Fall Foliage in Korea: 2020 Forecast & Best Viewing Spots

Have a memorable autumn in Korea when you visit this rail park that’s only 2 hours away from Seoul!

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Highlights

  • For 2020, the forecasted peak dates for fall foliage are October 18 for Seoraksan, October 30 for Gyeryongsan, and November 1 for Hallasan.
  • If you want to experience autumn in and near Seoul, you can visit places like Garosu-gil, the Deoksugung Stonewall Walkway, Nami Island, or this garden in Chuncheon.
  • Discover more things to do and autumn viewing spots in Korea when you use WAUG! Download the app here, sign up, and get ₩3,000 or $3 off your first booking! 🎉

Explore more: Visiting Jeju Island in Autumn? Don’t Miss These 5 Spots!

Fall Foliage in Korea 2020: Where to Explore in Seoul, Gangwon, & More

With the cool weather that’s perfect for hiking and vibrant colors that captivate the eyes, many consider autumn to be the best time to visit Korea. The fall foliage in the country is breathtaking: Seoul gets an Insta-worthy facelift, and national parks in most parts of the country turn red, orange, and yellow. For 2020, you can witness this autumn splendor during the following peak dates (forecast from KBS):

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Korea Fall Foliage 2020 Forecast from KBS.
  • Odaesan on October 16, 2020
  • Seoraksan on October 18, 2020
  • Chiaksan on October 23, 2020
  • Jirisan on October 24, 2020
  • Gyeryongsan on October 30, 2020
  • Hallasan on November 1, 2020
  • Naejangsan on November 8, 2020

If you have plans to explore Korea in October or November of 2020 and want to have a memorable autumn experience, here are some of the best places that you may want to include in your itinerary:

1. Seoraksan (Mount Seorak)

Situated in Gangwon Province, Seoraksan has become quite the attraction of choice for locals and foreigners who are looking to enjoy a fresh autumn stroll. The area has exciting trails, streams, and rock formations that any traveler will enjoy. In the fall season, Mt. Seorak’s lush landscapes turn russet and gold, which makes it a scenic place for those who visit.

If you’re planning to hike Seoraksan, then you may also consider trying these awesome nature activities in the area: bungee jumping in Inje and paragliding in Pyeongchang!

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2. Naejangsan (Mount Naejang)

Naejangsan is a hiking and recreational site in Jeollabuk-do, Korea that’s made popular by a temple that sits beautifully on its grounds. The area is nothing short of amazing when it undergoes autumn foliage — you’ll get to enjoy the perfect blend of colors as you take in the sights of more than 700 types of plants, animals, and trails. If you’re looking to be one with nature or have an unforgettable hiking trip with your friends or family, this is the perfect place to go.

3. Gangchon Rail Park

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Gangchon Rail Park in autumn.

If hiking is not for you, then I recommend visiting Gangchon Rail Park instead. It’s very accessible from Seoul (only 2 hours away via subway or bus!), and, here, you can experience rail biking as you marvel at the fall foliage sceneries of South Korea.

This attraction offers three rail biking courses, but the best one for autumn is the Gimyujeong or Gangchon. It features the nice Bukhan river, a scenic tunnel, and a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains. Definitely a leisure activity for anyone who’s looking to have a great time this season!

Tickets to Gangchon Rail Park (Gimyujeong/Gangchon course) regularly cost ₩30,000-40,000, but you can book below for just ₩26,400-35,200 for the two-seater or four-seater bikes! To learn more about getting to this attraction from Seoul, click here.

4. Jade Garden

Featured in various Korean dramas like That Winter, the Wind Blows, Jade Garden is a popular attraction that you can visit in any season. It houses over 3,900 kinds of flowers and trees, which couples, families, and friends will love. During autumn, the attraction impresses with pink muhly grass, themed gardens, and photo zones, which will delight you and your Instagram followers!

Jade Garden is located in 80 Haegol-gil, Namsan-myeon, Chunchon-si, Gangwon-do. The travel time from Seoul Station is 2 hours if you plan to take the subway. Get the directions here. (P.S. Jade Garden and Gangchon Rail Park are quite close to each other!)

5. Nami Island & Garden of Morning Calm

No list of the best autumn viewing spots in Korea will be complete without Nami Island and the Garden of Morning Calm. These two attractions are just spectacular and without fail. If you’ll visit for the first time, then make sure to visit the Songpa Gingko Tree Lane and the Changgyeongwon Garden, which feature a picturesque view of the lake.

To get to Nami Island and Garden of Morning Calm, check out this tour that comes with a fun rail bike experience! It picks up from and drops off at Hongdae, Myeongdong, and Dongdaemun, so you need not worry about any trip planning at all!

6. Deoksugung Stonewall Walkway

Looking for a worthwhile autumn sightseeing spot in Seoul? Check out Deoksugung Stonewall Walkway, which is in the heart of the capital. It’s a 1,100-meter path that’s lined with magnificent yellow trees, which locals love to visit starting mid-October. If you’ll drop by in the area, I suggest to time your visit at around 4:30pm. You can then enjoy a nice dinner in this nearby restaurant that serves unlimited wine!

7. Gyeongbokgung

While Gyeongbok Palace is a landmark that can be enjoyed year-round, there’s something special about this place during autumn season. The ginkgo and maple trees here transform wonderfully, which will make you feel that fall vibe even if you’re not traveling outside Seoul — assuming you are staying in the capital, of course! Personally, I also think that autumn is the best time to visit Gyeongbokgung with a hanbok on since the weather’s very pleasant. It won’t feel too hot and sticky, especially if you want to take a lot of photos of the palace!

See Gyeongbokgung’s autumn transformation for free when you wear a hanbok! You can book Hanboknam shop below so you can get discounts on any of their hanbok:

8. Garosu-gil

Another place in Seoul where you can enjoy the autumn scene in Korea is Garosu-gil in Sinsa-dong. This street is not only lined with upscale shops, but also slender ginkgo trees that are most sought after during fall foliage. If you’re planning to visit, then book this charming cafe where you can chill or this seafood restaurant where you can have a nice meal!

9. Yeongjong-do Seaside Rail Park

Considered a hidden gem in Incheon, Yeongjong is a scenic island that boasts a splendid seaside view in Korea. During autumn, you will love rail biking here as you see marvel at the subtle fall transformation of the naturescapes and the vast sea in Korea’s west coast.

10. Camellia Hill

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Pink muhly grass in Jeju.

Got plans to travel to Jeju during fall? Head on over to Camellia Hill, one of the must-places to visit in the island. In the months of September and October, this paradise-like attraction impresses with pink muhly and pampas grass that’ll surely delight! Camellia Hill is also known for its scenic trails, so you’ll definitely have fun strolling as you breathe in the fresh autumn air.

Admission to Camellia Hill typically costs ₩8,000 or $6.9 per person. However, you can book below to get a discounted rate of just ₩6,500 or $5.6!

Also read: 20 Things to Do in Jeju Island on Your First Visit

How to Book Autumn Activities in Korea on WAUG

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Not sure how to book the activities and attractions that we’ve mentioned in this Korea fall guide for 2020? Just follow these steps!

  1. Log in or sign up for an account here. (New users get an extra $3 or ₩3,000 discount coupon!)
  2. Proceed to the booking page of your preferred activity.
  3. Choose the date and provide the other information.
  4. Check out using your Visa, Mastercard, or AMEX.*
  5. Wait for your voucher/s that we’ll send through the WAUG app, which you can download here.

*Is your method-of-payment issued in South Korea? You can switch the page’s currency to KRW so you can see the other local payment options, like phone payment.

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