Autumn in Seoul is undeniably one of the most beautiful seasons to spend in the city. The crisp morning air is perfect for cafe hopping, the cooler temperatures invite you to try all that delicious Korean cuisine, and the fall fashion sense in Korea is just something else. Still, the highlight of the season has to be seeing the warm autumn colors peek through different areas of Seoul.
Last year we were lucky enough to live in Seoul for three months with our job. We arrived at the beginning of October, which meant that we got the best of both worlds: the beginning of a colorful autumn in Seoul and a part of the magical winter as well.
When I think back to my days in Seoul the thing that stands out to me the most are the aimless walks through the city during those chilly autumn months, looking for a new cozy coffee shop, wandering through tunnels of bright yellow trees, all wrapped up in a coat and scarf, it was just magical, and everything I ever wanted autumn to be.
With that in mind, I wanted to share with you some tips on experiencing autumn in Seoul, from what to wear, and ideas of things to do, as well as some of the most beautiful locations in the city to enjoy autumn in Seoul in all its glory, in the hopes that you will have an autumn in Seoul as magical as I did. So let’s get into it…
Weather in autumn in Seoul
First of all, when is autumn in Seoul, and what is the weather like? Autumn in Seoul takes place from September to November.
The weather in autumn in Seoul can vary by month, with September being the warmest one with an average of 27° C, or 80° F, with a minimum of 17° C, 62° F, which makes for very comfortable days to explore the city, however, if what you are after is experiencing true autumn in Seoul, then you should visit more towards October.
The weather in October in Seoul is just perfect for an autumn trip, the temperature drops to an average of 21 °C, 69 °F, as a maximum, and the lowest temperatures reach 9°C, 48°F, which makes for the perfect crispy fall weather, plus if you want to experience the fall foliage in Seoul, middle to end of October is the best time to visit.
By the time November comes around the temperature drops even more, reaching a maximum of 13°C, 55°F, and a minimum of 2°C, 35°F, which is still nothing compared to winter, but still, it’s definitely way cooler than October, and most trees would have probably lost their leaves by November.
So overall, the weather in October in Seoul is the best one to enjoy an autumn trip to Seoul to the fullest, and also the perfect time of the season to actually witness the mesmerizing autumn colors in all their glory!
What To Wear In Autumn In Seoul
As mentioned above, the temperatures you will experience in Seoul will really depend on in which month of autumn you are visiting.
If you are visiting Seoul in September you should be fine with short-sleeved t-shirts, jeans, and even dresses, as long as you also bring some outer layers for the chillier evenings, such as a light to medium cardigans, and a rain jacket or umbrella for the occasional rainy autumn day.
If you are visiting Seoul in October the temperature drop is significant at night, so I would recommend packing middle layers for the in-between temperatures, such as cardigans or pull-overs, and definitely bring a warmer outer layer, such as a light coat, sherpa-lined denim jacket, or when in doubt, those packable puffer jackets are great for traveling, light to carry and keep the warmth in.
I would also definitely recommend bringing at least one scarf and hat for windy days that make the temperature feel colder than it is, as well as keeping in mind an umbrella for occasional rainy days.
And because I hate being cold I would also pack some thin long-sleeved thermal tops, just in case, and if I were to wear dresses in October I would definitely wear them with tights.
If you are visiting Seoul in November you definitely want to come more equipped for the colder temperatures, even if it doesn’t seem that cold, consider that you spend most of the days out and about walking, so is better to be prepared.
I would recommend all of the above, but I would wear heavier outerwear, or layer up more under the outerwear I already have.
So for November, I would wear long-sleeved thermal tops, cozy wool sweaters, and a coat on top, with a chunky scarf, warm headband or beanie to cover my ears, gloves, jeans or pants, and if I’m freezing maybe even tights under denim, and warmer boots, or wool socks with comfortable tennis shoes.
If you are worrying about having the right attire for the trip, just remember that if you forget something you can always buy it there, and honestly with Uniqlo that’s super easy to do, they have great basics, at great prices. I bought a lot of my autumn/winter closet in Seoul at Uniqlo, and it has lasted me pretty well.
