Every season in Korea has its highlights but spring is especially gorgeous. The cherry blossoms are incredible, and the weather means you’ll be happy to be outside without being cold. Here are some things you have to check out in the spring!
The cherry blossoms
Spring is cherry blossom season in Korea, and many cities have festivals to show them off. To help plan the timing of your trip, look up an “expected blooming date” chart. Then you can organize the rest of your trip around the peak blooming periods.
The cherry blossoms are also a good excuse to plan a day trip outside of Seoul to see another part of the country. The main tourist areas in Seoul will be packed with people trying to see the trees (and take a million pictures with them!) so going to another city can give you a more relaxed experience. For example, near Daegu’s downtown area there are many.
If you’ll be in Seoul, Yeouido(여의도) is a great place to start. You can walk around and see the flowers, and enjoy the Han river(한강) view at the same time. Seokchon Lake Cherry Festival(석촌호수 벚꽃축제) in Jamsil(잠실) or the Gyeongbokgung Palance(경복궁) are both famous spots as well, but even just walking around the city will give you opportunities to see some of them. The cherry blossoms have a notoriously short blooming period, so don’t miss it and have your camera ready!
Spring festivals and special events
There are lots of festivals going on in the springtime that you can check out as well! May 11th-13th 2019 will have the Seoul Lantern Festival in honour of Buddha’s birthday. If you walk along Jong-ro 종로, a major street, you can see thousands of lanterns lining the sides. There’s also a parade on the Thursday of the festival that has many floats representing scenes from the life of the Buddha. It’s all very beautiful with bright colours and pretty lights. Temples will also be decorated with their own lantern displays at this time of year, so be sure to walk around and see them all.
Beautiful lighted displays at Cheonggyecheon stream(청계천) in downtown Seoul for the Seoul Lantern Festival and Buddha’s birthday.
The Jeju Fire Festival(제주 들불축제) is another super unique event that has lots activities and plenty to see. It will take place from March 7th to 10th this year, and includes a torch lighting ceremony with fireworks, and traditional games for tourists to take part in. It’s also a great excuse to visit Jeju and experience the many sites the island has to offer. March in Jeju is a little warmer, and can be a nice break from Seoul if it’s still chillier when you visit.
In early spring is the Korea Grand Sale (코리아그랜드세일), where many companies and stores (including the department stores) have major sales. It ends at the beginning of March however, but if you’re here during the sale, it’s a great time to do all your shopping.
All the festivals and seasons in Korea are awesome, but the cherry blossoms are amazing. If you are planning a trip to Seoul in the spring, make sure to see them!