Spending autumn in Seoul and don’t know what to do and see? Fall is, in my opinion, together with spring the perfect season to visit Seoul, and there are so many places waiting for you to discover them.
Chasing the foliage is no joke in South Korea, with parks and gardens filled with people. However, if you plan your trip well, you can get to see it all and make some unforgettable memories. Because South Korea and Seoul are stunningly beautiful during autumn.
In a way, I love this season more than spring, mainly because the weather is turning nice and warm, from hot and humid during summer. The sky is always clear and it creates the perfect background for the multi-colored trees.
So here are the best things to do in Seoul in fall, for your ultimate vacation.
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Table of Contents
- Autumn in Seoul: the best places to see
- Visit the Palaces in Seoul
- Eunpyeong Hanok Village
- Namsan Mountain
- Seokchon Lake & Lotte Sky Tower
- Have coffee at a Hanok cafe in Bukchon Hanok Village
- Bukhansan National Park
- Jogyesa Temple
- Seoul Forest
- Bongeunsa Temple
- Cheonggyecheon Stream 청계천
- Haneul Park – DMC
- Yangju Nari Park
- Gyeongui Line Forest Road (경의선숲길) & Yeonnam-dong
- Hwarangdae Railroad Park & the Royal Tombs
- Olympic Park
- Han River Parks
- Outside of Seoul as a day trip
- Where to stay in Seoul in fall
- What are the best parks in Seoul in autumn?
- When to travel for Autumn in Seoul?
- What is the weather like in Seoul in autumn?
- What is the best month to visit Seoul in Autumn?
- Is Autumn in Korea cold?
- Packing List & Essentials for Autumn in Seoul: What to wear during autumn in Seoul
Autumn in Seoul: the best places to see
Visit the Palaces in Seoul
Visiting the palaces in Seoul during autumn is an experience like no other. With its vibrant red maple leaves and lush green gardens, it’s a sight that will take your breath away. Not to mention the majestic architecture of each palace, which stands proudly against the backdrop of the changing colors of fall.
The five grand palaces located in Seoul are Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, and Changgyeonggung Palace.
Each palace has its own unique features that make them worth visiting at any time of year but especially during autumn when nature puts on a spectacular show for visitors who come from near and far to witness this extraordinary beauty firsthand.
Some of the palaces have a secret garden, and you might need to book your ticket in advance if you want to visit. I remember when I wanted to visit, tickets were sold out a few days in advance.
However, a stroll through the “normal” gardens is as charming. Entrance fees aren’t too high, and if you choose to wear a hanbok you will have free admission.
Also, on the last Wednesday of the month, all palaces have free admission.
Read also: The complete guide for visiting the palaces in Seoul
Eunpyeong Hanok Village
This less-known hanok village, set a bit further away from the city center, is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Seoul in fall.
The village consists of traditional Korean homes and buildings, known as hanoks, that have been preserved for centuries. During autumn, the trees surrounding the village turn shades of yellow and red, creating an enchanting backdrop for visitors.
The peaceful atmosphere of Eunpyeong Hanok Village makes it one of the most popular destinations for people looking to escape from city life and take in stunning views of nature.
You can stroll around and admire the beautiful houses and incredible nature, or simply come here for a coffee with a view at one of the most popular cafes in town, 1in1jan Cafe (1인1잔).
Address: 127-25 Jingwan-dong, Eunpyeong-gu, Seoul
How to get there from Seoul Station: take bus 701
Located in the heart of Seoul, Namsan Mountain is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
During the fall season, its beauty is especially breathtaking with its lush foliage and vibrant colors. The leaves on the trees change from green to shades of yellow, orange and red as the temperatures begin to drop, creating an incredible backdrop against which visitors can take stunning photographs or simply admire nature’s artistry.
If you enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking or camping, Namsan offers plenty of trails that are perfect for exploring during this time of year. With its crisp autumn air and picturesque views, Namsan Mountain is truly a sight to behold in fall.
Alternatively, you can take the cable car to the top of the mountain and admire the city from above. Climb the famous NSeoul Tower, have lunch with a view at one of the restaurants, and take plenty of Instagrammable pictures.
