The shoulder seasons are the best times to book cheap flights to Seoul, since the extreme temperatures of summer and winter die down, and leave the land in lush colours and pleasant, sunny days. Bearable temperatures make it easy to explore the city without battling snow, or sweating in the sun.
In terms of weather, the best time to book a flight to Seoul is undoubtedly in autumn. The scorching summer heat simmers in September, and all through November the sunny days become cooler and much more pleasant. Autumn shades of red, yellow, and orange flood the trees, and welcome visitors to enjoy the brilliance of this season. If you visit Seoul during autumn, you can also attend the Seoul International Fireworks Festival, which takes place during October. This annual event showcases various performances, as well as the main spectacular fireworks display. In addition, the Seoul Festival to Showcase Leading Performing Arts takes place, which features performances from international groups, all linked to the year’s theme. The other shoulder period, spring, is also a lovely time to visit, as the ground thaws from the snowy winter months and gives way to beautiful blossoms.
Fewer travellers book flights to Seoul in the winter, when the weather is dry and cold. Between the months of December and February, temperatures stay pretty close to around freezing, but the under-floor heating (called ondol) keeps things toasty in most hotels. Snowy roofs and pretty architecture accented in white make memorable photo opportunities (as well as great conditions for skiing and snowboarding). If you can stand the cold, then take advantage of winter here, when it’s much easier to find cheap flights to Seoul. June and July mark Korea’s summer and are typically hot, humid and rainy, therefore, less people travel during this time. June can be quite nice, however, July is the start of the typhoon period.
When planning a trip to Seoul, prepare yourself for a city that bridges its chaotic parts with its most serene areas in a seamless fashion. Seoul’s buzzing atmosphere will thrill you with crowds of locals, whizzing public transportation and a bold kaleidoscope of cuisine that sizzle everywhere you walk. Busy people move in thatched patterns and tall buildings root themselves in the foundation of it all, watchful over a city constantly in flux.
Turn a corner and you’re in a Buddhist garden, celebrating silence and contemplating your destiny over a glassy reflection pool. This kind of extreme mirrors the severity of Seoul’s bold seasons. When visiting Seoul, you’ll see that everything here is to the max. If it’s hot, it’s scorching, if it’s quiet, it’s completely still, and if it’s busy, it’s jam packed. From the smell of searing meat on skinny wooden sticks, to the refined elegance of silk robes, and the militancy of national pride, Seoul’s heart beats louder and louder as the day goes on, and well into the night. Plan a holiday in Seoul to get caught in the unforgettable rhythm that secures this city’s whirling pace.
Seoul’s four seasons are extreme to say the least. Winter kicks off the year in a blustery, long freeze that coats the city in ice and snow. The air is dry, and temperatures are unforgiving, so if you book flights to Seoul during the cold spell between December and February, be sure to pack layers – and lots of them. Spring warms up a bit, happily welcoming the sun and leaving behind the frigid marathon. Summer sun scorches the sidewalks (and skin, so bring SPF!) and temperatures can rise up over 35 degrees. Autumn boasts bright foliage and more tolerable temperatures, and has long been known as the prettiest time to travel to Seoul.
Taxis are pretty much the way to go when you travel to Seoul, even though some drivers seem to be roller coaster operators. Regular taxis are easy for short trips around the city, especially because they are cheaper than the bus, and if you’re travelling with a few other people, it makes sense. Deluxe taxis (mobeom) are black with a yellow stripe. Very few drivers speak English, but there are easy-to-use interpretations services that help you connect with them. The system works by speaking to an interpreter through a phone in English, who then talks to the driver in Korean.
Subways are fast and cheap as well, as are buses. Most of them run from very early in the morning to midnight, and some even later. Route maps are available in English, although drivers mostly speak Korean.
Gimpo International Airport (GMP)