Mostly known as one of the hottest cities in South Korea, there’s more to Daegu City than its subtropical climate. Nestled in the North Gyeongsang Province, Daegu is rich in history and culture, modern conveniences, and scenic views. As the fourth-largest city in South Korea, it has a thriving population of about 51.34 million. Though Daegu may not be Korea’s most visited city, exploring its streets might just convince you otherwise.
Here are 10 things to do and enjoy in Daegu, South Korea:
1. Get Your Dose Of Medicinal Herbs At Yangnyeongsi Market
When it comes to the largest and oldest oriental medicine markets in Korea, Yangnyeongsi Market is king. Serving since 1658, this market has been selling over 1,000 traditional medicine to both locals and tourists.
The streets here are lined with shops crammed with boxes and bags of herbs and various dried fruits and plants. Popular items in Yangnyeongsi Market include Youngji mushrooms for different adult diseases and ginseng for energy. Aside from these, you can buy all sorts of leaves, seeds, and dried flowers that can aid or cure different ailments.
When it comes to value for money, you can get most of the items here for up to 30% cheaper than anywhere else. This is because 70% of the oriental medicine goes through here first before getting traded in Korea. Aside from the wide array of herbal products here, the friendly price makes a trip here worth it.
Aside from herbal medicine, the streets also have oriental medical clinics that provide acupuncture sessions. Acupuncture works well in correcting energy flow imbalances to treat certain ailments. In line with acupuncture, another therapy popular here is cupping. Using special cups, these are pressed onto the skin to create suction. This method is said to improve blood flow and to reduce pain and inflammation.
51-1, Namseong-ro, Jung-gu, Daegu, South Korea
2. Fill Your Belly At Seomun Market
Among the best things to do in Daegu City is to sample their food. When it comes to the best Korean dishes and street snacks, Seomun Market is a must-visit. Seomun is the largest traditional street market in Daegu Korea, with over 4,000 shops to explore! For a big market, expect to see all sorts of items for sale. These include textile and sewing services, clothes, accessories, bedding, and decorations, among other items.
For your food cravings, the most-sought-after specialties here are Kalguksu (knife-cut noodle soup) and Nabjak Mandu (flat dumplings). You also need to try their special Daegu bread and churros, grilled pork belly and vegetable rolls, and waffles. A visit to Seomun Market is the perfect spot to sink your teeth into the best Korean dishes. The price range at Seomun Market is very affordable and the servings are generous.
45 Keunjang-ro 26-gil, Daesin-dong, Jung-gu, Daegu, South Korea.
Hike The Mountains
Daegu’s location in the middle of the mountains gives you endless scenic views and mountains to hike. Enjoy the fresh air, brave the hike, and take amazing photos from the top.
Must-Visit Hiking Sites
Palgongsan Natural Park: With about 45 minutes to reach the top, Palgongsan Natural Park is among the easier to hike. Aside from the gorgeous view, you also get to see the famous Gatbawi statue at the peak of the park. It is believed that the statue honors prayers, so locals and tourists climb up and offer their prayers.
Biseulsan County Park: Most famous for its blooming azaleas in spring, Biseulsan Park is located in the far south of Daegu. The flowers are so beautiful that every May there’s a festival dedicated to it. However, to reach the azalea habitat, you need to hike or take the bus to a valley near the summit. Don’t worry, whether on a bus or on foot, the trip to the azalea habitat is all worth it.
Apsan Park: Apsan sits in the south of Daegu, Korea. This wilderness park covers some of the peaks and valleys of the Apsan Mountain. Apsan may be a small mountain, but it offers a breathtaking view of the sunset while overlooking the entire city. The hike up isn’t just easy, but the flowers and creeks on the trail make for a relaxing climb. Meanwhile, if hiking isn’t your thing, you can still take in the view by riding on a cable car. The ride operates from 9 am to 7 pm.
Visit The Mabijeong Mural Village
If you want to see how traditional Korean homes look like, visit the Mabijeong Mural Village. This stunning little hillside village has 35 homes that showcase the authentic Korean culture. The houses boast details that tell about the history and culture. From old wells, random farming tools, to food, a visit to this village gives you a glimpse of Korean culture.
Aside from the authentic vibe, Mabijeong Mural Village is very quiet, which makes for a relaxing trip. It allows you to imagine what life was like in a peaceful countryside many years ago. Situated in the southwestern part of Daegu, the village is still inhabited by families from the Nampyeong Moon Clan. These families make visitors feel very welcome by offering homegrown food and some treats.
