South Koreans pride themselves on their country’s very distinctive and beautiful four seasons. The country has a continental climate of very cold, dry winters and very humid, hot summers, with short, mild spring and autumn months in between.
Summers tend to be rainy at first with high humidity levels towards the middle of the season. Summer generally arrives suddenly in late June and ends in September. This season is marked by warm, moist winds from the Pacific. The monsoon season also begins in June and runs until July. While South Korea doesn't experience extreme monsoons like those in Southeast Asia, southern South Korea does experience a lot of rain during this time.
Autumn, from late September through to November, is spectacularly beautiful in the mountainous areas as leaves turn vivid shades of red, orange and gold. The season lasts longer for southern cities like Busan than it does in the north.
Starting in December, winters tend to be quite harsh, particularly as one moves further north. Temperatures drop to below freezing, with icy winds blowing across the country from Siberia. The north, especially in Seoul and in the mountains, experiences snowfall, while the milder south coast rarely does.
Spring occurs in late March and early April and is considered the most pleasant time to visit the country. As in neighbouring Japan, South Korea hosts cherry blossom festivals each spring. These blooms attract visitors from across the country.
Are you an expat living in South Korea?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to South Korea. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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