The Best Beaches in Korea: Hot Spots from Seoul to Busan

Korean summer is hot, sunny, and beautiful, and a great time to travel to the sea. Pack your swimsuit and find out where to go for the best beaches in Korea!

Picture of a place with sand, trees, a pair of slippers, ball and the sky

We’ve put together this list to get you started on where to go to work on your tan and have some water fun. At peak times of the year, these beaches tend to get very crowded so make sure you arrive early to grab the best spots.

Grab your sunscreen and your sunglasses because it’s beach time in Korea!

Where are the Beaches in South Korea?

We’re going to show you the most popular beaches throughout South Korea. Korea has 6 regions, so we’ll separate out the beaches based on those areas.

If you’re planning to visit one, take a look at the map below to check its location. Head over to the beach nearest you, or plan a trip to one you’d like to see!

Picture of South Korea with selected provinces

Beaches near Seoul

Since Seoul doesn’t border any oceans, you’re going to have to head out of the city to experience the beach goodness. The closest areas are Incheon and Gangwando.

If you want to cool off and stay local, you can also try out some pools like the one at the Hamilton Hotel

Beaches in Chungnam-do 

The beaches at Chungnam-do (a short version of Chungcheongnam-do) are by the Yellow Sea to the west. One of its major cities, Boryeong (보령), is famous for its sandy shores. Here are 2 spots you should definitely check out!

Daecheon Beach, Boryeong (대천 해수욕장 | daecheon haesuyokjang)

Easily accessible from the city of Boryeong and famous for its yearly mud festival, this beach is especially popular among families and young people. If you get there early enough in the morning, the beach will be practically all yours.

Korean Beach 3 Daecheon, Boryeong

However, as the tide rises and you pass lunchtime, it will get packed with people looking for summer beach fun. Despite the crowds, it’s still an excellent spot for an afternoon of swimming, tanning, and people-watching!

Muchangpo Beach, Boryeong (무창포 해수욕장 |muchangpo haesuyokjang)

This beach is the best place to visit if you want to relax. It lets you escape the bustling sounds of the city so you can enjoy a good view, pine trees, and cool waters. It is also known for miraculous events such as the parting of the Red Sea, where a road emerges from the ocean.

Picture of a beach with few buildings from a far on a gloomy day

Beaches in Incheon

If you are visiting Seoul and want to take a quick trip to the beach, you can try those located in Incheon (인천). We’ve picked 3 popular nearby beaches for some fun and sun that won’t take too long to get to.

Deokjeokdo Island, Incheon (덕적도 | deokjeokdo)

For the ultimate levels of remoteness, Deokjokdo is the place to go. This island has several beaches to visit (Batjireum Beach and Seopori Beach are two popular spots).

Korean Beach 8 Deokjeokdo, Incheon

During low tide, you’ll walk far from the shoreline before reaching waters that are more than ankle-deep. However, just staying on the beach for some sun and tanning can also be fun.

To get to the beach, you can rent a bike, although walking is also an option. And for those wanting to get the most out of their visit to the shore, the same island has Bijong Peak, a 300-meter high mountain that will provide great views of the whole island for those willing to make the hike.

Eulwangni Beach, Jung-gu (을왕리 해수욕장 | eurwangni haesuyokjang)

This beach is located on Yongyudo Island, which is just a few kilometers away from Incheon International Airport. Because it’s near Seoul and there is a lot of affordable accommodation, this beach is never short of visitors.

Picture of a beach shoreline on a sunny day

Aside from the beautiful scenery, another attraction this beach is known for is its ideal location for stargazing.

Hanagae Beach, Muuido (하나개 해수욕장 | hanagae haesuyokjang)

This is another hard-to-reach but fun beach to visit off the coast of Incheon. In the mornings, the tide is so low you can walk a kilometer from the point where you’d just seen water the previous day and not even get wet.

Korean Beach 9 Hanagae, Muuido

Because of how tough it is to get to, it’s recommended to stay overnight. The good news is, that’s actually half the fun, as there are pensions and lodges right by the beach. There are also several restaurants, one of which is right on the sand with a great view at sunset.

Beaches in Gangwon-do

This province is bordered by the East Sea, which has great scenery to accompany the famous beaches in the area. Below are the Gangwon-do (강원도) beaches that you’ll for sure want to put on your travel itinerary!

Jumunjin Beach, Gangneung (주문진 해수욕장 | jumunjin haesuyokjang)

When the topic of beaches in Gangneung is being discussed, people will usually recommend Gyeongpo Beach. While Jumunjin Beach is smaller and further from the center, by comparison, it’s an excellent location for those who prefer a quieter and less crowded area.

Korean Beach 4 Jumunjin, Gangneung

You don’t even have to sacrifice any nice sand or clean water. Right in the vicinity of the beach, there are also rooms available for rent if you decide to stay overnight.

Gyeongpo Beach, Gangneung (경포 해수욕장 | gyeongpo haesuyokjang)

If you’re interested in nature and culture, this beach is the one to visit. It’s also a popular destination for Korean beach lovers as well.

