Seoul translates to “capital” in Korean and has appropriately been the capital of South Korea since 1394. However, throughout the years it has known many names. From 1392-1910, it was called Hanseong under the Chosŏn dynasty, and then changed to Gyeongseong during the Japanese rule from 1910-1948. Since the end the Korean war in 1953, Seoul has expanded rapidly and has grown into the metropolitan hub that is today.
The Best Seasons and Festivals in Seoul, South Korea
Spring is the best time of year to visit Seoul, which falls from April to June. The cherry blossoms are in bloom and the entire city starts to wake up from the long winter. This is also the time of year for many food and music festivals, which symbolize the start of farming and safe fishing throughout the warm months.
Summer tends to be a popular time for tourists, despite the hot temperatures and impending monsoon. More than half of the country's annual rain falls in July and August, which means your activities could be limited to indoor museums and restaurants. The summer months also mean an increase in hotel prices, as rooms fill up quickly to meet the demand.
Fall is also a wonderful time to visit Seoul, from September to November. The temperatures have dropped from the summer, and most of the rain has subsided. Like the Spring, many towns like to throw festivals in the fall to celebrate the end of summer, and enjoy the outdoors before winter. Among them is the Hanseong Baekje Cultural Festival in October. This festival remembers the ancient history of Seoul, from 18 BC to 475 AD with elaborate costumes, performances, and informational tours of historic sites from that time. If you're travelling to Korea for a crash course in 2,000 years of history, this festival can't be missed.
Fall and winter are the best months to find hotel deals in Seoul, South Korea. If you enjoy the cold, try the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival, which draws 1,000,000 visitors each year. From late January to early February, revelers celebrate the snow with ice sledding, ice fishing, and even ice soccer.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Seoul, South Korea:
Seoul, South Korea: Prices by Star Rating Class
Below are 3 charts illustrating avg. nightly cost trends by star rating class in Seoul, South Korea. Browse these illustrations to calculate the most cost effective dates to stay in Seoul for upcoming travels.
Luxury Hotel Options in Seoul, South Korea
4 Star Average Prices: $104.49
For the luxury traveler, there are several hotel options in Seoul, South Korea. The Conrad Seoul is located on the other side of the Han river from downtown, but is just a train ride away from many main attractions. The Conrad has a 24-hour health club and a full-service spa and hair salon. This hotel is known for its sauna and indoor pool, for travelers who like to swim laps regardless of the weather.
The Casaville Serviced Residence Shinchon creates a more homey feel with refrigerators, microwaves, and kitchenettes in the rooms. If you're planning to stay in Seoul for several days, but don't feel like eating out all of the time, this can be useful for cooking or storing food. The closest landmark to Casaville Serviced Residence Shinchon is Yonsei University, but a quick train ride can take you into the center of downtown Seoul.
For the height of luxury, try the Ritz-Carlton of Seoul. While this hotel is ideal for business travelers, it can also accommodate families with kids. Its closest landmark is Bongeunsa, a Buddhist temple built in 794. Guests in this hotel won't want for amenities, as the Ritz Carlton offers babysitting services, fitness facilities, a hair salon, and town car service. Guests at this hotel see Seoul in style.
Affordable Hotel Options in Seoul, South Korea
3 Star Average Prices: $94.33
Believe it or not, it's easy to find nice hotel accommodation in the center of Seoul for less than $100/night! The Hotel Aropa is walking distance from the Namdaemun Market and the Deoksugung Palace, which means you can stroll past these iconic landmarks and see them in the evening when they're less crowded. This hotel has a multilingual staff to help answer any questions, and has free Wi-Fi and wired high-speed Internet.
The Doulos Hotel can be found near the city center by Jongmyo Temple and Tapgol Park, and meets at the crossroads of three major train lines. This is ideal for visitors who plan to make their hotel a home base and then travel all over the city and the surrounding areas during their stay. Known for its friendly staff, The Duolos Hotel also offers free Wi-Fi and newspapers in the lobby. Breakfast at The Duolos Hotel is about $8 for adults, and $7 for kids, making it a great place to fill up on a budget before heading out for the day.