>  Asia   >  Visiting Korea in September | Weather, Best Festivals and What to Pack [2023]
korea in september | anseong farmland

After the searing temperatures and exhausting humidity of Korea in August, we all breathe a collective sigh of relief in Korea in September.

Welcome to one of the very best months of the year in South Korea!

korea in september | anseong farmland

Visiting Korea in September is an excellent idea!

In this guide, you’ll learn:

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

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Visiting Korea in September

If you’ve planned your trip to South Korea for September, you’re in for a wonderful time! With golden light and comfortable weather, it’s easy to feel optimistic this month.

Whether it’s challenging yourself with a hike up Bukhansan, seeing the sights from the deck of a luxury yacht on the Han River, or scooting around Seoul on an e-bike, September is definitely a month to spend as much time outdoors as possible.

korea in september | hangang river sunset

Sunsets in Korea in September are simply glorious.

In Korea in September, kids are back in school, and the epic crowds seeking peak autumn foliage haven’t arrived yet. So booking tours and the ideal accommodation in Seoul is relatively easier, and more affordable than in October and November.

However, the Chuseok holiday falls from September 28th to 30th in 2023. At this time, everyone and their dog is traveling around Korea, so there are huge traffic jams and booking KTX tickets is very difficult. It’s best to stay put in Seoul during Chuseok.

autumn in seoul | seoul forest ginkgo trees

You’ll have to wait until October or November to see this kind of fall foliage in Korea.

There’s also plenty to keep you entertained in South Korea in September, with some truly unique festivals and events set to take place in this first month of autumn. I’ll cover these a bit later on in this guide.

Korea in September | Weather

After the oppressiveness of summer in Korea, the September weather feels just a little bit like heaven. This is one of the best months to visit Korea climate-wise, with ideal temperatures, minimal humidity, and glorious sun-filled days.

korea in september | changdeokgung palace

The weather in Korea in September is ideal.

However, there’s an overall cooling trend in Korea during September, with daytime high temperatures decreasing 4°C | 8°F, from 27°C | 81°F to 23°C | 73°F over the course of the month.

It’s still hot enough across the country to be out in shorts and t-shirts for the first few weeks of September in Korea, but it’s wise to prepare a sweater or light jacket for evenings. Near the end of the month, it can feel downright chilly at night, with average lows of 17°C | 63°F.

korea in september | korean folk village

It’s warm enough for shorts in the beginning of September in South Korea © Live Studio, Korea Tourism Organization

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namsan mountain in autumn

Korea in September | Seoul Weather

With average temperatures ranging from 17°C | 63°F to a still warm 26°C | 78.°F, the Seoul weather in September is simply wonderful. It cools down as we head into Seoul’s incredible autumn season, but jeans and multiple layers are all that’s required for exploring comfortably this month.

korea in september | changdeokgung palace

You don’t need more than a light jacket and layers to explore Korea comfortably in September.

The humidity decreases quickly in Seoul in September, and by the end of the month, it sits at just 3%. There are about 9 days of rain, totalling approximately 170-mm, on average, but it’s not really anything to worry about.

korea in september | peaceland in pocheon

September in Korea is such an incredible relief.

*Personal note: Can we get a halleluja!? I spend most of Korea’s July and August with AC on 24/7, hiding inside, and wearing black, because the sweat from all that humidity really isn’t pretty.

It’s now August 28th, and the weather seems to have changed dramatically over the course of the last 3 days. My AC is off, there’s little to no humidity, and it’s even a bit chilly in the evenings if there’s a breeze. Sunsets are glorious, the sky is crystal clear and the weather is literally perfection.

Korea Weather in September | Busan

With its location on Korea’s southeastern coast, Busan in September is cooler than Seoul. It has average daily temperatures ranging from 21°C | 70°F to 24°C | 76°F. It rains for approximately 9 days, but precipitation only totals about 70-mm over the entire month.

korea in september | haedong yonggungsa temple in busan

September is an excellent time to see Busan’s gorgeous Haedong Yonggungsa Temple © Lee Beomsu, Korea Tourism Organization

If you don’t mind a cooler sea, it’s still possible to swim at Busan’s beaches. The water temperature sits at 25°C | 77°F in September in Korea, and there’s plenty of sunshine to enjoy. Be sure to slather on that sunscreen though – the UV index is still very high.

SHORT ON TIME?  |  Explore all the best attractions in Busan with this jampacked tour to Taejongdae Cliff, Songdo Skywalk, Gamcheon Culture Village, Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, and more. Check details of the full day tour to Busan’s hotspots here.

Korea Weather in September | Gangneung (Gangwon-do)

The Korea weather in September on East Coast beaches is typically quite a bit cooler than in the interior. In Gangneung in September, the average daily temperatures ranges from 16°C | 60°F to 21°C | 70.5°F. The sea temperature hovers around 22°C | 71.2°F – which makes for uncomfortable swimming, for most people.

korea in september | east coast

The East Coast of Korea can be chilly, even in summer.

In my experience. the East Coast can feel quite chilly even in summer time, so be prepared with some heavier weight clothing.

AFFORDABLE PRIVATE TAXI TOUR  | This 3 hour private taxi tour of Gangneung area sites provides incredible value at just 20,000 won per car (max 4 people).

Choose between K-WAVE, Coffee City, or Gangneung History Tour to see famous sites like the BTS bus stop, Anmok Beach Coffee Street, Gyeongpo Lake, or Ohjukheon in total comfort. Check availability and select a private taxi tour here.

Korea Weather in September | Jeju Island

In September, average temperatures on Jeju Island range from 20°C | 69°F and 26°C | 78.4°F with 11 days of rain, totalling approximately 220-mm of precipitation.

korea in september | gwakji beach in jeju

You can still swim at gorgeous Gwakji Beach in September.

The water temperature is 25°C | 76°F, so you can still swim comfortably at one of Jeju’s gorgeous beaches.

GETTING AROUND JEJU ISLAND  |  Jeju is a surprisingly large island, and public transit can be slow and time-consuming. If you don’t have a ton of time, your best options are to rent a car and drive yourself, or join a group tour of major Jeju Island sites.

Korea in September | Typhoons

Typhoon season in South Korea is from July to September. At this time last year, Typhoon Hinnamnor was barreling towards Jeju Island. It was at Korea’s highest typhoon rating, with a maximum wind speed of 55-m per second – strong enough to collapse a building.

typhoons in korea | Maemiseong with rocky beach and sea in front

Maemiseong Fortress was built to protect the land, after Typhoon Maemi hit Korea (the last super strong typhoon).

If a typhoon should hit while you’re visiting Korea in September, it’s best to stay indoors, shut the windows tight and avoid places where there could be flooding or mudslides… and maybe avoid Jeju Island.

Just Released | 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 Korea, I recommend reserving a spot as soon as you can.

wondae-ri birch forest

Wondae-ri Birch Forest looks like a dream © Dodream, Korea Tourism Organization

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

naejangsan national park

Naejangsan is in peak foliage in early November © IR Studio, Korea Tourism Organization

Korea in September | Best Festivals and Events

When September hits Korea, it’s like we all wake up from a deep summer hibernation, fully recharged and ready to explore the country. The streets are packed and the mood is vibrant.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but here’s a rundown of some of the major festivals and events to check out in Korea in September.

cherry blossoms in korea | gyeongpodae

Cherry blossom festivals take over Korea in April ⓒ Gangwon Office, Korea Tourism Office

Visiting Korea at another time of the year? Learn about weather and festivals for other months in Korea, in the following detailed guides.

chilgapsan ice fountain festival

Snow and ice festivals happen during winter in Korea.

Muju Firefly Festival | 무주 반딧불축제

Festival Dates: September 2nd – 10th, 2023

Address: 326-14, Hanpungnu-ro, Muju-gun, Jeollabuk-do | 전라북도 무주군 한풍루로 326-14 등나무운동장

Muju is a natural habitat for fireflies, so it’s possible to see a field full of romantic flickering lights easily at the Muju Firefly Festival in Korea in September. You can enjoy traditional performances and concerts, but the highlights are definitely night programs, like firefly exploration and stargazing.

Most programs are free, but online reservation in advance is required for both stargazing (5,000 won) and firefly exploration (15,000 won). Check their website for more details.

Goesan Red Pepper Festival | 괴산고추축제

Festival Dates: TBA for 2023, September 1st – 4th in 2022

Address: 113 , Imkkeokjeong-ro, Goesan-gun, Chungcheongbuk-do | 충청북도 괴산군 임꺽정로 113

Peppers, peppers, peppers! There is no escaping the gochu in Korea, and certainly not in Goesan, where there’s a 4 day celebration of the country’s ubiquitous spicy red pepper.

There’s no escaping Korea’s spicy red pepper.

At the Geosan Red Pepper Festival, watch magic and busking performances, the nonverbal show “Pepper Nanta,” or search for the “Golden Pepper.” Get more details here.

Gyeongbokgung at Night | 경복궁 야간 특별관람

Dates: TBA for 2023, September 1st – November 6th in 2022

Address: 161, Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 종로구 사직로 161 (세종로)

Twice a year, Gyeongbokgung Palace is brilliantly lit and opened for night viewing. Get tickets in advance online (Korean), or grab them on-site (for foreigners only – limited to 200). Cost: 3,000 won.

korea in september | gyeongbokgung palace at night

Enter Gyeongbokgung at night free, if you’re wearing a hanbok.

Of course, you can skip the ticketing process entirely, and walk straight into Gyeongbokgung for free, if you’re wearing a hanbok. It’s actually the perfect time to try it out, since the Korea weather in September isn’t too hot or too cold.

TIP  |  Discover Seoul on foot! Walk around Gwanghwamun Plaza, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Jogyesa Temple, Insadong, and other historic hotspots with an english speaking guide. Check availability and join a historic walking tour of Seoul.

Chuseok | 추석

Festival Dates: September 29th, 2023, with public holiday dates from September 28th – 30th, 2023

Address: Everywhere!

Chuseok is a major mid-autumn harvest festival that’s celebrated every year on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Lunar Calendar, to coincide with the full harvest moon. This is one of the biggest and most important holidays in Korea in September.

Korea in September | Chuseok at Seoul Norimadang

Chuseok is one of the best times to catch a traditional performance

You could think of Chuseok, as Korean Thanksgiving, because family members travel from all over the country to gather together in their hometowns, share a big meal, and give thanks to their ancestors through traditional rituals like Charye and Seongmyo.

For travelers, Chuseok is an excellent time to learn about Korea’s culture, by playing traditional games, eating songpyeon, and watching folk performances. Check out my full guide on what to do in Seoul during Chuseok for some ideas.

korea in september | songpyeon for chuseok

Songpyeon is usually eaten at Chuseok © Live Studio, Korea Tourism Organization

Colourful Sanji | 컬러풀산지

Festival Dates: TBA for 2023, August 13th – September 12th in 2022

Address: 49 Sanji-ro, Jeju City | 제주특별자치도 제주시 일도일동 1498

Can’t get enough of the whale from hit K-drama, “Extraordinary Attorney Woo Young Woo?” Head to the Colorful Sanji Festival on Jeju Island to see her comfort animal, re-created in massive scale.

Measuring a huge 30-metres, the whale is actually a media art installation made up of 3,000 separate sardines. Check it out after 7:30PM to see it colourfully lighting up the night sky.

Aside from the marine mammal, festival goers can also make sardine miniatures from recycled plastic bottles to float on the stream, shop at the flea market, or watch a performance by Lee Mu-jin, singer-actor Lee Jung and rapper BE’O.

Jeongseon Arirang Festival | 정선아리랑제

Dates: TBA for 2023, September 15th – 18th in 2022

Address: Bongyang-ri, Jeongseon-gun, Gangwon-do | 강원도 정선군 정선읍 봉양리

The Korean folk song Arirang was registered on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list in 2012, and the mournful Jeongseon is its oldest version, dating back over 600 years.

At the Jeongseon Arirang Festival, you can hear many versions of Arirang from different regions, play traditional games, and watch a parade. Don’t miss the “Arirang Gilnori” – a massive performance of Arirang by over 1,600 people!

Check more details here (Korean only).

DISCOUNTED NANTA SHOW TICKETS  |  Nanta is Korea’s longest running show for a reason. Watch an incredibly entertaining performance that mixes acrobatics, comedy, and percussion using kitchen utensils. Best of all, it’s nonverbal, so anyone can enjoy this show, regardless of language. Check availability of Nanta tickets here.

Jeonju International Sori Festival | 전주세계소리축제

Festival Dates: TBA for 2023, September 16th – 25th in 2022

Address: 31, Sori-ro, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do | 전라북도 전주시 덕진구 소리로 31 소리문화전당

The Jeonju International Sori Festival is a global music event, that brings together performers from all over the world. Focusing on pansori, and other folk music from different cultures, this is one of the most impressive festivals you can attend in Korea in September.

The Jeonju Sori Festival was selected by Songlines Magazine as one of the “Best 25 World Music Festivals” for 4 straight years, from 2012 to 2015, and Transglobal World Music Chart, named it winner of its “Best Festival” award for both 2018 and 2019. This festival is worth your time.

Get more details here.

Pohang International Fire and Light Festival | 포항국제불빛축제

Festival Dates: TBA for 2023, September 23rd – 25th in 2022

Address: Haedo-dong, Nam-gu, Pohang-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do | 경상북도 포항시 남구 해도동

A spectacular fireworks display will light up the sky above Pohang in Korea in September. When you’re not being wowed by the teams from South Korea, Sweden, Italy, and the Philippines competing for the title of best fireworks, you can enjoy a dance party with DJ, busking, a parade and much more.

Best of all, it’s all free!

korea in september | pohang fireworks festival

The Pohang International Fire and Light Festival is FREE to attend © Lee Jae-deok

Check out more details here.

Eumseong Pumba Festival | 음성 품바축제

Festival Dates: TBA for 2023, September 21st – 25th in 2022

Address: 28, Seolseonggongwon-gil, Eumseong-gun, Chungcheongbuk-do | 충청북도 음성군 음성읍 설성공원길 28

Every September in Korea, Eumseong County is taken over by hilarious street singers (pumba) from all over the country.

Before Korea became the economic powerhouse it is today, pumba wandered markets, streets, and villages, entertaining the public in search of food, money, or whatever else they needed. Today, pumba don’t beg for food or money, but instead sing at special events and festivals.

At the Eumseong Pumba Festival, there are both free and paid Pumba performances, a National Pumba King Contest, and parade. Check full festival details here (Korean only).

Hyoseok Culture Festival | 평창효석문화제

Festival Dates: TBA for 2023

Address: 157, Ihyoseok-gil, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do | 강원도 평창군 봉평면 이효석길 157 (봉평면)

Held yearly to commemorate Lee Hyo-seok’s popular novel, “When Buckwheat Flowers Bloom,” the Hyoseok Culture Festival is unfortunately cancelled for 2022.

korea in september | buckwheat flowers

Buckwheat flowers bloom in Korea in September © Kim Jiho, Korea Tourism Organization

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t make your way to Bongpyeong to see the Lee Hyo-seok Culture Village and Memorial Hall to learn about the book, and see the beautiful fields of buckwheat flowers that bloom every September in Korea.

Learn all about the festival here.

Ultra Korea | 울트라 코리아

Festival Dates: TBA 2023, September 24th – 25th in 2022

Address: 서울특별시 송파구 잠실동 올림픽로 25

Set to return to Korea in September, after a 2 year hiatus, Ultra is one of the biggest outdoor electronic music festivals in the country. In its 9th year in Korea, this 2 day festival features world class DJs from around the world, including Adam Beyer, Marshmello, Martin Garrix, and more.

This festival is 19+. Check the full line-up and get tickets here.

