Where To See Autumn Leaves In Korea 2023: Best Fall Foliage

Seeing autumn leaves in Korea is an absolute must. Dazzling reds, burning oranges, rich golds, and lush greens paint the forests and mountains of Korea’s countryside in waves of splendour that shouldn’t be missed. The Korean fall foliage lasts for about 6 weeks and is definitely the best time to travel in Korea.

Not only does the Korean countryside come alive with fall foliage, parks, palaces, fortresses, and other city sights display resplendent views of autumn beauty and provide the perfect backdrop for memorable photos.

You’ll easily understand why autumn is the most popular time to visit Korea and also to be outside in the Korean countryside. It’s a season where you can’t stay in, you’ve got to go out and embrace the gorgeous Korean nature, it calls to you!

That’s why I want to share this list of the 20 best places to see autumn leaves in Korea, put together from more than 7 Years Living In Korea, hiking dozens of mountains, and travelling far and wide across the country.

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Official Autumn Leaves In Korea Forecast 2023

Autumn leaves in Korea with a range of colours

Wondering when is the best time to travel see autumn leaves in Korea in 2023? When does autumn foliage begin to appear in Korea in 2023? Knowing when the fall foliage in Korea starts and peaks is key to planning your travels around the country, catching the best sights possible.

Autumn foliage in Korea starts around late-September, peaks in late-October, and ends by mid-November with the arrival of colder winter weather and snow. The start, peak, and end dates change depending on which part of Korea you’re visiting, with the north-east autumn foliage season being first and the south-west autumn foliage being last.

The official Korean autumn leaves forecast for 2023 won’t be available until early September, and will be based on the most up to date forecast information from the Korean forecasting service.

The South Korean autumn foliage forecast for 2022 below can be used to work out the 2023 Korean autumn foliage forecast as the dates are generally a week before or after the dates shown here.

Please note: In 2022, the autumn foliage forecast was about 4-5 days later than the 2021 autumn leaves in Korea. Bearing that in mind, the 2023 autumn leaves are likely to be around or a few days earlier than the 2022 dates.

Official Korean Autumn Foliage Forecast 2022

The South Korea autumn foliage is forecasted to start on September 29th at Seoraksan National Park in the northeastern corner of Korea. It then spreads across Korea to finish in the southwestern corner near Naejangsan National Park around October 30th, 2022.

The autumn foliage starts to peak from October 17th at Odaesan National Park and finishes peaking in Naejangsan National Park on November 5th, 2022. The autumn foliage forecast for Seoul starts on October 18th and peaks October 31st. The autumn foliage forecast for Busan starts on October 20th and peaks on October 30th.

The peak dates for the South Korean fall foliage forecast don’t mean the end dates of the leaves, but the time when they are on display and most beautiful. The autumn foliage can remain for another week or more, depending on the weather and tree types.

Here’s a table showing the autumn foliage dates by national park:

National ParkStart DatePeak Date
SeoraksanSep 29thOct 21st
OdaesanOct 4thOct 17th
ChiaksanOct 7thOct 25th
WoraksanOct 14thOct 27th
BukhansanOct 17thOct 30th
GayasanOct 19thOct 30th
PalgongsanOct 20thNov 1st
JirisanOct 20thOct 28th
HallsanOct 20thOct 31st
GyeryongsanOct 20thNov 2nd
SongnisanOct 21stOct 31st
MudeungsanOct 25thNov 4th
NaejangsanOct 30thNov 5th

The autumn leaves typically last for 2-3 weeks, peaking 2 weeks after they first begin to appear, with the exception of Jirisan National Park, which peaks 1 week after.

Autumn leaves in Korea can last for quite a long time, lying on the ground as golden blankets of gingko leaves or red rivers of maple leaves.

You can still see autumn leaves into early November in some places, especially in the southern parts of Korea. Follow them from north to south to get the most of this season.

If you want to know more about travelling in Korea’s different seasons, check out my Complete Korean Season Guide. Check out my detailed guide to Visiting Korea In October, which is arguably the best month to travel in Korea, for info about where to go, what to see, festivals, foods, and lots more.


My Top 3 Fall Foliage Sights In Korea

Man with autumn foliage at Nami Island in Korea

There are breathtaking views of fall foliage across Korea. So many. If I had to pick just 3 to visit during autumn, I’d pick these sights due to their uniqueness and the glorious colours on display in each location.

1: Naejangsan National Park – Arguably one of the best fall foliage sights in the whole of Korea, this small national park is crammed full of scenic spots surrounded by maple and gingko trees.

