Autumn is here and you know what that means! It’s time to immerse yourself in a sea of red/orange/yellow leaves (or 단풍 danpoong in Hangul)!
If you're heading to Seoul in mid to late October, you're in luck as that's the period when the autumn leaves are predicted to be in bloom! We'll be updating you once the forecast is out ?
Start planning your autumn trip and be prepared for an amazing view of the autumn foliage around the cityscape ?
P.S. Planning a trip to Seoul soon? Find the yummiest halal eateries, nearby prayer spaces and top attractions in Seoul on our website!
So you didn’t plan your trip around the autumn foliage but you’ll be Korea for that period of time anyway. Don’t worry, we have you covered with these tourist attractions in Seoul.
1. Namsan Tower
Oh Namsan Tower ?The prerequisite tourist spot especially if you're travelling with your significant other :P There're even more reasons to visit this iconic sight when it's autumn, we'll let the photos do the talking.
Credit: CiaoHo on Flickr
#HHWT Tip: We recommend taking the shuttle bus up and walking through the park when you're heading out. Namsan park has a really scenic route!
Opening Hours for the Observatory: Monday to Friday, Sunday - 10am to 23pm, Saturday - 10am to 12midnight
Price for Observatory: Adults - 9,000won, Children - 7,000won
How to get there: There are a total of 3 shuttle buses available at different subway stations.
1. Namsan Sunhwan Shuttle Bus No. 02
-Take the bus from Chungmuro Station (Seoul Subway Line 3, 4), Exit 2 (in front of Daehan Cinema) or Dongguk University Station (Seoul Subway Line), Exit 6.
-Operating hours: 07:00 – 24:00, comes every 15 mins
2. Namsan Sunhwan Shuttle Bus No. 03
-Take the bus from Seoul Station, Seoul Square (Seoul Subway Line 1, 4), Exit 9 or Itaewon Station (Seoul Subway Line 6), Exit 4 or / Hangangjin Station (Seoul Subway Line 6), Exit 2.
-Operating hours: 07:30 – 23:30, comes every 20 mins
3. Namsan Sunhwan Shuttle Bus No. 05
-Take the bus from Myeong-dong Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exit 3 or Chungmuro Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 2 (in front of Daehan Cinema).
-Operating hours: 07:30 – 23:30, comes every 15 mins
Credit: OurRoad on Facebook
Samcheongdong is pretty much where traditional meets modern Korea. The road is filled with traditional Korean styled houses, also known as hanok, that have been renovated to house different types of shops, cafes and restaurants. Autumn is pretty much the perfect time to visit Samcheongdong as you get to stroll along the gorgeous tree lined streets and enjoy an atmospheric view of the hanoks with the autumn leaves!
Credit: Seoul Selection on Facebook
How to get there: From Gyeongbokgung Subway Station (Line 3), take exit 5 and walk along the front entrance of Gyeongbokgung. Turn left into the adjacent road next to Gyeongbokgung and walk straight for about 10-15 minutes.
Credit: 摄影。把瞬间成为了永恒。 on Facebook
Before heading to Dongdaemun for your shopping trip, drop by Cheongyecheon and stroll along the stream! Even though the stream isn't lined with trees, the creepers along the stream turn a beautiful reddish orange hue and it's a pretty unique sight from your usual autumn foliage.
How to get there: - City Hall, Jonggak, Jongno 3-ga, Jongno 5-ga, Dongdaemun, Sinseol-dong (Seoul Subway Line 1)
- Jongno 3-ga (Seoul Subway Line 1, 3 and 5)
- Gwanghwamun (Seoul Subway Line 5)
4. Songpa Naru Park – located just behind Lotte World
Lotte World is pretty much Seoul's take on Disneyland and another one of the must-visit attractions especially if you're a fan of K-Dramas or heading to Seoul with your significant other. While you're in the area, don't forget to visit the Songpa Naru Park which is a short distance away and enjoy the scenic view of the autumn leaves!
How to get there: Jamsil Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), Exit 2 or 3. Go straight 200m to arrive at the entrance of Songpa Naru Park.
5. Shinsadong Garosugil
Credit: Touriocity on Facebook
Garosugil is no secret by now. This tree-lined street, also known as ‘Europe in Seoul’, has exploded in popularity for it’s trendy shops and cafes. During autumn, you’ll be in for a sight as you stroll the street filled with ginko trees!
How to get there: Alight at Sinsa Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 8. Go straight (250m), until you see the street on the left.
6. Nami Island
Credit: Yusof Gajah on Facebook
Okay, so technically Nami Island is not exactly in Seoul, but we HAD to add this under our tourist attractions as the island just off Seoul is simply breathtaking in autumn! Did we mention that you can also get halal certified dakgalbi along the way? ?
Credit: Yusof Gajah on Facebook
Operating Hours: Last admission by 7:10pm, if you're taking the ferry, 7:30pm.
Price: Adults - 8,000won (Do note that you'll have to provide identification that you're a foreigner in order to enjoy this price). Children - 4,000won
How to get there: Alight atGapyeong Subway Station, take a taxi to Namiseom parking lot. (Travel time: 10-15 min) Take the ferry from Namiseom Dock to Namiseom Island. (Travel time: 5-6 min)
What better way to enjoy the beautiful autumn foliage than spending a relaxing day at one of Seoul’s many parks? Some of these parks are not in central Seoul, so chances are you won’t be meeting with crowds of people too.
