Resources
Minus/plus icon
ResourcesExplore the full ACKO experience and make the most of your plan

Home / International Travel Insurance / Articles / Travel Tips / Best Time and Season to Visit South Korea: Complete Guide

Best Time and Season to Visit South Korea: Complete Guide

Team AckoFeb 9, 2024

Whether you are neck deep in Korean culture (thanks to K-pop and K-dramas!) or are just a traveller looking for a country that is uniquely modern, innovative, and yet steeped in history, South Korea is where you should be headed. Its cities are an intriguing mix of malls and skyscrapers, as well as traditional palaces and adorable hanoks (traditional Korean homes). 

Move away from the bustling cities and you will find gorgeous mountains, beautiful Buddhist temples (some of which offer temple stays), and lush rice terraces that will take your breath away. You can dive into Korean cuisine with mouthwatering dishes such as kimchi jjigae, bibimbap, and samgyeopsal, or just walk into a convenience store and sample the endless number of ramyun options. So there is plenty to do and see here. Here’s how you can decide on the best time to visit South Korea to truly feel the pulse of this vibrant country.

best-time-to-visit-south-korea

Contents

icon

When is the best time to visit South Korea?

April to June is the best time to travel to South Korea. This is because South Korea's climate is pleasant, making going outside a pleasure during these months. 

The cherry blossoms that bloom in the country during the spring months add to the pleasure. But if you can’t tolerate dust, you have to take preventive measures in order to enjoy the country during spring. This is because yellow dust from the Gobi Desert in China blows into this country during these months, making going outdoors a bit tricky, especially for those with respiratory illnesses.

Autumn can also be considered the best time to go to South Korea. The country delights the eyes with its vibrant fall leaves. The temperature also turns pleasant after the rainy summers, making hiking, camping, and any other outdoor activity a great experience.

Summers are hot, rainy, and humid in South Korea but perfect for hiking up mountains. Winters are extremely cold but turn the country into a winter wonderland filled with snow and great winter-related activities.

When is the best season to visit South Korea?

Spring is the best season to visit South Korea. For more details, here’s a breakdown of South Korea’s tourist season for you. 

Peak season: Spring can be considered the peak season for South Korea. The dreary winter months give way to the pleasant temperatures of spring. Add cherry blossoms to the mix, and you have a winner of a season on hand as far as tourists are concerned. The autumn months also see an increase in tourist footfall due to good weather and the changing colour of leaves, which make the whole country more picturesque.

Shoulder season: The summer months, when the country turns hot and humid, fall under the shoulder season. It can rain all day, making the summer months a wet affair. Typhoons can also create trouble for tourists.

Low season: The season encompassing winter months between December and March, where temperatures can often drop below zero degrees Celsius, is considered the low season for South Korea’s tourism industry. If you can brave the cold weather, you will be able to see the country without the usual tourist traffic and at reasonable rates.

Month-by-month guide to travel in South Korea

Here’s your month-wise guide to travelling in South Korea. 

South Korea in January

South Korea is in the grip of winter in January. If you don’t enjoy the cold weather and snowfall, the winter months in South Korea are not for you, as the weather veers towards being very cold. But winter sports enthusiasts can head to the ski resorts in the northern areas of Gyeonggi-do and Gangwon-do to partake in some skiing and snowboarding. Since the snow and dropping temperatures keep most locals and tourists away from the streets and tourist attractions, you will be able to move around with ease. 

The southern parts of the country are more enjoyable with mild temperatures and are worth a visit, especially Jeju Island. The Korean Lunar New Year, known as Seollal, might fall in January. Koreans living in the big cities will be returning home to spend the New Year with their families, leaving the cities rather empty. Bookings need to be done in advance if you are travelling to South Korea during Seollal.

  • Temperature: -7 degrees Celsius to 3 degrees Celsius

  • Events: The Korean Lunar New Year (Seollal), Daegwallyeong Snow Festival

South Korea in February

One of the best parts about visiting South Korea during the winter months is that the rates for your accommodations and flights will be cheaper. Since it can get bitterly cold during this time, most tourists give South Korea a miss during the months when the temperature plunges. But this can be to your advantage if you are a budget traveller. If Seollal falls in the month of February, make your bookings in advance, as locals will be heading to their hometowns in droves. Note that some attractions may be closed during this period.

