When & Where To Find Flowers In & Around Seoul, Korea
With spring comes colorful flowers to brighten even the darkest of days. In and around Seoul, Korea, there are plenty of places to find the little buds that burst forth welcoming the warmer breezes and sunshine. While the most popular of the spring flowers are the pink and white cherry blossoms that can be seen lining boulevards throughout the capital city and in parks and on palace grounds, they aren’t the ONLY spring blossoms to be on the lookout for. Here are some places to see flowers that you might not know about… and maybe a few that you do. Make the most of spring and get out to see the dazzling display that Mother Nature provides. She certainly does not disappoint in Korea. And if you want to head out to celebrate the coming of spring with one of the numerous flower festivals, check out this post with the updated spring festival dates for 2019. Get the calendar out, and make those travel plans ASAP! (There are directions for each location, but do be aware there is also a map at the end of this post with all locations tagged as well.)
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Worldcup Park Forsythia Lane
When the forsythia bloom, it’s a signal that all of the other flowers will be close behind. Forsythia and sansuyu flowers are often the first to flower in very early spring. This is one of my favorite hidden spots in Seoul for finding flowers. Each spring we go and each spring we find that we are the only ones there. Well, us and bicyclists who always seem surprised when they get here. There are flowering plots all over the World Cup Parks, but this is the only entirely lined lane in the area and one of the best kept secrets since it’s on the backside. Half of the path is lined with forsythia flowers and cherry blossom trees and the other half of the path is a huge meta-sequoia lined lane. It’s not the easiest place to find, but it is worth the hunt and the mere fact that is juuuust a bit difficult means that there are way less visitors meandering here and there. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy the yellow blooms in some calm surroundings. AND, if the weather works out nicely, though last year it didn’t but the year before it did, you could see forsythia still in bloom along with the blooming cherry blossoms at the same time.
When They Bloom: Projected to begin blooming the last week of March with peak blooming on April 3.
Directions: See the map below for a pin. World Cup Stadium Subway Station is the closest subway station and will get you over to the park, but to get here, it’s easiest to take a bus up the road to Nanji Stream Park stop and walk through the park to the other side.
Eungbongsan, or Eungbong Mountain, lights up in the spring as it is covered in forsythia flowers. Many mountainsides in Korea have forsythia bushes here and there or lining paths, but this entire mountain seems to be one huge forsythia flowering garden. Though it is a mountain, it’s actually fairly easy to access and would NOT be difficult for children if you have them. There are steps up, but it’s a nice slope and then it’s flat up top for a time before it goes back down again. Doesn’t take more than 35 minutes if you just wanted to get from point A to point B. In the spring when the flowers are blooming though, it’ll take longer because I’m sure you’ll want to take it all in.
When They Bloom: Late March into April.
Directions: To get here, head to Eungbong Station and take exit 1. After you exit, go left and walk down the road which actually dead ends at a house. Don’t go disturb the people that live there. Just before the house, there’s an alley/street on the right, take it and then when it ends (about three car lengths in) look left and you’ll see the mountain. Go up and just in front of you, you’ll find the wooden staircase to enter. There’s really only one path on the mountain, take it up to the top, over and then down again and it’ll bring you to a platform with two seating areas to rest. From here you can either go left or right to get down. We took the path to the left which is lined with cherry blossoms. This comes out to a “sidewalk” that is along the highway bridge that leads to Seoul Forest. If you go across the bridge, you can see the entire Eungbong Mountain before you reach Seoul Forest.
Wonmisan Azalea Hill
Each year Wonmisan bursts into bloom and it is stunning, if you catch it at the right moment. While many people await the cherry blossoms each year, there are other blooms to be on the look out for and azaleas are one of them. Often seen on mountains with one bush here or there, Wonmisan is special because there are so many bushes together it’s as if a pink blanket has been draped across the dirt. The delicate pink and purple petals are everywhere you look. It’s actually easily accessible and not difficult for those with small children. I had my toddler with me last year who loved the blossoms and had no problem traipsing up and down and all around the paths on this 167 meter tall mountain. Last year was the first time I heard about this spot, but it is definitely a place I’ll return to this year.
When They Bloom: This year there will be a festival on the mountainside on April 6 and 7, but the blooms will be there a bit before and for about ten days after likely.
Directions: Bucheon Sports Complex Subway Station, exit 2. Walk straight and you can’t miss it.
Anyang Stream in Omokgyo
There are many places to see cherry blossoms in Seoul and some are definitely more popular than others so I’m always looking for the less popular but no less stunning spots. This is one of those spots. The stream is lined with cherry blossoms that form a perfect tunnel of flowers for what seems like forever.
When They Bloom: Projected to be in full bloom from April 6.
