Situated on the most south-eastern part of the peninsula, Busan is the second largest city after Seoul and the number 1 trading port, which gives the city a really international vibe. Tasty food, white sand beaches to beautiful temples, Busan is a fantastic city for travelers!
Here are some of our top six picks to visit in Busan:
1. Yonggungsa Temple
Most temples are located on mountains, however Yonggungsa Temple is an exception. Situated on the coast, it’s a tourist spot that offers visitors the rare find of a temple along the shore line. The temple was first built by the great Buddhist teacher known as Naong during the Goryeo Dynasty. Haesu Gwaneum Daebul (Seawater Great Goddess Buddha), Daeungjeon Main Sanctuary, Yongwangdang Shrine, Gulbeop Buddhist Sanctum (enclosed in a cave), and a three-story pagoda with four lions can all be seen looking out over the ocean.
How to get there: By subway or bus, Haeundae Station Line 2, Exit 7 or bus 181 and get off at Yonggungsa Temple.
2. Taejongdae Resort Park
Taejongdae is a natural park with magnificent cliffs and rock beach facing the open sea. Featuring its highest peak at 250 meters, there are forests of pine trees and other 200 varieties of trees.
Under the lighthouse of this resort is a rock called Sinseon Rock, named after the myth that gods and goddesses came down here to relax. Taejongdae is also famous for the ritual of praying for rain, performed when there are droughts, and rain on the 10th of lunar May is called the ‘Taejong Rain’. On days with clear skies you can see Japan’s Tsushima Island from the observatory.
How to get there: From Busan Station, take city bus # 88 or 101. Get off at Taejongdae Park (10 min interval / 40 min ride).
3. Haeundae Beach
Haeundae Beach is probably the most famous beach in the country. It’s 1.5 km long, 30~50m wide, and spans an area of 58,400㎡. The sand of this beach is composed of sand that comes from Chuncheon Stream and shells that have been naturally eroded by the wind over time. Haeundae Beach is also famous for the various cultural events and festivals held throughout the year. At Haeundae Beach there is a Folk Square where you can enjoy traditional games such as neoldduigi (seesaw jumping), Korean wrestling, tuho(arrow throwing), tug-of-war and yutnori. There is also the Beach Culture Center and the Beach Library. Numerous people visit every year from June to August.
How to get there: Subway, Exit 3 or 5, Haeundae Station Line 2.
4. Gwangalli Beach
Gwangalli Beach is famous for its fine sand and pristine, clean water. You can even prepare raw fish dishes on the spot, right after you have caught the fish. And for those looking for some action, there is the Olympic Yacht Rental where you can rent yachts. You can also enjoy water-skiing, jet skiing, windsurfing, and other exciting water sports. On the beach there is an outer concert stage where the Busan Ocean Festival and other various events are held. The area has a cultural center, a museum, theaters for plays and movies, an art gallery, TV station, and famous Korean and non-Korean fashion brand name shops. It’s a popular gathering place for young people in their 20s and 30s.
How to get there: By subway, Gwangan Station Line 2 – Exit 5. Walk 10 mins.
5. Jagalchi Fish Market
The Jagalchi Market is Korea’s largest seafood market. Most of the people who sell fish are women, so the women who sell here are called ‘Jagalchi Ajumma,’ ‘ajumma’ meaning middle-aged or married women.
This market represents Busan and is famous throughout the country. If you visit you can eat fresh raw fish right at the market.The Jagalchi Market is where you can see the lifestyle of the indigenous Busan natives.
How to get there: By subway, Jagalchi Station Line 1 – Exit 10.
6. Busan Aquarium
The Busan Aquarium located at the entrance to Haeundae Beach, is an ultra high-tech submarine theme aquarium, contains over 35,000 species of fish, algae, reptiles, and amphibians.
It offers visitors chances to experience everything about the underwater ecosystem.
How to get there: By sumbway, Exit 3 or 5, Haeundae Station Line 2. Walk 10min towards Haeundae Beach.