South Korea is one of the best places in the world to see cherry blossoms in bloom.
During cherry blossom season in South Korea, towns, cities and rural areas are adorned with the pale pink petals.
As the trees flower for just a few weeks each year, it is important for travelers to time their vacation carefully if they are hoping to enjoy the spectacle.
The information below answers common questions regarding when cherry blossoms bloom and the best places to see cherry blossoms in South Korea.
What Month is the Cherry Blossom in Korea?
The first cherry blossom erupts towards the end of March, as the harsh winter comes to an end and the temperatures begin to rise.
The climate differs slightly throughout the country, with warmer weather beginning in the south around Jeju Island, creeping north towards Seoul. This means that the exact timing of the cherry blossom varies depending on the location.
To avoid arriving too early or late for the blossom it’s recommended to go to South Korea in late March or early April.
As well as being perfect timing to see the cherry blossom, spring is generally considered one of the best times of year to visit South Korea thanks to mild temperatures and plenty of sunshine.
When to See the Cherry Blossom: Forecast for 2020
The timing of the cherry blossom depends on the arrival of spring to the country. As previously mentioned, temperatures in South Korea vary depending on the geographical location of the town.
Cherry blossom arrives earliest in cities towards the south of the country which is the first to experience the warmer spring weather.
The cherry blossom forecast in different regions for 2020 is as follows:
- Jeju Island: mid to late March
- Changwon: late March to early April
- Daegu: late March to early April
- Gyeongju: late March to early April
- Jeonju: late March to early April
- Seoul: early to mid April
Note these are predictions based on the previous year’s data and real dates may differ.
Travelers should time their trip to South Korea carefully to ensure it coincides with the cherry blossom forecast for their preferred destination.
Where Are the Cherry Blossoms in Korea?
During the months of Spring, cherry blossoms can be spotted up and down the country. However, some sites offer particularly impressive blooms which are enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.
Tourists heading to Korea in search of the famous blossom should add one of the most popular places to see the trees to their itinerary.
- Seoul: in particular Yeouido island and Seokchon Lake
- Nami Island, Chuncheon
- Jeju Island
Cherry Blossom Festivals and Events 2020
To welcome the arrival of the flowers, many places across Korea host festivities and events. Tourists who wish to see the blossom should consider taking part in one of these celebrations.
Yeouido Flower festival in Seoul
Yeouido Flower Festival is an incredibly popular event on Seoul’s calendar. In early April, the island of Yeouido is painted pink with close to 1,900 cherry trees in bloom.
This is also one of the best options for seeing cherry blossom at night in South Korea. When darkness falls, the trees are illuminated and tourists can enjoy live music and art displays.
Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival
Given its southernmost location, Jeju Island is the first place in Korea to welcome the annual cherry blossom.
Lucky visitors will see the King Cherry tree in bloom. This species has the largest petals of all the cherry trees but, as it is only in bloom for a few days, timing is essential.
The Cherry Marathon in Gyeongju
This picturesque historical city can be explored easily by bike. Around early April the street and temple gardens are decorated with pink blossoms. Sightseers here can also take the opportunity to visit Seokguram Grotto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
From 1st to 5th April, the famous Gyeongju Cherry Marathon takes place in which participants run alongside the trees.
Visiting Korea for the Cherry Blossom: Documents Required
Citizens of all EU member countries, the U.S. and a number of other nations can currently enter Korea for 90 days visa-free. All other travelers must obtain a visa for South Korea.
A South Korea Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) is due to be launched towards the end of 2021.
Eligible foreigners planning to see the cherry blossoms from Spring 2022 will be able to take advantage of the ETA scheme. This permit will be applied for online with no need to visit an embassy or consulate but will be mandatory for many tourists.