Directions: You can get to the stream at a few different spots since the cherry blossoms go on for awhile. Go to Seonyudo Station, exit 1 or 8 and walk straight to the stream and then walk south. Go to Yangpyeong Station, exit 1 and walk straight to the stream. Go to Dorimcheon Station exit 2 and walk toward the stream.
I lived in the districts surrounding Hongdae for many years and often took my bike to ride along the Hongjae Stream and I can still remember the first spring when I went for my normal ride and came across a hillside of blooming cherry blossom trees just next to a big waterfall. Yes, you read that correctly. There is indeed a waterfall right here in Seoul near the hopping district of Hongdae and up the road from the very popular Yeonnam-dong “Yeontral” Park. It’s a spot that only locals really know about because subways aren’t super close and people don’t just go meandering along around here. But YOU SHOULD! Many people have visited Ansan Mountain before but likely only stayed on the eastern side with Seodaemun Prison History Park. This cherry blossom abundance is on the western side and once you pass it, you can also find a massive meta-sequoia area on the mountain as well. This mountain is fairly easy to hike, I actually took my daughter on a daycare fieldtrip when she was just a bit over two. One path that circles the mountain is a boardwalk with seating and tables along the way. If you’re sans child, you can get up to the peak in about 45 minutes. This is a gorgeous spot to find if you’re in the area and don’t want to meet a ton of crowds seeking flowers this spring.
When They Bloom: Projected to be in full bloom from April 6.
Directions: Closest bus stop is called Hana-ro Mart/ Dongsin Hospital. From there, cross the street toward the mountain and you’re right there!
It’s not too late to plan those spring cherry blossom getaways! Join a tour to make it as easy as possible. Here are a few great options you shouldn’t miss!
- Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival by KTOURSTORY: This is one of the most popular festivals in all of Korea come cherry blossom season and for good picturesque reason. Don’t miss it.
- Nami Island Cherry Blossom Fiesta: Nami Island is almost always on best daytrip options from Seoul, Korea. It’s awesome in any season, but if you haven’t seen it in the spring, now is definitely the time. The petals are lush and gorgeous.
- Suwon Hwaseong Hot Air Balloon Flight Experience & Cherry Blossom Day Trip: Interested in seeing cherry blossoms with a bit of excitement and different angles? Take this tour to see cherry blossoms from below AND from above!
Ilsan Lake Park in Goyang, Korea
Ilsan Lake Park (일산호수공원) is beautiful and offers plenty in the vicinity to do as well but twice a year it’s made even better with the International Horticulture festival. Head to the lake which is one of the largest man-made parks in Asia in both spring and autumn and you will be dazzled. The festival which has been held since 1997, features over 300 different organizations from 36 countries and has indoor and outdoor flower exhibits. After you’ve spotted all of the colorful blooms, walk around the lake to the backside where you can also find a great greenhouse cactus garden. If you’ve got the kiddos and want to do something indoors nearby before or after the park, check out Zoolung Zoolung a great petting zoo in the area or go to the Aqua Planet Ilsan a giant aquarium (<– For a discount at Aqua Planet, get your tickets here) that is more than you know.
When They Bloom: The spring festival usually starts in April and the autumn festival is in September.
Directions: Jeongbalsan Subway Station, exit 1 or 2.
Established in 1965, this garden has been featured in over 100 dramas, movies, advertisements, and music videos. Have you wanted to enjoy sets straight out of “My Love From The Star” or “Descendants of the Sun”? Then go here. Every path is picturesque complete with wooden bridges, pagodas, grassy fields and of course, flowers, flowers, and more flowers. This park is gorgeous throughout the year but flowers will begin blooming in March. No matter when you go, you’re sure to have a beautiful time.
When They Bloom: Various flowers bloom here from spring through autumn.
Directions: Easiest for those with a car, but there are buses that head up and stop just outside of the park. Get off at Domasan Elementary School stop 31295 to find this park.
Do you want to see tulips tulips and more tulips? The Taean Tulip Festival has to be one of the most underrated festivals in Korea but it is fields upon fields of colorful beauties. Take a tour down that way from Seoul as traffic can be horrendous and parking is nil, but get there this April with Klook for an amazing time and beautiful views.
Seoul Botanic Park
This is purely conjecture on my part as this is technically the FIRST spring and summer for the parks and gardens surrounding the very new Seoul Botanic Park. We visited the greenhouse which was gorgeous just after it opened to the public in the autumn and all I can say is that if the outdoor gardens and parks are done as well as the indoor, this park should be pretty stunning this year. Again, this is technically the first year that the gardens and parks here will be/could be blooming so I have no idea what they’re planting or have in store for us, but I, for one, will be visiting this park again this spring and summer to see what is going on.
