Autumn in Seoul: Top Experiences & Places to Visit for Your Next Trip

14 Best Things to Do & Places to Visit in Seoul During Autumn

Have the perfect autumnal experience that’ll make you “fall” in love.

Autumn is just around the corner, and the leaf peepers are just as eager to bask in the ginger-hued fall foliage this year. One would immediately think of South Korea when it comes to the fall season. What’s more, autumn in Seoul is just unbeatable. Think exciting activities that allow you to enjoy the scenery and top autumnal attractions that let you fully immerse in the moment! 

Aside from taking pictures, you might wonder what else you can do to enjoy autumn and its entirety in the capital of South Korea. We said there are plenty of fun things for you to try to make the most out of your trip! So, read on to learn more about the best things to do and places to visit in Seoul during autumn that’ll make you want to stay for a longer bout.

Also read: 20 Best Airbnbs in Seoul for Every Budget

Best time to visit Seoul in autumn

In Korea, the majestic autumn foliage can be seen between the months of September and November. For the best experience, try planning your visit between the end of October and mid-November, as the peak time only lasts for two weeks. Heads up — you might want to pack your winter clothes as both months are relatively colder than September. 

Must-try activities for an unforgettable autumn in Seoul

1. Pose in a hanbok under the fall foliage

women in hanbok during autumn in seoul

Image credit: Marco Devon via Canva Pro

What better way to relive your K-drama dream than to dress up in a beautiful hanbok in front of a palace surrounded by maple and ginkgo trees? Not just that, you can even braid your hair with a daenggi (large decorative ribbon), just like your favourite K-drama character from the Baekje era. How to do that? Simply rent these traditional clothes when visiting any of Seoul’s majestic palaces! 

For the best experience, head to Gyeongbokgung or Changdeokgung Palace, which are also among the top destinations when it comes to witnessing Seoul autumn foliage. Another option would be the famous Bukchon Hanok Village. Wander this traditional Korean neighbourhood in your preferred hanbok — talk about the main character moment you didn’t know you needed.

Also read: 20 Stunning Hanoks in South Korea You Can Book on Airbnb

2. Catch the panoramic views of the capital

Walking among the maple trees sure is magical, but looking at the sea of amber-hued canopies from above is truly enchanting! And the best way to do that is by going to one of the most popular places to visit in Seoul during autumn: Namsan Seoul Tower. Being the highest point in the metropolis, it offers 360° views of the city from the tower’s observatory. That, paired with the golden fall foliage in between — daebak!

Psst — if you come here with your partner and have some time to spare, check out their famous Love Padlocks that lets you seal your love by hanging a padlock around its fence.

3. Watch a fireworks show

Your autumn in Seoul is incomplete without witnessing one of its spectacular events: the Seoul International Fireworks Festival! The grand event usually takes place at the beginning of October and attracts around one million crowds to Yeouido Hangang Park every year. 

If you’re planning to catch this glorious show, you might want to come to the park as early as in the morning to snatch a good spot for viewing. And do bring a picnic mat or a chair to sit on too!

Don’t fancy being shoulder-to-shoulder with the crowd? Chill, you can always opt for a river cruise along the Han River to feed your eyes with this illustrious scene.

Also read: A Guide to Having a Perfect Picnic Along the Han River in Seoul

4. Admire Seoul’s colourful lanterns

Another spectacular nighttime activity to add to your fall-in-Seoul experience would be witnessing the glimmering lanterns in Cheonggyecheon Plaza. In November, the Seoul Lantern Festival often features colourful hanji lanterns in all shapes and sizes, lining 1.2 kilometres along the Cheonggyecheon stream.  What a way to elevate your experience of Seoul in the fall this year!

Aside from traditional characters, you might also catch your favourite cartoon characters posing brightly above the waters! And it’s best to come during weekdays rather than weekends as more people flock to this light festivity by the latter. 

5. Dig in a tasty meal surrounded by autumn leaves

Another great way to enjoy autumn in Seoul is by sipping a cup of hot coffee surrounded by the stellar, crimson red foliage. At Cafe Relax in Ui-dong, not only will you be able to indulge in hearty meals with your friends, but also experience the awesome sights of autumn just by looking out the window. 

Due to its spacious layout, there are seven different seating zones to choose from. The most popular one is the Byeolgwan Cafe Zone, which allows you to witness the flaming glory of fall together with the lush mountainside. Psst, you can even step outside on their open-air terrace to kick back, relax, and soak in the beauty of autumn to your heart’s desire!

Autumn day trip activities in Seoul worth trying

6. Go ziplining on an island

Going to Nami Island is hands down one of the best day trips from Seoul in autumn. And rocketing on a zipline is a must-try when visiting this quaint island, located 25km from Seoul Station. You can book a private day tour that includes the option of riding the Nami Island Zipline for the best experience. This thrilling trip offers an exciting ride along a 940-metre-long zipline surrounded by magnificent fall foliage from the wharf to the island with a speed of 56km/hr. Talk about a rare opportunity to enjoy the beauty of autumn in South Korea!

