What to Do in South Korea by Season

South Korea, a country in eastern Asia surrounded by the sea on three sides, has distinct seasons that make it an attractive destination for travelers at any time of the year. Cherry blossoms herald a dreamy spring; the heat of summer is blown away by the sea breeze; the red foliage on the mountains brings a touch of warmth to the cooler autumn days, and the snow-covered winter is no deterrent to special events. Here is some information about the activities and events in South Korea in each season. Read on, and you will know what to do in this attractive country.

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Springtime in South Korea is known to be the best time of the year, full of cherry blossoms blooming everywhere. The weather is usually warm and sunny, dulcet and the skies are pretty blue. The amazing scenery of the cherry blossoms in South Korea is some of the most breathtaking worldwide. They can usually be seen across the country and you can enjoy their beauty everywhere you go. For this reason, spring is one of the most sought-after seasons to visit South Korea. Not only do tourists enjoy this time of year, but so do the South Koreans themselves. Cherry blossoms mark the beginning of warmer weather and an escape from a cold winter beforehand.

Cherry Blossoms in South KoreaCherry Blossoms in South Korea

There are countless places to enjoy the cherry blossom festivals and discover the activities that are practiced by the locals. During the cherry blossom festival, you get to enjoy the pinky-white petals, cultural performances, food trucks, live music and even games.

Below are the top three cherry blossom festivals you can visit during your spring vacation in South Korea.

Jinhae Gunhangjie Cherry Blossom Festival (March 24 - April 6)

This is known to be the largest cherry blossom festival in South Korea, gathering more than 2 million people to join the celebration. Visitors who visit the Jinhae Gunhangje Cherry Blossom Festival can also enjoy and watch cultural performances, take walks across the Romance Bridge, a wooden bridge that is one of the most popular attractions in Jinhae, and admire the cherry blossoms and their reflections on the surface of the stream. Moreover, it is known as the Romance Bridge because it is widely known as the location where the famous Korean drama Romance was filmed. You can also try out the best street food and take photos with the colorful street murals.

Yeongdeungpo Yeouido Spring Flower Festival (April 4 - April 9)

Yeouido Island is a popular location in Seoul where locals go to enjoy the great outdoors at the weekend and enjoy some ramyun while sitting alongside the Han River. Flowers line the roads that circle the island, this road is located at the back of the Yeouido Hangang Park, where you can also enjoy a lovely picnic and watch as the petals fall from the trees. It's not just the cherry blossoms that are in full bloom during this festival, but also forsythia, royal azaleas, azaleas and other seasonal flowers. You can also stay overnight and experience the nighttime show. The flowers are usually lit up as a backdrop to street performances and showcased art exhibitions.

Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival (March 23 - April 1)

Jeju is known by locals as one of the most beautiful islands in South Korea. It is known as the perfect place for blossom viewing as the streets of Jeju are filled with them. Jeju is also home to the rare species of cherry blossom known as King Cherry Blossom, which is considered to be the best of all the South Korean cherry blossom trees. What sets them apart from the rest is that they are larger in size and pinker in color, making them stand out from the rest. During the Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival, you can enjoy arts and crafts, food stalls and many other activities on the island.

There are many wonderful summer activities to enjoy in South Korea. One of the best ways to enjoy summer in South Korea is to grab your swimsuit and head to the beach, where families, singles and everyone in between can have fun during this warm season. Below are the top 4 beaches to enjoy.

Summer Beach in South KoreaSummer Beach in South Korea

Beach in Sokcho

Sokcho, a premier beach in South Korea with silky white sands and picturesque pine trees lining the shore, is situated on the country's east coast. You can rent all the necessary beach equipment you need and there are a ton of fantastic activities on offer, including surfing, hiking at the Seoraksan National Park, watching a concert on the beach, a baseball batting cage, a carnival area and much more. The beach is open all year round, but swimming is only allowed in July and August when you can be still able to enjoy the beach by relaxing on the sand and catching the sunsets.

Beach Gyeongpo in Gangneung

One of the locals' favorite beaches to visit in South Korea during the summer is Gyeongpo Beach in Gangneung. As you walk along the coastline, the long, sandy beach continues for a considerable distance before merging with other beaches. This area is special not only because of the beach but also because there are lots of water sports and family-friendly games to play, such as beach volleyball and sand castle building.

Busan's Haeundae Beach

One of Busan's top attractions, Haeundae Beach is a stunning stretch of sand that surrounds one of the city's busiest neighborhoods. As well as sunbathing, during the day, you can play with the large flock of seagulls and even catch them resting on the various giant Expo sand sculptures. At night, you can watch the fireworks and the light shows nearby, while it's still comfortable to sit outside and listen to live music performed by nearby musicians looking for an audience.

Yangyang's Surfyy Beach

If surfing is your thing, Surfyy Beach on the northeast coast is a must. Located in the stunning Hajodae Beach region, this area is only accessible to surfers, so swimmers won't get in the way of your surfing enjoyment. However, sunbathing on the beach is still permitted. It is also a fantastic sight to look out over the sea and see all the different colored sails or to watch the competitors compete. Of course, even beginners who are interested in surfing can find a lesson that suits them and join in with an instructor.

