Go for Gold at the PyeongChang Olympics
Celebrate the best in winter sports at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, this February.
While some may still be caught up in the greatness of the 2016 Summer Olympics (and mourning the end of Michael Phelps’ historic career), it’s time to turn our attention to the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. Winter greats like Lindsey Vonn, Mikaela Shiffrin, Shaun White and J.R. Celski will ski and skate back onto our TV screens and capture our hearts once again. Don’t want to miss a minute of the action? It’s not too late to plan your trip, and we’ve got some helpful tips for you.
While many travel agencies offer Olympic packages that include airfare, hotel accommodations and event tickets, do your research before booking. You may be able to better customize your itinerary and create some efficiencies by booking your own travel; and it gives you more flexibility to explore the host city outside of official events.
If you can’t stay for the entire run of the games, check out the event schedule and purchase tickets to the events you really want to see before booking your airfare and hotel. Not quite sure which sports you want to see? The official PyeongChang Olympics website has you covered with all the exciting sports offered during the games. To purchase tickets, you’ll have to go through ticket website CoSport. Note that not all tickets are available at once, so you’ll want to keep checking back. Also worth noting, since VISA is a major sponsor, only VISA cards or cash may be accepted for ticket purchases and purchases made at shops within the venues.
Choose a hotel close to the action (if you can), but keep in mind the venues will be spread out quite a bit. No matter where you end up finding accommodations, make sure it’s close to a public transportation stop, as that will be the easiest way to navigate the country during the games. Another option is to check out Airbnb and move around as much or as little as you’d like. While going the Airbnb route could be more expensive, as of right now there are more options than some of the ski resorts closest to the events. Start your search for lodging with this accommodations guide from Olympic organizers, or this helpful guide with accommodations outside the main lodging “cluster.”
Once you have your tickets and hotel worked out, it’s time to add the airfare to your package. Most spectators will fly into the Incheon International Airport in Seoul, which is consistently rated one of the top airports in the world. From there, spectators will be able to take an hour-long train ride to PyeongChang or travel to Seoul, Whoju, Donghae or Sokcho, depending on your accommodations.
Explore the Cities
PyeongChang is the main city hosting Olympic events in South Korea, but events also will take place in Gangneung and Jeongseon. If you want to see ice hockey, curling or a few other events, you’ll have to go to Gangneung, which is about 40 minutes away and accessible via car, taxi or bus. Jeongseon will be home to the alpine ski events, which is close to PyeongChang as well. We recommend checking out this list of 10 places in South Korea to visit during the 2018 Winter Olympics. No matter where you go, be sure to take time to immerse yourself in the Korean culture, and experience all it has to offer.
One final thing to keep in mind, always have contact information for the U.S. Embassy & Consulate handy while traveling internationally. If you’re in South Korea for the games, you can call +82-(0)2-397-4114 with any emergency, or email [email protected].
If you’ve had the privilege of going to the Games and have tips on traveling to venues, finding last-minute event tickets or even rubbing elbows with Olympians, consider sharing your insights on our Facebook page.