanie rolling around on the floor by the wisdom of our ancestors)! I really battle with the cold here as South Africa (my town at least) gets nowhere near this cold. My favourite cold Christmas novelties have to be mulled wine and Christmas sweaters though!

  5. Wendy Flor December 16, 2016 at 3:54 am - Reply

    hahaha! funny! funny! funny! especially that roll around the floor!

    my husband makes goooood mulled wine. anyway, I’m not a fan of winter. migraine from too much cold so I need cover all over from head to neck to hands… inconvenient:-). winter clothes are just good for photos. and no more. shows how tired i am of winter clothes hahaha… i am soon looking forward to our winter break in a few days!

  6. Travel with Karla December 17, 2016 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    This is cute and funny! I really enjoy the ondol heating. Sometimes, I enjoy sleeping on the floor than in the bed. Thanks for the tips! <3

  7. weegypsygirl December 18, 2016 at 9:54 am - Reply

    Aww I love your GIFs, you guys are such clever cookies. Mulled wine is the absolute bee’s knees, isn’t! I’ve currently got the cold and am craving some hot booze like a hot toddy or mulled wine….mmmmm. We’ve been too lazy to put our tree up yet, need to get more in the Christmas spirit!

  8. jacquelineminnick December 18, 2016 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    Hahaha! These are all so great. I really miss the floor heating in Seoul and also how easy it was to never leave your apartment for a whole weekend thanks to that food delivery service. I am sad that I am just finding out about the bubble wrap trick because I sure could have used that tip! Love the gifs!

  9. Expat and the City December 19, 2016 at 10:47 am - Reply

    Love your posts and the GIFs are hilarious! These are great ways to survive winter. I just bought bubble wrap for my windows…I think I may need some more though because it’s still a little chilly in there. I dont want to crank the ondol heating though because one of my bills last winter was over 100,000!!

  10. Kate Carter Hickey December 19, 2016 at 5:31 pm - Reply

    How the heck did you get pizza school to deliver?! Ommm nom nom. All about that Dalkgangjang tastiness too. I need to find a restaurant on Yo-gi-yo that’ll deliver that tastiness. I haven’t yet figured out how to turn on my ondol, but I have a bomb .com space heater and that’s basically the same thing, right? I’ll have to follow your other suggestions ASAP! Hello mulled wine and crafts!

  11. alla0909 December 19, 2016 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    Cute! Bubble wrap on windows is definitely very Korean and so is the wonderful ondol which I can’t get enough of myself either. Don’t forget the usefulness for that sticky thick tape, which is great for cracks and windows – draft be gone!

  12. Rocio Cadena December 19, 2016 at 10:07 pm - Reply

    This was a great post! To be honest, I rolled my eyes quite abruptly when I saw the title because I’ve read a few of these “How to survive winter in Korea” and I’m from Chicago, so I know how to deal with winters. But I was delighted as I read on to your very funny article 🙂 Your advice is not only original but valuable and sound, exactly what I need! I couldn’t agree more on the mulled wine and ordering in. Also, I happen to have drifty windows so thanks a mill for the bubble wrap insight!

  13. Stewie Overseas February 17, 2017 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    Absolutely “yes” to the floor heating. I loved it. Also, was the Pizza School?

    • Hedgers Abroad March 3, 2017 at 6:41 pm - Reply

      Floor heating is amazing! We love it. And it was maybe (leaning more towards absolutely-yes) Pizza School.

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