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Daegu (대구, 大邱), (formerly romanized as Taegu) is South Korea's fourth largest city (after Seoul, Busan, and Incheon), and is located in the geographic center of the nation.

The colors of Daegu

Understand

Daegu is situated in the middle of a wide, flat valley and is rectangular in shape and hosts one of the country's largest US military bases. The subway metro system crosses this region like a stretched X. The obligatory South Korean slogan for the city is 'Colorful Daegu'.

Daegu administrates itself, although it is mostly surrounded by North Gyeongsang province and therefore is placed there in our hierarchy.


Daegu
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Get in

By plane

Daegu Airport (TAE/RKTN) has some services to Seoul Incheon International Airport, Jeju island, Shanghai and Beijing in China and Kansai near Osaka in Japan. The airport is quite small and shared with the military.

The airport is located on the east side of the city. To go to the downtown area, take a bus (No. 401, Fare: ₩1,100) or ride a taxi. A taxi ride to the Dongsungro district in the center of the city costs around ₩7,000 and takes 25 minutes, while the fare for the 10 minute ride to the Dongdaegu train station is around ₩3,000.

There is a hotel, Hotel Airport in the same area. The room rate is usually from around ₩130,000 including tax.

By train

There are two train stations in the city. One is Dongdaegu(East Daegu) station and the other is Daegu station. Both two stations connect by Subway Line 1, as the same name.

Dongdaegu(East Daegu) station

This is the main station, and only serves the high speed KTX trains. KTX trains connect Seoul to Busan via Daegu and Daejeon, usually they take an hour and 40 minutes to Seoul and 38 to 44 minutes to Busan. They are usually in every 20~30 minutes. The fare to Seoul is ₩38,400, Busan is ₩14,000 and Daejeon is ₩16,900. (As of June 2011) There are other trains such as Saemaeul and Mugunghwa. They also go to Seoul and Busan. (Gyeongbu line) But you can go to other places from this station. There are trains to Yeongcheon and Pohang, Gyeongju and Ulsan.

Daegu station

It is located in the centre of the city(Dongsungro/Jungangro). The station is a complex building with Lotte department store(the largest domestic department chain). Only Saemaeul and Mugunghwa trains stop at this station. Because of its location, it is easy to access to the downtown(5 to 10 min by walk) or other places of the city.

For traveling by train, visit the official Korail website It provides timetables, fare, and some information around their stations.

By car

Gyungbu highway located between Daejun and Kyong Ju.

By bus

Deagi is in the middle of the extensive intercity bus system in South Korea. Buses go directly from Daegu to Seoul in just under 4 hours. They only have 3 seats in a row allowing for larger and more comfortable seats than on a normal North American bus.

Get around

By public transportation

Daegu has two subway metro lines that intersects at the main downtown stop of Banwoldang.

Line 1 ( red line) runs from Daegok to Ansim and Line 2 ( green line) runs from Munyang to Sawol. Stops are announced in both Korean and English. Subways typically run from 05:30 to 23:30. Tickets can be purchased from machines or at a customer service booths. To enter the subway, scan your token and hold on to it because you will need to insert the same token as you exit.

The monorail, Line 3 (yellow line), is scheduled to open on 23 April 2015. It will connect with Line 1 at Myeongdeok Station and Line 2 at Sinam Station. Line 3 will run from Chilgok to Beommul.

Ticket machines marked "complimentary tickets" are for people with specific types of South Korean Identity cards, such as pensioners.

There is a local bus network in the city too.

By taxi

Taxis are cheap and easy to find. Be aware that people in Daegu do not use street addresses. To give directions, you should give the nearest landmark to your destination such as a department store, hotel, or movie theater.

By tour bus

Daegu operates a City Tour Bus that passes by many cultural remains and otherwise touristy places. It is open year-round and operates from 10:00 everyday departing from Daegu Tourist Information Center, Dongdaegu Train Station and Banwoldang. It costs about ₩5,000 for an adult with discounted fares for school students.

See

  • Parks. Parks include Bongmu Reports Park between Daegu Airport and the entrance of Palgong Mountain, it has playgrounds and equipment for tennis, Jokku, badminton, shooting and so on; you can enjoy of outdoor variety sports. Not only Palgongsan, but also Apsan Park, Woobang Tower Land, Daegu Arboretum, Mangwoo Park, Gyeongsan-gamyeong Park and Gukchaebosang Memorial Park are also good sightseeing.
  • E-World. Visit E-World, Daegu's largest theme park and home to Woobang Tower, Daegu's tallest building.

