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During autumn in Seoul, the skies are brilliantly blue, the weather is perfect and the city is painted in a kaleidoscope of spectacular colours. It’s Korea’s peak travel season for good reason.

This is the time of year I personally look forward to most. After all, what could be better than wandering down streets bursting with every brilliant shade of orange, yellow and red imaginable.

In this post you’ll find out:

  • exactly when autumn starts and ends in Seoul
  • what you can expect weather-wise, month by month
  • the best things to wear during autumn in Seoul
  • when the best time is to see the fall foliage in Seoul
  • my tips for 9 outstanding places to visit in Seoul during autumn to see the best of Mother Nature
  • PLUS 2 bonus places to visit in Seoul during autumn for all my introvert sisters and brothers out there

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When is Autumn in Seoul?

Autumn in Seoul lasts for approximately 3 months. It starts in September, with the leaves slowly changing colour over the following 2 months. By the end of November, autumn is well and truly over. Most, if not all of the leaves have fallen from their limbs and cold blasts of air demand warmer clothes, boots and scarves.

line of trees in damyang during autumn in korea

If you’ve got your heart set on seeing something like this, visit Korea from mid-October to mid-November

The good news is that the changing of leaves during autumn in Seoul, is a gradual process that happens over a few months. There’s a big window of time to catch this colourful show, but if you’re looking for the absolute peak, I recommend visiting sometime between mid-October to mid-November.

Autumn in Seoul | Travel Essentials

Autumn is PEAK travel season in South Korea, so be sure to book your accommodation, the most popular tours, and whatever else you need well in advance.

Travel Visas

Travel requirements, visas, and passport photos for a trip to South Korea

Hotels and Other Accommodation

Booking      |      Agoda      |      Klook      |      HotelsCombined

Travel Insurance for South Korea

Malaysian Residents      |     Singapore Residents     |     Thai Residents

Wifi, SIM Cards, and Portable Wifi 

4G unlimited data SIM card | Portable and Pocket 4G WiFi

Airport Transfers

 Incheon Airport to Seoul Private and Shared Transfers

Gimhae Airport to Busan Private Airport Transfers

Money-Saving Transit and Transport Passes

Discover Seoul Pass (doubles as a T-Money Card) with FREE admission to 42 tourist attractions

Korea Tour Card (T-Money) Transit Card

Korea Rail Pass: unlimited rides via high-speed rail and travel to over 600 stations on 80 different routes (2,3,4, or 5 days)

Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tours

Seoul City Hop-on Hop-off Tour Bus Day  |  Seoul Night View Course

Daegu Hop-on Hop-off Tour Bus Tour

Day Tours and Discounted Admission Tickets

Get Your Guide      |      Klook      |      Trazy

Autumn in Seoul | Weather Month by Month

After the heat and humidity of summer in Korea, autumn seems to hit Seoul overnight, but the changing of the leaves still takes a few months to reach completion. There’s plenty of time to see autumn foliage at every stage of its colourful transition.

autumn in seoul month by month

Autumn in Seoul | September

In the month of September, the grey skies, choking humidity and stifling temperatures of summer in Seoul finally surrender to cloudless, cobalt skies and crisp air. It’s wonderfully refreshing and like most Koreans, autumn in Seoul is, without a doubt, the season I look forward to most.

Average temperatures range between 18 to 26°C | 64 to 80°F, so it’s a very, very comfortable time to be outside.

hangang park korea

September is the perfect month to spend lots of time outside

We take full advantage of the superb weather by spending as much time outdoors as possible. Days and nights are still warm and it’s easy to while away an entire afternoon simply basking in the glow of a perfect post-summer sun.

Autumn in Seoul | October

In October, the nights cool, and it’s time to cuddle up under the cozy comforters that have been stored away all summer. The days feel nostalgic and I start to crave the creamy richness of an expertly stewed seolleongtang. In the month of October, average temperatures in Seoul range between 10 to 20°C | 50 to 68°F.

persimmon tree during autumn in seoul

Persimmons are a delicious autumn fruit

During October in Seoul, hints of yellow peek shyly through the green growths, ginkgo trees begin dropping their foul-smelling fruits, and blue trucks loaded with persimmons ply the streets with their wares.

Autumn in Seoul | November

In November, the days and nights get chillier, with average temperatures ranging between 3 to 11°C | 38 to 53°F. This is definitely the month to pull out thicker sweaters, coats and warmer shoes.

trees lining a road during autumn in seoul

The beauty of red, yellow, orange.

