Best Places for Spring in Korea

Spring is one of the best seasons in South Korea as cherry blossoms come out and national parks come alive with color.  This is my 3rd collaboration with other expats on the best things to do in Korea.  You can find the best of winter in Korea and best of fall in Korea on my site too!  Whether you prefer to stay in the city or get as far into the mountains as possible, south korea has just the right place for you and I’m excited to share it all with you so without further adieu I present

Places to Visit in Korea During Spring

Photos and narrative provided by each contributor.  If you enjoy reading their contribution please click the link and follow their personal blog!  Don’t forget to share this page using the buttons on the bottom (mobile) or left!


Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival

Mike Still from LiveTravelTeach

The most famous cherry blossom festival in all of Korea is the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival.  Hundreds of thousands of visitors come to this festival every year as Jinhae’s streets fill up with gorgeous pink petals.  There is a stream running through the city with walking paths on either side that are covered in cherry trees.  Art exhibits display in the middle of the stream to add to your viewing pleasure.

You can hike up a small hill at the center of town for an observatory with a panoramic view.  From the top you’ll see cherry trees as far as the eye can see!  If you’re in Korea during the cherry blossom season than Jinhae is a must!


Places to Visit in Seoul During Spring

Seokcheon Lake

Megan from Bobo and ChiChi

One of the prime spots in Seoul to enjoy the beautiful cherry blossoms is at Seokchon Lake in Seoul. The park loops around the small lake and has a beautiful canopy of cherry blossoms on either side. When the wind gently blows the blossom petals will fall down on you like snow. The lake itself is a wonderful place to enjoy the blossoms because you also get to enjoy views of the impressive Jamsil Tower and can watch people enjoying the outdoor rides at Lotte World. The park gets crowded so it’s best to visit on a weekday in the morning or afternoon.


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Yeouido Park

Mike Still from LiveTravelTeach 

 The most famous place in Seoul to see cherry blossoms is Yeouido Park on the Han River.  The walking street along the river is lined with cherry trees that provide a gorgeous ceiling of pink and yellow blooms for everyone to enjoy.  On a nice spring day you can enjoy a picnic on the Han River and even have fried chicken and beer delivered right to you!  Bring a few friends and enjoy the warmer weather at Yeouido but beware that it will be very crowded.  During the cherry blossom peak Koreans flock to Yeouido in the thousands so be prepared for a crowd!

The park goes along the river but you’ll find plenty of flowers a bit inland too.  Massive skyscrapers make a unique backdrop for these beautiful trees and you’ll find beautiful flowers in yellows, blues, reds and just about any color you can imagine here in Yeouido!


Seoul National Cemetery

Nancie from Budget Travelers Sandbox 

Seoul’s National Cemetery should be high on your list for cherry blossom viewing. Here you will find an abundance of pink and white blossoms. This is also the only place in Korea where I have found the gorgeous weeping cherry trees. The cemetery hosts a cherry blossom festival early in April each year. An added bonus is that it is one of the quieter venues for cherry blossom admirers and photographers. To get there take subway line 4 or 9 to Dongak Station. Come out exit 7 or 9 and the cemetery is directly in front of you.




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Seoul Forest

Karla from travelwithkarla.wordpress.com

Seoul Forest is indeed a perfect place for cherry blossom viewing. It’s a place where you can feed some deer, ride a bicycle, and take pictures underneath the cherry blossoms. It’s a good place for picnics and photoshoots. Unlike other touristy spots like Yeouido Hangang Park, it’s not crowded. You can enjoy your quiet time there while appreciating the plants and wildlife animals.

Seoul Forest consists of five parks: Art and Culture Park, Ecological Forest, Nature Experience Center, Marsh Eco Park, and Hangang Riverside Park. During spring, you can enjoy different kinds of garden like wild flower garden, themed flower garden, and botanical garden. You can also visit the insect garden, bird observatory and butterfly experience hall.

To go there, you can take the Bundang Line and get off at Seoul Forest Station.


Best Spring Destinations in Korea

Jindo

Kate from Toronto Seoulcialite

In my first year in Korea I was so excited to have arrived in Busan in March.  The reason for the excitement was that I was super close to Jinhae – one of the most famous cherry blossom festivals in all of Korea!  Imagine my surprise (and dismay) when it rained the whole weekend I was supposed to go.  Last year I was living in Seoul and joined in on the Jindo Sea Parting Festival, which would continue on to the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival.  WinK Tours made a major boo boo and again, I was missing the festival in exchange for an hour in Jeonju.  Still beautiful, but there were no blossoms in Jeonju!

As luck would have it, Jindo was absolutely covered in bright, beautiful, pink cherry blossoms.  If you want an alternative to the famous (and famously jam-packed) Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival, why not consider Jindo?  You’ll have an early morning festival with tons of music and excitement (and fire torches) as the sun comes up.  The rest of the weekend is spent listening to music, watching demonstrations, eating delicious Korean street food, and drinking makgeolli (Korean rice wine) and beer.  What could be better?

