If I had to pick one beach in Korea, it would be Haeundae.
It’s the best when it comes to accessibility, activities, and cleanliness.
I went to Haeundae every month while living down south for two years. There’s a lot more to enjoy than just the beach, although that’s a big part of the appeal!
What to know
- You can get there without a car from anywhere in the country.
- Haeundae has everything you could want in terms of restaurants, cafes, and trendy streets.
- There are lifeguards from June to August
- Haeundae isn’t a surf spot, head to Songjeong Beach for good waves all year round.
Read on for all the best ways to enjoy Haeundae Beach in Busan.
When to go
Haeundae is great during all four seasons. It’s a good place to get a break from Seoul in winter, if you can’t get to Bali or Thailand. It also rounds out a trip to Korea nicely.
May, early June, and September, right before and after peak season are the best times to avoid crowds and overzealous lifeguards (they nearly mobilized the coast guard when I dared swimming in a light fog).
Anytime in July and August will be a beehive of activity. Clubs are packed with visitors from Seoul, if you can get in.
How to get to Haeundae Beach
You can fly direct to PUS from GMP, NRT, and KIX airport. There’s a light rail that takes you to Busan and connects to the subway that runs to Haeundae Station with one transfer.
You can take a KTX, train, or bus from Seoul.
There’s also a ferry from Fukuoka or Shimonoseki to Busan.
Once you’re in Busan, take the green line all the way east to Haeundae Station. From there, follow the crowd along the shopping street towards the beach.
Where to stay
Shilla Stay Haeundae
Shilla Stay Haeundae is a newer hotel just steps away from Haeundae Beach with comfy beds in a tranquil area.
Just ask for a quiet room away from the elevator and you’ll be golden.
Check out Giyohan, the Ochazuke restaurant downstairs too!
46 Haeun-daero 570beon-gil, Haeundae-gu, Busan, South Korea
Best Louis Hamilton Haeundae
If you want a quality hotel at a low price, Best Louis Hamilton is a great option. It costs as much as a motel during the low season, but with much nicer facilities and no smoking allowed.
8 Haeundaehaebyeon-ro 209beonga-gil, Haeundae-gu, Busan, South Korea
What to do
Aside from the obvious choice of swimming and getting a tan, there’s plenty to do.
Accessible from Haeundae Blue Line Park Mipo or Cheongsapo Station, you can enjoy a view of the Busan coastline in your own private capsule.
13 Dalmaji-gil 62beon-gil, Haeundae-gu, Busan, South Korea
Haeridangil is Busan’s answer to Gyeonlidangil, sans the diversity and culture.
I’ve eaten at a few restaurants here and have concluded that it’s best to stick to one of the many nice coffee shops. It’s great for people watching though.
Head the opposite direction of the beach from Haeundae Station exit two and you can’t miss it.
Secret trendy street
Gentrifying old neighborhoods is so hot right now.
There’s another trendy street off the radar called dalmaji-gil 50 beon-gil on the east side in Mipo. It’s a tiny but colorful street with restaurants and cafes a cut above the aforementioned gil.
It’s basically across the street from Grand LCT Residence in hidden alley that runs parallel to the aforementioned street. You can also copy and paste the address below into Naver Map.
부산 해운대구 달맞이길50번길 18 메종뀌진 (중동)
I’m not a big hiker, but I make an exception for Dongbaek Island.
It’s not as popular as other areas, but it has great scenery and doesn’t involve waiting in line. Dongbaek Island Trail can be done in an hour and offers beautiful views of Gwangan bridge and forested areas where migratory birds nest.
You can check out their little mermaid knockoff statue as well.
It starts and ends at the Josun Hotel. Just head right when you come out of the Josun Deli Coffee Shop and continue along the paved path and you’ll see stairs where you can start the hike.
Alternatively, you can head left out the lobby of the hotel up the hill to reach the same path but from the opposite end.
708-3 U-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan, South Korea
There’s a secluded park that runs parallel to the beach that’s right behind it. Songlim Park is right next to Josun Hotel on the west side of Haeundae. It’s a nice place to get some free shade if things get too hot. There’s also a large public restroom and shower that’s sometimes available.
U-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan, South Korea
Made from an abandoned railway, Blue Line Park is a newer option that’s more of a walkway. It has a straight path lined with benches and semi-artsy structures to enjoy. There’s also an observatory, train, and the sky capsule.