The ingredients for kimjang appear in stores, and autumn in Seoul is in full swing and nearing the finish line. A wave of fall colour sweeps its way down the peninsula, dramatically transforming rocky mountains and monotone tree-lined streets into a prismatic orchestra of vivid crimsons, burnt oranges and mellow yellows.

Is it cold in Seoul in autumn? | What to Wear

Cold is a relative concept. I grew up in Canada and I find autumn in Seoul to be incredibly comfortable. I can usually get by with just a sweater and scarf right up until winter hits Korea in December.

autumn foliage in seoul

In October, my daughter wears long pants and a thin jacket. It’s enough to keep her warm.

However, if you grew up in a hot climate, you would definitely find Seoul chilly, as it gets closer to winter. Pack accordingly, depending on which month of autumn you plan to visit Seoul. Layers are a good idea. T-shirts, sweaters, scarves, and coats can all be useful at different times of your trip.

Limited Edition Autumn Tours in Korea

These autumn tours in Korea only take place for a few months each year, and they get booked up fast, because space and timing for them is limited. If you’ve got your heart set on seeing any of these places during autumn in Seoul, I recommend reserving a spot as soon as you can.

naejangsan mountain in autumn

Naejangsan during autumn is simply stunning ⓒ Ha Nam-gi, Korea Tourism Organization

Here are the limited autumn day tours available in Korea for 2022:

autumn in korea | cheomseongdae pink muhly in gyeongju

UNESCO sites AND pink muhly in Gyeongju in autumn © Dodream – Korea Tourism Organization

A few years ago, pink muhly grass took over the IG feeds of Korea and there’s no end in sight for this craze. Here’s a few discounted tickets and day tours for pink muhly hotspots in Korea for October.

9 Spectacular Places to Visit during Autumn in Seoul

Where can you see fall foliage in Seoul? The simple answer is pretty much everywhere you turn. But there are undeniably pockets of the city that really wow the senses due to the concentration or combination of trees in the area. Here are just 8 incredible places to enjoy autumn in Seoul.

Autumn in Seoul

It’s stunning everywhere you look during autumn in Seoul.

Autumn in Seoul from Above

Seoul can seem like a mass of concrete blocks until you get above it. Venture to higher ground to see just how many trees there are in the city.

Gwanaksan Mountain | 관악산

Address: Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 관악구 관악로 (신림동)

Gwanaksan, with its rocky peaks, deep valleys, and easy subway access, is one of the most popular mountains to visit in Seoul in autumn. On a hike in late September, all I could think about, was how beautiful it would be when it erupted in a rainbow of autumn colours, a month later.

gwanaksan in autumn

Get thee to the top of a mountain for incredible autumn views of Seoul

There are multiple hiking trails, ranging from 1 – 4.5 kilometres long, so it’s easy to find one that suits your athletic ability.

Find more information and transport advice on their website.

Namsan Mountain | 남산

Address: 231, Samil-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 중구 삼일대로 231

From street level, it’s difficult to get a real sense of just how many trees there are in Seoul, but from the top of this mountain in the middle of the city, it’s easy to get a birds-eye view of Korea’s glorious changing autumn landscape.

autumn in seoul | namsan

Namsan is simply glorious in autumn

We took an easy stroll up to the N Seoul Tower in October, and were rewarded with the startling sight of autumn colour as far as the eye could see. If the walk’s not your thing, there’s also electric buses or a cable car up to the top.

TIP  |  Reserve your tickets to the N Seoul Tower Observatory in advance, and you’ll skip the line AND save up to 50% off the regular price. Book tickets for the N Seoul Observatory on Namsan Mountain here.

Autumn in Seoul | Traditional Places

Seoul’s palaces and traditional sites are a draw in any season, but in Seoul in autumn, they’re a real delight for the senses. These places are the ideal backdrop for renting a Korean hanbok, and having a photoshoot.

autumn in seoul | bukchon hanok village

Renting a hanbok in Seoul is one of the best ways to experience Korean culture.

Changdeokgung’s Secret Garden | 창덕궁 후원

Address: 99, Yulgok-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 종로구 율곡로 99 (와룡동)

Behind Joseon-era Changdeokgung Palace lies the Secret Garden. Originally used by the royal family and palace women, the garden has a lotus pond, pavilions, flowers and over 100 different species of trees, some of which are over 300 years old.

