Get ready to embrace the arrival of Spring in South Korea! Every year, tons of travelers flock to South Korea in March and April for the cherry blossoms and this year’s of no exception.
To help you plan your trip better, we’ve curated a list of popular places where you can chase after an abundance of cherry blossoms all around South Korea, including some gems in the outskirts!
According to the forecast calendar released by Kweather, cherry blossoms are expected to bloom 4 days earlier this year, with the first bloom expected to be sighted in Jeju around March 21, continuing to other regions such as Busan, Daegu, Jeonju and so on.
It is forecasted that the cherry blossoms will reach Seoul at the beginning of April, slightly earlier than average. Check out our recommended list of places to visit and be sure to plan your trip well so you don’t miss out on the spring flowers!
1) Yeouido Park / Yeouiseo-ro Street [SEOUL]
If you are only visiting Seoul for the spring flowers and don’t know where to start, trust me, it will be worthwhile making a trip to Yeouido for the annual Yeongdeungpo Yeouido Spring Flower Festival (영등포 여의도 봄꽃축제).
Just imagine the full bloom of azaleas, forsythia and cherry blossoms along the Yeouiseo-ro Street (also known as Yunjungno Street) and at the Yeouido Park – it’s no doubt why this place is rated as one of the most popular viewing spots for the picturesque spring flowers.
Besides enjoying a stroll along the 1.7km-long cherry blossom road, there will also be cultural performances and street food trucks to look out for during the festival. This year, the festival is planned to kick off from 5-11 April (last year it took place from 7-12 April 2018), but do note that the dates are subject to change according to bloom forecast.
It is recommended to visit here in early to mid April, so even if your traveling dates do not coincide with the festival week, you can still catch the flowers at full bloom (or close to that). Though it can get very crowded during the festival, you can easily spend half a day here just busking in the fragrances of spring!
Getting here: 5 mins walk from National Assembly Station (Subway Line 9), Exit 1 or 6. Areas of Yeouido-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul (Behind the National Assembly Building).
For more spring destinations in Seoul itself, check out the post below:
2) Incheon Grand Park [INCHEON]
One of the most family-friendly parks in Incheon, the Incheon Grand Park (인천대공원) is a popular spot for locals and families to visit in Spring. During the spring season, many gather at the park to have a picnic together and enjoy the natural surroundings. Bicycles (solo/tandem/group) are also available for rental and it’s extremely popular amongst couples and families.
Besides bicycle trails, the park also houses a botanical garden, a children’s zoo, a Natural Ecological park and more. Visitors can enjoy a different view of cherry blossoms in the evening/night time when the park is lit up.
If you’re traveling to South Korea in late April, it’s still not too late to catch the cherry blossoms because they generally bloom later here in Incheon. Jayu Park is also another good alternative to the Incheon Grand Park.
Getting here: Alight at Songnae Station (Seoul subway Line 1), Exit 1. Take bus 103 / 16-1 / 909 and get off at Incheon Grand Park main gate’s bus stop.
For a day trip to Incheon, check out our guide below to find out where else you can visit in this city:
3) Jinhae Gunhangje [JINHAE]
Hands down this is one of South Korea’s most famous viewing spots for Cherry Blossoms in Spring! Every year, the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival takes place for 10 days from late March to early April and it is usually packed full of visitors at its two main attractions, the Yeojwacheon Stream and Gyeonghwa Station.
Despite so, it doesn’t stop people from flocking to this quaint town for the Cherry Blossoms because the scenery and flowers are that magnificent.
While you’re there, look forward to cultural performances and special cherry blossom snacks that are made only during the festival.
Make sure to snap a picture at the Romance Bridge along Yeojwacheon Stream and immerse yourself in the sea of cotton-candy pink flowers at the 800m-long railway along Gyeonghwa Station.
This year’s festival is planned to take place from 1-10 April. With over 300,000 cherry blossom trees in full bloom, you can expect nothing less than a spectacular view. Even though the traveling journey is long, it is a must-visit attraction out of Seoul if you have a day to spare!
Getting here: Take an intercity bus bound for Jinhae from Seoul Nambu Bus Terminal. From Jinhae Intercity Bus Terminal, go straight for 30m and turn right onto Jungwondong-ro Road. Walk straight for a further 350m and keep left at the fork. You will arrive at the festival venue in about 200m more. The entire journey here takes about 4-4.5 hours.
Alternatively, opt for a hassle-free journey when you book a day tour direct from Seoul which includes return transfers to and from Jinhae. Day tours from Busan are also available as Busan is located nearer to Jinhae. (Tip: It is recommended to book the tour early because they tend to sell out really fast when the dates draw closer!)
4) Namcheon-dong [BUSAN]
For those in Busan during the Spring season (in late March), get your feet to Namcheon-dong for an off the beaten path cherry blossom viewing experience.
Be surrounded by densely packed cherry blossom trees lined up along Namcheon-dong’s Samik Beach Town Apartment Complex, a viewing spot that has become popular among locals and tourists in recent years.
After making a trip there, head on over to the Gwangalli Beach which is located within walking distance away. The night view of the Gwangan Bridge is a beautiful sight to behold!
