South Korea Cherry Blossom Season Forecast (2021): When & Where to Visit in Seoul and Other Regions

by South Korea, Natural Sights2 comments

Apart from Japan‘s sakura craze, South Korea cherry blossom season is also a sought-after event in Asia — especially because it can be quite short! As such, this is one of the best times to explore the country and witness the unique beauty and vibe that the blossoms add to the local landscapes and sights.

Your top-of-mind destination will surely be the capital, Seoul, but I urge you to try and make time in exploring other places like Busan or Jeju Island.

RELATED READ:
Spring Flowers in Korea: When & Where to Go

Seoul Itinerary
South Korea Travel Guides

South Korea Cherry Blossom Map Forecast

South Korea Cherry Blossom Forecast 2021
(For a Pinterest-sized version of this South Korea cherry blossom forecast map, scroll to the bottom of this post)
  • DISCLAIMER: The above data is as of March 2021. Take note that sudden changes in temperature, rainfall, and wind strength can accelerate, delay or shorten the forecast above — but you can already use this initial forecast as a preliminary guide. Rest assured, I will keep this post updated once dates happen to change so come drop by from time to time!

In most parts of South Korea, the cherry blossom’s blooming dates start around the last week of March (starting in Jeju Island) and lasts until the first week of April; but Seoul, in particular, has blooms that come a little later.

Koreans typically call cherry blossoms beot-kkot (벗꽃) and they are not to be confused with similar-looking blooms like that from the almond, apricot, peach, and plum trees. Besides, South Korean cherry blossoms have a unique pink hue and a lovely scent that is somewhat different from that of Japan.

NOTE: The Korean cherry tree which is also known as ‘King Cherry’ originated from Jeju Island and it slightly differs from most other cherry blossom trees due to the fact that its flowers are larger. They also only bloom in full for only a couple of days!

All in all, if you’re planning a trip to South Korea any time soon, you should take note of these top places from ALL of the regions in the country that will give you beautiful cherry blossom views, as well as a chance to participate in bustling cherry blossom festivals!

Best South Korea Cherry Blossom Spots

Other South Korean blooms to watch out for?

See this list of the most popular spring flowers in Korea — when to see them and where to go!

South Korea has nine (9) provinces, namely: North Chungcheong, South Chungcheong, Gangwon, Gyeonggi, North Gyeongsang, South Gyeongsang, North Jeolla, South Jeolla, and Jeju Special Self-Governing Province.

For this article, I have combined north and south provinces; thus, narrowing it down to only six (6) so that you can better see the top South Korea cherry blossom spots that you must see all over the country!

» Cherry Blossom Spots in Seoul & Gyeonggi Regions

South Korea Cherry Blossom: Seoul Forest Park

Photo by: Shutterstock

◘◘ Seoul
(April 4 to 11)

As a dynamic capital, there are tons of key places that you must see for viewing South Korea cherry blossom trees. To name a few, they are…

