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One of the most magical times of year, the cherry blossom season in Korea – as in neighbouring Japan – is celebrated all over the country. Cherry trees bloom first in Jeju, then sweep up through the country in a wave of pink. It’s best to plan in advance since Korea’s cherry blossoms are best viewed as close to the day of first bloom as possible. In 2018, Busan’s cherry blossoms are expected to appear between March 26 and April 2.
Dalmaji-gil Road, Haeundae
This is likely to be your closest cherry blossom-viewing spot if you’re a visitor to the city; Dalmaji Hill is a hip hangout located southeast of the tourist hot spot Haeundae Beach. Head up Dalmaji-gil Road for views over the bay, pine trees and cherry blossoms galore. Known as a place for lovers all year round, cherry blossom season makes it an even more romantic destination.
How to get there: From Jangsan metro station, take bus number 2 or 10.
An unspoilt stretch of coastline, Igidae Park’s natural, rugged beauty is popular with hikers and day-trippers. The full hike will take around three hours and includes some steep hills, but there are good spots for cherry blossom-viewing all along the way. The combination of blue sea, pink blossom and steep cliffs make for an unforgettable viewing experience.
How to get there: Igidae Park is a 15-minute walk from Namcheon subway station (take exit 3), or you can take a bus from Kyungsung University subway and alight at the park. Alternatively, take bus number 27 from Busan Station and alight at Orukydo Skywalk.
Cherry Blossom Road, Namcheon-dong
Close to Gwanganli Beach, Cherry Blossom Road in Namcheon-dong Samik Beach Town Apartment Complex provides spectacular views over Gwangan Bridge, especially at night. The cherry trees here are densely packed, and some are more than 30 years old. The spot is popular with tourists and locals.
How to get there: From Geumnyeonsangan subway station (exit 5), it’s a 10-minute walk or short taxi ride.
Three kilometres of road are flanked by cherry trees which stretch out on either side to create a tunnel of blossoms. Along with cherry blossoms, the road also boasts views of Gwangan Bridge and the ocean, as well as an observatory for those interested in astronomy. The road is one of Busan’s most famous cherry blossom-viewing spots simply by virtue of the sheer number of trees here.
How to get there: From Geumneyonsan subway station, it’s a 30-minute walk from exit 6.
Oncheonchon Stream Park is known for its ‘flower road’. This pleasant riverside walk is transformed in the spring by the appearance of rape flowers, cherry blossoms and other colourful blooms. It’s a popular spot for walks, exercise and relaxation, especially at weekends. The park is 10 kilometres long and follows a winding stream all the way from Dongnae subway station to Yeonsan.
How to get there: From Dongnae subway station exit 8, cross the road. From here, it’s a four-minute walk.
Take a day trip out of Busan and head to neighbouring Changwon for the full cherry blossom experience. Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival spans 10 days of the year’s bloom (2018’s dates are April 1-10) and sees the district of Jinhae transformed by over 300,000 cherry trees bursting into blossom. Expect cultural performances, illuminations, fireworks, a military re-enactment and lots of food stalls. Don’t forget to take a photo on the iconic Romance Bridge.
How to get there: Take a bus from Sasang bus terminal or Hadan. The journey should take 45 minutes to an hour.