20 Gorgeous Spots For Cherry Blossoms In Seoul & Other Parts Of Korea, Plus Best Time To Visit

Where to see cherry blossoms in South Korea

Hanami season in Japan is just about to begin, but did you know you could see the beautiful pink blooms in South Korea too? Tie this in with cheap flights to Korea, and you’ll be all set for some major travel duping. The season this 2024 is upon us, but it’s still not too late as the sakura hit full bloom in April. If you’re thinking of heading to the ROK, here are the best spots for cherry blossoms in South Korea.

When can cherry blossoms be seen in South Korea?

Samsunghyeol in Jeju-do
Image credit: @haneol_pics via Instagram

With Jeju-do being the southernmost shore of Korea, longitudinally on par with Fukuoka in Japan, they share similar cherry blossom blooming seasons – these are the earliest blooms, beginning around the 3rd week of March each year.

The farther north you progress, the later the start of cherry blossom season, following the change of the seasons. By the time the flowers bloom in the northern reaches of the South Korean Peninsula, it’ll be something like mid- to late April. The period of full bloom is about a week to 10 days, tapering off for another 2-3 weeks after.

How long the blooms last is weather-dependent – if uncharacteristic stormy or windy conditions hit, the blooms will be gone before you know it. Other than that, expect temperatures ranging from the single digits (8°C) to 18°C in April, and highs of 23°C come May.

– Seoul (Mid-April) –

1.Yeouido Hangang Park

>1,500 trees in bloom along the Han River

Image credit: @krenhng via Instagram

Crossing Seoul from north to south is the Hangang River, or Han River. By the river, you’ll find Yeouido Hangang Park, home to one of the most popular cherry blossom festivals in the capital city.

There are more than 1,500 cherry blossom trees lining the river, in addition to almost 90,000 other blooms including azaleas, forsythias, and spireas turning the park into a rainbow of colour. The roads in the area are closed to vehicles, so you’ll find street vendors, portrait artists and the like. Rent a bike and picnic mat so you can chope the spot of your choice to enjoy the festival’s musical performances too.

Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival 2024
Dates: 29th March to 2nd April 2024
Opening hours: 9am-10pm, Daily
Getting there: Take Subway Line No. 9 to National Assembly Station, exit via Exit 6, and make a right at Yeouiseo-ro.

Address: Yeouiseo-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Contact: Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival website

2. Seokchon Lake

Next to Lotte Mall, with night illumination & photo spots

Image credit: @seoulcity via Instagram

Double up on your visit to Lotte World Magic Island or Lotte World Tower Seoul Sky Observatory and visit Seokchon Lake for one of the biggest cherry blossom festivals around town.

This year’s edition of the festival, which runs from 27th-31st March, will see art exhibitions as well as workshops, plus photo zones so you can grab all the IG-worthy shots you want. Look forward to performances, food trucks, and night illuminations that will run around the entire lake for an entirely different view.

Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival 2024
Dates: 27th-31st March 2024
Opening hours: TBC
Getting there: Take Subway Line No. 2 or 8 to Jamsil Station, exit via Exit 1, and walk through the mall to the lake.

Address: 잠실6동 Songpa-gu, Seoul
Contact: Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival website

3. Gyeongbokgung Palace

Historic palace with hanbok dress-up opps

Image credit: @himood.hyein_s via Instagram

Travel hack: rent a hanbok and wear it into Gyeongbokgung Palace for free admission. The main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty was built in 1395, and at its peak held 7,700 rooms. You’re free to stroll through the palace grounds as you wish to hunt down the best photo spots with the cherry blossom trees.

Book a Gyeongbokgung Palace ticket.

Address: 161 Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Opening hours: Wed-Mon 10am-6pm from Mar-May (Closed on Tuesdays)
Contact: Gyeongbokgung Palace website

4. Seoul National Cemetery

Weeping cherry blossoms

Image credit: @seoulcity via Instagram

Off the beaten path is Seoul National Cemetery, which all things considered may seem like a morbid place to be visiting for cherry blossoms – it holds the resting places of those who fought for Korea’s independence, former presidents, and those who died in the Korean War. Perhaps thanks to this fact, the cemetery is a lesser-known cherry blossom viewing location.

The solemn vibe of the cemetery is paired with weeping cherry trees, along with 73 species of trees, 43 types of shrubs, and wildflowers such as peonies, day lilies, and bellflowers.

Address: 210, Hyeonchung-ro, Dongjak-gu, Seoul
Opening hours: 6am-6pm, Daily
Contact: Seoul National Cemetery website

5. Kyung Hee University

Little-known spot with neoclassical architecture

Image credit: @kto_malaysia via Instagram

You’d be forgiven for thinking Kyung Hee University isn’t in Seoul, with its Gothic-style buildings that look more like they’ve been plucked from a European townscape. They’re one of the top three private universities in Korea, and come spring, the campus blooms with soft pink cherry blossoms.

