Spring in Korea is a time of rejuvenation and excitement. After the cold winter months, spring brings back life – not only to the plants and animals but also to the citizens. The months of March and April make Korea feel like a totally different country after the chillingly cold winters.
The spring season in Korea is most well-known for cherry blossoms (벚꽃 in Korean). However, while cherry blossoms are the most famous spring attraction, there is much more that spring in Korea has to offer. This is arguable the most beautiful season of the year and one that you won’t want to miss.
While blossoms aren’t the only spring attraction in Korea, they are the most common. While most people think of cherry blossoms, other flowers such as azaleas, tulips and canola flowers are all prominent during spring in Korea.
Another overlooked benefit of spring in Korea is the mild temperatures. Where summer is often scorchingly hot, and winter can be absolutely freezing, spring and autumn are quite mild. This makes spring a fantastic time of the year to get out and make the most of Korea’s outdoor activities.
Best time to go to South Korea to see the cherry blossoms
First up, when should you plan to visit South Korea? The Korean Meteorological Administration is yet to release the forecast for 2020 (they usually do so early March – stay tuned for updates), but here’s our best bet on the timeframe:
- Jeju – last week of March
- Busan (and surrounding areas – Jinhae and Gyeongju) – end of March to beginning of April
- Seoul (and surrounding areas) – first half of April
If you want to see more than the cherry blossoms, you can catch the yellow canola fields and the colorful wildflowers in April as well.
Top tips – planning a trip to South Korea in spring
Timing is everything! Part of the cherry blossoms’ allure is its transience, and if you don’t plan right, you may totally miss it! If you’re dead set on catching them at the peak of their blooms, be sure to check back for this year’s cherry blossom forecast. It’s good to arrive 1-2 days before the anticipated peak date so you have a bit of leeway.
Plan ahead. The cherry blossom season brings LOTS of visitors to South Korea, so it’s best to plan and book ahead. Make your hotel and car reservations well in advance.
Know when to drive and when to walk. Driving your own rental car is one of the best ways to see the South Korean countryside, but it can seriously be a pain when driving in the city. For the destinations mentioned here, I only recommend getting a car to go around Jeju and to visit Gyeongju. It’s best to go by subway when in Busan and Seoul, and if you’re visiting Jinhae during the cherry blossom festival, best to go by train.
Pre-book your trip essentials. There’s so much to see and do in South Korea, so it’s best to pre-book as much travel essentials as possible! You can pretty much book everything online: from pocket wifi, to transportation cards, airport transfers, rail passes, and even tickets to popular attractions. Take care of these before your trip to save time and avoid getting lost in translation.