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there's no beaches in seoul

As soon as summer hits Korea, all I can think about is getting to one of the beaches near Seoul and diving into some cool, blue water. Fortunately, there are plenty to choose from that are easily accessible on a day trip, using public transit.

beaches near seoul on muuido island

When the summer sun starts blazing, head to one of the beaches near Seoul by @traveloriented (CC BY-SA 2.0)

So go ahead – pack up your beach ball, slather on some sunscreen and refresh your tired spirit with some sand and surf.

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Is there a beach in Seoul?

The short answer is NO. Seoul is landlocked, so there are no real beaches in Seoul. The largest body of water you’ll find in the megacity is the Han River, which offers a few swimming pools and grassy areas, but no sandy coastlines.

gwakji beach jeju, korea weather in april

I wish this beach was in Seoul! but NOPE, there are no beaches in Seoul.

If you can’t get out of the city and are desperate for a beach vibe, there’s a huge sand pit at Jamsil Hangang Park, located next to the swimming pool. It’s perfect for families to build sand castles and spend a relaxing day. If you set up a couple of beach chairs, you could almost imagine that you’re on a real beach.

Beaches Near Seoul

You’ll read a lot of articles online claiming that Muchango, Naksan, or Daecheon Beach are near Seoul. They are not. It’s only worth visiting these beaches, if you can stay at least 1 night.

naksan beach in korea

I wish Naksan Beach was near Seoul, but it’s just not.

Because reaching any of these locations from Seoul, would require – at a minimum for a round-trip:

  • a 5 hour drive
  • 5 hours on a high speed train
  • 8-10 hours on an express bus

And this is on normal traffic days, which frankly, just don’t exist on summer weekends. Literally everyone and their dog is heading to the coast at this time. It kinda defeats the whole purpose of going to the beach, if you spend the bulk of your day trapped on a highway, right?

summer traffic korea

Wall to wall cars drive out to the coastal areas of Korea during summer

The beaches that are ACTUALLY near Seoul and viable to visit on a day trip from the capital are located near Incheon International Airport. There are several islands and seasides to explore in this area.

Read on for a rundown of some of the most popular beaches near Seoul to visit.

Beaches Near Seoul on Yongyudo Island | 용유도

Address: 308-13, Masiran-ro, Jung-gu, Incheon | 인천광역시 중구 마시란로 308-13 (남북동)

Yongyudo is a big island with almost 50 km of coastline. There are several beaches near Seoul to explore here, as well as awesome sunsets, and yearly events like fishing contests and shellfish harvesting (mostly taking place in August). It’s very close to the airport, so you’ll find a full range of amenities, including hotels, a casino, golf course, restaurants, and bars.

How to get to Yongyudo Island

If you plan to drive, it takes around 1 hour to drive to Yongyudo from Seoul. It’s best to use a navigation app like Naver or Kakao Maps to plot out your route.

incheon bridge

Drive on Incheon Bridge to the beaches near Seoul in about an hour by Harold Ding (CC BY-SA 2.0)

If you’re using public transport, you can take the Airport Railroad line to UNSEO STATION, then board green bus #2 to Yongyudo Island. However, there are multiple routes to the island, so it’s best to check navigation apps for directions to your exact location on Yongyudo Island (since it is quite large).

GOOD TO KNOW  |  The previously separate West Sea islands of Yeongjongdo, Yongyudo, Sammokdo and Sinbuldo were all joined together by reclaimed land during the construction of Incheon International Airport. They are now ONE huge island that is accessible via Yeongjong Bridge in Seo-gu, and Incheon Bridge in Songdo, but are still (mostly) referred to individually.

Eurwangni Beach | 을왕리해수욕장

Address: 15, Eurwang-ro 13beon-gil, Jung-gu, Incheon | 인천광역시 중구 을왕로13번길 15

Eurwangni Beach is on Yongyudo Island, near Incheon International Airport on the West Coast of Korea. This beach stretches 700-metres long in a classic crescent shape. There are also pine forests and unique rock formations to explore here.

It’s one of the most popular beaches near Seoul for families because of its shallow water, clean sand, and nearby amenities. There are a ton of resorts, cafes, and restaurants where you can dine on fresh seafood and watch a glorious summer sunset.

Eurwangni: beaches near seoul

Sunsets on Eurwangni Beach near Seoul are simply stunning. ⓒJeong Jong-ho (Korea Tourism Organization)

Keep in mind that it WILL be busy and crowded… but if you really need a day next to the water, Eurwangni Beach is definitely one of your best bets.

Need more than one day on the beach? Stay at one of these hotels near Eurwangni Beach!