Read also: Your complete guide for how to get to Namsan Tower
Seokchon Lake & Lotte Sky Tower
A popular destination during spring because of its cherry trees, Seokchon Lake offers the perfect setting for an autumn walk as well.
Take a picture with Lotte Sky Tower framed by golden leaves, or climb to the top and admire the lake and Gangnam from above.
Lotte Sky Tower is the tallest building in the country and one of Asia’s most iconic skyscrapers. Standing at 555 meters tall, it is also the fifth-tallest tower in the world.
The tower houses offices, residences, retail spaces, and other facilities spread across 123 floors.
It includes a variety of attractions such as an observation deck where you can take in stunning views of Seoul from up to 500 meters high above ground level.
In addition, there are two glass skywalks suspended from either side of the tower for those brave enough to take a walk in the air.
Address: 300 Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul
How to get there from Seoul Station: by subway take line 1 for one stop to the City Hall, hop on the Green line (line 2), and go for 15 stops and approx. 30 minutes to Jamsil Station.
Have coffee at a Hanok cafe in Bukchon Hanok Village
As fall comes, Bukchon Hanok Village becomes even more charming than before, if that is even possible.
The village consists of hundreds of traditional-style Korean houses, known as hanoks, that were built over 600 years ago and have been preserved since then.
During the autumn months, these hanoks are surrounded by beautiful foliage in shades of yellow and orange which adds to the charm and beauty of this historic area.
You can explore the winding alleyways between the old buildings or take part in various cultural activities such as calligraphy classes or traditional tea ceremonies.
There are also plenty of cafes and shops where visitors can enjoy local delicacies while admiring views across Seoul’s cityscape from Bukchon Hanok Village’s hilltop location.
Two of my favorite cafes in the area are Onion Cafe next to Anguk Station, and Green Mile Coffee hidden in a small hanok house.
Address: 37, Gyedong-gil, Jongno-gu | 서울특별시 종로구 계동길 37 (계동)
Bukhansan National Park
Bukhansan National Park is a great destination to visit in the fall. Located just outside of Seoul, this expansive park offers breathtaking views and plenty of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy.
The foliage in autumn turns into an array of vibrant colors, providing a stunning backdrop for hikes and other outdoor adventures.
There are numerous trails that vary in length and difficulty level, so there’s something for everyone regardless of experience or physical condition.
For those who want to take it easy, Bukhansan National Park also features scenic picnic spots where you can relax and admire the view while enjoying some food or snacks.
Popular trails: Bibong Course (1 hour 20 minutes | 3.8 km), Bukhansanseong Course (2 hours | 3.4 km), Obong Course (2 hours 10 minutes | 6.5 km).
One of the places anyone should have on their Seoul bucket list, Jogyesa Temple transforms itself during fall. The temple’s garden becomes home to many flower statues quietly waiting for you to admire them.
Jogyesa Temple is a beautiful Buddhist temple that dates back to 1395 and is considered to be one of the most important temples in Korea.
The temple has been renovated several times over its long history and today serves as an important spiritual center for Korean Buddhists.
You can explore the grounds on their own or take part in guided tours which provide insight into both Buddhist teachings and the rich cultural heritage of South Korea.
From prayer halls filled with colorful statues to tranquil gardens surrounded by ancient trees, Jogyesa Temple offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience both traditional religious practices and stunning architecture all within one site.
Address: 55 Ujeongguk-ro, Jongno-gu
Operating hours: The main hall is open 24 hours
How to get there from Seoul Station: take buses 7016 or 1711 for 3 stops to KT Gwanghwamun Branch stop, and walk from there for 9 minutes
Seoul Forest Park is a beautiful oasis in the heart of the bustling city.
During fall, it comes alive with vibrant colors and fragrant aromas. The park features over 1,000 species of trees including elm, pine, cherry, and oak that line the winding pathways.
In autumn months you can admire the oranges and reds of maple trees as well as various other flowering plants that bloom during this time.
