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South Korea in May: Weather, Events, and What Else to Expect on Your Trip

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south korea in may

May is one of the best times to visit South Korea, offering mild weather, vibrant festivals, and breathtaking natural beauty.

As spring transitions to early summer, the country is adorned with blooming flowers and lush greenery. Whether you’re exploring bustling cities, ancient temples, or picturesque landscapes, South Korea in May promises an unforgettable experience. 

In this guide, we’ll explore what you can expect from South Korea in May, including weather patterns, activities, events, and culinary delights.

Chapter Trail

Weather: Warm and Pleasant

Ulsan, South Korea
Photo by Nikki Son on Unsplash

May in South Korea is characterized by warm and pleasant weather, making it an ideal time for travel. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Seoul: Temperatures range from 12°C to 24°C (54°F to 75°F), with plenty of sunshine and occasional light showers.
  • Busan: Temperatures range from 15°C to 23°C (59°F to 73°F), with a coastal breeze keeping the climate comfortable.
  • Jeju Island: Temperatures range from 15°C to 22°C (59°F to 72°F), making it perfect for outdoor activities and exploring the island’s natural beauty.

The weather is generally warm and sunny throughout the country, providing excellent conditions for sightseeing and outdoor adventures.

Why You Should Visit South Korea in May

tongyeong south korea
Photo by Suzi Kim on Unsplash
  • Ideal Weather: May’s mild temperatures and sunny days are perfect for exploring both urban and rural areas, making it one of the best months to visit South Korea.
  • Beautiful Blossoms: Experience the stunning beauty of spring flowers, including cherry blossoms, azaleas, and roses, as they bloom across the country.
  • Rich Cultural Experiences: Engage in traditional festivals, temple visits, and cultural performances that provide a deep insight into Korean heritage.
  • Outdoor Activities: Enjoy hiking, beach visits, and exploring natural landscapes with ideal weather conditions.
  • Delicious Cuisine: Savor fresh, seasonal ingredients and traditional Korean dishes that are both flavorful and satisfying.

What to Do and Expect in South Korea in May

Banghwasuryujeong Pavilion in Suwon
Photo by Jean-Pierre Tran on Unsplash
  • Explore Seoul: Visit iconic landmarks such as Gyeongbokgung Palace, Bukchon Hanok Village, and Namsan Seoul Tower. Stroll through the vibrant neighborhoods of Insadong and Myeongdong for shopping and dining.
  • Discover Busan: Relax on the beautiful beaches of Haeundae and Gwangalli, visit the colorful Gamcheon Culture Village, and explore the bustling Jagalchi Fish Market.
  • Hike in National Parks: May is perfect for hiking in South Korea’s national parks, such as Seoraksan, Bukhansan, and Jirisan. Enjoy the scenic trails, waterfalls, and stunning views.
  • Visit Jeju Island: Explore the unique landscapes of Jeju Island, including Hallasan National Park, Seongsan Ilchulbong (Sunrise Peak), and the Manjanggul Lava Tube. The island’s beaches and waterfalls are also must-see attractions.
  • Experience Traditional Culture: Attend a traditional tea ceremony, visit ancient temples like Bulguksa in Gyeongju, and explore historic sites such as the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) for a glimpse into Korea’s history.
  • Enjoy Spring Festivals: May is a festival-rich month, providing numerous opportunities to experience Korean culture and traditions.

Events and Festivals in South Korea in May

roses in korea
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  • Buddha’s Birthday: Celebrated on the eighth day of the fourth lunar month (usually in May), this festival features lantern parades, temple visits, and various cultural performances. The Jogyesa Temple in Seoul and the Bulguksa Temple in Gyeongju are popular spots to witness the celebrations.
  • Hampyeong Butterfly Festival: Held in Hampyeong, Jeollanam-do, this festival showcases beautiful butterfly exhibits, gardens, and various family-friendly activities.
  • Green Barley Festival: Held in Gochang, Jeollabuk-do, this festival celebrates the lush green barley fields with traditional music, dance performances, and local food.
  • Seoul Rose Festival: Taking place in the Jungnangcheon Stream area, this festival features stunning displays of roses in full bloom, live music, and cultural events.
  • Hadong Wild Tea Cultural Festival: Celebrated in Hadong, Gyeongsangnam-do, this festival highlights Korea’s traditional tea culture with tea ceremonies, tastings, and workshops.

Culinary Delights: Seasonal Treats

bibimbap
Photo by Vaishnav Chogale on Unsplash

May is an excellent time to enjoy the diverse and flavorful cuisine of South Korea. Here are some must-try dishes and seasonal delights:

  • Bibimbap: A mixed rice dish topped with vegetables, meat, a fried egg, and gochujang (red chili paste). It’s a nutritious and delicious meal perfect for any time of day.
  • Samgyeopsal: Grilled pork belly served with lettuce leaves, garlic, and ssamjang (a savory dipping sauce). It’s a popular dish for Korean BBQ.
  • Kimchi: A staple in Korean cuisine, kimchi is a fermented vegetable dish, typically made with cabbage and radishes. It’s spicy, tangy, and packed with flavor.
  • Naengmyeon: Cold buckwheat noodles served in a tangy broth or with a spicy sauce. It’s a refreshing dish, ideal for warmer weather.
  • Strawberries: May is peak strawberry season in South Korea, so be sure to enjoy fresh strawberries and strawberry-based desserts.
  • Makgeolli: A traditional Korean rice wine that is slightly sweet and tangy. It’s often enjoyed with savory pancakes (jeon) and other Korean snacks.

Check out Seoul Food: 5 Korean Delicacies That Will Blow Your Mind

Conclusion

korea picnic women outside summer
Photo by martin bennie on Unsplash

A trip to South Korea in May offers a perfect blend of cultural exploration, natural beauty, and delightful weather. Whether you’re exploring historic cities, hiking scenic trails, or indulging in delicious cuisine, this dynamic and captivating country provides an unforgettable travel experience. 

Plan your May getaway to South Korea and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality of this incredible destination.

Check out Baboo Travel’s free itinerary for your custom trip to South Korea:

Plan your next dream trip with one of our hand-picked, highly experienced, licensed, and insured Local In-destination Experts!

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