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korea in november | seoraksan national park

Many consider October in Korea to be the height of autumn, but it’s still possible to find spectacular fall foliage in Korea in November in the first half of the month. The kaleidoscopic colours all but disappear soon after, so you should be prepared for a dramatic change in landscape and climate by month’s end.

south korea in november | olympic park

There’s a dramatic change in landscape in Korea in November.

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • what the November weather in Korea is like
  • the Seoul weather in November and other major cities and tourist hotspots, including Busan, Jeju, Pyeongchang and Gangwondo
  • the best autumn festivals to attend in South Korea in November
  • what to wear and the best things to pack for a successful trip to Korea in November

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Visiting Korea in November

If you’re planning your trip to South Korea for November, you’ll have to pay extra attention to the climate and weather. November is a shoulder month between autumn and winter in Korea, so the end is vastly different than the beginning.

november in korea | hwadam forest

There’s still tons of fall foliage to enjoy in November in Korea.

Aside from the first few weeks when fall foliage fever in Korea is at its peak, this is a quieter month travel-wise. It’s easier to book good value accommodation in popular neighbourhoods like Myeongdong and Hongdae, festivals and attractions are a little less crowded, and you’ll likely avoid major queues at the airport if you travel to South Korea in November.

It starts to cool down, but the weather is still decent enough to explore without totally freezing, especially in the first week of the month. Overall, it’s a very pleasant time to see places in relative comfort and peace, before travel picks up again for winter vacations and Christmas in Korea.

Seoul Christmas Festival at Cheonggyecheon Stream

Christmas is another busy travel season in Korea.

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Korea in November | Weather

November in Korea is a shoulder month, as autumn transitions fully into winter. Average temperatures range from a chilly 3°C | 38°F to 12°C | 53°F.

The Korea weather in November is still pretty decent for the first few weeks, and there are even days that are pretty warm. I’ve been out as late as mid-November in just a sweatshirt and jeans, and been perfectly comfortable.

korea in november | asan ginkgo tree road

Perfectly comfortable in jeans and a sweatshirt at Asan Ginkgo Tree Road in mid-November in Korea.

Despite the odd warm day however, this is definitely a month where you should be prepared with thicker weight clothing and gear. After mid-November in Korea, it cools down significantly, with freezing winds adding to the chill. This is just a small taste of what the next 2 months of winter in Korea will be like weather-wise.

Korea in November | Seoul Weather

At the beginning of November in Seoul, average highs still sit at a pleasant 20°C | 68°F. However, by the end of the month, average daytime highs have cooled down a full 8°C to 12°C | 53°F.

november in korea | ginkgo trees

The weather is still perfectly comfortable in Seoul at the beginning of November.

Expect it to feel much colder in the evenings and at night, and if it’s a windy day, with little sunshine, you’ll definitely want to be prepared with a warm jacket and layers of clothing.

It rains a little bit in November, but it’s not really anything to worry about. There’s a tiny, tiny chance of snow in Seoul at the end of the month, but it’s definitely not something to count on. Snow in Seoul tends to be of the blink and you’ll miss it variety. You’ll have to head into Gangwon-do for a better chance of seeing snow.

november in south korea | seoul forest

It rains a bit in Seoul in November, but not enough to worry about.

* Personal note: I’m writing this on November 3rd, and it’s still relatively comfortable outside, with city streets alive with autumn colour. I did feel a sudden drop in temperature this morning and last night though, so cooler temperatures are definitely afoot. Get ready.

Korea Weather in November | Busan

November is a pleasant month to visit Busan, before temperatures drop too much in winter. Unlike Seoul, it doesn’t get overly cold in Busan, with average temperatures ranging from 10°C | 50°F to 15°C | 58°F during November in Korea.

korea in november | busan

Busan is perfectly lovely in November © IR Studio, Korea Tourism Organization

Strangely, this is the month with the most chance of snowfall in Busan. You’d have to be extremely lucky to catch it though, since the snowfall in Busan totals just 1-mm for all of November.

TIP  |  Short on time? Explore the best attractions in Busan with this jampacked tour to the Busan Skywalk, Gamcheon Culture Village, Songdo Cable Car, Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, and more. Lunch and transport included. Check availability of this day tour to all the Busan hotspots here.

Korea Weather in November | Pyeongchang (Gangwon-do)

The Korea weather in November in the province of Gangwon-do is typically quite a bit cooler than in other parts of the country. Pyeongchang in November has average temperatures ranging from just -3°C | 27°F to 7°C | 45°F.

korea in november | seoraksan national park

Trees lose their leaves fastest in Gangwon-do and Seoraksan National Park.