People come here for the famous ginkgo tree alley, and for the largest maple tree forest.
There is also a small zoo where you can see deer, squirrels and various birds.
Address: 273 Ttukseom-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul (서울 성동구 뚝섬로 273)
How to get there from Seoul Station: take line 1 for one stop to the City Hall subway station, and from there take the Green Line to Ttukseom Station. From there you will have to walk for 11 minutes. Alternatively, take bus number 463 all the way to the Ttukseom Seoul Forest stop.
One of the top things to see in Gangnam, only a few steps away from the famous COEX Mall, Bongeunsa Temple is surrounded by a beautiful garden.
This Buddhist temple has been around since 794 AD and remains an important part of Korean culture and history.
During fall months, Bongeunsa Temple comes alive with vibrant colors as leaves change from green to yellow, orange and red.
The landscape surrounding the temple also becomes more picturesque with these autumn hues providing a stunning backdrop for visitors to enjoy.
In addition to admiring its beauty during this time of year, you can take part in various cultural activities such as traditional tea ceremonies at the on-site tea house or join guided tours that provide insight into Buddhism and the many artifacts housed within the temple complex.
Address: 531, Bongeunsa-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 강남구 봉은사로 531
How to get there from Seoul Station: take subway line number 1 for 3 stops to Noryangjin Station. From there, jump on the yellow line 9 and ride for another 5 stops to Bongeunsa Station. Alternatively, take bus number 402 all the way to the temple.
Cheonggyecheon Stream 청계천
Cheonggyecheon Stream is a natural oasis in the heart of the city, hidden between skyscrapers.
It stretches for 11 km through downtown and provides locals and visitors alike with an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
The stream has been around since the Joseon Dynasty but was covered up by roads in 1958 as part of an urban renewal project.
In 2003, however, it was restored to its original state as part of a larger effort to improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion in Seoul.
Today, Cheonggyecheon Stream is one of the most popular attractions in Seoul, one you should not miss during autumn.
We loved to grab a coffee from one of the many cafes along the stream, and sit by the river admiring the natural beauty, in the middle of the concrete jungle.
Haneul Park – DMC
Located close to our house, Haneul Park is the most popular during fall, thanks to its many picture opportunities it offers visitors. It is one of Seoul’s hidden gems and a perfect setting from where you can admire the city’s skyline at night.
Set on top of a hill, you can get there either on foot, on a moderate 20-minute hike, or by shuttle bus. Haneul means sky in Korean so this is the park in the sky.
The park is popular during fall because of its field of silver grass and pink muhly, decorated with picture frame structures that hint the park’s best photo spots.
Address: 95, Haneulgongwon-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 마포구 하늘공원로 95 하늘공원)
How to get there from Seoul Station: take the Gyeongui-Jungang line for 3 rides to Digital Media City Station, and from there walk to the park.
Yangju Nari Park
For every flower lover’s dream destination, Nari Park is only open during the fall. Even though the place is outside of the city, set in the countryside to the north of Seoul, the trip there is worth taking.
You will discover countless types of flowers in various colors, with the beautiful mountain as your background.
Address: 731, Gwangsa-dong, Yangju-si, Gyeonggi-do | 경기도 양주시 광사동 731
How to get there from Seoul Station: take line number 1 and get to Yangju Station. From there, take buses number 80 or 77-1 and get off at Haedong Village 해동마을 or Nari Park stop.
Gyeongui Line Forest Road (경의선숲길) & Yeonnam-dong
One of the best places to go to in Hongdae, this is an old railway that has been transformed into a beautiful pedestrian park in the middle of residential buildings.
One of my favorite places to go for a stroll, apart from the many bookstores, in this area you will find beautiful fall flowers and cool cafes and restaurants.
I particularly liked going to this one cafe surrounded by flowers, that was taking care of the neighborhood’s cats. You could interact with some of them, and you can also make a small donation for their food.
Some of the buildings along the trail have murals or have been painted in vibrant colors. Especially during the sunny weather, one should not miss a walk from one end to the other of the Gyeongui Line Book Street.
