>  Asia   >  Korea   >  See 30 Gorgeous Cafes by the Sea at Anmok Beach & Gangneung Coffee Street
beaches in korea | anmok beach

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.

anmok beach

White sand and turquoise water. What more can you ask for?

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.

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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.

beaches in korea | anmok beach

Gorgeous colours at Anmok Beach

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.

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.

gangneung coffee street

Gangneung and coffee go hand in hand

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.

bossa nova cafe, gangneung coffee street

Views out of the Bossa Nova cafe at Gangneung Coffee Street are extraordinary

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.

rooftop views of anmok beach from gangneung coffee street

You can enjoy gorgeous views from the rooftop terrace of Bossanova

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.

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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.

anmok beach gangneung coffee street korea

Seaside cafes aplenty on Anmok Beach.

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.

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.

seoul station korea

The KTX high speed train leaves from Seoul Station

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.

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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.

express bus terminal in seoul korea

You can catch an express bus to Gangneung from Seoul © Kim Jiho, Korea Tourism Organization

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.

Gangneung Herren Haus | Anmok Beachfront

If you’d like to stay directly on Anmok Beach, check out Gangneung Herren Haus. It’s one of the few options right on the beach. It has super comfortable rooms, outdoor terraces and incredible views of the gorgeous water.

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

How far is Anmok Beach from Seoul? The total road distance between Seoul (DongSeoul bus Terminal) and Anmok Beach is around 210 km.
How long does it take to drive from Seoul to Anmok Beach? It takes approximately 2.5 - 3 hours under normal traffic conditions to drive there, depending on which route you take.
What's the best way to get there using public transport? A KTX high-speed train is best on high traffic weekends, otherwise an Express Bus is a good option for getting to Anmok Coffee Street.
What facilities are available at Anmok Beach? There's a restaurant, snack bar, inflatable tubes, water activities, and umbrellas available for rent. Parking, washrooms, and shower booth are also available. And of course... coffee.

I’m all about a hot, creamy vanilla latte – even by the beach! What’s your caffeinated drink of choice?


  • November 4, 2015

    You can do it! The wonderful thing about newborns is that they sleep so much during the day! You can get a stroller that lays back and take them anywhere! I was actually sad when Z started crawling, because the days of easy management of her were over… yep, I am a great mom haha.

    • November 6, 2015

      Lol…I must admit that I’m a bit afraid of the day she gets mobile myself! If she’s anything like my hubby, she’ll be ALL over the place… but you’re right, now is probably the best time to head out and explore a bit close to home. At least I’ll know exactly where she is all the time! :p

  • October 31, 2015

    Yes u will! Looking forward to more trips!!

    • November 2, 2015

      I hope you are right!!! Hopefully Naia will be travel-ready soon and we can bundle her up in the car and get her wandering around the country too!! 🙂


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