Autumn in Seoul: 7 Places to see Dazzling Fall Colour
The seasons in Korea are intense to say the least. Lasting about 3 months each, they all have their own temperature, vibe, and, even foods to eat.
Without a doubt though, autumn in Seoul, is one of the best times to travel to Korea. There’s blue skies, comfortable temperatures and an entire country painted in the gorgeous colours of autumn.’
AUTUMN IN SEOUL: WHAT TO EXPECT
In September, the grey skies, choking humidity and stifling temperatures of Seoul summer finally surrender to cloudless, cobalt skies and crisp air. It’s wonderfully refreshing and like most Koreans, autumn is, without a doubt, the season I look forward to most.
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.
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.
During October in Korea, hints of yellow peek shyly through the green growths, gingko trees begin dropping their foul-smelling fruits, and blue trucks loaded with persimmons ply the streets with their wares.
In November, the days and nights are equally chilly, the ingredients for kimjang appear in stores, and autumn in Seoul is in full swing. 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.
Of all the seasons in Korea, autumn is undoubtedly the best. Here are 7 places to visit in Seoul during autumn for incredible fall colour.
7 PLACES TO VISIT IN SEOUL DURING AUTUMN
Gwanaksan, with its rocky peaks, deep valleys, and easy subway access, is one of the most popular mountains in Seoul.
On a hike in Seoul in late September, all I could think about, was how beautiful it would be when it erupted in a rainbow of fall colours, a month later.
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 landscape.
We took an easy stroll up to the North Seoul Tower last 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.
Changdeokgung Secret Garden (창덕궁 후원)
Behind Joseon-era Changdeokgung 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.
Edae (Ewha University Korea)
Named for the groves of pear blossom trees nearby, the striking modern architecture of Edae (Ewha Women’s University) is memorable in every season. If you visit during autumn in Seoul though, the glass curtained campus centre forms an incredible contrast with the multi-hued riot of trees surrounding it.
Lined with majestic gingko trees, Garosugil in Seoul is the place to enjoy autumn colour if mountains aren’t your thing.
You just might end up sipping a latte in a Garosugil cafe and shopping for designer clothes, instead of watching the leaves though. 😉
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, the 306,000 Yoshino Cherry and pine trees ring the water with a dramatic kaleidoscope of colour.
While there, stop by one of our favourite Seoul cafes, the Hosoo Bakery and Cafe, and indulge in a triple cheese tartine while watching the leaves float gently to the ground.
Seoul Sky Observatory
Head to the Seoul Sky Observatory at the very top of Korea’s tallest building for a birds eye view of autumn in Seoul before you. From your lofty vantage point, high in the sky at 555 metres, the city will be painted in huge swathes of brilliant colour.
When you get hungry, head down to Sky31 Food Avenue on the 31st floor of the Lotte World Tower for another (free) view of the Han River and surrounding cityscape.
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