  • Yeouido Park: This is one of the most popular places to see cherry blossoms in Seoul and it even has its own festival called Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival or Yeongdeungpo Yeouido Spring Flower Festival. It is famous for its 1.8k Korean Cherry trees that line the boulevard and you’re sure to find a mass arrival of tourists who want to witness the beauty of these cherry trees. Due to its popularity, a lot of vendors, street performances, and outdoor entertainment will also be spread around the park. At night, Yeouido Park even transforms into a magical setting when the cherry blossom trees are lit in various colored lights.
    • Festival Date: (TBC) April 6 to 15
      .
  • Seokchon Lake: Found in the eastern part of the city, this popular spot is stunning all-year-round — but it’s extra special during spring when it’s surrounded with colorful cherry trees. If you’re visiting the nearby Lotte World Amusement Park, this is surely a stop that you must make! Aside from cherry blossom viewing, other activities here include piano on the lake, cherry blossom market, and various performances.
    .
  • Seoul Grand Park: This park is filled with pleasant surprises given that it provides access to both cherry blossoms viewing and an amusement park that features a zoo and botanical garden! To add, Seoul Grand Park also holds a large cherry blossom festival during the first week of April where tourists can enjoy live performances of sorts.
    • Festival Date: (TBC) April 8 to 17
      .
  • Seoul Forest: (Pictured Above) This may be a popular attraction in Seoul but with its grand space, you won’t feel the crowds as you bask in the beauty of the surrounding cherry trees. You will also love the bridge that’s found in the middle of the forest where you view some lavender-colored blooms. There are even deers living here and you’re free to feed them. If you ask me, this is the perfect spot for a romantic picnic with your loved one!
    .
  • Namsan Mountain: This is where the famous N Seoul Tower is found and it is absolutely gorgeous in the spring. After all, the path in its Namsan Park is said to be the longest trail of South Korea cherry blossom trees in the city! Additionally, you will also witness pretty spring flowers like forsythias and azaleas.
    .
  • Kyung Hee University: A beautiful Seoul campus made even more gorgeous during the cherry blossom season! It is considered a hidden spot for cherry blossom viewing in Seoul where the light pink cherry blossoms give a beautiful backdrop of the architecture. You will actually find 200 cherry trees lined from the main gate to the main building, so it makes for a great Instagrammable spot!
    .
  • Seoul National Cemetery: Although this is not ideal for picnics and entertainment, this cemetery remains to be a popular cherry blossom viewing spot among locals. You can also enjoy other activities here like the changing of the guards as well as photo exhibitions.
    .
  • Royal Palaces: One of the best places to appreciate the famous spring flowers is at Seoul’s royal palaces such as Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, and Changgyeonggung. With its unique architectural design, it is an absolute must to take photos in these spots while wearing a hanbok rental, or the traditional Korean costume, as it is the most quintessential and dramatic Korean spring photo.
    .
  • Anyang Stream: This long path is lined with cherry blossom trees that provide a great canopy to the walkway. Located on the western side of the city, this is a hidden attraction where not a lot of tourists crowd in — thus, making it an ideal place for viewing and photo ops. Anyang Stream is also home to some beautiful surrounding flower fields and gardens that add more beauty to the place.
    .
  • Yangjaecheon Stream: This is considered yet another hidden spot for South Korea cherry blossom viewing. The locals usually go to this place to see the beautiful spring flowers and enjoy the local Yangjaecheon Stream Cherry Blossom and Lantern.
    • Festival Date: (TBC) April 5 to 9

◘◘ Gyeonggi
(April 6 to 13)

  • Nami Island: This crescent-shaped island is one of the most popular day trips from Seoul given that the whole of the area is covered in various trees that cycle beautifully through the seasons. Naturally, in spring, the South Korea cherry blossom trees line up most of the pathways like a canopy, making it such a romantic destination not only for couples but for families and friends alike. Apart from viewing the surrounding nature, you can also enjoy a number of activities here such as renting a bike, zip-lining, shopping, and many others.

– – –

» Cherry Blossom Spots in Gangwon Region

Gyeongpodae Pavilion

Photo by: Shutterstock

This northeast province of South Korea is mountainous and it is famous for its ski resorts — in fact, the county of Pyeongchang has been a host site for the Winter Olympics. But when it’s spring season, the top-of-mind city to go to is Gangneung.

◘◘ Gangneung
(April 1 to 8)

  • Gyeongpo Cherry Blossom Festival: In Gangneung, Gyeongpo is well-known for its natural sights (e.g. beaches and lakes) and festivals; one of which is the Gyeongpodae Cherry Blossom Festival. For the best spots to view these South Korea cherry blossoms and enjoy festival activities, they are:
    • Gyeongpodae Pavilion: This is one of the 8 scenic sites in Gwangdong that is located on a hill north of Gyeongpo Lake.
    • Gyeongpo Provincial Park: Within its expanse is the Gyeongpodae Pavilion, but apart from that, it also has other key historic sites such as Geumnanjeong Pavilion, Banghaejeong Pavilion, Haeunjeong Pavilion, Ojukheon House, Seongyojang House, and Guesthouse Gate. And as you wander around looking for more blossom sights, you’ll love how the park is just next to the famed Seoraksan Mountain and Odaesan National Park.
    • Festival Date: (TBC) April 6 to 15

– – –

» Cherry Blossom Spots in Chungcheong Region

Daejeon Cherry Blossom

Photo by: Shutterstock

Chungcheong is divided into North Chungcheong Province (capital: Cheongju) and South Chungcheong Province (capital: Hongseong County), and the latter is said to be South Korea’s richest province!

