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
Jump to what you want.
- 1 When is Autumn in Seoul?
- 2 Autumn in Seoul | Weather Month by Month
- 3 Is it cold in Seoul in autumn? | What to Wear
- 4 Limited Edition Autumn Tours in Korea
- 5 9 Spectacular Places to Visit during Autumn in Seoul
- 6 Autumn in Seoul from Above
- 7 Autumn in Seoul | Traditional Places
- 8 Autumn in Seoul | Best Parks
- 9 Places to see Ginkgo Trees during Autumn in Seoul
- 10 BONUS | Secret Places to Visit during Autumn in Seoul
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.
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.
Hotels and Other Accommodation
Travel Insurance for South Korea
Wifi, SIM Cards, and Portable Wifi
Money-Saving Transit and Transport Passes
Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tours
Day Tours and Discounted Admission Tickets
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 | September
In the month of September in Korea, 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.
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 Korea 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.
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.
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.
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.
Here are the limited autumn day tours available in Korea for 2022:
- Seoraksan National Park Fall Foliage + Wondae-ri Birch Forest Day Tour from Seoul | October 12th – November 2nd
- Korea Fall Foliage Day Tour to Mountains & National Parks from Seoul | October 16th – November 15th
- Seoraksan National Park Autumn Day Tour from Seoul | October 17th – 31st, 2022, Weekdays ONLY
- Memorable Autumn Foliage Day Tour from Seoul | October 21st – 31st
- Naejansan National Park Autumn Day Tour from Seoul | October 25th – November 15th, 2022
- Korea Fall Foliage Day Tour to Naejangsan National Park from Busan | October 25th – November 15th
- Memorable Autumn Foliage Day Tour from Busan | November 1st – 10th
- Naejangsan Mountain Fall Foliage + Jeonju Hanok Village Day Tour from Seoul | November 3rd – 13th
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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?