Haeundae is the most popular beach in Busan.
But I like Gwangalli better for these reasons.
- It has a more local feel because it’s more quiet and less crowded
- The restaurants/bars/cafes are facing the beach
- The view is not blocked by big hotels surrounding the beach
- It is 20 minutes closer to tourist and shopping areas like Busan Tower, BIFF, Jagalchi Fish Market, Seomyeon, and Nampo
Do you like traveling on a low-budget?
Here are some things that you can enjoy at Gwangalli Beach for free or a low-cost.
1. Watch some street performers on the beach (free)
Maybe throw in a few 1000 KRW bills if they’re really good.
2. Enjoy the music and light show of the Gwangan Bridge (free)
The light changes with the music which comes from the speakers!
3. Take some pictures with the letters on the beach (free)
I need a native Korean to translate this for me because I have no idea what this says.
4. Chat with the bartenders at Fuzzy Navel while facing the beach (buy a drink)
The bartenders were quite friendly. It was nice that they tried to speak in English with us even though we are the ones that should be learning more Korean. My friend tried a shot that was lit on fire!
5. Buy some fireworks at the convenience store and shoot it towards the ocean (2000 KRW)
This seems to be a common thing to do near the ocean in Korea. I’ve also done this in Wolmido, which is near Incheon, and in Haeundae. If you ask, the owners can usually lend you their lighter.
6. Get a delicious brunch meal at Caffe Primo (10,000 KRW)
The atmosphere, cleanliness, music, location, friendliness, and flexibility of this cafe was great. My friends and I wanted to sit there forever. The cook spoke in English and allowed us to arrange and add sides to our orders, which I think is rare in Korea. The meal looked beautiful and it was delicious…
It is located one street behind the main street along the Gwangalli Beach. Although you don’t get the entire view of the beach, it’s still a two minute walk from the beach, and the price is lower compared to the brunch locations on the main street.
7. Rest at Bing Bing Bing for some dessert with cute penguin pictures (5,000 KRW)
If you love penguins and dessert, you must go to this place. Their entire store (including the bathroom) looks very clean, there are many cute pictures on the wall, cup, and napkin, they play K-pop, and there is a clear view of Gwangalli Beach.
How to get there:
Gwangan Station exit 3 or 4.
Walk straight towards the sound and smell of the beach.