There are more than 26,000 trees in the Garden alone, and that means one thing – an awful lot of leaves changing colour during autumn in Seoul.

secret garden at changdeokgung in seoul during autumn

Make sure to book a guided tour for the Secret Garden at Changdeokgung

The only way to enter the Secret Garden is on a guided tour, and it does sell out. Be sure to reserve in advance on their website, ESPECIALLY during the busy autumn season in Seoul.

TIP  |  If online reservations are fully booked, you can still see Changdeokgung Palace, its stunning Secret Garden, and Bukchon Hanok Village on a guided walking tour. This tour includes the entrance fees for both the Palace and the Secret Garden, as well as an english speaking guide. This tour needs to be booked at least FOUR days in advance. Join the Seoul by Foot walking tour here.

Deoksugung Doldam-gil | 덕수궁 돌담길

Address: Jiha 101, Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 중구 세종대로 지하 101

Deoksugung is probably one of the least visited Seoul palaces, but in autumn, you should definitely head there to walk along the doldam-gil, or “stone-wall” road.

deoksugung palace during autumn in seoul

Deoksugung Palace by traveloriented/@Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

This 1100 metre pedestrian pathway winds next to a traditional stone wall and is lined with 130 trees. During autumn in Seoul, the street is romantically covered in a carpet of gorgeous yellow leaves.

Autumn in Seoul | Best Parks

You’re guaranteed to see gorgeous fall foliage in any of Seoul’s public parks, but here’s a few suggestions that are particularly special.

Olympic Park Seoul | 올림픽공원

Address: 424, Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 송파구 올림픽로 424 (방이동)

Seoul’s Olympic Park was originally created in 1986, to host the Asian Games and then, the 1988 Summer Olympics. Today, it’s a popular place for visitors to spend the day, with biking trails, multiple museums, cafes and gardens on its grounds.

autumn in seoul | olympic park

Olympic Park is full of gorgeous fall foliage.

There’s a few extra-special places to visit in Olympic Park during autumn in Seoul though. Look out for a huge field of cosmos flowers, and a garden of pink muhly grass that only blooms during the autumn months.

autumn in seoul | pink muhly in olympic park

Pink is as popular in autumn as orange, red, and yellow at Olympic Park in Seoul.

Seoul Forest | 서울숲

Address: 273, Ttukseom-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 성동구 뚝섬로 273 (성수동1가)

Seoul Forest consists of 5 separate parks, covering nearly 600,000m² of land in Seongsu-dong. Between the playgrounds, deer park, flower displays, skate park, and experiential learning park, you could easily spend days and days at Seoul Forest, in ANY season.

autumn in seoul | seoul forest ginkgo trees

The ginkgo tree forest is so romantic!

Gorgeous fall foliage paints the entire park in a glorious array of colour, but a real highlight is the Ginkgo Tree Forest full of towering woods and golden leaves.

Seokchon Lake | 석촌호수

In springtime, delicate pink Yoshino cherry blossom petals romance those walking along the shores of Seokchon Lake in Seoul’s Songpa district. During autumn in Seoul however, a multitude of Yoshino Cherry and pine trees ring the water with a dramatic kaleidoscope of colour.

Seokchon Lake is stunning in autumn © Songpa Tour

TIP  |  Take advantage of everything available at Seokchon Lake, with the amazingly priced Songpa L Pass. Go thrill-seeking at Lotte World Adventure, gape at views from the top of Korea’s tallest building, and admire 55,000 sea creatures at the Lotte World Aquarium. Check full details here.

Places to see Ginkgo Trees during Autumn in Seoul

As the weather cools, the leaves of the ginkgo tree turn into a sublime shade of golden yellow. During autumn in Seoul, you’ll often see groups of spunky Korean ajumma scavenging for gingko berries, as they fall from these majestic trees.

Gingko Tree Path along Wiryeseong Daero | 위례성대로

This a popular spot for locals to the area, but it’s not very well-known among tourists. You’re in luck though, because there are 1320 majestic gingko trees lining this stretch of road near Olympic Park, and it won’t be overrun with people.

autumn in korea gingko trees

Gingko trees are a sight to behold during autumn in Korea. Photo by HeungSoon.

Head out Exit 1 of Mongchontoseong Station on Line 8, to walk under this almost 900 metre avenue of golden leaves.

