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The Best Time to Visit South Korea in 2023

The Best Time to Visit South Korea in 2023

Are you currently planning your trip to South Korea? While going to South Korea at any time of the year is exciting, researching when to expect the best weather, the lowest prices, and the least crowds can ensure you have a dream trip.

South Korea is an incredible tourist destination known for its vibrant cities, stunning beaches, and gorgeous countryside. We’ll tell you the best time to visit South Korea so that you make the most of your trip and come home with incredible memories and experiences.

We’ll also let you in on the top South Korean travel tips, highly-rated attractions, and answers to commonly asked questions about this fantastic country. Read on for valuable information while planning your trip!

Why You Should Visit South Korea

Aerial view of the Gangnam Square in Seoul, pictured during the best time to visit South Korea in a low-shutter image

Sayan Uranan/Shutterstock

South Korea is filled with cultural, historical, and modern attractions, making it an ideal destination for all types of travelers. Whether you’re looking to explore ancient temples or indulge in experiences unique to the country, South Korea has something for everyone.

Its cities offer a variety of sights to explore, from picturesque views of the Han River and vibrant nightlife to amusement parks and traditional markets.

Plus, South Korea is home to some of the most well-respected beaches in Asia, featuring long stretches of white sand and an array of activities for all ages. South Korea is also famous for cherry blossom season.

Every April, the country’s landscape is transformed into a stunning display of pink cherry blossoms. People love visiting during this time to take pictures, enjoy the spectacular scenery, and attend festivals to celebrate.

Finally, suppose you love snowboarding or skiing. In that case, South Korea is home to some of the best mountains and ski resorts in Asia, making it a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts.

As long as you can embrace the cold, you’ll be in for an adventurous treat on the slopes!

Overall Best Time to Visit South Korea

the Seoul Tower pictured in Spring, the best time to visit South Korea, with green trees and the city lit up in multi-colored lights at night

Twilight Seoul Tower in Spring at South Korea/Nami Chwang/Shutterstock

The best time to visit South Korea is spring (March to May), and the second best time is fall (September to November).

During the spring, temperatures tend to be mild, with highs of 65 degrees Fahrenheit and lows of around 45 degrees, making it an ideal time for sightseeing and exploring the country.

If you go during this time, you’ll be able to enjoy wonderful weather and meet many other people, both tourists and locals alike, out and about.

Plus, you can catch the beautiful cherry blossoms in April and May, a highlight for many tourists to the country. In fall, temperatures are still comfortable, and many festivals are held between September and November.

In particular, the Chuseok Harvest Festival is a popular event for locals and travelers alike. These festivals make September through November the second best time to visit and even the best time in many people’s eyes.

Cheapest Time to Visit South Korea

Beautiful snow-covered hills pictured during the winter, the overall cheapest time to visit South Korea, as seen from a walking path in the countryside

Yousuk Yang/Shutterstock

The cheapest time to visit South Korea is during winter, from December to February. The weather during these months is cold and wet, with temperatures reaching below freezing at times, so it’s important to pack appropriately.

However, those who brave the weather will be financially benefited from this choice. During this time, airfares tend to be lower due to fewer tourists traveling to South Korea during this period. Additionally, you can find discounts on lodging and transportation.

January, in particular, is a cheap month to visit because not only is it cold, but it’s after the holiday season. Post-holiday is a great time to find deals and discounts, so it’s worth considering if you’re looking for an affordable trip.

Alternatively, while winter is the cheapest time to visit South Korea, you won’t get the ideal conditions you would receive in spring or fall. Again, temperatures are colder, and you might miss out on certain festivals and activities that are exclusive to warmer seasons.

Least Busy Time to Visit South Korea

South Korea pictured during the least busy time to visit with an empty street in Janggwan-Dong, Daegu with a single person walking on a brick path

Janggwan-Dong, Daegu, South Korea – October 9 2018: View up an empty shopping district and commercial street in downtown Daegu/VDB Photos/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit South Korea is either in the winter months, from December to February, or during the summer months, from June to August, when crowds tend to die down after spring.

As we previously mentioned, due to the colder weather in winter, airfares and hotel prices tend to be cheaper than in other seasons. The downside is that you won’t get the same cultural experiences as in warmer months.