2: Nami Island – A top destination any time of year, Nami Island really shines during autumn due to the long, tree-lined streets that spread across this natural landmark. It’s also surrounded by forests across the water.

3: Changdeokgung Palace & Secret Garden – One of the best palaces in Seoul that offers incredible fall foliage views with backdrops of traditional Korean architecture that also hides the Secret Garden inside, a treasure you shouldn’t miss!

Read on top find out more about each of these places and the other top fall foliage spots in Korea.


Top 20 Places For Autumn Leaves In Korea

Autumn leaves outside Korean temple door

Without further ado, here are the most amazing places to see autumn leaves in Korea.

From leafy palaces and parks in big cities, to the nature-filled national parks and their incredible beauty, you’ll find somewhere to see the fall foliage wherever you are in Korea.

If you want to see the best of my Korean autumn leaves pictures, be sure to check out this article with 45 of my best fall foliage snaps so far – Autumn Leaves In Korea Pictures.


1: Nami Island

When: Early – Late October

Nami Island is famed for its natural beauty all year round, but even more so in autumn. With tree-lined streets of giant metasequoia and golden gingko, this is one of the most pleasant places to see autumn leaves in Korea.

Known as a family-friendly eco-park, as well as a romantic day-trip spot, there’s something for everyone here. You can combine a day trip to Nami Island with the Garden of Morning Calm for a perfect day of fall foliage viewing.

How To Get There

There are many ways to get to Nami Island from Seoul, including a free shuttle bus, train (Cheongpyeong Station), bus (Cheongpyeong Terminal), or guided tour.

For more details about how to get to Nami Island, as well as more pictures of Nami Island in autumn, check out my guide about Getting To Nami Island From Seoul

Tour Options: The best way to see Nami Island’s autumn foliage is with a guided tour that will also take you to some of the other hot sights in the area, including Seoraksan, Garden of Morning Calm, and the Ganhchon Rail Bike. Tours available from Klook, Trazy, and Get Your Guide.


2: Naejangsan National Park

When: Late October – Early November

Naejeangsan National Park is one of the must-see places for autumn leaves in Korea for many reasons. Naejang, meaning ‘many secrets’, is packed full of delightful presents.

From the fiery colours you’ll see passing through the Maple Tree tunnel, to the golden gingko leaves surrounding Naejangsa Temple, this park has an impressive array of photo-worthy locations.

You’ll also want to see the Uhwajeong Pavilion, located inside a crystalline lake and surrounded by leafy slopes of warm fall foliage. Besides this, you will find several waterfalls, wonderful Buddhist temples, and hundreds of different plants and animals.

How To Get There

To get to Naejangsan National Park, travel to Jeongeup Station on the KTX and then transfer to a local bus to get to the park. You can also book intercity buses to Jeongeup City or tour buses that will take you directly to the park.

For more details about how to get to Naejangsan, as well as more pictures of Naejangsan in autumn, check out my guide about How To Go To Naejangsan.

Tour Options: Take a day trip from Seoul or Busan and explore the beauty of Naejangsan and it’s hidden treasures as you walk around the park. Tours available from Trip Advisor (from Busan), Klook, and Trazy.


3: Seoraksan National Park

When: Early – Mid October

A great day trip from Seoul, Seoraksan National Park is one of the most convenient national parks to see beautiful fall foliage. Situated near the northeastern coast, this is also one of the first places to see the autumn leaves in Korea.

This national park is packed full with stunning rocky peaks, the most important Buddhist temple in Korea, and plenty of ways to explore it all. There’s a large range of trails for all levels and seeing it all from the bottom is worth the trip alone.

If you want to explore the mountain range without getting too sweaty, then take the Seorak Cable Car. Local guides can help you navigate through the park and will point out all the beauty and wonders that can be found here.

How To Get There

From Seoul: Take an intercity bus from Dong-Seoul Bus Terminal to Sokcho Intercity Bus Terminal. From here, transfer to bus 7 or 7-1 towards Seoraksan National Park.

I’d recommend staying in Gangneung or Sokcho so you can spend a weekend visiting Seoraksan and seeing the lovely east coast, too.

Tour Options: Tours from Seoul also visit Nami Island and other attractions that are on the journey from Seoul. There are also tours that only go to Seoraksan, giving you more time in the park. Tours to Seoraksan National Park are available from Klook, Viator, and Trazy.


4: Garden Of Morning Calm

Garden of Morning Calm during autumn

When: Early – Late October

Located close to Nami Island, this sculptured garden provides dozens of pathways through hundreds of beautiful plants, trees, and bushes.

