busan haeundae beach:
Enjoy the most famous and
prettiest beach of Busan City

famous haeundae beach

Haeundae Beach (Hangul: 해운대해수욕장; Hanja:海雲臺海水浴場) is a beautiful beach located in the Eastern part of Busan, Haeundae District, South Korea.

Among the famous beaches in Korea, Haeundae is one of them along with Gwanganli Beach (also in Busan), Hyeopjae Beach in Jeju City, and Gyeongpo Beach in Gangneung.

Haeundae Beach is about 1.5 kilometers long and around 30-50 meters of sandy area in width.

Important: Haeundae Beach officially opens for swimming from June (1) to August (31) during the Summer season in Korea.

Why Famous?
Some of the main reasons why it is attracting so many visitors are because it is simply beautiful, very accessible; have various facilities and services; has accommodations with fabulous beach views, and it offers varied activities and cultural events. (More on this below).

I am a living witness of this beach as I have been there and done that thing!

I visited Haeundae Beach in four seasons: Spring, Summer, Winter, and Fall. Of course, you don’t need to come here during Winter and cold seasons. I just want to say I know the beach quite well.

It is pretty in all seasons! (But you know what happens during summer season--crowd!)

haeundae-beachEarly morning scene of Haeundae Beach...Galmaegi and hikers!

Brief History & Story

The name of the beach has a beautiful story which exactly matches with the beach area of Haeundae Beach.

Sometime during the 9th century, a famous unified Silla Kingdom scholar and poet, Choi Chi-Won, called the present beach as ‘Haeun’ which means ‘sea and clouds.’

According to history and based on the material evidence, Choi deeply admired the view of the beach, and he built a pavilion on top of Dongbaek Island (now became Dongbaek Island Park).

You can see memorial items dedicated for Choi including the present pavilion, stone stele, statue, and the park itself which includes other memorial items and landmarks.

One of the living evidence he left about Haeundae is a piece of calligraphy engraved on a rock near the beach which still exists today.

haeundae-beachHaeundae Beach's evening sight as seen from Dongbaek Island Park
dongbaekseom-parkCalligraphy for 'haeun' (sea and clouds) on a rock in Dongbaek Island Park

Development of Haeundae Area

Haeundae District today was one of the ‘underdeveloped’ areas in Busan compared to the large and more popular districts.

Haeundae remained underdeveloped until the early 1980s. However, when South Korea won to host the 1988 Seoul Olympics, Haeundae had its opportunities.

In preparation for the Seoul Olympics, Haeundae area was targeted as leisure and travel destination among foreign visitors. This situation demanded accommodation facilities and other business structures.

Slowly, hotels were constructed before and even after the Olympics. Recognizing the beauty of the beach, more and more luxury and beach-front hotels and beach facilities have been built recently.

Spreading around the district are the construction of shopping malls, movie theatres, smalls shops, local restaurants, and more public and private facilities that cater to the increasing influx of travelers--both domestic and international.

haeundae-beachClean beach and tall buildings

Recent Popularity & Development

Being a famous beach, words of mouth and online promotions (SNS and ads), spread the name Haeundae Beach throughout the world like a wildfire.

Since it is gaining more popularity and attracting more visitors in all walks of life, regular improvements and maintenance are being implemented to cope with the influx of visitors.

Maintainance and Cleanliness
The Busan government is spending its resources for the upkeep of the beach area. There are responsible officials and staff that monitor as well as implement programmes to keep the integrity of the beach.

I have seen beach sand grader machinery keeping the soft sand level off. A beach is usually great for its visitors if they are generally leveled and free from foreign materials such as waste materials, leaves, tree parts, and other materials.

More and more visitors come just to take selfies or photograph the beach. In the middle of the beach, you will see the name “Haeundae Beach” made from a metal product where visitors take photos

haeundae-beachAmazing view of the beach near the Westin Chosun Busan Hotel

Beachfront Accommodations
Based on my experiences (only for the newbie travelers^^), staying in a conducive hotel room or any accommodation type is already about half of my experience.

That experience could be bad or good. So, ensure that you pick your accommodation appropriately so that it won’t mess up your vacation or precious time and resources.

Alright…

Yes, hotels and other types of accommodation are expanding in numbers, and they are getting taller. I saw a towering building still under construction. It is 101 stories when completed!

Just as I did, pick the one that you like most (researching through online official booking companies, such as Agoda.com, Booking.com, etc.).

Choose the rates you want to pay. However, please remember the “you (usually) get what you paid for” adage. It is usually a difficult decision to pick the hotel room. But taking the time to choose one is most of the time satisfying.

