When to go to South Korea?

The best time to visit South Korea is autumn (September and October). The second best time to go to South Korea is spring (March and April). During both seasons the weather is comfortable and the scenery is amazing.

It can be advisable to avoid traveling to South Korea during the summer and winter. The summer is hot and humid and cyclones do occur. The winter is dry and cold, obviously, for skiing purposes the winter is ‘the best time to go’.

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The best time to visit South Korea

The best time to visit South Korea is in spring and autumn. Below you find the advantages and disadvantages of both periods:
  • Best time (September and October): the ultimate time to visit South Korea is in September and October (autumn). During this period the crispy air is clean and the sunny weather is comfortable: nice temperature and low humidity. The scenery is at its best, for example caused by tree leaves that turn red and yellow, which results in a spectacular landscape. Another advantage is that autumn is less crowded than spring, leading to a better availability of accommodations. Only exception is the public holiday 'Chuseok (Harvest Moon Festival)', in the second half of September.
  • Second best time (March and April): spring is the second best time to visit South Korea. During this season the weather is great: comfortable temperature, low humidity and little rain. The landscape is also great, with beautiful cherry / sakura blossoms blooming. The main drawback of visiting South Korea in spring is the huge number of fellow tourists, most of them Japanese or domestic. These large numbers result in a shortage of affordable accommodations. Another potential disadvantage can be that during spring you can experience yellow dust from China blowing over the country, some days it can impact your breathing.
  • Skiing (winter): South Korea is a great place for skiing; obviously the (dry) winter is the best time for a ski-trip. See our ‘ski-section’ for more information.

Better not to go to South Korea

When you are flexible in traveling dates, it can be advisable to avoid traveling to South Korea in the summer and winter. The South Korean summers are hot and humid and the winters are dry and can be very cold, due to the Siberian winds from the north. The summer is overcrowded and the country can be hit by cyclones during this season. If you visit South Korea in the (humid) summer, it is best to head to the beaches. When you go skiing in South Korea, the winter obviously is the best time to go. If not for skiing, it is not advisable to visit South Korea in the winter due to the short (cold) days, reduced mobility and gray skies.

Make sure that you avoid the following holidays, or have an accommodation booked well in advance:

  • Chuseok (Harvest Moon Festival): this important public Holiday is usually celebrated between mid and the end of September (no fixed date). As for all other important public holidays, try to avoid it if you can, or book your accommodations and flight way in advance.
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  • National Day: try to avoid October the 3rd, which is the National Foundation Day.
  • Seol (South Korean New Year): not an exact date, this holiday is celebrated between the end of January and early February. Many locals use this National Holiday to make a 3 to 7 days domestic trip.
  • Summer holidays: from half July to the end of August most children have a 6 weeks school holiday, resulting in many families traveling to the beaches and mountains during this period. It can be wise to avoid this period, especially since this is also not the recommended time to visit South Korea in terms of weather.

Weather and seasons of South Korea

South Korea has a sub-tropical temperate climate, hugely impacted by the oceans surrounding the Korean Peninsula. Usually, winters and summers are long, alternated with an enjoyable spring and autumn.

The summer normally is hot, humid and South Korea is experiencing heavy monsoon rains during this season. The monsoon rains start at the end of June until early September, the month July is known as the wettest month of the year. Cyclones do occur during this season, although most of them lost their strength, once they arrived in South Korea.

The winter usually is long, dry and cold. The low temperatures (as low as -4°F or -20°C) are caused by the Siberian winds from the north, arriving from November.

Spring and autumn are normally short, but the weather is very comfortable in terms of temperature, rain and humidity. The scenery is amazing during these two seasons.

  • Spring: late March to April
  • Summer: end May to August
  • Autumn: September to October
  • Winter: November to February

The weather overview pictures below (both °F and °C) perfectly show that the South Korean summers are hot and wet and that the winters are cold and dry:

Temperature and precipitation overview (°F) Temperature and precipitation overview (°C)
Weather of South Korea (°F) Weather of South Korea (°C)

Map and current weather of South Korea

Drag the yellow iconStreetview iconto a location on the map for the "Google streetview" mode.
Click on the weather icon to see the forecast for the next days.
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Best time to visit specific highlights of South Korea

  • Busan beach:
  • Seoul:

People who want to leave shortly, can find good last minute deals here: save up to 25% on Last Minute Adventure Travel Packages

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Skiing in South Korea

Skiing is excellent in South Korea!

Pay special attention to

  • Public Holidays: see the 'Better not visit South Korea' section, for details of public holidays to be avoided.
  • Public transportation: the public transportation is excellent in South Korea. You can visit many towns by train and at the train stations you can usually find tourist information in English.
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Interactive 'best time to visit countries' World Map

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Do you have a question about visiting South Korea? Or do you want to share your knowledge of South Korea with other travelers? Please, visit our South Korea forum.

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