The Garden of Morning Calm also holds festivals throughout the year, including the gorgeous Maple Tree Festival. The maple tree is the definitive tree for autumn as its leaves fade from green to gold to deep red, often at the same time.

Strolling through this area provides dozens of opportunities to get close to nature, and take some amazing pictures, too. Coupled with Nami Island, this makes for a great day trip out of Seoul and a chance to really see a beautiful, natural side to Korea.

How To Get There

There are many ways to get to the Garden of Morning Calm from Seoul, including by train or subway (Cheongpyeong Station), by bus (Cheongpyeong Terminal), the Gapyeong City Tour Bus, or with a guided tour. Here’s a guide about Getting To Garden of Morning Calm.

Tour Options: Tours to the Garden of Morning Calm from Seoul typically include a trip to Nami Island or other nearby attractions, such as Alpaca World, Petite France and the Gangchon Railbike. Tours available from Trip Advisor, Trazy, and Klook.


5: Seoul’s Royal Palaces & Secret Garden

When: Mid – Late October

Marvel at the contrast between nature and history in Seoul’s Royal Palaces during autumn and see aesthetic delights provided by traditional Korean architecture blended with the natural beauty of autumn in Korea.

All of the palaces in Seoul will offer incredible views of autumn leaves, but the best place to visit has to be the Secret Garden located inside Changdeokgung Palace. This hidden garden showcases some of the finest fall foliage in Korea.

There’s a beautiful pond where you can see the golden autumn leaves reflected in the water. Entry to the garden is limited each day, therefore get there early to book tickets and avoid disappointment.

Don’t forget to hire some traditional Korean hanbok for truly memorable pictures. Not only that, you’ll get free entry to the royal palaces if you’re wearing it!

How To Get There

The Secret Garden is located inside Changedeokgung Palace. To get to the palace, head to Anguk Station (Line 3 – orange) and walk east from Exit 2.

Why not rent Korean hanbok at Seoul’s Palaces for the ultimate experience? A big bonus of wearing hanbok – you can enter the palaces for free, as well as the limited night time viewings (even if you don’t have a reserved ticket!).

Klook.com

6: Daedunsan Provincial Park

When: Mid – Late October

Daedunsan Provincial Park is a joy to visit for both autumn leaves and the many unique attractions you can see when hiking here.

For those only interested in the sights, take the cable car to the top of the mountain. Don’t worry, you won’t miss out on the best parts of the mountain, such as the suspension bridge passing between two rocky slopes with autumn views below.

Just before the peak, you can climb a near vertical ladder over a sheer drop to another peak. Known as the Cloud Bridge, this is not for faint-hearted people, but provides amazing views.

I hike here every autumn to see the fall foliage and every time its breathtaking. Therefore, I’d definitely recommend it if you’re passing through Daejeon.

How To Get There

Depart from Seobu Bus Terminal in southern Daejeon and take Bus 34 to the Daedunsan Rest Stop. Walk 10 minutes down the road to get to the park entrance. You’ll see a cable car running up the side of the mountain. If in doubt, head for that.

Another great option close to Daejeon is Gyeryongsan National Park – one of my favourites. You can find out about hiking both these places from this guide to Hiking In Daedunsan and this guide to Hiking In Gyeryongsan.


7: Asan Gingko Tree Road

Asan Gingko Tree Road, Asan

When: Mid – Late October

There are two trees that are perfect for seeing autumn leaves in Korea, they are the maple and gingko. The Asan Gingko Tree Road specialises in the latter and is the best place to see this gorgeous golden cascade of colours.

Imagine yourself strolling down the beautiful, tree-lined streets of Asan Gingko Tree Road, with a carpet of golden leaves below, and lemony clouds above.

Gingko trees are famous for their copious leaves and creating a golden carpet all around. In short, it really is magical and worth the trip.

How To Get There

To get to Asan Gingko Tree Road, take the KTX from Seoul Station (40 minutes) or on Subway Line 1 (over 2 hours) to Asan Station, then take a taxi to Asan Gingko Tree Road (은행나무길 in Korean).


8: Gyeongju City

Autumn leaves in Gyeongju, South Korea

When: Mid – Late October

Gyeongju, known as the Kyoto of Korea for its collection of beautiful historic buildings and attractions, is one of the most popular places to see autumn leaves in Korea.

