Quantum error correction procedures have the potential to enable faithful operation of large-scale quantum computers. They protect information from environmental decoherence by storing it in logical qubits, built from ensembles of entangled physical qubits according to suitably tailored quantum error correcting encodings. To date, no generally accepted framework to characterise the behaviour of logical qubits as quantum memories has been developed. In this work, we show that generalisations of well-established figures of merit of physical qubits, such as relaxation times, to logical qubits fail and do not capture dynamics of logical qubits. We experimentally illustrate that, in particular, spatial noise correlations can give rise to rich and counter-intuitive dynamical behavior of logical qubits. We show that a suitable set of observables, formed by code space population and logical operators within the code space, allows one to track and characterize the dynamical behaviour of logical qubits. Awareness of these effects and the efficient characterisation tools used in this work will help to guide and benchmark experimental implementations of logical qubits.