If you’re planning a trip to Busan and wondering what are the things to do and must see places, then you’ve landed yourself at the right page.
Busan is packed full of things to do all year round! ‘Dynamic Busan’ – there’s a reason as to why this second largest city in South Korea is given this slogan. Busan is packed with exciting attractions; there are lots to do, see and eat here in this incredible city.
Check out our Top 10 Things to Do in Busan.
- Get on the Busan City Tour Bus
The Busan City Tour Bus offers a budget tour that takes you around the city, allowing you to get around and see as many attractions as you can within a day. The tour is the quickest, simplest and most convenient way to explore Busan particularly for first-timers. The tour by its double-decker bus, covers most of the tourist attractions that you’d find on your guidebook.
Best of all, with the daily pass, you get to hop on and off any Loop Tour for a day, stopping at attractions that interest you. There’s even the double decker night view tour that will allow you to enjoy the romantic Busan port and night scenery surrounding skyscrapers. This tour is also very affordable, ranging between KRW5,000-15,000 per adult, depending on the type of pass you opt for. The service is closed on Mondays so you might want to plan your tour accordingly. You may find more information here.
- Lounge by Haeundae Beach or get on one of the many water leisure sports
Being the most famous beach in Busan, we’re sure Haeundae Beach requires no further introduction. Stretching roughly 1.5km long, Haeundae Beach with its beautiful coastline, is the perfect vacation spot especially during summer.
During the hot summer months from late July to early August, many flock to Haeundae for a swim, to participate in water sports or simply for a dip to cool down from the scorching heat. There are also lots of restaurants and cafes in Haeundae so one would be spoilt for choice. Haeundae is also home to many festivals and events.
- Scrunch white fine sand between your feet at Gwangalli Beach and enjoy some of the freshest seafood at the pojangmacha stall lining the beachfront
Gwangalli Beach, sometimes known as Gwangan Beach, is 1.4km long and located to the west of Haeundae Beach. It is famous for its fine sand and crystal clear water. During weekends, there are various cultural events, musical and street performances on the beach, as well as events, activities and water sports particularly in summer.
There are also lots of restaurants, café and shopping options in the area, drawing many young tourists. Around the corner, they have fresh seafood available for sale. Get your seafood, then head to one of the many Gwangalli open air street stalls or better known as ‘pojangmacha’ (orange tents road stalls that you see in K-dramas!) lining the beachfront. They offer an authentic atmosphere whilst you enjoy your seafood freshly served!
- Enjoy the night views of the Diamond Bridge
Gwangandaegyo Bridge, also widely known as the Diamond Bridge, offers a majestic beauty when combined with nearby attractions during the day and a romantic atmosphere at night, attracting many residents and tourists. The Diamond Bridge is dubbed so for resembling a glittering diamond necklace, gleaming magnificently at visitors from afar.
The mesmerizing night view is the reason why many visit in the evening to take in the bright lights of Gwangandaegyo Bridge, stretching across the horizon. The nightly LED light show, which are set to popular K-pop tunes is not to be missed. Shows will run for five minutes at 8 and 10 pm from Sunday to Thursday and at 8, 9 and 10 pm from Friday to Saturday.
A little tip, Bongusudae Peak on Mount Hwangnyeonsan boasts some of the most spectacular night views of Busan, and it is only a short 15-20 minutes’ walk from Gwangalli Beach.
- Explore Gamcheon Culture Village
The Gamcheon Culture Village is lively, colourful and filled with craft shops, little alleys and lots of street art. Facing the sea, this village also offers a great view on the hillside. Get your walking shoes ready though as it is quite a hike but we assure you, this quaint and picturesque village is worth the walk. It is one of the places which in today’s term is, very Instagram-worthy, so don’t forget your selfie-stick. 😉
There is an information counter where you can buy the map of the village in several languages for KRW2,000. On the map, there are also a few checkpoints where you can collect stamps – which you can take as a guidance for where to go in the village. If you’re a wanderer though, don’t be afraid to just explore and get lost around the village. You never know; some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost. 🙂
It will take approximately 1.5 to 2 hours to walk around the village. If you need a little break from all the walking and hiking, there are also many little cafes in the village where you can stop by for a cup of coffee.