Gingko leaves dropping down on temple rooftops, maple leaves lining the ancient streets, sparkling ponds reflecting the dazzling autumn hues of the resplendent fall foliage, there’s so much to see and photo in Gyeongju.

Like Seoul’s palaces, the best way to experience Gyeongju’s historic sights is dressed up in traditional Korean hanbok. Explore Gyeongju, Korea’s biggest outdoor museum, in style.

How To Get There

Train from Seoul: Take the KTX from Seoul to Singyeongju, then take a local bus to the Gyeongju Express Bus Terminal to get closer to the city centre. This takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes and costs around 60,000 KRW one way.

Bus from Seoul: Take the bus from the Seoul Express Bus Terminal (Gyeongbu Line) to Gyeongju Bus Terminal. This takes about 3 hours and costs around 30,000 KRW one way.

Bus from Busan: There are buses from Nopo Bus Terminal in Busan to Gyeongju Bus Terminal every hour. The journey is 45 minutes and fares are around 5,000 KRW.

Here’s a link to the Korean Bus Website.

If you want to get some unforgettable pictures when looking at the autumn leaves in Gyeongju, here a place for Hanbok Rental In Gyeongju.

Tour Options: An easy way to see autumn foliage in Gyeongju is with a day trip from Busan. Due to the distance between top spots in Gyeongju, a tour is much more convenient than public transport. Also, you can learn about the sites from the guide. Tours available from Klook, Trazy, and Get Your Guide.


9: Jirisan National Park

When: Mid – Late October

The largest national park in Korea offers so many chances to see Korean autumn leaves. Packed full of maple trees and other fall foliage, as well as small villages, wild animals, and other mountain sights, this is an all-round experience not to be missed.

Jirisan National Park is great for all levels of hikers & trekkers. There are many easy courses that anyone can walk, including a 16-stage loop around the national park.

You can book lodges to stay overnight on the mountain, which will allow you to do a sunrise hike to the highest peak in the mountains and see some breathtaking sights over the park. There are also lodges lower down the mountain which can be used as a stopping point between day hikes / treks.

How To Get There

Jirisan is best accessed from Busan or other southern cities, or by car from Seoul.

Bus from Busan: From Seobu Terminal in Busan, take buses heading for Ssanggyesa, Jungsan-ri, or Gurye. Change to local buses to the park from those towns.

You can also access one of the many entrances to Jirisan by bus from cities such as Jeonju, Gwangju, Daegu, and Daejeon. Here are the Hiking Courses In Jirisan.


10: N Seoul Tower (Namsan Tower)

N Seoul Tower In Seoul During Autumn

When: Mid – Late October

The unmissable N Seoul Tower in the heart of Seoul is a great place to hike and see fall foliage on cool autumn days, as well as impressive views of Korea’s capital from up high.

You can hike from Myeongdong Station all the way to the top, passing old stone walls, big leafy trees, and views of Seoul to the sides. For an easier trip to the top, take the Namsan Cable Car. Relax on the short journey to the peak and back, taking in the sights as you go.

Once you’re at the peak, be sure to check out the other great sights of the N Seoul Tower, including the love locks, traditional Korean rest stop, and the observation tower, which gives you fascinating 360 degree views of Seoul.

How To Get There

Cable Car: Head out of Exit 3 from Myeongdong Station and walk towards the cable car station up the hill. Return tickets cost 9,500 KRW for adults and 6,500 KRW for children. The cable car runs from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm every day.

Shuttle Bus: These are hop-on hop-off buses that also cover many of central Seoul’s top sights. Bus numbers 2 & 4 go to the N Seoul Tower. Here’s a guide to Getting To N Seoul Tower.

Discounted Tickets: If you want to save money on entrance, you can buy discounted entrance tickets from Klook and save up to 35% on the entrance fee.

Discover Seoul Pass: Want to see the N Seoul Tower and many other premium attractions in Seoul for free? Then why not purchase a Discover Seoul Pass and save a lot of money. Find out more in my article about Discover Seoul Pass itineraries.


11: Gangcheonsan County Park

When: Late October – Early November

A very popular place to see autumn leaves in Korea for Koreans, but not so well known by tourists, is the culturally and nature-rich Gangcheonsan County Park.

Hidden away in Sunchang, Jeollabuk-do, this large park has lush valleys lined with thick, bushy trees that turn into red, yellow, and orange mushrooms during fall and tall hills bedecked with resplendent fall foliage.

Inside Gangcheonsan County Park you’ll find lots of cultural wonders, such as Gangcheonsa Temple, the Geumseongsanseong Fortress, and the Gancheongsan Five-story Stone Pagoda.

