There have been several skywalks over the ocean erected all around the coast of South Korea recently — and Busan being the second biggest city in the country, has seen a couple new ones in the last few years. During my first visit to Busan a few years ago, I didn’t get the opportunity to visit that one skywalk in the city (at that time) — and therefore, it was not included in my list of Top 10 Things Places to See in Busan. So on my stay in the city this time around, I made it a point to visit ALL the Busan skywalks.
The skywalks found along the Busan coast are a wonder, and they offer amazing views of the ocean and beyond. At this current moment (2018) there are three of them — one overlooking the connecting point of the East and Southern seas, one across the sand and rocks of Busan’s southern beach, and one stretching into the ocean for views of the beaches and fishing village of Busan’s east coast. I really can’t decide which skywalk I liked the best (they all had beauty of their own); so here’s a write-up of each one of them, and some other attractions close by. On your next visit, you can pick and choose which ones you would love to see — or even better still, do what I did and just visit ’em all!
1. Oryukdo Skywalk (오륙도 스카이워크)
The Oryukdo Skywalk 오륙도 스카이워크 started operating in 2013, which was probably why I didn’t know about it when I first visited the city during that time. Located at Seungdumal, the skywalk itself is unimpressively short (just a 15m glass bridge in the shape of a horseshoe), but it is set at the top of a 35m cliff with views of the raging collision of the East Sea and the Southern Sea — so it really is a gorgeous sight from up high.
The skywalk also overlooks the Oryukdo Islands (which it is named after), and it literally translates to “five or six islands” in Korean. It is named so because you can either see five or six of the islands, depending on the tide. For an up close and exciting encounter with the turbulent waves as it hits the cliff walls — walk down the stairs along the cliff to the platform at the base.
Admission Fee: Free.
Opening Hours: 09:00-18:00 (Last admission 17:50). Opens 12:00 on public holidays.
Nearest Station: Kyunsun Univ. and Pukyong National Univ. Station Line 2. Then we took a cab over, which didn’t cost that much.
Just a short walk from the Oryukdo Skywalk is Igidae Park 이기대 도시자연공원, located over the Jangsanbong Peak rocky cliffs offering beautiful views of the East Sea. There is a coastal trail that runs along the cliffs for about 4-5km, starting/ending from Oryukdo Sunrise Park in the south, to Dongsaengmal in the north.
While at Oryukdo, we decided we’d love to experience the Igidae trail and thought we’d hike part of it (which wasn’t a very good idea as we were in sandals and the trail runs up and down). Along our journey, we encountered many local elderly folks in their full hiking gear — who probably thought we were such tourists! The scenery was spectacular, of course… but I have learned my lesson and will never hike in sandals (and unprepared) again. In reality though, it really is a relatively easy hike. And it was cooling in summer.
Admission Fee: Free
Hiking Time: Approx. 2 hrs.
Nearest Station: Kyunsun Univ. and Pukyong National Univ. Station Line 2. After the hike, we jumped on some random bus and then took a cab back to the station.
2. Songdo Skywalk (송도 구름산책로)
Songdo Skywalk and Beach
The 365m long and 2.3m wide Songdo Skywalk 송도 구름산책로 opened as South Korea’s longest curved sea pathway in 2016. It is located at the edge of Songdo Beach 송도 해수욕장 (Korea’s first official beach in 1913), and runs along the sea shore all the way to a small lighthouse in the middle of the sea. The skywalk is made of steel plates and wood; and at certain points of the platform, there are steel grills that allow you to get a glimpse of the sea down below.
The beachfront of Songdo was crowded with people during our visit on a lovely summer’s afternoon. There were swimmers in the ocean, sun-bathers on the beach, and tourists strolling along the skywalk. There is a huge cluster of rocks (with random statues of sea creatures and mermaids) in the middle of the skywalk, which makes a great spot to sit and chill. From here, you not only get to enjoy the cooling sea breeze, but also a view of the sea, the entire Songdo Beach and the Songdo city skyline in the distance.
Admission fee: Free.
Opening hours: 09:00-23:00, year-round. Swimming till 18:00.
Nearest Station: Jagalchi Station Line 1. Take Exit 2, cross the main road, and then take Bus 26, 30, 71 or 96 to Songdo Beach.
Songdo Cable Car
The Songdo Cable Car 송도 케이블카 is a new Songdo Beach attraction that opened in mid-2017. The ride starts from Songnim Park on the east side of the beach to Amnam Park on the west. It runs for about 1.62km per way, and takes a little more than 8 minutes. There are cars with transparent floors too! I’m sure the bird’s eye view from the Songdo Cable Car would have been magnificent, but we decided to skip the ride (we felt that it was a little too costly), and decided to spend our time on the beach and skywalk instead.
Ride fee: KR₩12k (one way), KR₩15k (return) for adults; KR₩9k (one way), KR₩11k (return) for children.
Opening hours: 09:00-22:00 (Sep-Jun), 09:00-23:00 (Jul-Aug) from Sun-Thurs; extended 1-hour closing times on Fri, Sat and public holidays.
3. Cheongsapo Daritdol Skywalk (청사포 다릿돌전망대)
Cheongsapo Daritdol Skywalk
The Cheongsapo Daritdol Skywalk 청사포 다릿돌전망대 opened in 2017 at Cheongsapo in Haeundae 해운대. The skywalk juts out into the ocean at 20m high; and its pathway and half-moon shaped deck make up 72.5m in length. There are several points on the skywalk that have glass floors and steel grills that allow us to look straight down into the ocean down below — and that’s why we had to wear shoe covers (to protect the glass) before going onto the skywalk.
Cheongsapo 청사포 is a coastal fishing village and is known for offering one of the most beautiful views of Busan, especially its sunrise. From the skywalk, the views are breathtaking — apart from the wide open sea in front of me, I could see Songjeong beach on one side, and the fishing village of Cheongsapo on the other. It was also interesting spotting the many local fishermen casting their rods from the rocky cliffs just below the skywalk.
Admission fee: Free.
Opening hours: 09:00-18:00 daily; until 20:00 from June to August.
Nearest Station: Jangsan Station Line 2. Take Exit 7, then take Bus 2 to Cheongsapo. Or you can be like us, and jump into a cab from the station.
The Cheongsapo Fishing Village 청사포 마을 is a relatively less-visited part of Haeundae. It is more known to the locals, who visit the village for the fresh seafood restaurants and pretty hipster cafes along the oceanfront. I love the peaceful and quiet vibe of the village, and had a relaxing time sitting in a 3-storey cafe away from the scorching sun — with views of the sea, and the lovely red and white Cheongsapo Lighthouses 청사포 빨간등대.
With the lack of people, especially the hordes of tourists that usually crowd the main attractions of Busan — you can enjoy having the village almost all to yourself. Walk up to the red and white lighthouses for some gorgeous photos; or stroll along the abandoned railroad of the Donghae Nambu Line that used to run along the seashore in this part of the city. You’ll find it next to the entrance of the skywalk. It was partially closed when I visited.