Pohang Travel Guide: 33 Top Things to Do, See and Eat in Pohang

Welcome! Ready to explore Pohang? Nestled on the eastern shoreline of South Korea, Pohang is a city that offers a unique blend of industrial might and natural beauty. While it may be renowned as the heartland of South Korea’s steel industry, thanks to the giant POSCO steel plant, Pohang also boasts scenic coastlines, vibrant cultural festivals, and mouth-watering seafood. Let’s dive into what makes Pohang a must-visit for those looking to uncover all that Korea has to offer beyond its bustling metropolises.

Pohang observatory overlooking the sea

Coastal Charm

Seaside Splendor: Pohang’s coastline is a tapestry of rugged cliffs, serene beaches, and hidden coves. Guryongpo Beach and Chilpo Beach are perfect for those sunny days when all you want is the sand between your toes and the sound of waves. Don’t miss the Homigot Sunrise Plaza, where you can catch the first sunrise of the year on mainland Korea. It’s not just a beach; it’s a celebration of light, with sculptures and installations that playfully interact with the rising sun.

Industrial Might

Steel Yourself for Innovation: A tour of the POSCO steel plant isn’t just for those interested in engineering. It’s a glimpse into the powerhouse that helped forge modern Korea. This sprawling complex is not only about its past achievements but also its future in sustainable technology. It’s an unexpectedly fascinating peek into a world where fiery furnaces and towering cranes shape the skyline.

Cultural Richness

A City Alive with Festivals: Pohang comes alive with the Pohang International Fireworks Festival, where the night sky bursts into colors, and the steelworks provide a dramatic backdrop. Another not-to-be-missed event is the Pohang Steel Art Festival, which transforms scraps from POSCO into stunning art installations. These events draw visitors from all over Korea and beyond, blending art, culture, and community in a dynamic display.

Culinary Delights

Seafood and More: Thanks to its coastal location, Pohang is a haven for seafood lovers. From freshly caught squid to sumptuous king crabs, the local cuisine is a delightful exploration of oceanic flavors. Explore the Jukdo Market, where the day’s catch goes straight from the sea to your plate. Here, food isn’t just eaten; it’s experienced.

Natural Wonders

Beyond the Beach: Venture beyond the city to explore the nearby mountains and hiking trails. Naeyeonsan Mountain and the Twelve Waterfalls offer a refreshing retreat from the urban environment. These natural sites provide not only peace but also spectacular photographic opportunities throughout the seasons.

Pohang might surprise you with its mix of industrial heritage and natural beauty, all enriched by a strong sense of community and tradition. Whether you’re here to soak up the sun on its beaches, delve into the heart of its industrial landscape, or feast on some of the freshest seafood around, Pohang offers a diverse palette of experiences. So why not add Pohang to your travel itinerary and discover another side of South Korea?

Pohang Travel Guide: Things to do in Pohang, South Korea for visitors including visiting the famous hand during sunset

Pohang City Guide: A Brief History Of Pohang, Korea

Pohang’s story is not just about its industrial prowess but also about its ancient cultural roots and key historical events. From prehistoric settlements to dynastic developments and modern marvels, Pohang offers a fascinating chronicle that enhances its seaside charm.

Ancient Beginnings

Tracing Roots Back to Prehistory: Pohang’s history stretches back thousands of years, marked by early human settlements evident in archaeological sites like Guryongpo. These sites have unearthed relics from the Bronze Age and evidence of vibrant ancient communities. The area’s strategic coastal location made it a focal point for fishing and trade, which helped to cultivate a rich maritime culture that is still celebrated today.

The Goryeo and Joseon Dynasties

Dynastic Influences and Developments: During the Goryeo and Joseon eras, Pohang was known as a key provincial outpost. It was often referred to by its old name, Lighthouse Point, due to its critical role in coastal defense and as a beacon for the many ships navigating the East Sea. The construction of various fortifications and watchtowers along the coast underscores Pohang’s importance in Korea’s historical military strategies.

The Rise of Modern Industry

From Rural Outpost to Industrial Giant: The modern era transformed Pohang with the establishment of POSCO in 1968, which catalyzed its development into a powerhouse of the steel industry. This move was pivotal in South Korea’s rapid economic development, known globally as the Miracle on the Han River. The steel mill not only reshaped Pohang’s economic landscape but also its physical and social fabric, attracting workers from across Korea and fostering a unique industrial community.

Cultural Revival

Preserving and Celebrating Heritage: Despite its industrialization, Pohang has not forgotten its roots. The city actively preserves its historical sites and celebrates its long history through various festivals and events. For instance, the Pohang Steel Art Festival not only showcases the city’s modern capabilities but also honors its ancient metalworking traditions, linking past to present in creative expressions.

A Legacy of Resilience and Innovation

Looking to the Future: Today, Pohang stands as a testament to Korean resilience and forward-thinking. The city continues to innovate, particularly in areas of green technology and sustainable development, while remaining proud of its historical and cultural achievements. Its universities and research institutes contribute to its reputation as a place of learning and innovation, furthering the legacy of a city built on both tradition and transformation.

Pohang city views from a high vantage point in South Korea

Pohang Top Attractions and Best Places to Visit in South Korea

Begin your time in Pohang by dropping by Bogyungsa Temple. Founded at the dawn of the 7th century, this Buddhist hall of worship is ancient. Despite this fact, it is not dissimilar to many other temples around the country.

