Seoul is a beautiful destination in Asia. This large, bustling South Korean city is one of the most visited Asian cities thanks to its beauty, delicious cuisine, history, and rich culture.
It’s also one of the friendliest and safest cities for tourists! If you’ve been dying to visit Seoul, finding the right or best time of year to go is the first step to taking the vacation of your dreams.
While you can visit Seoul anytime throughout the year, there are some times of the year that most people would say are better than others. Going at the best time to visit Seoul will ensure your trip is everything you hoped for and more!
As you start planning your trip, here’s some information on the best time to visit Seoul and travel tips that will make your getaway go smoothly.
Why You Should Visit Seoul
There are dozens of reasons why you should visit Seoul at some point in your life. Seoul is the capital of South Korea and the country’s largest city. It also has the country’s largest airports, making it the most affordable South Korean city to fly into from anywhere in the world.
Besides being an easy access point for everything else South Korea has to offer, there are plenty of other reasons why you should visit Seoul.
- There are over 100 museums to visit
- The city is very clean and safe
- The people are friendly to tourists
- The food is exquisite and unique
- There’s always something to do
- Public transportation is easy to use and understand
Another great reason to visit Seoul is if you love spending time outdoors. Even though Seoul is a bustling major city, just outside the city are beautiful landscapes. There are ample hiking trails that even the least experienced hikers will love.
Overall Best Time to Visit Seoul
If you’re looking for the absolute best time to visit Seoul, try to visit between March and May or September through October.
What makes these times of year the best time to visit this magnificent city? Well, there are a lot of reasons these are the best times to visit! The weather is arguably the best reason to visit during these months.
Starting in March, the weather starts to warm up from the freezing winter temperatures, making it much more comfortable for those who don’t like traveling in the cold weather.
Temperatures can reach into the 70s, making walking around the city and outdoor activities appealing. You can dress in layers if you get cold easily, but you shouldn’t need to overload your luggage with heavier clothing items.
Even in the evening, temperatures can be in the 50s. Some might find it chilly, but it’s pleasant compared to the freezing winter temperatures or hot, humid summers.
For the most part, March through May and September and October are very dry, so you don’t need to worry about rain ruining your vacation.
Depending on when you want to visit, many hotels are affordable around this time too, but it can vary, so you should shop around to find the best deals.
Many people tend to visit during these months, so it’s best to book flights, hotels, and other activities sooner rather than later to ensure you get your top choices and great prices.
Seoul sees its fair share of typhoon activity, but they rarely hit during March, April, May, September, and October. Since typhoons are rare during these months, your trip should be dry while you’re there.
Cheapest Time to Visit Seoul
If you prefer to choose when you travel based on the cheapest time, you should plan on going to Seoul in January, March, November, or October. These months tend to be the most affordable months to fly to Seoul from various places in the world.
Hotels and other lodging may drop their rates and offer booking deals to encourage more people to visit the city! Remember, what you think is cheap versus what someone else feels is affordable could be different.
Several factors will determine which is the cheapest month for you to visit Seoul, such as:
- How many people you’re traveling with
- Where you’re flying from
- Where you plan on staying
- How long you plan on visiting
The flight price difference from flying to Seoul in the low season – January, February, and the end of the year – is huge. It’s worth calculating to see how much you can save traveling at this time of year!
From California to Seoul in January is almost $500 dollars cheaper than the high season and from New York City to Seoul in January is a difference of nearly $1,000.
If you’re traveling for a longer period, you can snag deals for more extended stays at hotels and other lodging options. They don’t always advertise these deals, so you’ll want to speak with the hotel manager or property manager to see if you can work something out.
Least Busy Time to Visit Seoul
If you prefer to travel with fewer tourist crowds, then you should plan to visit Seoul in January. It’s cold and fewer people come to Seoul.
Seoul is a famous city with over 15 million visitors annually. In January, Seoul sees the fewest number of tourists because most people want to avoid visiting during cold weather or shortly after the holidays.
If you prefer to travel with fewer tourist crowds, then January will be perfect. Most people want to avoid visiting during cold weather or shortly after the holidays, so you’ll score a visit without as many tourists milling around.
