Autumn in Korea – Autumn Activities, Autumn Weather and More!
Autumn in Korea is one of the most beautiful seasons. Although spring is famous for its cherry blossoms, I think that Korea’s true beauty comes out in October and early November.
As someone who grew up in the southern hemisphere, autumn in Korea always mesmerises me. While there are places where you can view autumn colours in the southern hemisphere, they are generally much harder to find due to the lack of native deciduous trees. In Korea, however, autumn trees are absolutely splendid and significantly easier to find.
While autumn in Korea has lots of unique activities, there is no denying that the foliage is the biggest attraction. Through autumn, trees will take on shades of red, orange and yellow for a few weeks. This gives the whole peninsula a unique feel that you can’t experience during other seasons.
Autumn foliage in Korea is often best witnessed in October, however often there will be foliage left in November at some locations on the peninsula. This is largely dependent on the weather, and I recommend checking out an autumn foliage schedule before planning your trip.
If you’re interested in visiting South Korea during the autumn, make sure to check out the best seasonal activities and festivals in this guide. I’ll also cover the weather that you should expect as well the clothing to prepare.
Due to the natural beauty of the season, many of the best autumn activities in Korea take place outdoors. There are a lot of activities that are unique to autumn in Korea, and in this article, I will cover many of them.
If you are visiting Korea in another season, make sure to check out these guides for the best activities at every point of the year!
With that being said, let’s jump straight into the article. This is everything that you need to know about autumn in Korea!
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please refer to my affiliate disclaimer.
Autumn in Korea Infographic
Benefits of Visiting Korea in Autumn
Although this differs from person to person, I think that autumn is the best time to visit South Korea. Not only because it is the most beautiful season, but for a variety of other reasons!
Other than being a stunning time to visit, autumn provides a few other benefits. For example, it tends to have the mildest temperatures of the year, and there is also the hidden benefit of autumn having far less fine dust than spring.
- Mild temperature
- Less fine dust
- Autumn foliage
- Many unique events and festivals
Although aspects like fine dust might not seem like a big deal, it can definitely impact your experience travelling. It’s a factor that must be considered – especially if you visit in spring or winter. If you want to know more, you can learn about fine dust in Korea here.
On top of this, there’s no denying that autumn makes the peninsula incredibly beautiful. While you may not notice the beauty of autumn so much if you stick to the cities, this is by far the best time to visit Korea if you’re interested in hiking one of the many mountains in the country.
Autumn Weather in Korea
The Autumn weather in Korea is very mild. There are no extreme conditions, unlike every other season. Where summer brings monsoon season, winter brings biting cold and spring brings high fine-dust concentrations, autumn is far more moderate.
If you are visiting during earlier autumn (September to early October), the weather still feels similar to summer. Albeit without the high humidity and mugginess that comes with it! During the later autumn months (late October and November), it starts to cool down significantly and you will want to dress more warmly.
Rain is generally quite low during autumn in Korea and therefore you don’t need to worry about preparing rain clothing. With that being said, there can be some dusty days and it’s worth preparing a fine dust mask just in case.
November is also when snow can start to appear in Korea. While snow during November is uncommon, it’s isn’t unheard of. Snowfall in November is typically quite light, however, some years bring unexpectedly heavy snowfalls even before winter officially hits!
Autumn Temperatures (Average)
September: 18°C – 26°C / 64°F – 80°F
October: 11°C – 20°C / 50°F – 68°F
November: 4°C – 12°C / 38°F – 53°F
Clothes to Wear During Autumn in Korea
As mentioned in the weather section, autumn has two distinct halves. The first half of the season is quite warm and you can get away with summer clothes. While it’s good to have a jersey on hand in case it cools down in the evening, early autumn is very mild.
During September temperatures will reach 30°C some days. On these days, you can wear whatever you have in your summer wardrobe. Lows in September will usually only drop to 16 or 17 degrees celsius. As such, it’s good to bring some slightly warmer clothes. However, there’s no need to pack heavy clothing if you are visiting during early autumn.
