Best Time to Visit South Korea: Weather by Month and Season

The best time to visit South Korea is in the spring and the fall, particularly in April and November. In these shoulder season months, travellers will enjoy mild to warm temperatures while avoiding the busy, hot, and humid summer and the chilly winter weather. These seasons have the added bonus of seeing the country brighten up with colourful spring cherry blossoms and beautiful fall foliage.

Summer in South Korea is, like in much of East Asia, marked by extreme heat, humidity, and plenty of rainfall. Although it’s one of the busiest times of the year for tourists, summer isn’t an ideal time to travel here. Winter falls on the other end of the spectrum, with dry weather conditions and cool temperatures.

Ready to plan out your journey? Find the perfect season and month to travel to this fascinating East Asian country with this complete South Korea weather guide!

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Overview of weather in South Korea

Like much of the region, South Korea is located in a humid continental climate zone and sports a temperate four-season climate, with wide temperature variation throughout the year. Unless you’re from a near-perfect tropical destination, South Korea is a year-round destination. Each season offers a different set of perks for travellers.

In general, South Korea’s climate is characterized by hot and humid summers and chilly winters. Neither is an ideal time to visit nor are they complete no-gos.

Falling between the extremes of summer and winter, spring and autumn are the two best seasons to visit Korea. In both these seasons, you’ll be greeted by comfortable mild to warm temperatures and relatively dry conditions. The differences are especially striking when compared to the hot & wet summer.

Mountains in Spring

There are some other bonuses to travelling to Korea in spring and autumn, too.

The middle to the end of April sees the cherry blossoms emerging throughout South Korea. This stunning scene throughout the peninsula catches Korea at its most beautiful. It’s the perfect time to visit the country.

Likewise, the autumn months between September and November witness the eruption of Korea’s fall colours. Autumn is a great season to launch your South Korea itinerary. Temperatures are still comfortable, and the rainfall dips from the muggy summer months. 

Seasons in South Korea


When is spring in Korea? Spring in South Korea is from mid-March until June.

What to expect in spring: With another year of cold temperatures behind it, South Korea springs back to life from its winter slumber in spring. Throughout the country, cherry blossoms and flowers bloom, re-colouring the pale outdoor spaces. In general, spring is much drier than summer and, naturally, milder than winter. It’s a fantastic season to travel around South Korea.

What to wear in spring: In spring, temperatures quickly improve from the lows of winter. You’ll still need to carry along some warmer outerwear to deal with the inevitable cooler temperatures. I’d recommend packing a warm fleece jacket or sweater as a base. Throw in an ultralight waterproof jacket or softshell jacket as a waterproof outer layer. For tackling the hiking trails, bring along a solid pair of waterproof hiking shoes.


When is summer in South Korea? Summer in South Korea is from July until August.

What to expect in summer: Summers in South Korea are hot and muggy and see plenty of rainfall throughout the peninsula. July and August are the wettest months of the year in Korea, thanks to the East Asian monsoon. Fortunately, the typhoons that slam Japan, Taiwan, and China every year in late summer to early autumn often pass by South Korea.

What to wear in summer: In the dead heat of summer, you’re going to want to keep it light. Stick to lightweight, quick-dry fabrics, whether you’re wearing pants or shorts. You’ll want to keep a travel umbrella and lightweight waterproof jacket handy for the inevitable downpours. Waterproof shoes aren’t a bad idea to add to your packing list for Korea, either.

Sunset in Pohang


When is autumn in South Korea? Autumn in South Korea is from September to November.

What to expect in autumn: With the muggy days of summer gone, autumn is one of the most pleasant times of year to visit South Korea. During the fall months, the temperatures are still warm and mild. Rainfall is limited. Along with the sunny days, you’re treated to the stunning fall foliage that envelops South Korea in a blaze of crimson and orange hues.

What to wear in autumn: With the cooler weather, you’ll need to think about bringing along extra layers. A warm base layer, such as fleece, with a rain jacket or softshell as an outer layer should suffice in most situations. As fall is a great season for hiking in Korea, be sure to carry a pair of sturdy hiking shoes to take on the trails.


When is winter in South Korea? Winter in South Korea is from December to mid-March.

What to expect in winter: It’s hard to give winter a thumbs up over the milder days of spring or autumn. But winter in South Korea is, truthfully, not so bad for visitors. Temperatures are indeed cold but hardly miserable compared to other wintry destinations. One bonus to travelling to South Korea in winter is that the crowds are smaller. Along with it, you should find some excellent airfare deals and cheaper accommodations. As the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang should remind us, winter is also a prime time for hitting the ski slopes for a dose of winter sports fun.

