South Korea’s climate is typically temperate with four distinct seasons. Tourists can visit South Korea all year round but they should time their visit according to what they want to see and do during their trip. The seasons in South Korea are divided into spring, summer, autumn and winter, each bringing with it its own benefits and challenges.
During the spring, which falls between April and June, the country is painted pink by the abundant cherry blossoms that decorate South Korea’s green spaces. The weather during this season is the least likely to be inclement, making it one of the more popular, albeit crowded, times of the year to visit South Korea – expect mostly sunny days.
Summers in South Korea are generally warm but often see monsoon rains from July to August, making the whole country almost intolerably muggy. If you don’t want to find yourself perpetually damp then this time of the year is best avoided. By June the average temperature is 22°C with July and August experiencing the highest rainfall of the year.
Once the rains have passed, however, the country is bathed in the most stunning shades of orange and red as the autumn leaves start to bloom. With mild temperatures, low rainfall and a wealth of unadulterated natural beauty, autumn (September to November) is a close rival to spring with regards to being the best period to visit South Korea.
Finally, we come to the cold but curiously delightful season that is winter, falling between December and March. While being cold is never the best thing in the world, there is a certain charm about wrapping up warm and walking through crisp, white snow. Transport still runs like clockwork in South Korea and many points of interest are likely to be far less congested than usual so if you want to avoid the crowds, winter isn’t such a bad time to visit. This is also the perfect time to go to South Korea if skiing, snowboarding or any other snow-related activity is on the agenda.
Best Months to Visit
The best times to visit South Korea are from March to May and from September to November, when the weather is mild (average daily high temperatures stay below the mid-70s) and travel expenses are low. If you’re a powder hound, you’ll want to visit between December and February, when average daytime temperatures stay around the freezing mark and snow can be frequent. It’s best to avoid the summer months, also known as monsoon season. During these months, Korea is uncomfortably humid and full of tourists. What’s more, hotel room costs are at fever pitch.
To help plan your visit to South Korea, here’s an overview of the festivals and events taking place in 2017. This is by no means an exhaustive list so if you are thinking of heading to South Korea outside of these dates and want to know what’s on, check out a more comprehensive list.
March 24th-26th – Ultra Korea Music Festival (Seoul) May 20th – June 11th – FIFA U-20 World Cup (Nationwide) May 27th – June 3rd – Gangneung Dano Festival (Gangneung) July 14th-23rd – Boryeong Mud Festival (Boryeong) October 4th-6th – Chuseok (Nationwide) October 12th-21st – BIFF (Busan)
There’s also a number of national holidays in South Korea and on these dates many businesses and some tourist sites will close for the day so plan your visit accordingly.