If you’re experiencing autumn in Korea during October then you will definitely want to pack a bit warmer. Light pants are ideal during this month – think jeans, slacks, and other light clothing. The temperature will usually sit between 10°C and 20°C so you should be able to get away with mostly lighter clothing. With that being said, make sure to bring a warmer jersey or two in case a cold front hits (which they do occasionally).
Generally, clothing items such as cardigans, light jerseys, blazers, (light) trench coats) and jeans reign supreme during October. Open-top shoes tend to drop off in popularity as some days in October can be a bit chilly. As such, make sure to bring covered shoes.
Popular Korean fashion during late autumn.
November is when the temperatures really begin to take a dive. For me personally, November begins to feel more like winter. Some days can drop below 0°C (the record cold during November was -11°C). However, most days will sit between 3°C and 11°C. If you’re visiting during November you will want to consider bringing heavier jerseys and thermal under clothing.
Since snow is a possibility during late autumn, it can be worth packing one waterproof outer layer. Ideally, something that is light and easy to travel with. While the snowfall during November is rarely heavy, it’s worth being prepared if you have some extra space in your bags.
Finally, it’s worth either bringing a mask or purchasing one in Korea. While autumn isn’t particularly bad in regards to fine dust, there can be odd days that bring severe pollution. As such, it’s best to be prepared. While purchasing a mask in Korea is extremely easy, some people will have reusable masks that they’d prefer to wear. If so, make sure to bring it with you!
Best Autumn Activities in Korea
Although autumn in Korea is best enjoyed in the mountains and areas outside of the cities, there are also autumn festivals that take place in the urban areas. With that being said, I highly recommend that you leave the cities if you get a chance. While there are amazing parks in Seoul and other cities, they are nothing compared to the mountains in the countryside.
If you’re visiting during early autumn – namely during September – it’s also worth considering summer activities. Visiting the beach is amazing in early autumn because you can avoid many of the summer crowds and crazy temperatures yet still have a fantastic experience.
1. Experience the Autumn Foliage
Of course, the first autumn activity that you must do in South Korea is to see the stunningly colourful foliage!
Although autumn foliage can be viewed in many different countries around the world – really anywhere in the northern hemisphere, it’s something that everyone should see in Korea.
Not only is the foliage different in Korea, but there are many unique and stunning views to be found around the country. Views that can’t be found anywhere else!
Although there are many different places around the country where autumn foliage can be experienced, there are a few that I have to recommend specifically.
Cloud staircase at Daedunsan!
Daedunsan is a mountain that is located around three hours south of Seoul. The mountain itself isn’t that large, and can be climbed in a few hours.
The mountain has a few views that are definitely worth seeing. While climbing the mountain is a fun activity in itself, the views at the top of the cable car and at the peak are breathtaking.
Yes, that is right! There is also a cable car that goes halfway up the mountain. This makes Daedunsan an ideal autumn activity for many people of all ages. It’s possible to enjoy many of the best views on the mountain without walking for more than 15 minutes.
Daedunsan has not only some of the most breathtaking autumn views in Korea, but it also has some of the most unique. The sky bridge is one of the few of its kind in Korea, and it’s something that is instantly recognisable.
Because of the truly unique views that Daedunsan offers, I believe that this is a must-visit location during autumn in Korea. While there are many stunning mountains around Korea, Daedunsan is something special.
Seoraksan in late November.
Another mountain in Korea that is stunning in autumn is Seoraksan. This mountain is located around an hour and a half outside of Seoul, towards the east coast.
Seoraksan is popular year-round, however, it’s especially beautiful in autumn. For this reason, visiting Seoraksan is an activity that I highly recommend.
While Daedunsan has a shorter walk, Seoraksan requires much longer to reach the peak. Luckily, there are many other walks that are shorter which can also be enjoyed.
If you only visit one mountain in Korea during autumn, I would recommend Daedunsan. However, if that’s not possible then Seoraksan is a fantastic alternative.
If you are a more serious hiker or are looking to get some exercise, then Seoraksan is a good choice. This mountain may not have a cloud bridge or staircase, but it’s still stunning. The peaks especially have fantastic views and are well worth visiting during autumn in Korea.
If you are looking for amazing foliage during autumn in Korea but don’t have time to leave the capital, Bukhasan is your best bet. This mountain has similarly stunning scenery to Daedunsan except without the sky bridge and staircase.
