How to see beautiful cherry blossoms in Seoul
Ah, cherry blossoms! Mesmerizing, magical and just plain gorgeous. With sweet scents and soft pastels, who wouldn’t want to see them up close? As you might already know, there are plenty of amazing places to see cherry blossoms in Asia and even though most people head to Japan to see these beauties, the cherry blossoms in Seoul are just as eye-catching. Which is why we simply can’t resist visiting Seoul during Cherry Blossom Season.
As the capital of South Korea, Seoul is easy to reach, trendy and an absolute foodies paradise. Added to that, visitors can enjoy ancient architecture nestled among modern skyscrapers. If that hasn’t sparked some interest…how about hiking up one of the many mountains surrounding the city for scenic views? Or shopping to your heart’s content in Myeongdong? Or even giving Noraebang (노래방) a try! Whichever you choose, chances are you will fall in love with this city. Whether it’s Cherry Blossom Season or not.
In this guide, we highlight essential planning tips and tricks for the perfect trip to see cherry blossoms in Seoul – from booking your flight and visa information to where to stay and where to find the very best cherry blossoms spots in the city. If you’re visiting the city soon, my 4 days in Seoul itinerary will also come in handy.
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Booking your flight
Searching for flights can often be painstakingly annoying, especially if you are looking for comfort and pocket-friendly options. Luckily, Seoul is one of Asia’s most popular destinations. Which makes booking the right flight to fit your budget, super easy.
Better value, but at a premium price
Not a fan of crammed leg-space? Then consider flying with one of these airlines:
- Korean Air South Korea’s largest carrier and the country’s flagship airline. The airline offers flights to 43 different countries and 123 cities.
Baggage Allowance: 20 kg check-in baggage (free)
- Cathay Pacific offers services to over 140 worldwide destinations.
Baggage Allowance: 30 kg check-in baggage (free) on most flights.
If you are flying from a major hub within Asia, like Tokyo, Taipei or Hong Kong, you are in luck. There are loads of pocket-friendly airlines to cherry pick from. Here are our top choices:
- Jeju Air is South Korea’s first low-cost airline. It offers flights between several cities in South Korea, as well as between Seoul and a few destinations in Asia.
Baggage Allowance: 15-20 kg check-in baggage (free) depending
- Eastar Jet offers low-cost flights within South Korea and 14 destinations, in 8 countries.
Baggage Allowance: 15 kg check-in baggage (free) with options to top up before your flight.
Travel tip: Always check baggage allowances and the Ts & Cs for adding extra luggage when booking budget flights. Most low-cost airlines allow you to make changes to your booking online up to 4 hours of your departure. So, if you really do need to add more luggage, try to do so before your departure.
There are two major airports in Seoul, Incheon International and Gimpo International Airport.
Incheon International Airport
Incheon Airport is Seoul’s main international gateway and it is highly likely that you will arrive here. The airport is roughly an hour outside the city, so be sure to work in the extra traveling time into your itinerary. Getting to Seoul from Incheon Airport however, couldn’t be easier. The airport has an impressive transportation system, which easily links travelers to major spots within the city.
The easiest way to get to the city centre is to take the airport bus. The bus ride is about an hour long, depending on where you are going. But after a long flight, it’s an easy way to get to your destination.
There are however a few other ways to get to the city, too. Like for instance, taking the AREX Express train which will get you to the city center in less than 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can consider grabbing a cab at the taxi pickup area or even getting a private transfer.
Gimpo International Airport
Gimpo Airport lies 18km west of Seoul’s city centre. It mainly caters for domestic flights and a few international ones. If you do arrive here, getting to the city centre is pretty trouble-free, too.
Travel tip: This probably goes without saying…but remember to double check the arrival airport & terminal on your airplane ticket.
Most countries do not need a visa to enter South Korea, 117 to be exact. How great is that? Visitors from the USA, nearly all Western & Asian countries and South Africa can enter South Korea on 30-90 day permits depending on their nationality. Canadians on the other hand, can enter South Korea on a tourist visa for up to 180 days.
To check your country’s visa requirements, visit the South Korea Tourism Organization.
