Spring in Daegu is a beautiful month! If you are lucky enough to be here during this time, there are tons of outdoor things to do and see. Don’t know where to start? Then you have come to the right place! If spending a spring weekend in Daegu, you can hike Palgongsan mountain, explore downtown Daegu and take a swan boat around Susong Lake, just to name a few ideas. And if you choose to reside at one of our suggested stays in Daegu, you’ll be able to explore all the amazing attractions of the city quite easily. Here is our compiled list of the best things to do in Daegu, South Korea in spring, regardless of if you have the cash to spend or not.
1. Daegu Yangnyeongsi Museum of Oriental Medicine
Quite unique in its genre, Daegu Yangnyeongsi Museum of Oriental Medicine, celebrates the centenary history of traditional oriental medicine. In the 17th century, Yangnyeongsi was founded as an international hub for herbal medicine and holistic cure, which supplied foreign countries such as China, Russia and Japan. In the 1980s, the “Permanent Exhibition of Oriental Medicine” was established in Daegu. 10 years later, the exhibition was relocated to its current location. The museum is arranged on two floors and it includes a display of minerals, herbal ingredients, medical tools, and books alongside replicas of how the market and clinics would look like in the past. Visitors will love the interactive, hands-on experiences offered on the second floor: from foot bathing to soap making, guests will appreciate the historical and cultural importance of Korean traditional medicine. Don’t forget to stop at the “Practice Zone” where you can check your current health condition and learn to introduce and apply traditional medicine to your life.
Daegu Yangnyeongsi Museum of Oriental Medicine
Address: 49 Dalgubeol-daero 415-gil, Seongnae 2(i)-dong, Jung-gu, Daegu, South Korea
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 9am - 6pm (closed on Mon)
Price: Free (some hands-on experiences require admission fees)
2. National Bond Compensation Movement Memorial Park
The National Bond Compensation Movement Memorial Park is a well-kept, green oasis found in the heart of Daegu. Located within the park is the Memorial Museum that recounts the history of the National Bond Compensation Movement. Politically important, the movement emerged as a consequence and reaction to Japan’s predatory stance during its occupation of the Korean Empire. At the beginning of the 20th century, Japan forced Korea to borrow money from its coffers with the aim of building new infrastructure and ameliorate its institutions. This move dramatically accrued Korea’s national debt and put the country under enormous financial strain. Hence the birth of the National Debt Redemption Movement, which aimed at repaying the debt with Japan without losing territories to the predatory neighbor. The park - completed in 1999 - celebrates the pride of the Korean people and offers an ideal, relaxing spot after a day of exploration. Sit on a bench in the shade, watch a match of baseball in the nearby courts, take a picture of the Grand Bell installed in 1998, a symbol of harmony, or simply stroll along the many pathways.
National Bond Compensation Movement Memorial Park
Address: 42 Dongin 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Daegu, South Korea
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
3. Palgongsan Mountain and the Gatbawi statue
Palgongsan Mountain and the Gatbawi statue are one of the most prominent Daegu points of interest. Once you are over the shock of how long it takes to get to Palgongsan Mountain, it really is a beautiful place to explore. You can take a local bus from downtown Daegu all the way out here, and it will only cost you around 1,600 KRW (1 USD) You have a couple options when visiting Palgongsan from an easy walking hike, to an intense workout and everything in between. Many locals come here to enjoy the outdoors, get in some exercise and just relax in the quiet forest, for the day.
Many Koreans flock to Palgongsan during hard times because they climb the ‘stairs of death’ to pray to the Gatbawi statue. The famous Gatbawi statue is a statue of Buddha that is on a rocky cliff, very high above sea level. The name ‘Gatbawi’ comes from the fact that the Buddha has a flat rock or 'bawi’ on its head that looks like a Korean traditional hat, called a ‘gat’. Many historical gurus have said this Buddha statue is one of the most sophisticated statues of the 9th Century. Korean myth says that the statue grants wishes and has healing properties. Many parents and families will climb up here during their children’s exams to pray for their children’s success.