 


Boseong Green Tea Fields

Edward Rivera from @AerialAspects

 

Located about 5 hours from Seoul, the Green Tea Plantations are well worth a visit. The town of Boseong is located on the southern coast of Korea in South Jeolla Province. Almost half the green tea production in Korea comes from this area. In the spring, the air is filled with the aroma of green tea. The Boseong Tea Festival is held in May band features hands-on demonstrations of green tea picking and other cultural activities. Admission is 2,000 won.


Travel Korea in Spring

Hwangmaesan’s Royal Azalea Festival

Mike Still from LiveTravelTeach

The Hwangmaesan Royal Azalea Festival is a great way to get out of the city and see some of Korea’s natural beauty.  The whole mountain is covered in Azaleas and its perfect for a sunrise hike.  At the top you’ll find a small lake and plenty of hiking trails.  Take a group tour with Seoul Hiking Group or head their solo.  Either way you are definitely going to love this gentle hike.  If you go be sure to enjoy some traditional soup, rice wines and other delicious snacks from the dozens of white tents you’ll find at this festival!

 


Geoje’s Pink Mountain & Bamboo Forest

Mike Still from LiveTravelTeach

Geoje island has so much to offer any traveler but if you’re heading there in spring you should walk through the bamboo forest to the pink mountain!  The pink mountain gets its name from the thousands of flowers that bloom every year lining the hillsides with gorgeous shades of pink.  The hike isn’t too strenuous but will take you at least an hour or 2 round trip.  The flowers are fickle so check with the Korean tourism organization for the exact dates this year!


Jeonju  


Parul Singh from PHD Lifestyles

Ahhh that time of the year….eagerly waiting for winter to end and feel the sun again. Spring is the twilight zone where winters are not so harsh and summer is not so crazy. Spring brings beauty in every corner with numerous blossomed flowers. Every country’s landscape take out their new dress n wrap themselves with green leaves and colourful flowers. Here, in South Korea ‘cherry’ flower is the most important or I should say center of spring. Blossoming of cherry can be viewed and celebrated in many cities but if you are looking for a quiet place you must head to Jeonju.

 


Best Spring Hikes in Korea

Bukhansan National Park

Mike Still from LiveTravelTeach

Bukhansan National Park is one of my favorite parks in South Korea.  In fact with over 5,000,000 visitors every year Guiness World Records lists it as the most popular National Park in the whole world!  The good news about heading here in the winter is that there are far fewer hikers on the trails which means you have all the snowy views to yourself!  As you start near the bottom don’t fret if you don’t see any snow.  There will surely be white blanketed hills as you get higher up; especially where the mountains have cast a shadow blocking the sun.

Be sure to stop at one of the Buddhist temples and embrace nature as traditional chanting envelopes you.  There are dozens of trails to pick from but my favorites are Dobongsan and Baegundae and spring is when all of the greenery returns to the mountains.


Seoraksan National Park

Mike Still from LiveTravelTeach

Seoraksan National Park is my all time favorite place in Korea and while its great all year round the best time to go is in the spring!  I’ve hiked the trails here at least 8 separate times throughout the year and when spring comes through the mountains come alive.  The top of Dinosaur Ridge is lined with greenery as far as the eye can see and the weather is simply perfect for hiking.

If you prefer a shorter hike check out Ulsanbawi or one of the water fall hikes.  You can always just stroll through Cheonbuldong valley and relax by the beautiful river!  Seoraksan is pretty easy to get to from Seoul.  Simply take a public bus to Sockho then jump on the 7 or 7-1 bus straight to the national park!


Juwangsan National Park

Mike Still from LiveTravelTeach

Juwangsan is off of most hikers radar whether a foreign or Korean tourist but its a great place to explore in the spring!  You’ll find some of the emptiest trails in Korea (which is a huge perk for most of us used to hiking in Europe or the Americas.  The trails follow rivers and weave through green forests.  This is one of the few places I’ve seen real wildlife and spotted a few snakes on my trek through.

 

I hope you enjoyed this collaboration.  If you know any other places to enjoy spring in Korea comment below so I can add them to the list!  If you enjoyed reading please click the buttons at the bottom (mobile) or left and share the post on social media.  Or you could always pin the image below on Pinterest!

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Mike Still
Mike is a travel enthusiast, photographer and teacher. He loves adventure travel, meeting the locals and exploring new culture. As an outdoor enthusiast you can often find him hiking mountains or exploring forests trying to capture the beauty of mother nature. In 2013 he founded www.LiveTravelTeach.com as he left his home in America and has been teaching or traveling around the world ever since!

2 thoughts on “Best Places for Spring in Korea

  1. Your post makes me realise I missed so much when I was in South Korea. Although in fairness I did have a broken leg and could barely walk. I need to arrange another trip! Seeing the cherry blossoms in South Korea is a nice alternative than Japan and I am guessing less tourists?

    1. Thank you for reading Katherine, It would certainly be hard to see all that spring brings if you’ve got a broken leg but I hope you enjoyed South Korea anyway! I haven’t seen cherry blossoms in Japan so I don’t know how busy it gets there but it can get crowded in South Korea too. The nice thing is that there are spring blooms ALL over the country so if you miss the famous festivals you’ll still have a chance to see cherry blossoms and other beautiful flowers.

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