The emergence of pink on the trees happens at different times across Korea, generally starting in late March and going through to mid-April. In this guide, we’ll show you where to go and when, and reveal the 2020 predictions on cherry blossom blooms.
Cherry blossom season for South Korea in 2020
If your main goal for a trip to Korea is to see the cherry blossom in full swing, you should plan your trip to between mid-March and mid-April.
Because of the delicate nature of the event, it’s hard to get precise dates too far out, and the Korean Meteorological Administration typically gives its predictions at the start of March.
For 2020, the cherry blossom forecast for Korea has them starting in Jeju on 23 March, visible in Busan from 26 March and making their way up to Seoul by 6 April.
|Region||Expected Cherry Blossom Dates|
|Jeju Island||23 March – 30 March 2020|
|Busan||26 March – 2 April 2020|
|Gwangju||29 March – 4 April 2020|
|Daegu||26 March – 2 April 2020|
|Seoul||6 April – 13 April 2020|
As the trees only tend to stay in blossom for two or three days, it can be hard to ensure you’re in the right spot at the right time without booking a lengthy stay. Because of this, it may be worth choosing a city with an appeal to you outside of cherry blossoms.
The best places to see cherry blossoms in South Korea
Three of the best places to see the magical cherry blossoms in Korea are around Busan, Jeju Island and Seoul.
Each of these locations is a huge draw for other reasons too, giving you plenty to see and do aside from admiring the view. As a general rule, the trees bloom earlier in the south, so plan your trip so you see Jeju, then Busan and finally Seoul to get the best chance of seeing cherry blossoms on your holiday.
Sakura season in Jeju — late March
The cherry blossom trees on Jeju Island are thought to be some of the best in the country, so if you can find a last minute flight to Korea, it’s a good idea to start your tour on the southern island.
The two most popular areas during sakura season are downtown Seogwipo and the Jeju Sports Complex.
Sakura season in Busan — late March
There’s often an overlap between the sakura in Jeju and Busan, although the mainland city tends to go in bloom a couple of days after Jeju has been at its peak.
While Busan has its fair share of cherry blossom trees, you might want to go a little outside the city for a bit more colour. Half an hour to the west is Jinhae, home of the Jinhae Gunhangje Cherry Blossom Festival. The festival is free, and includes cultural performances as well as a military parade.
A little further north, around an hour’s drive, is Gyeongju, where they hold the annual Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Marathon. Racers have the choice to run the full 42.2km or to sign up for a half marathon (21.1km), a 10km race or a 5km course. This year, the event is being held on April 4.
Sakura season in Seoul — early April
Seoul, South Korea’s capital, is the most visited city in the country. If you want to go there for the cherry blossom season, it’s likely to be in early April.
One of the best spots in Korea to see sakura is Seokchonhosu Lake, just south of the Han River. If you’re travelling by public transport, this is close to Jamsil Station. Hundreds of cherry blossom trees surround the lake, a little oasis of nature in the huge city. During this time, you’ll find plenty of little stands popping up around the lake, offering entertainment like face painting and caricature drawing.
Elsewhere in the city, Yeouido Festival is popular. On an island in the Han River, this again mixes flowers with water where you can your fill of Instagram-worthy shots. Local authorities say there are around 1600 cherry blossom trees on the island, making its appeal obvious.