The Week & Resort   |    Hotel Ora Incheon   |   Hotel Hue Loft   |   Nest Hotel Incheon

Wangsan Beach | 왕산해수욕장

Address: Eulwang-dong, Jung-gu, Incheon | 인천광역시 중구 을왕동

If relaxing at a beach near Seoul is more what you’re after, head to Wangsan Beach instead. The vibe is more chilled out, and getting there is also easy, since it’s just 5 minutes away from Eurwangni Beach.

beaches near seoul - wangsan beach

Wangsan is one of the more relaxed beaches near Seoul. Photo by Ken Eckert (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Wangsan Beach is designated as one of 8 scenic spots in Yongyudo, due to the incredible red sunsets that colour the entire sea crimson. You can also stay overnight in a nearby campground that is equipped with autocamping, glamping, and caravan options, if you wish.

Masian Beach | 마시안해변

Address: 118, Masiran-ro, Jung-gu, Incheon | 인천광역시 중구 마시란로 118 (덕교동)

Masian Beach is another one of Yongyudo’s 8 scenic spots. This is one of the beaches near Seoul, that is also a tidal flat. As the tide goes out, you’ll be treated to a vast wetland, teeming with sea life.

masian beach near seoul

Masian Beach is also a tidal flat by @Han Lee (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Not surprisingly, a popular activity at Masian Beach, is searching for creatures like shellfish, surf clams, and webfoot octopus. Head over to the Masian Tidal Flat Experience Centre to sign up for a shellfish digging tour, if you’re unsure of how to start. When you’re done, relax at one of the beachside cafes with a cup of warm brew and stunning views of the sea.

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Beaches Near Seoul on Muuido Island | 무의도

Address: 308-13, 310-11, Daemuui-ro, Jung-gu, Incheon | 인천광역시 중구 대무의로 310-11 (무의동)

Muuido is a small island, located just south of Yongyudo and Incheon International Airport. Until 2019, getting to the beaches on Muuido Island near Seoul used to be a lot more complicated. But now, with the completion of Muui Bridge, it’s possible to just drive there without getting on a single boat.

muuido island near seoul

Muuido is a popular island to visit during summer by @traveloriented (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Muui Bridge connects the islands of Jamjindo and Muuido. It’s the last piece of an impressive bridge system that links several islands in the West Sea to the mainland.

Hanagae Beach | 하나개해수욕장

Address: San189beonji, Muui-dong, Jung-gu, Incheon | 인천광역시 중구 무의동 산189번지 (무의동)

Hanagae Beach is a 1-km long sand beach located on Muuido Island. When the tide is out, the beach turns into a massive tidal flat, and digging for clams, sea snails and other small sea life is a popular activity.

A word of warning: the tide at Hanagae Beach ebbs and flows incredibly fast. Be sure to watch your belongings so they don’t get eaten up by the sea!

sunset on hanagae beach on muuido island

This pedestrian walkway is wonderful to walk during sunset on Hanagae Beach.

Hanagae Beach is a super popular beach spot near Seoul to spend a summer weekend, due to the cute little bungalows you can rent on the seashore. They’re certainly not fancy, but they do sleep 3 to 4 adults and are right on the sand.

Expect to pay between 30 – 50,000 won per night depending on the season.

bungalows on hanagae beach near seoul

Bungalows on Hanagae Beach by @traveloriented (CC BY-SA 2.0)

If you want to be peacefully lulled to sleep by the sound of ocean waves though, this might not be the place to stay. It can get pretty rowdy with people partying and drinking on the beach after dark!

Silmi Beach | 실미해수욕장

Address: 99, Keunmuri-ro, Jung-gu, Incheon | 인천광역시 중구 큰무리로 99 (무의동)

Silmi Beach (also known as Keunmuri Beach) is a 2-km long stretch of sand, backed by century old pine trees. The beach directly faces the small uninhabited island of Silmido.

beaches near seoul: silmi beach

You can watch for the Slimi Moses Road to open from Silmi Beach by @traveloriented (CC BY-SA 2.0)

If you’d like to explore Silmido, you’ll have to wait for low tide and walk across the tidal flat. Known as the Silmi Moses Road, the water drains twice a day for 2 hours at a time. Be sure to check times, so you don’t get trapped on the island. There are literally zero amenities available there.

Somuudio | Small Muuido | 소무의도

Address: 308-13, 310-11, Daemuui-ro, Jung-gu, Incheon | 인천광역시 중구 대무의로 310-11 (무의동)

You can reach Somuuido from Muuido in about 15 minutes via pedestrian footbridge. There are a few beaches on Somuuido to check out, but the big draw is a coastal trek around the island, called the Muui Bada Nuri-gil.

muuido and somuuido islands

Muuido and Somuuido are connected by a pedestrian footbridge by @traveloriented (CC BY-SA 2.0)

On this route, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the West Sea, fishing villages, surrounding islands, and beaches. Along the way, watch out for the “8 Sceneries of Nuri,” which include Buddha Kumi, Mongyeo Beach, Myeongsa Beach, Janggunbawi Rock, Dangsan, Ansan, West/East Village, and Somuuido Footbridge

It takes around an hour to complete the Muui Bada Nuri-gil. Enjoy!

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Now that you know there are beaches near Seoul to visit on each and every sweaty, steamy weekend of summer, who’s going?


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