What to wear in winter: With the colder temperatures of winter, you’ll want to dress in layers. A warm hardshell coat with a knitted toque and a pair of warm gloves will do the trick for the outdoors. In snowy conditions, lined waterproof boots are a must for South Korea. They’ll keep your feet dry and protected from the cold.

Weather By Month


Overview: Despite the cooler temperatures, January isn’t such a bad month to travel around South Korea. January is one of the driest months of the year. Frequent sunny skies make a great case to tough out the sub-zero temperatures. January is a great month to spend time enjoying the outdoors with minimal tourist crowds.

Where to go in January: Korea’s winter sports season starts to ramp up in January. This is your big opportunity to hit the slopes at the ski resorts in Gangwon-do and Gyeonggi-do. In January, head to Jeju Island for the Hallasan Snowflake Festival. At this celebration, you’ll combine climbing Hallasan with experiencing unique folk performances.

City Avg. High Avg. Low Avg. Temp Rainfall
Seoul 1°C / 34°F -9°C / 16°F -4°C / 25°F 21 mm
Busan 7°C / 45°F -1°C / 30°F 3°C / 37°F 30 mm
Jeju 8°C / 46°F 6°C / 43°F 6°C / 43°F 22 mm


Overview: The Korean winter starts to show signs of relief into February. Temperatures increase ever so slightly from the January lows, as does precipitation.

Where to go in February: The Korean Lunar New Year (Seollal) usually falls between late January and mid-February. This is not a fantastic period to travel in South Korea. It’s one of the country’s high seasons—with the prices and inconveniences to reflect it. Outside of the holiday, February is a great month to enjoy the outdoors and winter sports under milder conditions.

City Avg. High Avg. Low Avg. Temp Rainfall
Seoul 4°C / 39°F -7°C / 19°F -2°C / 28°F 25 mm
Busan 9°C / 48°F 1°C / 34°F 5°C / 41°F 50 mm
Jeju 9°C / 48°F 7°C / 45°F 7°C / 45°F 24 mm

Winter @ Gyeongbokgung Palace


Overview: Winter is still in session in South Korea into the first days of March. The temperatures are still crisp throughout the country. They often sit in the single digits and may even drop below zero in the north of the country, including Seoul. The cold snap doesn’t last long, though. The end of March ushers in beautiful changes around South Korea. Finally, the cherry blossoms and flowers begin to emerge from their winter slumber.

Where to go in March: With its milder weather, late March is a great month to travel throughout the peninsula. It’s a fine time to dig into all the fun things to do in Seoul and Jeju Island. Or watch spring make a grand entrance in South Korea at the Gwangyang International Maehwa Festival in Jeollanam-do. Here, you’ll get to experience the sweet scents of apricot blossoms and sample tasty local southern Korean seafood. Even more out of the ordinary is the Bullfighting Festival in Cheongdo, south of Daegu. At this popular festival, you can enjoy a rodeo and a calf beauty contest. Yee haw!

City Avg. High Avg. Low Avg. Temp Rainfall
Seoul 9°C / 48°F -2°C / 28°F 4°C / 39°F 48 mm
Busan 13°C / 55°F 5°C / 41°F 9°C / 48°F 90 mm
Jeju 12°C / 54°F 9°C / 48°F 9°C / 48°F 46 mm


Overview: April is one of the best months to visit South Korea. In April, the cherry blossoms make their quick appearance throughout the country. The weather during April warms up quickly, bringing with it a little more rain than in March. The only big negative to travelling in April is the possibility of nasty yellow dust storms. These inconvenient storms originate in the Gobi Desert and blanket much of East Asia.

Where to go in April: With the cherry blossoms out in early April and the milder weather, much of Korea is at your disposal. Several cherry blossom festivals pop up throughout the country. The most popular include the Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival and the Jinhae Gunhangje Festival, the biggest in the country.

City Avg. High Avg. Low Avg. Temp Rainfall
Seoul 17°C / 63°F 5°C / 41°F 11°C / 52°F 95 mm
Busan 18°C / 64°F 10°C / 50°F 14°C / 57°F 140 mm
Jeju 17°C / 63°F 14°C / 57°F 14°C / 57°F 77 mm

Changdeokgung Palace in Seoul


Overview: By May, the spring is out in full force. Throughout South Korea, the flowers are in full bloom. At every turn, you’ll enjoy unforgettably beautiful scenes. Meanwhile, average temperatures in May rise into the high teens. Highs start reaching into the twenties. May is the last relatively dry month before the monsoon season wreaks havoc on the Korean peninsula. 

