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Enjoy spring in Seoul

Signs of spring are budding across the country, with the southern cities already seeing the forsythia bloom in mid-March.

Seoul is also expected to see the spring flowers bloom from around March 24, according to weather service provider Kweather.

While a cold snap that is expected to last until this weekend may delay the arrival of spring, anticipation of milder temperatures and warmer breeze are expected to invite more Seoulites and visitors to venture outdoors in the coming weeks.

Starting in April, a wide array of festivals and events are in store in the capital to celebrate the new season. The Korea Herald has made a list of recommended spots to visit.

Mount Namsan

In mid-April, forsythia, azaleas and cherry blossoms make for a magnificent view as they blend with each other on the side of the mountain. Riding a cable car that ascends to the peak is a good way to view the springtime in Seoul. Close to N-tower, which sits at the top of the mountain, a traditional hanok restaurant Mokmyuysanbang offers Korean dishes such as bimbimbap and dumpling soup.

Gaehwasan Mountain Cherry Blossom Festival

Hosted by Gangseo-gu district office, this year’s cherry blossom festival on Mount Gaehwasan will be held on April 23. A variety of activities related to flowers, including writing a flower card, a flower concert, flower face painting will be put on for visitors.

Yeouido Spring Flower Festival

One of the most famous flower festivals in Seoul takes place for a week every April, when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. Yunjung-ro is the street located behind the National Assembly Building, where more than a thousand cherry trees are lined up along a 1.5-kilometer stretch. This year’s festival will be open from April 4 to April 10.

West Lake Park

When strolling down the paths along the lake, huge cherry trees by the water welcome visitors. Located by Gimpo International Airport, the water in the fountain at the lake trembles as the nearby airplanes take off, setting off the fountain’s automatic music function.

Geumcheon-gu Cherry Blossom Road

On a four-lane road in northeastern Seoul’s Geumcheon-gu, you can see a cornucopia of cherry blossom trees. Along the 3-kilometer-long road, drivers often feel they are driving through a flower tunnel.

Seoul National Cemetery

Not many casual passersby notice the road leading to the West gate of the Seoul National Cemetery. Its view is hidden by the flowers of weeping cherry trees. The weeping cherry trees signify “loyalty of people of national merit” in the language of flowers.

Eungbongsan Mountain Forsythia Festival

This year’s forsythia festival on Mount Eungbongsan will be held from April 1-3. Activities such as music concerts, bouldering and sketch contests have drawn hordes of visitors each year during the festival, when the entire mountain comes to life with yellow forsythia flowers.

Seoul Forest

Seoul Forest, Seoul’s main ecological park, is located near Ttukseom Island with 85,000 square meters of nature, including an insect garden and eco learning center. The area is frequently visited by families, especially in springtime.

Seokchon Lake

Already crowded with visitors to the Lotte World theme park and its associated malls, the driveway along Seokchon Lake offers a magnificent sight during its cherry blossom festival in April, as the colorful trees create a beautiful scene.

Children’s Grand Park

Located in northwestern Seoul over 530,000 square meters of green space, Children’s Grand Park offers families a fun experience, with a zoo, botanical garden and flower park. Decades-old flower trees in the park are must-sees at which people line up to take photos.

Jungnangcheon Stream

One of the best-known roads for spring flowers, Jungnangcheon Stream boasts various types of flowers such as roses, canola and Russian irises. Traveling along the stream by bike or car provides a relaxing view of flowers and the flowing water.

Jungnang Camping Forest

Before it was made into a campsite, the area used to be a pear orchard and still has some trees. Fully equipped with a spa, public showers and toilets, a night at the spring park is a popular option among city-dwelling campers in spring and summer.

Dream Forest Park

The first thing you will notice in the park are the big cherry blossom trees that line the road. But what attracts even more visitors are the restaurants and picnic areas located inside the forest park, where couples and families can enjoy a romantic ambience under blossom-laden trees.

Samcheong Park

Located near a Hanok village and cafe area popular with tourists, Samcheong Park is usually quiet despite its location in the middle of the city. Bamboo, cherry blossoms and plum trees create a scenic view here, attracting locals as well as foreign visitors.

By Kim Da-sol (