Cherry Blossoms in South Korea
Experience the explosion of colour during South Korea's cherry blossom season
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At a glance
Enjoy the colours of spring as South Korea‘s cherry blossoms explode into clouds of pink and white. This six-day adventure takes in Seoul, Gyeongju and Busan with plenty of opportunities to discover the local culture and take in the magnificent floral displays.
You’ll start with three nights in the capital, exploring the Changdeokgung Palace and Secret Garden, cruising along the Han River and enjoying the Yeouido Spring Flower Festival where the cherry trees and azaleas are in full bloom. Your next stop is Gyeongju, a city full of beautiful temples and monuments. Visit the Buddhist temple of Bulguksa as well as the Daereungwon tomb complex, home to ancient tombs of kings and noblemen of the Silla Kingdom.
The final stop is Busan, South Korea‘s second-most populous city. Marvel at the beautiful cherry blossoms in Jinhae and head out to Gamcheon culture village, filled with brightly coloured houses and streets decorated with murals and sculptures.
Example Trip Itinerary
Private transfer to your hotel in Seoul
Accommodation in Seoul
- 185 guestrooms including 38 suites
- Three restaurants
- 24th floor infinity pool
- Spa & Fitness Centre
In Seoul’s exclusive Gangnam District, the Park Hyatt’s towering glass structure encloses a thoroughly modern and understatedly elegant city hotel. It has an unmistakably Korean soul, littered as it is with select Korean antiques and works by local artists. There are a grand total of 185 guestrooms including 38 suites, the generous space maximised by the floor to ceiling windows and incredible city views in every room. Bathrooms don’t scrimp on size either with deep soaking baths and a rain shower. A particular highlight of the hotel is the 24th floor infinity pool with expansive vistas best at sunset. There’s also a modern fitness studio and spa. The Park Hyatt Seoul has three dining options; Cornerstone, an open kitchen restaurant specializing in grilled meats and seafood prepared in wood-burning ovens, the 24th floor Lounge’s Korean dishes and light snacks, and the Timber House, with its three bars (Sake/Soju/Sushi, Whisky and Cocktails) and exquisite Japanese cuisine.
- 317 rooms
- Seven restaurants and bars
- Swimming pool
- Golf simulator
Located in the heart of Seoul, the Four Seasons is a luxury five-star hotel perfectly positioned to allow guests to soak up the energy of this vibrant city. The hotel decor is a mix of old and new. Its 317 rooms and suites combine classic Korean motifs with a clean, modern aesthetic. Floor-to-ceiling windows ensure rooms are filled with natual light, and offer incredible views out over the city towards the mountains in the distance. Eating and drinking at the hotel is a real treat, with seven restaurants and bars to choose from. Enjoy sushi and Japanese sharing plates at Kioku, Italian cuisine served straight from the open kitchen of Boccalino, Korean favourites at Maru, or Cantonese at the Michelin-starred Yu Yuan. Indulge in a treatment in the spa, unwind in the Korean sauna, work out in the gym or take a dip in the indoor swimming pool. There is also a golf simulator where five 3D screens display courses from around the world and state-of-the-art technology means you can analyse swing and posture without having to step foot outside.
- 434 rooms and suites
- Four restaurants
- Executive lounge and bars
- Indoor swimming pool
- 24-hour fitness centre
The Conrad Seoul is located on Yeouido Island in the heart of the Yeouido Business District. This is a comfortable, modern hotel with great facilities and is the perfect base from which to explore the city. There are 434 rooms and suites, sleek and elegant in design, and with separate bath tubs and rain showers in the bathroom. Many offer wonderful views over the Han river and Seoul’s skyline. Dining at the Conrad is a real treat. The signature restaurant, the 37 Grill & Bar is a sophisticated space located on the 37th floor offering 180-degree city and river vistas. Zest is the hotel’s all-day dining spot where you can enjoy Mediterranean cuisine, Asian wok dishes and Korean favourites. For a taste of Italy, head to Atrio decked out with designer lighting and elegant sculptures and featuring a traditional pizza oven and an antipasti counter. There is also a noodle bar for more casual dining as well as a couple of bars for a pre-dinner cockail. The Conrad features a heated indoor swimming pool as well as a 24-hour gym and a spa where guests can unwind in the sauna and steam room before indulging in a treatment.
