South Korea is known for its biting winters and hot summers.

Perhaps the best moments to visit this exciting city are between the long-awaited but all- too-fleeting pockets of perfectly enjoyable weather. Every season in South Korea offers something worth traveling for, which might make it hard to decide on a trip.

The summer months bring the most international visitors to the city. Spring and fall have become in-demand times to visit in recent years.

We have a guide to the best times to visit the city.

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High season (March–May and September–November) is the best time for outdoor attractions

The best time to visit the city is in the spring and fall, when the weather is pleasant and the outdoors are plentiful. The Han River is a great place to have a chimaek picnic of fried chicken and beer.

People walk under umbrellas by lit street signs on a rainy night in Tongin-dong, Seoul, South Korea
The rainy summer shoulder season is a great time for indoor activities in Seoul © Shcherbakov Ilya / Shutterstock

Enjoy indoor activities during shoulder season (June–August)

Heavy rains can last all day in July and August, while June is pleasant. There are a lot of things to do in the city to keep it cool and dry. In Asia's largest underground shopping mall, COEX, you can find an aquarium, library, movie theater and casino, as well as museums and galleries.

Avoid the crowds and save money in low season (December–February)

In the winter, with dry winds that wreak havoc on the skin and throat, Korea's capital city is wonderful. The city feels smaller and more intimate because of the reduced crowds. Think snow-dusted palaces, with shopkeepers sweeping the snow from their front stoops and roasting chestnuts and sweet potatoes in the air. The most affordable time to visit is during the cold winter months.

Children coast down snow-covered lanes in inner tubes in Seoul, South Korea
During the cold winter months, snowy sports are a fun way to spend an afternoon in Seoul © chai photographer / Shutterstock

You’ll have the city almost to yourself in January

The lowest number of incoming visitors was recorded by the city. There is something special about January's austerity as the bustling megacity shrinks to its core. It's a good time to take advantage of short lines and lower costs. You can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, or ice fishing in the winter.

Celebrate the lunar new year in February

The Korean New Year is celebrated in late January and early February. In the lead-up to the holiday, be on the lookout for special celebrations and traditional performances at folk villages and palaces, before Seoulites empty out of the capital to travel back to their hometowns. You should try to find a bowl of ddeokguk, South Korea's quintessential new year's dish, if you're in the area.

The Korea grand sale is a key event.

March brings warmer temperatures

During the month of March, the temperature in the city goes up to a high of 10oC (50oF). The second-oldest marathon in the world after Boston and the longest running marathon in Asia are both examples of this. 35,000 runners come to the event every year. Anyone who signs up in advance is qualified to participate.

The key event is the marathon.

A couple walk by blossoming cheery trees in Yeouido Park, Yeongdeungpo District, Seoul, South Korea
Seoul’s trees burst into blossom each April © KANNOI / Shutterstock

April offers spring beauty

When the cherry blossom trees bloom in cotton-candy swirls, April is the loveliest time of the year in Korea. Two of the best places to view flowers are Yeouido Park and Namsan Park. hwangsa, the yellow dust that rolls through this time of year from the Gobi Desert, is bad for the lungs and can cause asthma. There are face masks that are useful.

The key event is the cherry blossom festival.

Celebrate the Buddha’s birthday in May

Buddha's birthday is celebrated in the city in late April or May each year, with lotus lanterns illuminating the city. You can see the paper lights at the Jogye-sa and Bongeun-sa temples. The Royal Culture Festival and Changdeokgung palace are bookable in advance.

The key events are the Royal Culture Festival and the Lotus Lantern Festival.

Head outdoors in June

As the climate continues to change, the temperature in June can be as low as 15oC (60oF) for a week and as high as 26oC (80oF) the next. It is a good time to travel to South Korea.

The key events are the queer culture festival and the drum festival.

A participant in a rainbow costumer takes part in the Korea Queer Culture Festival 2022 in central Seoul, South Korea
The Korea Queer Culture Festival is a highlight of the summer season in Seoul © HEO RAN / Alamy

Pack an umbrella in July

July is the beginning of the monsoon season in South Korea and is usually the wettest month of the year. Pay attention to weather advisories and be aware of the high ground as you wander the city because flash floods can be caused by heavy rains. Since the heat is off in July, it's a good idea to eat naengmyeon or bingsu outside at the water gun festival.

The key event is the water gun festival.

August is all about hot weather, music festivals and beach days

When Korean students are on summer vacation, certain attractions like shopping centers, amusement parks and swimming pools are likely to be crowded. This month is a good time to visit the nearby beaches if you want to take advantage of the monsoon rains and typhoons that may be on the way.

There are a number of key events, including the Incheon Pentaport rock festival.

 A man eats street food at a stall at Myeong-Dong Night Market, Seoul, South Korea
Explore Seoul’s outdoor attractions and vibrant street food scene in spring or fall © TwilightShow / Getty Images

September brings traditional harvest festivals

In September, people in South Korea go to their hometowns to eat songpyeon and perform ancestral rituals. The ceremonial ritual of Sajik Daeje is a 50-minute procession that winds through the city and pays homage to the ancient gods of earth and grain.

The key events are Chuseok and Sajik Daeje.

Go for a hike in October

The average daily high temperature in October is 20oC. October is a great time to go hiking in the mountains, as the trees go from green to burnished gold, rust and rubies. The fireworks festival and fashion week are going to impress people.

The key events are the international fireworks festival and the fashion week.

Things light up in November

November is a less expensive month to visit because of the dry weather and the temperature dropping. There are many events happening this month, the most notable of which is the Seoul Lantern Festival.

The key event is the lantern festival.

Bundle up in December

The mercury goes down in December. The city has three outdoor ice rinks where you can get your body moving and take in the Christmas decorations all around.

The key event is the christmas festival.

The article was first published about a year ago.