Mabijeong, Bonli2-ri, Hwawon-eup, Dalseong-gun, Daegu
Explore The Donghwasa Temple
Among the interesting things to do in Daegu Korea is to explore the Donghwasa Temple. Located on the south side of Palgongsan Mountain, this temple has so many interesting details for history buffs.
The temple is nestled in a big lush park, so it takes a little exercise to get to the temple. The first thing that will catch your attention is the Seolbeopjeon Hall, where large sermons are held. To the left is Daeungjeon, which is the main temple. Donghwasa’s Daeungjeon has three sections at the front and side, with natural-looking pillars that are picture-perfect. Walking through the main temple, you’ll be greeted by the Seokgamonibul, Amitabul, and Yaksayeoraebul statues. There’s also the huge Seokjoyaksa Yeoraebul, which was created as a prayer for reunification. The huge statue is a staggering 17-meter high Buddha.
There’s so much to explore in the temple. It houses prayer halls and pavilions that are decorated with mythical creatures, pillars, and statues. Aside from the details, during Buddha’s birthday, there’s a lantern festival to celebrate the occasion.
1 Donghwasa 1-gil, Dohak-dong, Dong-gu, Daegu, South Korea
Climb The E-World 83 Tower
E-World Tower is an 83-story radio tower of beauty. It’s located within the E-World Theme Park, where exciting things abound. The park has several rides for your amusement, including two roller coasters. Meanwhile, climbing the 83 Tower gives you an amazing panoramic view of the entire city. Aside from the view, you can indulge in its eatery and cafe.
Visiting during the day gives you an endless view across the skyscrapers. However, nighttime is where you get the most out of the experience. The gorgeous lights that flicker in the dark make for one memorable and romantic view. Another excellent time to come up here is during the Cherry Blossom season. This is when the trees are not only in full bloom but also become strung with lights at night. The view from the observation deck at this time is very magical.
The bottom floors of the tower also offer interesting options to keep you busy. You can find an ice skating rink and a museum for kids to enjoy. For some much-needed break, head to the third level and feast on western, Asian, and fusion cuisines offered in the restaurants.
200, Duryugongwon-ro, Dalseo-gu, Daegu
Restore Your Soul At Suseong Lake
The lake is always a great idea if you want to unwind and relax your body and mind. After your hectic days in Daegu city, spend an afternoon at Suseong Lake. Called Suseongmot in Korean, the lake has been refurbished into becoming one of South Korea’s famous places.
A visit to Susong Lake is one of the most popular things to do in Daegu, especially in spring and summer. Located right smack in the middle of the city, it’s a great break from the crowd and busy life.
The entire lake can be explored in about twp hours, but it’s never a bad idea to spend an entire afternoon here. Aside from relaxing and sightseeing, you can grab some food or enjoy the rides. The amusement park nearby can entertain your little ones for hours while you unwind with a refreshing drink. From coin-operated games, mini rollercoasters, to tennis and basketball courts, the park has a long list of activities.
One of the must-to-do in Susong Lake is the paddle boat ride. Shaped into ducks, the fun boats can be rented for half an hour.
725, Sang-dong, Suseong-gu, Daegu, South Korea
Take A Sip From Daegu’s Cafes
The coffee scene in Daegu Korea has taken greater heights recently. So don’t expect just a normal cup of coffee or cafe because Daegu offers a different coffee experience.
Top Cafes To Visit
1. RYU Coffee Roasters: If you’re mad about javas, RYU Coffee Roasters is the best cafe for you. One of the famous cafes in Daegu, RYU takes coffee making seriously. Enjoy a tall glass of java, or a cup of cold brew, and pair it with a slice of tiramisu. At RYU, you’ll come for the coffee but stay for the ambiance. The coffee shop is a good mix of traditional and modern interior.
Address: 66-2, Gongpyeong-dong, Jung-gu, Daegu, South Korea
2. Moga Café: Coffee and some quiet time always seem like a great idea. For those who want a more relaxed ambiance, head to Moga Café. Set in a quiet corner downtown, this cafe allows you to sip and relax at the same time. Boasting a blend of traditional Korean architecture and a peaceful courtyard, Moga feels very homey. Even the small details, such as cloth-bound menus, offer beauty and homeyness. Moga has a variety of espressos, teas, cakes, and bingsu to satisfy you. Aside from coffee and cakes, there’s a building that sells women’s accessories and clothing. Seems like the ladies need to spend more hours here.
