Cherry blossom season is nearly upon us. Before you book your flights to Washington D.C. or Japan, consider South Korea. It less expensive than the US or Japan, it is a prime destination to see these beautiful flowers, and there are a number of opportunities for you to see them throughout the season. The full cherry blossom forecast has not been released yet, but if you book your flights anywhere from late-March to early-April, you’ll definitely catch them somewhere in the country.
Here are some of the absolute best places to see cherry blossoms in South Korea:
Northern Cities and Provinces
Cherry blossoms bloom later in the cooler, northern cities and provinces, so this will be your target area if you are booking early-April.
Seoul and Gyeonggi-Do
- Yeouido’s Spring Flower Festival – This festival is held in early-April and is the perfect time to see not only cherry blossoms, but azaleas and forsythia as well. At night, the flowers are lit-up with colorful lights and visitors can enjoy a variety of performances.
Website: http://www.ydp.go.kr/english/main.do (English)
Address in English: Gukhoe-daero, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul
Address in Korean: 서울특별시 영등포구 국회대로 (여의도동)
- Changgyeonggung Palace Cherry Blossoms – Visitors can kill two birds with one stone by visiting Changgyeonggung Palace and the gorgeous cherry blossoms they have on-site. Admission is 1,000 won (appx $1) for one palace, or visitors can pay 10,000 won (appx $10) for a month-long pass to the four palaces in Seoul and Jongmyo Shrine.
Address in English: 185 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Directions: Hyehwa Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exit 4. Walk approx. 800m
- Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival – Much like other cherry blossom festivals in Korea, the Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival is full of beautiful flowers and offers performances, exhibitions, and hands-on cultural activities.
Address in English: 148, Jamsil-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul
Address in Korean: 서울특별시 송파구 잠실로 148 (잠실동)
- Seoul Grand Park – The largest park in Korea, Seoul Grand Park is a fantastic place to enjoy the cherry blossoms, visit the zoo, an amusement park, a rose garden, and a children’s zoo. Visitors can easily spend an entire day at the park enjoying all its attractions
Directions: Take Subway Line 4 to Seoul Grand Park Station (Seoul Land) – take Exit #2.
Central Cities and Provinces
Look to visit these areas in late-March / early-April.
- Historic Gyeongju – This city is one of the top places for tourism in Korea and is also a wonderful site for cherry blossom viewing. Consider exploring the city via bicycle or perhaps joining the 2017 Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Marathon.
- Daegu – This is my current home has a lot of things to offer visitors: it is a hotspot for Medical Tourism, has a brand-new Shinsegae shopping complex, and has plenty of locations to see cherry blossoms. If you come to the city, be sure to check out Palgongsan Mountain’s Cherry Blossom Festival, Suseong Lake, and Yeungnam University for some of the best blossoms in the city.
- Cheongpunghoban Cherry Blossom Festival – Similar to Yeouido, Cheongpunghoban’s Cherry Blossom Festival also has azaleas and forsythia, which will add additional pops of red and yellow among the pink and white cherry blossoms.
Website: http://www.jcac.or.kr/cherry/ (Korean)
Address in English: 2048, Cheongpungho-ro, Jecheon-si, Chungcheongbuk-do
Address in Korean: 충청북도 제천시 청풍면 청풍호로 2048 (청풍면)
Southern Cities and Provinces
Cherry blossoms bloom earlier in the southern cities and provinces, so this will be your target area if you are booking late-March. This is the most popular region for cherry blossoms and therefore the busiest.
- Hwagae Cherry Blossoms Festival – Boasting a 4km Cherry Blossom road, also known as marriage road, the Hwagae Cherry Blossoms Festival is one of the more romantic destinations on this list. Although the festival is only over a 3-day weekend, there is a lot on-offer to attract visitors, including cultural events and and programs.
Website: http://toureng.hadong.go.kr (English)
Address in English: Maekjeon-gil, Hadong-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do
Address in Korean: 경상남도 하동군 화개면 맥전길
- Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival – One of the most popular places to see cherry blossoms in Korea, the Jinhae Gunhangje Festival brings thousands of visitors to this small, coastal town each year. There are several photo hotspots throughout the town, including the iconic rail crossing and the beautiful Yeojwacheon Stream (near Gyeonghwa Rail Station).
Address in English: Tongsin-dong, Jinhae-gu, Changwon-si, Gyeongsangnam-do
Address in Korean: 경상남도 창원시 진해구 통신동
- Seomjin Riverside Cherry Blossom Festival – Like the name implies, this festival is held alongside the Seomjin River. Other than soaking up the beautiful scenery, visitors can see traditional drum performances, witness a paragliding contest, and have their faces painted.
Website: http://en.gurye.go.kr/ (English)
Address in English: Jukma-ri, Muncheok-myeon, Gurye-gun, Jeollanam-do
Address in Korean: 전라남도 구례군 문척면 죽마리
- Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival – Often referred to as the Hawaii of Korea, Jeju is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Korea. If you are looking for a one-stop destination that includes beaches, incredible mountain hiking, and some beautiful flowers, Jeju is the place to go!
Website: http://www.jejutour.go.kr/ (English)
Address in English: Jeonnong-ro, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
Address in Korean: 제주특별자치도 제주시 전농로 (이도일동)
Keep in mind that you do not have to attend a cherry blossom festival in order to see some beautiful sights. Many college and university campuses, and local parks will also have beautiful blossoms and much smaller crowds.
For full details on each festival and further instructions, the Visit Korea website is an excellent resource: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/.
Written by Lindsay from
The Neverending Wanderlust