Take the left path at the main entrance of the university, as this route is said to show you more beautiful buildings.

Address: 26 Kyungheedae-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul
Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily

6. Changdeokgung Palace & Secret Garden

UNESCO heritage palace with the most cherry blossoms & less crowd

Image credit: @seoulcity via Instagram

While Gyeongbokgung Palace has been ravaged and repaired over the years, Changdeokgung Palace is one of the most well-preserved of the royal palaces in Seoul, and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

It was specially designed to harmonise with the natural landscape around the site, with the palace’s Secret Garden being one of the highlights here. Besides cherry blossoms, you’ll also find plum blossoms in this palace, with their larger flowers and  more vibrant colours.

P.S.: Only 100 people are allowed into the Secret Garden in each session; there are 50 tickets available online, and 50 sold on-site per time slot. Admission into the Secret Garden is exclusive of the free entry to Changdeokgung Palace if you’re wearing a hanbok.

Book a Changdeokgung Palace tour.

Address: 99 Yulgok-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Opening hours: 
Palace Building: Tue-Sun 9am-6pm from Feb-May (Closed on Mondays)
Secret Garden: Tue-Sun 10am-5.30pm from Mar-Jun (Closed on Mondays)
Contact: Changdeokgung Palace website

7. Gyeongui Line Forest Park

Vibey area near Hongdae with old railway track

Image credit: @jingoo_photo via Instagram

One spot in Seoul for cherry blossom hunters that you might not see on many guides is Gyeongui Line Forest Park, which runs along an old train line from Hongdae to Gongdeok. Fun fact about the old tracks: they were built in 1905 by the Japanese, and used to connect Seoul all the way to North Korea; if you walk the entire park, you’ll reach Munbae-dong in Yongsan.

The section you’ll want to focus on is the Yeonnam-dong stretch, which is lined with restaurants, cafes, bars, and convenience stores. You’ll find a small stream, pebble paths, and ‘gram-worthy picnic spots so you can dapao some nosh for brunch under the cherry blossom trees.

Address: 133 Donggyo-ro 51-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily

– Busan (Start of April) –

8. Oncheoncheon Stream

Cherry blossoms with a cafe street

Image credit: @starry_night_busan.en via Instagram

If you find yourself in Busan around the end of March and the beginning of April, Oncheoncheon Stream is a great place to begin your cherry blossom viewing. By day, you can head to one of the cafes along the Oncheoncheon cafe street, or take a slow walk down the entire 3km stretch of the stream. Juxtaposed against the pink-and-white are the other flowers heralding the onset of spring too – daffodils, canola flowers, and roses. The grassy banks of the stream make great picnic spots as well.

Even if you miss the daylight hours, the park is well-lit when dusk falls, making for an ethereal experience, especially with the reflections of the flowering trees on the surface of the stream.

Address: Allak-dong, Dongnae-gu, Busan
Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily

9. Namcheon-dong Cherry Blossom Street

Well-known street in residential area

Image credit: @sha7. via Instagram

In spite of running through a residential area, the Namcheon-dong Cherry Blossom Road is a super popular tourist spot in Busan when the cherry blossoms start to bloom. Adding to the appeal of this area is its proximity to Gwangalli Beach, with the densely packed trees creating a tunnel of pink foliage. Come at night, and you might get treated to night views of Gwangan Bridge too.

Address: 남천제2동, Suyeong-gu, Busan
Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily

10. Samnak & Daegeo Ecological Park

12km-long cherry blossom tunnel

Image credit: @tarmans_ via Instagram

This year’s Nakdong River Yuchae Flower Festival, or Canola Flower Festival, may have been cancelled due to climate change affecting the blooms, but you can still visit Samnak Ecological Park or Daegeo Ecological Park for cherry blossoms. Each of these parks runs alongside the Nakdonggang River, forming a 12km-long cherry blossom tunnel on either bank. Rent a bike if you like for all the feels of cycling through a cherry blossom tunnel with the wind in your hair.

At point of writing, it’s not clear if the Samnak Ecological Park Cherry Blossom Festival 2024 will take place, but you can head to Daegeo Ecological Park to enjoy cultural workshops, light shows, performances and a whole market of food and shopping.

Gangseo Nakdong River 30-ri Cherry Blossom Festival 2024
Dates: 29th-31st March 2024
Opening hours: 11am-8.30pm, Daily
Contact: Gangseo Nakdong River 30-ri Cherry Blossom Festival 2024 website
Getting there: Take Subway Line No.3 to Gangseo-gu Office Station, and exit via Exit 1 or 3.

