So you’ve decided to visit South Korea–congratulations!
You’re about to embark on a magical journey full of amazing food, vibrant culture, and some of the friendliest people you’ve met in your life. Who knows – you may love it so much that you decide to move to Korea permanently!
That being said, you have a tough choice ahead of you – when is the best time to visit Korea?
We’ll fill you in on what you need to know!
Each season has something different and exciting to offer visitors, so it’s important to try to determine whether spring, summer, fall, or even winter visit would be in your best interest to set yourself up for success and make sure that you have the vacation of your dreams. Read on for some of the insight into the best time to visit Korea, and good luck planning your upcoming vacation!
Visit Korea in Spring
Birds chirping, flowers blooming, the days getting longer and warmer – what ISN’T there to love about spring? Korea has four distinct seasons, so they absolutely experience a true spring (rather than a couple of temperate weeks in between winter and summer). You can generally experience the best parts of Korean spring anytime between early April and mid-June.
In those months, you’ll see cherry blossom trees blooming everywhere you look, and you’ll enjoy warm (but not too hot!) weather, so you’ll be able to explore national parks and outdoor markets without sweating your face off. Korea is also home to some pretty amazing outdoor festivals out in the hills away from the cities, and many of them coincide with the spring because it’s the perfect time to be outside without worrying about extreme heat or inclement weather.
You should visit Korea during the spring if your interest is split between indoor and outdoor activities — it’s the perfect season to enjoy shopping and restaurants and then heading out for a hike or festival to wrap up your trip.
Visit Korea in Summer
Summer, on the other hand, is NO joke in Korea. Summer temperatures will leave you drenched in sweat and running for the air-conditioner every chance that you get, so do not book a summer trip if you’re not a fan of the heat and you’re planning on doing anything that requires spending more than five minutes outside. Not to mention, most of the best Korean dishes are spicy, so you won’t have much relief from the sweat while you’re indoors either!
The latter half of summer is known as monsoon season, which usually affects China and Japan far more than Korea. That being said, Korea still traditionally experiences at least two or three big storms in this time span. Fear not, though! A monsoon passing through while you’re on vacation doesn’t mean it’s ruined, by any means – it just means you’ll have more time to shop, enjoy restaurants, and spend time experiencing the best indoor parts of Korean culture.
There are some benefits to summer travel — due to being an off-peak season, summer flights are usually much less expensive than spring and fall flights from most parts of the world. You should visit Korea during the summer if you’re not afraid of the heat and you’d like to save some money on plane fare so you have more to spend while you’re in Korea – you’re still bound to have an amazing time!
Visit Korea in Fall
While the spring is definitely a popular time to visit Korea, the Fall is even more popular – the trees turn brilliant colors ranging from rich red to vibrant yellow, the summer heat dissipates and leaves cool, crisp days, and festivals are even easier to come by.
Fall in Korea is usually warm enough that you can enjoy a stroll about town in a tee shirt and jeans, but it’s also cool enough that you won’t be uncomfortable and can pop on a sweater if you’re so inclined. One of the best parts of visiting Korea is wandering around the city streets to check out different shopping districts and to generally explore, and there is no better time to do that than September through November when the days get shorter and cooler.
If spending time outdoors on your upcoming vacation is important to you, consider making your trip to Korea in September or October – both months have an average temperature ranging between 50 and 75 degrees, so it’s the perfect time to get outside and see what this interesting country is all about!
Visit Korea in Winter
I’m not going to sugar coat it – winter sinks its claws into Korea in the beginning of December, and it makes it pretty miserable to go outside for a solid three months. While it’s not impossible by any means to venture outside in this period, your skin will definitely be a bit red from the brisk temperature when you make it to your final destination!
Because Korea has so much to offer in terms of music, movies, and indoor shopping, there’s still plenty to do in the winter – if you’re not afraid of the cold and come well-equipped with multiple layers and a good winter coat, you’ll have an amazing time. Also, don’t forget that most Korean food is pretty up there in terms of spiciness – eating spicy food is one hundred times more fun in the winter than it is in the summer, so you’ll definitely have to eat your way around town to counteract the cold.
Winter is also an off-peak time to travel, so you’re bound to find similar deals on air fare and lodging as you would traveling in the summer. Consider making your trek to Korea in the winter if you’re used to winter and can’t be scared off by a little snow – you won’t be disappointed!
Whether you’re a lover of sky high temperatures or you’d rather stroll around while it’s snowing, a well-timed Korea trip will give you everything you want (and more). When do you think is the best time to visit Korea? Please let us know in the comments below – there’s no wrong answer!