Thus, it puzzles many visitors why this place is so popular. In actuality, this sight is most famous for the waterfalls and hiking trails accessible from its grounds. A dozen waterfalls are reachable from this temple – visit in the spring, when rainfalls ensure heavy flows.

Want to spend time amidst this inspiring natural landscape? Try a temple stay – you’ll get to participate in the monastic life, afterwards, you’ll know who you truly are.

If you’re still in the mood to check out temples after Bogyungsa, be sure to visit Oeosa Temple. Like its cousin, Oeosa came into being during the Silla Period – carbon dating puts it around the 6th century.

It got its name from a folk tale – one day, two monks came upon two dead fish in a lake. As they gazed upon them, one suddenly sprang back to life. Oeosa was a word for “fish” back then, giving their temple its current name.

More Attractions

In addition to the usual Buddha statues, you’ll find plenty of fish statues and carvings around. Apart from this, it’s another peaceful temple in a stunning mountain environment. Check out the small museum on site – it’s free and contains a bronze bell from the 13th century.

Over the latter half of the 20th century, Pohang became one of South Korea’s most prominent industrial cities. POSCO is one of its largest firms, contributing the steel that led to the rise of this Asian tiger.

Learn about its history by visiting the Posco Museum. Through its exhibits, you’ll learn about the development of the steel industry in Korea. From the 50s to today, incredible volumes of steel rolled off their lines, helping this nation rise to greatness.

After checking out the museum, you’ll have the option to go on a factory tour. As you move through the facility, your guide will explain each process in a relatable way. For this reason, it is an excellent attraction for those into the industry.

If you are visiting Korea between late May and Early June, be sure to attend the Pohang International Fireworks Festival. Each night, a different team will put on an impressive pyrotechnical display above Yeongil Bay. Before the show, there are also parades, street performers, and plenty of amazing Korean street food – don’t miss out.

Nayeonsan waterfall in South Korea

Other Cultural Attractions: Trip to Pohang, Korea

If you need to escape the city during your time in Pohang, make plans to check out Naeyeonsan County Park. It protects the land around Naeyeonsan Mountain, a peak that rises 930 metres above sea level. With trails that lead to stunning waterfalls, a day here will go a long way toward recharging your batteries.

Pohang is an important fishing port on the East Sea. See the latest catches of their fishers by dropping by the Jukdo Market. Within, over 200 vendors hawk everything from giant tunas to a bewildering array of shellfish. A hop, skip, and a jump away, restaurants stand ready to prepare the freshest seafood you’ve ever eaten. If you are a fan, you owe it to yourself to have a meal here.

Other Attractions

Stand at Korea’s most eastern point at Homigot Sunrise Square. Each New Year’s Day, Koreans from across the country gather to witness the first sunrise of the new year. Don’t worry if you’re not around then – plenty come to watch at other times of year as well.

Art lovers will appreciate the sculptures found here. Cast in bronze, they depict a set of hands that symbolize the land and the ocean. Together, they make a case for reconciliation and co-existence, something we should all get behind.

If you are visiting Pohang during the summer months, the heat can be rather stifling. Cool off by spending an afternoon on Yeongildae Beach. With off-white sand, refreshing water, and samishi restaurants within easy reach, there are few better places to relax on a summer day than here. Do as the locals do and pitch a tent – it will shield you from the sun as you relax.

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Top 33 Things To Do in Pohang, South Korea For Visitors

Here are the top 33 things to do in Pohang:

Pohang traditional pavilion and beach

1. Visit Homigot Sunrise Square

Witness the spectacular sunrise at Homigot Sunrise Square, home to the famous “Hand of Harmony” sculpture. This spot is particularly popular on New Year’s Day, where people gather to see the first sunrise of the year. The area offers beautiful coastal views and a peaceful atmosphere. It’s a symbol of hope and unity, attracting visitors from all over Korea.

2. Explore Guryongpo Modern History Street

Take a walk down Guryongpo Modern History Street to see well-preserved Japanese-style houses from the early 20th century. This area offers a glimpse into the life during the Japanese occupation. Visitors can enjoy traditional Japanese tea at one of the converted teahouses. The street also hosts cultural events and festivals throughout the year.

3. Relax at Yeongildae Beach

Yeongildae Beach is one of Pohang’s most popular sandy beaches, offering excellent facilities for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. The beachfront is lined with cafes, restaurants, and bars, making it a lively place day and night. It’s also known for its beautiful sunset views. During the summer, the beach hosts various music and cultural festivals.

4. Discover the Pohang Steel Art Festival

Experience the Pohang Steel Art Festival, an event that celebrates the city’s industrial heritage through art. The festival showcases steel sculptures, installations, and performances by artists from around the world. It’s a unique blend of industry and art, highlighting Pohang’s identity as a steel city. The event also includes workshops and interactive activities for all ages.

5. Visit the POSCO Museum

Learn about the history and technology behind one of the world’s largest steel companies at the POSCO Museum. The museum offers interactive exhibits, models, and videos showcasing the steel-making process. It’s an educational visit that highlights Pohang’s industrial achievements. The museum also emphasizes POSCO’s commitment to sustainability and innovation.

6. Hike in Naeyeonsan Mountain and the Twelve Waterfalls

Naeyeonsan Mountain offers scenic hiking trails that lead to the beautiful Twelve Waterfalls. The area is a natural paradise, featuring lush forests, crystal-clear streams, and diverse wildlife. It’s an ideal spot for photography, picnicking, and nature walks. The mountain and waterfalls offer a tranquil escape from the city.