- 336 rooms and suites
- Four restaurants
- Swimming pool
- Fitness centre
- Art centre
Set in the heart of culturally rich Seoul, this stylish hotel is the perfect place to call home while exploring the city. From here, it’s just a short trip to see some of the capital’s most important historic sites. There are 336 rooms and suites to choose from, all decorated in soothing tones with European design elements. The interiors have been conceptualised by David Collins Studio. The idea was to invoke a vintage mid-century atmosphere using gentle hues of lavender, blue and green. This sets it apart from other hotels which tend to focus instead on creating an American-inspired aesthetic. When it comes to dining, there are several options to suit your mood and tastes. Enjoy European and Meditteranean flavours at Chef’s palette, or discover modern Korean cuisine at Elements where the menu is inspired by the four trigrams that appear on the Korean flag. Take a table on the outdoor terrace at Chef’s Grill where the finest ingredients are used to create flavourful European dishes, or for something lighter, pop into all-day cafe lounge Mid-Century which is known for its American brunch-inspired menu. The focus on art and design in the hotel’s interiors is carried through into the collection of 240 authentic artworks that adorn the walls and public spaces of the hotel, as well as M Contemporary, the hotel’s contemporary art centre. At Darphin Spa you can indulge your senses and unwind with a selection of unique treatments and massages. If you’re looking to get in some exercise without venturing outdoors, spend some time in the on-site fitness centre, or swim a few laps in the indoor pool.
South Korea’s capital and by far its largest city with a metropolitan area home to over half the country’s entire population, Seoul is one of East Asia’s major centres of culture and commerce. A contrasting mix of bleeding edge technology and tradition, an incredible work ethic and serene Buddhist temples, utterly unique youth subcultures and conformity, it is a truly fascinating city.
Bisected by the Han River into the northern historic ‘Gangbuk’ and modern southern ‘Gangnum’ halves, Seoul is further divided into 25 districts, known as gu, each with an area and population comparable to a small city. With these each having their own centre, the whole metropolis has no true core, much like Los Angeles. Thankfully getting around is easy as Seoul enjoys an incredibly comprehensive, modern and genuinely pleasant metro system.
Sites to see include five major palaces, numerous temples and many museums. Food lovers will be spoilt with delectable street food, busy markets and great restaurants while numerous and vast nightlife districts play host to one of the liveliest city scenes in the world. Getting out of town, the surrounding mountains reward hikers with spectacular city views.
Changdeokgung Palace was the second royal villa built following the construction of Gyeongbokgung Palace in 1405. It was the principal palace for many of the Joseon kings and is the most well-preserved of the five remaining royal Joseon palaces. The palace grounds are comprised of a public palace area, a royal family residence building, and the rear garden. Known as a place of rest for the kings, the rear garden boasts a gigantic tree that is over 300 years old, a small pond, and a pavilion. It is one of the historic attractions that represent the beauty of Korea.
The Yeouido Spring Flower Festival is held on Yeouiseo-ro Road in mid-April when the azaleas, forsythia, royal azaleas and other spring flowers are in full bloom. The celebration is famous for its 1,886 Korean cherry trees which are lit up at night with various coloured lights. There is also a great atmosphere and a wide range of street performances and art exhibitions taking place.
On this river cruise you will traverse the heart of Seoul from east to west. Take a break from the busy urban atmosphere and relax on board as you take in the views of this remarkable city.
Private transfer to Seoul station
KTX train to Gyeongju
Private transfer to your hotel in Gyeongju
Accommodation in Gyeongju
- 330 rooms
- Restaurants and bars
- Swimming pool
- Fitness room
- Jogging track
Hilton Gyeongju is located by Lake Bomun, surrounded by mountains but just 20 minutes from downtown. There are 330 rooms and suites, spacious and bright with large windows and marble bathrooms. Most come with a balcony overlooking the lake. Guests are spoiled for choice when it comes to eating and drinking with six restaurants and bars on site. Enjoy Italian cuisine at Da Vinci which overlooks the hotel gardens, sushi and Japanese cuisine at Genji, or Cantonese and Sichuan at Silkroad. There is also a cocktail lounge on the 9th floor, a lobby lounge and a poolside bar. When you’re not out exploring, take some time to enjoy the fitness room, swimming pool, jogging track and bikes that are available for guests to use.
