Daegu, with its wide open green spaces and stunning Buddhist sites, is the living embodiment of Korea’s traditional culture and contemporary charm. There’s so much to see and do in Korea’s fourth largest city that it would take months to experience all of it. If you only have two days, however, make the most of your trip with this 48 hour itinerary.
Start your morning by taking in the stunning natural beauty of Palgon Mountain. From the Donghwa Facilities Complex, take the cable car up to the mountain peak, some 820 meters (2690 ft) above sea level, and enjoy the spectacular mountain views along the way.
Upon arriving at the peak, gaze out at the city of Daegu sprawled out below you. Then hit one of the many hiking trails and partake in a bit of forest bathing, a favorite Korean pastime of soaking up the sights, smells and sounds of a natural setting to promote physiological and psychological health.
51, Palgongsan-ro 185-gil, Dong-gu, Daegu, South Korea, +82-53-982-8801
Not far from the cable car is Donghwasa, a stunning Buddhist temple with a history of over 1,500 years. The temple complex is home to the famous Unification Medicine Buddha, a 17 meter (55ft) tall stone statue that looks out over the temple grounds.
Time your visit right and you can participate in a relaxing tea ceremony with Donghwasa’s monks. Afterwards, stop for a bite to eat at Mountain Blue, a popular Korean restaurant and café perched on a cliffside.
35 Dohak-dong, Dong-gu, Daegu, South Korea, +82 53 982 0101
Dongseongno Street gets its name from the path that once traced Daegu’s eastern fortress wall. As the road was constructed, many shops began popping up along the road. Today, the area still illustrates the clear transformation of Daegu. Often compared to Myeongdong in Seoul, Dongseongno Street is the most popular shopping district in downtown Daegu, offering everything from luxury items to fast fashion to Korean beauty products.
161 Sincheon-daero, Buk-gu, Daegu, South Korea, +82-2-1330
After all that shopping, you’ve no doubt worked up an appetite. Rest your shopping legs and fill your stomach at one of the many restaurants around Daegu Station. Opt from green curry at Hi Thai, Mexican burritos at Dos Tacos or if you’re really feeling hungry, grab a table at Ashley, a popular all-you-can-eat buffet.
Originally created to serve as an agricultural water reserve, Suseong Lake is now a popular rest area for locals. There are a number of attractions to keep visitors entertained during the day, such as paddle boats and small amusement park rides, but it is most beautiful once the sun goes down. At night, street performers sing, play and dance around the park, and a colorful fountain show takes place in the middle of lake.
473-2 Sang-dong, Suseong-gu, Daegu, South Korea, +82-53-666-2000
Located within walking distance of Suseong Lake is Baqus, one of Daegu’s premiere craft beer bars. With indoor and outdoor seating, it is an ideal spot for a nightcap on a warm summer evening. Grab a seat and choose from a nice selection of local beer. The bar also serves up tasty bar food.
Start your morning with a stroll through the beautifully landscaped Duryu Park. Vibrant gardens and fountains dot the park, creating a tranquil atmosphere. No matter which time of the year you go to Duryu, you can always find interesting events and performances taking place. If it’s a clear day, head to the top of the 83 storey Daegu Tower for great views of the city.
200-1 Seongdang-dong, Dalseo-gu, Daegu, South Korea, +82-53-1330
Daegulites really love their coffee. The city has the greatest number of coffee shops per capita of the entire country and hosts the Daegu International Coffee Fair every autumn. Coffee is so popular, in fact, that there’s an entire street dedicated to the beverage. Lined with Daegu’s top independent cafes, run by owners who take their beans very seriously, the trendy street boasts a unique atmosphere and lures passersby in with the luxurious aromas of roasting coffee.
Jung-gu is a collection of unusually named streets that each boast a unique story. Over time, this cluster of Daegu’s “Modern History Streets” has transformed into a cultural attraction in itself. There are five different routes to follow through the streets and Course 2, Modern Culture Alley, is perhaps the most interesting and covers roughly a century of local history. Explore attractions such as the House of Missionary Chamness, Daegu’s first Western-style building, Gyesan Catholic Church, and the Daegu Yangnyeongsi Museum of Oriental Medicine.
Set aside an hour to spend at the last attraction, the Yangnyeongsi Museum of Oriental Medicine. Part history museum, part experience center, the venue gives visitors a unique look into the origins, concepts and culture of traditional Korean medicine. In addition to the indoor experiences and exhibitions, there’s plenty to do in the outdoor plaza, such as taking a walk along the acupuncture trail, which promises to relieve stress through the pressure points in the feet, as well as the footbath pool, a foot soak enhanced with medicinal herbs.
49, Dalgubeol-daero 415-gil, Jung-gu, Daegu, South Korea, +82-53-253-4729
Go for a romantic stroll under the cherry blossom trees, or stop by the small zoo (a popular spot with children). K-drama fans might recognize this gorgeous green space, as it was a filming location for the series Uncontrollably Fond, featuring Kim Woo-bin and Bae Suzy.
35, Dalseonggongwon-ro, Jung-gu, Daegu, South Korea, +82-53-554-7907~8
The largest traditional market in Daegu, Seomun Market is also one of the most popular. During the day, customers come here to browse textiles, but at night, the place transforms into a paradise for foodies. The night market vendors sell everything from favorite Korean street foods of mandu and tteokbokki to global fare such as Vietnamese cha gio, Japanese takoyaki and French crepes. The lively atmosphere makes the food taste even better.
45, Keunjang-ro 26-gil, Jung-gu, Daegu, South Korea, +82-53-256-6341