Best Places to Visit in South Korea During Different Seasons
South Korea is an East Asian country located in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula. Influenced by the East Asian monsoon, South Korea has a mild climate with four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. Spring usually begins in March and lasts until May, while summer begins in June and lasts until August. Autumn begins in September and ends in November. Finally, winter lasts from December to February. Each season usually lasts three months. The changing seasons also attract many tourists from all over the world to visit South Korea. In this article, we will introduce some of the best places to visit in South Korea during different seasons: Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring, and give you some practical tips and suggestions to make your trip more enjoyable and memorable.
Table of Contents
►Haeundae Beach: This is one of the most popular beaches in South Korea, located in Busan. You can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, surfing, or parasailing on the sandy beach, or explore the nearby attractions such as the Busan Aquarium, the Dongbaek Island Park, or the Haeundae Market. You can also play beach volleyball, sand sculpting, or water gun fights with your friends or other visitors.
Suggestion for visiting Haeundae Beach: Go early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid the crowds and enjoy the sunrise or sunset.
►Cheomseongdae Observatory: This is an ancient astronomical observatory that was built in the 7th century by the Silla Kingdom. It is considered one of the oldest surviving observatories in East Asia. You can see the stone tower that was used to observe the stars and planets, or learn about the history and science of astronomy at the nearby museum. You can also play with interactive exhibits, watch 3D movies, or take selfies with the observatory as your backdrop. It is better to go at night to see the stars and planets through telescopes or binoculars.
Recommended tour: 5 Days Seoul Exploring Tour
►Udo Island: This is a small island off the coast of Jeju Island, famous for its scenic views and natural attractions. You can rent a bike or a scooter to explore the island, or take a boat tour to see the lighthouse, the coral reefs, or the sea caves. You can also play mini golf, ride horses, or visit a peanut farm on the island.
Recommended local specialties: peanut ice cream, peanut makgeolli (rice wine), or peanut bread.
►Gamcheon Culture Village: This is a colorful and artistic village in Busan, where you can see murals, sculptures, and installations made by local residents and artists. You can also visit cafes, galleries, museums, or workshops to experience the culture and history of the village. You can also play scavenger hunt games, make your own crafts, or take pictures with various characters and landmarks.
Suggestion for visiting Gamcheon Culture Village: To follow the map that is provided at the entrance and collect stamps at different spots to get a souvenir.
►Hongdae Street: This is a lively and trendy street in Seoul, where you can find various shops, cafes, bars, clubs, and street performances. You can also join the Hongdae Free Market on Saturdays, where you can buy handmade crafts or enjoy live music. You can also play arcade games, VR games, escape rooms, or board games at one of the many entertainment venues. It is best to go on a Friday or Saturday night when the street is most vibrant and energetic.
Autumn in South Korea is a beautiful season when the leaves change color and create a stunning contrast with the blue sky. Here are some of the best places to visit in South Korea during autumn:
►Nami Island: This is a small island in Chuncheon that was used as a filming location for the popular drama Winter Sonata. You can walk or bike along the tree-lined paths, or enjoy various activities such as zip-lining, camping, or kayaking. You can also play with ostriches, squirrels, or peacocks that live on the island, or watch cultural performances or concerts at the outdoor stage.
Best time to visit: Nami Island in late October or early November when the leaves are most colorful and photogenic.
►Mt. Daedun: This is a mountain in Chungcheongnam-do that offers spectacular views of the autumn foliage. You can hike along the trails, or challenge yourself with the Geumgang Suspension Bridge or the Cloud Bridge that connect different peaks. You can also play with the zipline, the bungee jump, or the swing ride that are available at the mountain park, or enjoy a picnic or barbecue at one of the rest areas.
Tips: Best time to go in mid-November when the leaves are at their peak, and avoid weekends or holidays when it can be very crowded.
►Jeonju Hanok Village: This is a traditional village in Jeonju that preserves over 800 hanok (Korean-style houses). You can experience the culture and history of Korea by visiting museums, temples, or workshops, or by wearing hanbok (traditional clothing) and trying local delicacies such as bibimbap (mixed rice) or makgeolli (rice wine). You can also play traditional games such as yutnori (stick throwing), tuho (arrow throwing), or jegichagi (shuttlecock kicking), or watch folk performances such as pansori (narrative singing), samulnori (percussion music), or taekwondo (martial art).
►Mt. Naejang: This is a mountain in Jeollabuk-do that is considered one of the best places to see the autumn colors in Korea. You can admire the scenery of waterfalls, temples, lakes, and bridges surrounded by red and yellow leaves. You can also play with acorns, chestnuts, or persimmons that fall from the trees, or take pictures with cute statues or signs that decorate the park.
Suggestion for visiting Mt. Naejang: To take a cable car to the top of the mountain, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the autumn scenery.
