Daegu is the little known, yet third largest city in South Korea.
In 2011, it hosted the IAAF World Athletics Championships and in 2002 it, hosted the FIFA World Cup.
I spent a year teaching English in this city and took my time to find the best free attractions.
Palgonsan is a mountain that is just a short bus ride out from the city. If you’re feeling really energetic, you can bike or walk there. When you climb this mountain, you forget that you are living in a city of two and a half million people and really start to love the nature that surrounds you. This is how Korea looked in times gone by. This is how you imagined it to be.
Visit a Giant Stone Man in a Hat
Gatbawi is a stone buddhist statue atop a 850m peak on the mountain of Palgongsan. The statue is around 4 metres high and wears a 15 cm thick stone hat. Everyday, many Koreans climb up to the peak to worship the statue and offer money in hope of receiving good luck. Even if you don’t like the statue, the views from the peak are worth the climb.
Walk Around Donghwasa
Donghwasa is a large temple that is also home to a 17 m high stone buddha. You can enjoy both in a tranquil environment that is surrounded by nature and small streams for your viewing pleasure.
Visit Daegu Stadium
Formerly known as Daegu World Cup Stadium, this ground holds up to 65,000 people and was used to host the third place playoff in the 2002 World Cup. It regularly hosts the daegu marathon and in 2011, the IAAF World Championships were held here in which the 4 x 100 m relay men’s world record was broken by Jamaica (of course featuring Usain Bolt). At certain times, you can enter the stadium and walk around it.
See a Lake, Play on a Fairground
In the centre of Daegu is a lake, Suseongmot. Nearby is a miniature golf course and a fairground for your enjoyment. In summer, the lake offers laser water displays every evening, while in winter, the lake ices over. Ice skating is not recommended. You can walk around the lake for a pleasant stroll and even climb inside a real-life aeroplane that now serves as a cafe. When staff realise that you don’t want to buy anything and that you only came to see the cockpit, they may ask you to leave.