7. Explore Bogyeongsa Temple

Bogyeongsa Temple, nestled in the Naeyeonsan Mountain, is known for its serene atmosphere and stunning natural surroundings. The temple complex includes historic buildings, pagodas, and statues that reflect Korea’s Buddhist heritage. Visitors can participate in temple stay programs to experience Buddhist culture and meditation. The temple is especially beautiful in spring when the azaleas bloom.

8. Enjoy the Pohang International Fireworks Festival

The Pohang International Fireworks Festival lights up the sky with spectacular fireworks displays over Yeongildae Beach. This event attracts visitors from across Korea and beyond, featuring music, performances, and various entertainment. It’s a celebration of light and sound that creates unforgettable memories. The festival is a highlight of Pohang’s cultural calendar.

9. Visit the Jukdo Market

Jukdo Market is one of the largest seafood markets in Korea, offering fresh fish, shellfish, and other marine products. Visitors can explore the bustling stalls, sample local seafood delicacies, and learn about Korea’s fishing industry. The market also sells fruits, vegetables, and traditional Korean snacks. It’s a vibrant place to experience the local culture and cuisine.

10. Take a Stroll Along Hwanho Park

Hwanho Park is a scenic park located along the Hyeongsan River, offering walking paths, gardens, and recreational facilities. The park is a popular spot for jogging, cycling, and family outings. It features beautiful flower displays in spring and colorful foliage in autumn. The park also hosts cultural events and open-air concerts.

11. Admire Oeosa Temple

Oeosa Temple is a tranquil Buddhist temple located beside a picturesque lake. The temple’s setting is serene, surrounded by mountains and forests, making it a perfect place for reflection. Visitors can admire the traditional Korean temple architecture and enjoy the peaceful ambiance. The temple grounds are especially beautiful in the fall when the leaves change color.

12. Discover the Underwater Tomb of King Munmu

The Underwater Tomb of King Munmu, located near Bonggil Beach, is a unique historical site. King Munmu was the 30th king of the Silla Kingdom, and his tomb is submerged in the sea, as per his wish to protect the kingdom even in death. Visitors can view the tomb from the shore and learn about the king’s legacy and contributions to Korean history. The site offers a fascinating glimpse into Korea’s ancient past.

13. Visit the Pohang Canal

The Pohang Canal, inspired by Venice, is a charming waterway running through parts of the city. Visitors can enjoy boat rides, stroll along the canal paths, and explore the surrounding cafes and shops. The canal area is beautifully lit at night, creating a romantic atmosphere. It’s a unique urban attraction that adds to Pohang’s charm.

14. Explore Hyoja-dong Mural Village

Hyoja-dong Mural Village is a vibrant community where artists have transformed the walls of homes and buildings into colorful murals. The village offers a fun and engaging way to explore art in public spaces. Visitors can wander through the narrow streets, discovering new artworks at every turn. The murals depict various themes, from local history to contemporary issues.

15. Experience the Pohang Steelworks Tour

Take a tour of the Pohang Steelworks, one of the largest steel plants in the world. The tour offers a behind-the-scenes look at the steel production process, from raw materials to finished products. It’s an eye-opening experience that showcases the scale and importance of the steel industry in Pohang. Visitors need to book in advance due to limited spaces.

16. Visit the Korean War Memorial of Pohang

The Korean War Memorial of Pohang honors the soldiers who fought and sacrificed during the Korean War. The memorial park features statues, monuments, and an exhibition hall with artifacts and photos from the war. It’s a place of reflection and education about Korea’s modern history. The memorial provides a deeper understanding of the war’s impact on Pohang and Korea.

17. Relax at Chilpo Beach

Chilpo Beach is known for its clear waters, fine sand, and scenic cliffs. It’s a quieter alternative to Yeongildae Beach, perfect for those seeking relaxation and natural beauty. The beach is ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and beach sports. Nearby hiking trails offer stunning views of the coastline.

18. Take a Day Trip to Gyeongju

Gyeongju, the ancient capital of the Silla Kingdom, is a short drive from Pohang. The city is rich in history, with UNESCO World Heritage Sites, royal tombs, and Buddhist temples. Visitors can explore the Gyeongju National Museum, Bulguksa Temple, and the Seokguram Grotto. It’s a must-visit for anyone interested in Korean history and culture.

19. Explore Wolpo Beach and Sand Dunes

Wolpo Beach, near Pohang, features unique sand dunes that offer a desert-like landscape by the sea. The dunes are a rare natural phenomenon in Korea and provide a unique backdrop for photos. The beach itself is peaceful, with clear waters and a relaxed atmosphere. Visitors can enjoy sandboarding, picnics, and leisurely walks along the shore.

20. Discover the Charm of Chilseong Market

Chilseong Market is one of Pohang’s oldest traditional markets, known for its lively atmosphere and diverse products. Visitors can find everything from fresh seafood to clothing and household goods. The market is also a great place to sample local street food and traditional Korean dishes. It offers an authentic glimpse into the daily life of Pohang’s residents.