When They Bloom: Not sure what they have, so not sure when they bloom.
Directions: Magongnaru Subway Station, exit 3 & 4.
For some reason when I hopped in the car to head up to Herb Village I had rather low expectations. I’m not sure why after all, I had seen some beautiful photos of the gardens here. Sometimes you just can’t tell what you’re in for though. Herb Village was definitely more than I expected. The lavender fields I had seen photos of were there, but paths circled up and around and down and provided views of the nearby valleys and mountains. There was a beautiful indoor greenhouse and there was a restaurant that served up flower bibimbap that just amped up the experience. It was just far enough off the beaten path that there weren’t a billion people there at once. While other lavender fields are more popular in Korea, this is definitely the closest one to Seoul that I am aware of. If you’re seeking lavender, head here in June, but there are other flowers through spring and into autumn here as well.
When They Bloom: Lavender blooms throughout the month of June in Korea.
Directions: From Yeoncheon Train Station, you can get on bus 55-15 which will take you right to Herb Village.
Mahogany Café on Ganghwado Island
I hadn’t seen this many daisies in one spot in a long long time but almost nothing beats a bunch of white beauties all smiling up at the sky like this. Ganghwado Island has become a bit more easy to access in recent years and with that has come more cafes and a build up of things to see out there. It’s worth the trip. Mahogany Café has a gorgeous lush plot of daisies just in front of the entrance and nearby are paths that wander around and just next door is café Dore Dore if you’re looking for some cake to boot. These are just two of the things to see on Ganghwado. Make sure to click that link and check out some other great spots you should find out that way. (If you’d like to go out to the island to see more of what’s out there but don’t want to worry about transportation, join this great Ganghwa Island Klook Tour. It goes to some great spots and you’ll have a blast.
When They Bloom: June
Directions: Take red bus 2000 from Sinchon or Hapjeong out to Ganghwa Island and then switch to local bus 3/6/7A/7B to get to stop 43443.
World Cup Parks
I know I already mentioned the Forsythia Lined Lane above, but I can’t NOT mention the other areas of the park. While everyone is usually headed to Haneul/Sky Park in the autumn to see the green or brown reeds blowing in the wind, there are actually flowers throughout the rest of the year that people just miss. There are cherry blossom trees and interesting art installations with flowers surrounding them in Pyeonghwa/Peace Park. There are sunflowers planted in both Sky Park and Nanji Stream Park. There are cosmos in the autumns and just so so much more. While I don’t want to share my favorite park in Seoul too much, I also do want to share what everyone misses out on. There are even bunnies that hop around these parks and will eat from your hands. Enjoy the parks… all of them.
When They Bloom: From spring to autumn.
Directions: World Cup Stadium Subway Station, exit 1.
Nari has been hyped up over the past couple of years but it is worth the trip north of Seoul to find it. Flowers flowers everywhere is what you’ll find in these gorgeous gardens, if you can get there. This park features mostly late summer and autumn flowers so save this on the list to look for in a few months. From the beautiful deep red kocchia bushes that look out of this world to the globe amaranth that symbolizes eternal and unchanged love in Korea, there are a ton of flowers to see and plenty of pictures to be taken.
When They Bloom: Visit in late September through October.
Directions: Dong-o Subway Station, exit 2, catch bus 118 to stop 53922.
Anyang Stream, Omokgyo
This spot was a new discovery for us last year after I saw someone post a picture and seemed like it was just happened on by most passerby like us in the area. This whole stream is actually lined with cherry blossoms in the spring which I spotted from the highway last year on our way down to Anyang Art Park, but had no idea that down lower next to the stream were flowering gardens. In the late summer, you can see buckwheat flowers and cosmos bloom on the other side of the stream. It’s a great hidden gem that I hope they plant again this year.
When They Bloom: September
Directions: Anyang Stream near Omokgyo Bridge. Omokgyo Subway Station, exit 5. Walk straight and get down to the stream.
There are parks throughout Seoul and while World Cup Park is my favorite, that doesn’t mean the others aren’t worth the trip. Olympic Park on the east side of the city has one of the most popular and picturesque fields of cosmos each summer and it’s right next to a beautiful rose garden. Built to host the 1988 Summer Olympics, the park is massive and provides a lot of space and various activities too. There are four zones in the park including the arts and culture zone, recreation and sports zone, environment zone and history zone. The park is also one of the world’s top five sculpture parks featuring over 200 sculptures. You could easily spend the whole day in this park but the best time to visit might just be in the late summer when the cosmos are in bloom.
When They Bloom: late summer
Directions: Mongchontoseong Subway Station exit 1, OR Hanseong Baeke Subway Station, exit 2