  • Temperature: -7 degrees Celsius to 3 degrees Celsius

  • Events: Jeju Fire Festival, Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival, The Korean Lunar New Year (Seollal)

South Korea in March

Things are starting to look up weather-wise and tourism-wise in the month of March in South Korea. The famous cherry blossoms may spring up towards the end of the month in the southern parts of the country and gradually make their way up north over the next month or so.

  • Temperature: -7 degrees Celsius to 3 degrees Celsius

  • Events: Seoul Fashion Week, Jeju Fire Festival, Cherry Blossom Festivals

South Korea in April

South Korea in April is a sight to behold. The country is painted in the pinks and whites of the cherry blossoms, marking the beginning of spring making it the best time to visit South Korea. The country sheds its freezing temperatures and radiates a more pleasant warmth throughout the spring months. 

Beware that this is considered to be the best season to visit South Korea, so make your bookings well in advance (and pay a premium) and expect to be jostled around by crowds everywhere you go.

  • Temperature: 11 degrees Celsius to 27 degrees Celsius

  • Events: Cherry Blossom Festivals, Gwangju Biennale (every odd-numbered year), Jindo Miracle Sea Road Festival

South Korea in May

South Korea's weather in May remains very comfortable for tourists to take in the country and the cherry blossoms in all their glory. Do keep in mind that this is possibly the last month you will be able to take in these pretty blooms. Hiking and visiting the national parks are great activities to undertake during the spring months. Koreans celebrate Children’s Day on May 5th and Parents’ Day on May 8th. So it may be best to avoid any kids' and family-related attractions during these days.

  • Temperature: 11 degrees Celsius to 27 degrees Celsius

  • Events: Yeon Deung Hoe Lotus Lantern Festival, Children’s Day, Parents’ Day, Boseong Aromatic Tea Festival, Gwangju Biennale (every odd-numbered year)

South Korea in June

Rains can play spoilsport, especially towards the end of the month, as the monsoon tends to set in during this period. With spring officially coming to an end this month, tourist footfall will also see a drop-off. If you want to witness South Korea’s shamanic past, then the Gangneung Danoje is an event you will not want to miss.

  • Temperature: 11 degrees Celsius to 27 degrees Celsius

  • Events: Gangneung Danoje

South Korea in July

As South Korea bids farewell to the lovely spring weather, humidity arrives in full force, bringing with it summer showers. If you want to escape this weather, head to either the beaches or the mountains. Even Jeju Island makes for a great escape, especially during the summer months.

  • Temperature: 22 degrees Celsius to 31 degrees Celsius

  • Events: Boryeong Mud Festival, Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival

South Korea in August

The Korean summer continues into August. Since this is the summer and school holiday season, the beaches have become hot spots. Busan’s Haeundae Beach is very popular during this time period. But be prepared for crowds made up of locals and tourists. Typhoons can also occur during the summer months.

  • Temperature: 22 degrees Celsius to 31 degrees Celsius

  • Events: Korean Liberation Day

South Korea in September

South Korea’s weather slowly shifts from summer to fall this month. With the rainfall winding down, outdoor activities such as hiking become more appealing. So, autumn is a good time to visit South Korea for the outdoorsy traveller. Korea’s version of the harvest festival, Chuseok, is often celebrated this month. This is a time when the locals tend to move around a lot, as they want to spend time with their loved ones. So make your bookings in advance.

  • Temperature: 0 degrees Celsius to 11 degrees Celsius

  • Events: Chuseok

South Korea in October

October is widely regarded as one of thebest months to visit South Korea, if not the best. If cherry blossoms during spring paint a pretty picture, then autumn with its changing leaves is equally lovely, as the fall foliage bathes the country in the warm colours of gold and red. The weather gods also don’t play spoilsport this month, so outdoor activities can be enjoyed by everyone.

