If you’re thinking about planning your first trip to South Korea but aren’t sure when to time it for, we’re here to help! Korea gets every kind of weather going, from humid summers to icy winters. While you’re guaranteed to have an amazing trip whatever happens, here’s our top tips on when to visit South Korea – and where to go.
Go to Seoul to see the cherry blossoms
South Korea’s cherry blossom season is truly beautiful. A visit to Seoul in the springtime sees the trees turn a vibrant pink for a matter of weeks, meaning it’s crucial to time your visit correctly. Though the usual window lies between the end of March and early April, the website KWeather often predicts more accurately closer to the time. Fresh off the cold winters, spring sees Seoul begin to thaw, and you’ll have a milder temperatures as a result. Think thick jumpers rather than winter coats!
Timing your trip right means you might get the chance to pay a visit to the Yeouido Cherry Blossoms Festival, an early April celebration of the flowering season. If you’re there when at the right time, head to Yeouiseo-ro for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Go to Sokcho to see the beaches
There’s no two ways about it – South Korea is hot in the summer. The rainy season means that while there’s sometimes dry heat, summer in Korea is often humid. Make sure you’re travelling with both shorts and an umbrella! Many Koreans escape the heat by heading to Sokcho’s coast, and it’s not hard to see why.
Head to Sokcho in the summer to make the most of the sun, sand, and sea. Sokcho Beach is a glorious stretch of white sand and turquoise waters, beloved by tourists. It’s within easy reach of public transport and the downtown food areas, so a trip to Sokcho means you’ll always be entertained. Or, if you’re good with the heat and want to keep active, a trip to the nearby Seoraksan National Park give you lots of hiking options.
Go to Gyeongju to see the autumn foliage
Much like spring, autumn provides the chance to see some amazing natural scenery when the leaves change. Nowhere is this more evident than in Gyeongju. It’s a historical city that was once the capital of Korea’s Silla kingdom, and it’s well-known for being an incredible sight in the fall.
If you’d like your trip planned for you, autumn foliage tours to the area run from Busan. However, hotspots for making the most of the colour changes include Bulguksa Temple (the first temple to be designated UNESCO in Korea) and the bridge on the grounds, Haetalgyo. You can also make the most of oranges, reds, and yellows with a visit to the Hill of Hwarang and Dori Village Ginkgo Forest.
Go to Jeju Island to see the camellias
Just as summer in South Korea is hot, winter in South Korea is cold – very cold. In January and February, temperatures can dip as low as -10°C. Heading south to Jeju Island sends you closer to warmer climates, although there still can be a chill in the air. You’ll see snow on the peaks of Hallasan Mountain, and a flower even brighter than the cherry blossoms – the camellias. These flowers only bloom in winter, so a trip to Jeju when it’s cold rewards you with a sight that only a handful of hardy people get to experience.
For the best views, head to some areas with intense blooms between mid-November and January. While there’s the aptly named Camellia Hill, you’ll also find Instagram-worthy vistas in Hueree Natural Park, Jeju Herb Dongsan, and Manor Blanc café.
Head to our South Korea homepage here to find out more about the tours we offer.
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