What makes Bukhansan so great is that it’s easily accessible. Depending on where in Seoul you are staying, it’s possible to reach the mountain within an hour. While reaching a peak will take hours, it’s possible to enjoy the scenery without a long hike if time is short.
Bukhsan has walks that range in difficulty. Some of the trails are easy-moderate difficulty while some require more time and equipment. Overall, Bukhasan is a fantastic mountain to hike during autumn in Korea because it’s easy to reach, has stunning foliage, and has walks of all difficulties.
Naejangsan is a mountain located in southwest Korea. While the national park is located quite a few hours away from Seoul, it’s far more reachable from the nearby cities of Gwangju and Jeonju. The best part is that Naejangsan can be enjoyed on the same trip as the next location on this list, Baekyangsan Temple. This is because Baekyangsan Temple is located within Naejangsan National park.
While Naejangsan is stunning in autumn, it also offers a fantastic cultural experience. There is a strong Buddhist influence on the mountain, with both Baekyangsa Temple and Naejangsa Temple sitting within the national park.
Along with these temples, there are also many other highlights. The Uhwajeong Pavilion provides amazing photo opportunities as does Sinsun Waterfall. If you’re interested in learning, make sure to check out Illjumun Gate.
Perhaps the most unique autumn foliage location on this list, Baekyangsa Temple is breathtaking under the colourful leaves of October. Not only can you enjoy the Korean autumn foliage here, but it’s a great opportunity to learn about Korean culture.
Baekyangsan Temple is located near Gwangju, a city in the southwest of Korea. While this is out of the way for many tourists visiting Korea, it’s a city that’s well worth visiting. There are a lot of attractions and cultural sites in the city and it’s a city that I often find myself recommending even over Busan.
If you’re looking to fully experience the temple, a temple stay is available. This stay will allow you to experience Korean Seon Buddhism firsthand and see how monks live on the peninsula. If you’re not interested in the temple stay or don’t have time in your schedule, the temple is still worth visiting in the afternoon!
While the mountains of Korea are stunning in autumn, we can’t overlook the palaces. Specifically, Gyeongbokgung Palace. While beautiful year-round, autumn brings out a totally unique feeling in the historical site. The colours of the ginkgo trees are almost overwhelming bright it can be hard to grasp the vibrance that the palace displays during this season.
Gyeongbokgung will already be on most tourist itineraries and that makes this location ideal. Since you’re likely planning to visit already, there’s no need to go out of your way to experience this particular autumn foliage.
The biggest downside of the palace is that it’s likely to be incredibly busy. Since it is one of Korea’s top attractions, thousands visit daily. I even wrote an article about why you should visit Changdeokgung instead of Gyeongbokgung. Spoiler – it’s mainly due to the crowds.
With that being said, Gyeongbokgung is amazing in autumn and this season is the exception. While Changdeokgung is also stunning during autumn, I believe that Gyeongbokgung is just slightly better!
Rent Hanbok for Amazing Autumn Photos
World Cup Stadium
Autumn foliage at World Cup Stadium.
If you are in Seoul and would prefer to see the autumn foliage somewhere local, then look no further. World Cup Stadium is stunning in autumn and one of the best parks to visit during autumn in Korea.
World Cup Stadium is aptly named as it was built for the soccer world cup in 2002. Although the area is called World Cup Stadium, I am actually referring to the parks that are located around the stadium.
Each of the parks has a different attraction and all of them are worth visiting at some point. However, if you are interested in the autumn scenery, then the two that I would recommend are Haneul Park and Pyeonghwa Park.
Haneul means ‘sky’ in Korean, and the park is accurately named as it sits on top of a hill in the middle of the World Cup Stadium area.
Pyeonghwa Park is a more standard park, but it is one that is especially beautiful towards the end of the year as there is a lot of autumn scenery that comes out in late October.
Learn more about World Cup Stadium in autumn
Another location within Seoul is Namsan Mountain. Namsan is most famous for the tower that stands atop the mountain – Namsan Tower.