The real attraction is the suspension bridge hanging above the valley, which offers trekkers the chance to see these incredible leaves from above, offering truly unique sights.

How To Get There

Bus from Seoul: Take a bus to Sunchang Bus Terminal. From Sunchang Bus Terminal Bus Stop, take a local bus bound for Jeongeup or Gurim and get off at Gangcheonsan Mountain Bus Stop.

You’ll also find the Damyang Juknokwon Bamboo Forest nearby.


12: Bukhansan National Park

Mountain view of fall foliage at Bukhansan Mountain

When: Mid – Late October

Bukhansan National Park provides great options for hiking and enjoying fall foliage. There are several hiking routes, with each one providing stunning views of northern Seoul and autumn’s splendour.

Hikes will take the best part of 3-5 hours to get to the top and back. The weather is cool at this time of year, which is perfect for hiking. If you’re only visiting Seoul, this is probably the most convenient place to see autumn leaves in Korea and try hiking at the same time.

How To Get There

Travel to Gupabal Station (Line 3 – orange) and go out of Exit 1. Then take Bus 704 for Bukhansan-seong Fortress and get off at the Bukhansan Park Entrance bus stop

For more details about hiking Bukhansan Mountain, as well as alternative ways to get there, check out this guide to Hiking Bukhansan National Park.


13: Namhansanseong Provincial Park & Fortress

Namhansanseong Provincial Park & Fortress during fall

When: Mid – Late October

Another lesser-known autumn leaves hotspot in Korea is the Namhansanseong Provincial Park and Fortress. Located a short distance from Seoul, this is a great place to see fall foliage away from the city and the crowds.

There are several hiking paths to enjoy, as well as cultural relics from Korea’s past. Walk along the fortress walls and gaze down at the long views miles into the distance. Hiking paths take as little as 90 minutes but pass through several historic and natural sights.

Top sights include the tall fortress gates, Sueojangdae (West Command Post), the pine forest, and 12.4km of fortress walls.

How To Get There

From Samseong Station (Line 8 – red), take bus 52, 9, or 9-1 directly to the fortress. Here’s a Guide To Namhansanseong and how to get around.


14: Mindungsan Mountain Trail

When: Mid – Late October

There’s more to autumn leaves in Korea than maple trees and gingko trees. Autumn is also the time to see silver grass (eulalia) – tall reeds that create white waves across mountains, rivers, and lakes throughout Korea.

These reeds are a symbol of autumn and you’ll find a whole mountain’s worth of them at the Mindungsan Mountain Trail, which has its own festival from mid-September to early November, celebrating these special reeds.

There’s also plenty of autumn leaves to see on the hike to the top of the mountain, which is where the reeds are on display. The hike takes about an hour and you can stop on the way to enjoy traditional Korean pajeon and makgeolli – I highly recommend them both here.

How To Get There

Take a train from Cheongnyangni Station in Seoul to Mindungsan Station (Mugunghwa Line to Taebaeksan). Exit the station and head down the hill to the start of the trail. Here’s some more Information About Mindungsan Mountain.


15: Odaesan National Park

Odaesan National Park, Korea
Image Credit: Travel Info

When: Early – Late October

Odaesan National Park is great for those who want to experience trekking and all the stunning autumn views you’d expect from a national park without having to hike up to the top of a mountain.

To do this, take the Seonjae-gil Road, a 10km trekking path that follows the valley floor through lush autumn foliage and is known as a ‘peaceful breath of fresh air, a place for meditation and reconnecting with nature’.

The start location, Woljeongsa Temple, also includes another treat, a fir tree lined street. Fans of K-drama may recognise it from the hit show ‘Goblin: The Great and Lonely God’.

How To Get There

Take the intercity bus from Dong-Seoul Bus Terminal to Jinbu Bus Terminal (2 hours). From Jinbu Bus Terminal, take a bus to the Minbak Village (Woljeongsa Stop) or to the Sangwonsa Temple Bus Stop.

Alternatively, take a taxi straight to the park entrance, which will cost about 30,000 KRW.

Here’s more information about the Seonjae-gil Road and a Guide To Odaesan National Park.


16: Gayasan National Park

Red and yellow maple leaves in South Korea

When: Mid – Late October

Gayasan National Park is a great place to hike and see autumn leaves for people in Busan. This national park explodes with colour from mid-October, with grey boulders from the rocky mountains providing a stark contrast of views.

Culture lovers will also enjoy visiting Haeinsa Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and very impressive temple that’s worth the visit alone.

