After visiting Busan a few times, we have concluded that Haeundae might just be one of our favorite areas. Because we know how hard it is to plan for a trip to someplace new, we have decided to put together this ultimate list of the best things to do in Haeundae.
No matter if you only have a weekend in Busan, or are planning to stay for a longer period, we are sure you will end up in this part of town.
Laid back, vibrant, packed with food stalls or luxury restaurants, the home to many of the most luxurious hotels in Busan, but also the place to be for fun after the sun goes down, Haeundae is the place to be no matter the time of day.
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The Absolute Best Things To Do In Haeundae
The second-largest city in South Korea, Busan has so much to offer, and Haeundae Beach is the largest and most popular beach in the port city.
How to get to Haeundae Beach
Getting there is easy by public transportation, no matter how you choose to travel to the city:
- from Busan Station on the orange line number 1, take the train towards Nopo. At Seomyon station change to the green line number 2 towards Jangsan. Get off at the Haeundae subway station.
- from Namhae International Airport take the purple subway line all the way until the last stop, Sasang. Change the train to the green line number 2 towards Jangsan. Get off at the Haeundae subway station.
In full honesty, part of the reason why we loved Haeundae so much is that it reminded us of Repulse Bay Beach in Hong Kong. With its impressive skyscrapers, fancy hotels, cool cafes with sea views and good coffee, but also the long sandy beach.
After spending one week here we came to love Haeundae even more than Repulse Bay. The place offers so many things to do, the food is delicious, incredibly diverse, and for all budgets, and by staying here you will be in the perfect location for day trips from Busan.
No matter if you only visit Haeundae for a day or choose it as your base camp for your trip to Busan, this is your complete guide on what to expect and what to do.
Where to stay in Haeundae, Busan
The first time we visited Busan we chose to stay further away from the beach area, on Yeongdo island. However, after that visit we were convinced that the next time we will be in Busan we will definitely choose to stay close to Haeundae.
When it comes to accommodation options at the beach, you can find something for any pocket and requirements.
If you are traveling for a special occasion or simply want to go all-in and choose luxury hotels here are my hotel suggestions:
- Grand Josun Busan has rooms with stunning sea views and a great infinity pool,
- and Shilla Stay doesn’t disappoint either.
If you are looking for a mid-range hotel, located in a great place, only minutes away from the beach, I strongly recommend the hotel we stayed in Hotel Hyggelig.
The hotel has a nice cafe with a stunning rooftop terrace, the rooms are spacious, and come with a balcony, we had a sea view from our room, and we were less than 5 minutes away from the beach.
Nearby we had restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores, and most of the main attractions of Haeundae.
Because we traveled from Seoul by car, parking was free at the hotel.
UH Suite Haeundae is another great option if you want to pamper yourself with a sea view from your jacuzzi. The SPA room is perfect for a couple, a group of friends, or someone traveling with one child. See more here!
Top things to do in Haeundae
Spend some time at the beach
Obvious, right? Well, not really.
Korean people, and Asians in general, don’t really spend much time under the sun. They would either come to the beach without a bathing suit and simply enjoy the sea breeze with a coffee in hand, or they will come for surfing.
That being said, we haven’t seen many people surfing at Haeundae (Songjeong Beach is a popular surfing destination in Busan and you can rent a board and book surf lessons here).
You can come prepared for swimming, just make sure to check the weather forecast beforehand: on windy days they much not allow people to go in.
During the peak season, mainly from June to September, you will be able to book sun lounges and umbrellas and spend the whole day under the sun.
Visit SEA LIFE Aquarium Busan
Within walking distance from the subway station, in the middle of the 1.5-kilometer-long beach, the Sea Life Aquarium is one of the main attractions in Haeundae and in Busan.
Come here to learn about hundreds of sea life creatures, walk below the tunnel that will make you feel underwater, and plan your visit so that you can participate in the shark feeding.
A visit here is perfect for children and adults alike, and you can easily spend half of the day inside.
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday between 10 and 20, Friday to Sunday between 9 and 22.
Address for Naver: 부산광역시 해운대구 해운대해변로 266 (중동)
Eat at Haeundae Market – Haeundae Beach restaurants
Going up and down the beach, we’ve noticed there are basically 3 areas where you can eat from the food stalls or local restaurants packed with fresh fish and seafood.
There is the main Haeundae Food Market on the lefthand side of the road as you walk from the subway station towards the beach. Here you will street food trolleys but also local restaurants with fish and seafood in aquariums in front.
Koreans like an eel and that’s considered a delicacy in Busan, but you can try also other types of fish, clams, oysters, and much more.