What To Do In Seoul In Autumn
Seoul in autumn is a beautiful time to visit, but what do we do then? With the weather changing, and some rainy days sprinkled in between, is good to have options. So here are some things you can do in Seoul in autumn:
Go cafe-hopping in Seoul
Seoul is a heaven for coffee lovers, especially if the aesthetics matter to you as much as the coffee itself, Seoul coffee shops are all about design and personality, and there are just so many to discover.
With the colder temperatures of fall, cafe hopping is the perfect activity to seek refuge from chillier temperatures as well as discover the city one coffee shop at a time.
To help you plan your cafe-hopping itinerary make sure to check out my guide on the best cafes in Seoul for actually good coffee, and they are also cute!
Go on an autumnal hike
If you are an outdoorsy person, then going on a hike while in Seoul during autumn is a great way to enjoy the colorful season.
Just make sure to research the temperatures for the place where you are going, they will definitely get chillier the higher you go.
One of our favorite hikes we did while in Seoul was the challenging but beautiful Bukhansan National Park, which you can read more about further in the post.
Shop Korean fall fashion
One autumnal activity that I was really excited about while being in Seoul, was being able to witness the stylish Korean fall fashion trends, and get some inspiration from it.
Korea is becoming a world sensation when it comes to beauty and fashion trends, and their fall fashion is by far one of my favorite ones; simple, clean, and elegant. With that in mind, updating your fall wardrobe is a great activity to do while in Seoul, especially with all the stylish inspiration the city has to offer.
If you are looking for shops, Myeongdong is a good neighborhood for international brands, but you can also find smaller local shops spread all throughout the city. Insa-dong Street has some great accessories shops, including wool scarves and Korean cashmere socks, and for classic fall basics, Uniqlo is a great place to start.
Visit a museum
Museums are a great addition to any trip no matter the time of the year, but they can become a strategic activity for those unpredictable autumn days too. Too cold, too windy, or just straight up pouring down? No better way to use your time in the city than to visit a museum.
The National Folk Museum of Korea is a great stop for any first-time visitor to Seoul, it’s conveniently located next to the must-visit Gyeongbokgung Palace and close to the historic Bukchon Hanok Village, it has a great exhibition about Korean culture, and it is free!
So definitely a good place to have in your itinerary, and maybe save it for a rainy day.
Indulge in a Korean facial treatment
The change in temperature, the traveling, the jetlag, it can all take a toll on your skin, which is the perfect excuse to immerse yourself in another aspect of Korean culture; their world-renowned skincare.
Seoul is known for having amazing skincare clinics offering treatments at very affordable prices, one of the top ones—and a personal favorite— being Muse Clinic, where you can get professional facial treatments at prices unheard of in North America and Europe.
However, if you want to get a more luxurious experience of Korean skincare I would highly recommend the Sulwhasoo spa for a glowing facial and a relaxing massage.
Definitely a nice little addition to any cold autumnal day in the city!
Try seasonal Korean snacks
Another great thing to do in autumn in Seoul is to try all the delicious seasonal snacks.
Korea has amazing street food year-round but there are snacks that only appear during specific seasons of the year, and autumn marks the beginning of cozy snack season—I made that up— but it means all the warm cozy snacks start appearing at the street food carts.
Some of these cozy street food snacks you will find when the temperature drops include bungeo-ppang, the popular fish-shaped pastry filled with either red bean or custard, hotteoks, or little pancakes, the classic egg bread, and cooked sweet potatoes.
- Might interest you: Seoul Guide: Everything you need to know before visiting Seoul
Seoul In Autumn: The Most Beautiful Locations In The City
If you are already spending autumn in Seoul you will definitely want to witness the stunning colors of the season, so here are some of the best places in Seoul to see fall foliage worth a postcard.
N-Seoul Tower is a spot that is popular in its own right due to the beautiful view you get over the city, that’s why it should be on your itinerary whether you are visiting Seoul in autumn or any other season.
What makes N-Seoul Tower a special autumn location is the fact that the hill the N-Seoul tower is on is covered in trees, and once autumn rolls around the whole hill starts to change colors, which turns the way up the mountain into a gorgeous autumn spectacle.
To get to the top of the hill where the N-Seoul Tower is located, you can either hike the many stairs to go up, or you can take the Namsam cable car, whichever one you choose if you are visiting Seoul in autumn, you will get a spectacular view either way.