Now on to the stairs of death. Probably one of the most intense thigh workouts around, if you make it, (which tons of people do, so don’t worry) you can see the Gatbawi statue in all its glory. If you are not into climbing about 1,000 stairs - I understand! There are plenty of places to stop and rest and nature to take in, every step of the way. The best thing to do is to bring a picnic lunch and head up the mountain for a half-day trip. You can easily stay up there all day if you take your time walking up the stairs, and hanging out at the Gatbawi statue for a while. Keep in mind, if it is a windy day, it will be even windier on the top of the mountain, and it could be cold and unpleasant, so be sure to pack all the essentials: a windbreaker, small umbrella or poncho, water and a high protein snack. There is nowhere to buy most of these things on the top of the mountain, however there are a couple of handicraft stores, selling different homemade jewelry and other crafts.
The easiest way to get to Palgongsan: Leaving from metro station: Dong Daegu, take Bus 401 or Express Bus 1 and get off at the entrance of Donghwasa Temple (동화사입구 in Korean)
Palgongsan Mountain & Gatbawi statue
Website: Visit Korea
4. Downtown Daegu
Downtown Daegu is another beautiful place in the spring. Mostly because all of the flowers blooming, people out and about and outdoor cafes and restaurants opening their doors to bring in the enjoyable weather. Our favorite things to do downtown in the spring are hit the newly opened cafes, people watch, shop in the underground and enjoy the local park right in the center.
Don’t know how to get here? Simply take the metro to ‘Bawoldang’, Exit 13.
Just got downtown and need a coffee? Head to 30 mL Espresso, on the corner of ‘cafe street.’ It’s one of the best local coffee shops in the area, with Owl Pipe and Ryu coffee falling right behind. Both are a couple of doors down from 30 mL. You can sit here and enjoy their atmosphere, have a delicious homemade tiramisu (a personal favorite) and people watch. If you take your coffee to go, you can head a couple of blocks down to the underground shopping entrance, which is always having sales when the seasons change. Hello bargains! Tons of clothes, socks, accessories, shoes and makeup will be for sale here. Be sure to shop around-as these locals can get competitive with pricing.
After you are all shopped out why not head to the local park? In spring it will be blooming and a great place to relax and enjoy some of your afternoon. Here you can sometimes catch free local music, people singing karaoke or just people watching. Why not take advantage of the weather before it gets too hot?
5. Susong Lake
Wondering what to do in Daegu? Head over to Susong Lake. It is one of the most underrated places to go for a day in the spring. This area is great for sightseeing and walking around grabbing some food. It is also very peaceful here and easily accessed by the metro so you are never too far from the downtown area. Simply take the yellow metro line to the stop ‘Susongmot’. In Korean this means 'Susong Lake’ and from the exit, follow the signs posted all along the way right to the lake. It is about a 10-minute walk from the metro to the lake if you walk casually.
The whole area around the lake can easily be walked in about 2 hours, or you could also spend a day here, wandering around, getting a coffee, brunch or BBQ and enjoying the view you can see in this photo! As you can see, there are swan boats, which for 20,000 KRW (16 USD), up to four people can get inside and take a boat ride around the lake, for an hour. What a relaxing afternoon!
The following content is contributed by Trip101 writer, Barry
Those looking for fun things to do in Daegu should consider visiting Daegu E-World, 83 Tower. Towering over the city, rising 83-stories high, this tower is where visitors looking for an unbeatable view head to. Its design is an architectural masterpiece and though it may seem understated, it is actually known as a symbol of the city. From afar, the building is majestic, however, the best experience is from the observation deck at the very top. From here, you’ll get a 360-degree view of Daegu. 83 Tower offers a lot more. There’s an ice rink for those who love skating as well as several cafes and restaurants. You’ll need a whole day to explore this fascinating destination.