The second option is the covered food trucks set in the small park behind the beach area as you walk towards the Westin Chosun Hotel.
Here you can have an authentic experience, and eat the freshly cooked food while also talking to a Korean fortune teller (if unlike us, you do speak Korean).
From what we’ve noticed, this is an area mostly frequented by the locals, and not so much by foreigners or tourists.
The third option is the local fish market located on the beach’s easternmost point. Apart from the market, you can find here plenty of local restaurants offering different types of fish dishes, but also traditional Korean bbq.
We strongly recommend Don Blanc BBQ set by the sea, the seafood restaurant next door, or the 미포할매복국본가 restaurant where we had the most delicious fish soup.
Take part in a cooking class at Haeundae Beach
After you have tasted all the delicious Korean dishes at the food market, take part in a cooking class and learn how to make some of your favorites.
Cooking classes are always a great idea and a great way of diving into the local culture. On top of that, once you get back home, you can impress your friends and family with your newly acquired skills.
Go on a walk on the Dongbaek Island
Even though this place is called an island, it is actually a small peninsula turned into a beautiful park. It is the perfect place to go for a stroll before dinner or early in the morning.
The wooden stairs and bridges will take you up and down along the sea, all the way to the other side of the peninsula.
Go for a sunset cruise from Mipo or by a private yacht
We love boats and boat trips no matter if we talk about the sea, ocean, or river. And it goes without saying we couldn’t resist hopping on a cruise along the coastline in Busan.
The public boat leaves from Mipo and depending on the season has a different timetable.
We absolutely loved the sunset cruise and I strongly believe this is the best time of the day you could choose to go. While the next boat was much more crowded because people want to see the night lights, by choosing the sunset time we got to see the pink sky AND the night lights.
Another option for when you want a bit more privacy is to choose the private yacht cruise. While the trip is not 100% private, you will get to share the boat with fewer people and you will enjoy luxury facilities.
The yacht cruise departs from the yachting center at Suyeong Bay, thus 15 minutes away from Haeundae.
See the Busan Sand Sculpture Festival
On our first trip to Busan in May we got the chance to see the Busan Sand Sculpture Festival.
Apparently, the festival takes place every year at the end of May, and if you are around, you can walk by and admire the precision of these sculptures made in the sand.
We’ve seen mostly different types of dinosaurs and as you can see from the picture, the festival is extremely popular with kids.
Take the Blue Train or Sky Capsule from Mipo Station
The hottest tourist attraction of 2022, the Blue Train and the Sky Capsule attract thousands of people on a daily basis.
You have probably seen videos of the colorful small capsules floating above the sea, offering breathtaking views along the way.
On our first trip, it wasn’t too easy to find the departure point since all the information and addresses were in Korean only. Since we don’t speak or read Korean, we ended up getting lost somewhere at the other end of the train line.
Fast forward to a few months later, we had our hotel minutes away from the Mipo station, thus we could plan our ride accordingly.
Extra tip: How to get to Mipo Station
Since we had problems finding the Blue Line Park at Mipo Station, we want to help you out and prevent you from making the same mistakes.
If you are traveling from Busan, take the green line subway all the way to Jungdong Station. Once you are there, take Exit 7 and walk for roughly 20 minutes to the Blue Line Park Mipo Station.
The address is 13, Dalmaji-gil 62beon-gil, Haeundae-gu but you most likely won’t find it in Naver if you search for it in English. However, if you search for Haeundae, you will see the Haeundae Blue Line Park Mipo Station sign. When you see it, click on it and choose your departing location.
The Sky Capsule has a shorter distance, operating on a 2-kilometer section, and it only links Mipo to Cheongsapo. The whole ride takes less than 30 minutes, and the car goes at an average speed of 4 kilometers per hour.
They only allow a maximum of 4 people inside one car, and we really enjoyed our trip. The one-way price for 2 people in a car is 30.000 won, while 4 people will pay 44.000 won.
Make sure to book in advance, especially if you want to have this experience at a certain time of the day.
The Blue Train links Mipo Haeundae to Songjeong, stopping in Dalmaji Tunnel, Cheongsapo Station, Daritdol Observatory, and Gudeokpo.
You can book a ticket for the whole ride, or you can stop along the way and make your way back on foot above the sea.
At the time we took the train because we haven’t booked in advance, we had to wait for 2 hours for the first spot. Even so, we couldn’t catch a seat, thus we ended up riding standing, without the best view.
Tickets can be booked online in advance, or you can buy them directly at the Mipo train station.