The easiest access is from Hongdae Subway Station exist 3.
Address: 133 Donggyo-ro 51-gil, Mapo-gu
How to get there from Seoul Station: Take the airport line for 2 stops to Hongik University Station. Take exit 3 for Yeonnam-dong, and exit 4 for the book street,
Hwarangdae Railroad Park & the Royal Tombs
Another off-the-beaten-path location that will charm you during fall.
The old railroad station has now been transformed into a beautiful park where people come to walk and admire nature, especially during spring and fall.
Inside the station’s building, there’s a museum dedicated to trains in South Korea, and one of the old trains has been transformed into a small library for children.
Address: Gongneung-dong, Nowon-gu | 서울특별시 노원구 화랑로 608
How to get there
From Seoul Station, take subway line 1 to Seokgye and change to line 6 to Hwarangdae.
If you get all the way here, you shouldn’t miss the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty.
The Tombs are set in an idyllic park, in between hills and forests, and have been perfectly preserved throughout the years. Even though the area is so important to Korean history, it is still a hidden gem not visited by many tourists.
Also in the area, within walking distance, there’s the beautiful cafe street Gongneung-ro. Colorful murals, a park along the old railroad lines, cafes and restaurants, everything waiting to be discovered without the crowds of tourists.
The park was the site of the 1988 Summer Olympics and has since become a hub for culture, leisure, sports, and entertainment.
Located in Songpa District, Seoul Olympic Park offers something for everyone to enjoy – from its vast array of outdoor activities to its numerous attractions such as museums, art galleries, an amusement park and more.
The park also features lush green spaces with plenty of greenery and walking trails that are perfect for relaxing or taking part in some outdoor activities.
During fall, people come here for the pink muhly grass – from September until November, and for Kochia Scoparia (the pink bushes) – from September to October.
Similarly to the one in Haneul Park, during fall they set up a pumpkin and squash tunnel as well, which is another popular attraction together with the cosmos fields, silver grass, and maple trees.
Moreover, if you are into ginkgo trees, the park is lined with these poplar trees, and you can walk for 1.4 kilometers and admire their beautiful colors.
Don’t miss the single tree either, it changes colors during fall and offers a great view.
Address: 424, Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 송파구 올림픽로 424 (방이동)
How to get there from Seoul Station: Take line 1 for 3 stops to Noryangjin Station, hop on line 9, and get off at Olympic Park Station.
Han River Parks
Located along both sides of the river, these parks offer breathtaking views and a variety of activities for all ages. From walking trails and bike paths to picnic areas, playgrounds, water sports, fishing spots, and more; there is something here for everyone.
During fall, a walk along the Han River will offer you some of the best views of the city as it changes colors.
Outside of Seoul as a day trip
Namhansanseong Fortress (UNESCO World Heritage) 남한산성
Namhansanseong Fortress is an ancient fortress located in the mountains of South Korea.
Built in 1704, it served as a refuge for the royal court and government officials during times of war. It was also used to defend against invasions from Japan and China.
Today, Namhansanseong Fortress is one of the most popular tourist attractions in South Korea and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The fortress consists of stone walls, watchtowers, gates, temples, pavilions and other structures that offer visitors insight into Korean history and culture.
You can explore the grounds or take part in cultural activities such as traditional archery or folk games like jegichagi (footbag).
Garden of the Morning Calm
Korea is known to the locals as the ‘Land of the Morning Calm’ because of its natural beauty and picturesque mountain landscapes, evoking a harmonious balance and equilibrium. The similarly-named garden perfectly reflects the country’s self-image. The place reminded me of the elvish settlements from fantasy movies: wildly beautiful yet neatly pedicured and maintained.
The vast arboretum lies to the east of Seoul and is a perfect day trip, nestled between several mountain peaks.
It houses over 5000 plant species, some of them rare or endangered.
The garden is divided into twenty sections, each a micro-ecosystem of its own. For example, one section is dedicated to a thousand flower species from all over Korea. Another one represents a Japanese garden. There is even a part evoking the gardens of Victorian England, with a nice cottage included. Moreover, visitors can admire tropical plants in a dedicated greenhouse section.