In South Korea, the autumnal season begins in late September, peaks in late October, and ends in mid-November as colder winter weather and snow begin to fall. Depending on what region of South Korea you're visiting, the autumn foliage season begins, peaks, and ends at different times. In the north, it starts first, and in the south, it ends. There are many spots across the country to enjoy the fall foliage, but below are the top three locations you should definitely visit.

Autumn in South KoreaAutumn in South Korea

Naejangsan National Park

A small national park is packed with picturesque locations and is surrounded by maple and ginkgo trees that glow in the autumn season, making it one of the best places in South Korea to view the fall foliage and the peak season to travel to this national treasure. There are multiple sites to explore at this national park, including Narjangsan Mountain, Uhwajeong Pavilion, which is a long path seemingly floating on the lake where you are able to see a display of various trees, flowers and vegetation drawn almost like a piece of work of art, Sinsun Waterfall, Nature Observatory Trail as well as multiple hiking trails each trail holds its own majestic view of the autumn foliage. At the top of each trail, you are able to take exquisite pictures of the majestic autumn foliage.

Nami Island

It is a popular destination located in Gapyeong City, a river island about an hour and a half away from Seoul. It is a popular destination all year round, but the long, tree-lined streets that wind through this natural landmark only shine in the autumn season. Forests on the other side of the water surround it as well. This beautiful forest has a stellar landscape view with a generous range of autumn trees that include Korean pines, maples and lush metasequoia trees. There is much to see on this island, including walking along the Central Korean pine lane, visiting the Gingko tree lane for an afternoon stroll and strolling through the Dodam Sambong Garden to better enjoy your time on the island. You can view the scenery by renting a bike to tour the island and much more, all to be enjoyed only during the autumn season.

Songjeong Embankment Walkway

Located on the banks of Jungnangcheon Stream. While you are able to see autumn foliage in many varying shades of orange, red, yellow and brown, Songjeong Walkway is known most for its rare golden-colored foliage. The trail is lined with so many ginkgo trees, which turn into a beautiful shade of gold in autumn. The pile of leaves covering the path resembles a golden carpet for you to walk on. This dense walkway stretches 4.7 kilometers long with a straight path of bushy trees and breathtaking autumn foliage along the sides of the trail. The scenery created by the ginkgo trees is one to be photographed. Many locals visit this walkway during the autumn to get a true experience of the autumn foliage in South Korea. Not only can you take long walks and relish the scenery, but you are also able to enjoy light exercise using the outdoor fitness equipment available for public use. You can also rent bikes and ride across the nicely paved bike lanes covered with golden leaves.

Winter in South Korea is usually cool. With the help of the central heating system keeping you warm, there are still activities you can enjoy in the winter. Below are some of the things you can do while spending the winter in South Korea.

Winter in South KoreaWinter in South Korea

Visit a wintry theme park

There are many theme parks held with events and activities to visit in South Korea, but 4 stand out.

  • Everland - the largest theme park in South Korea that hosts Christmas-themed parades and shows in November and December, as well as winter-themed decorations and illuminations starting in January.
  • Lotte World Adventure - the outdoor Magic Island, which is filled with Disney-style winter delights and overlooks Seokchon Lake. The best part of this unique theme park is that it also has an indoor section. It is full of rides and activities for you to enjoy when the weather is cooler and you would like to stay indoors.
  • Lotte World Busan- Special winter events like the Winter Magic Forest Parade are featured in the recently opened Lotte World Adventure for South Korea's south coast. This new theme park is quite large and includes 6 full zones, all designed to resemble the look of a royal kingdom.
  • One Mount Snow Park - with a Santa Village, an ice lake, ice caves, snow sledding, and other fun winter activities, One Mount Snow Park is an indoor play area with a snowy theme.

Warm up at a South Korean Sauna

Nothing feels better than relaxing in a hot, steaming pool or sauna to re-warm your bones after a chilly winter's day spent exploring South Korea. Jjimjilbang, or South Korean saunas, are very popular in the winter as a way to warm up from the cold.

Ice skating in Seoul

Wintertime ice skating is a well-liked activity in South Korea, and public ice-skating rinks can be found in many of the country's largest cities, including Seoul, Busan, Incheon, and Daejeon. In general, ice skating rinks open in December and remain open through February. The Seoul Plaza Ice Skating Rink outside, which is enjoyable to visit even if not skating, is an example of an outdoor South Korean ice-skating rink. For those who prefer to skate in any weather, there are also indoor ice-skating facilities.

Fruit hunting

The best fresh fruit in South Korea is available in the winter, including the succulent hallabong citrus from Jeju Island and the juicy South Korean strawberries. In South Korea, strawberries are in season from the middle of December to the beginning of March. There are many locations in Seoul that offer strawberry buffets with unlimited desserts and treats made with strawberries if you want to try some. Picking your own strawberries at a strawberry farm in South Korea is a more enjoyable option.

South Korea is such an attractive country, with so many things to enjoy by season. The flowery spring, the exciting summer, the dreamy autumn, or the cozy winter - which one is your favorite and could be on your next travel list? Let Odynovo know and start planning your trip to South Korea.

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