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Where to See the Best of South Korea’s Cherry Blossoms in 2024

South Korea Festivals
by Alex Bresler Mar 1, 2024

Spring is a season that announces itself loudly. In South Korea, canopies of pink and white cherry blossoms double as banners declaring that spring is here.

Cherry blossoms are commonly associated with Japan, but that’s not the only place they bloom. Throughout the 20th century, Japanese diplomats gifted cherry blossom trees to several international cities — including Washington, DC, and Vancouver — while Japanese colonizers brought Yoshino cherry blossoms to South Korea in the late 1800s. A distinct species known as the king cherry tree already existed on Jeju Island in the Korea Strait, however. South Korean and Japanese media outlets have debated whether or not the cherry blossom trees in Washington, DC, actually originated on Jeju Island, but at least one thing is certain: South Korea’s cherry blossoms, or beotkkot in Korean, rival Japan’s sakura in both their ephemeral beauty and cultural significance, symbolizing rebirth.

Almost as exciting as the cherry blossoms themselves is the annual forecast predicting when they’re expected to bloom. Visit Korea has released a handy map detailing when the cherry blossoms are expected to appear around the country in 2024. The earliest blossoms are slated to bloom in Busan and Jeju Island around March 22 and 24, respectively. Incheon, Suwon, and Chucheon are expected to start seeing cherry blossoms around April 7. Full bloom typically occurs a week after the first cherry blossoms appear.

The arrival of beotkkot and the many festivals held in their name make spring the perfect time to visit South Korea. Here’s where to see the best of South Korea’s cherry blossoms this year.



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Cherry blossoms are a common spring sight in Seoul. They’re a fixture of green spaces such as Seoul Forest Park and Namsan Park, which is known for having a particularly long trail of cherry blossom trees. They’re also woven into the landscape at points of interest such as the Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung Palaces, Kyunghee University, and Seoul Grand Park, a multi-use complex that hosts a zoo, amusement park, garden, modern art museum, and a cherry blossom festival that includes aerial views of the trees from a Sky Lift.

There are several cherry blossom festivals in Seoul, from the quiet Yangjaecheon Stream Cherry Blossom and Lantern Festival to the spirited celebration at Seokchon Lake Park, home of the soaring Lotte World Tower. But nothing tops the Yeouido Spring Flower Festival on Yeouido Island. In addition to blooming azaleas, forsythia, and other flower species, the festival showcases more than a thousand cherry trees lining the Han River. At night, enjoy a light show that illuminates the pale blossoms in a rainbow of bright colors.


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The coastal city of Jinhae might not be at the top of your list of places to visit in South Korea, but come spring, it should be. The Jinhae Gunhangje Festival is one of the largest and most famous cherry blossom events in the country. Beeline to the Jungwon Rotary Intersection to catch the festival’s opening ceremony and various performances. After, head to the no-longer-operational Gyeonghwa railway station to see a half-mile row of cherry blossom trees lining the tracks (and pop into the Jinhae Publicity Center to see once-used trains on display).

Later, wander over to Yeojwacheon Stream and its bridge to see the seasonal blossoms create a tunnel over the water, visit Jehwangsan Park or the Janboksan Sculpture Park, and stop by the Jinhae naval academy and navy base command to see even more cherry blossoms while learning about the city’s history as a military port.

Jeju Island


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Jeju Island’s native king cherry trees showcase some of the most dramatic, if short-lived, cherry blossoms in South Korea. They tend to be among the earliest blossoms of the season, given the island’s warmer climate, and the blossoms are so large that tree branches seem to vanish beneath them. You’ll see king cherry blossoms all over the island in the spring, with several tree-lined streets around the island serving as locales for the annual Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival.

Two roads to prioritize for blossom viewing during your visit are Jeonnong-ro, a bustling street with many cafes and restaurants that’s adorned with lanterns to add to the atmosphere, and pedestrian-friendly Jangjeon-ri with its cherry blossom tunnel. Other points of interest that double as prime viewing spots include Jeju National University and Jeju Stadium, the town of Aewol-eup, Hallim Park, Seongeup Folk Village, and Seopjikoji Hill.



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Coastal Busan is South Korea’s second largest city and a nice place for cherry blossom viewing in the spring. One of the best places to spot cherry blossoms in the city is Dalmaji-gil Road, known as “Busan’s Montmartre” owing to its elevation, although unlike its Parisian counterpart, the hilly road leads down to beautiful Songjeong Beach. That means double the views as you walk the path, admiring both the seaside and the cherry blossom trees that line Dalmaji-gil.

For a more urban viewing spot where you can walk, jog, bike, or stop for a bite among the blossoms, Oncheoncheon Street runs along Oncheoncheon Stream and transforms into a cherry blossom road in the spring. Elsewhere, Samnak Ecological Park is a peaceful setting to connect with all sorts of nature, including wildflower colonies and wetlands. During the Samnak Cherry Blossom Festival, beeline to the blossom tunnel that runs along the Nakdong River.



