Escape from Busy Haeundae Beach to the Quieter Gwangalli Beach (광안리해수욕장)

Being the largest seaport city in South Korea, Busan has no lack of great beaches for the beach lover to check out. The most famous of these beaches has to be the Haeundae Beach, which I visited earlier in the day. The next in-line is Gwangalli Beach (광안리해수욕장), well-known for awesome views of its Gwangan Bridge (광안대교). Since Gwangalli Beach is situated along the same subway line 2 as Haeundae Beach, & the lights show on Gwangan Bridge at night seems like something I shouldn’t miss, I added this 2nd most popular beach in Busan to my itinerary.

Gwangalli Beach is about the same length as Haeundae Beach, just 100m shorter than the latter at 1.4km long. However, its width measures 64m, wider than the latter. As this area has undergone a water cleaning program, its water is supposed to be spotless. I couldn’t tell since I only visited the beach at night. But I find the sand there finer than Haeundae’s.

To visit the beach, get off at Gwangan Station (광안역, Busan Subway line 2) exit 5. Just follow the directional signs on the pavement, pointing to the beach & walk for about 5-10 min.

Gwangan Station exit 5. Look out for directional signs like the pic at the bottom on the pavement

Gwangan Station exit 5. Look out for directional signs like the pic at the bottom on the pavement

As the 10-min lights show would only start at 8pm, I made my way to a recommended cafe near the beach for early dinner. Based on online research, Caffe Primo is a fantastic brunch place just 1 block away from the beach. Though the views of the beach may be limited as it’s not directly on the beach-facing street, reviews have stated this is a quiet cafe serving superb coffee with great food at reasonable prices. On the way to the cafe, I stumbled upon this popular Korean BBQ place – Seorae BBQ (서래 갈매기). The menu looked so tempting too, but sigh… it’s not a friendly place to dine alone I guess. 혼자 먹을 수 없지? ㅠㅠ Maybe next time… Turn into the alley upon seeing this restaurant.

Seorae BBQ

Seorae BBQ

Shortly after, I arrived at the street (Gwangan 2dong/ 광안 2동) just behind the beach-facing street. Caffe Primo is located on level 2 of the building, just behind the back of Homers Hotel.

Do you see Caffe Primo on level 2 of this building?

Do you see Caffe Primo on level 2 of this building?

It was 6pm when I entered the cafe & there was no other customer. I thought online reviews mentioned this is 1 of the favourite cafe places among the foodies? Maybe it’s still early for dinner on a Monday evening hehe. Anyway, it’s also good I was the only customer since I could choose my most preferred seat & take my time to enjoy the food & ambience. 🙂

Gwangan Beach Caffe Primo 1

My Bacon & Egg and Toast with a pot of hot Peppermint Tea

My Bacon & Egg and Toast with a pot of hot Peppermint Tea

Caffe Primo serves classic brunch staples like Eggs Benedict, croissants, bagels & french toast, as well as coffee, tea & 3 types of desserts. There is a 20% for any drink if you purchase any item on the brunch menu. As it was getting chilly that evening, I ordered a pot of hot Peppermint Tea (KRW4,400/ S$5.30 before discount) to go along with my Bacon & Egg and Toast (KRW8,700/ S$10.40). Gosh, the brunch item came in a generous plate filled with greens, crispy bacon, mushrooms & 3 slides of grain bread nicely toasted. I felt so full after finishing the big & delicious plate of food & couldn’t stuff myself with the recommended dessert. Nonetheless, I enjoyed my cafe time here (with free Wi-Fi hehe) as I sat by the window looking out to the Gwangan Beach through the limited alley view. 🙂

After a satisfying meal, it was time to head to the beach, in anticipation of the 8pm lights show on Gwangan Bridge. There were not many people on the beach on a weekday night, just random couples here & there. The Gwangan Bridge, also known as Busan 66, is the largest bridge over the ocean in South Korea. It stretches over 7.4km from Namcheon-dong (남천동) in Suyeong-gu (수영구) to Centum City in U-dong (우동), Haeundae-gu (해운대구). The bridge really looked quite spectacular at night, particularly when the dazzling lights were turned on for the 10-min show.

Gwangan Beach

I guess my camera didn’t do justice to the splendid lights on the spectacular bridge lol. There was music accompaniment to the lights too, creating a romantic atmosphere at the beach at night. No wonder there were so many lovey-dovey couples strolling on the fine sandy beach.

Closer to Jung-gu (中区, city centre) where the Busan, Jagalchi & Nampo stations are, it takes only about 20 to 25 min to get to Gwangan Station, almost half the time it takes to reach Haeundae Station. That’s why it has earned itself the name of a “city beach” for its accessibility. So, don’t forget to check out Gwangalli Beach & the Bridge at night for your next visit to Busan! I shall end the post with a panoramic night view of the beach with the beautifully lit Gwangan Bridge. 😉

Gwangalli Beach stitched view (resized)

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