Seoul is the capital of South Korea (Republic of Korea) and its biggest city. The estimated population within its city limits is 10.29 million people, but factor in its surrounding areas and that number jumps to 25.6 million, making it the second largest metropolitan area in the world. With a workforce that large driving its economy, it’s no wonder Seoul is now the 4th most economically powerful city, behind only Tokyo, New York City, and Los Angeles (as measured by GDP).
South Korea has been making headlines in recent years in the tech, automotive, and entertainment sectors. Korean brands like Samsung and Hyundai are globally recognized brands. People worldwide watch K-dramas and listen to K-pop. Myeongdong has become a hotbed for cosmetics and nearly everyone I know loves Korean food! Needless to say, South Korea is booming, and at the center of all that excitement, is Seoul.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Like Japan, South Korea has four distinct seasons — Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. The most popular times to visit Seoul are during the Spring (March-May) and Fall (Mid-September – Early November) months when the weather is ideal and the landscape is at its most striking. Both seasons are characterized by a dramatic change in color – Spring for its cherry blossom pinks and whites, and Autumn for its fiery reds, oranges, and yellows. Here’s what you can expect during every season.
Spring is one of the best times to visit Seoul. The weather is ideal and the city erupts with blooming flowers. If you want to catch the cherry blossoms, then you should plan on being in Seoul around the second week of April (around April 9-10). That will give you the best chance to see the cherry blossoms. With that said, keep in mind that the blossoms are largely dependent on the weather so it’s still no guarantee they’ll be blooming then, which is why I think it’s a good idea to go around that time or a little earlier. If they aren’t blooming yet in Seoul, then you’ll have the option of taking a day trip to Jinhae, home of Korea’s biggest cherry blossom festival. Be sure to bookmark the Visit Korea website for updates on the festival.
Summer isn’t an ideal time to visit Seoul. It’s hot, it’s humid, it rains a lot, and prices are at their highest with summertime being the peak of domestic tourism. Avoid these months if you can.
Unless you’re chasing after the cherry blossoms, then Fall is arguably the best time to visit Seoul. Like Spring, the weather is ideal and the foliage is at its most striking. Shoot for late October or early November if you can. My niece visited Nami Island in November of 2017 and the Fall colors were absolutely stunning.
If you want to go skiing, snowboarding, or just experience snow, then Winter is obviously the time to go. However, Winter in Korea is freezing. We went in early November and we were surprised by how cold it already was. If you can stand the cold, then there are several ski resorts you can visit from Seoul. Just be sure to dress warmly.
Climate: Annual Monthly Weather in Seoul
Check out weather-and-climate.com for more on the weather in Seoul. For your convenience, I’ve also created the average temperature and annual rainfall graphs below. Suggested months to visit are highlighted in orange.