Awesome Must-Visit Attractions in Daegu, South Korea

Tranquil ponds and intricate pavilions litter Gyeongsanggamyeong park in central Daegu
Tranquil ponds and intricate pavilions litter Gyeongsanggamyeong park in central Daegu | © Keitma / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Mimsie Ladner
6 August 2021

Daegu might not be Korea’s most visited destination, but it still has plenty to offer those who are fortunate enough to explore its streets. From 1000-year-old Buddhist sites and traditional markets to vast green spaces and contemporary cafes, we explore some of the city’s must-visit attractions.

E World

Amusement Park
Map View
RFDFTA Night view of E-World theme park and 83 Tower in Daegu city
© khanh nghia tran / Alamy Stock Photo

Welcome to South Korea’s answer to Disneyland. This theme park might not be as grand as Mickey Mouse’s homeland, but it boasts plenty of rides, exhibitions and performance halls, as well as glitzy shows. Take a moment to snap a selfie at the soaring Woobang Tower, snuggled at its heart, then make for the bumper cars in Adventure World. When tummies rumble it’s time for Cheese Making Village and its slices of silky cheesecake, or Wine Castle to buy bottles from around the world.

Daegu Arboretum

Botanical Garden, Park
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Lovers of the great outdoors need look no further than the Daegu Arboretum, where you can take a lazy stroll past thousands of species of landscaped plants – from trees to cacti, flowers to medicinal herbs. In warmer seasons, floral displays feature in living archway structures and along colourful planting beds, shot through by paved paths. It’s inspiring to see what can be made of an old landfill (this was converted in the late 90s). Best of all? It’s free to visit.

Daegu Art Museum

Museum
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If you’re a cultural holidaymaker, this art museum is a must. What you’ll get from it is a broad introduction to both Korean and global art – and there’s a permanent collection featuring abstract painting, quirky contemporary sculpture and graceful calligraphy. The basement has the obligatory museum shop (which is great to browse); meanwhile on the third floor is an Art Information Centre, where you can flip through books and spread out in a lounge when you need a break from pacing the galleries.

Elybaden

Health Spa, Sports Center
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Sometimes on a city break, you just need a little pampering. This multi-floored wellness and fitness emporium has everything you need to make you feel better: swish workout equipment, an infinity pool and a hot tub to soothe sightseeing-exhausted feet. Mineral-rich seawater plunge pools and steam rooms scented with ginseng add further relaxation, while there’s an onsite dining area serving indulgent Japanese-style burgers, as well as a kids’ playroom.

Daegu Chimac Festival

Market
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W3PXF7 17th July, 2019. Daegu Chimac Festival
© Newscom / Alamy Stock Photo

South Korea is famous for its fried chicken and beer and this annual July festival celebrates both in abundance. Mind, you, it’s not only about eating and drinking (although there’s certainly plenty of both). EDM music and live performances help create an electric vibe that extends far past the spice level of your chook. Need to cool off in the sweltering summer heat? Make for the onsite Ice Café, then top yourself up with another frosty beer.

Cheongdo Wine Tunnel

Winery, Architectural Landmark
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W5KJEW 30th July, 2019. Relief from heat People walk inside a cool railroad tunnel converted into a wine cellar in Cheongdo, some 340 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on July 29, 2019, to seek relief from the scorching heat. Credit: Yonhap/Newcom/Alamy Live News
© Newscom / Alamy Stock Photo

As if the name weren’t enough of an enticement, Cheongdo Wine Tunnel is a stunning looker: a historic red brick passage stuffed to the gills with vinous delights. Completed in 1904, the tunnel maintains a steady temperature of between 13 and 15C all year round. As a result, it’s perfect for aging the persimmon wine that fills its racks from floor to ceiling. Visit for a tasting of the unusual tipple, then stock up on bottles to take home.