When in Busan, you can also visit the nearby Mt. Hwangnyeong Ring Road and Oncheoncheon Stream Park for more cherry blossoms!
Getting here: Alight at Geumnyeonsan Subway Station in Busan (Exit 5) and walk straight for 100m to arrive at Samik Beach Town Apartment Complex.
5) E-World [DAEGU]
If you want to skip the crowd and enjoy some laid-back time with lots of great photo opportunities of the cherry blossoms backdrop, this place is for you. E-World (이월드) is located in Daegu, and it takes less than 2 hours to travel there from Seoul via the KTX.
After admiring the cherry blossoms, hop on the rides in the theme park and don’t forget to head up to the iconic 83 Tower for a breathtaking view of Daegu. Stay on till the night time for the Starlight Cherry Blossom Festival – it’s a beautiful sight to catch when the LED lights are switched on!
E-World is known to be the filming site for a few popular K-drama scenes such as Come and Hug Me (2018) and Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (2016), and it was featured in one of the episodes for Running Man too!
The Starlight Cherry Blossom Festival is planned to take place from 29 March to 6 April this year. In its 8th edition, you’d be surprised to know that the cherry blossom trees here are three times the amount of those along Yeouido’s Yeouiseo-ro Street!
Tip #1: Walk along the trail from the parking lot leading to the entrance of 83 Tower for the best cherry blossom shower experience. There are several photo zones on the way up too! However do note that this is not the main entrance to E-World, so we’d recommend to make your way here only after you’ve entered the theme park.
Tip #2: Before heading up the 83 Tower, try locating the iconic red bus as it’s a perfect photo zone that is super postcard worthy! For the detailed directions, make sure to grab the theme park’s map when you’re there.
Getting here: Take the KTX from Seoul Station to Dong-Daegu Station. Transfer to the Daegu subway and alight at Duryu Station. Thereafter, take Exit 15 and walk to E-World (5-7 mins).
If you’re coming from Busan (which is nearer to Daegu), check out this 1-day tour which brings you around the cherry blossom sites in Daegu including E-World.
6) Hwagae Cherry Blossom Festival [HADONG]
When they say it’s a cherry blossom shower here, they truly meant it. Get ready to be blown away by the breathtaking view at the Simni Cherry Blossom Road in Hadong, a site famous for its 4km-long cherry blossom trail in the countryside.
Held annually in Hadong, the Hwagae Cherry Blossom Festival (화개장터 벚꽃축제) will sweep you off your feet with its stunning scenery featuring the mountains as the backdrop.
Interestingly, the road Simni (which means 4km) follows the myth that if a pair of lovers walk down this road hand in hand, they will grow old together and live happily ever after. What a walk to remember!
Here’s a preview of the Simni Cherry Blossom Road which was featured last year by former Wanna One members Park Ji-hoon and Park Woo-jin in K-Variety program ‘Battle Trip’ (watch from 2:08 onwards!):
The Simni Cherry Blossom Road also links Hwagae Market, one of the five biggest traditional markets in South Korea where you can find a variety of traditional souvenir and local products, and the famous Ssanggyesa Temple with over 1,300 years of history.
You can start your journey from the Hwagae Market and grab some food there before heading over to the Simni Cherry Blossom Road and Ssanggyesa Temple. It is recommended to visit here in end March to early April for the full bloom, though subject to changes according to the bloom forecast. The Hwagae Cherry Blossom Festival will however only take place from March 29 to 31 this year.
Getting here: Take an intercity bus bound for Hadong from Seoul Nambu Bus Terminal and alight at Hwagae Terminal. Cross the Hwagaegyo bridge and go straight for 100m to arrive at Hwagae Market.
7) Bomun Lake [GYEONGJU]
A city known for its historical sites, Gyeongju is where you’d want to be for a quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of Seoul. The city first welcomed its official cherry blossom festival in 2017 and it is held annually in early April where the spring flowers are at its peak.
This year, the Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Festival is slated to take place from 1-5 April around the Bomun Lake (보문호) which surrounds the Bomun Tourist Complex. The traveling time from Seoul to Gyeongju is about 4 hours, but if you do not have enough time to spend a night here, why not consider a day trip to this city where you can experience the cherry blossom festival with a lesser crowd?
The path surrounding the Bomun Lake is 8km-long and some nearby attractions include the Donggung Palace, Teddy Bear Museum, Gyeongju World Amusement Park, Silla Millennium Park and more.
One of the most scenic spots for photo opportunities would be the Bomun Pavilion (Bomunjeong), the landmark of the lake. You can also paddle around the lake on the duck boats, available for rental at the Hoban Square near the pavilion.
Getting here: Buses bound for Gyeongju depart every 20mins from the Dong Seoul Bus Terminal. When you arrive in Gyeongju, take the city bus #10 and alight at Bomun Lake. The entire journey from Seoul to Bomun Lake takes about 4.5-5 hours.
Alternatively, check out the option for a day trip to Gyeongju from Seoul here!
Tip: If you’re intending to make multiple stops in cities out of Seoul, you can save up more by getting the Korea Rail Pass (KR Pass) that allows unlimited rides on most Korail trains. Have fun exploring!