21. Visit the POSCO History Museum

The POSCO History Museum details the journey of POSCO, one of the world’s leading steel companies, which originated in Pohang. The museum features exhibits on the company’s development, technological advancements, and contributions to the global steel industry. It’s an insightful visit for those interested in industrial history and economic development. The museum also highlights POSCO’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

22. Stroll Through Songdo Park

Songdo Park is a spacious urban park in Pohang that offers lush greenery, walking paths, and recreational facilities. It’s a popular spot for outdoor activities, including jogging, cycling, and family picnics. The park features a pond, sports fields, and children’s playgrounds. It’s a refreshing green space that enhances the quality of life in the city.

23. Admire the Beauty of Cheongho Park

Cheongho Park is known for its beautiful bridge and serene lake, making it a picturesque location for relaxation and leisure. The park is beautifully landscaped, with walking trails, flower gardens, and art installations. It’s particularly stunning in the evening when the bridge and pathways are illuminated. The park hosts cultural events and festivals, adding to its appeal.

24. Explore Odo Coastal Walkway

Odo Coastal Walkway offers breathtaking views of the sea and coastline, stretching for several kilometers along the cliffs. It’s an excellent spot for a leisurely walk, jog, or bike ride. The walkway features lookout points, resting areas, and access to small beaches. It’s a great way to experience Pohang’s natural beauty and enjoy outdoor activities.

25. Experience Traditional Korean Life at Yangdong Folk Village

Although located closer to Gyeongju, Yangdong Folk Village is easily accessible from Pohang and offers a glimpse into traditional Korean life. The village is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, featuring well-preserved houses, Confucian academies, and beautiful natural surroundings. Visitors can learn about Korean customs, architecture, and rural life. The village also hosts cultural demonstrations and workshops.

26. Enjoy Outdoor Activities at Yeongdeok Blue Road

Yeongdeok Blue Road, stretching along the coast north of Pohang, is renowned for its scenic beauty and outdoor activities. Visitors can hike, cycle, or drive along the route, enjoying stunning views of the East Sea, cliffs, and beaches. The road passes through fishing villages and seafood restaurants, offering opportunities to taste fresh local seafood. It’s an ideal destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

27. Admire Local Art at Pohang Museum of Steel Art

The Pohang Museum of Steel Art combines industrial heritage with artistic expression, showcasing sculptures and installations made from steel. The museum also features exhibits on the history of steel art and POSCO’s role in the community. It’s a unique cultural venue that reflects Pohang’s identity as a steel city. The museum’s outdoor sculpture park is a highlight, offering an interactive art experience.

28. Learn at the National Lighthouse Museum

The National Lighthouse Museum, located near Pohang, is dedicated to the history and technology of lighthouses in Korea. It features models, photographs, and interactive exhibits, offering insight into the role of lighthouses in maritime safety. The museum is educational for visitors of all ages, highlighting the importance of lighthouses along Korea’s coastline. It’s a unique attraction for those interested in maritime history.

29. Relax at Oeosa Temple

Oeosa Temple, located beside a tranquil lake, is a peaceful retreat that offers a break from the city life. The temple’s beautiful setting, surrounded by mountains and water, makes it a perfect place for meditation and reflection. Visitors can explore the temple grounds, admire traditional Korean Buddhist architecture, and enjoy the serene ambiance. The temple hosts cultural and religious events, providing insights into Buddhist practices.

30. Enjoy the Views from Daewangam Park

Daewangam Park is a coastal park known for its rugged cliffs, dense forests, and the Daewangam Rock, a large rock formation off the coast. The park offers scenic walking paths that lead to observation decks with stunning views of the sea and coastline. It’s a great spot for photography, picnics, and leisurely walks. The park’s natural beauty and peaceful atmosphere make it a popular destination for visitors and locals alike.

31. Visit the Pohang Iron and Steel History Museum

The Pohang Iron and Steel History Museum highlights the city’s role in Korea’s industrialization, focusing on the development of the steel industry. The museum features historical documents, photographs, and models, illustrating the growth of Pohang and POSCO. It’s an informative visit for those interested in industrial history and the economic transformation of South Korea. The museum provides a comprehensive overview of the steel-making process and its global impact.

32. Discover the Charms of Heunghae-eup

Heunghae-eup, a small town near Pohang, offers a glimpse into local life with its traditional markets, temples, and scenic countryside. Visitors can explore the town’s cultural sites, enjoy local cuisine, and experience the hospitality of the residents. The town is surrounded by agricultural fields and mountains, providing beautiful natural landscapes for exploration. It’s a quaint destination for those looking to experience the rural charm of Korea.

33. Experience Pohang’s Festivals and Cultural Events

Pohang hosts various festivals and cultural events throughout the year, celebrating the city’s heritage, cuisine, and community spirit. From the Pohang International Fireworks Festival to local food and cultural festivals, there’s always something happening in the city. These events offer visitors a chance to engage with the local culture, enjoy performances, and sample regional delicacies. Attending a festival is a great way to experience the vibrant life of Pohang and meet locals.

Ssiat Hotteok is a popular Korean street food to try in Pohang, South Korea

What To Eat and Drink in Pohang, South Korea

Pohang’s location on the eastern coast of South Korea blesses it with an abundance of seafood, making it a haven for gastronomes. Beyond just seafood, the city also offers a variety of other delightful Korean dishes and beverages. Dive into the culinary delights of Pohang with this comprehensive guide.