However, what many people don’t realise is that Namsan Mountain actually has a large and beautiful park. The park circles around the mountain and there are even paths that lead to the top.
In spring, Namsan Mountain is one of the best places to see the cherry blossoms, yet surprisingly few people visit it. In autumn, the same happens with foliage! For this reason, visiting Namsan Mountain is one of the best autumn activities in Korea.
Namsan Mountain also has many different walking paths of varying difficulty. Whether you want a short, easy walk, or a longer, more difficult walk, Namsan has a lot of options for anyone wanting some exercise.
Another location that is found just outside of Seoul is Nami Island. If you’ve ever planned a trip to Korea before, you have probably heard about Nami Island already.
The island is located around an hour outside of Seoul and is both very famous and very popular. If you would prefer to avoid crowds, don’t visit Nami. However, it does have some absolutely stunning autumn scenery!
The island can only be reached by ferry (only a short ride), and it’s almost like a mini world on the island. No matter what the season, Nami Island has some beautiful scenery to offer.
The trip to Nami is one of the most popular day trips out of Seoul, and for good reason. However, as I mentioned earlier, expect the island to be quite busy.
2. Go On a Temple Stay
The view from Naksansa, a temple on the east coast of Korea.
Temple Stays are one of the most unique and interesting ways to experience Korean culture that there is. What’s more, although temples are often beautiful, they become absolutely breathtaking in autumn!
Buddhism has had a big influence over both the Korean people and culture and while it isn’t as widely practised today, it has still played a big part in shaping Korea.
Temples today can still be found all over Korea. If you would prefer to stay in the city you are staying in (whether that be Seoul, Busan, Jeju, or somewhere else entirely), you can! Every city in Korea has some temples that offer temple stays.
However, my recommendation is to get out of the cities and to enjoy the countryside. There are temples that can be found virtually all over Korea, and many offer unique attractions and sights.
During a temple stay, you can expect to learn a lot about Buddhism and the Buddhist way of life. There are many different programs available – one day stays, relaxation stays, meditation stays, and more.
Temple stays are truly unique experiences, and autumn makes them even better. For that reason, I highly recommend temple stays as one of the best autumn activities in Korea.
Jeondeungsa Temple Stay | Jogyesa Temple
3. Party at Autumn Festivals
Fireworks at Busan Fireworks Festival.
Throughout autumn there are a lot of festivals that take place. Every season in Korea brings with it unique attractions in the form of festivals and autumn is no different!
There is a lot of variation in the festivals that take place during autumn. For those of you who like movies, the Busan International Film Festival is a great visit.
If you love beer, there’s Oktoberfest. If you love fireworks, one of the best displays of the year takes place in October. There’s something for everyone, and that’s why attending festivals is a great autumn activity!
A whole list of festivals that take place during autumn can be found here. However, I will list some of the most popular here!
Busan International Film Festival
The Busan International Film Festival takes place in October, near the famous Haeundae beach in Busan. The Busan Film Festival is internationally recognised and is one of the most famous film festivals in Asia.
The festival focuses on directors and films that are new to the field. Every year it introduces new films and talent to the world in the form of big displays in front of large crowds.
In recent years, over 300 films have been shown at each BIFF. These films come from all over the world and are in many different styles and forms. If you are someone that enjoys movies, then the Busan film festival is a fantastic autumn activity in Korea.
Seoul Fireworks Festival
One of the biggest fireworks festivals of the year takes place in Seoul in October. This event is the Seoul (Hanwha) Fireworks Festival.
This festival takes place on Yeouido, an island located in the Han River in central Seoul. While the best viewing is from the island, it’s far from the only place that you can view the fireworks.
Since they take place over the Han River, the fireworks can be seen from all over the city. There are many different Han River parks and bridges that provide fantastic views of the fireworks and best of all, they are free!
If you are interested in something a bit more special, you can even take a Han River cruise and see the fireworks from the deck of a river ferry!
Muju Firefly Festival
The Muju Firefly Festival is one of the most unique festivals in Korea and one that everyone should try to visit at least once!
The festival takes place in Muju, a city located in central Korea, just south of Daejeon. The festival generally takes place in late August to early September and is focused on the native fireflies that live in the area.
