In South Korea, many of the best places to see cherry blossoms are in Seoul. There are many fantastic cherry blossom spots across the capital, and they are all pretty accessible by public transportation.
With Seoul and the surrounding province holding around half the population of South Korea, these places are often busy. But they are absolutely worth a trip! Not only are these some of the best places to see cherry blossoms in Seoul, but some of the best places to see cherry blossoms in Korea (a fantastic spot for cherry blossoms outside of Seoul is Jinhae).
Because cherry blossom season is so short, it can be hard to get to all the best spots. So choose the places you’d like to visit the most and go there first. You definitely have to make the most of your time.
This post will cover some of the best places to see cherry blossoms in Seoul, as well as why to visit during cherry blossom season and when to visit for the cherry blossoms.
Why Visit Korea During Cherry Blossom Season
Honestly, cherry blossom season is one of the best times to visit Korea. For about two weeks in the spring, delicate cherry blossoms bloom across the country, heralding warmer weather and longer days.
It can almost look like it’s snowing when a breeze blows through the cherry trees and gently carries the blossom petals to the ground. It’s a very romantic, beautiful time, and there’s just a lightness in the air.
Cherry blossom petals gently fluttering to the ground
Almost as soon as cherry blossoms appear, they’re gone. So you have to be really present and active to really enjoy them. Poets much more skilled than me have written about the ephemeral beauty of cherry blossoms.
Spring in general in South Korea is really beautiful, from the cherry blossoms and other flowers to the colorful lanterns that adorn the Buddhist temples for Buddha’s Birthday.
Best Time to See Cherry Blossoms in Korea
If you want to see the cherry blossoms in Korea, you should visit around the first two weeks of April. The height of cherry blossoms is usually within the first 10 days of April, give or take a few days.
Every year, a forecast of the first blooms is released. The south part of the country and Jeju Island see their cherry blossoms first, with the north of the country trailing a few days behind. This includes Seoul, which is in the northwest of the country.
To give you an idea, in 2022, the first bloom was forecasted to be March 16th on Jeju Island, March 20th in Busan, March 23rd in Daegu, March 29th in Daejeon, April 2nd in Seoul, and April 5th in Chuncheon.
Of course, the weather can both hasten or delay the first blooms, as well as the ending of cherry blossom season. For example, if the weather is particularly rainy and windy, the petals will fall from the trees a lot quicker.
Best Places to See Cherry Blossoms in Seoul
Yeouido might be the most popular place in Seoul to visit for cherry blossoms. That’s because there is a sea of cherry trees across Yeouido, which is located in the southwest of the city. This includes several cherry blossom roads, with trees lining the paths as far as the eye can see.
There are trees dotting Yeouido Park and Yeouido Han River Park, but there is also a lovely road edged with trees near the KBS Building. The path along Yeouiseo-ro (여의서로) near the KBS Building might be the nicest place in Yeouido to see the cherry blossoms.
Cherry blossoms around Yeouido
Every April, the area puts on the Yeongdeungpo Yeouido Spring Flower Festival (영등포 여의도 봄꽃축제), with various events occurring. This festival highlights not just cherry blossoms, but also azaleas, forsythias, and others.
Because of COVID-19, the festival is not being put on in 2022. However, the cherry blossom road near the National Assembly will be open to pedestrians March 31st to April 8th from 9 AM to 10 PM on weekdays and 8 AM to 10 PM on weekends.
Shots from the Spring Flower Festival
Yeouido Han River Park
Address: 330 Yeouidong-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 영등포구 여의동로 330)
Address: 13 Yeouigongwon-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 영등포구 여의공원로 13)
2. Royal Palaces
Seoul has five royal palaces: Gyeongbokgung (the biggest), Changdeokgung, Changgyeonggung, Deoksugung, and Gyeonghuigung.
They are beautiful complexes filled with lots of interesting history, but they’re also lovely places to experience the different seasons of Korea.
In particular, Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung (with its accompanying Secret Garden) are famous spots to see cherry blossoms.
The mixture of traditional Korean architecture, spring blossoms dotting the grounds, and visitors in hanbok (Korean traditional clothing) make for particularly memorable cherry blossom viewings.
Address: 161 Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 종로구 사직로 161)
Address: 99 Yulgok-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 종로구 율곡로 99)
3. Seokchon Lake
Lotte World Tower during cherry blossom season
Lotte World’s Magic Island
Scenes around Seokchon Lake during cherry blossom season (the inflatable swans were a special event)
Address: Jamsil 6(yuk)-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 송파구 잠실6동)
4. Kyung Hee University
Kyung Hee University is a renowned private university in northeastern Seoul. Kyung Hee is also well-known for being one of the more distinctive campuses in Korea – many of its buildings were built with ornate Western designs.
For instance, the magnificent Administration Building incorporates Greek neoclassical style and traditional Korean design elements, and is registered as a cultural heritage site.
The campus grounds are dotted with lovely cherry trees, with a multitude of them outside the equally-lovely Administration Building.
With the Administration Building or the Grand Peace Hall in the background of your cherry blossom photos, you can easily snap some very striking photos.
Kyung Hee University
Address: 26 Kyungheedae-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 동대문구 경희대로 26)
5. Yangjae Citizens’ Forest
Yangjae Citizens’ Forest is a park in the very south of Seoul, built for the 1986 Asian Games and 1988 Seoul Olympics.
But the famous cherry blossom spot here (seen in the featured image of this blog) is actually right outside the park entrance, next to the Yangjae Stream (Yangjaecheon). Along this stream, there is a long cherry tree-laden path that’s perfect for strolling and biking. The area is also hemmed in by nice mountains you can see in the distance.
Various paths you can take along the Yangjae Stream
Because this spot is a little further away from the center of the city, it’s not quite as popular as other spots for cherry blossoms on this list. But it is absolutely beautiful, which definitely makes it one of the best places to see cherry blossoms in Seoul.
Cherry blossoms in bloom near Yangjae Citizens’ Forest
There might be more cherry blossoms actually within the park, but I didn’t venture that far on my trip to the area.
The Yangjae Stream is north of the park, so make sure that if you’ve input the address of Yangjae Citizens’ Park into your map app that you’re traveling to the north end of the park. Though you can definitely arrive at the park from another direction, walk through the park, and then hit the stream path.
Yangjae Stream (Approximate)
Address: KT Yeongu Gaebal Senteo, Yangjae 1(il)-dong, Seoul (서울특별시 양재1동 KT연구개발센터)
Yangjae Citizens’ Park
Address: 236 Yangjae 2(i)-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 서초구 양재2동 236)
6. Namsan Park
Namsan Park is a park on a mountain (Namsan; literally, South Mountain) in central Seoul. Because of its location, Namsan offers wonderful panoramas of Seoul.
The mountain also features N Seoul Tower, a communication tower with an observation deck. But you don’t need to go up the tower for beautiful views of both the city and the cherry blossoms.
There are plenty of cherry trees around the park. Between the blossoms near N Seoul Tower and the views of other cherry blossoms around the city, Namsan offers particularly great scenery during cherry blossom season.
To reach the top of Namsan, you can hike up the 860 foot/262 meter-tall mountain, take a shuttle bus, or ride the cable car.
Address: 231 Samil-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 중구 삼일대로 231)