5 Best Spots for Cherry Blossom Viewing in Seoul
Where and when is cherry blossom season in Seoul?
· 4 min read
When we think of cherry blossoms, Japan is usually the destination that first comes to mind. However, South Korea has in recent years also become a very popular destination for cherry blossom viewing in Spring. If you are planning a cherry blossom viewing tour in Asia this year, Seoul is definitely a destination that you can consider as well! In this guide, we'll explore the best times to witness this natural spectacle and the most picturesque spots in Seoul to experience the cherry blossoms in all their glory.
When is cherry blossoms season in Seoul?
The exact dates for cherry blossoms viewing changes every year depending on weather conditions. To help you in your planning, cherry blossoms typically start blooming in Jeju from the second half of March, and will make its way northwards. According to forecasts, the cherry blossoms this year will start in Jeju Island around March 24. Seoul is expected to see its first cherry blossoms around April 3rd, with its peak being around April 10th.
Top Spots for Cherry Blossom Viewing in Seoul
1. Seokchon Lake (Seokchonhosu)
Nestled in the heart of Seoul, Seokchon Lake is one of the best locations for cherry blossom viewing. The serene lake is surrounded by a multitude of cherry blossom trees, creating a stunning backdrop for a leisurely stroll or a relaxing picnic. The juxtaposition of nature and the modern Lotte World Tower in the background adds to the charm of this picturesque spot.
For more cherry blossom views, head east to the nearby Olympic Park for beautiful blossoms and walking paths.
2. Yeouido Hangang Park
The Yeongdeungpo Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the most popular cherry blossom festivals in Seoul. The Han River becomes a canvas for nature's art during cherry blossom season in Yeouido. The riverside park is adorned with trees in full bloom, and the Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival often coincides with the peak blooming period. The Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival in 2024 is expected to take place from 27 March to 31 March 2024.
The riverside park spans a very long stretch, and you can take a leisurely stroll along the riverbank or the cordoned-off roads while admiring the pink and white flowers.
If you are in the mood for a picnic, you can also get some picnic supplies from the tents outside Yeouniaru Station. There will also be makeshift tables that are set up along the roads. Feel free to use those tables, but make sure to keep the place clean!
3. Namsan Park
For a panoramic view of Seoul adorned in cherry blossoms, head to Namsan Park where the iconic N Seoul Tower stands. The walking paths around the Seoul Tower offer breathtaking vistas of the city below, with cherry blossom trees lining the way. Sunset and evening visits can be particularly magical as the city lights come to life amidst the blooming flowers.
While it is possible to take a cable car up to the Seoul Tower, consider a short hike up instead! The weather during Spring in Seoul is cooling and very comfortable for a short hike, and you will be able to enjoy the spectacular view while making your way to the peak.
4. Kyunghee University
Generally, when spring arrives, most of the universities across Seoul turn into a site for cherry blossom viewing. Of the different schools, Kyunghee University is probably the most popular one for cherry blossom viewing. Kyunghee University not only attracts tourists and visitors, but also many students from neighbouring schools will head to the university grounds to enjoy the picturesque views.
Stepping onto the campus of Kyunghee University feels like entering a dream during cherry blossom season. The picturesque university grounds are transformed into a sea of pink and white, providing a serene escape from the bustling city.
5. Seoul Forest
If you are looking for something that is slightly less crowded, consider heading to Seoul Forest instead. Don't get us wrong — Seoul Forest is still a popular location for cherry blossom viewing, and it will be crowded, but in comparison to the other prime locations, the crowds are slightly more manageable.
If you are planning to visit Seoul Forest, bear in mind that it is rather big. So, it is recommended that you head to the tourist center at the entrance to get a map in case you get lost!
Tips for Cherry Blossom Viewing in Seoul
- Visit on a weekday, if you can; and in the morning if you can. It can get very crowded on weekends, and even on weekdays, crowds will start to form from lunch hours. You can see office workers visiting the parks during the lunch hours, and in the afternoon, you can also expect to see students at the parks once school is out.
- Check the dates for the cherry blossom festivals. The cherry blossom festivals at each park is the best time to view the cherry blossoms. But in case you are not interested in the fringe activities and only want to enjoy the flowers, head there a few days before or after the festival to avoid the crowds.
- Wear comfortable shoes. You will likely be walking a lot, so make sure to wear shoes that are comfortable!
Cherry Blossom Viewing Outside Seoul
If you wanted to travel out of Seoul, you can consider joining one of the cherry blossom viewing day tours that depart from Seoul. Here are a few that we have found, which you could consider for your cherry blossom viewing tour in Seoul: