Get Your Korea Cherry Blossom Fix! Crowdedness, Tips, Best Dates/Time 2019

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Cherry blossoms (sakura) are often associated with the start of spring and often symbolises the fragility and beauty of life. A symbolic flower of Japan, the viewing of cherry blossoms (hanami) is a huge event in Japan. Hence, it comes as no surprise that people would normally first think of travelling to Japan just to see the cherry blossoms. However, if you’re flying to Korea this year instead, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. (If you have yet to book your tickets, read our travel guide first then do a quick comparison across all booking sites to make sure you STILL get the most bang for your buck for a last-minute trip!)

Tldr, the table below will show you which spots suit you best and where you should be enjoying cherry blossoms in Korea based on your preferences!

LocationCherry BlossomsFestivalBest Time to VisitCrowdActivitiesEntrance Fee
Changwon , Jinhae
- 300,000 trees
- Korean Cherry
Jinhae Gunhangje Cherry Blossom Festival,
1-10 April
Early April, in the day or night
Very crowdedMilitary marching band, music performances, street food-
Bomun Lake, Gyeongju
- 9,000 trees
- Korean Cherry
Gyeongju Cherry
Blossom Marathon,
6 April, 8:00am.(Marathon: Half, 5, or 10km )
Early April, in the day or night
Very crowdedRun, picnic, swan boats, bike
-
Hallasan or Jeonnong-ro cherry blossom street- King Cherry Jeju Cherry
Blossom Festival
23 Mar - 30 Mar, in the day
Relatively crowdedHiking, picnic-
Samnak Ecology Park, Busan
- over a thousand trees
- Korean Cherry
-26 Mar - 2 April, in the day and night
Very crowdedPicnic, bike, birdwatch-
Oncheoncheon Stream Park, Busan
- 650 trees on each side of the bank
- Korean Cherry
-26 Mar - 2 April, in the day and night
Very crowdedPicnic, take a walk -
Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul- Korean Cherry trees
-5 - 13 April, in the day or nightRelatively crowdedRent a hanbok, tour the palace grounds
KRW3,000
Yeouido, Seoul- 1,886 trees along the 1.7km Yeouiseo-ro
- Korean Cherry
Yeongdeungpo Yeouido Spring Flower Festival,
6-13 April
5 - 13 April, in the day or nightVery crowdedPicnic, street food, street performances, take a walk, fireworks
-
Seokchon Lake, Seoul- over 1000 trees
- Korean Cherry
Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival,
6-13 April
6 - 13 April, in the day or night
Relatively crowdedPicnic, take a walk-
Namsan Park, Seoul
- hundreds of trees dot the mountains
- Korean Cherry
-5 - 13 April, in the day or night
Relatively crowdedCable car, hike, leave behind a love lockObservatory: KRW10,000
Nami Island, Gangwon-do
- best spot: Cherry Tree Lane in front of the Water Stages Swimming Pool
-Late March to Mid April
Relatively crowdedZipline, picnic, take a walk
Entrance fee + ferry: KRW 13,000
Jayu Park, Incheon- First western-styled park
-9th-15th April, in the day
Likely to be the least crowdedIn transit, take a walk, picnic
-
Incheon Grand Park, Incheon- 40-year-old trees lining the path over a distance of 1.5km
- King Cherry
-9th-15th April, in the day
Likely to be the least crowdedIn transit, picnic, take a walk, cycle, visit zoo or botanical garden
-
  1. Jinhae Gunhangje Cherry Blossom Festival (Jinhae)
  2. Gyeongju
  3. Jeju
  4. Samnak Ecology Park (Busan)
  5. Oncheoncheon Stream Park (Busan)
  6. Gyeongbokgung Palace (Seoul)
  7. Yeouido (Seoul)
  8. Seokchon Lake (Seoul)
  9. Namsan Park (Seoul)
  10. Nami Island (Gangwon-do)
  11. Jayu Park (Incheon)
  12. Incheon Grand Park (Incheon)

1. Jinhae Gunhangje Cherry Blossom Festival (Jinhae)  

Hosting the largest cherry blossom festival in Korea that attracts over 2 million visitors each year, Jinhae has over 300,000 cherry trees, the largest cluster of cherry trees in the world. Along with spectacular cherry blossom sights, the festival runs for 10 days and includes the Jinhae military marching band, music performances and sakura-inspired street food. For a day tour, book here!

Top spots:

  1. Romance Bridge on the Yeojwacheon Stream
  2. Cherry blossom road near to Yeojwacheon Stream is lined with pink and white cherry blossom trees on both sides.
  3. Gyeonghwa Rail Station – the cherry blossom trees lining the tracks create an archway of pink and white petals

Best time to visit: Late March to Early April (Official festival dates for 2019 are 1-10 April)

Where: Tongsin-dong, Jinhae-gu, Changwon-si, Gyeongsangnam-do

How to get there:

  1. Take a bus from Busan Seobu terminal (45 min – 1 hr,  KRW5,100 for a one-way trip)
  2. Intercity bus to Jinhae from Seoul Nambu Bus Terminal.

