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South Korea is geographically categorized as a mid-latitude country, and thus it shows a temperate climate. Four distinct seasons appear in South Korea.
During the winter season, the temperature often falls below zero and very dry. On the other hand, the country becomes very hot and humid in the summer. In between these two seasons, Spring and Autumn have clear blue sky and are usually dry.
The annual temperature difference is over 40 degrees in Celcius. The temperature drops drastically at night too. Due to this ever-changing climate change, many foreign tourists would feel lost when they pack for their trip to Korea.
So, Creatrip editors came up with this post. We will give you a complete guide on what to bring and how to wear in South Korea.
Take note, guys, and gals! We will make your packing flawless!
Korean Weather：1. Spring and Summer Coordination
- Months：March, April, May
- Average Temperature：0 to 22 degrees in Celcius
After the last snow in South Korea, it was almost just about to enter the spring until it melted snow. Seoul is cold for a long time, and it is only after mid-April that the coat can be abandoned. At the end of May, the coat can be completely collected. Therefore, this period of time is actually the most tricky time. It is not too cold to be cold, it is hot, but it is not the heat of summer.
Take the year of 2018 as an example. The hottest day in March was around 12 degrees in Celcius, but the temperature dropped to one or two degrees in Celcius at night.
In April, the temperature in Seoul quickly dropped due to occasional rain (and even snow!). Therefore, you need to dress warm in March and April in South Korea. You do not need to fully dress up in winter clothes. Wear many layers to keep your body warm. In May, you can start wearing a short-sleeved shirt, but the temperature difference between day and night is still huge. Wear a thin coat or cardigan over the short sleeve T-shirt.
# Korean Weather
#Korean Spring Clothes
#Long Sleeves #Long pants #Outer
When you come to Korea in March and April, you don't have to wear a thick winter coat to keep your body warm.
The necessary clothing items would be clothes with long sleeves, thick trousers, warm layers, and jackets. If you wonder what would Koreans wear in March and April, take a look! During spring, the temperature in South Korea is around 10∼15℃. Therefore, Koreans tend to wear many layers instead of wearing a thick outer. (Russian tourists may only wear a short sleeve t-shirt in Korea in spring. )
The indicated photos above show how people usually dress up in March. These photos were taken in Myeong-dong and Hongdae. You can see that people are not wearing heavy outers. Instead, they are wearing thin cotton coats, cardigans, or long-sleeved jacket.
The cherry blossoms season in Seoul starts in early April. In Busan, the cherry blossom festival starts around the end of March. However, it is still a bit difficult to use estimated dates to predict the starting dates of Spring in Korea. In April 2018, it snowed suddenly in Seoul and scared many people. In addition, you have to expect frequent rain showers in March and April. The temperature usually drops dramatically after the shower.
#Korean Spring Clothes
#May #Spring #Long Sleeves #Long pants #Outer
The Spring season officially starts in May in Korea. The weather is not as cold as in March or April, but the temperature difference between day and night is still large.
However, you can put the winter coats aside. If you wear them at this time of the year, Koreans might stare at you. For them, the average temperature is moderate in May. Some tourists coming from tropical countries may still want to wear long sleeves. Wear many layers - wear a short sleeve t-shirt under a thin coat. In that way, you can adjust your clothing according to the temperature.
The temperature difference is still large until the end of April and early May. Long sleeves and short sleeves can be worn alternately depending on your preference.
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Korean Weather：2. Summer Coordination
- Months：June, July, August, September
- Average Temperature：22 to 38 degrees in Celcius
After May, the average temperature gradually rises in South Korea. Around this time of the year is the best season to travel Korea (weather wise).
Summer starts from mid- to late June. The rainy season starts in July. After the heavy rainy season, the hot summer heat takes over South Korea. In 2018, South Korea entered the rainy season in late June.
Friends who plan to visit Korea around this time of the year must remember to bring an umbrella and sandals. It won't be easy to dry clothes and sneakers.
Around the mid-July, South Korea enters the "Haji" season according to the traditional solar calendar. Haji is the hottest season of the year.
Take 2018 as an example. The first hot temperature was observed on July 17, the second was on July 27, and the last on the end of August 16 to August 25. On the day of Boknal, Koreans eat the traditional ginseng chicken soup to ameliorate the heat.