Go for a walk in the BlueLine Park
If you have already been with the capsule and the train, or simply you don’t want to pay and prefer walking, you can walk all the way from Mipo Station to close to the end of the line.
During our stay in Busan, we enjoyed strolling on the wooden platform above the sea, and it was a nice way to exercise a little.
Every now and then you can find stairs leading all the way to the sea, where you will discover small secluded stone beaches.
Be it in the morning or before sunset, come here for some of the best views of Haeundae Beach and its skyline.
Go for a SPA Treatment
Korean beauty is worldwide known for a good reason and you cannot skip a pampering treatment at one of the best SPAs in the country.
SPA 1899 near the Haeundae beach is one of the few branches around South Korea, where you can enjoy massages, face treatments, and much more.
Close to the beach, you will find plenty of shops selling anything and everything.
Go inside one of the Olive Young branches and shop for k-beauty to bring home as a souvenir, or buy some clothing from the many shops around.
The Bay 101 (더베이101)
Set on Dongbaek Island with the sumptuous skyscrapers behind, this is a fancy hot spot close to Haeundae and Gangwalli beaches.
Come here after sunset and enjoy a stunning view, shop for souvenirs at the fancy 101 Gallery, enjoy dinner at the Daedo Restaurant, or grab a bite from one of the pubs and enjoy it with a view.
Have a coffee at one of the many cafes along the beach
South Korea has a passion for cafes and Busan won’t disappoint with its selection.
Around Haeundae, you will find plenty of cafes to choose from, no matter if you want specialty coffee or just a view.
Aslan Coffee is set inside the Hotel Hyggelig and it has a rooftop terrace with a view. The coffee is not bad, but I would go here mainly for the view.
Rendejavous_Haeundae is set on the corner of the beach and has a photo spot that draws many people passionate about Instagram and photogenic places.
Montee104 (몽떼104) is another small cute cafe set above the Sky Capsule entrance at Mipo Station. It is popular for its view of the sea and the small colorful train cars.
Haeundae X the Sky
Admire Haeundae and Busan from above, take stunning pictures, and climb to the top of the second-tallest building in Busan.
For the best experience, go there at sunset!
Apart from the great view, you have access to cafes and gift shops.
Haeundae River Cruise
Board a luxurious boat and admire the beauty of Busan during the day or at sunset.
The cruise starts at Suyeonggang River in Centum City, Haeundae, and will take you under bridges such as Suyeonggyo Bridge and Gajeonggyo Bridge to the front of Gwangandaegyo Bridge.
You get to see the APEC Naru Park, Busan Cinema Center with its unique architecture, all the cool bridges, the Marine City – impressive especially once night falls, and the Gwangan Bridge.
Other things to do near Haeundae Beach
Try beach paddle boarding (SUP) from Gwangalli Beach, just 15 minutes away from Haeundae. Admire the Gwangan Bridge in the background and refresh yourself and have fun under the sun. See more here!
Want to take some unforgettable pictures? Book a local photographer in Busan and explore some of the most photogenic locations in Haeundae, but not only. Trust the photographer to introduce you to some popular places, but also to some hidden gems.
FAQ about Haeunda Beach
Is it allowed to swim at Haeunda Beach?
Yes, you are allowed to swim at Haeundae Beach. However, every time we visited, even though the beach was packed with people during the day, most Koreans were not wearing swimsuits. That being said, people are swimming (whenever it is allowed based on the weather and sea conditions).
What is Haeunda Beach known for?
Haeundae Beach is a popular travel destination known for its golden sand beaches and breathtaking coastal views. It features several tourist attractions, such as the Haeundae Grand Aquarium.
The beach also offers plenty of water sports activities, such as jet skiing and parasailing.
During the summer months, Haeundae Beach is filled with tourists from around the world enjoying its beautiful scenery.
What do you wear to the beach in Busan?
As mentioned before, Korean women don’t wear 2-piece swimsuits to the beach, you would see most covering up and hiding from the sun. They would usually wear shorts and a t-shirt, or long sleeve UV protection suits.
However, I have seen many foreigners dressed in normal swimsuits, and nobody was looking at them at Haeunda Beach (a beach popular with tourists from all over the world).
Can you drink alcohol on the beach in Korea?
You might see people having a coffee or picnic on the beach, however, I wouldn’t drink alcohol. There are plenty of bars along Haeunda Beach, where you can enjoy a drink with an ocean view.
Other Busan Travel Resources
Where to stay in Busan – the complete guide
How to get from Seoul to Busan: for every budget
The Absolute Best Things to do in Haeundae Beach Busan
Busan to Gyeongju day trip: easy itinerary