Where to go in May: May is a great month to be outside in South Korea. Whether your plans include hiking up Hallasan in Jeju or hiking in Seoul at Bukhansan, you’ll love it. Or, perhaps, the weather of May will mean simply enjoying beautiful sights in your favourite Korean city. Tea lovers should beeline south to Jeollanam-do, Korea’s main tea-growing region. Sip to your heart’s content at the Boseong Tea Festival.

City Avg. High Avg. Low Avg. Temp Rainfall
Seoul 22°C / 72°F 11°C / 52°F 17°C / 63°F 83 mm
Busan 22°C / 72°F 14°C / 57°F 18°C / 64°F 180 mm
Jeju 21°C / 70°F 18°C / 64°F 18°C / 64°F 102 mm


Overview: Throughout Korea, the temperatures steadily rise into June. The beginning of the month is, like May, generally pleasant for travelling. The one exception is the increasing rainfall. By the end of June, the wet weather starts to take its toll as South Korea heads towards the rainy monsoon season.

Where to go in June: With comfortably warm temperatures, June is another great month for outdoor activities in Korea, such as hiking. For something a little out of the ordinary, head to the port city of Gangneung for the Dano Festival. This festival features interesting folk performances unique to the Gangwon-do region. It normally takes place in either early June or late May.

City Avg. High Avg. Low Avg. Temp Rainfall
Seoul 26°C / 79°F 16°C / 61°F 21°C / 70°F 151 mm
Busan 24°C / 75°F 18°C / 64°F 21°C / 70°F 220 mm
Jeju 28°C / 82°F 21°C / 70°F 21°C / 70°F 133 mm

Night @ Yeoido in Seoul


Overview: Despite the warmer temperatures, July isn’t a fantastic month for travelling around South Korea. The first true summer month brings with it uncomfortably hot temperatures and sticky humidity. July is the wettest month of the year in Korea. The heavy rain is brought on by the East Asian Monsoon and it drenches the peninsula thoroughly. The end of the month also marks the beginning of the region’s typhoon season. Unlike Japan or Taiwan, though, most of South Korea tends to escape the most brutal of its wrath.

Where to go in July: July is one of the worst months to travel to South Korea. It’s hard to recommend too many places to visit around the country. One interesting event to consider that’s in line with the miserable weather is the Boryeong Mud Festival on the east coast. More or less, it’s an excuse to get dirty and have a little fun on the beach.

City Avg. High Avg. Low Avg. Temp Rainfall
Seoul 27°C / 81°F 20°C / 68°F 24°C / 75°F 385 mm
Busan 27°C / 81°F 22°C / 72°F 25°C / 77°F 300 mm
Jeju 28°C / 82°F 26°C / 79°F 26°C / 79°F 328 mm


Overview: Like July, it’s best to avoid travelling around South Korea in August if possible. August is the second wettest month of the year and similarly as hot and sticky as its summer companion.

Where to go in August: With the hot and humid weather of August, you won’t want to spend your entire holiday outside. If you must travel in August, stick to bigger cities like Busan and Seoul. At least then, you’ll be able to duck in and out of air-conditioned museums, restaurants, and malls to keep your sanity. The Ginseng Festival in Geumsan is another interesting option for this sub-optimal travel month.

City Avg. High Avg. Low Avg. Temp Rainfall
Seoul 28°C / 82°F 20°C / 68°F 24°C / 75°F 283 mm
Busan 29°C / 84°F 23°C / 73°F 26°C / 79°F 290 mm
Jeju 29°C / 84°F 27°C / 81°F 27°C / 81°F 248 mm

Autumn in Insadong


Overview: With the monsoons and typhoons breaking away, September is the start of something good in South Korea. Temperatures into the first month of fall stay warm. Rainfall also dips from its height in July.

Where to go in September: In September, the outdoors once again begin to beckon. As the temperatures dip to more comfortable levels and the rain peters off, it’s a great time to be outside. The biggest Korean holiday of the year, The Harvest Moon Festival (Chuseok), usually falls somewhere between late September and early October. You’ll want to avoid travelling around Korea during Chuseok. The country all but shuts down in observation.

City Avg. High Avg. Low Avg. Temp Rainfall
Seoul 24°C / 75°F 14°C / 57°F 19°C / 66°F 159 mm
Busan 26°C / 79°F 19ºC / 66°F 23°C / 73°F 190 mm
Jeju 25°C / 77°F 23°C / 73°F 23°C / 73°F 138 mm


Overview: The first true signs of autumn in South Korea begin to roll in come October. There’s a marked drop in temperature from September. It’s still mild, though, and far drier in October than in the previous months. Overall, October might be the ideal time to visit South Korea. And it’s not just for the weather. By the end of October, the fall foliage is usually out in full force around South Korea.