Also read: 12 Best Day Trips From Seoul & How to Get There

7. Hike a scenic mountain

mount seoraksan during autumn

Image credit: gardenson via Canva Pro

Another autumn day trip activity worth adding to your itinerary is hiking up Mount Seorak National Park. It’ll take around a two-hour drive (by car) from Seoul to reach this destination. If you’re keen on riding public transportation, head by bus from Seoul Express Bus Terminal to the city of Sokcho. The bus ride from Sokcho will take approximately 30 minutes to reach the national park. 

Once you’re there, climb one of the hiking trails available — all of which offer blazing hues of autumn along the journey. Each trail offers a different experience which includes getting to the highest peak of the mountain, stepping inside a sacred Buddhist cave, or getting splashed by cascading waterfalls. So, choose your struggle (in a good way)!

Breathtaking places to visit in Seoul during autumn

1. Changdeokgung Palace

changdeokgung palace

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Ask around and many would recommend Changdeokgung Palace as one of the best spots to view Seoul autumn foliage. Walk in the footsteps of long-gone great rulers from the Joseon era, while admiring the well-preserved architecture of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. And while you’re here, do check out its Secret Garden, which lets you walk under the shady autumn canopies with every hue you could possibly imagine!

2. Samcheong-dong


Image credit: kobps2 via Canva Pro

Samcheong-dong is one of the best places to visit in Seoul during autumn, most probably due to its long street cast over by mature ginkgo trees. The area even has a particular viewing spot named after the golden trees:  The Samcheongdong Ginkgo Street, famous among leaf peepers coming after the best autumn foliage in Seoul.  

If you’re planning to visit this hotspot, be sure to come early in the morning or during weekdays to avoid the crowds. After basking in the full glory of fall in this area, bring yourself to Cafe Slow Park, a famous diner in the neighbourhood serving excellent brunch selections to its customers.

3. Seoul Forest Park

forest park cloud bridge

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Visiting Seoul Forest Park in autumn is a must for all foliage hunters out there. Maples and ginkgos shower the entire park with red, orange, and yellow leaves as you sit on the bench, people-watching or perhaps finishing your favourite novel once and for all. 

Inside this park, you’ll find playground areas and a waterfront marina suitable for picnicking with your loved ones. Oh, and don’t forget to walk along the Cloud Bridge that leads you to the Hangang Riverside while you’re there! Definitely a worthy autumn in Seoul experience you won’t forget.

4. Bukhansan National Park

bukhansan national park

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Another captivating destination to add to your fall foliage hotspot list would be Bukhansan National Park. Bukhansan means “mountains north of the Han River,” and the three main peaks are the Baekundae, Insubong, and Mangnyeongdae

This national park is a famous destination in autumn among locals and tourists who prefer to hike and enjoy the fall autumn colours along the trails. While on the hike, you might come across rocky peaks and serene temples. And if you’re lucky enough, you might be offered some makgeolli (Korean alcoholic drink) or kimbap (rice wrapped in seaweed) by the local elderly!

5. Olympic Park

olympic park – places to visit in seoul during autumn

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Olympic Park is one the Seoul attractions in autumn that you should see for yourself this year! It once hosted the 1988 Summer Olympics and is now a place for everyone to relax and unwind. During fall, thousands of trees shed their leaves, creating a spectacular sighting for all who wish to enjoy autumn and its wonders. Not just that, you can even witness the biggest sea of pink muhly in the city when you visit this park in autumn!

6. Seokchon Lake

seokchon lake

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Seokchon Lake is a scenic artificial lake in Seoul that deserves everyone’s attention, especially during autumn. Located near the Lotte World and Lotte Tower, it is a great place to stroll around while watching the orange cosmos surrounding it. It will be the perfect place for some romantic moments with your partner if you plan on enjoying the fall foliage with him/her. Psst — you might even spot some adorable ducks and geese on its calm waters!

7. Haneul Park

haneul park - places to visit in seoul during autumn

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Haneul Park in Mapo-gu also draws the attention of many during autumn. The park is near the Hangang River, and the main attraction would be the silver grass spreading across the wide open field. It displays picturesque scenery all year round — especially in autumn, when you can spot pink muhly and even deeper in pink broom cypress resembling a cotton candy! Undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Seoul during autumn.

Also read: 15 Places in Seoul That You Can Visit For Free

And that concludes our list of the best things to do and places to visit in the capital of South Korea during the anticipated fall season! So, how would you like to spend your autumn in Seoul in 2023?

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About Author

Izzati Haron
Izzati Haron

Izzati is an author to two poem anthologies, a slam poet wannabe, and a full-time nanny to her kitties. She loves dreaming about traveling the world just like most protagonists in the movies, but more often than not, her bank account only permits her to travel to her backyard.