Garosu-gil | 가로수길

Address: Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 강남구 신사동 일대

Garosu-gil actually translates into “tree-lined street,” and the moniker is pretty accurate. This street in Seoul’s Sinsa district is lined with magnificent ginkgo trees, and it’s the place to enjoy autumn colour in Seoul if mountains aren’t your thing.

garosugil during autumn in seoul korea

You just might end up sipping a latte in a Garosu-gil cafe and shopping for designer clothes, instead of watching the autumn leaves though. 😉

BONUS | Secret Places to Visit during Autumn in Seoul

The well-known autumn places in Seoul can be rammed with people oohing and ahhing over the beauty of the trees around them. It’s understandable. But it can definitely get tiring for the introverts among us. Here are 2 secret spots in Seoul, where you can enjoy autumn foliage in relative peace.

autumn in seoul | children's grand park

Looking for a little autumn solitude? It IS possible in Seoul

Seonjeongneung Tombs | 성종과 정현왕후

Address: 1, Seolleung-ro 100-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 강남구 선릉로100길 1

Seonjeongneung is one of Korea’s UNESCO World Heritage sites, but it’s rarely visited by tourists, who gravitate towards marquee attractions like Gyeongbokgung Palace instead.

But if you should find yourself in Gangnam during autumn in Seoul, definitely make the trip over to Seonjeongneung Tomb. You’ll be richly rewarded.

Seonjeongneung during autumn in seoul

You can enjoy autumn foliage in total solitude at Seonjeongneung Tomb

You’ll find the royal tombs of King Seongjong, Queen Jeonghyeon and their son, King Jungjong here, along with a huge green space, soaring trees and almost total serenity. Look out for the 500 year old gingko tree that sits next to the tomb keeper’s house!

We visited Seonjeongneung near the end of November, and most of the leaves had already fallen, but it was still incredibly beautiful (and deserted). Get there a few weeks earlier to enjoy the best of autumn.

autumn in seoul | Seonjeongneung tomb

Most of the autumn leaves in Seoul have fallen by the end of November.

Jamsil-dong 5-Danji | 잠실동 오단지

Address: 567 Songpa-daero, Songpa-gu, Seoul

I was first introduced to this “secret” spot in the shadow of the sky-high Lotte World Tower during Korea’s cherry blossom season. Nestled amongst an eyesore of old apartment buildings that seriously needs to be renovated, the trees form a canopy that feels like a cathedral.

cherry blossom trees in jamsil korea

How gorgeous will this be when autumn hits Seoul?

The truth is I haven’t actually seen this secret spot during autumn in Seoul, but I just KNOW it’ll be incredible.

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Autumn in Seoul: Essential Info and FAQs

1
When is autumn in Seoul? September, October, and November are the autumn months in Seoul, South Korea.
2
Is it cold during autumn in Seoul? Autumn gets colder as it progresses. September in Seoul is fairly warm with average temperatures of 18 to 26°C | 64 to 80°F, but by November, it's down to 3 to 11°C | 38 to 53°F.
3
When is the best time to see fall foliage in Seoul? Peak fall foliage happens in Seoul between mid-October and mid-November.
4
Where can I see autumn leaves in Seoul? Everywhere! But popular places to see autumn leaves in Seoul include: Namsan Park, Olympic Park, Seoul Forest, Changdeokgung Palace, Gwanaksan, and Bukhansan National Park.

Now you’ve got the full scoop on the best places to visit in Seoul in autumn. What’s at the top of your list of autumn hotspots to check out? 

Comments:

  • faecelinee

    August 30, 2019

    We were supposed to visit Seoul last year during the autumn season but we went to Singapore instead. I hope this year, I can finally visit Seoul and experience autumn for the first time. I live in a tropical country haha

    reply...
      • faecelinee

        September 9, 2019

        I just booked flights to Seoul yesterday! I am so excited to visit Seoul for the first time and to also see gingko and maple trees for the first time, definitely saving this post for later <3

        reply...
  • December 1, 2018

    I have not been to Korea, just a gorgeous place and your photos and blog are so inspiring. I have added it on to my bucketlist. Thank you so much for this post.

