Best Time to Visit Korea
Have you ever been super excited to visit a faraway destination, with your itinerary planned out, only to have it rain on your whole stay? Or maybe you packed a bunch of cute summer outfits and it turns out to be too cold!
It is imperative that you do some research before setting off for your trip and if you are heading to South Korea, then you have come to the right place. Let’s explore when is the best time to visit Korea.
South Korea enjoys four distinct seasons, so that would be a great basis for your trip right off the bat. Are you a cold weather person or do you prefer warmer temperatures?
Summer, which starts at the end of May in Korea is hot and wet, while winters, which begin in November, can be very dry and cold (source).
However, if you love skiing, the dry Korean winters make for perfect conditions.
For the most comfortable visit, I would recommend going during the spring which starts by the end of March and during autumn in late September.
During spring, the flowers bloom gracefully and lovely cherry blossoms abound in South Korea. You will be blessed with cheery weather and mostly sunny days, so there will be no raining on your parade – or, your vacation (source).
By autumn time, the humid summer and incessant rains would have passes and the weather is a lot cooler. This makes it nice and comfortable for a relaxing stroll to the South Korean landmarks – or from one shopping center to the next!
It is one of the of the most beautiful times to visit Korea as well, with all of the autumn leaves changing color, your surroundings will be bathed in fiery reds and oranges (source).
Fun and Festive
South Korea celebrates a number of festivals throughout the year. The occassions are highly attended by both locals and tourists, so expect a crowd. Taking note of the big holidays will guide you in two ways – if you are avoiding a lot of people, you will know not to go on these dates.
However, the magic of the festivities is not to be missed. So, brave the hordes of people and take part in one of these South Korean festivals at least once:
- Hallasan Snowflake Festival – Centered around Hallasan mountain on Jeju Island, the festival features folk performances and a snowball contest! You will have to brave a winter climb up the mountain, however. But don’t worry, there will surely be thousands making the climb with you.
- Seol – Also known as Seollal or Lunar New Year, this is one of the most important festivals in Korean tradition. Celebrated early February – the actual date changes depending on the moon cycle, so check before you book your ticket – the big holiday is when local Koreans take days off to go home to their hometowns or enjoy ski holidays. Watch out, however, for heavy traffic.
- Children’s Day – This is an interesting holiday to witness. Happening on May 5, little kids get to enjoy trips to the zoo, amusement parks, and theaters. This is not one of the busiest seasons to travel to Korea, but since everyone is up and about on this day, try to schedule activities far away from the kid-centered attractions.
- Chuseok – This traditional holiday, also known as Harvest Moon Festival, is celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. Is that confusing? Basically, it often falls mid- to late September. This is another holiday when locals head home to visit relatives and pay their respects. So, know that travel might become difficult around this time. Plane tickets sell out some three months in advance and hotels fill up quickly.
- Busan International Film Festival – This is not traditional, but the BIFF is a must for any cinephile. It is one of Asia’s biggest film festivals and takes place usually in September. Expect the top actors and directors from around the world to be there to walk BIFF’s red carpet. If you love film, don’t pass up an opportunity to see some of the best films from around the world.
- Seoul Kimchi Festival – Korea is perhaps most well-known for its spicy pickled cabbage dish, kimchi. In fact, UNESCO has recognized the country’s kimchi-making culture as an important tradition and cultural heritage. Enjoy all things kimchi for three days every November.
Take a Peak
Bottom line is, South Korea is a wonderful place to enjoy shopping, culture, tradition, and more. To make the most of your visit, take note of local weather and have an idea of the peak season for tourists.
Any time you decide to visit, South Korea is a vacation spot that has wonderful offerings all year round.