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The Best Times to Visit South Korea: Mountains, Beaches, and Festivals

Whatever your travel fancy – raucous nightclubs, ancient mountain hermitages, packed baseball stadiums, boundary-pushing art and design – the chances are you’ll find it in South Korea. With so much to see and do, there’s never a bad time to visit the country, but a little planning can help you pick the best time to fit your tastes.

With terrain that ranges from alpine peaks to subtropical beaches, South Korea goes through four distinct seasons, so knowing what to expect and how to prepare will go a long way toward getting the best out of your trip. Here’s our guide to the top times to come.

Spring (March-May) is the Time for Mild Weather and Cherry Blossoms

South Korea starts to shake off its winter frost in March – for the next three months, you can expect mild, pleasant weather. Naturally, folks start heading back outside – hikers start hiking, bikers start biking, and Korea’s pro baseball and soccer leagues get underway.

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The season’s undeniable highlight, however, is the annual return of the cherry blossoms. They begin appearing on Jeju-do Island and along the south coast in mid-March and work their way up the peninsula, arriving in Seoul and Gangwon-do Province in early April.

Spring brings a blush of cherry blossom to cities across South Korea

Head to the Mountains or the Beach to Escape High Temperatures and Rain in Summer (June-August)

Summer in South Korea is long, hot, and wet, particularly in the cities. The Korean rainy season – known as jangma – starts in the second half of June and can last through August. Fortunately, no matter where you are in South Korea, there are beaches or mountains close at hand for a summer escape.

Explore Seoraksan National Park, Korea's picturesque natural wonder

Fall (September-November) Brings Dry Skies and Golden Ginkgoes to the Korean Peninsula

Visiting South Korea in fall is pretty much a foolproof plan. Pleasant temperatures, crisp air, and clear skies make this the ideal time for travel in the Land of the Morning Calm. And surprisingly, September is also South Korea’s best beach month.

Koreans call fall the “season for reading,” and it’s an ideal time to grab a book and spend some time enjoying the country’s terrific cafe scene. This is also the season when the leaves of Seoul’s innumerable ginkgo trees turn a stunning royal gold, making the sometimes drab cityscape undeniably beautiful.

Ginkgo trees burn bright gold in fall in South Korea

Pack Warm Clothes and an Appetite for the Korean Winter (December-February)

Travel to Korea in winter and you’ll quickly learn the expression “Choo-uh!” – meaning ‘it’s cold!’ – which Koreans utter pretty much nonstop for three months. The country can be frigid at this time of year, especially up north and in the mountains.

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Winter brings celebrations for Christmas and New Year’s, a holiday so nice Koreans celebrate it twice – once on January 1 and once on the Lunar New Year, when families gather and share traditional foods. Foodies will also be rewarded for making an off-season visit – winter is when Korea’s hearty, soup-centric cuisine is at its most satisfying.

Winter in South Korea brings cold wind, snow, and a certain beauty

FAQs

Q: When is the best time to visit South Korea for cherry blossoms?
A: The cherry blossoms usually start appearing in mid-March and reach Seoul and Gangwon-do Province in early April.

Q: What is the best time to visit South Korea for hiking?
A: Spring and fall are the best times for hiking in South Korea, with pleasant temperatures and clear skies.

Q: Are there any major festivals in South Korea?
A: Yes, South Korea hosts a wide range of festivals throughout the year, including the Gwangju Biennale, Jarasum Jazz Festival, and Busan International Film Festival.

Conclusion

South Korea is a country that offers something for every traveler. Whether you’re looking for stunning cherry blossoms, beach escapes, or vibrant festivals, there’s a perfect time to visit. Plan your trip wisely, pack accordingly, and get ready to explore the wonders of South Korea.

Check out iBlog to discover more about South Korea and start planning your next adventure!

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