#Korean Summer Clothes
#June #July #August #Outer #Shorts
South Korea in June isn't too bad. Before the rainy season starts, you can still wear thin coats and long pants even in Busan. But after the rainy season, You won't be able to wear outers because it gets too humid and hot.
The summer in Korea before and after the rainy season is very different. Before mid-July, the temperature is pretty moderate (Similar to Taiwan). You won't sweat much because the humidity isn't too high. You will experience an acceptable temperature range.
After the rainy season, both the average temperature and humidity goes up dramatically. I even think South Korea gets even hotter than Taiwan around this time of the year. In summer 2018, the national record for the highest annual temperature was broken for the first time in 111 years. The temperature in Seoul was as high as 39 degrees and the highest average temperature was over 47 degrees.
You will sweat even if you wear sleeveless and shorts when you are out. This level of heat was an absurd phenomenon even to many Koreans. I blame the global warming.
July and August are probably the most painful months to endure in South Korea. The beaches during the weekends and vacation are filled with thousands of people. Also, people will hide indoors - locking up themselves in their house with a full A/C on or go shopping in shopping malls or department stores. For those who are afraid of heat, wear short-sleeved (sleeveless) and shorts. Make sure you are protected from the UV sun rays. We rarely get cloudy weather in summer, so expect a sunny day almost every other day.
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Korean Weather：3. Fall Coordination
- Months：September, October, and November
- Average Temperature：3 to 25 degrees in Celcius
South Korea's fall is similar to spring. In September, you will experience a very large temperature difference between day and night. During the day time, the temperature is nearly 30 degrees while at night it drops to about 15 degrees. Therefore, I would recommend you to wear many layers. As I've already suggested for the spring coordination, wear the thin cotton coat on top of the long sleeves shirt. If you are not afraid of cold, you can wear a lighter outfit.
From October, the average temperature would fall dramatically until the mid-November. The highest temperature is about 10 degrees, while the lowest temperature becomes below zero. Basically, don't worry too much about the weather in Fall. Both the humidity and temperature level drops, so you can travel without many constraints. Keep yourself warm to avoid catching a cold. Wearing a light knit sweaters with a thin trench coat would make great coordination for this season.
According to my past experience, the deciduous leaves start to fall from late October. The peak season for watching deciduous leaves starts from the end of October and lasts until mid-November in Seoul. At this time, the temperature gets cold but the humidity level remains very dry. You can travel to Korea more comfortably.
#Korean Autumn Clothes
#September #October #Early Winter #Outer #Long Sleeves
The autumn in Korea is a comfortable season for traveling. The season starts from September. In mid-October, you will need long-sleeved shirts, long trousers (When the temperature is high, you can even wear shorts in September), and a jacket to go out. It's not sweaty hot, but a bit cool. It’s a bit colder in mornings and evenings.
However, this time of the year is very easy to catch a cold, and many people fall sick because of the flu. Those who are visiting Korea should pack many layers when they are traveling September and October.
#Korean Autumn Clothes
#November #Autumn #Outer #Long Sleeves #Coats
After mid-October, the average temperature drops very quickly. In November, the ginko and maple leaves start to fall. It is common for the temperature to drop to 0 degrees at night.
The beginning of November marks the end of the autumn in Korea. The temperature falls below zero degrees in celcius. The weather is mostly sunny and the climate is still dry and mild. It does not normally get too cold and windy. However, you should apply moisturizer to hydrate your skin.
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Korean Weather：4. Winter Coordination
- Months：December, January, February
- Average Temperature：-15 to 5 degrees in Celcius
Usually, South Korea has the first snow in Seoul from the end of November and early December. However, due to the global warming and extreme weather changes, the estimated date for first snow is getting more uncertain these days. In 2018, Seoul experienced the first snow in early November, which was very unusual.
After South Korea in mid-October, the temperature will plummet to below zero. The weather changes from cold to freezing until December. The beautiful ginkgo, maple leaves also fall. The night temperature easily reaches 0 degrees. By the end of November, you have to wear thick winter jackets to keep your body insulated.
#Korean Autumn Clothes
#December #Winter Outer #First Snow #Windproof Jacket
From the Beginning of December, the chance of having first snow increases dramatically in Korea. By the end of the month, the temperature in the country will definitely fall below zero. If the humidity level is low and the climate is dry, there will be less chance of heavy snow. South Korean Winter is extremely dry, so you have to apply moisturizer on your skin at all times to avoid the skin from chapping. I would highly recommend you to bring moisturizer to Korea when you have plans to travel in December.
