The best time to visit Seoul depends on the places you want to visit and the activities you want to do. South Korea has four seasons that offer a different atmosphere with new activities that can be done every month. From shopping at Dongdaemun Night Market in warm spring, to seeing the beauty of autumn at Namsan Park in October. Each season presents its own uniqueness. Check out these guidelines before planning your visit to the capital city of South Korea.
1. Best time to visit Seoul | Early spring when the cherry blossoms are in bloom
Seoul is very interesting to visit in spring. With March’s chilly weather, especially at night, it’s a great time to explore the city in your favorite spring jacket. The air will start to warm in early April with daily average temperatures of around 12 ° C to 17 ° C. You should still wear a jacket at night, but it is quite cool during the day. April is the peak of tourist visits so crowds are inevitable. The main reason is that the cherry blossoms generally start blooming in early April, adorning the city with a pink tinge, especially in city parks. If you want to visit in spring, make sure you choose the right period when the sakura are in bloom.
There are many locations around the city that you can choose to enjoy the beauty of the cherry blossoms.
– The best spot for viewing the beauty of cherry blossoms in Seoul
Yeouido Park: As one of the most popular locations for cherry blossom viewing in the city, Yeouido Park holds an annual Spring Flower Festival that you shouldn’t miss.
– Children’s Grand Park: A large park containing an amusement park, zoo, and botanical garden, Children’s Grand Park is also one of the best places to enjoy sakura.
– Gyeongbokgung Palace: Marvel at the beauty of cherry blossoms at one of Seoul’s major landmarks by visiting Gyeongbokgung Palace. Don’t forget to rent traditional Hanbok clothes to take pictures.
– Seoul Forest: Overgrown with cherry trees that look beautiful in spring, Seoul Forest is equipped with walking trails and fun picnic areas.
– Seokchon Lake: Around Lake Seokchon which is adjacent to Lotte World is decorated with cherry trees which give an interesting sensation when walking across it.
Check-in at the Yeouido Designers Hotel, Go to Yeouido Park
2. Best time to visit Seoul | Late spring for festivals and night markets
The cherry blossoms may not be in bloom anymore, but there are still many beautiful flowers blooming all over the city in late spring. Due to the weather conditions, this is the best time to visit Seoul. The sky was quite clear with warm temperatures and good humidity. You don’t need to wear layers, just thin clothing and shorts. Make sure you bring sunscreen and a hat. Apart from the pleasant weather, don’t forget that Seoul is also one of the food paradises in the world. This season features a selection of bars and restaurants with open areas throughout the city, so you can enjoy world-class food while enjoying the outdoors. This season is also the best time to explore the night markets in Seoul as well as attend various festivals, such as the Lotus Lantern Festival which takes place every May.
The Lotus Lantern Festival in Downtown Seoul
The Lotus Lantern Festival is a celebration of Buddha’s birth. This festival was first held thousands of years ago during the Kingdom of Silla. Formerly a religious celebration, today the Lotus Lantern Festival is a must-visit event for residents and visitors to Seoul of all backgrounds and beliefs. The festival begins with a Lotus Lantern Parade paraded through Dongdaemun Gate at Seoul Fort, then continues towards Jogyesa Temple displaying various beautiful lanterns. The festival also features traditional lantern exhibitions and cultural performances.
Best restaurant in Seoul
– Imun Seolnongtang: The oldest restaurant in Seoul. Don’t forget to taste the delicious seolleongtang (beef marrow soup).
– Doore Yoo: Restaurant in Bukchon Hanok Village that serves traditional Korean cuisine.
– Balwoo Gongyang: The best location in Seoul to enjoy traditional Buddhist temple cuisine.
– Hoban: Restaurant that serves Korean dishes and drinks.
– Mokmeoksanbang: The best place to enjoy the best bibimbap in the country.
– Wooraeok Wooraeok: You haven’t tried true Korean BBQ if you haven’t tasted it at this restaurant.
– Soigne: A Michelin star restaurant that serves an international menu that is mouthwatering.
– Hadongkwan: The best place to try Korean specialty beef soup, gomtang.
Best night market in Seoul
– Myeongdong Night Market: The most famous night market in Seoul that is most visited by tourists.
– Gwangjang Market: The oldest hawker center in South Korea with various food outlets serving delicious culinary options.
– Dongdaemun Night Market: This market in Seoul’s most popular shopping area is usually open until 05:00.
