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Best places to see cherry blossoms in Korea for 2020

If you’re looking for a memorable spring holiday, why not head to Korea to see the country erupt in gorgeous cherry blossom? Snap gigantic sakura flower petals in Jeju, join a cherry blossom marathon in Gyeongju and walk under illuminated blossom-filled trees in buzzing Seoul. Here are the best places to see cherry blossom in Korea on your spring vacation and a guide on when to visit.

When is the best time to see cherry blossom in Korea

Korea Sakura

As the frigid Korean winter draws to a close towards the end of March, warmer weather in the country’s south sees the first cherry blossoms of spring bloom majestically in Jeju Island. As the warmth moves north, the blooms spread from Busan up towards Seoul and Incheon. Generally speaking, the safest bet to guarantee good cherry blossom viewing is to be in Korea in late March and early April.

Do take note that the dates indicated are predictions and the actual blooming dates may differ, depending on the weather patterns. We will continue to update this page with the latest prediction, if any.

To avoid disappointments, make sure you book your flight tickets to Korea early for the cherry blossom season. Check out some of the best flight deals for cherry blossom 2020 to Korea on Skyscanner too.

Where are the best places to see cherry blossom in Korea

1. Jinhae Gunhangje Cherry Blossom Festival

In early April, join the crowds at Korea’s most popular cherry blossom festival, the 10-day Jinhae Gunhangje Festival. Attracting over 2 million visitors each year, this festival started life as a memorial to notable naval hero Yi Sun-sin, and has morphed into a sea of petals with cherry blossom tunnels and walkways all over town alongside music performances, tours of museums and a military parade to feast your eyes on.

When to go: early April
How to get there: take a bus from Busan Seobu terminal (45 mins, RM19 / KRW 5,100)

2. Gyeongju and the Cherry Marathon

This gorgeous historical city is famed as Korea’s museum without walls, so if you’re a period drama fan and are looking for some great photo opportunities on your vacation, rent a bike and explore the ancient cherry tree-lined streets, temples, tombs and the world-famous Seokguram Grotto. For those who want to throw a bit of a health challenge into the mix, sign up for the Gyeongju Cherry Marathon, where you can enjoy cherry blossom, a lungful of refreshing spring air and the company of cheery runners!

When to go: early April
How to get there: take a bus from Busan’s Central Bus Terminal (50 mins; RM20 / KRW 4,800)

3. Yeouido Flower Festival

One of Seoul’s most popular cherry blossom viewing spots, the Yeouido Flower Festival takes place on the island of Yeouido on the Han River. With over 1880 Korean cherry trees blooming, this is a great place to get your blossom fix. Come here after dark to see the blossom lit up and enjoy live music performances and contemporary art exhibitions and installations.

When to go: early April
How to get there: walk from National Assembly Station (5 mins)

4. Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival

Thanks to its location in the country’s far south, Jeju is the first place in Korea to see cherry blossom each year. The best places to experience the cherry blossom is at Jeju Sports Complex and in downtown Seogwipo, where you’ll be able to see the blossom of the King Cherry Tree, which has the largest petals of all the cherry trees. This tree only blossoms for 2-3 days so you’ll need to have your timing down to a tee not to miss out.

When to go: late March to early April
How to get there: take a bus from Jeju International Airport to Seogwipo (80 mins; RM21 / KRW 5,500)

5. Nami Island, Chuncheon

If you have sweet memories of K-drama, Winter Sonata, (the area was a filming location for the drama) and are looking for some spring romance with a special person then you need to head here for your cherry blossom experience. This half-moon shaped island is covered with cherry blossom in spring, and best of all, to ensure you have the best photos possible, the electrical wires here are all underground ensuring uncluttered views of the trees. Once you’ve seen enough cherry blossom, there’s a family-friendly theme park and a roller skating rink to keep everyone entertained.

When to go: early April
How to get there: take the metro from Sangbong to Gapyeong (1hour; RM8 / KRW 2,050)

6. Gyeongpo Cherry Blossom Festival, Gangneung

Enjoy the warm spring weather with a trip to the beach resort area of Gyeongpo on the country’s east coast. Once you’ve had a dip on the bracing sea and enjoyed sunrise from the gorgeous stretch of sand here, head to Gyeongpodae Pavilion where the trees line a 4.3km path around the lake making for a spectacular sight in full bloom. There are countless other things to see and do in the area including zipline rides in the nearby mountains, exploring a coffee museum and enjoying fresh seafood on the beach.

When to go: early to mid-April
How to get there: take a bus from Seoul to Gangneung (3 hours; RM63 / KW 17,000)

7. Daegu Yongyeonsa Temple

Friendly Daegu has a huge student population and is a great place to meet some new friends to hang out with on your cherry blossom viewing trip. To see the blossoms at their best, head to peaceful Yongyeonsa Temple at the foot of Biseul Mountain. The temple, built in 1728, contains a number of beautiful pagodas and ancient artefacts with pathways and gates lined by cherry trees that turn the place into a fairytale setting when the trees are in full bloom.

When to go: early April
How to get there: take a train from Busan (40 mins; RM52 / KRW 14,000)

8. Seoul Seokchon Lake

This lake in eastern Seoul is another cherry blossom hotspot and is particularly popular with photographers who crowd the banks here trying to get the perfect shot of the trees reflected in the water. Adding to the drama is the nearby Lotte World, whose castles and roller coasters can be seen in the background. Try and time your visit here to coincide with the Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival (usually the first or second weekend of April) to enjoy fun activities, local snacks and performances including a special Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom Concert.

When to go: early to mid-April
How to get there: take the subway to Seokchon Park Station and then walk.

Ready for a petal-covered vacation? Japan is another country to visit if you want a complete cherry blossom 2020 experience! Find out when and where to go in Japan to catch the sakura 2020.

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