In the case of Haeundae Beach, pick the one with a view of the beach or sea. I insist! You will never regret it! It could be pricey compared to what you have initially planned, but it could be worth it!

Events and Entertainments

By the beach, you will see various forms of free events and performances. The most common ones along the beach are the wanna-be singers and artists including painters and sketchers.

You will see them along the walkways which were recently built.

Usually, nothing much is happening during winter or colder seasons. It merely is challenging to perform during cold weather conditions, and there are only a few

During non-crowded days, you can easily find individuals with specific talents promoting their new-found skills and abilities to the public.

Such talents include painters, sketchers or montage artists, musicians (solo guitarists, singers, and other musical instrument newbie players).

Painters usually try to capture the beauty of the beach and sea with their paintbrushes. Some offer to paint faces of any stranger (traveler)  who is willing to stay still and pay some reasonable amounts.

Sketch and montage artists are usually there offering their skills to individuals who want to have their faces artistically or colorfully sketched on a canvass.

Yes, you need to pay them for their talents. But I guess it would be a memorable experience for you if you decide to sit for less than an hour and let him/her capture your face on his/her canvass or drawing paper.

Musicians are mostly young. I believe they are aiming to become singers someday just like the famous K-Pop performers.

Newbie singers usually have their lyrics in front through their Smartphones. They have amazing good sound system or speakers that can produce a high quality of sound on this vast beach.

Other ‘singers’ play guitars (or saxophone, flute, among others--by the way, most young Koreans can play at least one musical instrument because most of them have to do it as part of developing their skills. Most of them can play the piano!)...

...play guitars with their piece in front of them then perform just like professionals with their audience. If you want to, you can donate coins or any amount you willingly give to such young artists.

Sailing Club
During summertime, the busiest season for Haeundae Beach, you rent any water sports facility such as paddle boat and surfboard.

The famous place is called The Bay 101 Yacht Club in Haeundae. Yes, The Bay is a sailing club, and they provide other beach activity facilities and sailing offers.

Other active water sports include kiteboarding, swimming, and surfing. (If you want much better and exciting sea waves, you may go to Songjeong Beach where you the waves are more ideal).

Cultural Events

Sunrise Watching In Busan
Haeundae Beach area is one of the best spots to witness the New Year sunrise. Other places are the Geumjeongsan (mountain) and Dalmajigogae where people go to keep the Koreans’ traditional practice of watching the first sunlight of the year.

Bathing in the 0 degrees Celcius Water
A tradition and becoming popular beach event is dipping into the near 0 degree Centigrade seawater in Haeundae.

The organizers hold this event annually since January 1988 (I think this is to commemorate the Seoul Olympics that year).

If you want to witness, or insist on joining, this exciting event, you should go to the Westin Chosun Beach Hotel area. This is being organized by the “Polar Beach Club” of Busan.

haeundae-beachA romantic view of Haeundae with The Westin Chosun in the background

Facilities & Services at Haeundae Beach

You can find various facilities and other services at Haeundae Beach area. There are two kinds: permanent and seasonal.

The permanent facilities (basic ones) are the washrooms (for male and female), shower rooms, hot spring facility, aquarium, benches along the coasts, permanent beach artworks (statues, lighting, stone sculptures, etc.).

The seasonal facilities, especially for summer only, include the beach tents (for rent), parasols (for rent), tables (for rent), floats, life jackets, among others.

Drinking fountain, changing room, small beach library, summer police patrol, beach rescue team, among others, are also available.

Parking Area

There are three types of parking spaces near and around Haeundae Beach…

  • Free Parking Lot
  • Paid Public Parking Lot
  • Paid Private Parking Lot

I presume you know what I am saying above, right? For the rates of the paid lots, you don’t need to worry about it because you will be paying for very reasonable rates.

But this is what you should be worried about during peak season…

You will be spending hours to park your vehicle during the Summer season. That’s because everyone is traveling either with their own car or rented ones.

Anyways, you will be charged for parking by the hour, which is minimal, compared to the time you will spend search for a space to park.

Mobile Food Shop

If you come to the beach light and no provisions, you can easily grab something to eat and drink from mobile food shops.

Their prices are quite reasonable while some could be overpriced--especially the cold and refreshing drinks and food.

So, better pack your lunch or snacks you bought from bigger stores or convenience shops to save more. In this case, you might need an icebox, or something that keeps your cold drinks and food fresh. (I used my thick towel in wrapping my icy beer!).