948-2 Jung-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan, South Korea
Busan X the Sky
If high places are your thing, you can always Busan X the Sky.
Pros, you get a nice view of the coastline.
Cons, it’s super expensive for what you get.
South Korea, Busan, Haeundae-gu, Dalmaji-gil, 30 98~100층 LCT랜드마크타워
Over the years in Korea, I’ve learned to go with the flow. There are clubs and bars in Haeundae and yes they’re happening in summer. But, you may or may not get in depending on your age and nationality.
No worries, you’re in Haeundae! You can walk along the beach or find a nice spot in the sand with your drink of choice. There’s plenty of sitting space on benches as well.
That being said, here are a few places known to be more open to out-of-towners.
Billie Jean is a fun spot that plays good enough dance music. Drinks have gone up in price over the years and smoking is very much allowed inside, but it goes off at midnight.
22 Dalmaji-gil, Jung-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan, South Korea
What was once a sparkling-new branch of the now defunct Wolfhound Pub in Itaewon, has gone to seed in recent years. You can still pop by for a pint and some darts if you crave something familiar.
13 Haeundaehaebyeon-ro 265beon-gil, Haeundae-gu, Busan, South Korea
HQ Gwangan 4F
Just a short taxi ride from Haeundae is HQ in Gwangalli. It’s a cleaner and newer foreign-friendly bar that has a live band and a great view of the bridge at night.
237 Gwanganhaebyeon-ro, Suyeong-gu, Busan, South Korea
What to eat
Badamaru Jeonbokjuk (바다마루전복죽)
This tiny restaurant is run by halmeonis who are full of jeong.
It’s a must even for non-seafood lovers. Their abalone porridge is incredibly tasty and soothing without a hint of fishiness.
It opens at 7 am, which is perfect for morning people.
7 Dalmaji-gil 62beon-gil, Haeundae-gu, Busan, South Korea
Octopus, offal, and shrimp, why not?
It works better than you’d think and pairs well with soju naturally.
34 Gunam-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan, South Korea
Insider Tip: Food allergies are urban legends in Korea, so proceed with caution.
Busan’s answer to Naengmyeon.
Made with wheat noodles, it’s the ultimate cooling dish in summer.
It’s customary to order either mool (cold broth) or bibim (spicy) for each person, and share mandoo (dumplings).
A southern take on Korean hangover cures.
The soup base is mild and made of pork bone. You can make it as spicy as you want with pepper paste.
Make sure to throw all the chives in, and feel free to add the little shrimp for more salt.
This unassuming restaurant tucked away in Darirang gil serves some fantastic Korean food at a steep price.
1층, 16 Dalmaji-gil 50beon-gil, Haeundae-gu, Busan, South Korea
Cafes worth visiting
They may not know what a deli is in east Asia, but this usually quiet cafe has some nice views of the ocean. They serve expensive burgers and other sandwiches that are great in a pinch.
106 Sogong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Funny name, fun cafe. If you get energy from crowds, this place will fit the bill.
This multi-story cafe complete with its own elevator is packed with boisterous young people from all over the country. It also offers nice views of the sea and some instagrammable photo ops.
You can find it on the far east end of the beach in Mipo.
23 Dalmaji-gil 62beon-gil, Haeundae-gu, Busan, South Korea
Kiki rooftop cafe
With the unfortunate closing of Maison Cote next door, Kiki Rooftop Cafe has filled the void of comfy spots in Haeundae.
South Korea, Busan, Haeundae-gu, Jung-dong, 번지 2층 1087-35
Casa Busano Haeundae
A trendy espresso bar on the main street of Haeundae that’s a magnet for Seoulites.
Despite the snobby vibe, it can be a decent place to get caffeinated. Their coffee is drinkable and the interior looks cozy enough. Just make sure to tell them to put the sugar on the side if you take it black.
618-15 우제1동 Haeundae-gu, Busan, South Korea
Where is Haeundae Beach, Busan?
Haeundae is way off to the southeast in Busan. It’s right next to Gwangalli Beach.
Do I need to tip here?
No need to tip unless you’d like an awkward interaction with confused servers.
Did we miss anything?
Let us know your thoughts about Haeundae Beach, Busan!