When you visit during January, you’ll be able to visit more museums without waiting in line and have shorter waits at restaurants. Plus, when you want that Instagram-worthy picture, you likely won’t have to wait in line or for people to get out of your way like you would during more popular times of the year.
Another positive side to visiting Seoul in January when there are fewer tourists is that while it’s cold, the days are usually sunny and dry.
You shouldn’t have to worry about rain and snow and clouds making it feel colder than it is outside. The least busy time to visit Seoul is a beautiful time too.
Worst Time to Visit Seoul
The worst time to visit Seoul really depends on your personal travel preferences. For the most part, the worst time to visit the city is December through March.
Most people say that this is the worst time to visit the city because it’s in the dead of winter and the temperatures can get very cold.
From December through March, average temperatures are as low as 19° Fahrenheit and only get into the low 40s. Snow is common and can make it feel even colder than it is outside.
Another time of year that could be considered the worst time to visit Seoul is from June through July. June and July are the rainy seasons in Seoul and temperatures are warmer, making rain extra unpleasant.
Keep in mind that while these are generally the worst times to visit Seoul, if you don’t mind cold temperatures or rain, then you might not have an issue visiting the city during this time. Even with the cold and rain, you can still have a fantastic time in Seoul.
June through November is typhoon season in Seoul, but they tend to peak in June and July. While they tend to be pretty minor in nature, you don’t want a massive storm system ruining your vacation and potentially being life-threatening.
Things to Consider
When planning on traveling anywhere, looking into tips beforehand can make you have a more enjoyable experience. It can help you feel more prepared and figure out how to budget your time. Since Seoul has so much to see and do, there are a few things you might want to think about before you arrive.
As you plan your trip to Seoul, South Korea, here are a few things you’ll want to consider before you leave:
- Use the subway and public transportation systems to get around fast, safely, and cheaply
- Choose accommodations that are near things you want to do
- Pack good walking shoes that are comfy to wear
- Get a SIM card so you can keep in touch with friends and family
- Don’t sit in pregnant, elderly, or handicapped seating in public unless you fall into that category
- A lot of Korean food is spicy, so be prepared or order without spice
- Try street food to experience authentic Korean culture
- Book museum tickets in advance so you’re not scrambling
Frequently Asked Questions
Visiting Seoul is a beautiful idea no matter when you can make the trip! If you still have questions regarding when the best time to visit is, here’s what other avid travelers are wondering.
What's the coldest month in Seoul?
The coldest month to visit Seoul is in January. Temperatures almost always dip below 14 °F, so unless you love the cold, you'll want to avoid visiting Seoul in January.
How many days do I need in Seoul?
Most people say that you should take at least three days in Seoul to explore everything the city offers. If you want to explore outside the city and go hiking, staying 4-7 days will allow you to see the city and the beautiful landscapes surrounding it.
When does it snow in Seoul?
Seoul usually starts seeing snow in November, and snow can last as late as the beginning of March! So, this is the time to visit if you want to see Seoul turn into a winter wonderland.
Do I need a visa to visit Seoul?
United States citizens do not need a visa just to visit Seoul as long as they have a valid passport. Other countries might require visas, so It's important to look into that before heading to the airport.
When is the rainy season in Seoul?
Seoul has a pretty short rainy season. It starts in the middle to the end of June and only lasts until the middle or end of July.
That doesn't mean you won't see rain other times of the year, but that tends to be the wettest time, thanks to the higher climate and typhoon activity during these months.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Seoul?
When planning the trip of a lifetime to Seoul, you should try to visit between March and May or September and October. These months tend to be the most agreed upon as the best time to visit.
The weather is beautiful, rarely rains, and you don’t need to worry about typhoons. January, March, October, and November tend to be the cheapest months to visit. Flights and hotel rooms should be more affordable at this time of year to sweeten the deal on your trip!
While these are the best times to visit, according to most people, if you love winter activities or want to avoid a lot of tourists, the winter months will be the best time for you. Winter can be hit or miss for travelers because it gets so cold, snowy, and fewer activities are available.
Still, there are a lot less visitors arriving at this time and prices are a bit lower than during the peak season. No matter when you plan on visiting Seoul, follow our tips and you’ll have a trip filled with memories, great food, and new experiences!