Cherry blossom season is an enchanting time in Korea. The winter chill fades away and the country re-emerges in a display of beautiful colours and scents. Cherry blossom trees, known locally as beot-kkot (벗꽃), are found all over the country. They’re a symbol of spring and represent purity and beauty.
Cherry blossoms in Korea only stay in full bloom for one or two weeks, depending on the weather. They typically appear near the end of March and carry on into early April. If you’re planning a trip to Korea, this is an excellent time to do so.
Where to See Cherry Blossoms in Korea
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There are several areas around the country where you can admire the beauty of this springtime spectacle. A lot of cities host festivals that coincide with the blossoming. They usually run for a 3 to 10-day span. These events are highly anticipated and attract locals and tourists alike.
Keep in mind that cherry blossom predictions are just that, predictions. Nature doesn’t run on any real schedule. But going off of past blossoming dates and weather forecasts, the experts project with some certainty their annual blossoming.
Changwon is South Korea’s ninth-most populated city. It’s bordered by Masan Bay and Jinhae Bay, giving it a beautiful coastal location. The marine life is abundant and aids the city in producing the largest fish market in South Korea, the Masan Fish Market.
Changwon also hosts Korea’s largest and most well-known cherry blossom festival. Every spring, the Jinhae Gunhangje Festival takes place over a span of 10-days. Over 350,000 cherry blossom trees come into bloom during this time, prompting around 2 million visitors to flock to the city.
There are some incredible photo opportunities you don’t want to miss. The sides of the railroad line by Gyeonghaw Station contains an 800-metre long cherry blossom tunnel. You can walk next to the train line and admire the breathtaking scenery up close.
Another place to visit during the cherry blossom season is Yeojwacheon Bridge. It’s also known as Romance Bridge because it was the shooting location for the 2002 Korean drama “Romance”. You can snap some stunning photos of the blossoms reflecting on the stream under the bridge.
Other activities that sweep the city during the festival include carnival stalls, military parades, and street performances.
⇒ Read more reviews about the Jinhae Gunhangje Festival on TripAdvisor
Gyeongju is a fascinating city referred to as “the museum without walls”. It’s the former capital of the Silla Kingdom, which ruled Korea from the 7th to the 9th centuries. Cultural and archaeological sites are found scattered throughout the city.
Another major draw for tourists is the annual Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Festival. It’s based along one of the city’s colourful streets. There are stalls full of traditional food and souvenirs to explore. Music, entertainment, arts and crafts are other staple features of the festival.
The cherry blossoms aren’t contained to just one street in the city. There are many places around Gyeongju where you can see rows of white and pink trees.
Bomun Lake is one of the most scenic places to photograph and enjoy the beautiful blooms. The water is outlined by cherry blossom trees and an 8km path wraps around the lake. It’s the perfect opportunity to take in the landscape.
There’s also a cherry blossom marathon that active visitors can partake in.
3. Jeju Island
The island has many special features. It contains the highest mountain in South Korea, which is the dormant volcano Hallasan. It also has Loveland, an adult theme park dedicated to sex.
However, every spring its most popular draw is the Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival. This fun event takes place at the Jeju Sports Complex and Seogwipo downtown area.
The trees are a bit different from the ones found in the rest of the country. Due to the island’s special climate, the area produces king cherry trees. These are the largest of all the cherry trees and can be found all over the island. This variety has larger petals and is more vivid in colour.
Cherry blossoms usually bloom in the last week of March on the island, and the peak of their beauty only lasts for 2 – 3 days. Canola flowers typically bloom around the same time and retain their vibrant yellow colour for even longer.
It’s probably no surprise that the capital of South Korea is a prime place to see the cherry blossoms. Seoul boasts numerous areas where you can see the trees display their annual elegant shades of pink and white.
The Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival, also known as the Yeouido Spring Flower Festival is the most well-known celebration in the city. It boasts countless colourful trees and a family-friendly atmosphere. There are plenty of attractions and activities that take place during the festival, including events, concerts, and food stalls.
The Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival is another one of the city’s most popular festivals.
It takes place in the Jamsil neighbourhood of Seoul. Over 1,000 trees line the pathway around the gorgeous Seokchon Lake.
The vision of pink and white blossoms reflecting on the water is magical; it’s easily one of the most photogenic locations to see the blossoms.
In the North of Seoul, Kyunghee University has a campus that lights up during springtime. The towering buildings are outlined by striking cherry blossoms, it makes for quite a unique sight.
⇒ Check out my posts on the best Seoul Day Trips, 8 fantastic Things to do in Incheon, 13 things to do in Myeongdong, my Seoul Itinerary 5 Days, 7 Fantastic Seoul Boutique Hotels and the best things to do in Gangnam.
