See 30 Gorgeous Cafes by the Sea at Anmok Beach & Gangneung Coffee Street
Visiting Anmok Beach on a hot summer day in Korea is a no brainer. After all, it has gorgeous, turquoise water, creamy, white sand, and all the beachy vibes you could possibly want.
Don’t limit yourself to just the dog days of summer in Korea though. Because Anmok Beach is also where you’ll find the popular Gangneung Coffee Street.
This is an entire row of over 30 unique beachfront cafes, complete with perfectly brewed beverages, and incredible sea views. It’s equally pleasant to visit in spring, autumn, and, even the depths of winter, so don’t hesitate to visit in any season.
In this guide
- 1 Anmok Beach | 안목해변
- 2 Gangneung Coffee Street
- 3 How to go to Anmok Beach & Gangneung Coffee Street
- 4 Where to Stay in Gangneung
Anmok Beach | 안목해변
Address: 20-1, Changhae-ro 14beon-gil, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do | 강원도 강릉시 창해로14번길 20-1
Anmok Beach is located on the East Coast of Korea, which is known for sunrise views and some of the best water in the country.
I would’ve gone there just to visit Gangneung Coffee Street alone, but was pleasantly surprised by how gorgeous Anmok was. It’s a wide, 500 metre long beach covered in super fine, white sand. The sea was such a vivid shade of blue, I could’ve gazed at it all day long.
Anmok Port is directly in front of the beach, and you can watch fishing boats dock to unload seaweed in spring, octopus in summer, and pollack in autumn and winter.
I loved spending the day at Anmok Beach. With its line of seaside cafes, it felt like a more modernized version of the usual Korean beach experience. One I’d definitely like to visit again.
Anmok Beach | Travel Essentials
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Money-Saving Transit and Transport Passes
Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tours
Day Tours and Discounted Admission Tickets
Gangneung Coffee Street
You’re probably wondering what the big deal is with the Gangeung region and coffee, right?
Wander the streets of Seoul and it’s hard to imagine a time when there wasn’t a cafe on every street corner. But modern coffee culture in Korea is actually pretty new. And the region of Gangneung, with its mix of clean water, writers and local roasters is widely credited for starting modern coffee culture in Korea.
This strip of road next to Anmok Beach, was lined with instant coffee vending machines in the 1980s. Its transformation to Gangneung Coffee Street began in 1998 when the first 2 cafes opened there. This coincided with an increased local interest in hand-drip coffees, over ready to mix coffee.
Today, there are over 30 cafes lining Gangeung Coffee Street, most with panoramic views of the East Sea through floor to ceiling windows. This 500 metre stretch of caffeinated beachfront is recommended by the KTO as one of the “Top 10 Must-Visit Tourist Spots” in Korea, and it’s definitely worth a visit.
You’ll find big chains like Starbucks, and Pascucci there, but the best cafes on Gangneung Coffee Street are independently owned and staffed by skilled baristas. There are a ton to check out, but some well-known ones are America, Kikirus Coffee, Bossanova, and Santorini.
We spent many hours inside Cafe Bossanova enjoying delicious pastries, coffee, and gorgeous sea views. Make sure to head to the rooftop terrace for window-free pictures.
How to go to Anmok Beach & Gangneung Coffee Street
Anmok Beach is located on the East Coast of Korea, around 220-km from Seoul. Under normal traffic conditions, it takes just around 2.5 hours to drive there.
If you don’t have a car, you can take a KTX high-speed train, or express bus to Gangneung City, then use local transport to get to Anmok Beach and Gangneung Coffee Street.
TIP | Don’t have a car? This private taxi tour for up to 4 people is incredible value at just 19,000 won per car. If you’re booking for the weekend, you must reserve by 10AM on Friday morning. Reserve a private taxi tour of selected Gangneung sites here.
You can choose from the following curated tours:
- K-WAVE tour: includes BTS bus stop at Hyangho Beach, Youngjin Beach from Goblin + more
- Coffee Tour: includes Anmok Coffee Street, Jungang Market + more
- Gangneung History Tour: includes Ohjukheong, Gyeongpo Lake + more
By KTX High-Speed Train
If you’re near Seoul Station or Cheongnyangni Station (the train stations, NOT the subway stations), the fastest option to get to Anmok Beach is KTX high speed train. It takes around 2 hours to get to Gangneung. A one way ticket starts at 23,000 won.
From my house, on the SE end of Seoul, it takes an extra hour to reach Seoul Station, so it’s actually faster and more convenient to take an express bus. Remember to factor in the amount of time it takes to get to Seoul Station, before deciding which form of transport you’ll use to get to Gangneung.
KOREA RAIL PASS | A Korea Rail Pass lets you explore the country with extra comfort, speed, and convenience – at a cheaper price. With unlimited rides via high-speed rail to over 600 stations on 80 different routes, it’s the ultimate in hassle-free travel. Get affordable unlimited rides around Korea with a Korea Rail Pass here.
By Express / Intercity Bus
Getting to Anmok Beach from Seoul is relatively simple by express bus.
Express buses leave from either the Seoul Express Bus Terminal or Dong (East) Seoul Bus Terminal, but Dong Seoul probably has the most direct routes to Gangneung. It’s located outside of Gangbyun subway station on Line 2.
Once you reach the Gangneung Express Bus Terminal, there are several different local buses you can take to reach Anmok Beach. The current bus routes from Gangneung Express Bus Terminal are: 2251, 314-1, and 225-1.
Bus routes do change however, so be sure to check the bus numbers on an app like Naver Maps to confirm.
TIP | Make your travel easy by pre-booking your express bus tickets to Gangneung online here. No wandering around the bus terminal and no lost in translation moments guaranteed. Reserve an express bus ticket here.
Where to Stay in Gangneung
Since there are not that many hotels directly on Anmok Beach, the nearby city of Gangneung is your best bet for accommodation. Fortunately, it’s just a short bus or taxi ride away, so it’s easy to get back to the sand and sea as quickly as possible.
St. John’s Hotel Gangneung | Affordable Luxury
If you’ve got your heart set on a pool, St. John’s is a lovely and affordable 5 star option. It has fantastic ocean views, beachfront location, multiple restaurants, and super comfy rooms.
It’s located on nearby Gyeongpo Beach, which is just a quick bus or taxi ride away from Anmok Beach.
Aark House | Budget Stay
We stayed at Aark House in Gangneung City. Our group of 5 people took up most of a 6 bed dorm. The hostel was super cute, the beds were clean and comfortable, and a decent breakfast of eggs and fruit was included.
There were a few minor issues – the room was pretty hot, with little ventilation, and not much sleep was had, because of the sheer number of mosquitos – but I’d still recommend staying there for a few days. Warning though – there’s only 1 bathroom for several dorm rooms to share.
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Anmok Beach | Gangneung Coffee Street: Essential Info
I’m all about a hot, creamy vanilla latte – even by the beach! What’s your caffeinated drink of choice?