  • Temperature: 0 degrees Celsius to 11 degrees Celsius

  • Events: Seoul Fashion Week

South Korea in November

The weather at the beginning of the month is still pleasant, but near the end of November, there is a noticeable chill in the air as winter approaches. The country is still awash in bright autumn colours until the middle of the month. Hikers should make the most of the last bit of good weather before winter sets in.

  • Temperature: 0 degrees Celsius to 11 degrees Celsius

  • Events: Seoul Lantern Festival

South Korea in December

The temperatures start to plunge in December. If autumn months were tailor-made for the outdoorsy types, then winters in South Korea are all about indulging in Seoul’s popping cafe culture with a hot beverage of your choice and sampling Korea’s winter street food delicacies or heading up to the mountains to one of the popular ski resorts and diving into winter sports. The winter months in South Korea can be brutal, especially for those who don’t enjoy the cold and snow.

  • Temperature: -7 degrees Celsius to 3 degrees Celsius

  • Events: Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Seongsan Sunrise Festival

When is the cheapest time to travel to South Korea?

The winter months (December to March) are considered to be the cheapest time to visit South Korea. The cold weather keeps most tourists away, so accommodations and flight tickets are more affordable. If you aren’t keen on travelling to Korea during the winter months, then October or November can be a good option, as flight ticket prices are low during these two months.

When is the most expensive time to visit South Korea?

Prices can go up during the spring months (April to June) as tourists and locals flock to see the cherry blossoms and enjoy the great weather. It is undoubtedly the best time to visit South Korea on holidaysand, hence, the most expensive time to visit the country as well.

When is the best time to visit South Korea from India?

The best time to visit South Korea from Indiais either during the spring months between April and June or during the autumn months between September and November. These two seasons are magical, and South Korea shines as its natural beauty comes through during these months. If you want to experience a truly cold winter while also participating in exciting winter sports, a winter in the South Korean peninsula is ideal.

Now that you are all set for your South Korea experience, don't forget the most important thing-travel insurance. It’s always a good idea to consider travel insurance to safeguard your trip. It may seem like a small step, but it can provide coverage for unexpected events like medical expenses, flight cancellations and delays, lost baggage, and more. So, take this extra step to make sure your trip is worry-free and unforgettable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here’s a section highlighting common questions and answers related to the best time to visit South Korea.

Icon

When is the best time to visit South Korea for cherry blossoms?

Cherry blossoms bloom across the country during the spring months. This is specifically between April and the end of May. Sometimes they can start blooming towards the end of March as well.

Is visiting South Korea during the rainy season advisable?

The rains usually occur during the summer season in South Korea. It could rain throughout the day. South Korea's rainy season is not ideal for a traveller, even though the rains don’t really affect the public transport, but the weather can get very hot, humid, and fairly unpleasant.

Is the air quality in South Korea poor?

The air quality is not the best in South Korea, as even locals often complain about it. During spring, dust flies in from China, combines with the existing pollution, and wreaks havoc. So it's better to be aware of this fact and carry masks and other essentials, especially if you are prone to allergies and other respiratory conditions.

How many days are enough for a trip to South Korea?

Anywhere between 10 days to 2 weeks would be ideal to take in the major tourist attractions that this East Asian country has to offer. You may also be able to squeeze in a lot in 7 days with some tight planning. But if you have fewer days than that, just sticking to Seoul and Jeju would be ideal. If you just want to visit Seoul and nowhere else, then even 3 to 4 days will be good enough.

When is the best time of the year to visit South Korea?

The best time of the year to go to South Korea would be the spring months, especially May. The weather is great, and you can spot the lovely cherry blossoms until the end of the month. September and October, which are fall months, are another option to keep in mind, as they are also the best time to visit South Korea weather wise and of course, you get to take in gorgeous fall hues as well.

Is it safe to visit South Korea?

Though South Korea and North Korea are still technically at war, South Korea is a safe destination to visit. There are hardly any attacks, and peace prevails here despite the geopolitical tensions.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet, and is subject to changes.

icon

Want to post any comments?

icon

Ensure a safe trip with a comprehensive travel insurance plan.

Tell us a bit about your upcoming journey.

quote icon

Get Quote

quote icon