If you’re looking for more of a laid-back place in the city to see the blossoms, stop by Seoul Forest. Although it’s a popular attraction, there’s lots of space for visitors to move around. Cherry blooms are found in abundance in this sprawling outdoor area, and there’s plenty of areas to wander around.
If you want to enjoy the park like the locals do, bring a blanket with you and some picnic provisions. You’ll be all set for a low-key afternoon relaxing under the shade of a cherry blossom tree.
The coastal city of Gangneung is well-known for its beaches, fresh seafood, museums, and cultural sites. It’s nicknamed ‘Coffee City’, due to its popular coffee culture that’s been booming since the early 2000s.
Each year the city hosts the annual Gyeongpo Cherry Blossom Festival. It takes place at the Gyeongpodae Pavilion. Although it’s a fairly popular affair, it’s not as crowded as some of the other cherry festivals in Korea.
This exciting time in the city is highlighted by cultural events, special performances, and food stalls. Bicycle rentals are also available on the festival grounds. This supplies fun activities and is definitely one of the best ways to see the cherry blossoms around the city.
You can use them to cruise over to Gyeongpo Lake. This is one of the most popular areas to marvel at the beauty of the blossoms. Pedal down the 4.3 km path next to the water and admire a string of romantic pink and white trees.
Daegu is located in the southeastern section of South Korea. It’s one of the country’s largest cities. The humid subtropical climate helps produce high-quality apples, which gives it the nickname, “Apple City”. This weather also helps cultivate beautiful cherry blossom trees.
There are many places around the city to see the blossoms, like Yongyeonsa Temple Cherry Blossom Street and Suseong Lake.
But for an extra unique cherry blossom experience, make sure to visit E-World. This family-friendly attraction is the second largest amusement park in Korea. Each year it hosts the Daegu E-World Cherry Blossom Festival.
Beautiful white and pink blossoms surround the park and accentuate all of the fun things to do.
The park caters to all ages and offers a range of entertainment options, like roller coasters, a carousel, and a petting zoo. It’s also home to an 83-floor observatory tower that’s considered the iconic symbol of the city.
The bustling port city of Busan has a population of over 3.6 million people, making it South Korea’s second-largest city. It’s known for its beautiful beaches, hot springs, and parks. In spring, it’s also known for the many flowering cherry blossoms in Busan.
There are plenty of places around Busan to witness this spring spectacle. Dalmaji-gil Road looks out over the bay, it has a romantic allure and is a cherry blossoms hotspot.
Oncheonchon Stream Park has a riverside row of flowers. In spring, it’s especially stunning as cherry blossoms and other bright flowers outline the walking path.
⇒ Read more reviews about Dalmaji-gil Road on Tripadvisor.
8. Hadong County
Hadong County is in the South Gyeongsang Province of South Korea. It’s a popular destination for tea-drinkers and nature enthusiasts. The beautiful mountainous landscape is the birthplace of wild tea in Korea.
The annual Hwagae Market Cherry Blossom Festival is the highlight of the spring season. It features an opening ceremony, firework shows, and lots of delicious local food. Although the Hwagae Market runs year-round, it lights up as the cherry blossoms open and takes on a fun cherry blossom theme.
One of the most popular attractions of the festival is Simni Cherry Blossom Road. This street is lined by beautiful cherry blossoms. It’s believed that if a couple walks down the 4 km road holding hands, they’ll get married and live happily ever after. For this reason, it’s also commonly known as “wedding road.”
⇒ Read more reviews about Hwagae Market on TripAdvisor.
Andong is a stunning city on the Nakdong River. It’s well-known for being a centre of culture and folk traditions and contains several open-air heritage museums that showcase the city’s past.
Andong Hahoe Folk Village is one of the most popular attractions in the historic city. The open-air complex is a UNESCO heritage site from the Joseon Dynasty. It features many traditional houses spread through the tranquil scenery.
At the start of spring, the landscape is adorned in soft white and pink cherry blossoms. It’s a striking sight to see the old buildings outlined by beautiful blooming buds.
If you’re looking for a low-key place for cherry blossom viewing, Andong is a wonderful city to visit.
⇒ Read more reviews about Andong Hahoe Folk Village on Tripadvisor.
Jeonju is a city in western South Korea. Its name means “Perfect Region”, which is very fitting giving how picturesque the scenery is.
It’s also a foodie hotspot that’s well-known for its Korean cuisine. Jeonju is the birthplace of bibimbap, which are rice bowls with vegetables and red pepper paste. While you’re eating your heart out, make sure to set aside some time for cherry blossom viewing.
