Like the rest of Korea, Seoul has four distinct seasons, which means the landscape changes considerably throughout the year. This unique climate is deeply embedded within Korea’s cultural fabric.
Spring in Seoul begins in March when the entire city comes to life with flowers filling parks and lining the streets. Many Seoulites enjoy strolling around Yeouido or other green spaces throughout the city that are filled with an astonishing display of cherry blossoms, forsythias, azaleas, and magnolias. This is the season when the temperature drops sharply after nightfall. Those planning to visit Seoul at this time must remember to pack suitable clothing. We recommend you pack a pair of sunglasses and a mask to keep you safe from what we call ‘Yellow Dust Storms’ that occur in the spring. The air can be extremely dry, so take extra care if you have sensitive skin or allergies.
Seoul’s long, hot, and humid summer is often interrupted by sporadic monsoon rains in June and July. You might find that Seoul is somewhat quiet during this period because many Koreans go on vacation. People love to gather around the water fountain in front of Gwanghwamun Square or under the many bridges along the Hangang (Han River). Banpodaegyo (Bridge) is a popular spot that offers a fantastic view of the city both day and night.
Seoul’s pleasant fall season lasts from September to November. Seoul is filled with bright fall colors at this time of year. Fall is known as the harvest season, which Korean People celebrate by paying tribute to ancestral deities and spirits. The Seoul Street Art Festival (Hi Seoul Festival), one of Seoul’s major festivals, is held during this period. during the festival, Changgyeonggung Palace and Gyeongbokgung Palace are open to the public in the evenings. There is also the Seoul Lantern Festival along the Cheonggyecheon Stream that lights up the water at night during the fall season.
Due to strong winds and icy air that comes down from the North, winter is very cold in Seoul. The days become shorter, and Seoulites begin to wrap up in layers of padded coats and thick scarves. Winter is a great time to explore the Christmas decorations in Myeongdong and try some warm street food while you are there.