Like Jirisan, the most prominent type of tree on display in autumn is the maple tree, with each tree showing off thousands of small, spiky leaves that can often include green, yellow, and red leaves on the same tree.

How To Get There

Bus from Daegu: Take the bus from Daegu Seobu Intercity Bus Terminal directly to Haeinsa Temple. Takes about 1 hour. Travellers from Seoul and Busan should transfer in Daegu to get to Gayasan.

Bus from Daejeon: Take the intercity bus from Daejeon to Haeinsa Temple. Here’s more information about Getting To Gayasan.

Klook.com

17: Seoul Forest Park

Red and yellow autumn leaves with a blue sky

When: Mid – Late October

With sycamore trees producing leaves the size of dinner plates and bigger, you’ll find some unique autumn foliage in Seoul Forest. A great place for families, you’ll also find a petting zoo, deer, playgrounds and lots more.

There are four sections to this park, including the Culture & Art Park, Educational Experience Park, Eco-forest Park, and Riverside Park along the Hangang River.

If you’re in the area, be sure to check out the nearby Under Stand Avenue – a collection of old shipping containers that have been turned into artsy shops, cafes, and galleries.

How To Get There

Take the subway to Seoul Forest Station (Bundang Line – orange). You’ll see signs for the park as you exit. Under Stand Avenue is on the opposite side of the station and there are some small galleries and cafes to the north.


18: Hallasan National Park

Joel at the top of Hallasan Mountain, Jeju Island

When: Late October – Early November

Hallasan Volcano, rising up out of the ocean to create Jeju Island, provides an incredible hiking experience. It’s also one of the last places to see the autumn leaves in Korea as the cold weather makes its way through Korea, touching Jeju Island just before winter sets in.

Don’t worry, you won’t have to climb the highest mountain in Korea to see the fall foliage. Shorter routes around the base of the mountain will give you great views of autumn’s splendour and leave you enough energy to enjoy Jeju’s other sights.

Here’s a quick summary of the 4 main trails:

Gwaneumsa Trail:
8.7km (one-way)
8-10 hours total hike

Seongpanak Trail:
9.6km (one-way)
7-9 hours total hike

Eorimok Trail:
4.7km (one-way)
2.5 hours return hike

Yeongsil Trail:
3.7km (one-way)
2 hours return

Wherever you go, however, make sure to start hiking early as the trails start turning people away after 12:00pm.

How To Get There

There are 4 different paths to climb in Hallasan National Park and they can all be accessed by taxi or public transport from either Jeju City, Jeju Airport, or Seogwipo City.

If you’re brave enough to hike to the top of Hallasan, you’ll need this Hallasan Hiking Guide. Personally, I think winter is the best time to hike Hallasan, which I’ve done for the last couple of years. I put together a guide to Hiking Hallasan In Winter with lots of pics of the snow-covered volcano. Here are some more ideas about what to do if you end up on Jeju Island In Winter.


19: Yangju Nari Park

Pink Muhly in Korea

When: Mid – Late October

This spot isn’t really a place for autumn leaves, but I wanted to include it anyway as it’s a festival of colours and autumn flowers and a great place to spend a day out near Seoul.

Nari Park in Yangju is a haven of autumn plants and flowers, including Mexican fire brush, globe amaranth, and the increasingly popular pink muhly. Take a stroll through the pinks, purples, and reds of these fall flowers.

Immerse yourself in schools of butterflies, floating and dancing between the flowers. A true symbol of autumn, working hard to keep the beauty alive and ready for next year.

How To Get There

Take the subway to Yangju Subway Station (Line 1 – dark blue). Take the local bus 2-4 and get off at Mansong-dong 1-tong, or take a taxi to this address – 경기도 양주시 만송동 산46.


20: Songnisan National Park

Rest Stop at Songnisan National Park

When: Mid – Late October

Located in the heart of Korea, Songnisan was one of the first national parks in Korea and remains one of the best, especially for an all-round autumn experience. It’s also the place where I took the cover photo for this article.

The hiking trails take you from the historic Beopjusa Temple, with a gigantic standing golden Buddha, past shaded streams, a lush valley floor, and up into the moderately high peaks. There are lovely fall sights at every step and peaceful restaurants to enjoy the views in as you hike.

If you’re looking for a truly unique Korean experience to enjoy during autumn, I’d highly recommend booking a temple stay at Beopjusa Temple in Songnisan National Park. I’ve done it twice and it’s something you’ll never forget.

