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When and where to see cherry blossoms in Korea during Sakura season?

Korea’s cherry blossom season is simply magical, with myriads of flowers bursting into bloom across the country. Check out Skyscanner's guide to all things pink: whether you want to know the best time to visit for Sakura season, or the top places to see cherry blossoms in Korea, we've got you covered.

2020 cherry blossom forecast for South Korea

If you want to catch a glimpse of cherry blossoms in Korea for 2020, the safe bet to travel between late March and mid-April. The Korean Meteorological Administration will only release its official cherry blossom forecast for 2020 around early March. Keep checking this space for updates on the forecast, cheap flight deals, and best places to stay.

For now, here are the cherry blossom dates for 2020:

Region Expected Cherry Blossom Dates
Jeju Island Mar 23 – 30
(Full bloom: Mar 23)
Busan Mar 26 – Apr 2
(Full bloom: Mar 26)
Gwangju Mar 29 – Apr 5
(Full bloom: Mar 29)
Daegu Mar 26 – Apr 2
(Full bloom: Mar 26)
Seoul Apr 6 – Apr 13
(Full bloom: Apr 6)
Incheon Apr 9 – Apr 15
(Full bloom: Apr 9)

What are the best places to see cherry blossoms in Korea?

1. Yeouido Spring Flower Festival

The small island of Yeouido, located on the Han river in Seoul, is one of the most popular spots for enjoying cherry blossoms after winter. Every year in spring, the Yeouido Spring Flower Festival attracts scores of tourists and locals alike, thanks to its stunning pink canopies of cherry blossoms and its lively atmosphere. With over 1,600 cherry blossom trees dotted across the island, Yeouido is truly a sakura paradise.

Yeouiseo-ro Street, which turns into a pedestrian promenade during the festival, is an ideal place to take a stroll, get your portrait drawn, or grab a bite from one of the many street vendors. Make sure to stick around until nightfall, when the sparkling lights dancing among the petals will take your breath away.

Best time to visit Yeouido Spring Flower FestivalMid-April
How to get to Yeouido Spring Flower FestivalTake Seoul Subway Line 5 to Yeouinaru Station (Exit 1), or Subway Line 9 to National Assembly Station (Exit 6). Basic fare is $1.50 (KRW 1,350) for adults and $0.50 (KRW 450) for children.
WebsiteYeongdeungpo Yeouido Spring Flower Festival

2. Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival

It’s hard to think of a more beautiful backdrop for a cherry blossom festival than Seokchon Lake in Seoul. All around the lake, you’ll find hundreds of trees elegantly draped in pale pink blossoms, their sweet scent wafting through the spring air. 

And while you could probably spend hours just soaking up the stunning scenery, there are also plenty of activities to enjoy – from face painting to drawing contests. Once you’ve had your fill of cherry blossoms, you can even plan a trip to the nearby Lotte World amusement park for some quality time with the kids.

Best time to visit Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom FestivalEarly April
How to get to Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom FestivalTake Seoul Subway Line 2 to Jamsil Station (Exit 2). Basic fare is $1.50 (KRW 1,350) for adults and $0.50 (KRW 450) for children.
WebsiteVisit Korea

What are the best places to see cherry blossoms in Busan?

1. Jinhae Gunhangje Cherry Blossom Festival

If you’re obsessed with cherry blossoms in Korea, then the lovely port city of Jinhae should be your first stop. Located just one hour away from Busan by bus, Jinhae is home to the biggest cherry blossom festival in South Korea. This otherwise sleepy town goes all out for the 10 days of festivities, which include a military band parade and sakura-inspired street food.

Although you can expect to encounter ravishing pink and white petals at every turn, there are two viewing spots in Jinhae you really shouldn’t miss. At Gyeonghwa train station, the pristine rows of trees along the tracks form glorious archways ablaze with colour, while the cherry blossoms lining Yeojwacheon stream are a pure vision of loveliness. Jinhae is a spectacular spot to get your fill of cherry blossoms after winter.

Best time to visit Jinhae Gunhangje Cherry Blossom Festival2019 dates to be confirmed (was previously held on 1 to 10 April 2018)
How to get to Jinhae Gunhangje Cherry Blossom FestivalTake a bus from Seobu Terminal in Busan. The bus ride from Busan to Jinhae is 45 min to 1 hour and costs $6 (KRW 5,100) for a one-way trip.
WebsiteVisit Korea

2. Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Marathon

If you want to experience Korea’s sakura season in a totally unique way, check out the Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Marathon. This year, the marathon will be held on the 6th of April 2019 from 9am. Nervous about running a full marathon? Don’t worry, there are 3 other categories to choose from: half-marathon, 10 km and 5 km.

Expect lots of pink balloons, confetti, and even fireworks! In between the bracing spring air and the gorgeous backdrop of cherry blossoms in full bloom, this is one race you won’t want to miss.

Best time to visit Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Marathon9 April 2019 (Saturday)
Registration Fees$35 (KRW 30,000) for full / half marathon and 10km; $23 (KRW 20,000) for 5km
How to get to Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Marathon
Take an express bus from Busan Central Bus Terminal. The bus ride from Busan to Gyeongju is 50 min – 1 hour and costs $5.50 (KRW 4,800) for a one-way trip.
WebsiteGyeongju Marathon

What are the best places to see cherry blossoms in Jeju Island?

Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival

The idyllic island of Jeju is at its most irresistible in the springtime when the majestic King Cherry Trees burst into glorious bloom and unfold their silky petals. Jeju’s cherry blossoms are often considered to be the most magnificent ones in South Korea, so come prepared to snap a lot of Instagram-worthy photos.

During the festival, you can also enjoy outdoor music concerts and the yearly wild spring flower exhibition. Head to Seogwipo’s downtown area and Jeju Sports Complex, since they are both prime spots for cherry blossom viewing. Just keep in mind that the sakura flowers are only in full bloom for 2 or 3 days, so you’ll want to check the official forecast and plan your trip accordingly.

Best time to visit Jeju Cherry Blossom Festivallate March
How to get to Jeju Cherry Blossom FestivalFrom Jeju International Airport, take the Airport Limousine bus (route 600) to Seogwipo. Journey time is around 1 hour and costs $5.80 (KRW 5,000) for a one-way trip.
WebsiteVisit Jeju
Read moreBest places to stay in Seoul

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Originally published in February 2016 and updated in June 2019. Any prices are lowest estimated prices only at the time of publication and are subject to change and/or availability.