Although fireflies are the theme of the festival, there is a lot more to it than just that! There are many performances that take place over the period of the festival and you can expect to see everything from taekwondo performances to talent shows.
Muju is a location that is often off the radar for both tourists and locals alike. However, the Muju Firefly Festival is one of the best autumn festivals in Korea and one that brings a lot of people to the region.
Although not a Korean festival traditionally, Oktoberfest is a festival that is now celebrated on Namhae, an island off of the southern coast of Korea. Who’s to say that you can’t enjoy some other cultures and traditions while in Korea?
The festival takes place on one weekend that is usually in early October. The history behind the event is also interesting, with the German culture being brought back by German Koreans returning from Korea who were offered cheap land to bolster the island’s population.
The weekend is filled with German food, traditions, and of course, beer! However, there are also many performances and shows that take place over the weekend to keep visitors entertained.
While Oktoberfest might not be something that you would expect to see in Korea, it’s a fantastic way to spend a day, or weekend, while travelling the country!
Seoul Lantern Festival
The Seoul Lantern Festival is a beautiful festival that takes place at Cheonggyecheon Stream in central Seoul. The festival lasts for around two weeks in mid-November.
Cheonggyecheon Stream is one of Seoul’s most iconic landmarks and one that you often see in dramas and other Korean media. For good reason! The stream is a rather nice break from the otherwise very urban centre of northern Seoul.
The Lantern Festival is best enjoyed at sunset and just after. Although the festival does run until 10 pm (or 11 pm on weekends), many of the activities take place in the earlier evening.
The festival can be fully enjoyed within a few hours and the location makes it extremely accessible for most visitors to Seoul. This is a great festival to visit with family also!
Haneul Park Silver Grass Festival
Haneul Park is one of the most famous parks in Seoul. Located on a hill that was previously dedicated to landfills, this urban restoration project is perhaps the best example of how we can turn something disgusting into something beautiful.
Haneul Park is beautiful year-round, but it’s even better in autumn. During autumn in Korea, Haneul Park’s silver grass appears. Typically, this occurs in mid-October. For a few weeks, the grass will absolutely stunning and it makes for breathtaking and very memorable photos.
Haneul Park also has the added bonus of providing great views of Han River and Seoul. If you visit the park, I recommend not only sticking to the centre (where the silver grass is) but also visiting the edges of the park. These are where you will find the best views!
Jinju Lantern Festival
While the Seoul Lantern Festival is the only lantern festival that most travellers to Korea will see, Jinju Lantern Festival is even more spectacular. Although a bit out of the way for most visitors, this autumn festival is well-worth visiting and it’s truly a sight to behold!
For the duration of the festival, hundreds of lanterns will be placed on the Namgang River. This river flows right through the centre of Jinju and it’s a big part of the cities identity. With the lanterns floating on the river, a magical feeling fills the air.
While the lanterns themselves are the biggest attraction, the festival also has a range of smaller events. Throughout the festival’s duration expect to see fireworks shows, lighting shows, cultural performances and more!
4. Enjoy the Han River
The Han River in autumn. Korea has some stunning sunsets!
The Han River always comes up on these lists no matter what the season! That’s because it is always a great place to visit – no matter what the season. However, in autumn the Han River is better than ever, and visiting is a great autumn activity.
Autumn has some of the mildest weather of the year, and it makes many of the outdoor activities in Korea far more enjoyable than they are in summer and winter, and often even better than in spring as the fine dust is worst in the spring months.
Hangang (Han River) flows through the centre of Seoul and there are many different parks in which it can be enjoyed. All of these parks offer something unique, and it’s really your choice as to which one you visit.
My favourite is Ttukseom Resort Station’s Han River Park, as it has stunning views as well as many festivals and events. On top of this, it’s also quite large with plenty of room for picnics and other activities.
Another popular Han River Park is Yeouido Hangang Park. Located on an island in the middle of the Han River, Yeouido is one of the most popular places to enjoy the Han River. If you want to have a picnic and order some chicken and Korean craft beer, this is the place to be!
