‘Social distancing’ – it’s the key phrase of the season. It’s also making everyone a little uncomfortable to go out exploring for fear of either being vilified or catching the virus. At the same time, spring has finally sprung here in Seoul, and as such all the beautiful blossoms are teasing us with their beautiful pinks and whites. It’s hard to stay inside when the weather is so nice, but it’s equally tricky to find a place to see the blossoms in this city of 15 million people that isn’t heaving with people. So, I’ve done my best to put together a list of a the best places for seeing the Seoul cherry blossoms and being able to maintain the rules of social distancing.
Socially-distanced cherry blossoms in Seoul
1. Soongsil University Seodal-Ro
It’s a sight you see in all the Japanese anime movies and TV shows – that springtime street totally lined with cherry blossom trees, dropping their petals which blow away on the wind like snow, or butterflies. You can find this street on the hill directly behind the Soongsil University campus, and you won’t be disappointed. Cherry trees stand on both sides of the road and create white archways of flowers– beautiful photo opportunities too.
How to get there: Soongsil Univ. station (line 9), exit 3. Turn around and walk up the hill, and turn left opposite the 7Eleven.
2. Bulgwangcheon (Bulgwang Stream)
Talk about off the beaten track – this area in the northwest of Seoul is nearly entirely residential…and beautiful in spring. The Bulgwangcheon is one of several offshoots of the Han river, and stretches north through Mapo district and straight through the middle of Eunpyeong district. At this time of year, you can see the cherry blossom trees in full bloom along the pathways next to the stream. Take a walk and enjoy the sight, or hire a bike and feel the wind as you ride under the clouds of white petals.
How to get there: Jeungsan station (line 6), exit 2.
3. Dalmasa (Dalma Temple)
This small, fairly unknown temple sits on top of Seodalsan (Mount Seodal), south of the Han river at the southernmost point where it dips down and around Namsan. As well as offering stunning views up the river in both directions, Dalmasa is also abloom with cherry and plum trees in the springtime. White and pink blossoms dust the edges of the temple, and can be seen across the city from a distance when stood on the upper decks of the temple’s complex.
How to get there: Nakseongdae station (line 2), exit 5. Take village bus 동작14 to Dalmasa stop.
4. Jungangcheon (Jungang Stream)
Yes, it’s another fairly unfrequented stream, but this time it’s in the northeast of Seoul. Just like the Bulgwang stream, the Jungang stream is lined with trees that show off all their flowers in the springtime. In this area, most people will head to Seoul Forest to see the trees, but we recommend skipping the crowds and instead visiting the stream, whose blooms are just as beautiful as those of the forest.
How to get there: Janghanpyeong station (line 5), exit 4. Walk straight out of the station until you get to the stream. Turn left onto the stream and walk north.
5. Nanji Han River Park
I’ll admit that I wasn’t the person to discover this spot. Rather, Hallie of The Soul of Seoul posted this location on her Instagram story and I needed to include it in this list because it looked so beautiful. Nanji Han River Park, located even further west than the ever-popular Sky Park, boasts wide open spaces, green grass, and its very own avenue of cherry trees with a view straight down to the Han River. Perfect for enjoying both the river and the pink-white flowers under the clear blue spring skies and sunshine.
How to get there: World Cup Stadium station (line 6), exit 1, 2 or 3. Walk through the World Cup Stadium grounds and past Sky Park.
Honourable Gyeonggi-do mentions
Of course, if you’re staying in Seoul it would be difficult to really avoid the crowds, so if you’re a person of patience or just determined to see as many flowers as you can, you can even head just outside of the city to find the blooms you’re searching for.
Suwon’s Café Street
Spy the beautiful flowers while sipping on a drink from one of the cafés on Suwon’s popular café street. Lining a pedestrian walkway next to a calm stream, this is one of our most peaceful recommendations yet.
How to get there: Take inter-city bus 3007 to Gwanggyo Historical Park/Gwanggyo Cafe Street stop. Cross the road.
Seongnam’s Tancheon (Tan Stream)
This town just south of Seoul isn’t all that known for anything in particular, but that doesn’t mean its blooming trees aren’t worth the visit. The Tancheon in Seongnam has its own beautiful blooms just like Seoul’s streams, and even fewer crowds.
How to get there: Take inter-city bus 9408 to Yeosu Grand Church. Turn right onto the Tan Stream and walk south.
Stay safe this spring by finding the best blossom off the beaten path, in Seoul and beyond. Find all our recommendations on our Google Map below, and tag us in your photos on Instagram or Facebook at @whatshanyourmind so we can see you enjoying springtime in these beautiful locations!