►Petite France: This is a French-themed village in Gapyeong that was inspired by the novel The Little Prince. You can see various buildings and sculptures that resemble France, or enjoy performances such as puppet shows or concerts. You can also play with marionettes, antique toys, or musical instruments that are displayed in different rooms, or try some French cuisine such as crepes, croissants, or cheese.
Suggestion for visiting Petite France: The best way to visit Petite France is to combine it with a trip to Nami Island, as they are both located in Gapyeong and can be reached by shuttle bus or ferry.
Recommended tour: 5 Days South Korea Autumn Tour
►Five Grand Palaces of Seoul: These are five historical palaces that were built by different kings of the Joseon Dynasty. You can see the architecture and design of each palace, or join guided tours or cultural programs to learn more about them. The palaces are especially beautiful when covered with snow. You can also play with snowmen, snowballs, or sleds that are available at some of the palaces.
►Bukchon Hanok Village: This is another traditional village in Seoul that showcases hanok with different styles and functions. You can stroll along the alleys and admire the contrast between the old houses and the modern skyscrapers. You can also warm up with some hot tea or snacks at one of the cafes or restaurants. You can also play with traditional crafts such as paper dolls, masks, or fans that are sold at some of the shops.
Suggestion for visiting Bukchon Hanok Village: Book a hanok stay and experience living like a local in a traditional house.
►Yongpyong Resort: This is one of the largest ski resorts in South Korea, located in Pyeongchang. You can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, sledding, or ice skating on various slopes and rinks. You can also relax at the spa or sauna after a day of fun. You can also play with snow sculptures, snow slides, or snow bikes that are available at the resort. The best suggestion for visiting Yongpyong Resort is to book a package deal that includes accommodation, transportation, ski equipment rental, and ski lessons.
Tip: Check the ski resort conditions and availability before you go.
►Myeong-dong: This is one of the most famous shopping districts in Seoul, where you can find various brands, products, and street food. You can also see various decorations and events during Christmas and New Year's Eve. You can also play with claw machines, photo booths, or VR games that are available at some of the arcades. The best suggestion for visiting Myeong-dong is
- Bring moisturizer and lip balm to prevent your skin and lips from drying out.
- Try some winter delicacies such as hotteok (sweet pancakes), tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), or odeng (fish cake soup).
- It is best to go early in the morning or late at night to avoid crowds and enjoy discounts.
Spring in South Korea is a lovely season when the flowers bloom and create a colorful and fragrant atmosphere. Here are some of the best places to visit in South Korea during spring:
►Yeouido: This is an island in Seoul that hosts the Yeouido Spring Flower Festival every year. You can see the cherry blossoms, azaleas, forsythias, and other flowers along the Hangang River, or enjoy various performances, exhibitions, or activities. You can also play with kites, bubbles, or bikes that are available at the festival site, or join a picnic or barbecue at one of the grassy areas.
Best time for visiting Yeouido is to go in early April when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, and avoid weekdays when it can be very busy.
►Seoul Forest: This is a large urban park in Seoul that offers various attractions and facilities. You can see the cherry blossoms, tulips, daffodils, and other flowers at the flower garden, or visit the deer park, the butterfly garden, or the insect museum. You can also play with skateboards, rollerblades, or bikes that are available for rent at the park, or enjoy a picnic or a nap at one of the shaded areas.
Best time for visiting Seoul Forest is to go in late April or early May when the flowers are most diverse and beautiful.
►Cheongwadae: This is the official residence and office of the president of South Korea, located in Seoul. You can see the blue-tiled roof and the traditional architecture of the main building, or join a guided tour to see some of the other buildings and gardens. You can also play with puzzles, quizzes, or games that are available at the Cheongwadae Sarangchae, a museum that showcases the history and culture of Korea and its presidents.
►Namsan Park: This is a large park in Seoul that surrounds Namsan Mountain. You can hike up to the top of the mountain, where you can see the N Seoul Tower, a landmark that offers a panoramic view of Seoul and its surroundings. You can also play with locks, teddy bears, or love messages that are displayed at the tower's observatory deck, or enjoy a romantic dinner at the revolving restaurant.
Tip: It is best to take a cable car to the tower instead of walking, as it can save you time and energy.
►Gyeonghwa Station: This is an abandoned railway station in Jinhae that is famous for its cherry blossom tunnel. You can walk along the railway tracks and admire the pink petals that fall like snowflakes, or take pictures with the old train that is parked at the station. You can also play with balloons, bubbles, or confetti that are sold by vendors near the station, or watch performances by local bands or singers. The best suggestion for visiting Gyeonghwa Station is to go in early April when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, and avoid peak hours when it can be very crowded.
- Wear comfortable and colorful clothing, a light jacket, and sneakers to enjoy the spring weather and scenery.
- Bring allergy medication or nasal spray if you are sensitive to pollen or dust.