Left: Gwangalli Beach (Photo courtesy of Korea Tourism Organization), Right: Haeundae Beach (Photo by Hyemin Lee)

Left: Gwangalli Beach (Photo courtesy of Korea Tourism Organization), Right: Haeundae Beach (Photo by Hyemin Lee) ()

As Korea’s second largest city, Busan is constantly abuzz with activity. In the summer, it is a favorite vacation spot thanks to its abundant charm, fun attractions and beautiful beaches. The city boasts two cherished landmark beaches, Gwangalli and Haeundae, drawing crowds year-round to their shores of soft white sand and pristine blue waters.

Despite their proximity to each other, the beaches each have their own distinct appeal. Visiting both is a must, but here are all the fun activities you can do at each one.

Gwangalli Beach

Known as a true hotspot beloved by young people, Gwangalli Beach has many trendy activities you’ll enjoy.

1. Ocean view cafés

Take a stroll on the streets near the beach and stop in at the many trendy cafés and restaurants. These are a haven for visitors seeking the perfect blend of Busan’s ocean views, photogenic interiors and delightful treats and cuisine. Here are three ocean view spots to check out!

・Millac The Market

A multi-cultural complex, this is one of the hottest spots among locals for its unique interiors, trendy cafes and fun pop-up stores.

Address: 56, Millaksubyeon-ro 17beon-gil, Suyeong-gu, Busan, Naver Map

Hours: 10 a.m. – midnight

・Ddubucks Gwangan

Enjoy croffles, desserts and a variety of beverages at this stunning café.

Address: 7th floor, 239 Gwangan-haebyeon-ro, Suyeong-gu, Busan, Naver Map

Hours: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.


This café is well-known for its delicious cakes, so definitely save room for dessert.

Address: 5th floor, 38-1 Namcheonbada-ro, Suyeong-gu, Busan, Naver Map

Hours: 12 p.m. – 10 p.m. (Mon-Fri) / 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. (Sat-Sun)

2. Night view and drone show

The night views of Gwangalli Beach, illuminated by the spectacular lights of Gwangan Bridge, are mesmerizing. Every Saturday night, a 10-minute drone light show adds even more excitement to the stunning view, creating a festive atmosphere.

・Drone Light Show (Saturdays)

Mar. – Sep.: 8 p.m. & 10 p.m.

Oct. – Feb.: 7 p.m. & 9 p.m.

3. Diverse water activities

Gwangalli Beach is a year-round marine activity destination, offering jet skis, banana boats, water playgrounds and even bubble parties during the summer. Surfing and paddle boarding continue until early fall, with some places operating yachts even during the winter months.

・Gwangalli Marine Leisure Sports Center

Address: 222 Gwangan-haebyeon-ro 54 beon-gil, Suyeong-gu, Busan

Phone: 010-2898-0027

・Crazy Surfers

Address: 29 Gwangnam-ro 48beon-gil, Suyeong-gu, Busan

Phone: 010-7708-9804

Haeundae Beach

Haeundae Beach caters to visitors of all ages, including families with children. With its magical views and vigorous waves, the beach remains beloved by all who visit Busan.

1. The Bay 101- Night view of Marine City

Surrounded by high-rise buildings of Marine City, this multi-cultural complex showcases a splendid night view unique to Busan. Capturing magical night view photos while enjoying beer and fish & chips at The Bay 101 is a must in Haeundae.

Address: 52 Dongbaek-ro, Haeundae-gu, Naver Map

Hours: 8 a.m. – midnight

2. Yacht tour

Take a one-hour yacht tour for panoramic views of Haeundae and Gwangalli beaches. Sunset yacht tours, which include fireworks, are especially recommended.

Most yacht tour shops offer the same deal. Most tour operators, like the one you can take from The Bay 101, have yacht tickets that include free water, beverages, tea, blankets, hot packs and fireworks for the night tour.

・The Bay 101 Yacht Club

Course: The Bay 101➟Dongbackseom Island ➟ Haundae Beach ➟ Gwangan Bridge ➟ Gwangalli Beach ➟ Subyeon Park ➟ Marine City ➟ The Bay 101

Duration: 1 hour

Tickets: $11.45 (11 a.m.-4 p.m.) / $ 22.9 (5 p.m. for sunset) / $ 15.25 (6 p.m. – 10 p.m.), booking through Klook

3. Iconic festivals

Haeundae Beach hosts a number of popular festivals annually, including the Busan International Film Festival, Polar Bear Festival, and New Year Festival. Here is the website for more information about festivals in Haeundae.

・Haeundae Light Festival

During the winter, enjoy beautiful illuminations alongside the winter sea.

Dates: Through Wed., Jan. 31 2024

Hours: 5:30 p.m. – midnight


・Haeundae Sand Festival

Every May, one of the greatest sand festivals takes place in Haeundae, featuring fascinating sand artworks from artists worldwide.

Dates: May (The specific dates vary every year)

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