Best Time to Visit - 12 min read

Best Time to Visit Seoul (Cultural Festivities & Local Traditions)

Shaldon Roberts-Lemus

Shaldon Roberts-Lemus, Updated November 13, 2022

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Year after year South Korea has grown more popular, both in pop culture and as a vacation destination. Rightfully so, as South Korea and its capital, Seoul, is rich with art, beautiful scenery, hip cafes, and delicious food.

The best time to visit Seoul is between October and December. During this time the weather is not too hot and not too cold. On average the highs are around 79°F(26°C) and the lows are around 40°F(4°C). This makes it perfect for walking around the city, events, and for attending special festivals during the fall season.

While there is always something to do in Seoul, each season and month offers something unique. It’s important to plan ahead so you can make the most out of a trip to this wonderful city. Let us help you figure out the best time for you.

Worst Time to Visit Seoul

June is a time you will want to avoid when taking your trip to Seoul for a variety of reasons. June is during the middle of monsoon season, so you can expect a lot of unpredictable rain, humidity, and heat.

While there are still plenty of things to do indoors, the rain definitely puts a damper on a lot of the city’s activities.

Plus, monsoon season happens to align with a lot of people’s summer breaks, meaning that this is also one of the most crowded times of the year. These things paired together means that you can expect crowded interiors and long lines.

Lastly, because this season aligns with a lot of people’s breaks, it is also a more expensive time to visit. On average flights have an increase of 28% compared to other seasons.

Cheapest time to Visit Seoul

If you’re looking to save the most on your trip to Seoul, then Fall is the time to go. Because most of fall is considered an “off season” for tourism, you’re more likely to find good rates.

On average flights have a dip in price of over 30% when compared to the high season of tourism. Plus, with fewer people, you won’t have to compete for deals during events or at stores. Fall is also an active time for events and outdoor activities, many of which are free.

There’s plenty of beautiful scenery to walk around and look at for no cost. The only time you might run into issues is during Chuseok, but if you participate in the holiday, then you have nothing to worry about.

Best Month to Visit Seoul: Monthly Breakdown

The best month to visit Seoul will depend on what you’re looking for, but as a good place to start, November has a lot to offer.

November is a nice time to visit Seoul because the weather is some of the most pleasant. It’s also great to see the city painted in fall colors. Plus smaller crowds and plenty of activities makes it an ideal time to visit.

However, if you want to see the famous cherry blossoms, then April is a good time. For water fun, try June. If you’re a big skier, then visiting in January is best. Truly, Seoul has something for every month.

Related Read: Best Time to Visit South Korea

January: Eat Naengmyeon Noodles

On average, January is the coldest month out of the year with temperatures staying below 36°F(2°C), but there is still plenty to do. Luckily this time of year, on average, sees less than an inch of precipitation, so you won’t have to be wet and cold.

You’ll want to make sure to bundle up well if you’re visiting in January. However, as long as you’re bundled, the cold weather does open up a lot of winter activities to participate in.

This is especially true as even in winter, Seoul gets almost as much sunshine as the sunniest months. Here are just some of the great things you can do in Seoul, in the month of January.

  • Participate in Lunar New Year Festivities
  • Go ice skating at one of the many ice skating parks
  • Go skiing on one of the nearby mountains
  • Eat Naengmyeon Noodles, a traditional cold noodle dish for the winter

February: Visit Gwangjang Market

February is another cold month, with temperatures averaging between 25°F(-3°C) and 41°F(5°C), so make sure to plan accordingly for your trip. However, just like January, February is another dry month, so you’ll still have plenty of opportunity to enjoy yourself outside.

February sees an average of 6 hours of sunlight a day, only an hour less than the yearly high average. With this much sunlight, you’ll be able to enjoy the city and surrounding areas comfortably.

Plus, Seoul is awake even at night, so you don’t have to end the fun when the sun goes down. There’s tons to do in February, but these are some of the best activities to enjoy.

