Haeundae-gu can be reached easily on the subway, Busan Subway Line 2, or by train on the Donghae Nambu railway line from outside of Busan. Both Haeundae subway and train stations are built adjacent to each other.
Haeundae is now an affluent, beach front community that attracts tens of thousands of Korean tourists and foreigners to what many consider to be Korea's best beach. It has been subject to considerable commercial development.
Haeundae used to be isolated from the large communities in Busan and Busanjin. It remained undeveloped, as did its beach, until the late 1970s and early 1980s. A small number of luxury hotels were constructed when new emphasis was placed on development of the area around the beach after the 1988 Seoul Olympics. More hotels and other tourist facilities have been constructed on the beach-front area since the mid-1990s, and shopping malls and movie theatre complexes have been built in the 'centre' of Haeundae: an area between Haeundae Station and the beach. The area's reputation and prosperity have continued to grow, except during the economic slump which occurred after what is known as the I.M.F. (International Monetary Fund) period in South Korea, from 1998-1999.
Haeundae's geographical assets, along with its tourist facilities, have led to a regular role as one of the host venues for the annual Busan International Film Festival (the official name is PIFF), and Haeundae's Dongbeak Island was the location for the 2005 APEC Conference.
Haeundae New Town (해운대 신시가지-Haeundae Sinsigaji), a major commercial and residential redevelopment project begun in 1990, is located in the Jwa-dong area. This area lies in the southern shadow of Mt. Jang, one of the tallest peaks in Haeundae gu, to the north, and is bounded in the south by Haeundae Station on the Dalmaji Gogae line of the Korean National Railroad. Another development project, Centum City, has been ongoing since early 2000 and is now a major feature of Busan. Its BEXCO (Busan Exhibition and Convention Center) has become a popular venue for international conventions and exhibitions. Marine City, located nearby, is constructed on land reclaimed from the sea, and has several huge, high-rise apartment blocks. Additional apartment blocks, the most modern in Busan, are under construction, with water resorts and related facilities, for use by the public, also planned for Marine City.
There are many interesting beach-related cultural events in Haeundae. Along with Geumjeongsan and Dal-maj-i(Greeting of the Moon) Gogae, Haeundae is one of the most popular spots in Busan to view the first sunrise of the year on January 1, with around a thousand gathering before dawn. Also, one of the most famous beach events occurs in the first week of January when the temperature is around 0°C, the "Polar Bear Club", held anually in the spirit of strengthening and praying for good health by Choseon Beach Hotel since 1988. During the 2006 FIFA World Cup match between South Korea and Togo over 50,000 spectators filled the beach to cheer for the Korean team on a giant projector screen. The Nurimaru, pure Korean meaning for Nuri (World) and Maru (Peak or top) was developed in preparation for the 17th APEC(Asia pacific Economic Cooperation) summit on Nov 18-19 in 2005, as the conference hall for APEC. The building is three-stories high and is located on the tip of Dongbaek Island, which is famous for its scenic beauty. The ceiling of the Nurimaru is modeled after Seokguram, the famous Buddhist temple in Kyoungju.