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Daegu is a busy city in southeastern South Korea that has played an important role in several industries, including electronics, textiles, and music. (UNESCO calls Daegu the “birthplace of Korean modern music,” as well as noting its station as the hub of courtly music during the Joseon Dynasty.) It’s less famous for its cherry blossoms although there are plenty of viewing opportunities, and the trees tend to bloom a little earlier in Daegu than in Seoul due to its warmer climate. The most exciting place to see cherry blossoms in Daegu is at E-World, an amusement park with rollercoasters, art exhibitions, a host of LED light displays, and an 83-floor observation tower — as well as a riveting cherry blossom festival. For a calmer place to observe Daegu’s cherry blossoms, head to Palgongsan Mountain or Duryu Park.



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East of Daegu, and closer to the coast, Gyeongju is a historical city that’s widely considered as a living museum. It was the capital of the Silla Kingdom that presided over Korea between the seventh and 10th centuries, leaving behind well-preserved cultural and archeological sites, including the Bulguksa temple and Seokguram grotto, the Daereungwon Tomb Complex, and the Cheomseongdae observatory that dates back to the seventh century. When South Korea’s cherry blossom trees begin their floral fanfare, sightseeing in Gyeongju becomes all the more impressive as the city is showered with flowers and fallen petals. Count the number of cherry blossom trees you see as you tour the tumuli, or grass-covered tombs that punctuate the landscape, and head to Bomun Lake for some of the best blossom-y photo opps. For any runners out there, you can also forge a special memory of the season by joining the Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Marathon, held this year on April 6.



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Located at the foot of Jirisan Mountain, Hwagae presents a beautiful picture of rural South Korea. Year-round visitors flock to Hwagae for the Hadong Hwagae Market, one of the largest traditional markets in South Korea, as well as points of interest such as Ssanggyesa Temple and Jirisan Mountain, which opens onto a beautiful cherry blossom path during spring. Simni Cherry Blossom Road is particularly special for visiting couples. Tradition says that a union will last for a century — complete with marriage — if a couple walks the 2.5-mile road holding hands.



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Located directly east of Seoul on the opposite coast of South Korea, Gangneung is a beach destination that’s always ready to host a gathering (including ice events for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang). One such annual festival is the Gangneung Cherry Blossom Festival, which is centered around the centuries-old Gyeongpodae Pavilion near Gyeongpodae Lake.

There’s a roughly 2.5-mile path that loops around the lake where onlookers can admire canopies of cherry blossom trees during the spring. Walk or bike around the lake, pop over to Gyeongpo Beach across the lake, and see what events and flower exhibitions are on at the pavilion. You may also want to visit beaches like Anmok and Jumunjin while you’re in town — they may be chilly in spring, but the city’s beaches are beautiful year-round (and you’ll get to see where K-pop sensation BTS filmed the “You’ll Never Walk Alone” music video at Jumunjin).



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Gurye is the name of both a county and a small rural town in southern South Korea. On the border of South Korea’s first national park, Jirisan, the town and wider area is a popular spring and fall destination among hikers. Gurye hosts multiple flower-themed festivals, but one of its standout features for blossom enthusiasts is the riverside Seomjingang Cherry Blossom Trail. (The 1.8-mile Seomjingang Cherry Blossom Trail in Gurye is a small part of a longer road, stretching roughly 80 miles, that follows National Roads 17 and 19.) While pedestrians are welcome to walk the road, many visitors opt to drive to take in as many of the blooms as possible.



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Two things typically draw travelers to the city of Jeonju in western South Korea: the Jeonju Hanok Heritage Village, which centers on traditional Korean hanok dwellings; and a food scene that convinced UNESCO to designate it a City of Gastronomy. When spring visitors have had their fill of Yellow Sea fish, fresh produce, and rice-wine-making demonstrations from the Jeonju Korean Traditional Wine Museum, they can follow cherry-blossom-tree-lined trails along Maisan Mountain, Jeonju’s other claim to fame, or head to Wansan Park for a gentler floral stroll. You’ll also find cherry blossom trees decorating the hanok village, scattered among houses that reflect design elements dating as far back as the 14th-century Joseon dynasty.

Nami Island


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K-drama fans might recognize Nami Island from the popular TV series Winter Sonata, but there’s no better time to visit the small river island in Chuncheon than spring. According to the Korean tourism authority, the human-made island was conceptualized as a storybook destination with an emphasis on creativity and song, especially for younger visitors. In addition to exhibition and event spaces, Nami Island attractions include the Song Museum, Picture Book Playground, and Charity Train, along with plenty of open spaces to enjoy the natural surroundings. Springtime sees Nami Island covered with cherry blossoms, which visitors can admire as they walk Cherry Tree Lane or take a Gangchon Rail Bike tour.

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