How To Get There

Bus from Daejeon: Take the intercity bus from Daejeon Bokhap Terminal to Songnisan National Park entrance and walk towards the restaurants and cafes that lead to the start of the hiking courses.

From other cities: Take the train to Jochiwon or bus to Cheongju and transfer to a local bus to Songnisan.

If you want to enjoy a real Unique Korean Experiences, then I recommend you stay overnight in a temple. Doing a Korean Temple Stay is an incredible experience and Beopjusa Temple is one of my favourite places to stay. You can book a weekend away sleeping in the temple grounds then wake up and see the sunrise in the mountains.


Guide To Autumn In Korea

Autumn leaves at the Secret Garden in Changdeokgung Palace

If you’re interested in hiking during autumn, which I would really recommend, then check out my guide to Hiking In Korea, featuring lots of great tips all about Korea’s number 1 outdoor pastime.

Here are a few more tips to help you get the most out of your time seeing autumn leaves in Korea, such as what the weather is like, what to wear, and how to travel to see fall foliage.


Why Autumn Is The Best Time To Visit Korea

Korea has 4 very distinct seasons, ranging from really hot and humid summer (40+ degrees) to a freezing cold winter (-18 degrees). Spring and autumn are short, but packed full of opportunities to travel.

Although spring has cherry blossoms to see, autumn is the best for me due to the better weather, lower air pollution (which peaks in spring), and the feeling of relief that comes with the cooler weather after a long, tough summer.

If you want to travel to Korea, September to early November are definitely the best times to travel. You’ll see autumn leaves, get to enjoy local foods and fresh produce, and witness a lot of festivals and public holidays.


Autumn Weather In Korea

Yellow gingko leaves against a blue sky

The weather in autumn ranges from hot and humid in early September (30 degrees) to freezing cold by early November. The temperature ranges from 10-25 degrees during the day, but can fall below 10 degrees at night.

Typhoons during September and October can change the weather very quickly, and rain showers or strong winds can appear one day and be gone the next, leaving the spectacular skies you can only see at this time of year.


What To Wear During Autumn In Korea

Because the temperature can change quite a lot from morning to night, I’d recommend packing a light jacket or sweater to keep you warm after the sun sets. Lighter clothes should be fine during the day until mid-October, after that it’s time for more layers.


How To See Fall Foliage In Korea

The best way to see fall foliage in Korea is to get out into the mountains and national parks and try hiking. You don’t need to be a seasoned hiker to experience the best of the leaves, and in fact you don’t want to go too high as the best views are in the valleys.

Most national parks have walking trails through the valleys that can range from a couple of kilometres up to 10km (at Odaesan) of forest trails.

Alternatively, head to the historic sites across Korea, such as the royal palaces in Seoul, fortresses, or historic cities such as Gyeongju or Buyeo. Here’s a Guide To Visiting Buyeo in case you end up going.


Visiting Korea In Other Seasons?

Korean pagoda covered in snow in the mountains

Can’t travel to Korea in autumn?

No worries, Korea is an amazing country to visit any time of year and undoubtedly has four very distinct seasons with lots of other activities, sights, foods, and festivals waiting for you in each one.

Therefore, don’t forget to check out my other awesome seasonal guides for Korea to make sure you’re getting the most out of your trip to Korea whenever you travel, including a Season Guide To Korea which covers every month of the year. Be sure to check out the Best Korean Festivals, too.

Spring: Spring is all about the new blossoms and nature returning for the new year. The biggest thing to do in spring is to see Cherry Blossoms Across Korea. From royal palaces to riverside walkways, there are loads of places to enjoy the fresh nature.

Summer: A hot and rainy time of year, but perfect for getting out to enjoy the best Korean Summer Activities, such as water sports, camping by the beach, summer festivals, eating yummy Korean summer foods, and getting a tan. If the rain is too heavy, there are plenty of Indoor Activities in Seoul where you can stay dry and still have fun.

Winter: After the beauty of the fall foliage and the rains of summer, winter is the complete opposite – snowy white and extremely dry. Winter has very little rain, which makes it perfect for exploring outside and enjoying one of the many Winter Activities In Korea. Just make sure you wrap up warm! If you’re visiting Korea in winter, I highly recommend check out my Jeju Island Winter Itinerary.


Korean Travel Essentials

Planning to visit Korea? These travel essentials will help you plan your trip, get the best deals, and save you time and money on your Korean adventure.

Korea Electronic Travel Authorisation (K-ETA): Most countries need a K-ETA to travel to Korea. Apply before you travel only with the Official K-ETA Site.