2. Gyeongju

Gyeongju, previously the capital during the 1,000 year long Silla Dynasty, is famed as Korea’s museum without walls. Up for a totally unique way to see the cherry blossoms? Join a day tour, or take in the sights while you run along rows of cherry blossom trees for the Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Marathon. This year, the marathon will be held on the 6th of April 2019 and will cost KRW 30,000 for full / half / 10km marathon, and KRW 20,000 for the 5km run.

Best time to visit: Early April

Where: Gyeongju city, Heliport next to the administrative welfare center

How to get there:

  1. Take a bus from Busan’s Central Bus Terminal to Gyeongju. The ride will take 50 min to 1 hour and will cost KRW 4,800 for a one-way trip.

3. Jeju

A rare species of the cherry blossom that has been listed as an endangered species, the King Cherry is native to Korea’s Jeju island. It has the largest petals of all cherry trees, and is considered to be the most magnificent cherry blossom in South Korea.

Top spots:

  1. Jeju Sports Complex
  2. Downtown Seogwipo
  3. Mount Hallasan
  4. Jeonnong-ro and Jeonnong-ro Cherry Blossom Street
  5. Hallim Park
  6. Noksan-ro

Best time to visit: Late March to Mid April

How to get there:

  1. Take a bus from Jeju International Airport to Seogwipo. Approx. 80 mins, KRW 5,500
  2. Take the Airport Limousine bus (route 600) from Jeju International Airport to Seogwipo. Approx. 1 hour, KRW 5,000 for a one-way trip.
  3. For Jeonnong-ro and Jangjeon-ri, Aewol-eup, take Bus No. 6, 7, 10, 11, 37, 46, 55, 97, 500, 502 to Jeju National University Bus Stop.

4. Samnak Ecology Park (Busan)

With over a thousand cherry blossom trees lining the path along Nakdonggang River, Samnak Ecological Park is a perfect place to take in the cherry blossom views in Busan while having a picnic date.

Best time to visit: Late March to Early April

Where: 686, Samnak-dong, Sasang-gu, Busan-si

How to get there:

  1. Take the Busan-Gimhae LRT to Gwaebeop Renecite Station, Exit 1. Cross the bridge leading to the park, approx. 3min.
  2. Take Metro Line 2 go Sasang Station, Exit 3. Walk for 15min toward the Nakdonggang River.
  3. Take buses 123, 126, 138-1 and get off at Samnak Ecology Park Bus Stop.

5. Oncheoncheon Stream Park (Busan)

Oncheoncheon Stream is Busan’s central stream and is a popular location for the locals to go walking, jogging and cycling. During the spring season, 650 cherry blossom trees on each side of the bank bloom, making it a perfect spot to take a relaxing stroll or have a picnic.

Best time to visit: Late March

Where: Yeonsan 9(gu)-dong, Yeonje-gu, Busan.

How to get there:

  1. Take the Metro Line 1 to Dongnae Station, Exit 2 or 4. Access the walkway through the stairway leading underground.

Seoul

Before we deep-dive into places where you can see cherry blossoms in Seoul, let’s face it: There are just too many places in Seoul itself for you to cover them all. If you struggle to make decisions, here’s a solution: leave it to the locals. This bespoke tour brings you to 3 different spots depending on what’s best THAT VERY DAY. Just book, sit back, and enjoy the sight of falling petals.

6.Gyeongbokgung Palace (Seoul)

Gyeongbokgung Palace was the main royal palace during the Joseon dynasty and is an extremely popular tourist site. During the cherry blossom season, the beautiful flowers combined with the traditional Korean architecture makes for perfect photo opportunities.

Tip: Rent a hanbok to up your Insta game at Gyeongbokgung Palace!

Best time to visit: Early to Mid April

Where: 161 Sajik-ro, Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

How to get there:

  1. Take subway line 3 to Gyeongbokgung Station Exit 5
  2. Take to Gwanghwamun Station Exit 2
  3. Take subway line 3 to Angguk Station Exit 1

Other palaces around Seoul that are less well-known but have equally beautiful cherry blossoms:

  1. Changdeokgung Palace
  2. Deoksugung Palace
  3. Unhyeongung Palace
  4. Changgyeonggung Palace

7. Yeouido (Seoul)

Yeouido is an island on the Han river in Seoul. During the Yeongdeungpo Yeouido Spring Flower Festival, Yeouiseo-ro Road turns into a pedestrian promenade with exciting performances and street vendors lining the sidewalks. Along with the famous 1,886 Korean Cherry trees, visitors can enjoy the sight of pink blossoms along with other spring flowers like azaleas, forsythia and royal azaleas.