In my experience, it can feel a lot colder, with freezing winds that blow right through you, so be prepared with some seriously heavy weight clothing to deal with the sub-zero temperatures.

Despite Gangwon-do being the province where most ski resorts in Korea are located, there isn’t a ton of snowfall in November. While it usually snows for the first time in Pyeongchang in November, it’s not significant – totalling under 10-mm over the course of the month.

snowy land sled park in korea

You’ll have the most chance of experiencing snow at places like Snowy Land in Gangwondo.

SNOWY LAND  |  Admire snowy landscapes while you ride a gondola up to one of Korea’s most famous sled parks. Try ice sledding, group sledding in a raft and definitely don’t miss the tornado! Get more details here.

Korea Weather in November | Jeju Island

In November, Jeju Island has a similar climate to Busan, with average temperatures ranging from 10°C | 50°F to 16°C | 70°F. It’s an ideal climate for hiking and exploring the many stunning natural and UNESCO sites on the island.

korea in november | seongsan ilchubong sunrise peak in Jeju

November in Korea is the perfect time to explore Jeju’s UNESCO sites © Korea.net / Korean Culture and Information Service (CC BY-SA 2.0)

It does rain a bit in Jeju in November, with just over 60-mm of precipitation falling over the course of the month.

GETTING AROUND JEJU ISLAND  |  Public transit on Jeju Island is not as efficient as in Seoul. Distances are long, and it’s a lot slower, so most visitors either take day tours, hire a taxi, rent a car, or book a private car charter.

To rent a car as a traveller to Korea, you MUST have: a book type international driver’s permit (obtained in your home country), your passport, and your driver’s license from home. Check full details and availability of rental cars on Jeju Island here (reserve as early as possible for the best selection and prices).

Korea in November | Public Holidays 2022

There are no major public holidays in Korea in November 2022.

Limited Edition Autumn / Winter Tours in Korea

If you’re visiting Korea in November, you can take advantage of these limited edition autumn tours. It’s still possible to see some of the best fall colour in southern parts of the country, before we head into a new season. And I dare say, gingko trees might just be at their best in Korea in early November.

korea in november | seoul forest ginkgo trees

Ginkgo trees turn gloriously golden during November in Korea.

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

Winter Tours in Korea

Sure, winter in Korea might feel downright brutal, but there’s still plenty of fun things to do to help you forget the cold. Don’t miss these special events and activities that are only available for 2 or 3 months of the year.

Winter in Korea | Chilgapsan Ice Fountain Festival at Alps Village

You can channel your inner Elsa at the excellent Alps Village Ice Fountain Festival

garden of morning calm lighting festival

The Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival is one of Korea’s best winter events.

Korea in November | Best Festivals and Events

There’s an ever so slight pause in the crazy festival schedule in Korea in November, as if people are saving their energy for the incredible variety of activities coming up in the busy winter months of December and January.

Not to worry though – even at its quietest, there’s still way more to do in Korea in November than humanly possible.

To see weather and festivals for other months in Korea, check out the following guides:

Tragedy in Itaewon

Due to the horrific and senseless tragedy in Itaewon over Halloween weekend, there’s a national period of mourning until midnight on November 5th, 2022. Many festivals and events scheduled for November in Korea have been cancelled or indefinitely postponed until further notice.

Memorial alters have been set up across the country for people wishing to mourn and pay respect to the victims. In Seoul, a joint memorial altar is located at Seoul Plaza until Nov. 5th.

Iksan Ten Million Chrysanthemum Festival | 익산천만송이국화축제

Festival Dates: October 21st – November 13th, 2022

Address: Areas of Iksan-si | 전라북도 익산시 하나로 322 중앙체육공원

The months of October and November in Korea are when you’ll find chrysanthemums in full bloom across the country. There are a number of festivals celebrating this pretty flower all over South Korea.

This free event sees folk, dance, and art performances, a street parade, musical fountain shows, and chrysanthemums gorgeously decorating 8 different locations around Iksan. Get more details here (Korean only).

Luminarie | 루미나리에

Festival Dates: October 28th – January 31st, 2023

Address: 136, Samhaksa-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 송파구 삼학사로 136

Until October 30th, you can see both the Rubber Duck Project, and Walkerhill’s “Theatre of Light,” at Seokchon Lake Park in Jamsil. It doesn’t end there though. Throughout November in Korea, Luminarie will decorate Seokchon Lake in glowing light art and photo zones.

This is a great opportunity to grab a hot chocolate and join the locals strolling along the shores of Seokchon Lake.

