Busan's five best cherry blossom attractions
The arrival of spring warms the body and mind.
Spring, dubbed the queen of seasons in Korea, is indeed the most beautiful season. Warm sunlight, clear skies and fresh flowers blanket the city. This month, colorful spring blossoms are in full bloom, beginning with forsythia, followed by cherry blossoms and yellow rape flowers.
The cherry blossoms peak between late March and early April. Take advantage of Busan's coastal location and enjoy them along the sea, as the blossoms are most dazzling in contrast with the ocean. Here come Busan's five best cherry blossom attractions.
1. Samnak Ecological Park (Sasang-gu)
The walkway at Samnak Ecological Park was named one of the 100 most beautiful in the nation. In late March on the long stretch of pathway along the ecological park adjacent to the Nakdonggang River, 1,200 cherry blossom trees burst into bloom. Endless cherry blossom tunnels infuse the air with the fragrance of springtime. Cherry blossom petals drift through the river winds and set the mood for romance.
The cherry blossom festival will be held on April 2. The Ninth Cherry Blossom Festival will provide an occasion to share beautiful cherry blossom walkways and enjoy face painting and musical performances within the sublime atmosphere.
Wild flowers, lotus, reeds and flame grass cover the Nakdonggang riverside, near the wetlands for migratory birds. The park is frequented by nearby residents for its recreational facilities, including bike lanes and courts for foot volleyball and tennis. Rent a bike for 3,000 won an hour with ID. The service is available from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. from March to October, until 5 p.m. from November to February.
- How to get there: Get off at Sasang Station (Metro line 2) and go out exit 3. Walk about 15 minutes toward the Nakdonggang River, or get off Gwaebeop Renecite Station on the Busan-Gimhae Light Rail Transit line and cross the bridge leading to the park.
2. Dalmaji Hill (Haeundae-gu)
Cherry blossoms shine under the moonlight, their white petals painting the picture of spring romance.
Dalmaji Hill is one of the most ideal places to enjoy a spring night. Moonlight shines over the hill from the east end of Haeundae Beach to Songjeong Beach, an area known for its beauty. Car lanes and walkways are well-maintained atop the hill, dense with cherry blossom and pine trees. Just up the trail near the base of the hill, petals rain down overhead, while the dark blue sea of Haeundae stretches out below.
Restaurants, cafes and galleries, all with sweeping views across the Haeundae waters, are located farther up the hill.
Weekend art markets have been held afternoons since the beginning of March around the Haeweoljeong Pavilion square. Don't miss out on handicraft items made by local artists such as key rings, accessories and caricatures.
- How to get there: Get off at Jungdong Station (Metro line 2) and go out exit 7. Walk 10-15 minutes toward Mipo Ogeori (five-way intersection) to find the hill marked with the Dalmajigil sign. Take bus Nos. 39, 100, 139, 141 and 200 and get off at the Mipo Moontan Road entrance bus stop.
3. Oncheoncheon Stream (Dongnae-gu)
Busan's central Oncheoncheon Stream flows from Geumjeong-gu (district) through Yeonje-gu and Dongnae-gu to the Suyeonggang River.
Oncheoncheon Stream, at the heart of the community for nearby residents, is a space for walking, jogging and bike-riding. It's often crowded with people out to bask in the spring weather. Oncheoncheon Stream is lined with 650 cherry blossom trees on each bank, making it one of the best locations for springtime picnics.
Walk all the way from Sebyeonggyo, Yeonsan-dong (neighborhood) to Hanyang Apartment, with the rape flower fields below and cherry blossoms above.
Clusters of popcorn-like petals hang from the branches that have grown thick with age. Rest under the cherry blossom shade before continuing on your stroll. Benches and pavilions are located around the park, as is a playground for kids.
Cherry blossoms around Oncheoncheon Stream shine with all the glamor of the neighborhood lights at night. The stream is a mirror to the glow off the cherry blossoms and the apartment lights illuminating them. Located near several university campuses, the area has become a popular hangout for university students in search of spring flowers.
Visit the nearby cafe street after scoping some flowers. Homes or businesses-turned cafes and restaurants with uniquely-designed interiors call to customers.
- How to get there: Get off at Dongnae Station (Metro line 1) and go out exit 2 or 4. Access the walkway through the stairway leading underground.
4. Samik Beach Apartment (Suyeong-gu)
The Samik Beach Apartment complex is a cherry blossom attraction well-known to locals. Hundreds of cherry blossom trees were planted when the apartment blocks were completed in the 1980s and have since formed dense groves around the walkways. Some 200 trees were planted outside the complex near the beach road. An additional 700 stand on the inner grounds. Petals fall like snow from the blossom tunnels in early April, a unique sight that draws residents and picnickers alike before the backdrop of Gwangan Bridge and Marine City each spring.
After flower-viewing, sip a cup of tea or a beer at an outdoor terrace in Gwangalli, or devour a plate of raw fish at Millak Waterfront Park.
- How to get there: Get off at Geumnyeonsan Station (Metro line 2) and go out exit 5. Walk about 10 minutes toward Gwangalli.
5. Jwasuyeong-ro (Suyeong-gu)
The Suyeonggang River bordering Centum City is another top spot for cherry blossom-viewing.
When Suyeong-ro between Suyeong Bridge and Yeonsan Sageori (four-way intersection) was expanded and upgraded, a new cherry blossom destination was created. The path along the river was chosen as one of the best spring flower walkways last year. The place is less crowded than other popular cherry blossom areas and offers a more serene experience.
Walk from Millak Station toward the riverside of the Suyeonggang River in front of Suyeong Hyundai Apartment to access the walkway. Cherry blossom trees line both sides of the walkway and bike lane. While there, walk toward Centum City over Suyeong Bridge. Meet all your entertainment needs at Busan Cinema Center, Shinsegae Department Store and APEC Naru Park.
- How to get there: Get off at Millak Station (Metro line 2) and go out exit 2. Walk about 5 minutes toward Centum City and from Suyeong Bridge toward Jwasuyeong Bridge.