Every fall, sightseers flock to Korea's beautiful rural destinations to enjoy the fiery colors of autumn. For international tourists, however, traveling to other regions in the autumn season is out of reach. To enjoy the fall foliage without traveling far, plan a visit to one of the following sites, known as the best places to see rich fall foliage in the city.
Also known as Jeongdong-gil road, Deoksugung Doldam-gil (Deoksugung Stone Wall Road) is a popular place for romantic strolls. This beautiful road is about 900 meters long and stretches from Deoksugung Palace by Seoul City Hall to Jeongdong Theater. In the fall, yellow ginkgo leaves add to the romantic ambience. There are numerous cultural sites along the way that make the trip all the more worthwhile.
The first place to visit is Deoksugung Palace. The palace grounds offer a mix of traditional royal architecture from the Joseon Dynasty with Western-style buildings. The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Deoksugung is also located within palace grounds, hosting various exhibitions. Seoul Museum of Art is located a short walk down the road from the palace. The leaves of a 500-year-old maple tree in the garden are rich in color. Sit down in the calming sunlight, or visit one of the exhibitions in the gallery.
Travelers interested in traditional culture and performing arts can visit Jeongdong Theater, located just off the stone wall road. Select a performance to suit the autumn mood. Deoksugung Doldam-gil is also popular for its proximity to Myeong-dong and Namdaemun Traditional Market.
Samcheongdong-gil Road runs from the stone wall road of Gyeongbokgung Palace to Samcheong-dong, passing through a variety of settings. The site is highly recommended in the fall, as the ginkgo trees paint the area with striking yellow hues. Sightseers can enjoy the palace, visit the National Folk Museum of Korea, and travel along the road through the autumn atmosphere. The street is lined with small galleries and shops selling paintings and accessories. With so much to see, a walk along Samcheongdong-gil Road will feel as if it has ended before it even started.
Nearby attractions with making a detour for include Samcheong Park, located above the neighborhood, and Bukchon Hanok Village. Take in the view of the city while breathing in the clean air at Samcheong Park. The streets of Bukchon Hanok Village are lined with traditional tile-roofed houses; you’re sure to get an insta-worthy photo or two here!
The routes that stretch from Namdaemun Market to Namsan Library and from Namsan Library down to Grand Hyatt Seoul offer a landscape rich in autumn colors, notably lined with dense forest areas. You can observe another aspect of Seoul as you look down at the houses on the hill below.
As you walk up from Namdaemun Market to Namsan Park, you will also find a number of notable sites such as Namsan Library, and Namsan Botanical Garden. Follow the walking path from Namsan Library up the mountain for about 10 minutes, and you will arrive at the popular Namsan Seoul Tower. Many couples visit Seoul Tower Plaza to hang a love lock, signifying their promise to love each other forever. For a unique view of the fall foliage in Seoul, ride up in Namsan Cable Car, or visit the observation deck in N Seoul Tower. The observatory has a glass façade and offers a panoramic view of the city. As the sun sets, sit at the café with a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy the dramatic cityscape from the tower.
World Cup Park is made up of five parks: Haneul Park, Pyeonghwa Park, Noeul Park, Nanjicheon Park, and Nanji Hangang Park. Haneul Park derives its name, which means sky in Korean, from its status as the park with the highest elevation in the area. Haneul Park has many walking paths, including a shady path lined with metasequoia trees reaching the sky, and multiple paths crisscrossing a field of eulalia, or silver grass. In autumn every year, Seoul Eulalia Festival is held at the top of the park to highlight the magnificent field scenery. Walk among the dancing silver grass to feel autumn at its fullest.
Seoul Fortress Wall Trail is a popular tourist destination in Seoul to take in Seoul’s natural and historical beauty. The trail follows the outlines of the city as it was during the Joseon Dynasty. The Naksan Park section and Bugaksan Mountain section in particular are easy for all visitors to enjoy. The Naksan Park section is especially beautiful at night, with the houses in the village below glowing. It is also close to Daehangno Street, the center of performing arts culture in Korea. The Bugaksan Mountain section is a popular walking course because of the old fortress road and the view of Seoul beyond. Sightseers in fall can enjoy the twin visual pleasures of the city to one side and the bright foliage to the other. When visiting the fortress wall at Bugaksan Mountain, make sure to bring proper identification (resident registration card, driver's license, or passport) as this area is under military control. Also note that photos can only be taken where officially permitted.
Seoul Forest boasts beautiful autumn scenery, with trees in vibrant shades of red and gold. The forest is largely separated into the four areas of a culture & arts park, educational experience park, eco-forest park, and riverside park. It is a great place for getting a breath of fresh air within the city and many people enjoy relaxing on the large grassy plaza in the middle of the park. If you walk all the way to the far end of the park, you can reach the spotted deer enclosure! Continue walking towards the Hangang River to arrive at Cloud Bridge. This beautiful observation point provides fantastic views of the forest in autumn and the river at sunset.
Nestled in the foothills of Gwanaksan Mountain, Seoul National University is renowned for its beautiful campus. One of the best universities in the country, the campus is expansive and includes both tree-lined roads and large grassy plazas. The road between the dormitory and the art museum is notably lined with a wide variety of trees and flowers. Museum of Art, Seoul National University, which was designed by world-renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, is also a must-visit site. After enjoying the autumn scenery, visitors should also take a moment to stop at Sharosu-gil Street, just in front of the main gate of campus. This road is a hot place to hang out, with restaurants, dessert shops, and pubs with food and drink from countries all over the world.
* This column was last updated in October 2017, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details from the official websites before visiting.