Spring is right around the corner and that means one thing in particular: Cherry blossoms in Korea! These stunningly beautiful, almost magical, trees let even the most cold-hearted person become a true romantic. But beware that they usually only bloom for a very short period of time. That’s why it’s absolutely crucial to plan your cherry blossom shenanigans in advance to make sure you don’t miss them this season!
Here are 18 breathtaking cherry blossom locations in South Korea
Korea’s capital is filled with amazing locations to spot cherry blossoms in spring. You don’t need to travel far out of the city to get the most out of spring!
Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival
There is a small island in the middle of the Han River which divides Seoul into two parts. Yeouido island is filled with so many beautiful cherry blossoms during springtime that an entire festival has been created to celebrate the precious blossoms. Not only do locals and tourists love to visit the island in the spring, but countless Korean TV dramas and movies are also shot there during the season because of its romantic ambiance.
It is no surprise that Seoul’s main palace is home to a big collection of tall cherry blossom trees. The cherry blossoms are stunning on their own, so if you add traditional palace halls and temples as the backdrop you end up with something very special.
161 Sajik-ro, Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Seokchon Lake in Jamsil
Visit this lake in Jamsil district in April and you will not only be surrounded by pink and white cherry blossoms, but can also enjoy a variety of performances, exhibitions, and fun traditional games. In fact, Seokchon Lake is one of the most popular destinations in spring. Head there during the week to avoid crowds.
Songpa 1(il)-dong, Seoul
The second largest palace in Seoul should definitely not be missed. Changdeokgung Palace is located east of Gyeongbokgung Palace and the famous Bukchon Hanok Village. What’s interesting about this palace is the vast secret garden that was once solely reserved for the king and those close to him. Today, the garden can be visited by anyone free of charge and is a special treat during spring with its magnificent cherry blossom trees.
99 Yulgok-ro, Waryong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Gwanaksan (next to Seoul National University Campus)
Next to the Seoul National University campus, there is a mountain that is famous for its cherry blossoms. The blossoms on Gwanaksan bloom a few weeks later than the rest of Seoul because they’re located on the North side of the mountain. Right at the beginning of the path that leads up the mountain, there is a stream with cherry blossoms on one side. So even if you are not planning on hiking, you can still enjoy the cherry blossoms.
Seoul National Cemetery
While some might find it a bit morbid, Seoul National Cemetery can be a great place to spot beautiful cherry blossom trees in spring. Strictly reserved for veterans who died in the Korean independence movement, Korean War, and Vietnam War, this cemetery is also a historic attraction.
Hyeonchung-ro 210, Dongjak-gu, Seoul
This small but picturesque island in Chuncheon is a popular destination due to its beautiful scenery year round. While it is widely visited in the fall with people enjoying the foliage, the cherry blossoms in spring are definitely worth a visit as well. Moreover, there’s a theme park, shooting range, and a roller skating rink.
1 Namisum-gil, Namsan-myeon, Chuncheon, Gangwon-do
The city of Jinhae is the ultimate cherry blossom location in South Korea. The entire city transforms into a sea of pink and white petals. Especially the area around Yeojwacheon Stream is a must-visit when in the city. Be sure to arrive early as traffic can get a little crazy.
9 Tongsin-dong, Jinhae, Gyeongsangnam-do
Ungcheon, near Jinhae
If you’re not a fan of crowds or just want to see some unspoiled cherry blossoms in abundance, another beautiful place to see them is in Ungcheon, a small rural town just outside Jinhae. It is probably more beautiful than the festival itself, as these trees have been growing here for years and flower so beautiful and fully. It also doesn’t attract as many people so you’re able to get some great pictures and really just enjoy the beauty.
Hwagae Cherry Blossom Festival
What could be more romantic than a 4km-long road lined with 600-year-old cherry blossom trees? The Hwagae Cherry Blossom Festival in Handong offers exactly that! It is said that every couple who walks down the road in spring time will get hitched and live happily every after. However, there is far more to see than a sea of cherry blossoms (as if that wasn’t already enough). This magical road links the traditional Hwagae Market with Ssangyesa Temple. It can get a little tricky to navigate the area, however. That’s why you best book a cherry blossom tour and be chauffeured around the most exciting points of interest! But be quick – the festival takes place only in the beginning of April!
3 Namsong-ri, Heunghae-eup, Buk-gu, Pohang, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Daejeon, too, holds an extensive festival to welcome spring in April. During the Dong Hak cherry blossom festival, visitors have plenty of amazing photography opportunities in Daegu’s Dong Hak temple.
What’s more romantic than cherry blossoms and Korean hanok houses? Jeonju is a major tourist destination year-round but when the sweet trees are in full bloom, even more people come to enjoy the romantic atmosphere.
99 Girin-daero, Pungnam-dong, Wansan-gu, Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do
Palgongsan Cherry Blossom Festival in Daegu
If you are in the Daegu area, head to Palgongsan Mountain and you will find incredible cherry blossoms in this part of the city. There is even a festival held in spring to celebrate the start of the new season. The events include traditional games, concerts, and markets.
If you’d like to run under a sky of falling pink petals, you can take part in the 26th Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Marathon. Taking place on April 1st, 2017, the mostly flat course, can be run in 5km, 10km, half or full marathon distances. To sign up, visit the Cherry Marathon website at http://www.cherrymarathon.com.
This cherry blossom hot spot is a little off the beaten path. As there’s no festival on the mountain, the people that head here are mostly locals that are aware the spot even exists. Covering the mountain with a waterfall and all, this is an amazing spot to bask in the beauty of cherry blossoms.
It’s no wonder that South Korea’s premier vacation island also has some of the finest cherry blossom spots in the country. Jeju’s second largest city of Seogwipo is a major cherry blossom hotspot during spring. Most of the beautiful trees are located near the Jeju Sports Complex and Seogwipo downtown area.
Jeonnong-ro, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
Wanna beat the enormous crowds in Korea and enjoy a peaceful cherry blossom lined walk? Consider going out to the country in Gwangyang and enjoying the moment there. It’s great for a date and taking copious amounts of shameless selfies.
Seomjin River Cherry Blossom Festival
Over 10 km of blossoming cherry trees are waiting for you at the Seomjin River area in Jeollanam-do. What’s unique about the location is that you can not only spot pink and white trees but also a rainbow dance of other flowers creating the perfect spring fairytale. The festival also holds a cherry blossom concert and various other fun performances.
Seomjingangbank, Muncheok-myeon, Gurye-gun, Jeollanam-do
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