If you want to see the autumn foliage and enjoy the Han River on the same day, then Nanji Hangang Park is a fantastic choice. This park is part of the World Cup Stadium area which I mentioned earlier, and it’s a short walk from Haneul Garden and Pyeonghwa Park.
There are also many fun activities that can be done along the Han River. Bikes can be found and hired, and there are also many electric bikes and scooters that can be hired. There are a ton of different ways to enjoy the Han River in autumn!
Han River Eland Cruise | Han River Yacht Ride | Yeouido Picnic Tent Rental
5. Visit Palaces & Wear Hanbok
Modern hanbok at Changdeokgung Palace.
The palaces of Korea are always high-up on the list of most popular tourist activities in Korea. However, in autumn, the foliage makes the palaces an even more appealing choice to visit!
There are palaces located all over Korea, and the most popular are Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung in Seoul as they are the easiest to access.
Although Gyeongbokgung is a great palace to visit, I would actually recommend the other palaces in autumn. This is due to the fact that Gyeongbokgung has less foliage than the other palaces which are located in the capital.
The Changdeokgung Secret Garden is the best place to visit in autumn as the garden becomes absolutely stunning! It’s even better if you wear hanbok and can take some photos in beautiful colours.
Even if you can’t visit or don’t want to visit the secret garden, I would recommend hiring hanbok and exploring the palaces. With the colours that come out in October and November, it’s easy to get unforgettable photos.
If you are interested in hiring hanbok and exploring the traditional spots of Seoul, then keep reading down to the section about hanok villages!
Hanbok Rental | Seoul Palace Tour
6. Eat Autumn Foods
Korea has a lot of soups which are fantastic in the cooler months!
Korea is a country and culture that is famous for its food. Over the past few years and decades, this has become even more obvious as Korean food has taken over the food world.
Every season brings new foods to Korea, and autumn is no different. Autumn brings a lot of new fruits (and fruit-based desserts) to the market and you will find fresh fruits like persimmon, pears, and apples being sold.
Since autumn is the time of Chuseok, you will also find that Korean rice cakes are common. If you haven’t tried them before, they are a very unique food that is hard to explain without trying it yourself.
Rice cakes can be sweet or savoury, and they can also be colourful on the outside. The outside is usually a bit sticky, and inside there will be anything from red bean to honey, to chestnut.
As the weather starts to get cooler, you will also find that many warm street foods are in season! Some of the most common are fishcakes, hotteok (like a deep-fried pancake), roast chestnuts and sweet potato.
Korea is a country of seasonal foods, so make sure to enjoy some of them if you are visiting in autumn! If you’re looking for specific autumn foods that are worth trying, read on!
Korean Cooking Classes | Korean Food Tour
One of the most common street foods that you will find in Korea, eomuk is a delectable fishcake served on a stick. Typically, this will be sold by vendors who also provide soup and other foods. While eomuk is sold year-round, it’s particularly enjoyable in autumn because it’s served fresh and warm – ideal for the colder temperatures that autumn brings.
While eomuk itself is great, the best part in autumn is the soup that comes with it. When the temperatures drop in November, there’s nothing better to warm yourself up with. Or… Maybe there is?
Hotteok are often referred to as ‘Korean pancakes’. However, I feel like this doesn’t do them justice. These scrumptious treats beat pancakes any day of the week. If I could only eat hotteok or pancakes for the rest of my life, it would definitely be hotteok.
These pancakes are amazing on colder autumn days because they are served fresh and crispy, straight from the fryer. The best part is that they are filled with melted brown sugar. While there are different fillings for hotteok, brown sugar is the one that you will most commonly encounter.
These treats are incredibly sweet and I never find myself needing more than one. With that being said, they are incredibly tasty and I can’t recommend them enough. If you are looking to try some street food in Korea, make sure these are first on your list!
Roast Sweet Potato
Another popular street food in Korea, roasted sweet potatoes are fantastic in the evening. These sweet potatoes are typically either served on skewers (like the picture above) or whole. Whole sweet potatoes can be purchased from street vendors or from convenience stores.
I’ve never been the biggest fan of sweet potatoes. When I first encountered this street food in Korea I was not particularly excited. However, after trying them for the first time I was hooked. There’s something about a warm, well-roasted sweet potato on an autumn’s night!
