What is the best thing to do in Korea during the summer? Go to the beach of course! South Korea offers some of the best beaches for not just soaking up the sun but also swimming, surfing, and all kinds of water activities. However, most would not think of South Korea for its beach destinations. When looking to get away from the busy life of Seoul, it only takes a few hours to visit South Korea’s coastlines. For those visiting South Korea, many might not know what are the best beaches in Korea. This is why we have found the top 10 best beaches in Korea you should check out post-COVID-19. Many of these spots offer something different to every visitor.
The best beach in Korea is Naksan Beach which is located on the east coast of South Korea. It takes a little over 2 hours by bus to get there and a round trip will cost around 30,000 won ($25). Those that are looking to get away from the busy streets of Seoul can unplug at Naksan Beach.
It is located between Sokcho and Yangyang Beach and is the best of the three. It is far less crowded and has 4kms of long sandy beach that is lined with pine trees and a boardwalk. The water is very clear and seems more like a large lake than the beach. Therefore, those looking for big waves for surfing should look elsewhere. Naksan Beach is for relaxation. In addition, at night there are usually live performances right on the beach which makes a trip to Naksan Beach a full day experience. The best time to go will be during the swimming season which is in July and August.
How to get to Naksan Beach from Seoul:
Go to the Express Bus Terminal. Buy a bus ticket to Yangyang. Once you arrive at Yangyang, grab a taxi and go to Naksan Beach which will be 5 minutes away.
Eurwangni Beach is the go-to beach for people in Seoul looking for a quick beach getaway. It is an hour away from Seoul near Incheon International Airport. Therefore, you will be able to go there before lunch and get back to Seoul before dinner. This is why it is so high up on this list. As far as the quality it is not top-tier but for how close it is to Seoul it is more than enough. It is filled with great hotels, seafood restaurants, and stores. One of the most popular is The Ray which is shaped like a cruise ship. There are large swimming platforms near the beach and as far as the water goes, it is surprisingly clean.
How to get to Eurwangni Beach from Seoul:
Take the Subway to Incheon International Airport. Then take the bus that is numbered #301 or #306, both will take you to Eurwangni Beach.
Gangneung is located on the east coast of Korea and that is where Gyeongpo Beach is located. It is one of the most popular beach cities in Korea and is known for offering a variety of attractions along with the beach itself. There is a national park, many seafood restaurants, Gyeongpo Lake, and walking trails. The beach is 5 km long and the water is very clear.
The only issue is that this beach gets a bit crowded with University students that come for the water activities such as jet-skiing, banana boating, and tube riding. While Gyeongpo Beach is a great place to go in the summer, it is also a popular destination in the spring as the beach is filled with beautiful cherry blossom trees.
How to get to Gyeongpo Beach from Seoul:
Go to Seoul Station and take the train to Gangneung Station or take the bus at Dong Seoul Bus Terminal. The train will take you 2 hours and the bus will take you 2.5 hours. The price is the key difference as the train will be double the price (40,000 won vs 20,000 won). Then take a taxi to Gyeongpo Beach which will be 5 minutes away.
The best beach on Jeju Island is Hyeopjae Beach. When looking for the best beaches in Korea online you are sure to come across Hyeopjae Beach. The beach is vast as it stretches 9kms with evergreen forests scattered alongside it. It offers clear waters, white sands, and endless broken seashells. It is located on the west side of Hanrim-eup which is a part of Hallim Park. The water is shallow which is perfect for those that are bringing children. There will be bamboo mats and umbrellas for rent. Make sure you stay for the sunset. While you are in Jeju, make sure to travel to Ulleungdo where you can book a ferry to Dokdo Island.
How to get to Hyeojae Beach from Seoul:
First, fly to Jeju Island which takes 70 minutes. Then head to Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal and take bus number 202 and then get off at Hyeopjae Beach Bus Stop.
Haeundae Beach is not only the most famous beach in Busan but probably the most famous beach in all of South Korea. The beach itself is not long as it only stretches 1.5 km. It is the go-to destination for Koreans during the summer and is known to get super crowded. This is a plus and a minus as some want to go to a secluded area. However, most that go to Haeundae fully understand it will be crowded and lively which is one of the main reasons they go there.