Sealife Busan Aquarium

Sealife Busan Aquarium is another attraction in Haeundae, especially among children.

The aquarium, which is conveniently located by the beach, has three underground levels. The levels contain around 250 species of marine life.

It is estimated to house over 35,000 sea animals.

Aside from the sea species, you will enjoy walking its transparent (glass) tunnel walkway. The experience will give you a sense of what it is like walking on the seafloor (that is if you never have that experience before).

Just like in many places, there is a feeding time—the most exciting time to watch the sea animals including various fishes, sharks, sea otters, penguins, stingray, pirarucu, among others.

The feeding time of these sea animals has their individual or separate schedules. Feeding them is like a show, and you should be waiting and watching them on time.

Yes, there is an entrance fee. Let me describe them below…

  • Adult (13 years old and above): 29,000KRW (17,000KRW for the Disabled)
  • Child (3-12 years old): 23,000KRW
  • Child under 36 months old may enter for free per one adult
  • Groups: Child rate applies to all children under 3 years old. Ensure that you carry any proof of their age to enter for free.
  • Website: https://www.busanaquarium.com/en/

my impressions of haeundae beach

I think you should be paying more attention to this part of my article. Although I consider my comments and impressions brief, they are my honest experiences and thoughts.

So, if you really decide to visit this place, you might read, even very quickly, my points below. I enumerated my main points and tried to expand each one a bit.

Beach Quality
Overall, the beach is perfect! It is well-maintained. Spotless! The sand is ‘soft’, and there are no stones nor sharp objects (e.g., seashells).

As I said elsewhere, the beach area is wide. There is enough room to play any beach games. The slope is not steep and ideal for a great beach.

Surrounding Views
Haeundae Beach has a fantastic view of the blue sea. Facing the sea, you won’t see anything but the endless sea.

On your left hand side, you will see medium height mountain with some structure. You will also he the towering buildings (one still under construction as of this writing, will be 101 stories when completed!)

The pathway going towards that direction is nice. Beyond the decorated pathway, you will see the beachfront facilities, such as hotels, shops, cafés, among others.

On your right hand side, you will not miss the beautiful and verdant Dongbaekseom or the Dongbaek Island Park.

Just in front of the Park, you will see the famous Westin Chosun Busan hotel facing the beach and the sea. Beside the hotel is another green park that is linked to Dongbaekseom Park.

Beach Facilities
You can get the necessary facilities of a beach here. The washrooms and changing rooms are free to use. Showers, faucet, soap, toilet tissue, hand dryers are available. (See more facilities below).

Food/drinks Availability
Haeundae Beach is just a couple of minutes to the convenience shops, stores, cafés, coffee shops, marts, public market, fast food stores, and anything you can consume.

If you booked your hotel near the beach, then you don’t worry about food!

Overall Rates or Prices
Compared to the Seoul area, Busan or Haeundae District is a bit cheaper. Maybe around two USD cheaper. Of course, if you buy from snacks and drinks from peddlers on the beach that would be another story! Can be overpriced!

Therefore, as you know what I’m gonna say, purchase your food from bigger shops or markets to save for your vacation and travel.

Accessibility of public transports
Haeundae District and its famous beach are very accessible to all public transports available.

As you will see below, you can come via Metro (subway at Haeundae Station), bus, taxi, car, or any vehicle.

From Haeundae area, you can also avail transports that you should take when moving to another destination nearby or further and outside the city.

Safety and Atmosphere
Haeundae Beach and the area is very safe for all visitors. There are police patrollers and police stations in every district. They are not really busy! ^^

During high season, you will see patrollers ensure there are no trouble-makers.

Besides, there are beach watchers and watchtowers that monitor beachgoers’ safety.

Pickpockets, snatchers, and such petty violators are not common in this area or South Korea in general.

Where to Stay at Haeundae Beach Area

There are varied types of accommodation or hotels available near Haeundae Beach area. You can rent hotels, guest houses, motels, and other cheaper accommodation types surrounding the area.

Depending on your choice and plan to experience the beach, you can select your room’s position (or view), size, and rate.

As a suggestion, it would be a perfect and amazing break from your daily grinding toils if you book a room with beach or sea views. If you do, then you should check out…

Haeundae Hotels with Sea and Beach Views
Getting up early in the morning, you will be greeted by the sun rising above the horizon. Experience the serene blue water of the sea.

In the evening, from your window, you will see sparkling lights around and as far as you can see.

Yes, I experienced that!

Let me list down some of the beachfront hotels below. Feel free to see them and compare with other places providers…

And see more Haeundae Beach hotels here suitable to your preferred location and detailed facility descriptions.

