Autumn in South Korea is a symphony of colours, with lush landscapes transforming into vibrant canvases of red, orange, and gold. As the air turns crisp and the leaves begin to fall, nature enthusiasts and travellers flock to this picturesque country to witness the breathtaking beauty of autumn. To enjoy autumn in Korea to it’s fullest you’ll want to add a visit to at least one autumn festival to enjoy the best fall foliage spots, cultural performances and events. Read on to discover the 20 of the best autumn festivals to experience in South Korea in autumn.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Autumn in South Korea
South Korea Fall Foliage Forecast 2023
Autumn in South Korea falls between September and November each year. For peak fall foliage you can expect it between late September to mid-November. It’s important to note however that the exact foliage dates vary each year, depending on the region, weather conditions and altitude. Generally, you can expect as the season progresses the colours begin in higher altitudes and then gradually move to the lower elevations.
To experience the best dates for the fall foliage in South Korea make sure to plan your visit at the end of October. Around this time you can expect peak fall foliage across many areas in South Korea. The peak season also only lasts for two weeks.
Don’t miss out on the best fall foliage spots in South Korea in this guide.
Weather in Autumn in South Korea
During autumn you can expect warm to cool temperatures (around 20°C) which makes it an ideal time to explore South Korea. Average daytime temperatures range from 15°C to 20°C (59°F to 68°F) and during the night you can expect cooler temperatures. With this in mind, it’s important to pack lots of layers for your autumn visit to Korea.
Read up on must-have travel essentials and Korean phrases for your trip to South Korea in this Korea Survival Guide.
Things to do in Autumn in South Korea
Besides enjoying the golden fall foliage, you’ll be treated to pleasant cool temperatures which makes it perfect for exploring Korea outside. During autumn you can expect fall festivals around the whole country as well as the must-see spots in Korea that are adorned with fall foliage and autumn blooms.
In terms of activities to do in autumn in Korea, hiking is popular amongst locals and tourists alike looking to soak up the cool weather and enjoy the vibrant foliage. For the top autumn hiking spots, I’d recommend checking out Naejangsan and Seoraksan Mountain. If hiking isn’t for you I’d recommend renting a traditional Korean dress (hanbok) to your South Korea itinerary. Besides renting a gorgeous hanbok for the photo opportunities it’s also a great way to immerse yourself in Korean culture. If you rent a hanbok in Seoul you’ll also be granted free entry into the five grand palaces.
Find out everything you need to know about renting a hanbok in South Korea in this guide.
Where are the best places to see autumn foliage in South Korea?
There are so many places to enjoy the vibrant foliage in South Korea from the main cities of Seoul and Busan to lesser-known places such as Incheon and Gyeongju. If you’re looking for the best fall foliage spots in Korea I recommend checking out my guide which covers over 20 autumn foliage spots and tips for visiting Korea in autumn.
Planning a trip to Seoul? Don’t miss out on these 10 must-see places in Seoul for first-time visitors.
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Don’t miss out on over 140 places to visit in Korea in my Korea Autumn Guide. I’ve included some of my favourite places and things to do including:
- Over 140 places to visit in Korea (+18 cities) (with Naver Map links)
- Insider tips for visiting South Korea (sneak peek into my Korea Survival Guide)
- Best fall foliage spots (Seoul & Beyond) & top things to do (sneak peek into Seoul Guide)
- Recommended local activities, tours, markets & festivals ….. and more!
Autumn Festivals in South Korea 2023
A trip to South Korea wouldn’t be complete without experiencing a seasonal festival. Besides the fall foliage spots you’ll get to enjoy there is also music, fireworks, food and cultural activities to try. Let’s dive into 20 of the best autumn festivals in South Korea for 2023.
Goyang Autumn Flower Festival (고양가을꽃축제)
Dates: 27 September to 9 October 2023
Admission: Goyang Flower Exhibition Hall – ￦6,000 for adults and ￦3,000 for children.
Address (Ilsan Lake Park): 595, Hosu-ro, Ilsandong-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do (경기도 고양시 일산동구 호수로 595)
Goyang Autumn Flower Festival showcases a diversity of flowers including zinnias, sunflowers, cosmos and chrysanthemums in flower and garden artworks in an indoor exhibition hall. At this festival, visitors can soak up autumn by enjoying the autumn blooms as well as be treated to flower markets, traditional experiences and performances.
Han River Festival
Dates: 13 to 22 October
Enjoy autumn festivities in Seoul at the Han River Festival from mid-October. At Yeouido and Banpo Hangang Park, there will be a series of cultural programs, concerts and exhibitions at the Han River Festival during autumn.