Masan Chrysanthemum Festival | 마산국화축제

Festival Dates: October 29th – November 9th, 2022

Address: 80, Haean-daero, Masanhappo-gu, Changwon-si, Gyeongsangnam-do | 경상남도 창원시 마산합포구 해안대로 180 (월포동)

With fertile soil and a warm climate, Changwon (formerly Masan), is the biggest producer of chrysanthemums in Korea.

korea in november | masan chrysanthemum festival

Chrysanthemums in Masan © Dodream, Korea Tourism Organization

At the Masan Chrysanthemum Festival, gawk at an exhibition of over 120,000 chrysanthemums artfully displayed in a massive garden, watch a cool drone light show and see a singing competition.

More details on their website.

Jogyesa Chrysanthemum Festival | 조계사 국화축제

Festival Dates: until mid-November, 2022

Address: 55, Ujeongguk-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 종로구 우정국로 55

As the centre of Korean Buddhism, there are a number of stellar events and activities at Jogyesa Temple year round, including the can’t-miss Lotus Lantern Festival.

korea in november | jogyesa chrysanthemum festival

Jogyesa is brilliantly decorated in colourful flowers.

In Korea in November though, Jogyesa is all about chrysanthemums, with huge floral displays decorating the temple grounds.

Learn more about Jogyesa here.

ALPACA WORLD, NAMI ISLAND + GANGCHON RAIL BIKE  |  See adorable alpacas, wander gorgeous Nami Island, and pedal on abandoned railway tracks at the Gangchon Rail Park all on one super-convenient day tour. All transport and admissions included. Check availability of the Alpaca World day tour here (at least 48 hours in advance).

Seosan Chrysanthemum Festival | 서산국화축제

Festival Dates: November 2nd – November 13th, 2022

Address: 320-1, Gobuk 1-ro, Seosan-si, Chungcheongnam-do | 충청남도 서산시 고북면 복남골길 31-1

See flower tunnels, displays and other exhibits made up of colourful chrysanthemums and other wildflowers at Hannogwon Garden during November in Korea. There’s also a handicraft market, a showcase of traditional folk games, and food and tea made from chrysanthemum flowers available.

korea in november | ganworam hermitage

Ganworam is a unique temple that turns into an island at high tide.

I was pleasantly surprised by my visit to the quiet city of Seosan. There’s a ton to do! Be sure to stop into Haemieuipseong Fortress and check out the unique seaside Garworam Hermitage while you’re there.

Get more festival details on their website.

Jeju Olle Walking Festival | 제주올레걷기축제

Festival Dates: November 3rd – 5th, 2022 | CANCELLED

Address: 22, Jungjeong-ro, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do | 제주특별자치도 서귀포시 중정로 22

Jeju Island’s nature is simply glorious during November in Korea, and participating in the the Jeju Olle Walking Festival is one of the best ways to see it.

korea in november | jeju olle walking festival

See the beauty of Jeju by foot in November © Lee Beomsu, Korea Tourism Organization

Walk along 23 different hiking routes around the island, with visitors from all over the world, while watching local performances and eating local food. This is one of the most interesting autumn festivals in Korea!

Anyone can register, including children and groups. Get more details here.

Busan Fireworks Festival | 부산 불꽃축제

Festival Dates: November 5th, 2022 | CANCELLED

Address: 219, Gwanganhaebyeon-ro, Suyeong-gu, Busan | 부산광역시 수영구 광안해변로 219 (광안동)

The Busan Fireworks Festival lights up the sky above Gwangalli Beach every November in Korea. Aside from the epic fireworks display, you can also enjoy cultural programs, laser light shows and media facades.

korea in november | busan fireworks festival

Fireworks light up the sky in Busan in November in Korea © Seo Yeong-gyeon, Korea Tourism Organization

More details here.

KOREAN FOLK VILLAGE + HAN RIVER CRUISE  |  The Han River Night Cruise is finally back! Combine a trip to the Korean Folk Village in Yongin with a night cruise on the Han River to see Korea’s past and present on the same day. Check availability of the Folk Village + Han River Cruise tour here.

Cheongsong Apple Festival | 청송사과축제

Festival Dates: November 9th – 13th, 2022

Address: Wolmak-ri, Cheongsong-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do | 경상북도 청송군 청송읍 월막리

Every November in South Korea, crisp, juicy Cheongsong apples flood markets, streets, and grocery stores. At this time of year, you can be guaranteed a delicious apple, for a very reasonable price.

korea in november | cheongsong apples

Cheongsong apples are crisp and sweet © Lee Bumsu, Korea Tourism Organization

At the Cheongsong Apple Festival, you can enjoy EVERYTHING apple – including an apple parade, apple contests, apple sculptures, and much more. And of course, there are Cheongsong apples available for purchase at the festival.