Just Google Haeundae Beach and you will see just how crowded it gets. What makes Haeundae Beach special is what happens at night. After the sun goes down, the beach is filled with mats with Koreans drinking and eating. It is like a night picnic on the beach. There are also fireworks and live street music. Moreover, along the main road next to the beach you will find a variety of dining options.
How to get to Haeundae Beach from Seoul:
Take the KTX from Seoul to Busan which will take 3.5 hours. Then take bus #1003 from Busan Station to Haeundae Beach. The bus ride will take 30 minutes.
Those that love cliffs and seaside views will love Jungmun Beach. It is located on Jeju Island and is a popular destination for couples. The beach offers surfing, windsurfing, waterskiing, and even parasailing. This is because Jungmun Beach has the strongest waves in all of Jeju Island. In fact, for water activities alone, Jungmun Beach is the best beach to travel to. The main issue is that it is located in Jeju and is a bit more expensive compared to the other beaches on this list. From restaurants to rentals, expect to spend plenty of cash when coming here.
How to get to Jungmun Beach from Seoul:
Fly to Jeju Island. From Jeju International Airport, head to exit 1 and take bus #600. Get off at Hyatt Hotel which is an hour away. Once at Hyatt Hotel, head down the hill for about 200 meters to the beach area. You can take a taxi from the airport to Jungmun Beach which will take 30 minutes.
Daecheon Beach is located on Korea’s west coast in Chungcheongnam-do. It is the biggest beach on South Korea’s west coast. The beach itself stretches 3.5 km and offers everything you need for a fun beach experience. However, the best time to go is during the summer as Daecheon Beach is the location of the famous Boryeong Mud Festival. It is one of the best festivals to go to in Korea. You can enjoy the rides and activities at the Mud Festival and walk a few meters to the beach to swim. The water is not as clear as the others on this list but that makes sense since most of the visitors will be covered in mud.
How to get to Daecheon Beach from Seoul:
Take the subway to Yongmun Station. Then take the Korail train to Daecheon Station. This will take you about 2.5 hours. Take bus #100 to Boryeong (Daecheon Beach) which will take around 20 minutes.
Another beach in Jeju makes the list which goes to show just how many amazing beaches there are on Jeju Island. Hamdeok Beach is located near Jeju’s north shore. It is relatively close to the airport. It is popular for swimming, strolling, and snorkeling. While it is our choice for the 3rd best beach on this list, it is very popular among tourists in Jeju for the simple fact that it is easily accessible via public transportation. However, this also means that Hamdeok Beach can get pretty crowded during the summer. People travel here during the early summer because the waters are warmer here compared to other beaches in Korea.
How to get to Hamdeok Beach from Seoul:
Fly to Jeju Island. From Jeju International Airport, you can take bus #101, #325, or #326 to Hamdeok Beach which will be an hour ride. A taxi will take 45 minutes.
While Gyeongpo Beach is our choice for the best beach in Gangneung, Jeongdongjin Beach is not far off. It is one of the best beaches in Korea for those that are looking for a more secluded beach on the east coast should check out Jeongdongjin Beach. It was made famous by the classic Korean drama Hourglass. There are many cafes and restaurants along the shore and you can even purchase tickets for the rail bike. The main issue with Jeongdongjin Beach is the wire fences along the shore. Other than that the waters are clear and you will have beautiful views of the ocean.
How to get to Jeongdongjin Beach from Seoul:
Take the train from Seoul Station to Jeongdongjin Station. Then take a taxi to Jeongdongjin Beach which is 5 minutes away.
Sokcho Beach would be higher on this list of the best beaches in Korea if it was so often overcrowded. It is nothing compared to Haeundae but still, it is not a beach to go to if you are looking for a nice secluded quiet beach. For those looking for a fun and vibrant beach, Sokcho Beach is for you. The beach itself is very clean and is known for its famous sunsets and sunrises. It will be a day trip to get here from Seoul so we recommend renting a place to stay when traveling there. The scenery along Sokcho Beach is amazing and is often visited in the winter months as well.
How to get to Sokcho Beach from Seoul:
Go to Seoul Express Bus terminal and take the bus to Sokcho Express Bus Terminal. From Sokcho Express Bus Terminal take the Taxi to Sokcho Beach which will be 10 minutes away.