We really wanted to go to Nami Island during fall, but we weren’t the only ones, thus finding a parking space close to the island was impossible on a Saturday.
Learn from our mistake and book your trip in advance, and try to go during the week. If you rent a car and drive in South Korea, make sure you reach the destination early in the morning, on a week day.
Usually linked together with Petite France, you will find plenty of tour options to choose from.
Seoraksan National Park
Seoraksan National Park is a stunningly beautiful natural attraction located in the northeastern part of South Korea.
It’s home to some of the country’s most spectacular mountain scenery, including soaring peaks, deep valleys, and lush forests.
The park also boasts an abundance of wildlife, making it a popular destination for hikers and nature lovers alike.
You can explore its many trails and enjoy breathtaking views from various lookout points along the way.
Admire the fall foliage, go on a hike to see the giant bronze Buddha, visit Sinheungsa Temple, take the Seorak Cable Car, and hike through the Valley of a Thousand Buddhas.
How to get to Seoraksan National Park from Seoul
Getting there by public transportation is not hard, but it will take you around 3.5 hours/one way.
From Seoul Bus Terminal, take the Sokcho bus – the ride will take around 2.5 hours. From there, take bus #7-1 or #7 for another 50 minutes to Seoraksan Sogongwon bus stop.
The easiest and fastest way to get there on a day trip from Seoul is on an organized tour.
Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon
The impressive Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a must-see destination during the fall season.
Built by King Jeongjo of the Joseon Dynasty, this magnificent structure was designed to protect the city and its people from invaders.
The fortress walls are surrounded by lush foliage that turns vibrant shades of orange and yellow in autumn, making for a picturesque view.
The fortress itself is truly a sight to behold, with its ancient gates and watchtowers still standing tall. With plenty of scenic hiking trails nearby, Hwaseong Fortress is the perfect place for outdoor enthusiasts to explore during the fall season.
Address: Yeonghwa-dong, Jangan-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do | 경기도 수원시 장안구 영화동 320-2
Opening hours: 09:00-18:00
How to get there from Seoul Station:
- Take subway line number 1 all the way to Suwon. From Suwon Station. From there, take the bus to Hwaseon Fortress
- Take the train to Suwon – a faster but a bit more expensive option
- Take the subway to Jamsil Station, and take bus 1007 to Hwaseong Fortress
- Take the subway to Gangnam Station, and take bus 3000 to Hwaseong Fortress
Hwadam Forest (화담숲)
The Hwadam Forest is a stunningly beautiful and ecologically important region located in the Gangwon Province of South Korea.
The forest, which covers an area of approximately 590 hectares, is home to over 1,000 species of plants as well as numerous wildlife species such as deer, wild boar and migratory birds.
The area has been declared a Natural Monument by the Korean government due to its ecological significance and unique beauty.
Taking the monorail at Hwadam Forest and Botanical Garden is a great way of observing and exploring the park, but they are also one of the most picturesque sights during fall foliage in Korea. A ticket for the full circle costs 8000 won, and you can hop on and hop off at any of the 3 stations in the park.
Hwadam Forest is particularly popular during fall and a great day trip outside of Seoul, as it is located only 52 kilometers away from the metropolis.
Address: 278-1, Docheogwit-ro, Gwangju-si, Gyeonggi-do
경기도 광주시 도척면 도척윗로 278-1
How to get to Hwadam Forest from Seoul
You cat take 3 different buses from Seoul to Konjiam Bus Terminal, and all rides last around 1.5 hours.
Take bus 1113-1 from Gangbyeon Station, bus 500-1 from Jamsil Station, or bus 500-2 from Samseong Station.
Alternatively, you can take the subway/train to Gonjiam Station, and from there, take a taxi.
Where to stay in Seoul in fall
If this is your first time visiting Seoul, we have a complete guide describing the top 8 neighborhoods worth checking out for your stay.
However, most first timers choose to stay in Myeongdong. That’s because the area is set right in the heart of the city, and offers easy access to most of the important attractions – even the ones you should see during autumn in Seoul.