    reply...
  • July 31, 2018

    This looks amazing! – Is Seoul and surrounds tourist friendly? 🙂

    reply...
  • November 15, 2016

    So many beautiful places! Sigh! We climbed Namsam on Sunday, but we were too late. It was dark by the time we reached the tower. 🙂

    reply...
    • November 15, 2016

      Especially since it’s getting dark by like 5pm these days. Ugh. Thank god it’s sunny today…all the grey was starting to get me down. 🙁 Apparently Nami Island is gorge for fall colour too…

      reply...
      • November 15, 2016

        Exactly! It was only 5:40 by the time we were somewhere near the top! I’m feeling so much positive today with the sun! Let me see if we can go to Nami island. If it’s raining I feel too lazy! lol! Did you check the moon yesterday? Not as big as the online portals claim, but fantastic anyway! 🙂

        reply...
        • November 16, 2016

          The sun makes such a difference doesn’t it? We didn’t do anything in the rain either…just laid around the apartment, staring listlessly at each other and trying to make it through the day. 😉

          reply...
  • September 19, 2016

    Awesome! I wish I can see all of those beautiful foliage on this autumn. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    reply...
    • September 22, 2016

      Glad you enjoyed! It just started to get a bit cooler here in the last week, but the trees are all still green! 🙂 Soon enough though, I’m sure the leaves will starts turning.

      reply...
  • October 30, 2014

    Ahh this post really has made me feel nostalgic! There are all places I visited in Korea and I have so many memories from all of them. Seoraksan was definitely an autumn favourite of mine as was Changdeokgung. I usually ended up shopping in Ewha… no matter what time of year!

    Beautiful photos 🙂

    reply...
    • October 30, 2014

      Hi Natalie! Thanks for dropping by and glad the post reminded you of your time here. 🙂 Would you believe I’ve lived in Korea for 5 years and still haven’t made it to Seoraksan?! Yeah, I’m a bad expat. 😉 But I’ll be remedying that soon and heading there in the next few weeks… and funnily enough I was just at Changdeokgung yesterday!

      reply...
  • October 28, 2014

    Beautiful post and some incredible images 🙂

    Thank you so much for sharing…

    reply...
    • October 28, 2014

      Thanks for your kind words Sreejith! 🙂 Can’t wait for all the leaves to change here so we can see the beautiful colours in person!

      reply...
  • October 26, 2014

    I’m glad you liked my post cause this one was so magical to come across! Autumn is absolutely gorgeous and you couldn’t have put it better!

    reply...
    • October 27, 2014

      Thanks Chantelle!! 😀 LOVE autumn in Korea, it’s definitely my favourite season (though spring runs a close second). Leaves seem to be really changing now…

      reply...
  • October 17, 2014

    Absolutely beautiful shots, Shelley! Made me want to run out the front doors of my school and go for a hike right now!! 😀
    ~ Andrea <3

    reply...
    • October 18, 2014

      Here in Seoul, the average temperature just dropped about 5 degrees over the last few days, so full fledged danpoog may be upon us soon! Things are still pretty green, but I’ve definitely been crunching through a few leaves here and there… now if we could just skip the winter part! 😉

      reply...
  • October 9, 2014

    Lovely! I definitely want to go to Korea one of these days 🙂

    reply...
    • October 10, 2014

      Hi Cecilia! 🙂 It’s sooo beautiful right now! I just want to spend every single day outside just walking around and enjoying the atmosphere.

      reply...
  • October 9, 2014

    Gorgeous pictures! I’m definitely missing the classic New England fall while in Italy and far from foliage this year. There are a couple of trees near one of the buildings where I go to class, and I always walk through the few leaves on the ground there haha. It looks like I’ll have to make a point to go to South Korea in the fall when I finally get there, though.

    reply...
    • October 10, 2014

      Thanks Michael! Lol, really? Walking through the few leaves on the ground…. you must really be desperate. 😉

      When I lived in Canada, we hardly had any autumn at all.. It was basically 2 weeks and then winter, so I really love it here, where the leaves slowly change across the country. There’s a REAL autumn feeling. And yes, when you make it here, I def recommend visiting anytime from mid-September to November. It’s the best time for sure…

      reply...
  • October 9, 2014

    I’ve never been to Korea before but it looks gorgeous. And I am super jealous of the weather you have there!! The weather in Jakarta just stays hot and humid all the time 🙁

    reply...
    • October 10, 2014

      Autumn is definitely the most gorgeous season here. It and spring are what everyone waits for! I’ve never lived anywhere that has no seasons, and I honestly don’t know how I feel about it. I do want to live by a beach one day, but I’m not sure how I would deal with hot and humid all the time. I think I’d have to take vacations to cooler destinations to cope. Ha! 😉

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