Do

  • Watch baseball. Attend a Samsung Lions baseball game.


Hiking

Pangongsan mountain, located north-east of Daegu

Palgongsan : Palgongsan is a mountain located north-east of Daegu and about 20 km (12.4 mi) from downtown. It's central peak is Birobong which is 1,192 m (3910 ft) above sea level and also has other peaks such as Dongbong and Seobong. Although it belongs to Daegu City, it contains four other cities and its total size is 30,593 km² (11,812 mi²). It looks like a sacred ground of Buddhism because there are many Buddhist statues, pagodas and rock cliffs Buddhas in Palgong Mountain. Gatbawi is a Buddhist statue located on the top of mount Palgongsan which is believed to grant one’s wish once in a life and attracts visitors from the whole country.

Hiking trails of Palgongsan:

  1. Donghwasa Temple -> 20 min. -> Budoam Hermitage -> 40 min. -> Yeomburam Hermitage -> 60 min. -> Dongbong Peak -> 90 min. -> Ticket Booth
  2. Pagyesa Temple -> 40 min.-> Pagyejae Pass-> 3 hrs. -> Dongbong Peak -> 2hrs. & 40 min. -> Inbong Peak -> 100 min. -> Bakhongam Hermitage -> 50 min. -> Eunhaesa Temple
  3. Eunhaesa Temple -> 50 min. -> Bakhongam Hermitage -> 2 hrs. -> Inbong Peak -> 90 min. -> Gatbawi Buddha -> 40 min. -> Parking lot

Learn

  • YMCA English Lessons (At Banwoldang Station (Red and Green lines) by exit 14. At the top of the stairs, turn left. The YMCA will be on the left.). As in all cities in Korea, there are numerous YMCAs which offer English lessons for beginner, intermediate and advanced learners. They also offer tutoring sessions.

Work

Like all South Korean cities, Daegu has numerous job openings for English language teachers at public schools and private academies. See The South Korean article on Teaching for more details.

Buy

Daegu has several department stores and a shopping district all situated around down town. Also to the North East there is a Costco.

  • Dongseongro. If you arrive in downtown, Dongseongro, you can enjoy shopping for jewelry and clothes and visiting Gyodong Market and Seomun Market.
  • Seomun market. A little bit of everything. Take the green line of the subway (line 2) to Seomun Market. Walk about two blocks north to find the market.
  • Hyundai Department Store (downtown). One of Daegu's largest stores. Hyundai Department Store is located at Banwoldang Station (both subway lines) at exit 18.

Eat

You can find a place to eat anywhere you go in Daegu for any budget. There is a large number of restaurants downtown around Bandwoldong station. You can find Western fare such as the Holy Grill near subway exit 13, as well as Turkish Kebabs, and cuisine such as Uzbek, Italian and Japanese.

For those with special dietary needs, Daegu has a considerable number of the Loving Hut chain of organic and vegan restaurants. The one outside the National University of Education (literally outside the central gate and on the left, 5 minutes from the subway) is probably the most central. Check the website for listings.

Drink

  • Nightlife is usually found outside the main universities (Kyungpook, Keimyung) and in the downtown area (Banwoldang). Banwoldang is where the greatest concentration of foreign restaurants lies, and weekend nights are filled with people shopping, walking, or sitting in the innumerable pubs, coffee shops, and cafes.
  • Gypsy Rock (짚시랔), KNU North Gate (Walk past Paris Baguette with Dunkin Donuts behind you. Keep going until you see Gypsy Rock on your right.). 8PM. A great underground "rock bar" in the KNU North Gate area. The lighting is a little dark, the air a little damp, the music a bit too loud, but Gypspy Rock remains one of Daegu's best watering holes. The owner of the bar, Dohan, speaks English well and is more than happy to take any request songs from his voluminous library of rock music.The bar is busiest on Friday and Saturday nights, when both students and English teachers from the nearby university come to unwind. With that in mind, it's a great place to meet locals and expats. ₩3000/draft beer.

Sleep

Budget

There are a few options for budget accommodations in Daegu. There is currently one hostel in Daegu, as well as plenty of motels and jjimjilbang (찜질방) for the budget minded. See the main South Korea article for more information on these options.

"Love Hotels" are very common in Daegu and South Korea and are usually found near nightclubs, train stations, or downtown areas. They will often have red neon hearts or other obvious signage. Love hotels are often used by the sort of clientele who rent by the hour, but are quite safe and offer cheap, convenient, albeit spartan accommodation. Basic rooms might be below ₩30,000 but for the real experience some rooms will have the full porn-set treatment such as heart-shaped beds or whirlpool baths.