Donghwa Temple

Buddhist Temple
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C96K71 Yaksayore-bul , Medicine Buddha statue, at Donghwasa Temple, Mt Palgongsan, Daegu, South Korea
© David Roberts / Alamy Stock Photo

Nestled in the foothills of Palgong Mountain, Donghwasa is a temple complex that dates back to the 5th century. Established by King Yongjo of the Goryeo dynasty, the temple’s main hall, Daeungjeon, boasts distinctive architectural details aimed at harmonizing the building with its surroundings. Colorful wall paintings and contemplative Buddhas adorn the structure’s interior. Yet the most distinct artifact of the complex is the monumental Unification Medicine Buddha statue that towers over the temple grounds. Donghwa Temple’s architectural aesthetics, combined with its stunning natural surroundings, make it one of the most beautiful Buddhist sites in all of Daegu. For a truly unique experience, consider participating in Donghwasa’s Templestay program, an overnight experience that offers a unique look into monastic life.

Apsan Park

Park
Map View
Aerial view of Daegu from 2E0GDD4 Aerial view of Daegu from Apsan mountain, Republic of Korea mountain, Republic of Korea
© Pavel Dudek / Alamy Stock Photo

Deep in the valley below Daegu’s famed Ap Mountain lie the numerous attractions of Apsan Park. It’s the largest green space in the city and offers a number of activities to entertain visitors of all ages. There are romantic gardens that are beautiful in the spring, a fascinating Korean War Museum and Buddhist temples that will help you find your Zen. Take the cable car to the top of the mountain to experience breathtaking views of the entire city and beyond, or hike the jagged rock formations for an unforgettable adventure.

Yangnyeongsi Market

Market, Museum
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GB481W medicine market in Daegu, province Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea, Asia. Image shot 2016. Exact date unknown.
© Dirk Renckhoff / Alamy Stock Photo
As the oldest oriental medicine market in Korea, Yangnyeongsi Market is one of the best places to soak up Daegu’s rich medicinal culture. Established in 1658, the market is one of the few of its kind that still stands today, with almost half of all Korean trade in medicinal herbs occurring here. From snakes and turtle shells to ginseng and tree bark, the market offers countless herbal remedies for an equally incalculable number of ailments. Browse the shops and let your senses be tantalized, then top off your experience with an herbal foot bath at the nearby Daegu Yangnyeongsi Museum of Oriental Medicine.

Seomun Market

Market
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2ADEDXG Daegu Korea, 1 October 2019 : Daegu Seomun covered market during daytime alley view with food and clothes stalls and people in Daegu South Korea
© Keitma / Alamy Stock Photo
Seomun is one of Korea’s last remaining markets from the Joseon Dynasty, yet it remains one of Daegu’s best markets to shop for local produce and gorge on the city’s culinary specialties. From hearty Korean dishes to unique street snacks, there’s something for every palate, but it’s most sought-after specialties are kalguksu (knife-cut noodle soup) and nabjak mandu (flat dumplings). The former is a savory noodle soup made with an anchovy and vegetable broth, while the latter are made with a chewy dough casing and a minimal amount of vegetable or meat filling. Servings at Seomun Market are generous and prices are affordable, so make sure you go hungry!

Otgol Village

Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark
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To experience the traditional side of Daegu, head to Otgol Village, a small community just outside the city. The tranquil village is made up of a cluster of some 20 hanok (traditional Korean homes) that have been owned by the Gyeongju Choi clan for nearly 400 years. Although most are not original and those that are have been restored over time, they are interesting in that their squared structure differs greatly from the architecture of other clan head houses. For this reason, they are considered a valuable reference for historians. Aside from the historical significance of the village, its natural landscape is something to behold. Its 350-year-old locust tree, for example, is believed to keep out demons, while apricot flowers, cherry blossoms and forsythia bring Otgol to life in the spring.

Duryu Park

Park
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2E0GCMA Pavilion at Duryu park in Daegu, Republik of Korea
© Pavel Dudek / Alamy Stock Photo

Daegu Duryu Park is a favorite relaxation spot for many Daegulites, thanks to its abundant plant life and an abundance of wide-open spaces. In addition to its various leisure and cultural facilities, Duryu Park is also home to Daegu Tower, the tallest observation tower in Korea and a great place to get a bird’s eye view of the city. The park is most beautiful during the Dalgubeol Lantern Festival, held during Buddha’s Birthday celebrations when thousands of illuminated lanterns are set afloat above the park grounds. It’s also the venue for the annual Daegu International Bodypainting Festival (DIBF), one of the more unique events held in the city.

Ellie Hurley contributed additional reporting to this article.

These recommendations were updated on August 6, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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