Another great area is Hongdae – perfectly linked to the airport and to the city center, offering lots of great hotels in proximity to countless cafes, bars, and restaurants. However, this is a university area, so most people around will be very young.
Here are a few other guides you might find useful for choosing where to stay in Seoul:
Also, here are my top choices for hotels in Seoul:
A 4* hotel, steps away from the subway station, set on the main boulevard. The hotel has a stunning rooftop restaurant and bar from where you can admire the city, but also a rooftop swimming pool for the hot days of summer.
With a simple, fun, and colorful interior design, this hotel also has one of the few rooftop bars in town.
Guests appreciated the hotel’s location, but also the fact that it has a coffee chain on the ground floor. Breakfast offers plenty of options, and the area is packed with restaurants and shopping options.
Another pro is the fact that the subway entrance is right out the front of the hotel making it super easy to get around Seoul.
What are the best parks in Seoul in autumn?
One of the best-known and most popular parks is Namsan Park near the center of the city. It’s a beautiful spot, especially in autumn when the leaves on the trees turn vibrant shades of orange and red.
Seoul Forest Park is another popular spot, especially thanks to its famous ginkgo forest.
Olympic Park Seoul is popular for its colorful cosmos flowers, pink muhly grass, but also the Ginkgo Tree Road.
Haneul Park is located near World Cup Park, on top of a hill, overlooking the Han River. It attracts visitors during fall thanks to its pampas grass fields, along with pink muhly and Kochia Scoparia (the pink bushes).
When to travel for Autumn in Seoul?
The best time to travel to Seoul for Autumn is from mid-September to late October. During this period, the autumn foliage and temperatures are perfect for sightseeing and outdoor activities such as hiking or participating in festivals. The temperatures range from 17°C-25°C with sunny days during these months, making it an ideal time for exploring the city’s attractions.
However, depending on the year and temperatures, you can still find foliage in early November – as we had during our stay there.
What is the weather like in Seoul in autumn?
September – The weather in Seoul in September is generally warm with temperatures ranging from 16°C to 27°C. The end of the month usually brings more rain due to the beginning of autumn in Korea. It’s a great time to visit Seoul as the hot summer months are over and there is still plenty of sunshine during the day.
October – In October, the weather in Seoul is generally mild with temperatures ranging from 8°C to 22°C. It’s relatively dry compared to September as autumn approaches. The days are mostly sunny with occasional rain showers bringing some relief from the heat. It’s a great time of year for visiting Seoul and other areas in South Korea, as it’s not too hot and not too cold.
November – In November, the weather in Seoul is generally cool with temperatures ranging from 4°C to 16°C. It’s quite dry due to the onset of winter, and days are usually sunny and pleasant. You can expect some rain or snow as the month progresses.
Read also: The best time to visit Korea, by season
What is the best month to visit Seoul in Autumn?
October is by far the best month to visit Seoul in Autumn. Choose the second part of the month, because that’s when you will have a better chance to catch the most beautiful period in the city.
Is Autumn in Korea cold?
That depends a lot on the region you choose to visit, but temperatures aren’t too low during fall in Seoul or Busan. Either way, temperatures decrease as compared to the summer months, so make sure to bring clothes that can be layered when needed.
Packing List & Essentials for Autumn in Seoul: What to wear during autumn in Seoul
When packing for autumn in Seoul, it’s important to consider the weather and the type of activities you plan on doing.
For September and October, it’s best to bring lightweight clothing such as cotton t-shirts and shorts during the day, while also packing a few heavier items such as sweaters or a light jacket for cooler evenings.
A raincoat and an umbrella are also essential for unpredictable showers.
For November, you will need warmer clothing such as sweaters and jackets, with a hat and gloves to keep you warm.
It’s also a good idea to bring waterproof shoes or boots, as snow is possible during this time of year.
Also, no matter the season, I would always bring deodorant – it is impossible to find the type I use in Europe. Don’t bring cosmetics, you will need extra space in your luggage for the ones you will buy in Seoul.