8 Ways to Celebrate Autumn in Seoul

Seoul, Korea

Brilliant autumn foliage in bursts of red and gold; cool and crisp blue-sky days, mesmerizing sunsets, and an abundance of seasonal bounty. It’s easy to see why autumn holds a special place in the heart of Koreans, and why many believe it’s the best time to discover Seoul. Situated at Kilometer Zero, the city’s geographic heart, Four Seasons Hotel Seoul is perfectly placed to connect guests to Seoul’s ancient palaces and majestic mountains capes, while local seasonal fruits such as apple, pear and persimmon grace the restaurant menus. With our in-the-know Concierges ready to help you plan your perfect break, here are eight ways to celebrate Autumn at Four Seasons Hotel Seoul:

1. Put Your Best Foot Forward

Whether you’re a seasoned walker or prefer a leisurely stroll, Seoul’s abundance of hiking trails offer something for everyone. Take it easy with a gentle walk up to Namsan Tower for panoramic city views and autumn shades of red, oranges and golds – don’t forget to add your "love lock" to the thousands of padlocks at the Tower. For a challenge, the hike up Seoul’s highest mountain Bukhansan rewards with a breath-taking vista, while the Bugaksan Mountain hiking path, recently reopened after 50 years, includes an observatory, mineral spring, and the remains of an ancient temple. Push yourself on the rocky peaks of Daedunsan Mountain – or jump on the cable car to capture stunning autumnal photos against the famous Cloud Bridge. Back at the Hotel, soothe weary limbs in our traditional Korean sauna, complete with cold, warm and hot baths, dry and wet sauna rooms, and beds for a restorative nap.

2. Explore Fairytale Forests

Escape the city bustle and savour contemplation under the trees in the gold and green-hued magic of Seoul’s Gingko Tree Forest. Spread over 113 hectares (280 acres), Seoul Forest Park offers a further peaceful escape – head to the park’s highest point, Hill of Wind, for mesmerizing autumn fields of silver grass. Refuel back at the Hotel with a range of dining options, from a creative Japanese-Korean fusion at Akira Back to the refined elegance of Cantonese restaurant Yu Yuan.

3. Enjoy Coffee with a View

You don’t need to be a hiker to enjoy glorious autumn foliage. Cafés with a view abound in Seoul, and one of the best is the 2nd-floor Cafe Smeltz in Gyeonggi-do. Huge windows frame the changing colours of the surrounding treetops, while the outdoor terrace offers a nature immersion. Throw in cool, minimalist interiors, beautiful cakes and light bites and you have a recipe for Instagram heaven. For off-the-beaten track treats, the hidden Inwangsan Chosochaekbang café is a thrilling place to soak up sundown and night views of Namsan. And if you’d rather not venture out, we can deliver the coffee direct to you in your room, where seasonal floor-to-ceiling cityscapes come as standard.

4. Savour the Seoul Skyline from a World Cup Park

Opened in 2002 to commemorate the 17th FIFA World Cup, Haneul Park on the picturesque Han River offers lookout points and photo opportunities galore. Dip your toes in a stream; meander down peaceful cycle paths on rental bikes; and marvel at the tall eulalia grasses waving in seasonal breezes – a sight to behold on a fall afternoon.

5. Step Back in Time

Journey back into Seoul’s enthralling past. Jeongdong Observatory – located on the 13th floor of the Seoul City Hall Seosomun building, complete with its own café – boasts great views of Deoksugung Palace surrounded by flame red foliage. Or discover the Secret Garden at Changdeokgung Palace, where our Concierges can arrange a guide to give you direct access to the elegant pagodas, ponds and royal gardens tucked behind the Palace. Continue your historical discovery back at the Hotel in The Market Kitchen, where carefully preserved 600-year-old ruins can be seen through a glass floor.

6. Take a Day Trip

Immerse yourself in South Korea’s nature with a day trip to Mount Seorak and Nami Island – a UNESCO treasure famed as the location for Korean drama Winter Sonata. Stroll among cherry and gingko trees on the half-moon-shaped island or hike up the mountain for the best views. Our Concierges can help arrange all the details – including a Four Seasons picnic to fuel your adventure.

7. Meet the Master at the Distilleries in Seoul

Discover the difference between takju (unfiltered fresh rice wine), cheongju (clear rice wine) and soju (distilled rice spirit), and sample specially curated rice wines at local distilleries in Seoul. With your interest piqued in Korean liquor, return to the Hotel’s hip nightspot, OUL – a mixology of mainstream culture – and sip your way through the carefully crafted, fermented, and perfected liquors that are part of Seoul’s history.

8. Visit the Renovated Gwanghwamun Square

The newly-renovated Gwanghwamun Square – just steps from Four Seasons Hotel Seoul – offers 40,300 square metres (435,000 square feet) of relaxing outdoor space artfully arranged for optimum Feng Shui. Five thousand new trees offer an abundance of leaf-dappled shade while majestic fountains, streams and colourful lights add a pretty ambience. You’ll also find work from upcoming artists, media walls showcasing historical information and even a virtual aquarium. Grab some melt-in-the-mouth pastries from our café, Confections by Four Seasons, and enjoy them as you wander around. Or even keep the city romance flowing back at the Hotel, make your way to our intimate hidden speakeasy Charles H. – ranked #7 in Asia's 50 Best Bars 2022 – to toast the day with a cocktail.