Where to go in October: There’s hardly a better month to hit up national parks than October. With the fall colours emblazoning South Korea in rich red, yellow, and orange hues, it’s impossible not to get floored by the scenery. Places like Seoraksan, Hallasan, or Bukhansan are at their finest. Besides hiking in the national parks, consider heading down to the cultural gem of Andong. In early October, its annual Mask Dance Festival beckons. At this cultural festival, you’ll find traditional folk performances. Foodies, on the other hand, will love Gwangju’s Kimchi Festival, a celebration of the country’s national dish.

City Avg. High Avg. Low Avg. Temp Rainfall
Seoul 18°C / 64°F 7°C / 45°F 13°C / 55°F 52 mm
Busan 22°C / 72°F 14°C / 57°F 18°C / 64°F 60 mm
Jeju 21°C / 70°F 18°C / 64°F 18°C / 64°F 49 mm

Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon


Overview: Although it’s a tad chillier than October, November is still a good month to visit South Korea. In early November, the autumn colours are still out throughout the country, painting beautiful scenes wherever you go. The peak viewing time won’t last long, though. Not long into November, the leaves start to fall in preparation for a long winter ahead. Another bonus to travelling in November is that it’s among the driest months of the year in South Korea.

Where to go in November: Even with the colder temperatures, much of the country is at your disposal. Hikers will love plying through trails in the top Korean national parks under the beauty of the fall colours.

City Avg. High Avg. Low Avg. Temp Rainfall
Seoul 10°C / 50°F -1°C / 30°F 5°C / 41°F 46 mm
Busan 16°C / 61°F 8°C / 46°F 12°C / 54°F 50 mm
Jeju 16°C / 61°F 13°C / 55°F 13°C / 55°F 53 mm


Overview: December is the first official month of winter in South Korea, and it hits swiftly as we leave behind the brilliant autumn travel season. As long as you’re well prepared, winter in South Korea isn’t such a bad thing. December sees cooler temperatures than November. It’s still sunny and dry, though. You’ll still find plenty of opportunities to take on outdoor activities.

Where to go in December: Even with the above-freezing highs in December, South Korea’s winter sports season propels forward. December is a great time to visit Seoul as ice rinks begin to open up around the city. For more action-packed adventures, head to the ski resorts of Gangwon-do. You’ll enjoy carving the pistes before the height of the ski season hits later on in winter. One of the weirder festivals in December is the Pyeongchang Trout Festival. At this festival, you’ll get to test your fishing abilities and enjoy other fun winter activities like ATVing and sledding.

City Avg. High Avg. Low Avg. Temp Rainfall
Seoul 3°C / 37°F -7°C / 19°F -2°C / 28°F 25 mm
Busan 10°C / 50°F 2°C / 36°F 6°C / 43°F 30 mm
Jeju 10°C / 50°F 8°C / 46°F 8°C / 45°F 25 mm

Final recommendations

The best month to visit South Korea is April or October.

Why visit in April?

Patient travellers waiting for the long Korean winter to be over can breathe a sigh of relief when the warmer days of April approach. It’s not just that April brings with it better temperatures and relatively dry conditions. The main reason that April is the best time to go to Korea is that it’s simply beautiful.

Cherry Blossoms @ Changdeokgung Palace in Seoul

By the time April rolls along, the cherry blossoms are in bloom throughout Korea. In its blanket of delicate pink blossoms, you’ll see the country is at its most aesthetically pleasing. It’s a must-have experience!

Why visit in October?

Along with April, the best time to travel to South Korea is October. After an unpleasant summer monsoon season, late September to October brings much-needed relief. By October, temperatures cool down but remain quite pleasant. It’s also one of the drier months of the year, so spending your days outdoors is hardly a challenge.

Autumn in Yeouido Park

But, like April, the real reason to visit Korea in November is to catch the scenery at its finest. Towards the middle and end of the month, the leaves begin to erupt into crimson & golden shades. They’ll take your breath away!

Nearly anywhere you go, you’ll be greeted with a surreal scene that’ll put the rest of the year to shame. Head for the temples of Gyeongju or the mountains of Gangwon-do. Seeing them set to a colourful fall backdrop will be among the best experiences you’ll have on your visit to South Korea.

Ryan O'Rourke

Ryan O'Rourke is a Canadian traveller, food & drink aficionado, and the founder & editor of Treksplorer. With over 20 years of extensive travel experience, Ryan has journeyed through over 50 countries, uncovering hidden gems and sharing firsthand, unsponsored insights on what to see & do and where to eat, drink & stay. Backed by his travel experience and in-depth research, Ryan’s travel advice and writing has been featured in publications like the Huffington Post and Matador Network. You can connect with Ryan on Twitter/X at @rtorourke.

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