Seoul International Fireworks Festival (서울세계불꽃축제)
Address: Yeouido Hangang Park
Dates: 7 October 2023 (19:00 – 21:30)
Enjoy a fireworks festival at Yeouido Hangang Park by soaking up the autumn weather, dazzling fireworks and drone shows over the Han River. It’s known as one of the most stunning events during autumn in Korea attracting over 1 million visitors annually. You can expect around 100,000 fireworks lighting up the night sky which can be enjoyed from a variety of spots along the river including at Yeouido Han River Park, a cruise/yacht, Ichon Han River Park or Mapo Bridge.
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Jarasum Jazz Festival (자라섬 국제 재즈 페스티벌)
Dates: 7 to 9 October 2023
Address: 1-1, Daljeon-ri, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do (경기도 가평군 가평읍 달전리 1-1)
The Jarasum Jazz Festival takes place on Jaraseom Island in Gapyeong and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into New Orleans when you visit. If you’re a fan of soulful music you’ll want to check out this festival which boasts jazz artists from around the world set in vibrant fall foliage.
Hangang Moonlight Market (한강달빛야시장)
Dates: 16 September 16 to 22 October 2023
Address: 330 , Yeouidong-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 중구 을지로 281)
Looking for an activity to do at night in Seoul? Head over to the banks of the Han River in Yeouido to experience the popular open-air night market in Seoul. At this night market visitors can enjoy food from around the world as well as shop for unique handmade trinkets by the Han River under the night sky.
Don’t miss out on these top things to do in Seoul at Night in this local travel guide.
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Suwon Hwaseong Culture Festival (수원화성문화제)
Dates: 10 July to 9 October 2023.
Address: 825, Jeongjo-ro, Paldal-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do (경기도 수원시 팔달구 정조로 825)
Suwon Hawseong Culture Festival is held each year at Suwon Hwasong Fortress. This festival features cultural events including parades, traditional performances and local traditional dishes to enjoy from around the world. In addition to enjoying the festive activities, you’ll be treated to a gorgeous backdrop of the fortress wall and autumn foliage.
Seoul & Gwangju Kimchi Festival
Dates: TBA (2023)
Try authentic kimchi-making activities in Seoul or Gwangju in the autumn weather.
Dates: October to November 2023
Looking for something different to the autumn foliage? Check out the Chrysanthemum Festivals that are held at Jogyesa Temple in Seoul and the town of Iksan, near Jeonju for your trip. The festival will feature cultural performances, a national chrysanthemum artwork contest, and an outdoor chrysanthemum exhibit.
Seoul Lantern Festival (서울빛초롱축제)
Dates: TBA 2023 (Usually from November)
Each year about 3 million people check out the Seoul Lantern Festival to see the gorgeous display of lanterns. If you’re looking for a free event to attend to see vibrant lanterns in Korea make sure to add this festival to your itinerary. This year’s lantern theme is fairy tales from South Korea and abroad and it’s usually held at Cheonggyecheon Stream in Seoul.
Icheon Rice Cultural Festival (이천쌀문화축제)
Dates: 18 to 22 October 2023
Admission: Free entry
Address: 48, Gongwon-ro, Icheon-si, Gyeonggi-do (경기도 이천시 경충대로2697번길 167-29)
Icheon is known for producing the best rice in the country. In the past, the rice from Icheon was well renowned that it was served to the kings of Korea in the past and is still highly thought of today. The Icheon Rice Culture Festival celebrates its famous rice and local agricultural practices. There are also events and activities for visitors to enjoy as well as a range of local dishes and snacks to try including rich dishes, cakes and more desserts.
For the latest up-to-date information on the events and venue information check out their website.
Hueree Pink Muhly Festival (휴애리 핑크뮬리축제)
Dates: 15 September to 15 November 2023.
Address: 256, Sillyedong-ro, Namwon-eup, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
Admission: ￦13,000 for Adults.
If you’re heading to Jeju Island during autumn make sure to check out the Hueree Pink Muhly Festival. You’ll be treated to vast fields of vibrant pink muhly grass serving a great background for a day out. The festival also provides tangerine experiences and educational programs for children to enjoy.
Andong International Mask Dance Festival (안동국제탈춤페스티벌)
Dates: 2 to 9 October 2023
Address: 200, Chukjejang-gil, Andong-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do (경상북도 안동시 육사로 239)
Looking for a unique cultural experience in Korea? Look no further than the vibrant Andong International Mask Dance Festival held at Andong Hahoe Village. As suggested by its name it celebrates Korea’s traditional mask dance heritage, featuring performers from around the globe to show an array of mask dance traditions. Visitors can also participate in programs to learn about maks, dances, and related culture. Ancient rituals such as Bonpae and Lotus Lantern are also performed. The traditional village is also a must-see place in Korea as well as the surrounding beautiful natural scenery that is stunning in autumn.
