When the summer sun beats down relentlessly, nothing feels more refreshing than diving into the cool ocean. The best beaches in Korea offer more than just swimming, though. Imagine riding a train with picturesque views, and eating the freshest seafood you’ve ever had at a beachside food stall! Enjoy exciting water sports, and then recharge in a café or bakery nearby. No matter your travel style, these top beach destinations have it all!
In Busan & Gyeongsang Province
Haeundae Beach is Korea’s most representative beach! Haeundae Beach is unlike other beaches in Korea in that the sandy shore stretches between the sea and tons of tall buildings, creating a beautiful view that becomes even more stunning when the sun sets!
The area around Haeundae Beach also has plenty of attractions, including Busan X the SKY observatory, Haeundae Blue Line Park, and the lush forest of camellia and pine trees on Dongbaekseom Island.
Gwangalli Beach is unique in that the horizon appears to be doubled, due to Gwangandaegyo Bridge. The beach is easy to reach using public transportation, and is surrounded by fun things to do, drawing in a steady stream of visitors.
Gwangalli Beach is even more beautiful at night, with the lights of Gwangandaegyo Bridge twinkling on the horizon. On Saturdays, you can see Korea’s largest drone show, the Gwangalli M Drone Light Show. The beach is also the venue for the annual, must-see Busan Fireworks Festival.
For a truly unique beach experience, hop aboard the Jukbyeon Coast Sky Rail, one of the 100 Must-Visit Tourist Spots for 2023-2024. The monorail covers a course of 2.8km, showing interesting points such as “Heart Coast,” named for its double-curved coastline, a famous filming site, and a lighthouse. Stop by the nearby Jukbyeon Port for fresh seafood.
In Gangwon State
The lush forest of pine trees that grows along the sandy shore makes Gyeongpo Beach charming. Enjoy a leisure stroll on the deck walking trail as it waves back and forth between the sand and the pine forest. There are also many facilities for tourists, including restaurants, accommodations, and even campgrounds, making this beach popular among younger travelers.
Anmok Beach is well-known thanks to its proximity to Gangneung Coffee Street. The street is lined with coffee shop after coffee shop, each with its own unique ambiance. The street itself is so popular, it has been listed on KTO’s 100 Must-Visit Tourist Spots in Korea many times! The cafés all face the beach, offering great views from their second-floor seating and higher.
Sokcho Beach is popular among visitors all year round with a range of attractions, including a walking trail through a pine forest, flower paths, and photo spots. It is also extremely easy to reach on foot, just a five-minute walk from Sokcho Express Bus Terminal, making it a top pick for tourists. This short distance means you can also enjoy the tasty foods that are available in downtown Sokcho.Ferris wheel
The Sokcho Eye, a 65-meter-tall Ferris wheel, is another attraction of Sokcho Beach. The first Ferris wheel in Korea to be built next to the beach, it offers views of the ocean to one side and Seoraksan Mountain to the other. At night, enjoy the LED performance as it lights up the beach.
Naksan Beach is known as the beach that BTS member V visited. It’s a great spot to visit if you enjoy walking, as there is a forested trail that follows the 2-kilometer-long beach. The beach itself has a shallow bay, suitable for swimmers of all ages.
Vacationers can enjoy a comfortable trip with surrounding amenities including cafés, convenience stores, restaurants, and accommodations. If visiting, be sure to include a stop at the nearby Naksansa Temple, one of the Eight Scenic Sites of Gwandong.
On Jeju Island
Hamdeok Beach is one of the best beaches to see the beautiful emerald-colored sea around Jeju. The beach is popular among locals because of its fine sand and shallow waters. Seoubong Parasitic Cone rises up next to the beach to create a special landscape; in spring, the hillside is covered in yellow canola flowers. If you follow the walking trail up Seoubong, you can take in the full view of the area, including the restaurants, cafés, and hotels that stand next to the beach.
After fun at the beach, enjoy a refreshing drink at a nearby café. Café Delmoondo in particular stands right on the beach with ocean-view seating. They roast their own coffee beans and offer a range of desserts. The outdoor terrace is also a great photo spot!
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