◘◘ Jecheon
(March 30 to April 6)

  • Cheongpunghoban Cherry Blossom Festival: This festival is held in Cheongpung Lake where you can find blooms not only from cherry trees but also from forsythias and azaleas. For the duration of the festival, visitors can enjoy exhibitions, performances and even activities like bungee jumping! You will also love the 13-kilometer Cheongpung Lake Road that’s lined with thousands of Korea cherry trees.
    • Festival Date: (TBC) April 6 to 8

◘◘ Daejeon
(March 30 to April 6)

  • The city of Daejeon might not be on most tourists’ must-see lists — but it should be! After all, it has several amazing South Korea cherry blossom viewing spots, namely…
    • Gyeryong Mountain or National Park: Found within this area is the Donghaksa Temple and the surroundings have an impressive display of pink trees that you will love taking pictures in! There is also a festival that’s being held for this location but it is not as well advertised to foreign tourists.
    • Chungnam National University: Known to have the largest gathering of cherry trees in the city!
    • KAIST University: Has the second largest gathering of cherry trees in Daejeon and the best spot is said to be across the Sports Complex.

– – –

» Cherry Blossom Spots in Gyeongsang Region

Gyeonghwa Station Cherry Blossom Road

Photo by: Shutterstock

Gyeongsang is also divided into two provinces: North Gyeongsang (capital: Daegu) and South Gyeongsang (capital: Changwon) — and it is in this latter province where you will find the large cities of Busan and Ulsan.

◘◘ Changwon
(March 23 to 30)

  • Jinhae Gunhangje Festival: It is often said that this is the biggest South Korea cherry blossom festival wherein over more than 2 million people flock to the south coastal city of Changwon to get a glimpse of the famed trees. This festival is usually held at the Jinhae Jungwon Rotary Intersection and you will find a number of art and cultural performances that are spread about in the venue (such as in Paldo Pungmul Market). Other key locations are…
    • Gyeonghwa Station: There is an 800-meter section of flowers on this railroad that you can admire, as well as a nearby stream where several cherry trees are lined up. As pictured above, this is where most visitors try and wait for a train to pass by in order to get such an iconic picture.
    • Jehwangsan Mountain Park: If you want a panoramic view of the city in its pink glory, head over to this spot.
    • Festival Date: (TBC) March 30 to April 6

◘◘ Gyeongju
(March 24 to 31)

  • Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Festival: This festival was first held in 2017 and it coincided with the 26th Cherry Blossom Marathon that the city is well-known for (and which you can join if you’re up for it!). Key highlights for viewing the blossoms are…
    • Bomun Lake: About 9,000 cherry trees around the lake will stunningly bloom and as you pass the time away in the lake, you can enjoy the following…
      • Waterwheel Square: A popular photo zone where you can find a huge waterwheel on a path.
      • Bomun Pavilion (Bomunjeong): A beautiful pavilion that is a favorite of a lot of photographers.
      • Pedal a duck boat: Share this experience with someone by heading over to Hoban Square and paying for a duck boat! (If you’re not keen, you can also rent a bike).
    • Festival Date: (TBC) March 30 to April 8

◘◘ Hadong/Jirisan
(March 22 to 29)

  • Hwagae Cherry Blossoms Festival: Held in Simni Cherry Blossom Road, this 4-kilometer road connecting Ssanggyesa Temple and Hwagaejangeo Market is filled with over 1,200 cherry blossom trees and a lot of locals flock to this small village just to get a glimpse of its pinkish glory.
    • Ssanggyesa Temple: A popular temple in this area of Jirisan that dates back to the 8th century.
    • Simni Cherry Blossom Road: This is a densely-packed road full of cherry trees and it even has a nickname “Hollye-gil” which means ‘Marriage Road’ or ‘Wedding Road’. There is a local belief that if you and your loved one walk on this road together, you will eventually marry and live happily ever after. Who knows if it’s true, but it’s worth a shot, right? -wink-
    • Festival Date: March 30 to April 5