This springtime event can be witnessed all over Jeonju. The city has some pretty awesome cherry blossom driving routes where you can drive through tunnels of flowers.
If you’d prefer to walk around and experience the blooms on foot, Jeonju Wansan Park is full of spring sights. Wander through paths lined with cherry blossoms, royal azalea trees, and zinnia trees. With bursts of yellow, pink, and white, it’s the perfect backdrop for any photo.
11. Jecheon general pic
Jecheon is a city in the North Chungcheong Province of South Korea. It’s known as a “healing city” due to its variety of traditional medical and herbal products. It has a classic Korean aesthetic, with clear, beautiful bodies of water, majestic mountains, and an abundance of local vegetation.
The Cheongpung Cherry Blossom Festival ushers in Jecheon’s spring season. This fun celebration is held next to the city’s peaceful Cheongpung Lake. It contains a dazzling array of beautiful blooming spring flowers, including white cherry blossoms, azalea, and forsythia.
As far as entertainment goes, there are exhibitions, performances, and contests. Food vendors are also set up. Visitors can also relax by the lake with a picnic and soak in the warm spring weather.
Gurye-gun is a small farming town in the province of Jeollanam-do. It’s a picturesque area of the country that contains one of the “100 Most Beautiful Roads in Korea,” The Seomjingang Cherry Blossom Trail.
The path follows the scenic Seomjingang River for just over three kilometres and is lined with lush cherry blossom trees. It’s a popular driving route, but it can also be enjoyed on foot. There’s even a marathon course.
The Seomjin River Cherry Blossom Festival is held near the trail. Various events take place, from traditional performances to face painting.
13. Nami Island
Nami Island, also known as Namiseom, is located in the city of Chuncheon, in the Gangwon Province of South Korea. The half-moon shaped island is pretty small, spanning only 5 kilometres. It’s full of raw beauty and is so naturally stunning it’s become a popular shooting location for Korean dramas.
During cherry blossom season, the island turns positively pink, making it rather romantic.
Bicycle rentals are available and provide a fun way to explore all of the different areas. There are plenty of cycle and walking paths for you to take.
Around every corner, you’ll find amazing photo opportunities. If you’re lucky, you might be able to capture some pictures with the resident wildlife that run freely around the island. Ostriches, peacocks, rabbits, and squirrels all inhabit Nami Island.
Gangjin is a county in the South Jeolla Province. It’s a hidden gem in terms of places to see cherry blossoms in Korea. Many of the county roads and fields are filled with gorgeous blossoms and hardly any people in sight.
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While you’re here, make sure to visit the Nammireuksa Temple. It’s surrounded by a breathtaking garden that a monk cultivated for over 35 years. In spring, it’s full of cherry blossoms and azaleas. It also contains the largest seated brass Buddha in Asia.
If you’re looking for a quaint Korean adventure, Gangjin is a must-visit.
Anyang is a city in the Gyeonggi Province of South Korea. It’s just 21 km south of Seoul, making it an easy destination to get to if you’re already planning to visit the Korean capital for cherry blossom season. You can easily travel between these two cities via the Seoul Subway Line 1 and Line 4.
The most economic way to travel South Korea by train is the Korea Rail Pass. This pass is only available to foreign travellers. The KR pass covers 600 stations and 80 different high speed routes with unlimited rides. It is available in 3 or 5 consecutive days or flexible 2 and 4 days.
The best place to see the cherry blossoms is Anyang Art Park. This vast outdoor area features forests, creeks, outdoor sculptures, and art displays. The setting is absolutely spectacular, and in spring, even more so.
There are plenty of walking paths lined with cherry blossoms. You’ll have no problem taking enough photos to stockpile your social media feeds.
Cherry Blossoms in Korea | Final Thoughts
A blanket of cherry blossoms covers Korea each year at the start of spring. The country looks like it’s straight out of a painting as vivid shades of white and pink transform the landscape. From large cities to small quaint towns, there are so many beautiful places in South Korea to witness the magic of cherry blossom season.
Keep in mind that timing is everything. So if you’re visiting for this special season, make sure to plan your trip ahead of time.
⇒ Korea is absolutely fascinating. Check out my posts on what to do for some inspiration: 8 Things to do in Gangnam, 13 things to do in Myeongdong, 8 things to do in Incheon, 7 Fantastic Seoul Boutique hotels, the best Seoul Day Trips, Where to Stay in Busan, the best things to do in Jeju Island, 15 Places to see Cherry Blossoms in Korea, 26 Beautiful Places in South Korea and the best things to do in Daegu. Then plan your trip with my Korea Itinerary, Seoul Itinerary, Jeju Itinerary, and Busan Itinerary.
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