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Changdeokgung Secret Garden  | © mill56 / Flickr
Changdeokgung Secret Garden | © mill56 / Flickr

Sakura in Seoul: Where to See the Coming of Spring

Picture of Linda Dunsmore
Updated: 21 February 2017

Spring is short in South Korea and you only have a little time to enjoy the beautiful cherry blossoms. To avoid wasting any time during this magical season, this guide provides the 10 best places to see the pink and white cotton candy trees.

Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival

There is a small island in the middle of the Han River which divides Seoul into two parts. Yeouido island is filled with so many beautiful cherry blossoms during springtime that an entire festival has been created to celebrate the precious blossoms. Not only do locals and tourists love to visit the island in the spring, but countless Korean TV dramas and movies are also shot there during the season because of its romantic ambiance.

Yeoeuido-dong, Seoul

Gyeongbokgung Palace

It is no surprise that Seoul’s main palace is home to a big collection of tall cherry blossom trees. The cherry blossoms are stunning on their own, so if you add traditional palace halls and temples as the backdrop you end up with something very special.

161 Sajik-ro, Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Kyunghee University

In recent years, Kyunghee University has become a major tourist destination during the spring. Its location in the north of Seoul doesn’t put people off taking the trip to see the campus in full bloom.

Gyeonggi-do, Yongin-si, Giheung-gu, Yeongdeok-dong

Cheonggyecheon Stream

Cheonggyecheon Stream is a lively urban space that is also used as an open air exhibition venue throughout the year. In spring, there are not only lines of tall cherry blossom trees on each side of the stream but visitors can also see a variety of azaleas, violets, forsythia and apricot blossoms. A visit to Cheonggyecheon stream is a great way to welcome the spring.

Cheonggyecheon-ro, Sangwangsimni-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Seokchon Lake in Jamsil

Visit this lake in Jamsil district in April and you will not only be surrounded by pink and white cherry blossoms, but can also enjoy a variety of performances, exhibitions, and fun traditional games. In fact, Seokchon Lake is one of the most popular destinations in spring. Head there during the week to avoid crowds.

 Songpa 1(il)-dong, Seoul

Cherry Blossoms © Suneo1999 / Pexels

Seokchon Lake | © Suneo1999 / Pexels

Seoul Forest

Seoul Forest is among the best places to see cherry blossoms in Seoul in spring. In the past, Seoul Forest was a royal hunting ground for the kings of various dynasties and is home to a variety of historic landmarks and artifacts. If you are a history fan and want to enjoy the cherry blossoms, Seoul Forest is a great choice.

273 Ttukseom-ro, Seongsu 1(il)-ga 1(il)-dong, Seongdong-gu, Seoul

Changdeokgung Palace

The second largest palace in Seoul should definitely not be missed. Changdeokgung Palace is located east of Gyeongbokgung Palace and the famous Bukchon Hanok Village. What’s interesting about this palace is the vast secret garden that was once solely reserved for the king and those close to him. Today, the garden can be visited by anyone free of charge and is a special treat during spring with its magnificent cherry blossom trees.

99 Yulgok-ro, Waryong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Namsan Seoul Tower

Seoul’s highest point does not only offer splendid views of the city and its surrounding areas but is also a great spot for blossom watching. The area around the N Tower looks like a painting in mid and late April when a sea of white and pink petals fills the sky. Take the elevator up to the observatory of the tower and you can spot all the cherry blossom patches across the entire city.

105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan 2(i)ga-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul

Yangjaecheon Stream

Cyclists will enjoy pedaling along the tree-lined paths of Yangjaecheon Stream in Gangnam. The 3.5km-long cherry blossom road is also accessible to pedestrians who’d like to take it a little more slowly.

Yangjae 1(il)-dong, Seoul

Seoul National Cemetery

While some might find it a bit morbid, Seoul National Cemetery can be a great place to spot beautiful cherry blossom trees in spring. Strictly reserved for veterans who died in the Korean independence movement, Korean War, and Vietnam War, this cemetery is also a historic attraction.

Hyeonchung-ro 210, Dongjak-gu, Seoul