Best time to visit: Early to Mid April

Where: Tongsin-dong, Jinhae-gu, Changwon-si, Gyeongsangnam-do

How to get there:

  1. Take subway Line 2 or 9 to Dangsan Station, Exit 4. 20 minute walk.
  2. Take subway Line 5 to Yeouinaru Station, Exit 1. 20 minute walk.
  3. Take subway Line 5 or 9 to Yeouido Station, Exit 5. Take Bus 162, 262, or 461 to National Assembly Bus Stop.
  4. Take subway Line 9 to National Assembly Station, Exit 1 or 6. 5 minute walk.

Basic fare is KRW 1,350 for adults and KRW 450 for children.

8. Seokchon Lake (Seoul)

Surrounding Lotte World is the clear Seokchon Lake lined with over 1000 beautiful cherry blossom trees. Attend the Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival which occurs in the 1st or 2nd week of April for a variety of performances and activities or take a casual stroll and picnic on the grounds of the park.

Best time to visit: Early to Mid April

Where: 148, Jamsil-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul

How to get there:

  1. Take Seoul Subway Line 2 or 8 to Jamsil Station Exit 2 or 3.

Basic fare is KRW 1,350 for adults and KRW 450 for children.

9. Namsan Park (Seoul)

One of the most popular parks in Seoul with the N Seoul Tower sitting at the peak of 262m high, Namsan Park is located in the Jung-gu district of south central Seoul. Namsan is popular for its hiking trails, picnic spots, and panoramic views of downtown Seoul. Namsan Park has the longest trail of cherry trees in Seoul and offers a breathtaking view both in the day and at night when in full bloom.

Best time to visit: End March to Early April

Where: 04628 231 Samil-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul

N Seoul Tower Address: 105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan 2(i)ga-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul

How to get there:

  1. Take Seoul Subway Line 4 to Hoehyeon Station, Exit 4. Walk for 20 min.
  2. Take Seoul Subway Line 6 to Hangangjin Station, Exit 2. Then take Bus 0014 to Hyatt Hotel (Botanic Garden).
  3. Take Seoul Subway Line 4 to Myeong-dong Station, Exit 1 & walk for 10min.

Alternatively, head to Exit 2 or 3, walk towards Lila Elementary School for approximately 10 minutes, then you will see Palgakjeong (Seoul Tower) and take the namsan cable car to the top.

  1. Namsan cable car

One-way: Adults KRW 6,000 / Children KRW 3,500

Round-trip: Adults KRW 8,000 / Children KRW 5,000

Tip: Don’t forget to get your observatory tickets at a discount if you pre-book them first! Also, you might want to prepare a love lock ahead of time to bring with you so you can declare your eternal and undying love for your bae at Namsan Tower.

10. Nami Island (Gangwon-do)

Visit the tiny and beautiful Nami Island, located in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, to get in touch with your rustic vibes. Have a picnic or take a walk with the cherry blossom trees in full bloom as your backdrop.

Best spot for photos: Cherry Tree Lane in front of the Water Stages Swimming Pool.

Best time to visit: Late March to Mid April

Where: 1, Namiseom-gil, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do

Admission Fee (entrance fee + ferry fee): KRW 13,000   

How to get there:

  1. Take the Subway Gyeongchun Line to Gapyeong Station. Approx. KRW 2,000 and takes 1 ½ hours.
  2. ITX Train from Yongsan Station and stop at Gapyeong Station. Book a seat online for KRW 4,800. A more comfortable ride as compared to the metro and will take approx. 55 minutes.  
  3. Take the shuttle bus from Insa-dong or Namdaemun Gate. Book a seat online at KRW 15,000 for a return trip. The ride will take approx. 1 ½ hours.

Tip: Alternatively, you can zipline your way into Nami Island and enjoy the scenery while you do so!

11. Jayu Park (Incheon)

Located just 90min from the Incheon International Airport, Jayu Park is an ideal spot to catch the cherry blossoms if you have some time to spare during transit.

Best time to visit: End April

Where: 25 Jayugongwonnam-ro, Bukseong-dong 3(sam)-ga, Jung-gu, Incheon, South Korea

How to get there:

  1. Take the Seoul Subway Line 1 to Incheon Station, Exit 1

12. Incheon Grand Park (Incheon)  

Another location to see the cherry blossoms during your transit in Incheon International Airport is the Incheon Grand Park with 40-year-old King cherry trees lining the path over a distance of 1.5km.

Best time to visit: April

Where: 180 Jangsu-dong, Namdong-gu, Incheon, South Korea

How to get there:

  1. Take the Incheon Subway Line 2 to Incheon Grand Park Station

Hidden Gems: Cherry Blossoms in Korea

Cherry blossom viewing does not have to be a stressful affair if you want to avoid the crowds — simply go for less crowded areas like the parks in Incheon, where you can see the King Cherry, which is actually native to Jeju, and hard to find elsewhere. Do you have a spot in Korea you’d recommend to others which is not in this list? Drop us a comment to tell us where! For more cherry blossoms spots, click here: USA|EU


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