Best places to go in South Korea in autumn
Seoraksan National Park– Sokcho, Gangwon
Seoraksan is a gorgeous national treasure famous for its jagged peaks, incredible landscapes, pine forests, and of course, beautiful autumn colors. While this national park draws throngs of international and local tourists all year round, autumn is highly regarded as Seoraksan’s peak season, and for a good reason. With rich and eye-catching autumn colors splashing the mountainside, Seoraksan presents an awe-inspiring vista literally at each turn, making it a can’t-miss fall destination in Korea. In addition to its alluring foliage, the park is filled with crystal clear pools and streams that become extraordinarily spectacular in autumn.
Planning on taking an autumn trekking adventure in Seoraksan National Park? The best spots to view autumn leaves in Seoraksan National Park are the Baekdam Valley, Osaek Jujeongol, Osaek Mineral Spring and Cheonbuldong Valley.
Namsan Mountain – Seoul
A visit to the Namsan Mountain lets you experience South Korea’s dynamic capital from a different perspective. Nestled right at the heart of the city, a climb to the top of this mountain will give you a bird’s eye view of the glorious changing landscapes in Korea. And if you visit it in autumn, you’ll get an excellent view of the fiery colors of the maple and gingko trees that dot the area. As an added bonus, you will also bump into a ton of notable sites, as you make your way to the top of the mountain, including the Namsan Botanical Garden, Namsan Library and Goethe-Institute of Korea.
Nami Island – Chuncheon
Sounds familiar? If you’re a Korean drama lover, you may have seen this picturesque island as the backdrop of the internationally famous soap opera – Winter Sonata. Melting the hearts of thousands of people across the Philippines, this Korean soap opera became such a big hit that it inspired a bunch of Pinoys to travel to Nami Island in winter.
But the thing is, winter isn’t always the best time to visit and explore Nami Island. If you really want to see the real beauty of Nami, visit it in autumn! It’s the time of the year when the island’s broad-leaf trees become a parade of golden, crimson and tangerine hues. Furthermore, a visit to Nami in autumn lets you enjoy the clean and soothing scent of the bushy pine trees and tall redwoods that line the island’s trails.
Jirisan – Sancheong, Gyeongsangnam-do
In autumn, Jirisan dazzles with crimson colors that look more vivid than a red sunset. And during its peak foliage season in late October, the slopes and rugged landscapes of this mountain will transform into a blaze of brilliant fall colors.
But, there is more to Jirisan in autumn than its flashy scenery. After all, it’s a highly sought-after hiking destination that is often revered as the most beloved and famous mountain in Korea. Plus, it is home to a plethora of stone artworks, national treasures, and Buddhist temples, such as the Hwaeomsa. And by the way, did we mention than it has its own annual autumn festival – the Crimson Leaves Festival?
Naejangsan – Jeongeup-si, Jeollabuk-do
Naejangsan is, by no means, the tallest or the most beautiful mountain in South Korea. And yet, countless of travelers from all over Asia come to Naejangsan every October and November, to snap photos of its spellbinding fall leaves. As a matter of fact, the yearly transformation of Naejangsan is so radiant that it has been fondly called as the autumn foliage viewing epicenter in Korea for more than 400 years.
Want to see its beautiful fall hues in person? The most commonly traveled course in Naejangsan during autumn is the three-hour hike from the Hiking Information Center to peak Seoraebong. But, the beautiful display of colors will start way before that trek. As you walk from the information center to the Buddhist temple Naejangsa, you’ll come across a surreal tunnel lined with over a hundred densely-packed trees that are decked out in all manner of reds, oranges and gold.
Deoksugung Palace's stone wall road – Seoul
Want to experience something romantic in Seoul? Then, take a scenic stroll with your loved one along the stone-wall road of the Deoksugung Palace in fall. A popular spot for lovey-dovey couples in Seoul, Deoksugung Palace’s wall road, or also referred as Jeongdong-gil road, is lined with gingko leaves that dramatically turn into yellow during autumn, making it even more romantic and enticing. There are also a number of modern and traditional structures and cultural sites along the way that will make your stroll more worthwhile.
Visiting Seoul in October? Make sure to check out their convivial autumn festivals, like the Seoul International Fireworks Festival and Seoul Yangnyeongsi Herb Medicine Culture Festival.
Photo credit: visitkorea
Gyeongbokgung Palace – Seoul
Gyeongbokgung Palace – the most famous palace in Korea – is truly an incredible and laid-back place to witness the country’s colorful transformation during its most gorgeous season. The sheer images of the reflecting ponds and traditional buildings of Gyeongbokgung draped in the colors of autumn have been luring romantic couples, artists and photographers from all over Korea to come to this scenic royal palace. And when nighttime comes, the place becomes a brightly lit sanctuary full of delightful sights. Not to mention, a variety of dance and traditional music performances will be staged in this palace almost every night in autumn.