  • Danimbackpackers, +82 70-7532-9119, +82 10-7757-6116, . The first and currently only hostel in Daegu is "Danimbackpackers". "Danim" means "traveling" in Korean. Danimbackpackers is located in downtown Daegu near the Banwoldang Subway Station, Daegu's central subway station where both subway lines intersect. It takes only 5 minutes on foot to downtown, and is easy to get to any place in Deagu by public transportation. Staff are young and enthusiastic to help travelers and are English-speaking. Additionally, this hostel offers one free drink for every night at its bar and breakfast is included in the price.
  • Union Tourist Hotel, +82 53-252-2221. The Union Tourist Hotel is located just west of Daegu station. Rates are between ₩38,000 and ₩50,000 per night. The rooms are fairly large and clean but somewhat old, and the bathrooms, especially the bathtubs, are in need of remodeling. Nevertheless, it is a quiet, comfortable, and affordable place to stay. If you call to reserve a room, you receive a discount.
  • LifeSpa. A short taxi ride from Jincheon subway station. It might be best to ask for 'Oncheon', or follow a map from the website. This is a jjimjilbang in west Daegu, near to the west bus terminal, Woobang Tower Land and Duryu Park. The entry fee, under ₩10,000, includes access to a large bathing area and impressive hot rooms. There are provincially themed rooms including Mungyeong and Gyeongju rock. One scorching hot room has a carriage of rocks on tracks that seem to have come from a great subterranean forge. There is a snow room, which is far more impressive than most jjimjilbang ice rooms, with falling snow from above. Unfortunately, this room can look a little ransacked if it has hosted families or drunks in the evening. There are small male and female sleeping rooms, but the open sleeping areas are fairly quiet too. The provision of sleeping mats is much worse than in most jjimjilbangs. The baths and saunas are large and impressive. There are several standard pools, a big cooled pool where kids enjoy swimming, a great pine steam sauna and a traditional hot spring room with cold fresh air. The PC room is large and in good repair, there is a restaurant and a rooftop garden and there are far more television screens than could possibly be necessary.

Mid-range

  • Eldis Regent, 360 Dongsan-dong, Joong-gu, +82 53-253-7711, fax: +82 53-256-0405. Drawbacks include small parking lot that is overfilled at any event (weddings), usually weekends, but clears out in evening. Also rare for a taxi driver to recognize the name, expect to show a map or give directions from the Prince (nearby).
  • Prince Hotel, 1824-1 Daemyeong-dong, Nam-gu, +82 53-628-1001, fax: +82 53-628-2833. Almost any taxi driver knows when you ask for the Prince Hotel. Parking area seems smaller than the others but generally with less trouble. Standard rooms are fairly large but many seem a bit run down. Water coolers in the hallways save on bottled water. Wireless internet reception varies.
  • Grand Daegu Hotel, 563-1 Beomeo 1-dong, Susung-gu. Rooms roughly the same as the Prince. Has a parking garage but often a tight squeeze.
  • Daegu Garden, 688-1 Bongdeok3-dong, Nam-gu, +82 53-471-9911, fax: +82 53-472-7900. Rooms said to be not as nice as the Prince or Grand, although is near a more active nightlife area.

Connect

Stay safe

Like the rest of Korea, all of Daegu is safe at any time of the day. However, westerners, especially minorities or men with Korean women, may encounter hostility from drunken men, but this is increasingly rare. The water is safe, but newcomers with sensitive stomachs should be prudent with street food or with the spice levels. Be aware that some, but not all, ATM machines close before midnight if you need late-night drinking money.

Korean taxi drivers may drive somewhat erratically. Drivers are usually honest and being cheated on fares is not common.

Cope

Go next

  • The major cities of Seoul, Daejeon, Ulsan or Busan via the KTX.
  • Andong, home of the annual International Mask Festival and World Heritage rated Hahoe Folk Village.
  • Gayasan Mountain National Park, home to Haeinsa, one of Korea's Three Jewel Temples and a World Heritage Site.
  • Gumi, nearby electronics powerhouse, but not without its fair share of hiking opportunities too.
  • Gyeongju, Korea's cultural capital and home to World Heritage rated Donghaksa Temple.
Routes through Daegu
DaejeonGimcheon (Gumi) ←  NW KTXGyeongbuLine.png SE  Shin-gyeongjuBusan
END  NW KTXGyeongbuLine.png S  MiryangBusan
END  NW KTXGyeongbuLine.png S  MiryangMasan


This city travel guide to Daegu is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.