In summer, temperatures are hot (reaching 90 degrees Fahrenheit), and it’s very humid. This season may be too hot for some travelers, but you can still find a lot of fun outdoor activities, such as beach trips and exploring national parks.

Worst Time to Visit South Korea

Ski resort in the winter with lots of skiers on a hill in Deokyusan during the worst time to visit South Korea

Sayan Uranan/Shutterstock

Many people believe that visiting South Korea in the winter, between January and February, is the worst time because of the blistering cold temperatures.

However, the worst time to visit South Korea ultimately depends on what you want to do. If you are going to South Korea for incredible skiing and snowboarding, you’ll likely prefer to brave the cold to visit Yongpyong Ski Resort or Phoenix Ski Park.

However, if you are planning to spend most of your time in the cities, winter can be a difficult season due to the cold weather, and some attractions may be closed.

Summer can also be a difficult time to visit, depending on what you want to do. The high temperatures and humidity can make it difficult to enjoy outdoor activities, such as hiking or sightseeing.

Things to Consider

Very neat bullet train in South Korea pictured from the air with large buildings in the background during the best time to go to the country

Seoul Subway KTX train traffic in Seoul City,South Korea/CJ Nattanai/Shutterstock

When planning a trip to South Korea, there are several factors to consider:

  • Weather. South Korea experiences four distinct seasons, ranging from below-freezing in winter to hot and humid in summer. Make sure to research the temperatures and weather conditions of your desired destination before booking any tickets or accommodations.
  • Language. South Korea’s official language is Korean, so travelers may find it difficult to communicate with locals. It can be helpful to bring a phrasebook or download Korean in the Google Translate App to communicate with people more easily.
  • Cost. South Korea is a relatively affordable destination, although costs can vary depending on the season. Make sure to research the costs of various attractions and services before your trip.
  • Safety. South Korea is generally a safe country, but it’s important to still take precautions when traveling. Be sure to follow all local laws and customs, and use common sense when exploring unfamiliar areas.
  • Custboms. South Korea has a strong culture and tradition, so it’s important to show respect when visiting. This means avoiding disrespectful behavior, such as shouting or using the wrong hand gestures. Be sure to research your destination’s local customs and etiquette before traveling.
  • Transportation. South Korea’s transportation system is well-developed, meaning getting around and visiting various attractions can be easy. You can use the country’s extensive train system, buses, taxis, or even hire a car.

Activities and Attractions to Consider

South Korea is an amazing destination that offers travelers plenty to do, see, eat, and explore. In addition to knowing what type of weather, prices, and customs to plan for, knowing where to go are crucial for planning a successful trip.

Explore the Beautiful Palaces

South Korea is home to several stunning palaces and ancient fortresses. The most popular palace is Gyeongbokgung, located in the capital city of Seoul.

Visit Buddhist Temples

South Korea is home to several ancient Buddhist temples, including the Beomeosa Temple in Busan and the Seonamsa Temple in Suncheon.

Experience the Chuseok Festival

The Chuseok Festival is one of the country’s largest and most important traditional holidays, celebrated in the fall. During this time, people visit their families, eat traditional foods, and make offers to the gods.

Visit Jeju Island

Sunrise over the moss-covered rocks on Jeju Island during the best time to visit South Korea

Noppasin Wongchum/Shutterstock

Jeju Island is a stunning volcanic island off the coast of South Korea. Here, visitors can explore the strange and beautiful landscapes, relax on the beaches, and learn about the unique culture of the island.

Visit Theme Parks

South Korea is home to several theme parks, such as Lotte World in Seoul and Everland in Gyeonggi-do. These parks offer a variety of attractions, such as roller coasters, water parks, and more.

Visit N Seoul Tower

The N Seoul Tower, located atop Mount Namsan, is a popular attraction for visitors to the city. Here, you can enjoy spectacular views of Seoul from the observation deck or take a leisurely stroll around the grounds.

Learn About Korea at Museums

The National Museum of Korea, located in Seoul, is the largest museum in the country. Visitors can learn about Korea’s history and culture through art, artifacts, and exhibitions. There’s also the Seoul Museum of History which delves even further into the country’s intriguing and dynamic past.

Check Out Nami Island

Nami Island, located near Chuncheon, is a popular destination for visitors. Here, you can enjoy nature and take stunning photos of the surrounding scenery.

