As Busan is located down south, it is easy to get to all the other southern cities for those who enjoy travelling. Below we share with you a couple of nearby cities that you can head out to explore over the weekends.
Geoje Island & Tongyeong
Located only 1.5 hours drive away, you can easily take a day trip to Geoje Island or perhaps even a weekend away to both Geoje and Tongyeong.
The Windy Hill is one of the most popular attraction in Geoje featuring a Dutch-type windmill atop a glass-covered steep hill. Also check out Oedo-Botania, a marine botanical garden with the ocean in the background and various sculptures. Seafood lovers would find Geoje an absolute paradise especially since sliced raw fish is known to be the signature dish of Geoje. Make sure to also try 게장 [ge-jang] raw crabs marinated in soy sauce or sweet spicy chilli sauce.
A bridge connects Geoje to Tongyeong that takes less than an hour’s drive. Jangsado Sea Park is not to be missed, with a plethora of flora and fauna to explore. Another attraction to check out is the quaint Dongpirang Mural Village that has no wall left uncovered, good for photos and your social media feed. Whilst you’re in Tongyeong, make sure to try the honey bread – deep fried balls that are filled with red bean, green bean, sweet potato, or chestnut, then honey-glazed and sprinkled with sesame seeds.
You can easily catch the train or bus from to get to Ulsan, located a short hour ride away up north from Busan. Home to of one of the world’s largest shipbuilders, you are able to get a tour of Hyundai Heavy Industries whilst in Ulsan.
Other highlights you are able to check out whilst in Ulsan include Ulsan Grand Park, Daewangam Park, Jangsaengpo Whale Museum, Taehwa River Grand Park, Ulsan Museum, Paraeso Falls, Ganjeolgot Cape, Bangudae Cliff, Seoknamsa Temple and Hongryu Falls In Sinbulsan Mountain.
Home to a remarkable number of historical sites from the Silla Kingdom, you will find many giant tombs around – they are the resting place of kings and nobles. Many visit Gyeongju to visit the Bulguksa Temple, designated UNESCO World Heritage site followed by Seokguram Grotto, which is also a must visit as it contains the famous Bonjon statue, one of Korea’s national treasure.
석굴암은 신라 경덕왕 10년(751)에 당시 재상이었던 김대성이 창건을 시작하여 혜공왕 10년(774)에 완공하였다. 당시의 이름은 석불사였다. 경덕왕은 재위기간(742∼765) 동안 신라의 불교예술이 전성기를 이루게 되는데, 석굴암과 불국사, 다보탑, 석가탑, 황룡사종 등 많은 문화재들이 이 시기에 만들어졌다. 석굴암은 토함산 중턱에 백색의 화강암을 이용하여 인위적으로 석굴을 만들고, 내부공간에 본존불인 석가여래불상을 중심으로 그 주위 벽면에 보살상 및 제자상과 역사상, 천왕상 등 총 40구의 불상을 조각했으나 지금은 38구만이 남아있다. 소재지 : 경북 경주시 진현동 891 석굴암. 국보 제 24호이다.
It is also recommended to then catch the sunset at Cheomsongdae Observatory then head to the beautiful man-made Anapji Pond at night, when it beautifully reflects the orange lights from the palace building.
A short 50-minutes plane ride away from Busan, the island’s beautiful beaches, lush countryside, and seaside hotels are designed for a good relaxing weekend trip. There are plenty to do on the island, and whilst a weekend trip away may not suffice, you can always return again. Those who prefer to be active can hike up Hallasan, South Korea’s highest mountain, or UNESCO World Heritage Sites Seongsan Ilchul-bong.
Jeju Island is also a nature’s paradise with pristine beaches and breathtaking waterfalls namely the Jeongbang, Cheonjeyeon and Cheonjiyeon Falls. It is also worth checking out yet another UNESCO site for huge lava tubes at Manjanggul Cave. If you’re a fan of tea, the O’Solluc Green Tea farm is also worth checking out.
There are heaps to do at Jeju and perhaps just a weekend away would not cut it, but you can always fly back in to Jeju given its close proximity to Busan.
There are plenty of other cities to the south of Korea that one can go on weekend trips, such as Daegu, Suncheon, Jinju, Namhae, Boseong, and Gwangju, just to name a few. But for those who need to make a quick visa run to extend your stay in South Korea, we’ve listed Japan as one of our Top 5 weekend trip getaway destination from Busan.
Japan – Tsushima Island or Fukuoka
Both Tsushima Island and Fukuoka are the nearest from Busan for those wanting a short trip out of the country.
You can catch the 1.5 hour ferry ride to Tsushima Island, spend the day indulging in some Japanese local food then come back in the evening. If you’re up for a weekend away, you can get to Fukuoka either by ferry or plane.