When we visited we took the cable car up and got a gorgeous view of the fall foliage below us, and we walked the way down which allowed us to immerse ourselves in the gorgeous colors of the park.
Definitely a top location to visit during your trip to Seoul in autumn!
Bukhansan National Park
The Bukhansan National Park is undoubtedly one of the most gorgeous views I have ever seen from autumn anywhere, that’s why it’s such a special place to witness autumn in Seoul.
While visiting the park we committed to doing the full hike, however, it is necessary to point out that it is quite a rigorous hike, and we saw some people turning around halfway through it.
If you’re in good physical shape I would definitely recommend doing the full hike to get the breathtaking view at the top of the mountain, even if you don’t finish the whole hike the view is totally worth it along the way, but keep in mind that it is quite steep.
If your body allows it, it is definitely a spot worth checking out if you are already visiting Seoul in autumn.
Seoul Forest Park
One of the top places to visit during autumn in Seoul is the gorgeous Seoul Forest Park.
This expansive lush park is an enjoyable cityscape year round, but when autumn arrives the whole place comes alive with bright shades of red, yellow, and orange, making it the perfect location to immerse yourself in nature and go for an autumnal walk without having to go too far out of the city.
This place also comes highly recommended by a local friend of mine, who said that this is her favorite place in the city to enjoy the seasonal colors.
Gyeonbokgung Palace is a must-visit in Seoul year-round, but there’s something about fall that makes this place seem even more magical.
The trees around the lake start to change colors, the leaves start to flow through the air as you walk through the traditional hanoks, and you can see the green hills behind the palace start to warm up as well.
Definitely, a location in the city you don’t want to miss if you are visiting Seoul in autumn.
This unassuming street is located between the Seoul Museum of Craft and Art and Yeolrin Songhyeon Park, and it was one of the streets I walked through the most while living in Seoul since it leads you straight into the gorgeous Bukchon Hanok village.
The inconspicuous road is full of surprises, with little eateries, cafes, and shops hiding in between the alleys, and most importantly the entrance of the street is lined with Ginko trees that come alive during the autumn months when the leaves turn bright yellow.
I loved walking up this street regularly, making my way to Salt 24 to get a croissant in the morning and walking around the neighborhood under the eye-catching yellow leaves of the Ginko trees.
Visiting Nami Island in autumn is an absolute must if you are already in Seoul during this season.
Nami Island, also known as Namirana Republic, is a picturesque river island not too far from Seoul that provides one of the most enchanting views of autumn in Korea.
This dreamy little island seriously looks straight out of a fairytale, with wild rabbits hopping around unbothered by human visitors, squirrels jumping into piles of colorful fallen leaves, and the whole place turning into the most colorful mosaic of rich reds and bright yellows once autumn comes around.
This easy day trip destination from Seoul is everything autumn dreams are made of!
Sinsa-dong Shopping Street
Sinsa-dong is one of my favorite areas in Seoul, and while this is a vibey shopping district and not a park, the main road of Sinsa-dong is lined with small Ginko trees that just add that cozy autumn feel to a shopping day in the area.
I had so many perfect autumn days in Seoul walking around this neighborhood, getting a coffee during those chilly October days, hopping into shops, and trying on chunky sweaters, and I just remember how cute the street looked with those vibrant yellow trees.
Fun fact: When autumn in Seoul is over, and the temperatures drop, the trees get their own personal handwoven sweaters too, it’s so cute!
The beauty of Seoul in autumn is that you don’t have to go out of your way to experience it, autumn is all around you while strolling around the city, with trees lining main avenues and little green spaces around office buildings changing colors, it’s easy to be immersed in the season wherever you are in the city.
That is why I think that autumn in Seoul is one of the best times to visit, the city has a unique cozy feel to it, with everyone dressed up in fashionable coats, the smell of hotteoks in the air, the promise of infinite cute cafes to explore, and the bright yellow leaves making any stroll around the city feel magical—like you just stepped into a Korean drama.
Hope you found this guide for visiting Seoul in autumn useful, and I truly wish you fall in love with this city as much as I did. Have you been to Seoul yet? Did I convince you to visit it during autumn?