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 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
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.
Gangneung Coffee Street
You’re probably wondering what the big deal is with the Gangeung region and coffee, right?
Looking around Seoul, 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.
Seoul to Anmok Beach | Gangneung Coffee Street
The best way to get from Seoul to Anmok Beach is by express bus. You’ll have to get to Gangneung Bus Terminal first, and then transfer to local transport to get to Anmok Beach.
You can catch a bus at either the Seoul Express Bus Terminal or Dong Seoul Bus Terminal, but Dong Seoul probably has the most direct routes to Gangneung.
Once you reach the Gangneung Express Bus Terminal, you can take local bus #225-1 (40 minutes), or a taxi (18 minutes) to Anmok Beach.
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.
Budget Stay | Aark House
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.
Good for Groups & Families | Halfway House
Halfway House is set about 1 kilometre back from Anmok Beach, but it’s still totally walkable. This is a vacation home with capacity for up to 6 people, with a kitchen, barbecue, washing machine, and terrace available. Perfect for families or a long stay!