Blue crabs are popular in autumn as this is when the crabs are the plumpest and ready to eat. While they are also popular in spring due to the roe, autumn is the best time to enjoy these crabs for anyone who prefers the meat.
Blue crabs are served in a variety of forms. While they can be enjoyed more plainly, simply served in soy sauce or red pepper paste, they can also be served in soups and a range of other dishes. If you’re looking to enjoy this particular delicacy, make sure to head to the coast and find a speciality restaurant.
Another great choice for those who love seafood, jumbo prawns are also in season during autumn in Korea. From September to December, these prawns can be found commonly in restaurants all over the peninsula. While prawns can be found year-round these days, there’s nothing better than enjoying them when they’re fresh!
Jumbo prawns can be enjoyed in a variety of different forms. However, if you really enjoy the taste of prawns they are best-served boiled or steamed from a street vendor. If you are looking for a full meal, head to a restaurant where they are added to a range of different dishes!
Persimmon ripens in autumn and this makes it one of the most popular fruits during the season. While persimmons aren’t unique to Korea, it’s worth trying some of the local persimmons from Gyeongsangbuk-do because they are delicious!
Interestingly, dried persimmon is also very popular in South Korea. During Chuseok (Korea’s harvest festival), dried permission is commonly gifted and consumed. While it can take a while to get accustomed to the taste, it’s a fantastic treat once you’re familiar with it!
Following the fruit trend, I’d be remiss not to mention Korean pears. As someone who particularly hated pears as a child, I surprisingly found Korean pears to be far more edible than their counterparts. What makes them unique? Firstly, they tend to be round as opposed to… a funny shape.
I’ve also found them to be far more crunchy and crisp. They’re also significantly harder. Put together, these aspects just make the whole experience of eating a Korean pear much better than other pears. The best part? They ripen during autumn and are best enjoyed during this season!
Roast chestnuts are another mainstay during autumn in Korea. These nuts are very popular during the colder months and they can be found being roasted on streets all over Seoul (and other cities!). These chestnuts are best consumed quickly, as they are best when warm!
Rice cakes (ddeok) are popular throughout the year. However, there is no time in which they are more popular than during October. During this month, Chuseok occurs. During this festival, ddeok are given out as gifts and used to celebrate.
Korean rice cakes can come in many different forms. Some are sweet and filled with honey, some are savoury and filled with vegetables such as radish and red beans. Therefore, these delectable snacks can be enjoyed by anyone – just find a flavour that you like!
Jeon are Korean-style savoury pancakes, and they’re a fantastic food to enjoy alongside makgeolli. However, perhaps an even more delicious food is modeumjeon. This isn’t a single food, but rather a variety of delicacies that are pan-fried in an egg batter.
You will often find zucchini, chilli, shrimp, and a range of other foods friend to create modeumjeon. While they don’t make a meal alone, they are a great addition to jeon and a range of other Korean dishes. Modeumjeon is especially fantastic in autumn as they are warming throughout the cooler nights.
7. Explore the DMZ
The DMZ is a very unique experience and one worth having while you are in Korea!
DMZ tours are another popular activity for those visiting Korea, and as with many things on this list, the tours are even better in autumn.
The DMZ is one of the eeriest places in the world to visit. It’s totally silent, but you can feel the tension that sits over the area. It’s almost a surreal experience.
There are many different DMZ tours and all of them visit different areas along the border. The most common tour goes to Dorasan Station and the trip takes only one hour from the capital.
Throughout the tour, you will get to see many of the remnants of the Korean war. You will also be able to see the hopes for a peaceful future.
The DMZ is a place that is very popular with tourists, and for good reason. It’s an unforgettable experience and one that isn’t just fun, but also informative.
Although the DMZ isn’t for everyone, it’s an important cultural experience as it has played a large role in how modern Korea is today.
DMZ Tour From Seoul | Cheorwon DMZ Day Tour
8. Learn Culture at Hanok Villages
Bukchon Hanok Village.
Hanok villages are Korean traditional villages. These villages are filled with older Korean buildings that are either the original buildings or newer buildings that have been made to blend in with the older ones.