#Korean Winter Clothes
#January #February #Severe Winter Weather
#Thick Winter Clothing
January and February are the snowy seasons, and there is a high chance to experience heavy snowfall in Seoul around this time of the year. However, the southern cities have a slimmer chance to see heavy snowfalls. It does not snow very often in Busan, but the humidity level is very dry and cold. Although Busan does not get freezing cold compared to Seoul, the average winter temperature would still be lower than Taiwan. Wear heavy clothing (heavy duty duck down jackets) when you come to Korea in January and February.
When you are traveling in Korea during winter, please make sure to wear a long heavy duty windproof jacket. Make sure you cover your hands, neck, and face to avoid chapping. I would suggest you use face masks, scarves, and gloves. Otherwise, your skin will become painfully dry.
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South Korea Weather：5. South Korea's Average Temperature Throughout the year
- 27 degrees or higher (July and August ): sleeveless shirts, short sleeves, shorts, sun protection, sunshade, and mini electric fan
- 17 degrees to 27 degrees (May, June, and September): short sleeves, and thin cotton coats
- 9 degrees to 17 degrees (April, October): long sleeves shirts, trousers, thin cotton coats, and thin jackets
- 5 degrees to 9 degrees (March, April (in the evenings), and November): thermal clothes, long sleeve shirts, trousers, jackets, and coats
- 5 degrees below zero (November (in the evenings), December to February): Warm winter clothes, and moisturizer
#Korean Summer Clothing
#27 Degrees or Higher #Hot Summer
South Korea in July and August is extremely humid and hot. Often, the temperature skyrockets and hit 30 degrees in Celcius. The humidity is also very high. You must drink a lot of water and make sure you don't get dehydrated. Take a proper rest and stay indoor when the temperature goes above 30 degrees in Celcius. Also, don't forget to apply sunscreen at all times!
#Korean Early Summer Clothing
#17 to 27 degrees
Around this time of the year, the temperature is very moderate. This season is great for visiting Korea. There are all kinds of clothes that you can wear. Wear many layers so that you can adjust to the sudden temperature drop. Pay attention to the day and night temperature difference to avoid getting sick. Especially in September, wear a thin jacket to avoid the cold at night.
#Korean Clothing Weather
#Korean Autumn Season Clothing
#9 to 17 degrees
The autumn in South Korea is a bit cold compared to Taiwan or other tropical countries. However, Koreans love autumn. However, it is recommended for those who come to Korea during this season to wear a thin long sleeve shirt with a light jacket. Pay attention to the upper body and keep yourself warm at all times. At the same time, we must also pay attention to the temperature difference between the day and night. When you visit Korea in September and October, you will be able to see many off-season sales on the summer items. Check the brand-specific promotions.
#Korean Weather Clothing
#Korean Spring and Autumn Clothing
#5 degrees to 9 degrees #Cool Temperature
Koreans usually wear a light cotton jacket with a sweater around this time of the year. People who are more sensitive to the cold temperature, wear heavy coats while you are in Korea.
#Korean Weather Clothing
#Korean Spring and Autumn Clothing
#5 degrees or below #Cold
#December #January #February
Around this time of the year, you have to gear yourself up to fend off the brutal blizzard, freezing wind, and extreme dryness. Everyone please remember these three points. It is very simple to deal with the winter in Korea if you are aware of these three points!
Basic Clothing Guidelines：warm clothes, long sleeves or sweaters, heavy wool coats, duck down jackets
- Moisturizers：pay attention to the extreme dryness. You might get nose bleeding or skin chapping. Make sure you apply a sufficient amount of moisturizer on your face and hands at all times.
- Non-slip shoes (snow boots)：You can wear sneakers if it does not snow in Korea. Do not wear dress shoes when the weather condition isn't good. You might fall due to the icing on the streets.
- Other Accessories：heat pockets, masks, hats, scarves, etc.
The above post contained a general overview of the seasonal weather changes in South Korea throughout the year. Creatrip provided information regarding how to wear proper clothing in each season. Make sure you read this post before you start packing for your trip to Korea. It will save a lot of trials and errors. If you want to dress well for winter, consider buying a high-quality duck down jacket in Korea. Wearing a long duck down jacket became a thing among the Korean youngsters.
I will see you in my next post!
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