Cherry Blossoms in Seoul & South Korea: The Ultimate Guide
Want to know where to see Cherry Blossoms in Seoul? Well, this is the the ultimate guide to Cherry Blossoms in Korea! Below you can find a long list of the best places to see Cherry Blossoms in Seoul, the capital city, and also where you can find Cherry Blossoms around South Korea.
Best Places to See Cherry Blossoms
Below you will find:
- Best time to see cherry blossoms
- How long cherry blossoms last
- Best places to see cherry blossoms in Seoul
- Cherry blossom festivals in Seoul
- Best places to see cherry blossoms in South Korea
- Cherry blossom festivals in South Korea
What are Cherry Blossoms?
Known as one of the most beautiful flowers in the world, cherry blossoms have been around for centuries. Cherry Blossoms are Japan’s national flower, but can also be seen in many other countries including South Korea.
When Korea was occupied by Japan, imperialists brought over seeds of cherry blossom trees and planted them. As soon as WWII ended, the Japanese left Korea in defeat, but the cherry blossoms remained.
Once a flower of debate and contention, cherry blossoms have become a symbol of spring and new beginnings.
How long do Cherry Blossoms last?
People now come from all around the world to have a glimpse at these pale pink flowers. In fact Spring is considered the best time to visit Seoul and Korea in general. However, since cherry blossom season only lasts for a few weeks, it’s vital that you plan accordingly.
The cherry blossom season starts in late March and ends around mid-April. The southern regions of South Korea will bloom first while the northern regions will bloom last.
Cherry Blossoms Guide: Where to see Cherry Blossoms in Seoul and South Korea
In this complete cherry blossom guide for South Korea, we’ll cover where to find the best spots for taking cherry blossom pictures as well as other things to do in the different areas of South Korea. Make sure to also see our post on What to see and do in Seoul.
Where to see Cherry Blossoms in Seoul
First up is Seoul where there are the most places to catch cherry blossoms in Korea. Seoul, the capital of South Korea is known for its variety of things to do and cherry blossom festivals are one of them. If you aren’t into big crouds, don’t worry, we also have other places listed to see Cherry Blossoms in Seoul without attending a festival.
Cherry Blossom Festivals in Seoul
Here are four of the most popular cherry blossom festivals in Seoul:
1. Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival (여의도 봄꽃축제)
With over 1,400 cherry blossom trees, this Cherry Blossom Festival in Seoul is easily one of the most popular places to visit during the spring. Along with street performances and food vendors, there’s also the Han River right next to this festival, making this a great option for those who are looking to snap a few cherry blossom pics and then have a picnic by the river.
2. Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival (석촌호수 벚꽃축제)
Another incredibly popular Cherry Blossom Festival is the Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival. Its popularity comes from the beautiful lake that reflects the cherry blossoms, which is a stunning view you don’t want to miss. Plus, Lotte World is very close by, so you can go and unleash your inner child at one of Seoul’s most famous amusement parks once you’re done taking in the beauty of the cherry blossoms.
3. Yangjaecheon Stream Cherry Blossom and Lantern Festival (양재천 벚꽃 등 축제)
If you’re looking for a less crowded Cherry Blossom Festival, then this is the one for you! Not only is this a chance to see the cherry blossoms along Yangjaecheon Stream, but it’s also a chance to participate in a lantern festival. Activities such as flower vase making and plant sharing accompany musical performances and a flea market. Make sure you check this festival out to kill two birds with one stone!
4. Seoul National Cemetery Cherry Blossom Festival (국립서울현충원 벚꽃축제)
Also a much lesser known spot, Seoul National Cemetery holds an annual spring festival for visitors. The weeping cherry blossoms here are unique to the cemetery and are said to be paying their respects to all the lives that have been lost.
Although a cemetery isn’t usually an obvious choice for celebration and photo shoots, during this festival there are a number of fun events like the changing of the Guard, performances by the military band, and a cherry blossom photo contest.
Other places to see Cherry Blossoms in Seoul
While festivals are always a great place to enjoy the cherry blossoms, you don’t have to attend one to be able to see the flowers in bloom. Here are some of the best spots in Seoul to see cherry blossoms without attending a festival:
1. Seoul Grand Park (서울대공원)
Similar to Seokchon Lake, Seoul Grand Park has a large lake that is surrounded by the most vivid cherry blossom trees in Seoul. It also hosts an amusement park, zoo, and modern art museum for those looking for things to do after they’ve taken their obligatory Instagram pics.
2. Seoul Forest (서울숲)
This is another less crowded spot for people wanting to relax amongst the cherry blossoms trees. It’s a perfect place to have a romantic picnic date, so make sure you bring someone special! There’s also a butterfly garden and an area where you can feed the deer that live there.
Universities are well-known spots during cherry blossom season especially in Seoul. Be sure to check out one of these universities to see both the architecture and cherry blossoms: Kyunghee University (경희대학교), Ewha Woman’s University (이화여자대학교), Yonsei University (연세대학교). Kyunghee University in particular has unique medieval style university halls, which make an unexpected backdrop for the cherry blossoms.
Just like the universities, palaces are also great places to be during cherry blossom season. While Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁) is the most popular, it isn’t necessarily the best one to see cherry blossoms at.
Changgyeonggung Palace (창경국) is where Japanese imperialists planted the first cherry blossoms making it a cool place to visit for history buffs. It also has the most cherry blossoms trees out of all the palaces and is less crowded too.
Don’t forget to rent some traditional Korean attire called hanbok (한복) for free admission to any palace in Seoul!
5. Namsan Seoul Tower (남산서울타워)
Boasting a fantastic view of the entire city of Seoul, Namsan Tower is also a great place to see cherry blossoms in Seoul. It has the longest trail of cherry blossom trees, so why not ascend the tower either by foot or by cable car and then head back down to enjoy a nice walk along the cherry blossom path?