Andong Mask Dance Festival | 안동국제탈춤페스티벌

Festival Dates: TBA for 2023, September 29th – October 3rd in 2022

Address: 239, Yuksa-ro, Andong-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do | 경상북도 안동시 축제장길 200 탈춤공연장

If cultural travel is your thing, the Andong Mask Dance Festival is the perfect event for you to attend in Korea during September. This festival takes place near the UNESCO World Heritage designated Andong Hahoe Village, which is totally worth a visit on its own.

korea in september | andong mask dance festival

Watch mask dance dramas in Andong © Kim Jiho, Korea Tourism Organization

Aside from performances of Korea’s mask dance drama (intangible cultural heritage), and other mask dances from around the world, there are experiential programs, mask related competitions and a ton of food stalls to stuff yourself at. Check full festival details here.

September in Korea | What to Wear

September in Korea is a shoulder month between summer and autumn. The weather can change quickly from hot to windy and cool this month, so it’s best to be prepared with multiple layers and weights of clothing to deal with the changing conditions.

korea in september | what to wear

By the end of September in Korea, you’ll want long sleeves and pants.

At the beginning of the month, temperatures are still relatively high, the sun is strong, and there’s some possibility of rain. I’m comfortable in shorts and t-shirts, even in the evenings, but I run pretty hot. Most locals are wearing jeans, leggings, skirts, long-sleeved shirts, and lighter weight sweaters, jackets, and windbreakers by the start of September in Korea.

By the end of the month (or even earlier), it’s cooled down enough that shorts and sandals would feel strange. Travellers from tropical climates would probably find it chilly, especially at night.

korea in september | deoksugung stone wall

You’ll log thousands of steps a day, when visiting Korea. Comfortable shoes are a must © Korea Tourism Organization

You’ll log a lot of miles while exploring Korea, so comfortable shoes are a must. I wear Loom waterproof sneakers, pretty much every day, I’m not wearing sandals, because they’re perfect for pretty much any conditions, stylish enough for city life, and actually 100% waterproof.

Tips for What to Wear in Korea in September

It's cooler at the end of September in Korea than at the beginning, so prepare accordingly. If you're visiting in the first week of September, there's a higher chance of rain, but you can pick up an umbrella easily here.
Koreans generally dress quite well. You'll stand out quite a bit if you're wearing a ``typical backpacker`` look.
It's best to dress on the conservative side, if you don't want to draw unwelcome attention. For women, a low neckline will attract eyes, but a super short skirt won't (go figure).
korea in september | hansol park

Korea in September is mostly very green.

Korea in September | Packing List

Here’s a rough guideline of items to pack for the Korea weather in September. Keep in mind that this is a shoulder month, and you’ll need warmer items if you’re traveling to Korea in the latter half of September.

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
  • t-shirts, lightweight sweaters, hoodies, cardigans
  • jeans, trousers, leggings
  • shorts, capris
  • skirts or dresses
  • light jacket, windbreaker or shell
  • sunglasses, eyeglasses, contact lenses
  • deodorant, feminine hygiene items
  • comfortable shoes for lots of walking
  • any special medications you need

Buy in Korea

  • umbrella if it rains / parasol
  • 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)
korea in september | sunset at jamsil hangang park

Get ready for some wonderful light in Korea in September.

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Korea in September: Essential Info and FAQs

Is September a good time to visit Korea? Gorgeous weather, clear skies, and less tourists make September one of the very best months of the year to visit Korea.
How cold is Korea in September? Average daily temperatures in Korea range from 17°C | 63°F to a still warm 26°C | 78.°F in September. It can feel a little chilly at night in the evenings, so it's best to prepare with a light sweater or jacket.
Is Korea hot in September? In Korea in September, temperatures and humidity progressively decrease over the course of the month to about 17°C | 63°F. It's generally a very comfortable month climate-wise, but can feel cooler at the end of the month.
What to do in Korea in September? There are various unique cultural festivals to go to all over Korea in September. Outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and picnicking are also very popular in September.

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


  • September 4, 2022

    wow, yeash yeash South Korea in September is pleasing.
    Love the photographs. <3


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