Events take place from 10:00 – 21:00. Get more info here.

Korea in November | What to Wear

The Korea weather in November changes quite dramatically, with the end a lot colder than the start. For the first week, you could get away with jeans, hoodies, and sweaters during the daylight hours if you tolerate cooler temperatures well. However, a jacket is definitely needed by late afternoon and at night.

november in south korea | nami island

It’s a warmer at the beginning of November in Korea, but a jacket is still required.

By the end of the month, I don’t know many people who aren’t struggling with the deep freeze of Korea’s impending winter. HEATTECH inner layers, fleece-lined pants, warm boots, and a winter jacket are your best friend by the end of November in Korea. A lot of locals wear lighter-weight puffer coats with multiple layers underneath this month.

korea in november | what to wear

You’ll definitely need some kind of winter wear by the end of the month.

It’s helpful to have good running shoes or boots, for warmth, comfort, and convenience. I mostly wander around Seoul wearing my Loom waterproof sneakers and thick socks, and it’s enough, since I’m in and out of heated spaces. On cooler days though, or if I’m planning to spend a full day outdoors, I wear waterproof Uggs to keep my toes toasty warm. There’s nothing worse than cold feet!

korea in november | gyeongbokgung palace

Wear warm shoes if you plan to spend lots of time outside © Lee Seong-u, Korea Tourism Organization

Tips for What to Wear in Korea in November

1
It feels a lot colder at the end of November in Korea, so prepare accordingly. If you're visiting in the last few weeks of November, you definitely need to be prepared with winter gear.
2
Koreans generally dress quite well. You'll stand out quite a bit if you're wearing a ``typical backpacker`` look.
3
If you don't want to draw unwelcome attention to yourself, it's best to dress on the conservative side. For women, a low neckline will attract eyes, but a super short skirt won't (go figure). Shorts with thick tights underneath are a common sight in Korea in November.
korea in november | namsan tower

Make sure to pack for the cooler nights if you’re visiting Korea in November.

Visiting Korea in November | Packing List

Here’s a rough guideline of items to pack for the Korea weather in November.

Bring from Home

  • travel documents: passport, itineraries, hotel reservations, plane tickets, travel visas, insurance
  • international driver’s license if you plan to rent a car
  • adaptor / plug
  • long sleeved t-shirts, sweaters, hoodies, cardigans
  • jeans, trousers, leggings, thick tights
  • skirts or dresses
  • jacket, or thin puffer style coat for the beginning of the month
  • winter coat, gloves, scarf by the end of the month
  • sunglasses, eyeglasses, contact lenses
  • deodorant, feminine hygiene items
  • comfortable shoes or boots for lots of walking
  • any special medications you need

Buy in Korea

  • umbrella if it rains
  • hot packs (at the convenience store or DAISO)
  • gloves and scarves are cheap and easy to buy everywhere
  • HEATTECH inner layers for warmth (Uniqlo)
  • disposable air pollution / medical masks
  • batteries / charging cables (super cheap at Daiso)
  • skincare products like sunscreen (high quality and cheap in Korea!)
  • eyeglasses and contact lenses can be purchased just by walking into a store (a free eye test will be provided)
  • birth control can be purchased over the counter, without a prescription (but all brands may not be available)
daiso korea

Shop for what you need at Daiso! © LERK (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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Korea in November: Essential Info and FAQs

1
Is November a good time to visit Korea? If you don't mind it a bit cooler, November is a great time to visit Korea. There's bright sunshine, autumn foliage, and blue skies for the first few weeks before the transition to winter begins.
2
Is November cold in Korea? Average daily temperatures in Korea in November range from 3°C | 38°F to 12°C | 53°F. It can feel especially chilly at night, or if the wind is blowing, so it's best to be prepared with layers and warm clothes.
3
Is there autumn foliage in South Korea in November? Autumn foliage is at its peak in southern parts of Korea for the first 2 weeks of November. There's still plenty of fall colour to enjoy in Seoul too!
4
What is there to do in Korea in November? There are a number of flower, light, and cultural festivals to go to all over Korea in November. It's still a good time for outdoor activities like hiking and biking if you wear the right gear.

All ready for the perfect trip to Korea in November? What have you got planned?

Comments:

  • November 9, 2022

    South Korea does not get enough press for its beauty! (Not that you are not trying!) It truly is a beautiful country, and the fall foliage has always impressed me, especially the brilliantly yellow ginkgos. The tragedy at Itaewon was so terrible, and I thought of you right away. Glad you are safe. Enjoy the last bit of pleasant weather this month!

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