Stroll through Songdo Central Park

If you love New York’s Central Park, you’ll enjoy Songdo Central Park, which was modeled and named after New York’s iconic landmark.

Relax at Beautiful Beaches

South Korea boasts several stunning beaches, such as:

  • Haeundae Beach in Busan
  • Gwakji Beach in Gangneung
  • Hyeopjae Beach on Jeju Island
  • Caribbean Bay in Yongin
  • Seobin Beach, in Udo, or “Peanut Island”

Frequently Asked Questions

Sunrise over the ancient-styled village of Bukchon Honok Village

CJ Nattanai/Shutterstock

Now that you’re aware of the potential best and worst times to visit South Korea depending on your trip goals, here are our answers to other related questions about South Korea trip planning:

What is the hottest month in South Korea?

The hottest month in South Korea is August, with an average country temperature of around 73°F (22.8°C). The average high in Seoul is 84°F in August.

What month is Cherry Blossom in South Korea?

The best time to see the cherry blossoms in South Korea is from the end of March to Mid-April. There’s a Cherry Blossom Festival in Gyeongju that is especially popular.

Are there any safety concerns in South Korea?

South Korea is generally a safe country to visit and explore. However, it’s important to take common-sense precautions while traveling, such as avoiding isolated areas at night.

What is the prettiest month to go to Korea?

Because of the cherry blossom season from March to May, these months are often seen as the prettiest months to visit South Korea.

How many days should you spend in Seoul?

The amount of time you’ll need to spend in Seoul depends on what attractions and activities interest you. Generally, three days is a good time to explore the city and its attractions.

What clothes to wear in Korea in March?

In March, the weather in South Korea is cool and comfortable. Recommended attire for this time of year should be light layers that are warm enough to keep you comfortable, such as sweaters and jackets.

What is the currency in South Korea?

South Korea’s official currency is the Korean Won (₩), which is the best currency to use. However, Mastercard, Visa, and American Express cards are widely accepted in South Korea.

How much money do I need for seven days in Seoul?

For seven days in Seoul, you’ll need to budget around ₩700,000 – ₩1,200,000. This amount includes accommodation and food, as well as tickets for attractions.

Should I visit Seoul or Tokyo?

The decision to visit Seoul or Tokyo is a personal one, based on your interests and what you’d appreciate experiencing. Both cities are unique in their ways, but Seoul has a more vibrant nightlife and unique culture, while Tokyo offers a bustling city full of attractions.

Ideally, you should visit both. But if you have to choose one, consider what time of the year you have available to go and which option presents the best weather for that period and your interests.

Is food expensive in Korea?

Food in South Korea is generally quite affordable, with a wide range of budget-friendly options. However, some restaurants may be pricier than others. If you’re on a tighter budget, stick with the street food and restaurants in residential areas.

How long can you stay in Korea with a tourist visa?

If you’re visiting South Korea on a tourist visa, the maximum stay is 90 days. This applies to U.S. citizens with valid passports as well as other nationals that are eligible for tourist visas to South Korea.

What are the best beaches in South Korea?

If you are going to South Korea for a beach vacation, here are some of the top South Korean beaches to visit: Hyeopjae Beach on Jeju Island, Caribbean Bay in Yongin, Seobin Beach in Gyeonggi-do, and Dadohaehaesang National Park in South Jeolla Province.

What is the best place to stay in Seoul?

The best place to stay in Seoul depends on your budget and travel plans. Popular areas for tourists include Myeong-dong, Insadong, Itaewon, and Gangnam. Myeong-dong is the most popular area for shopping and dining.

Insadong is great for traditional Korean culture, while Itaewon is an international hub with lots of bars and nightlife. Gangnam is the upmarket area of Seoul.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit South Korea?

South Korea is a beautiful country full of history, culture, and natural wonders. The best time to visit South Korea depends on what kind of experience you’re looking for and how the weather affects your plans.

Generally, the months of April, May, and October have the most pleasant weather and offer a variety of activities. However, if you’re looking for lower prices or fewer crowds, consider visiting during winter.

Regardless of when you choose to visit, you’ll be greeted by rich history, friendly locals, amazing food, and more activities than you can possibly fit into a single trip. So what are you waiting for — book your trip to South Korea today!