Where to see Cherry Blossoms in Korea
If you’re looking to venture outside of Seoul, don’t worry. There are a ton of other areas where you can find cherry blossoms! Here are the top picks for places outside the capital:
1. Nami Island (남이섬) – Gyeonggi Province (경기도)
For those of you who love beaches, Nami Island is the perfect place to see cherry blossoms in Korea. It’s a popular destination year-round, but of course cherry blossom season brings in more visitors than usual. There are a multitude of things to do on the island such as various water sports, roller skating, going to a shooting range, and hitting up a theme park.
2. Gyeongpodae Cherry Blossom Festival (경포대 벚꽃축제) – Gangwon Province (강원도)
Another great spot to see cherry blossoms in Korea for beach lovers is Gyeongpo, which holds a cherry blossom festival every year. Check out the Gyeongpodae Pavilion where there will be cultural performances. There’s also lots of beaches and a lake to cool off when the heat hits.
3. Cheongpunghoban Cherry Blossom Festival (청풍호 벚꽃축제) – Chuncheong Province (충청도)
While cherry blossoms on their own are worth the trip over to Korea, Cheongpunghoban Cherry Blossom Festival has more than just these pale pink flowers. There are many other spring flowers on display at this festival making it the perfect spot for a picnic. There’s even a lake you can hang out at while watching various performances and exhibitions.
4. Jinhae Gunhangje Festival (진해군항제) – Gyeongsangnam Province (경상남도)
Jinhae is one of the earliest blooming areas, so make sure not to miss it. This festival is one of the most popular places for cherry blossom enthusiasts as it’s the biggest cherry blossom festival in South Korea.
Popular photo spots are Yeojwacheon Stream/Romance Bridge and Gyeonghwa Station/Cherry Blossom Road. This city is famous for being the home to Korea’s Naval Academy and is also where you learn about Admiral Lee Sun Shin and his victories against the Japanese naval armies. Models of his famous turtle ships are also on display, which are something everyone should see.
5. Gyeongju (경주) – Gyeongsangnam Province (경상남도)
Even though it’s in the same province as Jinhae, Gyeongju has a later blooming time, so if you happen to miss the festival in Jinhae, you can always just head on over to Gyeongju!
This city has a lot of traditional buildings and ancient tombs, which are cool on their own, but paired up with three different cherry blossom festivals in addition to a cherry blossom marathon makes this city a must stop destination. Be sure to rent a bike and ride around to Bomun Lake, Dongbu Historical Complex, and Heungmu Park located in downtown Gyeongju.
6. Hwagae Market Cherry Blossom Festival (화개장터 벚꽃축제) – Gyeongsangnam Province (경상남도)
Nearby Daegu, Hwagae is a region that completely transforms when spring arrives. The cherry blossoms encompass the region and turn it into a winter wonderland-like landscape except it’s flowers, not snow.
The famous spot at this festival is 10-ri Road or Marriage Road, where it’s believed that if you walk down this road with your lover, you’ll end getting married and live a happy life together. Whether you’re in a relationship or not, this festival and the fresh local seafood is definitely worth checking out.
7. Oncheon Stream Park (온천천) – Gyeongsangnam Province (경상남도)
Located in Busan, which is one of South Korea’s most populated cities, is Oncheon Stream Park where you can find a unique view of cherry blossom trees running along both sides of the stream. The stream runs through Dongnae District and Yeonje District, marking a clear distinction between the two towns. Come for the flowers and stay for Busan’s many attractions!
8. Seomjin River Cherry Blossom Festival (섬진강변 벚꽃축제) – Jeolla Province (전라남도)
Boasting a whopping 11 km of cherry blossom trees, Seomjin River is an obvious venue for the annual cherry blossom festival in Jeolla Province and one of the best places to see cherry blossoms in Korea.
There’s other various spring flowers in addition to the white and pink main attraction, which are best enjoyed while watching the performances that are held at the festival. Jeolla Province also has some of the best food in South Korea, so foodies, this festival might be the one for you!
9. Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival (제주 왕벚꽃축제) – Jeju Province (제주도)
A dream destination for many travelers is Jeju, which is South Korea’s most famous island. It’s often been called the ‘Hawaii’ of South Korea and for good reason. There are beaches galore, and a lively downtown area called Seogwipo (서귀포시) where king cherry blossom tree can be found. These trees have the largest petals out of any cherry blossom tree variety in South Korea making a trip to Jeju that much more justified.
10 Chungnam University (충남대학교) and KAIST (카이스트) – Chungcheong Province (충청도)
Chungnam University and KAIST are two universities located in South Korea’s Silicon Valley, Daejeon. This city is in the heart of South Korea, making it a great place to travel to and from. Every spring, people head over to Chungnam University and KAIST to take in the beauty of the cherry blossoms as well as enjoy the fantastic spring weather. There isn’t much at these places other than some food vendors, but it’s a great place to visit if you’re looking to avoid the hustle and bustle of Seoul.
The Best Places to see Cherry Blossoms in Seoul and South Korea
Whether you visit one of the places on our list or not, you can catch cherry blossoms no matter where you go in Korea. The cherry blossom festivals will definitely be in areas that have large concentrations of cherry blossoms, but if you’re just looking to snap a photo or two, don’t feel the need to travel out of your way. There are plenty of places to see cherry blossoms in Seoul, and around Korea. Cherry blossoms have been around for years, and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon!
Author: Ria is writer based in South Korea who loves travel, food, beauty, video games, and dogs. She likes to spend her weekends exploring Korea and surrounding countries but also enjoys a night in watching rom-coms with her pup.