1. Gwamegi (Half-Dried Pacific Herring or Saury)

One of Pohang’s signature dishes, gwamegi is made by drying either Pacific herring or saury during the winter. The process gives the fish a unique texture—somewhere between fresh and fully dried. It’s usually eaten with fresh vegetables, garlic, and chili paste (gochujang) or served with hot rice.

2. Snow Crab

Jumunjin, a district within Pohang, is particularly renowned for its snow crab. The crab is either steamed to perfection, retaining its natural flavor and sweetness, or used in various dishes, including stews and soups.

3. Agujjim (Steamed Monkfish)

Originally from Masan, this dish has also become popular in Pohang. Agujjim is made of monkfish and bean sprouts, seasoned with soy sauce, gochujang, and various spices. The dish offers a wonderful combination of the delicate flavors of the fish and the spiciness of the sauce.

4. Grilled Eel

A popular dish throughout Korea, in Pohang, eel is often grilled with a special marinade and served over rice. Rich in vitamins and known for its stamina-boosting properties, eel is a favorite, especially during the hot summer months.

5. Hoe (Raw Fish)

Being a coastal city, Pohang offers some of the freshest seafood in the country. Hoe is thinly sliced raw fish, often served with side dishes like kimchi, fresh vegetables, and a dipping sauce made from soy sauce and wasabi. The texture and taste of the fish, paired with the sharpness of the wasabi, make for a delectable combination.

6. Makgeolli

While this fermented rice beverage is popular throughout Korea, the coastal influence of Pohang might introduce you to unique seafood pairings. The milky, slightly carbonated drink has a subtle sweetness that complements the flavors of Pohang’s seafood.

7. Soju

No list about Korean beverages would be complete without mentioning soju, the ubiquitous Korean spirit. Typically distilled from rice or grains, soju is often enjoyed with meals and is a staple of Korean dining culture.

8. Seaweed Soup (Miyeok-guk)

Traditionally eaten on birthdays, this nutritious soup made from seaweed is believed to provide health benefits, including good skin and detoxification.

9. Tteokbokki with Seafood

While tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes) is a popular street food all over Korea, in Pohang, it’s not uncommon to find versions enhanced with fresh seafood, adding depth to the dish.

10. Bingsu

For dessert, try bingsu, a shaved ice dish topped with various ingredients like sweet red beans, fruit, and condensed milk. In Pohang, you might find variants topped with local fruits or even seafood-inspired flavors.

11. Local Teas

Korea boasts a variety of traditional teas. In Pohang, look for establishments that serve teas made from local ingredients, such as barley, ginger, or jujube. These teas not only warm the soul but are also believed to offer health benefits.

12. Pajeon (Korean Pancake)

A perfect accompaniment to a rainy day, Pajeon is a savory pancake made with scallions. The seafood version, Haemul Pajeon, is loaded with various seafood and is especially popular in Pohang.

13. Dongdongju

Similar to makgeolli but with rice grains left in, dongdongju is a delightful, slightly fizzy traditional drink often served in a bowl. Pair it with pajeon for a classic Korean combo.

14. Grilled Shellfish

Being a coastal city, Pohang’s selection of fresh shellfish is commendable. Clams, mussels, and scallops are grilled right at your table and best enjoyed with a splash of lemon or a dab of chili paste.

15. Janchi Guksu

Translating to “banquet noodles”, this dish features thin wheat noodles in a light broth, often garnished with vegetables and seafood. It’s a simple yet flavorful dish, symbolizing celebration and festivity.

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Pohang sunset over the water overlooking a temple in South Korea

Tours For Visitors To Pohang, Korea

Here’s a detailed travel guide to the top tours available in Pohang.

1. POSCO Factory Tour

Dive into the heart of Pohang’s industrial landscape with a guided tour of the POSCO steel plant, one of the largest steel producers in the world. This tour offers a rare glimpse into the complex processes of steel making and the innovative technologies that have driven South Korea’s industrial growth. You’ll see firsthand the blast furnaces and the rolling mills in action, a testament to the city’s engineering feats.

2. Guryongpo Peninsula Circuit

Explore the scenic Guryongpo Peninsula with a guided tour that covers the beautiful coastline and the rich history of this fishing region. The tour includes visits to the Guryongpo Modern History Museum, where you can learn about the area’s Japanese colonial past, and a stroll around Homigot Square, famous for its giant hand sculpture and beautiful sunrise views.

3. Historical Sites of Pohang

Step back in time with a tour focused on Pohang’s historical sites. Visit the ancient city of Posong, where you can explore the ruins of old fortresses and temples. The tour includes stops at local museums that showcase artifacts from the Bronze Age and provide insights into the region’s historical development.

4. Naeyeonsan Mountain Waterfall Tour

For nature lovers, a trek to Naeyeonsan Mountain offers a refreshing escape. This guided hike takes you through lush forests to the famous Twelve Waterfalls, a series of stunning cascades linked by scenic trails. The tour is not only a physical adventure but also a chance to learn about the local flora and fauna.

5. Culinary Delights of Pohang

Indulge in Pohang’s culinary scene with a food tour that samples the best local dishes. Visit traditional markets like Jukdo Market to try fresh seafood, including Pohang’s famous snow crabs and squid. Learn about the traditional Korean ways of preparing seafood and enjoy tastings that will satisfy your palate.

6. Sunset Cruise around Pohang Bay

Experience the beauty of Pohang from the water with a sunset cruise around Pohang Bay. Enjoy the coastal views, the cool sea breeze, and the spectacular sunset while learning about the maritime culture of the area. This relaxing tour is perfect for couples and families looking to enjoy an evening at sea.