7. Seoul Forest
Credit: Jackie Co on Facebook
Seoul Forest is one of the more underrated parks in the city. We've previously recommended it as a cherry blossom viewing site and in autumn, it's no different. The serenity and calming atmosphere of the park can be experienced as you stroll through the streets lined with numerous trees and falling autumn leaves.
How to get there: Seoul Forest Station (Subway Bundang Line), Exit 3. The park is a 5 min walk away.
8. Olympic Park
Credit: Chandu Chandrashekar on Facebook
Granted that Olympic Park probably wouldn’t be on top of your lists of ‘must-visit’ attractions in Seoul, but it does provide a pretty good reprieve from the bustling city. You can also get a glimpse of the Peace Gate that was built for the 1988 Olympics and stroll down paths lined with trees!
How to get there: Olympic Park Station (Subway Line 5) Exit 3
9. Haneul Sky Park
Haneul Sky Park may be lost amongst the many parks in Seoul but we highly recommend visiting the sky park, especially when the silver grass (or Eulalia grass) is in full bloom because it's simply breathtaking!
Credit: Kids Fun in Seoul on Facebook
#HHWT Tip: Don’t miss the Seoul Eulalia Festival throughout the month of October!
How to get there: World Cup Stadium Station (Subway Line 6) Exit 1. To take the free shuttle bus to the park, cross the street and walk 3-5 min towards the Mapo Agriculture-Fisheries Market. The shuttle will be available at the right-hand side of the building at 20 minutes intervals. Alternatively, you can take Blue Bus numbers 171, 271 and 571 and Green Bus numbers 7011, 7013 and 7715.
If you’re a fan of sageuks or historical Korean dramas, a visit to the four palaces during Autumn is a must! The autumn foliage looks spectacularly atmospheric with the historical palaces and architecture as a backdrop. It’s almost as if you’re filming a Korean drama!
#HHWT Tip: An integrated ticket for access to all four palaces costs 10,000won (inclusive of the Secret Garden in Changdeokgung)
Credit: Anh Dinh on Flickr
Hands down our favourite palace to visit regardless of the seasons, thanks to a particular place in Changdeok palace known as Secret Garden. With 26,000 trees in the secret garden, it’s pretty hard not to be in awe when strolling around this area.
Opening Hours: Regular Tour (Changdeokgung Palace)
April–September: 09:00-18:30, October: 09:00-18:00, March & November: 09:00-17:30, December–February: 09:00-17:00
Huwon Course (Guided Tour only)
February–May & September-October: 10:00-18:00, June-August: 10:00-18:30, November-January: 10:00-17:30
Price: Adults (ages 19-64): Regular: 3,000 won / Secret Garden: 5,000 won
Children and Teenagers (ages 18 and under): Regular: 1,500 won / Secret Garden: 2,500 w
How to get there: Jongno 3 ga Station (Subway Line 1, 3 or 5) Exit 7. Go north from the exit along Donhwamun-ro Street for about 500 m. OR Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 3. Go straight from the exit (east) for about 300 m.
If you only have time to visit one palace in Seoul, this is it. Gyeongbokgung was the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty and it’s considered to be the grandest of the five palaces in Seoul It’s pretty hard to miss this majestic sight, with the famous statue of King Taejong located just in front of the palace. Besides the gorgeous autumn leaves, don’t miss the royal changing of guards at the Gwanghwamun gate daily at 11am, 2pm and 4pm!
If you’re a K-Drama fan, Gyeongbukgung also inspired quite a number of historical dramas but the actual dramas were shot at a drama set.
Operating Hours: January-February 09:00-17:00 / March-May 09:00-18:00 / June-August 09:00-18:30 / September-October 09:00-18:00 / November-December 09:00-17:00
Price: Adults (ages 19-64): 3,000 won, Children (ages 7-18): 1,500 won
How to get there: Gyeongbokgung Palace Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 5 OR Gwanghwamun Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 2
12. Deoksugung and Changgyeonggung
Credit: Seoul Selection on Facebook
You can also catch the autumn foliage at two other smaller palaces – Deoksugung and Changgyeonggung. If you’re planning to visit all the palaces, we highly recommend searching for an English tour guide (usually free) to learn more about the history of the different palaces!
Credit: travel oriented on Flickr
#HHWT Tip: If you’re not a huge history buff, you may want to stick to visiting Changdeokgung and Gyeongbukgung, as these two palaces are more than enough to give you a feel of what it’s like to experience autumn in the royal palaces.
Bonus: If you’re planning a hike at any of the major mountains in South Korea, do refer to the table below for more information on the predicted dates on when to catch the autumn foliage! These are for 2018 but we'll be sure to update the list once the forecast is out for 2019! If you're not keen on travelling too far away, we highly recommend visiting Bukhansan, which is still within the Seoul district.
|Seoraksan National Park (NaeSeorak)||September 27||October 18|
|Odaesan National Park||October 2||October 17|
|Chiaksan National Park||October 8||October 23|
|Jirisan National Park (Nogodan Peak)||October 12||October 26|
|Woraksan National Park||October 12||October 25|
|Bukhansan National Park (Dobong)||October 15||October 29|
|Hallasan National Park||October 19||November 1|
|Palgongsan Natural Park (Gatbawi District)||October 19||October 30|
|Gyeryongsan National Park||October 19||October 29|
|Naejangsan National Park||October 21||November 9|
|Mudeungsan National Park||October 24||November 7|
* Forecasted dates above are subject to change depending on weather conditions.