For the latest up-to-date information on the events and line-up refer to the official website.
Jinju Namgang Yudeung Lantern Festival (진주 남강유등축제)
Dates: 8 to 22 October 2023
Every year around October the gorgeous display of lanterns attracts thousands of visitors to Jinju in the southern part of Korea. You’ll want to add a trip to one of the largest lantern festivals in Korea which boasts a range of creative lantern-themed displays. At Jinju Lantern Festival you won’t be disappointed with over 1,000 lanterns lighting up Nam River, fireworks and endless photo opportunities. The easiest and most convenient way to reach the festival is by reserving in advance a shuttle bus from Seoul.
Busan International Film Festival (부산국제영화제)
Dates: 4 to 13 October 2023
If you’re heading to the coastal city of Busan make sure to catch the world-class films on display from early to mid-October. It’s known as one of the largest film festivals in Asia and you can expect different film genres to be shown. If you’re a movie buff you won’t want to miss this fall festival in Korea with over 242 movies from 61 different countries featured at this event. For the latest up-to-date information on the festival refer to their website.
If you’re traveling in Busan make sure to check out the Busan Pass to get free entry into major attractions in the city and special discounts on restaurants, shopping and tourist attractions. You can reserve the pass online in advance.
Busan Rock Festival (부산국제록페스티벌)
Dates: 7 to 8 October 2023
If you’re a fan of rock music you’ll want to check out the Busan Rock Festival at Samnak Ecological Park. Joining the line-up at the 2023 festival includes indie rock quartet Phoenix, Japanese rock act SPYAIR, NELL, HYBS and many more artists. If you’re thinking of attending the festival tickets are priced at ￦110,000 (1-day pass) and ￦165,000 (2-day pass) available online on their website.
Haneul Park Silver Grass Autumn Festival (Seoul)
Dates: Mid-October 2023
Address: 서울 마포구 하늘공원로 95
It wouldn’t be a visit to Seoul in autumn without getting a photo or two with the silver grass. If you’re looking for some photo opportunities, I recommend checking out this local Haneul Park and Hanok Village Tour. At this festival, you’ll be treated to gorgeous warm and vibrant autumn tones for a day out in Seoul or your background to your photos.
Nari Park (나리공원) and Pink Muhly Festival
Dates: TBA 2023
Address (Nari Park): 131-66, Gwangsa-ro, Yangju-si, Gyeonggi-do
Often when you think of autumn you think of the colourful vibrant red and orange foliage. However, in South Korea, it’s also the perfect time to see the pink muhly in full bloom. I recommend exploring Nari Park and Pink Muly Festival for some of the most gorgeous pink muhly backdrops for your photos.
Yangju Nari Park is found in Yangju a city in Gyeonggi Pronvince. If you visit you’ll be treated to a variety of autumn flowers including canna flowers, Mexican asters, broom cypress, pink and red-coloured globe amaranth. It’s gorgeous autumn scenery is a great background for your photos. If you’re planning a visit I recommend going during the week to avoid large crowds.
Busan Fireworks Festival (부산 불꽃축제)
Date: 4 November 2023
Address: 219, Gwanganhaebyeon-ro, Suyeong-gu, Busan (부산광역시 수영구 광안해변로 219)
A visit to South Korea wouldn’t be complete without experiencing a fireworks festival in Busan. Add to your trip to Korea by experiencing the gorgeous display of fireworks at Gwangalli Beach. If you want the best viewpoint for the fireworks make sure to reserve your ticket in advance.
Changdeokgung Palace Moonlight Festival (창덕궁 달빛기행)
Admission: ￦30,000 for Adults.
Dates: 7 September to 22 October 2023
Address: 99, Yulgok-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 종로구 율곡로)
Experience a unique side of Changdeokgung Palace through a night tour. If you organise a Changdeokgung Palace Moonlight tour you’ll be treated to entry into a festival that allows you to step back into Korea’s past. You’ll get to explore the beloved palace of the kings of the Joseon Dynasty and explore the grounds lit by the moonlight and lanterns.
If you’re looking to book a night tour of Seoul’s Palaces make sure to reserve in advance because tickets sell out fast!
Pyeongchang Hyoseok Cultural Festival (평창효석문화제)
Dates: 4 to 15 September 2023
Address: 157, Ihyoseok-gil, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do (강원특별자치도 평창군 봉평면 이효석길 157)
Each year in September Pyeongchang transforms into a magical field lined with white buckwheat blossoms. The buckwheat flower field isn’t the only reason why you should visit Bongpyeong in Pyeongchang, but they’re also known for their delicious buckwheat dishes that are a must-try in Korea. If you want to enjoy the gorgeous autumn flowers consider organising a local day trip.
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