Address: 1246 Gonghang-ro, Gangseo-gu, Busan

11. Haeundae Dalmaji-gil Road

Lined with restaurants & cafes, especially gorgeous in the evening

Image credit: @wooseup via Instagram

Haeundae Dalmaji-gil Road is widely known as Busan’s most beautiful road for both drivers and pedestrians alike. The 8km-long stretch runs along the coast, with views over the Sea of Japan. In fine weather, you might even glimpse the Japanese island of Tsushima on the horizon. The same path takes you to the peak of Dalmaji Hill, where you’ll find Haewoljeong Pavilion and views of Cheongsa Port.

Lined with both cherry blossom and pine trees, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants where you can kick back to enjoy the sea breeze, gorgeous views, and blooms. Head to the pavilion in the evening, and you’ll get to witness the “moonrise at Dalmaji Road”, which is said to be one of Korea’s 8 magnificent sights.

Address: Dalmaji-gil, Haeundae-gu, Busan

12. Hwangnyeongsan

Cherry blossoms to the top of a famous Busan mountain, with city views

Image credit: @busan_cvb via Instagram

Another famous sight to check off your list in Busan is Hwangnyeongsan Mountain, which also happens to house a great number of cherry blossom trees along the road to its summit. You’ll catch two birds with this one trek: a windy path lined with the beautiful trees, and at the end of it, a panoramic view of Busan City. Time it well, and wait for the city’s lights to come on when night falls.

Address: 391-39, Hwangnyeongsan-ro, Nam-gu, Busan
Opening hours: 10am-11pm, Daily

– Jeju Island (End March) –

13. Yerae Ecological Park

Picnic under cherry blossoms, by the Daewangsucheon stream

Image credit: @visitjeju.en via Instagram

The small public park of Yerae Ecological Park is tucked in a valley known as Jungmun in Jeju. Slightly off the beaten path, it’s a great day trip to picnic under the cherry blossom trees here, with a little stream called Daewangsucheon, which runs through the region. There’s a wooden bridge that cuts through the park, too.

Besides admiring the cherry blossoms, you can take the opportunity to learn more about the local flora and fauna at the Yerae Eco Centre. While you’re here, pop over to Seogwipo Yerae Ecological Village – the villagers keep to traditional ways of living to preserve the old customs, as well as the natural environment.

Address: 82, Yerae-ro, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily
Contact: Yerae Eco Park website

14. Samseonghyeol Shrine

Birthplace of the demigods of Jeju Island

Image credit: @by._.2s via Instagram

Believed to be the birthplace of Go, Yang and Bu, the 3 mythical demigods that founded Jeju-do, is the sacred Samseonghyeol. There are 3 holes from which these demigods emerged, said to never fill with water, regardless of the weather, with the surrounding trees all growing towards them – adding to the mysticism of this historic location.

Image credit: @snapgrapher_jeju_live

If you’re one for the lore and relics from the past, you’ll find Joseon-era shrines here too – the colours of the buildings creating the perfect backdrop for the pastel blooms of cherry blossom trees.

Address: 22, Samseong-ro, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
Opening hours: 9am-6pm, Daily
Contact: Samseonghyeol website

15. Jeonnong-ro

Bigger King Cherry Blossoms & cherry blossom festival

Image credit: @kto_malaysia via Instagram

Put Jeonnong-ro on your list of places to check out in Jeju for cherry blossoms: they’re known for the King Cherry trees you’ll see here, each approximately 100 years old. More than that, their blooms are comparatively bigger than the usual blossoms on other cherry blossom varietals.

Besides the restaurants and cafes that dot the street, this is also one of the locations where the annual Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival is held – look forward to stage performances, cultural experience workshops and lots of F&B stalls too.

Address: 528-17 Samdoil-dong, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily

16. Jeju University

One of Jeju Island’s most famous cherry blossom spots

Yet another educational institution to visit for cherry blossoms is the entrance to Jeju University – this is also one of the locations that the Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival is held at. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a student to walk this passageway. One of Jeju’s most famous cherry blossom viewing spots, you’ll feel like you’re walking in a K-drama amidst the falling pink petals.

Address: 102 Jejudaehak-ro, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9am-6pm (Closed on Saturdays & Sundays)

17. Noksan-ro

Cherry blossoms & canola flowers along one of Korea’s most beautiful roads

Image credit: @kto_malaysia via Instagram

If you still haven’t tired of cherry blossoms, you’ll get a 2-in-1 shot at Noksan-ro, famous for its fields of canola flowers. This road has made it to the top 100 most beautiful roads in Korea, and it’s no wonder why.