Daegu E-World, 83 Tower Combo Ticket
Duration: 5 hours
7. Kim Kwang Seok Street
If you’re familiar with Korean culture then you’ve probably heard the name Kim Kwang-Seok. Well known as an influential singer, he lived his early life on this street before his family moved when he was five years old. This eponymous street is named in honor of his life. A statue of the singer holding a guitar welcomes you to Kim Kwang-Seok Street and you’re most likely going to hear his music playing in more than one store on the street. This would be a great opportunity to learn all you can about Kim Kwang-Seok’s achievements. This quaint street is also lined with eateries, so there’s no hurry to leave. And if you need to do some shopping, you can drop by Bangcheon Market which is adjacent to Kim Kwang Seok Street.
Kim Kwang Seok Street
Address: Daebong-dong, Jung-gu, Daegu, South Korea
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
8. Apsan Observatory
Apsan Observatory offers an elevated vantage point to admire the city, a view that is simply breathtaking. This spot is accessible via a cable car, a ride that’s only 15 minutes long. However, if you’re looking for more of an adventure, consider hiking from Anjiranggol, a one-hour expedition that will take you past Anilsa Temple. Ultimately, you’ll arrive at the observatory where you’ll get an excellent view of Daegu’s contrasts - the steel and concrete city center and the lush green space beyond. At night, Apsan Observatory is beautifully lit. Incidentally, there are night hikes offered if you’re weary of the daytime heat. This is a popular tourist spot and so you’re very likely to find large crowds gathered here. However, if you come on a weekday, there should be fewer people to jostle with.
Address: Apsansunhwan-ro, Daemyeong 9(gu)-dong, Nam-gu, Daegu, South Korea
Website: Apsan Observatory
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 10:30am - 6:30pm; Fri - Sun: 10:30am - 8:30pm
9. Daegu National Museum
Lovers of history are bound to be enthralled by the Daegu National Museum. Established in the early 90s, the museum has, since then, sought to preserve Korean cultural heritage. And it has succeeded; there are thousands of exhibits that showcase Daegu’s past. You’ll find Prehistoric relics and exhibits from the Bronze Age, and you’ll also get to learn about the region’s ancient kingdoms. All these are divided amongst the three floors and several exhibition halls. Also, take some time to stroll outside the main building and explore the ancient dome houses and stone pagodas. Daegu National Museum is found in the downtown area, easily accessible on foot from the city center.
Daegu National Museum
Address: 321 Cheongho-ro, Hwanggeum-dong, Suseong-gu, Daegu, South Korea
Website: Daegu National Museum
Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 9am - 6pm; Sat: 9am - 9pm; Sun: 9am - 7pm (closed on Mon)
10. Donghwasa Buddhist Temple
Built in the 1700s, Donghwasa Temple is a testament to Daegu’s rich culture and deep history. The temple’s history goes farther back than the 1700s, as far as 493 AD when its original structures were constructed. Back then, it was known as Yugasa Temple. You’ll get to learn everything about its past when you visit and explore the present structures. As you’d expect from a Buddhist temple, the buildings are elegant with intricate designs on the facade. Each hall has a story to tell, each bearing an elegant appeal. Located about 20 km (12 mi) from Daegu, the temple is far enough from the city’s crowds but not too far to make it difficult to access. Enjoy a day exploring the temple and hiking the surrounding trails.
Donghwasa Buddhist Temple
Address: 1, Donghwasa 1-gil, Dong-gu, Daegu
Website: Donghwasa Buddhist Temple
11. Songhae Park
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
A bus or taxi ride to Dalseong will bring you to Songhae Park, a destination that’s expansive, lush, elegant, and a little bit quirky. Boasting captivating landscape, the park is a combination of a lake amidst stunning greenery peppered with man-made features like a bridge and a water wheel. An unforgettable spot, Songhae Park is a much-needed respite from the city center’s cacophony. You’ll get lost in the beauty of nature as you stroll along the trails that take you through different sections of the park. From walking alongside a mountain to a romantic stroll through the heart-shaped archway, you’ll be captivated by the serenity in this location. Songhae Park’s beauty is definitely worth admiring in the spring.