It would also important to note that there are local residents still living in this village so we would suggest being quiet and respectful of the residents and their privacy.
- Find inner peace at Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
Whilst most temples are located in the mountains, Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is a uniquely designed sanctuary located on the shoreline of Busan’s north-eastern coast. There’s no better place to seek some inner peace than to visit the beautiful temple and be delighted by the view of the sea and calming sounds of waves.
The view from Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is stunning, and it is especially popular for its enchanting sunrise during New Year’s Day where locals flock to greet the first sunrise of the year as they make a wish for the year ahead.
- Take in the scenic view of Taejongdae Park
Located approximately 50 minutes away from Busan Station, Taejongdae is one of the top highly recommended “must see” attraction. Its beautiful seascape and scenic rocky seaside cliffs has left many in awe. The view from the observatory deck is amazing, and the lighthouse along the coast, which was said to welcome its visitor with a spectacular, serene view if you’re up to making your way up its long flights of stairs, is not to be missed as well.
You may opt to either trek your way around, or take the tram shuttle service. If you’re going to walk it, make sure you’re in comfortable shoe wear. Take a hike along the gentle trails, make your way down the seaside cliffs and allow the vast open sea in different shades of blue to greet you. There is even a small market selling seafood, mostly clam tents for those keen to get their hands on incredibly fresh seafood! Engage all your senses and leave feeling well refreshed; take in the smell of the ocean, the mesmerising coastal views as you dig into fresh seafood! What more can one ask for, hey?
- Party your night away at Seomyeon
Seomyeon is one of the most popular neighborhoods in Busan, as this place is usually filled with young people looking to have a good time, particularly during the weekends. The character of Seomyeon, is very much like a mix of Gangnam, Hongdae and Myeongdong packed into one.
This neighbourhood bustles with life all day long. There are heaps to do during the day but Seomyeon really comes to live at night as there are lots of entertainment, cafes, restaurants, bars and nightclubs there. The atmosphere at Seomyeon is distinctive and energetic, it is the most ‘downtown’ area in Busan, so if you want to loosen up a bit, Seomyeon is the place to be.
- Indulge in the freshest seafood in Korea’s largest fish market
Jagalchi Fish Market is the largest seafood market in South Korea and it boost itself in providing the freshest seafood you can get in Busan. There are rows and rows of stalls selling live and dried fishes by female merchants, known to the locals as ‘ahjummas’. What most patrons usually do is to pick the fresh seafood downstairs, before heading to the restaurant upstairs where the food will be served.
And last but not least…
- Study the Korean language ‘FAST & FUN’ at Lexis Busan!!! 😉
Whilst you could probably get by in South Korea without speaking Korean and resort to pointing at pictures when ordering your food, you’ll get so much more out of your trip if you can communicate with the locals. As Nelson Mandela once said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”
Learning Korean during your trip will definitely enrich your travel experience in South Korea and enable you to establish cross-cultural friendships! Not only will the knowledge of the language the locals speak result in warm smiles and better hospitality, it might bring you opportunities that you’d never thought could befall you.
Here at Lexis Korea, we welcome students from more than 30 different countries each year, you’ll get to meet students from other parts of the globe, and also local Korean students who are studying English with us.
Studying with Lexis Korea not only enables you to learn the Korean language, but also learn about the various different cultures. We also offer weekly activities allowing students the chance to explore both the modern and traditional attractions of South Korea and at the same time learn about our culture and history.
Plus, if you’re not already convinced, research also shows that learning a new language also boosts your brain power!! Memory improvement, longer attention span, and a reduced risk of age-related cognitive decline, are just a few of the known positive effects of speaking two or more languages
If you’ve always wanted to learn the Korean language, then hesitate no more, that’s what we’re here for. Come join us at Lexis Busan; we trust that you will have a new and unique experience with us and we look forward to creating memorable experiences with you in the coastal city of Busan! 🙂