Picture of a beach with clear waters, brown sands, and clear skies

The beach is famous for having a breathtaking sunrise and moonrise. For more cultural adventures, check out the ancient buildings nearby.

Naksan Beach, Yangyang (낙산 해수욕장 | naksan haesuyokjang)

This beach in the eastern part of Korea has an amazing combo of pine trees and white sand. The water level here is not too deep, so this is a great spot for children or weak swimmers.

Picture of a beach with waves on a sunny day

Sokcho Beach, Sokcho (속초 해수욕장 | sokcho haesuyokjang)

Adventure seekers, you’re in luck! This is the best beach in Korea if you want some action. Aside from its fantastic beach scenery, you also have Seorak Mountain and Cheoksan Hot Springs nearby. Lots to do and easy transportation in and out–the bus terminal is only a hop, skip, and jump away.

Picture of a beach with a few people on a sunny day

Beaches in Jeolla-do

If you’re heading south, then you’re going to want to check out the beaches of Jeolla-do (전라도). This province is known for the 2 beaches we’ll cover in this section.

Myeongsashimni Beach, Shinji (명사십리 해수욕장 | myeongsasimni haesuyokjang)

The trip to Myeongsashimnie may be long and grueling to some, but the arrival will be all the reward you need!

Korean Beach 5 Myeongsashimni, Shinji

This four-kilometer-long beach not only has great spots for tanning but also an awesome space for swimming until early October. This is a rarity since many of South Korea’s other beaches are too cold by that time.

To get to the island for this beach, first head to Wando (완도) and then take a ferry from there.

Seonyudo Beach, Gunsan (선유도 해수욕장 | seonyudo haesuyokjang)

From Gunsan (군산), you can take a ferry to this archipelago comprised of some twenty islands, of which four are connected with foot and bike bridges.

Korean Beach 6 Seonyudo, Gunsan

This area is especially popular for its biking and walking routes. The beach is top quality, making Seonyudo a fantastic spot for a weekend trip.

Beaches in Busan

Busan is the go-to place for most Koreans when the summer season kicks off. It is popular for its beaches, water sports, and plates of seafood. Let’s get to know one of the best beaches in Busan!

Haeundae Beach, Busan (해운대 해수욕장 | haeundae haesuyokjang)

The beach to talk about is naturally the most famous in all of Korea: Haeundae. It’s located in the southeastern side of Busan and packed with activities besides tanning and swimming.

Korean Beach 1 Haeundae, Busan

The famous spots here include outdoor seafood restaurants, comfortable guesthouses, Busan Aquarium, and even a spa! It’s perhaps the busiest beach on the peninsula.

It gets quieter towards the end of August, but the water is still warm enough to swim in. However, the tide can sometimes be too strong for swimming, so keep that in mind when planning your beach trip!

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Best Beaches in Jeju

Separated from mainland Korea, one of Jeju Island’s main attractions is its beaches. Compared to the other beaches you can visit in mainland Korea, the beaches in Jeju are much more dynamic.

With many options and activities to choose from, here are a few of the best beaches in Jeju.

Jungmun Saekdal Beach, Jeju (중문 색달 해수욕장 | jungmun saekdal haesuyokjang)

This southernmost beach is located on the grounds of Jungmun Resort (중문관광단지 | jungmungwangwangdanji) in the southern part of Jeju Island. It’s a bit of a walk to get to, especially if you’re not staying at Jungmun Resort, but it’s worth the effort!

Korean Beach 2 Jungmun, Jeju

While it’s quite a popular beach, it doesn’t get excessively crowded due to its lack of accessibility compared to other beaches on the island.

Be prepared for some additional cardio when you’re ready to leave, as it’s all uphill to get back and out of the resort.

Hyeopjae Beach, Jeju (협재 해수욕장 | hyeopjae haesuyokjang)

Although it’s a bit of a way from Jeju City, the clear and shallow water is particularly appealing for families.

Korean Beach 7 Hyeopjae, Jeju

It’s a great place to stay late into the evening and perhaps even until the next morning, as the sunset here is stunning. The nearby Hallim Park is also good for an afternoon stroll when the sun gets to be too much.

Woljeongri Beach, Jeju (월정리 해수욕장 | woljeongni haesuyokjang)

If you’re looking for a quiet beach with clean sand and crystal clear water while in Jeju, Woljeongri Beach is the place to go!

Korean Beach 10 Woljeongri, Jeju

The beach and its surroundings are stunning. Coffee lovers will be happy to know there is a cafe street just a stone’s throw away.  Woljeongri is not officially registered as a beach, so not many people know of it or go there. That means that you get lots of space to yourself to enjoy and cool down during the sunny summer days.

Wrap Up

Planning to take your Korean studies with you on the go? The Inner Circle, which is part of the 90 Day Korean Membership program, is a structured Korean language course that can help you learn Korean wherever you are—yes, even when you’re at the beach!

Those are some of the best beaches to have a good time in South Korea. Which one’s the first on your list to visit? Let us know in the comments below!

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