These villages exist all over Korea, however, the most popular and well-known hanok village is Bukchon. Bukchon is located in central Seoul and provides a stark contrast to the otherwise hyper-modern city.
While these villages are fun to explore on their own, they often also house many other interesting attractions. You will find all kinds of museums, tea-houses, and traditional restaurants and stores in hanok villages.
If you are looking for an even more special experience, why not explore the hanok village while wearing hanbok? You can get some amazing photos!
Jeonju Hanok Village | Seoul Tour with Bukchon Hanok Village
9. Take In the Sights of Korea
The view from Namsan Tower in autumn.
Although this may sound a bit odd as an autumn activity, I do have a reason for adding it to this list! If you haven’t visited Korea before, you may not even consider fine dust.
However, if you have visited before or have lived in Korea, then you know that it can be a big deal and is often something that you have to plan around.
Fine dust is often worst in spring, and historically, September and October are two of the cleanest months of the year. November is also one of the months with less fine dust.
As such, autumn is the best season of the year to take in the stunning views that you can find around South Korea.
Every city has its own unique views, and there are also some fantastic sights that can be found on the mountains of Korea. If you are in Seoul, check out Namsan Tower, and if you get the time, Eungbongsan and Inwangsan!
Although Namsan is a very frequented spot by tourists, it is for a good reason, This is by far one of the best views of the city and one that everybody should see! However, often the best view isn’t actually at the top of the tower, but rather at the bottom of it (the top of the mountain).
Inwangsan and Eunbongsan are two mountains in Seoul that aren’t so well known among visitors. However, both of them have very unique and beautiful views. Eungbongsan only requires a very short 15-minute walk, and Inwangsan takes about 30 to 45 minutes as it is very steep.
Namsan Tower Tickets | Lotte Tower Tickets
10. Take a Day Trip
Daedunsan day trip in autumn!
With amazing cities like Seoul, Busan, and Daegu (to name only a few!), it’s easy to spend your whole trip inside these metropolises. Although there is nothing wrong with that, there is so much more to see in Korea as well!
There are hundreds of different day trips that you can take in Korea, and they generally begin at either Seoul or Busan. These trips go to different cities and attractions all over the peninsula, and they are one of the most accessible ways to see more of South Korea.
From Seoul, the most popular day trips are those to Nami Island, Petite France, and Seoraksan & Naksansa. However, there are so many different places that you can visit and there are a lot of hidden gems in the Korean countryside.
You can find a list of day trips on websites such as Klook and Trazy. They both have tens (if not hundreds) of different options. Check them out if you get the chance!
Seoraksan & Naksansa Day Trip | Nami Island Day Trip
Autumn in Korea
I hope that this list has helped you find some activities to do this autumn in Korea. Every season has something unique to offer in Korea, and autumn is the favourite season of many people.
There are many autumn activities that you can take part in, and I couldn’t list all of them here. If there is something that you believe should be added to the list, let me know! I would love to add more activities to this list.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me. You can do this either by leaving a comment or by contacting me here.
Autumn in Korea FAQ
When Is the Best Season to Visit Korea?
The best time to visit Korea depends on what you want to do. If you want to have the mildest weather, spring and autumn are the best seasons to visit. However, both winter and summer have their own unique attractions.
Simply weather-wise, autumn is the best season. This is because summer and winter can have quite extreme temperatures, and spring often has days of strong fine dust.
What Clothes Should I Wear In Autumn?
Autumn weather is quite mild, and you won’t need very heavy clothing. However, it can still get a bit chilly at night and in the later autumn months (November especially). For this reason, make sure to bring some long-sleeved shirts and warm pants. You won’t need to worry too much about packing heavy clothes like gloves, though.
What Is the Temperature Like in Autumn?
During September and October, temperatures usually sit between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius in the daytime. During the night, however, the temperature can drop to under 10 degrees.
During November, temperatures can reach 0 at night. In the day, expect to see temperatures from 5-15 degrees celsius.
Where Is the Best Autumn Foliage?
Autumn foliage can be found all over Korea, and there is no single best spot. However, if I had to recommend one place that has amazing autumn foliage, it would have to be Daedunsan Mountain.