◘◘ Busan
(March 23 to 30)

  • Samnak Ecological Park (Sasang-gu): A long path lined with over a thousand of cherry trees, that when in bloom seem to form a tunnel over the park’s path. With this feature, it has easily become one of the topmost beautiful spots in South Korea!
  • Dalmaji Hill (Haeundae-gu): Found southeast of Haeundae Beach, this is typically referred to as a romantic destination where couples hang out during spring.
  • Oncheoncheon Stream (Dongnae-gu): Running through two districts of Dongnae and Yeonje, this riverside walkway is fondly called a ‘flower road’ and it is one of those iconic spots that you often see in photos of South Korea. The stream spans 10 kilometers long and the stream itself is often decorated in colorful umbrellas.
  • Samik Beach Apartment (Suyeong-gu): Found near Gwanganli Beach is a favorite of locals which is the Cherry Blossom Road — a long stretch of old cherry trees that overlook the Gwangan Bridge. You can also check out the nearby Hwangnyeongsan Ring Road for more cherry trees.

– – –

» Cherry Blossom Spots in Jeolla Region

Seomjin River Festival

Photo by: Shutterstock

Jeolla is divided into North Jeolla (capital: Jeonju) and South Jeolla (capital: Muan County). If there is one place you need to include in your South Korea itinerary, it’s to…

◘◘ Gwangju
(March 27 to April 3)

  • Seomjin River Cherry Blossom Festival: Among the 5 major rivers in the country, the Seomjin River is said to be the cleanest, and its 3-km long cherry tree road that’s speckled with other colorful mixes of flowers is referred to as one of the ‘100 Most Beautiful Roads in Korea’. During the festival, you’ll find a variety of live concert performances that are more intimate, thus giving the place a feeling of quaintness. Don’t miss out on seeing this spot if you’re ever in the Jeolla region!
    • Festival Date: (TBC) Late March or Early April

– – –

» Cherry Blossom Spots in Jeju Region

Jeju Island Sakura

Photo by: Shutterstock

Known for its pristine coastlines and volcanic landscapes, Jeju Island might just be a great spring destination for you especially since it is where South Korea’s first cherry blossom bloom happens!

◘◘ Jeju Island
(March 22 to 29)

  • Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival: Jeju prides itself for having been the place where the King Cherry Tree originated; the cherry tree that produces the largest cherry blossom petals! As I’ve mentioned before, the flowers of this particular tree only last for 2 to 3 days so it is a must that you time your visit here well. During the whole of the festival, don’t also forget to drop by these main locations both night and day (since they often illuminate some cherry tree streets when it’s dark).
    • Jeonnong-ro Street
    • Entrance to Jeju National University
    • Jangjeon-ri, Aewol-eup
    • Jeju Stadium or Sports Complex
    • Seogwipo Downtown
    • Festival Date: (TBC) March 24 to April 12

Best Tours in South Korea?

Come and check out this list of the top things to do in South Korea which features the best activities and tours to do in places like Seoul, Busan and more!

• • •

South KoreaTravel Guide

» Best Time to Visit

Any time and any season! No matter if it’s spring, summer, autumn, or winter, South Korea has a ton of destinations and activities to fill up your itinerary! But if you want to avoid the peak seasons, you should visit either during autumn or winter. Why not summer? It’s when schools and Korean companies take a vacation so a lot of locals will be up and about; and of course, spring is extremely popular because of the cherry blossom season.

  • WINTER:
    Dec to Feb
  • SPRING:
    March to May
  • SUMMER:
    June to Aug
  • AUTUMN:
    Sept to Nov

– – –

» Getting in to South Korea

By air. International visitors typically arrive at the main airport called Incheon International Airport (ICN). To get here, I recommend browsing through Skyscanner to find the best flight deals from your point of origin.

– – –

» Visa for South Korea

If you’re NOT a citizen of any of South Korea’s exempted countries, you are then required to avail of a visa beforehand. (If you’re from the Philippines, you can read my guide on how to get a South Korea visa in Manila here.)

  • Check full visa requirements here as per your nationality.