7. Cultural and Art Tour

Discover Pohang’s vibrant cultural scene with a tour that includes visits to local art galleries and performance centers. See contemporary Korean art installations, watch traditional Korean performances, and possibly meet with local artists. This tour is great for those interested in the artistic expressions that shape modern Korean culture.

8. Eco Tour of Yeongil Bay Wetlands

Take an eco-tour to explore the Yeongil Bay Wetlands, one of Korea’s important ecological sites. This guided tour offers insights into the conservation efforts and the biodiversity of the wetlands, including migratory birds. It’s a fantastic opportunity for photography and bird watching.

9. Pohang Steel Art Festival Tour

If you’re visiting during the Pohang Steel Art Festival, don’t miss a guided tour that explores the various installations and artworks made from steel. This unique festival highlights how industrial materials can be transformed into creative and artistic expressions, reflecting Pohang’s identity as a steel city.

10. Homigot Sunrise Festival Tour

For those visiting around New Year’s, the Homigot Sunrise Festival tour is a must. Participate in local traditions and watch the first sunrise of the year at Homigot, one of the best spots in Korea for sunrise views. The festival atmosphere, filled with performances, local food, and the gathering of thousands under the early morning sky, is an unforgettable experience.

Andong Korean Folk Village as a day trip from Pohang, South Korea

Day Trips From Pohang, South Korea

Pohang’s coastal location and proximity to several cultural and natural wonders make it a prime base for day excursions. Whether you’re looking for historical sites, natural beauty, or bustling urban landscapes, the region surrounding Pohang has a variety of destinations to offer.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

1. Gyeongju

Distance: Approximately 30 kilometers south of Pohang.

  • Overview: Often referred to as “the museum without walls,” Gyeongju was the capital of the ancient Silla Kingdom. It’s packed with historical and cultural heritage sites.
  • Highlights:
    • Bulguksa Temple: A UNESCO World Heritage site, this temple is an architectural marvel of the Silla era.
    • Seokguram Grotto: Located near Bulguksa, this artificial grotto houses a magnificent statue of Buddha.
    • Gyeongju National Museum: Gain insight into the rich history and artifacts of the Silla dynasty.
    • Royal Tombs: Explore the vast burial mounds of Silla monarchs.

2. Ulsan

Distance: Roughly 55 kilometers southeast of Pohang.

  • Overview: Ulsan is a coastal city known for its beaches, industrial complexes, and petrochemical hubs.
  • Highlights:
    • Taehwagang National Garden: A serene place with beautifully landscaped gardens and a bamboo grove.
    • Daewangam Park: A seaside park with walking trails offering panoramic views of the East Sea.
    • Petroglyphs of Bangudae: Ancient rock carvings offering a glimpse into prehistoric South Korea.

3. Andong

Distance: Approximately 90 kilometers west of Pohang.

  • Overview: Andong is known as the “Capital City of Korean Spiritual Culture” and offers a deep dive into traditional Korean culture and heritage.
  • Highlights:
    • Andong Hahoe Folk Village: A UNESCO World Heritage site, this village has preserved the Joseon-era homes and traditions.
    • Andong Hanji Paper Factory: Witness the traditional process of making Hanji, Korean handmade paper.
    • Woryeonggyo Bridge: The longest footbridge in Korea, it offers a scenic view of the Nakdong River.

4. Juwangsan National Park

Distance: Roughly 100 kilometers northwest of Pohang.

  • Overview: This national park is renowned for its beautiful valleys, dense forests, and unique rock formations.
  • Highlights:
    • Daejeonsa Temple: Nestled within the park, it’s a peaceful retreat.
    • Jusanji Pond: A tranquil pond surrounded by lush greenery and misty mountains.
    • Juwangsan Mountain: Offers several hiking trails with picturesque views.

5. Yeongdeok

Distance: About 80 kilometers north of Pohang.

  • Overview: A coastal town known for its snow crabs, Yeongdeok offers beautiful seascapes and seafood delicacies.
  • Highlights:
    • Yeongdeok Snow Crab Market: Savor the region’s specialty crab dishes.
    • Wind Power Theme Park: Offers an insight into renewable energy and panoramic sea views.
    • Yeongdeok Sunrise Park: A great spot to catch the early morning sunrise.

6. Ulleungdo Island

Distance: It requires a ferry ride from Pohang Passenger Terminal, typically around 3 hours.

  • Overview: Located in the middle of the East Sea, this volcanic island is known for its rugged landscapes, dense forests, and mysterious caves.
  • Highlights:
    • Dokdo Museum: Learn about the history and significance of the Dokdo islands.
    • Nari Basin: A caldera that has transformed into a scenic grassland.
    • Seacoast Tour: Experience the pristine waters and intricate coastline.

7. Mungyeong

Distance: About 140 kilometers west of Pohang.

  • Overview: Mungyeong is known for its ancient mountain passes, traditional tea culture, and beautiful terrains that make it an ideal place for hiking and enjoying nature.
  • Highlights:
    • Mungyeong Saejae: An ancient mountain pass and now a provincial park, it was historically one of the main routes connecting Seoul and Busan.
    • Mungyeong Traditional Chasabal Festival: Celebrate the pottery and tea culture of Korea.
    • Mungyeong Coal Museum: Understand the coal mining history of the region.