  • Visit the city’s temples and palaces to see them covered in a blanket of snow
  • Eat some warm roasted chestnuts as you explore the city
  • Visit the Gwangjang Market for delicious and warm street food
  • Grab some seasonal sweet potatoes to warm you up on the go

March: Seoul Marathon

In March, you start seeing things warm up a little with highs of 51°F(10°C) and occasional chills with lows of 33°F(0.5°C). 

While you may still need to bundle up sometimes in March, the month brings a whole new slew of activities to enjoy. Plus with an average 5% drop in flight prices for the month, this is a great time to visit Seoul.

Although the weather steadily improves this month, it is still a relatively slow time for tourists. Plus, as is to be expected with spring, new plants begin to bloom, making March a great time to view the cherry blossoms. Here are just a few things you can enjoy this month.

  • Run in the Seoul Marathon
  • Eat some fresh seasonal king crab
  • Visit the Bamdokkaebi Night Market that opens in March
  • View the blooming cherry blossoms

Related Read: Best Time to Visit Tokyo

April: Cherry Blossom Season

Spring is in full bloom, with average highs of 64°F(17°C) and lows of 44°F(6°C), making it perfect for brisk outdoor activities. Plus with the rainy season yet to start, April has some of the best weather of the year.

Another great aspect of April is that it receives the maximum hours of sunlight per day on average. You’ll be spending plenty of time enjoying the city and taking hikes this month. Here are just some of the fun activities waiting for you.

  • Visit nearby Namasan for and easy spring hike
  • Attend Hiphopplaya Festival, the biggest hip hop festival of the year
  • Enjoy some of the many cherry blossom flavored snacks
  • Visit Yeouido Park for the spring flower festival

May: Buddha’s Birthday

May falls right in the middle of spring and brings some of the best weather to be outside in, with highs of 74°F(23°C) and lows of 55°F(13°C). With tons of daylight hours, May is perfect for enjoying the multitude of activities the city has to offer this month.

May is still not the peak of tourist season, however, with one of the most popular holiday’s taking place this month, it is a little busier. On the flip side, with such a popular holiday happening this month, why not join in on the festivities. Here are a few things to do in Seoul this month.

  • Enjoy the festivities and lotus lantern lit city for the Buddha’s birthday
  • Go paragliding at one of the many sites available
  • Participate in the beautiful Seoul Rose Festival
  • Visit Jjukkumi Alley for some mini octopus while they’re in season

June: Live Music and Events

June marks the end of spring and with it, the city starts to heat up a little more with highs of 81°F and lows of 64°F. June starts to see a little more rain, but it shouldn’t interfere with the events offered around the city and surrounding areas.

June is still a great time to visit nearby mountains and be outdoors, but one of the best aspects of this season is all the events and activities. You’ll have plenty of options for live music or, if you’re willing to take a short trip out of the city, beach fun and theme parks. Here’s some of what is available to you in June.

  • Attend the Seoul Drum Festival to see for world class musicians
  • Take a day trip to Yeongildae Beach in Pohang City for a fireworks festival
  • Attend Seoul World DJ Festival for captivating EDM
  • Visit Myeongdong Street Food Alley for some innovative street food

Related Read: Best Time to Visit China

July: Visit Sokcho Beach

Summer officially starts in July and it brings some of the hottest weather of the year with highs of 84°F(29°C) and lows of 71°F(22°C). Depending on where you live, the summers in Seoul may not seem very intense at all.

The main thing to look out for during July is that it is the beginning of monsoon season. Expect a lot of rain.

Despite this, July is also one of the most popular tourist seasons, so expect a lot of people too. Even with these caveats, Seoul still has plenty to offer in July. These are just a few examples.