Address: 40-17 Daebong 1-dong, Jung-gu, Daegu, South
3. Café Lucid: As the first café to open on the popular Dongseongro Alley, Café Lucid is among the popular cafes in Daegu. While the cafe has an excellent coffee selection, it’s their shaved ice desserts that etched their name on the coffee scene. You need to try their Green Tea Bingsu or the Melon Bingsu, any of which won’t disappoint. Add to that are the stuffed animals and colorful knick-knacks that create a cheerful mood for guests to enjoy.
Address: 70-2, Gongpyeong-dong, Jung-gu, Daegu, South Korea
Get Naked In Daegu
Get naked in Daegu — in a bathhouse, that is. Korea isn’t just the land of K-Pop, kimchi, or temples; it’s also popular for its traditional jjimjilbangs. A jjimjilbang is a 24-hour bathhouse that lets you sleep overnight, whereas saunas are just for bathing. Visiting one not only lets you relax but also allows you to soak up some Korean culture.
Here Are Some of The Best Jjimjilbangs Around Town
- Home Spa World: Aside from the usual staples, Home Spa World has a Waterfall Room, outdoor area, and a semi-precious stone path. If you’re not comfortable using a common room, there are gender-specific rooms for your convenience. Home Spa World is a great choice to relax and detoxify in their cold pools, hot tubs, and saunas. You can even pay an extra to have your body sufficiently scrubbed down.
Address: 651 Apsansunhwan-ro, Bongdeok 3(sam)-dong, Nam-gu, Daegu, South Korea
- Sungwon Nexus: It may be small in size, but Sungwon Nexus has built a big name in Daegu Korea over the years. Here, visitors are treated to an authentic and more traditional Korean spa experience. Alternate between ultra-hot rooms and the ice room. For your entertainment, there’s an arcade and karaoke rooms, as well as a common area to watch some K-dramas.
Address: 46 Hwarang-ro, Manchon-dong, Suseong-gu Daegu, 706-020, South Korea
- Goongjeon Lavender: It may be your typical sauna, but Goongjeon has something for everybody. Relax in hot tubs, dry sauna rooms, and cold-water tubs. The large cold tub is a favorite among kids. It spans the length of the sauna and is enveloped in a cave-like atmosphere. In addition, a special offering here is the dead sea salt scrub. It’s recommended that you only stay here 10 minutes at a time due to the high salt concentration.
Address: 52 Ayang-ro, Sinam 3(sam)-dong, Dong-gu, Daegu, South Korea
Enjoy The Nightlife At Banwoldang
You can’t leave Daegu City without enjoying the nightlife here. The best area to have a taste of Daegu nightlife is at Bandolwang. This area is a sprawling maze of shops, restaurants, and bars all lit up to give you a good time.
Banwoldang is an excellent spot to have fun at night after a busy day in the city. Do a little shopping from the rows of stores selling various items from clothes, shoes, to local souvenirs. Let the divine smell of local food lead you to the right restaurant of your craving. There are also a number of cafes and bars to drink the night away. At Banwoldang, you’ll easily blend in the mix of locals, tourists, and expats all relaxing after a busy day.
Access: From Daegu Station, hop on Bus 401 to Banwoldang Station (Exit 1).
What To Expect From Daegu Weather
Being one of the hottest cities in South Korea, it pays to learn more about Daegu weather. The best time to visit Daegu in South Korea is from May to September when there is tolerable heat as well as limited to little rainfall. Daegu weather is typically suitable for a sunny vacation. If you’re visiting in the warmer months, don’t let the weather stop you from enjoying the city. Pack light clothes and bring your trusty sunscreen and lip balms for ultimate protection.
Getting In And Going Around Daegu
Daegu International Airport has local flights, giving you easy access to other cities in Korea. You can easily manage a trip from Daegu to Seoul or to Jeju Island. International flights, meanwhile, can take you to Shanghai and Beijing and Kansai near Osaka in Japan. When it comes to navigating Daegu City, you can ride the taxi, bus, or train. You’ll be happy to know that taxis here are cheap and are easy to find.
Include Daegu In Your Next Trip To Korea!
For a city with a healthy mix of nature and modernity, Daegu, Korea is worth a visit. Explore its nature, historic sites, food, and way of life. There’s always something to do for everyone in Daegu — from kids to grownups and those in between. Hopefully, these 10 things to do in Daegu will convince you that it’s another city in Korea worth the trip.