8. Bonghwa

Distance: About 110 kilometers northwest of Pohang.

  • Overview: Bonghwa is a picturesque county surrounded by mountains and rivers, making it a hub for nature enthusiasts and those seeking a tranquil escape.
  • Highlights:
    • Buncheon Train Station: Part of the “Train to Nowhere” tour, it offers scenic train rides along the Bonghwa Buncheon Line.
    • Sungbo Museum: Learn about the folklore and fairy tales of Korea.
    • Naeseongcheon River: Famous for its crystal-clear waters, ideal for fishing and relaxation.

9. Geoje Island

Distance: Approximately 180 kilometers south of Pohang.

  • Overview: Geoje Island, connected to the mainland by two bridges, is the second-largest island in Korea and is known for its scenic beaches, shipbuilding yards, and historic sites.
  • Highlights:
    • Haegeumgang: Rocky cliffs emerging from the sea, it’s a prime spot for boat tours.
    • Oedo-Botania: A marine botanical garden offering beautiful landscapes.
    • Historical Park of Geoje POW Camp: Offers insight into the life of prisoners during the Korean War.

10. Tongyeong

Distance: About 200 kilometers south of Pohang.

  • Overview: Often dubbed as the “Naples of Korea”, Tongyeong is a coastal city known for its seafood, particularly oysters, and its vibrant marine culture.
  • Highlights:
    • Tongyeong Jungang Market: Delight in fresh seafood and the famous Tongyeong honey bread.
    • Hallyeosudo Viewing Ropeway: Experience panoramic views of the surrounding islands and waters.
    • Dongpirang Village: A hillside village with colorful murals and art installations.

These additional locales offer a mix of history, nature, and culture, further showcasing the richness and diversity of the regions surrounding Pohang. From the mountainous terrains of Mungyeong to the serene waters of Geoje, day-trippers have a plethora of options to make the most of their Korean adventure.

The regions surrounding Pohang offer a mix of historical richness, natural beauty, and cultural exploration. These destinations ensure that travelers can experience the diversity and depth of South Korea’s landscape and heritage, making Pohang an ideal base for these excursions.

Pohang coast views in South Korea

Pohang Transportation Guide

From arriving in the city to getting around its attractions, here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate Pohang efficiently.

Arriving in Pohang

1. Pohang Airport Pohang Airport serves domestic flights, mainly from Jeju and Seoul. It’s a convenient entry point if you’re coming from other parts of South Korea. The airport is located about 20 minutes from the city center, and taxis, local buses, or car rental services are readily available for transfers.

2. Intercity Buses Pohang’s Intercity Bus Terminal connects the city with other major locations across South Korea, including Seoul, Busan, and Daegu. Buses are frequent and offer a reliable and economical way to reach Pohang if you’re traveling from another city.

3. Train Services Pohang Station is part of the national railway network, with services linking to major cities such as Seoul and Busan. The train journey offers scenic views of the Korean countryside and is a comfortable alternative to buses or flights.

Getting Around Pohang

4. City Buses Pohang’s bus network covers the city comprehensively, including routes to major attractions, shopping centers, and residential areas. Buses are an affordable way to get around, though understanding the route map might be challenging if you do not speak Korean. Smartphone apps can help you navigate the routes effectively.

5. Taxis Taxis in Pohang are convenient and relatively inexpensive. They can be hailed directly on the streets, booked via phone, or through apps. Taxis are especially useful during late hours when bus services are less frequent.

6. Bicycle Rentals Pohang is a bike-friendly city with several dedicated bike paths, particularly along the coast. Renting a bicycle is a pleasant way to explore the city’s scenic areas, such as the coastline near Homigot and the surroundings of Youngil Bay. Rental shops are available throughout the city, and some hotels offer bikes for their guests.

7. Car Rentals For maximum flexibility, renting a car is a good option, especially if you plan to visit areas outside of the city center or want to explore at your own pace. Several car rental agencies operate in Pohang, including options at the airport and downtown.

8. Walking Many of Pohang’s attractions are located in proximity to each other, especially in the downtown area. Walking can be a pleasant way to explore the city, particularly the areas around the Pohang Stream and the cultural district.

9. Electric Scooters Recently, electric scooters have become available for rent through apps in Pohang. They offer a quick and fun way to cover short distances within the city, adding a modern twist to urban mobility.

Special Transportation

10. Tour Buses For tourists, Pohang offers special tour bus services that cover major attractions like POSCO, Homigot, and Guryongpo. These buses are convenient for visitors who prefer guided tours and would like to gain more insight into the sites they visit.

After Pohang you should consider visiting Gyeongju, South Korea where you can see temples at night

Where To Visit After Your Trip To Pohang?

From urban excursions to tranquil retreats, these recommendations ensure a rich and varied continuation of your travel experience.

1. Busan

Just a couple of hours away from Pohang, Busan offers a vibrant mix of modern city life and scenic beaches. Explore the bustling Jagalchi Fish Market, relax on Haeundae Beach, one of Korea’s most famous sandy stretches, or hike up to the Beomeosa Temple, set on the forested slopes of Geumjeongsan mountain. Busan’s dynamic mix of culture, cuisine, and architecture makes it a thrilling follow-up to Pohang.