– Namdaemun Market: Open until the morning, the best place to shop for clothes, home furnishings and of course street food.
– Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market: This night market is spread across various locations in Seoul, offering a unique shopping experience complete with various knick-knacks.
Check-in at Shilla Stay Gwanghwamun, Go to Jogyesa Temple
3. Best time to visit Seoul | Early summer for warm air and beaches
Tourists are advised not to visit Seoul during the rainy season which generally lasts from July to September, due to extremely humid and hot weather conditions. However, mid-June to July is the perfect time to explore night markets and restaurants. You also won’t get caught up in the crowd during this summer vacation period. Daytime temperatures can rise to 32 ° C by the end of June, but are quite warm at night. Make sure you bring shorts or light clothing, sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen. Don’t forget to wear a bathing suit to play in the sea. Although Seoul has no beaches, early summer is a great time to take day trips to nearby beaches by bus or rent a car.
Day trip to the beach from Seoul
– Eurwangni Beach: Located near Incheon International Airport, Eurwangni Beach is dotted with pure white sand and shallow waters which is a popular destination for families.
– Naksan Beach: Over a mile long, Naksan Beach is the best location to enjoy the sunrise and experience various water activities.
– Daecheon Beach: About three hours from Seoul in the city of Boryeong, Daecheon Beach is the largest beach on the west coast of South Korea.
– Muchangpo Tideland: About 30 minutes from Daecheon Beach, Muchangpo Tideland is a man-made beach perfect for enjoying the sunset.
Check-in at Naksan Beach Hotel, Go to Naksan Beach
4. Best time to visit Seoul | October & November to see the leaves fall
Many people think that autumn is the best time to visit Seoul. The days are sunny and warm, with peak temperatures of around 20 ° C during October and 11 ° C during November. You may need to wear a light jacket in the morning. In late November, a light winter jacket will keep you warm. Hotel and airfare fares have dropped dramatically, and the city center is also less crowded with tourists. However, you will find many locals and tourists alike relaxing in the park enjoying the beauty of autumn. The city is clad in shades of red, yellow and orange, offering many interesting places to admire the beauty of the autumn leaves.
The best place to watch the autumn leaves
– Changdeokgung Palace: The Secret Garden at Changdeokgung Palace is one of the best places to view fallen leaves, complete with lush tree branches that drown out the noise of the crowd outside.
– Deoksugung Palace: Stone Wall Road in Deoksugung Palace is decorated with ginkgo trees which gives a romantic atmosphere.
– Namsan Park: As the largest park in Seoul, Namsan Park is the largest hiking trail decorated with beautiful lush trees.
– Seoul Fortress: Enjoy the autumn vibes along the old town via the Wall Trail from Seoul Fort.
– Seoul Forest: Not only great for enjoying cherry blossoms in spring, Seoul Forest is also perfect for admiring the beautiful autumn leaves.
Check-in at the Princess Hotel, Go to Seoul Forest
5. Best time to visit Seoul | December – February for skiing and backpacking
Winter in Seoul is not the best time to visit Seoul to go around and see the sights because the air is very cold and unpleasant. However, winter has its advantages. Seoul is less crowded during this period, and prices for airfare, accommodation and food are also cheaper. If you wear appropriate winter clothes, such as a coat, boots, hat, scarf and gloves, you can explore the city in comfort. You will also find a variety of beautiful themed decorations all over the city. Coupled with a wide selection of the best resorts for skiing around the mountains which are generally not too far from Seoul.
Best ski resort near Seoul
– Jisan Forest Resort: With terrain suitable for both beginners and advanced skiers, complete with a wide range of facilities, Jisan Forest Resort is the best place to go skiing all day or over the weekend.
– Daemyung Vivaldi Park Ski Resort: Although it is quite a distance, about 1.5 hours from the city, Daemyung Vivaldi Park Ski Resort is a popular destination for locals.
– Bears Town Ski Resort: Located about 50 minutes from Seoul, Bears Town Ski Resort is a popular destination for family travelers and snowboarders.
– Phoenix Park: As one of the locations for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games, Phoenix Park is famous for its excellent snow quality.
– Star Hill Resort: Located not far from Seoul, Star Hill Resort has six slopes, each equipped with a dedicated lift.
Check-in at Phoenix Pyeongchang, Go to Phoenix Park