Once the capital of the great Silla kingdom which ruled much of the Korean Peninsula between 57 BC and 935 AD, Gyeongju was at its height one of the largest cities on earth.
Known as ‘the museum without walls’, the city Gyeongju is strewn with historic temples, tombs, pagodas and statues. Some of the most notable remains are the 8th-century Bulguksa Temple and nearby Seokguram Grotto – the latter of which contains one of the finest Buddhist sculptures in the world – the earthen mound tombs in Tumuli Park and a number of preserved fortresses and palaces.
Built in the 8th century on the slopes of Mount Toham, Bulguksa is a Buddhist temple complex and UNESCO World Heritage Site which contains a number of Korea's most revered national treasures. The grounds are designed to represent the land of Budda with three areas – Birojeon (the Vairocana Buddha Hall), Daeungjeon (the Hall of Great Enlightenment) and Geungnakjeon (the Hall of Supreme Bliss) – along with stone terraces, bridges and pagodas which show the incredible masonry skills of the time.
Large ancient tombs of kings and noblemen of the Silla Kingdom can be seen around Gyeongju at the Daereungwon tomb complex. There are 23 large tombs located here, the most famous being Cheonmachong and Hwangnamdaechong.
Gyeongju Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond was the secondary palace site which was used by the crown prince. It also served as a banquet site for important national events and important visitors. After the fall of the Silla dynasty, the site was abandoned and forgotten. The pond was referred to as Anapji during the Goryeo and Joseon period. In the 1980s, pottery fragment with letters Wolji (a pond that reflects the moon) carved onto it was found, revealing the true name of the pond. After the discovery, the site was renamed to the current Donggung Palace and
Bomun Lake is a manmade lake built on the site of an old fortress in Mount Myeonghwalsan in the east of Gyeongju. Unlike other cities or towns where cherry trees are only found in certain areas, Gyeongju is packed with cherry blossoms. When spring arrives, the whole cityscape turns pink with the beautiful blossoms. The combination of the stunning trees reflected in the waters of Bomunho Lake and the trees of Bulguksa Park gracefully adorning the nearby temple make for particularly stunning sights. When the light breeze blows, cherry blossoms gentle flutter down like satin snow flakes.
Private transfer to Busan
Accommodation in Busan
Park Hyatt Busan is located in the heart of the city’s upmarket shopping and beach district and has everything you need for a luxurious, five-star stay. The hotel is deigned to look like a wave, fitting given its position on the tip of the Korean Peninsula. Inside are 269 rooms and suites with floor-to-ceiling windows that look out over the ocean and the Gwangan Bridge. Blonde wood and a neutral colour scheme create a light and calm space. The Dining Room is the hotel’s grill and sushi restaurant, while the Living Room offers modern French cuisine. There is also a patisserie offering a selection of delicious sweet treats, as well as a lounge on the 30th floor where you can drink in the incredible cityscape views. For unwinding, there is an indoor swimming pool, sauna, spa, fitness room and golf simulator.
Busan is South Korea's second-most populous city after Seoul, and is the economic and cultural centre of southeastern Korea. Its port is among the world's busiest and this energy can be found on its streets where gleaming high-rises fill the gaps between green mountains and the beach while elegant bridges span across the sea. There's an energetic restaurant and nightlife scene, thronging fish markets and some scenic hikes, it is a fascinating city where you can see many sides of modern Korean life.
Jinhae Gunhangje is held in the area of Jungwon Rotary and downtown Jinhae and here you can marvel at the beautiful cherry blossoms.
Gamcheon is a beautiful village of brightly coloured houses built in staircase-fashion on the foothills of a coastal mountain. The many alleys cutting through this community are vibrantly decorated with murals and sculptures created by the residents, among which you can find a small museum, art shops, tea rooms and workshops.
Private transfer to Busan airport
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Cherry Blossoms in South Korea
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