Address: 969-44 Gise-ri, Okpo-myeon, Dalseong-gun, Daegu, South Korea
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
12. Otgol Village
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
Dotted with lacquer trees and sitting at the foot of Palgong Mountain, Otgol Village is, surprisingly, not known for its proximity to nature. This centuries-old village is popular because it’s where tourists get to experience authentic Korean tradition and culture. Otgol is actually home of the Gyeongju Choi, a prominent clan in South Korea, and the very first house was constructed around the year 1616. Of course, a lot of reconstruction has taken place over the years to protect the houses from the vagaries of time. Take time to explore the different buildings as each one has a different tale to narrate. One fascinating building, known locally as the Baekbulgotek, is the oldest one not just in the village but the entire city.
Address: East of Daegu, South Korea
13. Daegu Opera House
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
This building is worth a visit whether you love the arts or not. An architectural marvel, the opera house’s construction was completed in 2003 when its majestic six-story construction was revealed to the public. It can seat 1490 people in total and has, since its establishment, been a center of artistic excellence in South Korea. If you love live performances then this is the place to visit during your trip. Daegu Opera House is found in the Buk-gu area, a short distance from the city center.
Daegu Opera House
Address: South Korea, Daegu, Buk-gu, Hoam-ro, 15
Website: Daegu Opera House
14. Seomun Market
Ask anyone in Daegu where to go shopping and the name Seomun Market is most likely to come up. This is actually the largest street market in Daegu and boasts over 4000 retailers. Its name signifies its location - the city’s western side - and it’s just a couple of meters from the city’s West Gate. This massive market is made up of not only open-air stalls but also hundreds of stores inside the street’s buildings. If you’re looking for fabrics, then you’ll definitely find all you need here. However, you can also buy local crafts as well as dried seafood. The night market is a foodie’s paradise where Korean cuisines can be found aplenty.
Address: 45 Keunjang-ro 26-gil, Daesin-dong, Jung-gu, Daegu, South Korea
Website: Seomun Market
Opening hours: 9am - 6:30pm (daily)
15. Biseulsan Azalea Festival (Spring)
A true mark of spring in Daegu is the Biseulsan Azalea Festival held each year when the azalea flowers are in full bloom. At this time, the Biseulsan Mountain becomes draped in pink, transforming it to a stunning shade, ready to host the festival. The festivities are marked by musical performances, singing contests and, of course, lots of food. Among the treats served are flower rice pancakes washed down by flower teas. You’ll also get a chance to learn how to make azalea soap from the experts. As you’d expect, the festival is packed with crowds of people, however, the experience is worth it.
Biseulsan Azalea Festival
Takes place: April - May
Springtime really doesn’t get any better than in Daegu. After a long day of hiking beautiful Gatbawi, taking a boat around Susong lake and drinking in downtown Daegu, you are sure to be tired from an unforgettable experience!
Frequently asked questions about things to do in Daegu, South Korea
1. Which are the top attractions to visit in Daegu?
Daegu has a plethora of sights that visitors will love to check out. The top attractions to visit in Daegu are Palgongsan Mountain, Daegu E-World, 83 Tower, Donghwasa Buddhist Temple, Seomun Market, and Apsan Observatory.
2. Which are the best outdoor activities in Daegu?
Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy visiting Daegu. Go hiking on Palgongsan Mountain or climb up the 1000 steep stairs to Gatbawi statue. You can also go boating on Susong Lake or explore the trails surrounding Donghwasa Buddhist Temple.
3. Which are the most popular things to do with kids and family in Daegu?
Daegu is a family-friendly destination. The entire family can take a day trip to Palgongsan Mountain and Gatbawi statue, embarking on easy hikes or picnicking at the top. You can even visit Daegu E-World, 83 Tower to enjoy lovely views or explore the beautiful Otgol Village together.
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