  • Cool off by participating in the Sinchon Water Gun Festival
  • Take a day trip to Sokcho Beach for a pine lined, white sand getaway
  • Visit the hip Common Ground Shopping Mall, built out of shipping containers
  • Save during the Seoul Summer Sale all across the city

August: Museums and Indoor Activities

August is the height of summer and you will experience some of the hottest weather with highs of 86°F(30°C) and lows of 72°F(22°C). While August is still in monsoon season, it gets a few less inches of rain on average than July, so you might have more opportunities outdoors.

August is still during tourism season, but there is still plenty to do. If you’re looking to beat the heat, check out what the city has to offer indoors. Here are a few options for indoor and outdoor fun.

  • Eat Patbingsu, a refreshing dessert offered at many restaurants
  • Visit Han River for some aquatic fun
  • Attend the Seoul International Film Festival for debuting and award winning films
  • Visit Coex Mall and the magnificent Starfield Library within it
  • See incredible and historic exhibits at the National Museum of Korea

September: Mid-Autumn Harvest Festival

With the start of fall in September, the temperatures begin to drop again with highs of 79°F(26°C) and lows of 62°F(17°C). Along with a drop in temperature, September also sees a drastic fall in precipitation too. Expect a few rainy days, but plenty of hours in the sun too.

September sees a slow down in tourist activities. This is great for visitors, as this month offers a few exclusive activities and festivities to enjoy. Here are just a few you can expect.

  • Enjoy the festivities for the 3 day mid-Autumn harvest festival, Chuseok
  • View some incredible art at Frieze Seoul, a new art festival
  • Walk through Ichon Hangang Park to see cosmos blooming
  • Eat some seasonal pine mushrooms before they’re gone

Related Read: Best Time to Visit Bangkok

October: Fall Events

With October being in the middle of October, you can expect cooler weather with highs of 68°F(20°C) and lows of 49°F(9°C). With such brisk weather you’ll definitely want to bundle up for the multitude of outdoor activities available.

From events exclusive to this month to delicious food and beyond, October has a lot to offer a visitor. Here’s a few things to look out for.

  • Visit Bamdokkaebi Night Market for warm street food
  • Attend the Hi Seoul Festival for Korean culture and street performances
  • Take a trip to Ansan for a brisk hike
  • Enjoy everything Seoul Fashion Week has to offer

November: Autumnal Beauty

In November, the temperature starts to dip as the year heads into winter so expect highs of 53°F and lows of 35°F. Although the weather is starting to get chilly, if you bundle up there is still plenty to do outdoors. Try out some of these on your trip.

  • Attend the Seoul Lantern Festival for scenic lights across the city
  • Visit Dongdaemun Night Market for food, fashion, and fun
  • Enjoy a fresh seasonal persimmon during the harvest season
  • Take a day trip to Nami Island for beautiful fall scenery

December: Visit a Bathhouse

December sees some of the coldest weather of the season with highs of 39°F(4°C) and lows of 23°F(-5°C), but it’s still very eventful. An obvious event going on this month is Christmas. Visiting in this season means getting to see the city lit up and decorated.

However, there’s plenty more to do besides enjoying the decorations. Look out for these things if you’re visiting in December.

  • Visit a jjimjilbang, a traditional bathhouse
  • Enjoy some delicious tea and warm up at one of the many tea houses around the city
  • Eat some warm spicy Jjampong to fend off the cold
  • Visit Everland, South Korea’s largest theme park, for their Christmas event

Best Time to Avoid Crowds

Seoul has a few “off seasons” but if you’re looking for least amount of people, come in the middle of January. If you can deal with the cold, then January is a great time to avoid crowds.

However, if you want to wait for it to be a little warmer, the middle of March is also a good time to visit. Just expect slightly more crowds than there are in January.

Best Time to Visit Seoul for Cherry Blossoms

If cherry blossoms are on the top of your priority list when visiting Seoul, then come in April. While April sees slightly more tourists, there are plenty of places to go to see the beautiful cherry blossoms. They typically start blooming in March, but they are present longest in April.

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