For many people, cherry blossoms are one of the biggest attractions in Korea. If you visit the country in early spring, you are bound to see them – in fact, it’s hard to miss them! However, while the trees can be found all over the city, there are some places that stand out above others.
One of those places is Seokchon Lake Park (sometimes referred to as Songpa Naru Park). Famous for being one of the best places to view cherry blossoms in Seoul, Seokchon Lake Park is an iconic cherry blossom park. It’s also one that you shouldn’t miss!
What makes the lake park stand out so much is that the cherry blossoms border two large lakes. A walking path loops around both of these lakes and the trees arch over the pathway making for a beautiful walk. Lotte Tower and Lotte World also stand right next to the lakes, making for some of the most unique views in the city.
While Seokchon Lake Park does, arguably, have the best cherry blossoms in Seoul, there are also some things worth noting. Most importantly, since Seokchon Lake is very famous amongst Seoulites you can expect it to be crowded. If you visit during the weekends or after work hours, expect it to be very crowded.
For this reason, it isn’t the ideal place to take spring photos in Seoul. With that being said, I still recommend that everyone visit Seokchon Lake Park in spring given the chance. Despite being crowded, the cherry blossoms at Seokchon are some of the most stunning in the city.
For this reason, today I want to introduce this fantastic cherry blossom location to you. On the other hand, if you’re already familiar with the cherry blossoms at Seokchon Lake then I hope this post convinces you to visit!
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Where Is Seokchon Lake?
Directions from Jamsil Station (red arrow) and Seokchon Station (green arrow) to Seokchon Lake Park.
Seokchon Lake is located in the south-east part of central Seoul. The closest subway station is Jamsil Station – the same station close to which you can find Lotte Tower and Lotte World. In fact, part of Lotte World is on Seokchon Lake!
From Jamsil Station, the lake can be reached in less than 5 minutes. In fact, the lake is located only one block away – you’ll only need to cross one road. Seokchon Lake is also very easy to find and you should have no issue making your way there!
Exits 2 and 3 from Jamsil Station will take you almost directly to the lake. Once you exit from either of these locations, head straight until you come across a road (it will be the first road that you need to cross). The lake is located immediately after the crossing.
Alternatively you can reach Seokchon quickly and conveniently from Seokchon Lake Station. While this station is named after the lake, it’s actually further from the lake than Jamsil Station! Take Exit 1 or 8 from Seokchon Station and walk straight down the road for about 5 minutes. The lake is right there!
There are many steps down to the lake and they are very easy to find. Since the lake is really two lakes (more on that later!) you will also find a waterway with footpaths under the road that allows you to easily pass from one lake to the other.
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Seokchon Lake Loop
Interestingly, Seokchon Lake is actually now two lakes. While the lakes have the same name, and are joined by a small waterway, it feels like two lakes. These lakes are aptly named Seokchon Lake East, and Seokchon lake West.
Originally Seokchon was one lake, but the creation of a highway passing over the lake has virtually made it become two lakes. The circuit is similar to a figure-8, and you can swap between the lakes in the centre (underneath the highway).
The whole figure-8 circuit is just over 2.5km long and you can easily enjoy the path in an hour or two (assuming lots of stops for cherry blossom snaps and time to enjoy the sights). The walking path is also very flat and is suitable for people of all fitness levels.
Seokchon lake is very popular with the locals of Seoul and you will almost always find lots of people out enjoying the lake. This is especially true in spring when the blossoms come out – expect Seokchon Lake to be very busy. You will also find people making the most of the lake in different ways, picnicking, walking, jogging, or just sightseeing!
Along the 2.5km lake circuit you will also find a few other attractions. There are a lot of different seating areas located around the lake and many of these are located right on the lake’s edge. While these will be very busy at peak times, you can often find seats available at less popular hours.
Of course, the views that you will find on the Seokchon Lake loop are also stunning and very unique. On top of the cherry blossoms that line the lake, you can also see the backgrounds of Lotte Tower and Lotte world in many photos of the lake!
Some locals will bring food and drinks and have picnics in the seating areas around the lake. However, it’s worth noting that unless you visit at a less busy time, these seating areas will typically be very full. Most of them are also quite small, making it difficult to find a seat. If you are looking to picnic under cherry blossoms I would recommend Yeouido or Seoul Forest instead!
When Is the Best Time to Visit?
Unfortunately, such a beautiful location hasn’t gone unnoticed. I’ve mentioned many times in this article that the lake is almost always very busy. With this being said, there are some times that you can visit and avoid the majority of the crowds!
As with any attraction in Korea, the best way to avoid crowds is to visit in the morning. While visiting before 1 pm should mean that you can skip the largest crowds, visiting at 11 am or earlier is ideal. Seoul is NOT a morning city, and most attractions reach their peak busyness at around 6 pm. By visiting in the morning you will avoid the dating couples – couples that usually make up a very large portion of the crowds at Seokchon.
Of course, visiting in the morning is best coupled with a weekday. If you can visit on a Monday-Friday morning then you will get the best opportunity to experience the blossoms without the lake being too congested. If you can’t visit on a weekday then aim for a weekend in the morning!
The Best Cherry Blossoms in Seoul?
There are many places to find cherry blossoms in Seoul. In fact, there are hundreds! Some of the most famous locations to see cherry blossoms in Seoul are the Yeouido Blossom Festival, Seoul Forest, and of course, Seokchon Lake Park.
However, I think that Seokchon Lake stands above these places and many of the other cherry blossom locations in Seoul. Not only can you find cherry blossoms (and in a multitude you can’t find in many other places in the city) but you can find them combined with other attractions such as the lake and the tower behind.
Since the lake is one of the most well-known cherry blossom viewing locations in Seoul there are also some downsides. The biggest downside is that Seokchon Lake is often busy – very busy. There is no time that the paths will be totally clear. However, if you can manage to visit during work hours the lake will be significantly less busy than on the weekends.
While it is busy, I really enjoy visiting Seokchon Lake every spring. Despite the crowds, the cherry blossoms are some of the most majestic and beautiful that are easily accessible and don’t require much pre-planning to witness. Of course, there are even more beautiful locations if you are willing to plan a trip out of Seoul!
Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossoms FAQ
How Can I Get to Seokchon Lake?
First, take the subway or a bus to Jamsil Station. From there, exit the station via Exit 2 or Exit 3. Once you exit from either of these locations, head straight until you come across a road (it will be the first road that you need to cross). The lake is located immediately after the crossing.
Where Is Seokchon Lake?
Seokchon Lake is located south of the Han River in Seoul, right next to Lotte Tower in Jamsil.
Does Seokchon Lake Have Free Entry?
Yes! The lake has year-round free entry.
When Is the Best Time to Visit Seokchon Lake?
If you are looking to avoid the crowds then I recommend visiting in the morning or on a weekday. If you can, visit on a weekday morning!
Does Seokchon Lake Have the Best Cherry Blossoms in Seoul?
While this is debatable, I do think that Seokchon Lake Park has some of the best cherry blossoms in Seoul. Not only this, but the photos you can take there are very unique as they have Lotte Tower and Lotte World as a backdrop.