Daegu is a city where nature and modernity collide. Whether you’re a jogger looking for a scenic running track, a photographer trying to capture spring in the city, or you just need an afternoon of relaxation under the sun, the green spaces of Daegu have something for everyone. The following are the city’s best and most beautiful parks and gardens.
Previously a landfill site, this sprawling green space is now home to beautiful botanical gardens that are comprised of more than 1,000 species of plants. Ponds brimming with aquatic life and groves of trees add to the arboretum’s aesthetic while several trails twist around the gardens, making for a nice setting for an afternoon walk. The facility regularly holds ecology experience programs for students and young children.
Suseong Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in South Korea and one of the most visited places in Daegu. In spring, cherry blossom trees punctuate the path along the lake, while the cool evening breeze makes it a delightful spot to visit in the summer. Children will enjoy the small amusement park, while those wanting to get some exercise can make use of the tennis and basketball courts. Opt to take your special someone on a romantic boat ride, or enjoy the impressive fountain show, which runs in the evenings from May until October.
Dalseong Park is situated on what is believed to be Korea’s oldest earthen fortification, which dates back more than 1,750 years. Once a site of refuge from invading forces, it now provides relief from the hectic pace of Daegu’s daily life. Though relatively small in size, Dalseong Park is a pleasant and relaxing place for a stroll or picnic. In addition to some nice hiking paths that overlook surrounding neighborhoods, the park also boasts a history museum, the Gwanpungnu Pavilion and a small zoo (that is in major need of some bigger cages).
In the valley below Daegu’s Ap Mountain lie the many attractions of Apsan Park, the largest park in Daegu. Here, visitors can relax and picnic in romantic gardens, or visit the Korean War Museum and Buddhist temples. Archery, horseback riding and swimming facilities are also available for those who want a bit more action. Take the cable car to the top of the mountain to experience breathtaking views of the entire city and beyond. Hiking above Daegu along mountain ridges lined with jagged rock formations and seasonal colors makes for an unforgettable adventure.
Hill Crest is one of the best spots to embrace nature and enjoy the verdant scenery of the region. Inviting gardens welcome visitors with colorful flowers and the pleasing aroma of vegetation. Like most good Korean parks, there is no shortage photo ops, as nearly every corner of the place is equipped with whimsical seating or a smiling statue. The ecological theme park (of sorts) also boasts a petting zoo and open-air cafes, but the real highlight is the ropes course that takes visitors between tree tops and through verdant foliage.
Home to one of the only rose gardens in Daegu, Igok Fountain Park is a sight to behold in May during the city’s Rose Festival. Over 17,000 roses of every size and color blossom into majestic beauty. Not only can visitors enjoy the vibrant scenery, they can also participate in activities such as making rose soap or tasting rose tea.
Daegu Duryu Park is a favorite relaxation spot for many Daegulites, thanks to its abundant plant life and 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. The park is most beautiful during the Dalgubeol Lantern Festival when in celebration of Buddha’s Birthday, thousands of illuminated lanterns are set afloat above the park grounds, making for a rather magnificent scene.
The Daegu Democracy Movement, which occurred on February 28, 1960 during Seungman Yi’s administration, was an expression of the Daegu civic mind that was against poverty, dictatorship, injustice and corruption. It was an incident that pioneered Korea’s version of Western democracy. The event is commemorated at 2.28 Joongang Memorial Park, a small green space in the heart of downtown Daegu that hosts regular performances and concerts. It also provides a safe and comfortable atmosphere for an evening walk.