When is the best time to visit Korea?
My first ever trip to Korea was in Spring, in fact I managed to catch the last day of Sakura a.k.a 뻧꽃 (sounds something like ppeot-ggot) before they wilted. The girlfriend commented that I was super lucky to have seen it, since the cherry blossoms don’t bloom in an exact date, they just bloom magnificently as and when the weather conditions are ready, and they only last for a few days.
The other times I visited Korea was in Summer, Fall and Winter, respectively. A total of 7 months altogether in a span of 2 years.
I really enjoyed the snow, since I have never seen snow in my whole life prior to Seoul/ Suwon.
So to answer the question: When is the best time to visit Korea?
I would say: it depends on your priorities. So, anytime can be a good time depending on what you want. ^^
Best time to visit for Shopping : Summer (July-August)
This is when the Seoul crazy sales are at and it’s not cold to shop around. Which is great. But it is humid and hot, just like Singapore. Probably a good time to visit Namsan Tower (N-Seoul Tower) too since it won’t be too chilly at night.
Best time to visit for Snow/ Snowboarding: Winter (DOH) (Late December/Early January)
Usually, the first Snow occurs some time around late Nov/Early December. But you’d want to visit when the probability of Snowfall is highest if you’re looking to see some blizzard. I’m talking about lots of heavy snow falling on your face and covering the whole land with white fluffy ice, not the flurries which would melt the moment it touches anything. And snowball fights. ^^
Also, for snowboarding/skiing, it’d be better if there’s a thick layer of snow. Can you imagine falling on hard ground without much snow to cushion the fall? Ouch.
Best time to visit Nami-island: Fall (October)
We get asked this a lot.
I know the drama Winter Sonata’s highlight is Nami-island in snow, because “Winter” Sonata. However, to be honest, there’s nothing much to do on Nami-island during winter, except to take pictures of an island full of Snow, which is quite pretty. And also to imitate those cringe-worthy lovey dovey Korean drama poses for couples.
However, for fall, there’re lots of things to do there. You can do the usual photo-taking tourist-y thing. As well as the poses. But you can also have a picnic on the forest floor amongst colorful fall leaves. (More photo-taking) The paths are super photo friendly with its never ending straight lines of towering trees with purple, red, yellow leaves. We saw lots of Korean families picking up Gingko nuts straight from the floor (lots of Gingko Trees around) and eating them for snack. The weather is so awesome because it’s not too hot and not freezing, though it can get a little chilly, so do bring along a thick woolen cardigan.
We found this English site which provides a shuttle bus service pick up from Insadong and Namdaemoon for those who’d rather skip the hassle of getting to the island through the subway.
The not-so-good about this include the horrid smell of Gingko nuts smashed open due to people walking all over them. It’s still bearable given the perks.
Best time to visit for Cherry Blossoms: Spring (Mid April)
If your aim is to Hanabi in Korea or Japan, then I would strongly suggest to visit for 2 weeks and plan those 2 weeks to coincide with mid April, preferably the first two weeks of April. The “Sakura rain” really makes one feel uplifted and oh-so-surreal. It’s simply breathtaking. Take a stroll down Yeouido Hangang Park and you’d see what we mean.
We heard this is also a popular time for wedding proposals. So if you’re thinking of bring your girlfriend to Korea this Spring, it’s time to plan the trip NOW. ^^
Well, who can say no underneath pretty Sakura petals fleeting in the wind?