– – –

» Where to Stay (South Korea Accommodations)

To search for the best hotel accommodation in South Korea at the best prices, I suggest cross-checking hotel prices between Agoda and Booking.com. But if you’re rather interested in renting comfortable houses or apartments, you should search through AirBnB.

– – –

» South Korea Currency

South Korean Won (KRW / ₩) wherein KRW 1,000 is equal to about USD $0.9~, €0.7~ or Php 49.00~ (this is as of May 2021). In the event that you want to exchange your money for KRW, I highly advise that you do NOT exchange your money at the airport since the rates there are not competitive.

  • How to best exchange your currency? Either exchange your money at a bank or at a money exchanger in your home country or in Seoul’s city center. Better yet, just withdraw from an ATM with your debit/credit card (do one big withdrawal to minimize fees with your bank). Speaking of cards, a lot of Seoul’s establishments accept credit cards but it’s always advisable to have cash on hand.

– – –

» Cost of Travel in Korea

While the cost of living in South Korea is far from being cheap, your trip doesn’t have to break the bank! To give you an idea, you should expect to travel in South Korea with an average daily cost of about USD $35~ per person on a budget, or at least $100~ if you want to experience more comfort on activities, tours, hotels, and more. (Values below show low budget to medium budget ranges).

  • Hotels: $20 to $100 USD / day
  • Food: $10 to $30 USD / day
  • Fun: $10 to $25 USD / day
  • Transport: About US$1 per subway ride*

*Buy a T-Money card that saves you ₩100 on all trips. 

– – –

» How to Get Around South Korea

By plane. South Korea has a great network of domestic flights that will take you, for instance, from Seoul to Busan, Jeju, Daegu, etc., and vice versa. Some airlines that operate these routes are Asiana and Korean Air as well as low-cost ones like Air Busan and Jeju Air. To look for the best flight deals, always book through Skyscanner.

By train. A lot of the major cities in South Korea are connected by the national train operator called Korail. As a foreigner, you can take advantage of the KR Pass that grants you unlimited travel on any Korail Train for 2, 3, 4 or 5 days.

Meanwhile, when you’re mapping out your day-to-day route, just use Google Maps because it will show in detail the fastest connections you can do (by walking, by car, by bus, and by train).

– – –

» Staying Connected in South Korea

South Korea is said to have the fastest internet in the world (and yep, it’s true!) so you’ll be assured of great connection wherever you go. To add, most places even offer FREE WiFi — but in order to consistently stay connected online during your Seoul trip, I recommend getting your own pocket WiFi or SIM Card.

– – –

» Safety in South Korea

The Republic of Korea or South Korea remains to be one of the safest countries in the world — and also one of the safest countries for solo female travelers. Petty theft may happen but they are quite rare; so, just practice common sense at all times and you’ll be fine!

– – –

» Helpful Korean Phrases

English is not widely spoken in South Korea even if it is taught in a lot of schools, but you’ll have better luck in the capital of Seoul where a lot of people put time, effort and money in learning English. Nevertheless, it doesn’t hurt to learn a bit of the local language!

Hello (formal): Annyeong haseyo
Hello (informal): Annyeong
Thank you: Gamsahamnida
You’re welcome: Cheonmanyeyo
Yes: Ye/Ne
No: Aniyo
Goodbye (to person leaving): Annyeonghi gaseyo
Goodbye (to person staying): Annyeonghi gyeseyo
Goodbye (informal): Annyeong

Excuse me (getting attention): Sillyehamnida
I’m sorry: Joesonghamnida
Is there someone here who speaks English?: Yeogi-e yeong-eoreul hasineun bun gyesimnikka?
Help!: Dowajusipsio!
Cheers!: Geonbae!

• • •

South Korea Cherry Blossom Forecast 2021

Overall

Witnessing South Korea cherry blossoms in their full bloom is truly a unique experience!

So don’t forget to use this article as your guide to where you can best appreciate their beauty.

• • •

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2 Comments

  1. Bas

    Wow, this is very comprehensive! Thank you!

    Reply
    • Aileen Adalid

      I’m glad to hear that, I hope this helps for your future trip :D

      Reply

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