Daegu, affectionately referred to as the “armpit of Korea” for its often sweltering, humid summers. But there’s a lot more to Daegu than just the heat. There are great cafes, a lively atmosphere, and enough to do to keep you busy on a quick weekend jaunt. And…9 out of 10 visitors do comment on the remarkable attractiveness of the people of this city.

Kim Kwang-Seok Street

brick street with murals

Kim Kwang-Seok is one of the most beloved folk rock singers in Korean history. Born in Daegu, the city still remembers him following his tragic death with this mural walkway. It’s a very different style of music from Kpop or Indie Korean music, but very beautiful and deserves to be listened to and remembered. This music from the 80s is still relevant to people from all around the world, with the lyrical musings on everyday sorrow and frustrations.

Cable Car in Apsan Park

cable car in mountains

Located near Donghwasa Temple, this is another thing to do in the same area. Get a bird’s eye view of the city and the surrounding mountains while suspended in the air! One of Korea’s favorite tourist-y things to do, these cable cars are everywhere. Palgonsan Mountain is a beautiful mountains to see if you aren’t completely tired with mountains in Korea by the time you get here!

Museum of Oriental Medicine

Although this is a small museum and most of it is in Korean, it’s still a fun option for a look into the traditional side of things in Korea. Traditional medicine is still supported by the medical community of Korea, and when you go into a pharmacy with a cold you’re just as likely to get some kind of tea mixture along with your pills to fix the problem. The English is hit or miss, but there is some interesting stuff to look at here.

Take a Hike Through Some Ancient Royal Tombs

stone bridge over a river with reflection

Nestled on the hillside just outside of Daegu are some lovely royal tomb mounds. These royal tombs are not only important historical sites but also reflect the architectural styles and cultural traditions of the Joseon Dynasty. They provide a glimpse into the royal heritage of Korea. They’re not as impressive as the Silla tombs of Gyeongju (check out my guide to Gyeongju!) but they’re still great to see.

The main tomb is Dongincheon Royal Tomb. This is the largest royal tomb in Daegu and is the final resting place of King Gyeongjong (r. 1720-1724) and Queen Hyosun. The tomb is nestled in a serene and picturesque setting surrounded by lush greenery. It features a beautifully designed stone bridge leading to the main burial mound and is known for its architectural grandeur. The other tombs are the royal tombs of Geonneung, Seonnongdan, and Imheungwon and date from 1600-1700s.

Donghwasa Templestay – Things to do in Daegu

temple building things to do in Daegu

Personally, temple stays were some of the highlights of my time in Korea. Although I’m not a huge fan of 5AM wakeup calls, the idyllic settings and peacefulness is hard to find elsewhere. Located on the slopes of Palgongsan Mountain, Donghwasa is known for its majestic Buddha statue and stunning views. You can stay overnight and join the Templestay program (and follow my guide to Templestays in Korea) to get a more in-depth understanding of Buddhism – or just to have a relaxing place to stay!

E-World – Things to do in Daegu

tower above cherry blossoms things to do in Daegu

One of the most popular amusement parks in Korea! Visit E-World, offering thrilling rides, entertainment shows, and a vibrant atmosphere. Take a ride on the Sky Lift to reach the 83 Tower, an observatory with panoramic views of the city. The tower also features a revolving restaurant where you can enjoy a meal with a view.

Explore Hanok Cafes

inside of a wooden hanok cafe things to do in Daegu

Hanok, the traditional Korean building style, is seen throughout Korea. However, it’s a bit unusual to see several hanok cafes amongst the high rises of a city. Typically they’re found in cities like Jeonju or Gyeongju that already have a lot of traditional architecture.

The ones in Daegu are very cute, and some like Percent 14-3, serve some very creative drinks. Mansion5 is another good choice that serves lunch options.

Daegu National Museum

Seemingly every town or city in Korea has one of these national museums, dedicated to telling you the history of the local area. If you are a museum person, they are very well done and typically not too huge. This museum houses a diverse collection of artifacts, including ancient relics, traditional artworks, and archaeological finds. Spend an hour in one to escape the heat! I will note, for some reason this national museum is an outlier in that it’s not super English friendly. If you know a little Korean history (or have been to a museum like this before) you should be able to tell what’s going on in general. But, it would be nice if they added some English for tourists!

It’s also a little bit out of the way, but there is a lovely park (Beomeo Park) nearby as well.

Daegu’s Stunning Churches

things to do in daegu two churches

Unlike most areas of Korea, Daegu’s churches are actually very pretty. It’s nice to take a walk around downtown Daegu to admire the Western architecture mixing with the modern Korean city building style. Gyesan Catholic Church and the Jeil Church (pictured above) are the two main churches but there are smaller ones dotted throughout the city.

Enjoyed reading about things to do in Daegu, Korea? Check out my other posts!

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