Image credit: @visitjeju.en via Instagram

Right by the road leading to Seogwipo Gasiri Village are the shorter canola bushes, followed by a veritable wall of blooming pink cherry blossoms. Do note that you’ll have to park along the road, as there aren’t any carparks nearby.

Address: 20 Gasi-ro 565beon-gil, Pyoseon-myeon, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily

– Other parts of South Korea –

18. Nami Island (Start of April)

Rail bike ride under the cherry blossoms

Image credit: @namiisland_naminara via Instagram

ICYMI, Nami Island was where hit K-drama Winter Sonata was filmed. Its 2002 release was the beginning of the Hallyu wave which swept through the rest of Asia, and catapulted Nami Island to the tops of everyone’s must-go list.

The island getaway is just a 30-minute drive from Seoul, and is gorgeous all year round – especially in autumn, winter, and spring, when the cherry blossom trees bloom. It’s an easy day trip from the capital city, with lots to see and do, including a rail bike track. You can even take a 940m-long zipline onto the island, if not the ferry.

Book a Nami Island shuttle bus from Seoul.

Address: 1 Namiseom-gil, Namsan-myeon, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do
Opening hours: 8am-9pm, Daily
Contact: Nami Island website

Getting there: 
Take the ITX train from Yongsan or Cheongnyangni Stations in Seoul to Gapyeong Station, then take the Gapyeong tourist bus or city bus to Nami Island.
Alternatively, walk to Gapyeong Wharf to take the boat (KRW13,000, ~S$13) across to the island – this price includes the entrance fee to the island.
Book your zipline ticket online (KRW49,000, ~S$49), which is inclusive of entry to the island, as well as the return boat ride.

19. Jinhae (End March & start of April)

Home of South Korea’s biggest cherry blossom festival

Image credit: @hi_hands via Instagram

Jinhae-gu is a district in Changwon City, approximately 4.5 hours by bus from Seoul. They’re home to South Korea’s single biggest and most popular cherry blossom festival, with an estimated 340,000 cherry blossom trees, attracting on average 1 million tourists each year just for the festival.

Gyeonghwa Station – said to be the best viewing spot in Jinhae.
Image credit: @hi_hands via Instagram

The city is famous for the abundance of Yoshino cherry blossoms that grow here, said to be planted by the Japanese during the days of the Occupation. They’re also purported to have the highest concentration of cherry blossom trees in the world – the annual festival usually takes place at the end of March, and is a massive event.

Yeojwacheon Stream – featured in Romance drama.
Image credit: @hi_hands via Instagram

Check out their website for suggested cherry blossom routes to take in the city, including hidden spots. This year’s line-up of events include cosplay and fashion shows, a food market, an air show, and even fireworks and night illuminations.

Some of the top cherry blossom views in Jinhae include the Yeojwacheon Stream, Gyeonghwa Station, and Jehwangsan Park.

Book a Jinhae cherry blossom day tour from Seoul or Busan.

Jinhae Gunhangje Cherry Blossom Festival 2024
Dates: 23rd March to 1st April 2024
Contact: Jinhae Gunhangje Cherry Blossom Festival website
Getting there: Take the Intercity Bus from Seoul Nambu Bus Terminal (KRW52,00, ~S$52 round trip) which takes approximately 4.5 hours, or 1 hour from Busan Seoubu Bus Terminal (KRW32,000, ~S$32).

20. Gyeongpodae Lake

4.3km stretch of cherry blossoms around a lake, with Gyeongpodae Pavilion

Image credit: @gangneunggram via Instagram

Visit Gyeongpodae Lake, and you absolutely must drop by Gyeongpodae Pavilion, known as the 6th regional tangible cultural treasure of Korea, and one of 8 scenic views on the east coast of Gangwon-do. The historic pavilion was built in the Goryeo period and later transported to the lake in the Joseon era – the cherry blossoms that grow around the lake are set against this beautiful building.

Located just 3.5 hours from Seoul, Gyeongpodae Lake and beach can be visited on the way to Sokcho and Mount Seorak.

Address: 365 Gyeongpo-ro, Gangneung, Gangwon-do
Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily
Contact: Gyeongpodae Pavilion website
Getting there: Take the KTX from Seoul Station to Gangnueng Station, then take bus 202 to Gyeongpodae Pavilion.

These are the best spots in South Korea for cherry blossoms

Even if you don’t want to travel for cherry blossoms, you can head to our very own Gardens by the Bay Sakura Festival 2024 to see these gorgeous blooms. But if you do want to see the real deal, dust off those jackets, pack those bags, and book yourself some tickets to Korea before you miss this year’s blooms.

For more South Korea travel ideas:

Cover image adapted from: @kto_malaysia, @visitjeju.en, @sha7. via Instagram

Michelle P

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