2. Gyeongju

Often referred to as the “museum without walls,” Gyeongju is a short drive from Pohang and is overflowing with historical significance as the ancient capital of the Silla Kingdom. Here, you can visit Bulguksa Temple, a masterpiece of Buddhist art, wander through the Tumuli Park, a collection of royal Silla tombs, or admire the serene Anapji Pond, especially beautiful at night. Gyeongju’s rich tapestry of history offers a profound contrast to Pohang’s industrial backdrop.

3. Daegu

Explore the urban heart of Korea’s fourth-largest city, Daegu, known for its cosmopolitan atmosphere and youthful vibrance. Check out the Seomun Market, one of the largest traditional markets in Korea, climb Palgongsan Mountain, or relax in one of the city’s many trendy cafes. Daegu is also famed for its medicinal herbal market, providing a unique insight into traditional Korean medicine.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

4. Seoul

Travel to the capital city Seoul, where ancient meets modern in dramatic fashion. Visit the historic Gyeongbokgung Palace, shop in the fashionable districts of Myeongdong and Hongdae, and explore the vibrant nightlife of Itaewon. Seoul’s endless activities and sights provide a stark contrast to the quieter pace of Pohang.

5. Jeonju

Jeonju, known as the birthplace of bibimbap, is perfect for food enthusiasts. This city offers a picturesque Hanok Village where traditional Korean houses are now bustling cafes, shops, and guesthouses. Participate in a traditional Korean paper making workshop or enjoy a performance of pansori, traditional Korean music, in one of the village theaters.

6. Andong

Experience the cultural richness of Andong, the heartland of Korean spiritual heritage. Visit the Andong Hahoe Folk Village, a UNESCO World Heritage site, taste Andong jjimdak (braised chicken) and soju, and explore traditional Confucian academies. The annual Andong Mask Dance Festival is an event that showcases unique Korean folk traditions.

7. Damyang

Head to Damyang to immerse yourself in nature’s embrace. This area is famous for its bamboo forests, particularly Juknokwon, where pathways allow you to meander beneath towering green stalks. Visit the traditional Korean tea houses, try bamboo ice cream, and explore the scenic Soswaewon Garden, a quintessentially Korean landscaped garden.

8. Yeongdeok

For seafood lovers, a visit to Yeongdeok after Pohang is a must. Famous for its snow crab festivals, Yeongdeok offers a chance to taste some of the freshest seafood in Korea. The coastal drive between Pohang and Yeongdeok provides stunning sea views and access to quiet beaches.

9. Ulleungdo

Consider an adventurous trip to Ulleungdo, an island known for its rugged terrain and mystery. The journey from Pohang involves a ferry ride, revealing panoramic ocean vistas and rugged cliff lines. Explore the island’s hiking trails, visit the Dokdo Museum to learn about Korea’s easternmost islands, and savor the unique local cuisine.

10. Jirisan National Park

Venture to Jirisan National Park, one of Korea’s largest and most famous mountainous parks. Ideal for trekking enthusiasts, the park offers numerous trails that range from challenging hikes to gentle walks. Visit the iconic Nogodan peak for its sunrise views, and relax in the hot springs after a long day of hiking.

Yeongildae Beach on Pohang, South Korea

Pohang Travel Guide: Final Thoughts

From the warm sands of its beaches to the rich tapestry of its history and the vibrant pulse of its cultural life, Pohang is a city that deserves a spot on every traveler’s itinerary. Whether you came for a glimpse of giant steelworks or the serene sunrise at Homigot, Pohang leaves an indelible mark.

Beyond the Blast Furnaces

A City of Surprises: Pohang might be synonymous with steel, but its heart beats with natural beauty and historical depth. The contrasts here are striking—from the fiery furnaces of POSCO to the quiet, spiritual ambiance of Buddhist temples scattered around the city. It’s a place where every corner offers a new discovery, every experience enriches your journey.

A Cultural Melting Pot

Festivals and Feasts: If you time your visit right, Pohang’s cultural calendar is bustling with activity. The Pohang International Fireworks Festival lights up the summer sky, drawing visitors from across Korea and beyond. Meanwhile, the local cuisine, with its emphasis on fresh seafood, offers a taste of the coastal life that has shaped this community for generations.

Nature’s Haven

Serene Escapes: For those seeking tranquility, the beaches and hiking trails around Pohang provide a perfect retreat. The city serves as a gateway to natural wonders, where the stresses of urban life melt away against the backdrop of lapping waves and lush mountainsides. Whether it’s a quiet morning walk along Yeongildae Beach or a challenging hike in the nearby hills, nature’s restorative powers are always within reach.

Final Thoughts

Pohang is a city that thrives on contrasts and surprises. Its blend of industrial heritage and natural beauty, tradition and modernity, creates a unique cultural landscape that captivates and charms. Pack your bags, set your itinerary, and prepare to discover the many layers of Pohang—a city truly worth the visit.

Pohang city views at night overlooking the bridge and modern buildings in South Korea

Ode To Pohang

The waves crash against the shore In Pohang, a city worth exploring more From the towering mountains to the sparkling sea There’s a world of wonder waiting for you and me

In this coastal city, there’s so much to see From ancient temples to modern technology The city’s history is rich and deep Its cultural heritage weaved into every street

The people here are kind and warm Welcoming visitors in every form With delicious food and stunning sights Pohang is a traveler’s delight

So come and explore this city by the sea Embrace its beauty and let your spirit free From the mountains to the shore Pohang is a place you’ll forever adore.

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