Nearby Attractions & Destinations

Close to Haeundae Beach area, you can find lots of places, attractions, shopping, and entertainment places.

Depending on how you define ‘close’ or ‘near,’ you can find the following places…

Please, check out other Busan attractions and destinations article for more descriptions and links.

songdo-marine-cable-carSongdo Marine Cable Car, Busan City

How to Get There

The following guides can help you get to Haeundae Beach quicker.

If you are from outside the country, of course, you need to fly in and land through various international airports of South Korea.

Gimhae International Airport is the closest one to Haeundae Beach, Busan.

From Gimhae Airport, it will take less than an hour by bus to the beach area.

From Seoul by Bus
It will take about 5 hours to get to Nopo Busan Metro Station (Line 1 [Orange Line]) where the Integrated Bus Terminal is located.

From Nopo, simply find the subway (Line 1) which is conveniently connected to the bus terminal itself.

By subway, it will take about an hour or so to reach Haeundae Station where you should get off and walk towards the beach area. (download the subway map here).

From Seoul by Speed Train (KTX)
Taking the high-speed train from Seoul to Busan is the most convenient and fastest means to get there.

It takes around 3 hours and 15 minutes from Seoul to Busan and vice versa.

(You can take the shortest trip, 2 hours and 15 minutes if you want to get the premium rate).

You can purchase tickets from an automated machine or online. Booking in advance is highly recommended.

From Seoul, take the KTX from Seoul Station which is very accessible by public transports (subway, bus, taxi).

If you arrived from Incheon International Airport or Gimpo Airport, you could go straight to Seoul Station quite easily.

From Busan Station (KTX Stop)
From Busan Station where you get off from the high-speed train (from Seoul Station), take Subway Line 1, then transfer to Line 2 (at Seomyeon Station) for Haeundae Station.

From Haeundae Station (Line 1), find Exit 3 or 5 and head to the beach which is about 500 meters ahead. The street is very spacious as it is where various cultural events are being held.

Bus from the Airport: #307

Haeundae Beach Address
Address: 264, Haeundaehaebyeon-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan (부산광역시 해운대구 해운대해변로 264 (우동)
Phone Inquiry: +82-2-1330, +82-51-749-5700. The inquiry is also available in Japanese, Chinese, and English languages.

Flight rates Estimates

You may be wondering how much you need to spend on your Busan or Haeundae Beach travel. I thought that it might be helpful if I provide approximates so that you can decide properly.

I am using an online travel rates/expenses calculator as shown in sample countries you can see below…

Philippines: Manila (MNL) to Gimhae (PUS) - 3 hours 55 mins
170,000-410,000KRW

Gimhae International Airport Station to Sasang Station: 7mins by Subway, every 10 mins (light railway) 1,300-1,500KRW

Indonesia: Fly to Gimhae - 11 hrs 49 min (transfer 2 hrs)
Soekarno-Hatta (CGK) - Gimhae (PUS): 304,281-954,489KrW

Gimhae Int Airport Station to Sasang Station: 7 mins by Subway, every 10 mins (light railway) - 1,300-1,500KRW

Thailand: Suvarnabhumi (BKK) - Gimhae (PUS) - 5hrs 5 mins plane
220-380,000KRW

Gimhae International Airport Station to Sasan Station: 7mins by Subway, every 10 mins (light railway) - 1,300-1,500KRW

You can easily do the flight calculations using the link below:
https://www.rome2rio.com/map/Bangkok/Busan

USA: Los Angeles (LAX) to Busan (PUS) – 14hrs 50 mins; 370,000-750,000KRW
Canada: Toronto (YYZ) to Gimhae (PUS) – 15hrs 35mins; 750,000-2100,000KRW
France: Paris (CDG) to Gimhae (PUS) – 13hrs 20 mins; 280,000-1100,000KRW
Russia: Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) to Gimhae (PUS) – 11hrs; 270,000-1600,000KRW
Germany: Munich (MUC) to Gimhae (PUS) – 12hrs 10mins; 440,000-1500,000KRW
England: London Heathrow (LHR) to Gimhae (PUS) - 12hrs 55 mins; 460,000-800,000KRW

Please, remember that the amounts listed above are estimates according to the online calculator used. You can check the amounts again using this calculator (www.rome2rio.com).


Alternately, check your online booking site or agency to double-check the amount.

Should you have any urgent questions, please let me know.

Thanks a lot if you reached this far reading this article. I hope this is useful. Please be kind to make positive comments to improve this page.

Enjoy your travels.

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