Flights To Korea: Look around before you book flights. I recommend flight comparison sites such as Expedia and Skyscanner for the best flights to Korea.

Hotels In Korea: Staying in Seoul, I recommend Myeongdong (convenient), Hongdae (cool culture) or Gangnam (shopping). Get the best hotel prices with Klook and Agoda.

Tours In Korea: Find the best tours in Korea with tour companies that have a big presence in Korea, including Klook, Trazy, and Get Your Guide.

Staying Connected: Pre-order a Korean Sim Card or a Portable WiFi Router to collect on-arrival at Incheon Airport. Collection desks are open 24 hours.

Travel Money: Exchange foreign currency in Myeongdong or at a WOW exchange machine. Pick up a Wise or Revolut travel money card for the best rates and convenient card payments.

Transportation: Get a T-Money Card to pay for public transport. If you plan to use Korea’s high speed trains, save money and get unlimited rides with a Korea Rail Pass.

Incheon Airport To Seoul: Take the Airport Express (AREX) to Seoul Station or a limo bus to other parts of Seoul. Don’t want to carry heavy suitcases? Book an Incheon Airport Private Transfer and relax to or from the airport.

Learning Korean: Want to learn Korean before you travel? I recommend 90 Day Korean as they have well-structured lessons and loads of useful resources.


FAQ About Seeing Autumn Leaves In Korea

Frequently Asked Questions

Finally, here’s a few FAQs about seeing autumn leaves in Korea, in case the above information didn’t cover enough for you.

Where Can I See Autumn Leaves In Korea?

The best places to see autumn leaves in Korea are without a doubt in Korea’s national parks. There are national parks spread across the country, as well as dozens of smaller areas of natural beauty where you can see fall foliage.

Where Can I See Autumn Leaves In Seoul?

You can find autumn leaves in Seoul very easily as there are many green areas throughout the city. Some of the most popular spots are in the royal palaces in the heart of Seoul, especially Changdeokgung Palace. Seoul has many other places to experience fall foliage, including Seoul Zoo, Seoul Forest, along the banks of the Han River, and Namsan Tower.

What Is There To Do In Seoul In Autumn?

There are many autumn festivals in Seoul that coincide with the major holiday of the season, which is called Chuseok in Korea. When the autumn leaves appear, many people go hiking in national parks and walking in nature. Autumn is cool and has low levels of pollution, making it a great time to get outside and enjoy nature’s blessings. The evenings are still warm in early autumn, so many people in Seoul visit night markets in various locations, too.

What Should I Wear To See Autumn Leaves In Korea?

Autumn leaves start falling in late September and the weather cools significantly after the hot summer. You’ll need at least a light jacket and something appropriate to cover your legs and arms. If you want to see autumn leaves in Korea, you should be fine with regular shoes for walking around a city. However, if you want to see Korea’s fall foliage in the national parks, then you should wear training or hiking shoes that are comfortable in rough terrain.

How Cold Is Autumn In Korea?

Autumn in Korea starts in September and is still warm and humid. However, the temperature drops quickly and by mid-October it can be windy and cold enough for a jacket. By November the temperature drops further and starts to get below zero as Korea approaches winter. During peak autumn season time (October), temperatures are around 10-15 degrees Celsius during the day. There can be typhoons during this season, so be careful as there can be strong winds and heavy rains for brief periods. Otherwise, the weather is mostly calm and sunny.

When Can I See Autumn Leaves In Seoul?

The best time to see autumn leaves in Seoul is around mid-October as the trees start to change colour. The autumn leaves in Seoul should stay for several weeks and reach their peak around the end of October. Places close to Seoul, such as Seoraksan National Park, usually peak before Seoul.

When Can I See Autumn Leaves In Korea?

Autumn leaves in Korea first appear at the end of September in the north-east of Korea, before moving down through the country and reaching Jeju Island around mid-October. The start date is not the same as the peak date, which is when the autumn leaves will be most colourful.

Can I See Autumn Leaves In Korea During November?

There are several national parks in the south of Korea, including Jirisan National Park, Naejangsang National Park, and Hallasan National Park on Jeju Island. These should all still have autumn leaves on their trees by early-mid November. The last time you’ll see autumn leaves in Korea is the middle of November. After that, the weather drops quickly and winter in Korea begins.


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About the author

Hi! My name is Joel, I'm the author of In My Korea. I've lived and travelled across Korea since 2015. I love learning more about Korean culture, hiking the many mountains, and visiting all the coolest places in Korea, both modern and traditional.

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