South Korea has a number of cellphone providers and staying connected is relatively easy – especially when you consider how much free WiFi is available in city centers. Call us old school or even over planners, but we like to have full internet access 24/7. Personally, I can’t think of anything worse than being lost or having to make an emergency call without the means to do so. For this reason, we strongly suggest buying a sim card, renting a mobile phone or even a portable WiFi router upon arrival.
Passengers arriving at Incheon International Airport can head to one of the Korea Telecom Centres on the first floor near exit 6 and 10. Whereas Gimpo International Airport passengers may head to the first floor and look out for the KT, T or U+ Roaming signs.
Finding the right accommodation
Seoul has a plethora of options when it comes to accommodation. Whether you fancy splurging at a luxury five-star hotel or looking for budget-friendly options, there are plenty of choices. Budget travelers can find the perfect pocket-friendly fit at either backpackers, hostels, budget hotels, Airbnb’s or even traditional hanoks (which is basically a guesthouse). Check out this comprehensive guide on where to stay in Seoul for more inspiration!
Like most tourists however, we like to stay right in the middle of the hustle and bustle. Not only does it make getting around easier, but you’ll also get to experience the city’s vibe. If that sounds like you, we highly recommend finding accommodation in one of these areas:
Myeongdong: If you love shopping as much as we do, try finding accommodation here. Myeongdong is centrally located and also offers easy access to many markets and Namsan Tower.
Jongno-gu: This is the best place to base yourself if you want to explore the city on foot, as most major tourist spots are close to here.
Itaewon: This area is great for dining and nightlife, but keep in mind that you might be spending more time on transport as most of the main tourist attractions arent nearby.
Gangnam: This area is best for high-end brand lovers and luxury hotel seekers.
Western Seoul: There
Best Places to see Cherry Blossoms in Seoul
Usually, the beginning of April marks the start of Cherry Blossom Season in Seoul. For roughly two weeks, the city turns into a wonderland bursting with pink and white flowers. Sadly, the cherry blossom window is quite small, so thoroughly planning your trip is vital.
If you are specifically visiting to see the cherry blossoms in Seoul, we highly recommend keeping an eye on South Korea’s Tourism Organization for the cherry blossom forecasts.
To catch the best cherry blossoms in Seoul, head on over to these top spots..
Yeouiseo-ro Road is just a stone’s throw from the National Assembly Building and is one of the most popular spots for viewing cherry blossoms in Seoul. Here you can walk along the 1.7km ‘snow-white tunnel’ which is lined with 1,800 cherry blossom trees.
Address: Areas of Yeouido-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul.
(서울시 영등포구 여의도동 일대(국회의사당 뒷편)
Namsan Park offers spring enthusiasts a beautiful scenic route. Stroll along Namsan Park Road which connects Namsan Library, Namsan Octagonal Pavilion and the National Theater of Korea. Then make your way up (easily walked) Namsan Mountain to reach the Octagonal Pavilion for gorgeous city views.
Address: 109, Sowol-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul.
(서울시 용산구 소월로 109)
This major royal palace has it all! It’s the perfect spot to see cherry blossoms in Seoul – especially if you are a shutterbug or ancient architecture fanatic. Wander the grounds taking in the assortment of blossoms, before making your way to the Okcheongyo Bridge.
Address: 185, Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul.
(서울시 종로구 창경궁로 185)
Head over to Songpanaru Park for a peaceful stroll. Roughly 1,000 cherry blossoms trees line the lake offering visitors mesmerizing views. The park surrounds Lotte World, so it is quite easy to find. If you are looking to add some adventure to your travels, head to the amusement park for some fun rides.
Address: Areas of Jamsil-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul.
(서울시 송파구 잠실동 일대)
If you are curious to learn more about what South Korea has on offer, or need a bit more help planning your itinerary, check out this 9 day South Korea itinerary for awesome tips and ideas. Instagrammers and photographers, on the other hand, shouldn’t miss stopping by Gamcheon Culture Village when in Busan.
Have you seen the cherry blossoms in Seoul, yet? And what spots or tips do you have to see cherry blossoms in Seoul? We’d love to add to this list, so feel free to drop your comments below.
I hope these tips to see cherry blossoms in Seoul will help you plan the perfect trip here during spring!
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All that’s left now is to pack!
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