A Quick Guide to the Best of Busan


When people think about South Korea they think of Seoul…and that’s about it. However, this country has a lot more to offer than just one city.

Seoul is amazing but my absolute favourite city in Korea is Busan. Busan is a big city by the ocean and has a more laid back feel to it. Even though it is a city there is also a lot of nature to explore in and around Busan- it’s the best of both worlds!

After many visits to this city I have compiled a list of my absolute favourite things to do here for you to have the perfect trip. 


A Quick Guide to the Best of Busan

Gamcheon Culture Village

This is one of the most beautiful places to visit in South Korea. This neighborhood was a refugee for Koreans during the Korean War in 1950. Today it is often referred to as Korea’s Santorini.A Quick Guide to the Best of Busan

The buildings are built up on a hill to not block the view of the ocean from anyone. How thoughtful. The houses are all beautifully painted with bright colours and the winding streets display art. There are a lot of tiny gift shops and coffee shops in the area to explore to as well as many different viewpoints of the village. You can spend a few hours here walking along the winding streets and appreciating all the little nick-nacks.

How to Get Here:

Take the train to Toseong station. Take exit 6 and turn right at the corner. Walk up to the bus stop in front of the hospital and take bus 2 or 2-2.


A Quick Guide to the Best of Busan

Jagalchi Fish Market

If you like seafood then this place is your dream. You can walk through the market and see all of the live catch from that day. But don’t worry- you don’t need to take it home to enjoy it- there are restaurants in the village. Go to the main building and walk upstairs to the second floor. Here you will see a variety of different restaurants…all serving seafood.

If you are feeling very adventurous you can try a special Korean dish of live octopus (Sannakji/ 산낙지). Beware- they are squirming as they go into your mouth!

How to get Here:

Take the orange line to Jagalchi Station


A Quick Guide to the Best of Busan

BIFF Square

Right next the fish market you will find BIFF Square. BIFF actually stands for Busan International Film Festival. It was once home to a couple of cinemas but had a makeover when they started the Busan International Film Festival- which is where this area  got its name.

Now it has since developed into an area with shops, street vendors and food. So even if the film festival is not going on there is still a lot to see here.


Haedong Yonggungsa Temple (해동 용궁사)

Not the easiest thing to get to but worth the trip. This seaside temple is the perfect place to visit on a sunny day.

With the mix of buddhism to beautifully tied in with nature it is one of the most beautiful temples in this country. Take your time walking around the area for there is a lot to see. You can even test your good fortune by throwing a coin or two into Buddha’s lap.

If you are traveling with other people I would advice for you to take a taxi here. The bus ride was cramped and sweaty- and since taxi’s are so cheap, sharing a cool, easy cab ride won’t cost you much more.

How to get Here:

From Haeundae Station take exit 7. Take Bus 181 and get off at Yonggungsa Temple Bus Stop.


Gwangalli Beach

A Quick Guide to the Best of BusanAnother popular beach in Busan is Gwangalli. For some reason it isn’t as famous- but don’t let that deter  you. Personally, this is my favourite beach because I find it a lot less hectic than Haeundae.  Make sure to stay here until the evening because the bridge lit up at night is absolutely beautiful.

My favourite thing to do is go for dinner and a drink at the Owl and Pussycat where they have tables looking out directly at the bridge- and beers other than Cass.

There are also a lot of other great bars and restaurants in this area where you can sit to enjoy the view.

How to Get Here:
Take the green line to Gwangan station.


Spa Land

Spa Land! A.k.a Heaven on earth. The name itself is very deceiving because it is less like a spa and more like a building with a million saunas. I am someone who doesn’t really like saunas and can’t sit in a hot tub for more than 5 minutes- but there is something magical about Spa Land where you end up staying there for four hours.A Quick Guide to the Best of Busan

So what’s it all about? First strip off all of your clothes. This may seem uncomfortable at first but just remember that every single person stark naked too. After a while you will start to feel liberated.

Spa land starts off by men and woman being separated and going into different bathhouses. The bathhouse has a variety of different hot tubs at different temperatures and with different salts- each pool helps with something different. The girls have the better of the bathhouses because it has an outdoor area made from beautiful stone.

Then you can put your clothes back on and rejoin the opposite sex. The next part is the saunas- Spa Land has 22 different saunas inspired by different countries around the world. So you are sure to find a few that you fall in love with.

Make sure to up to the top level and refresh with a mango juice and treat yourself to a massage from the amazing massage chairs.

How to Get Here:

Take the green line to Centum City station. Enter Centum City and it will be on the 2nd floor in the makeup section.



A Quick Guide to the Best of Busan

Seokbulsa temple

This is my favourite temple in Busan. Whenever I tell my Korean friends about it though, none of them have heard about it! This is the one time you should not trust the locals.

Maybe it is so unheard of because it is a little hard to reach since it islocated  on top of a mountain. The mountain is hikable but I would recommend that you cheat and take the cable car up the first part of it. It’s the best $3 you will ever spend.

Once you get off the cable car there is still quite a hike at the top of the mountain. This hike will lead you through a fortress and a small village- which you can stop at to have lunch. There are so many pathways that it is extremely easy to get lost- here is a brief guide for finding your way:

At the top of the cable car follow the signs to the south gate . Eventually you will pass through a small village- stick to the right side of the village down the path. This path will lead you to a paved steep downward sloping path. At the end of the path you will meet a road and you will want to head straight up this road- it is very, very steep.

This temple is unlike any other temple that I have seen in Korea because it has amazing buddhist carvings that have been beautifully carved into the side of the mountain. It is an ordeal to get to- but  because it is so hard to get to there will be almost no one else there.

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How to Get Here:

Take the orange line to Oncheonjang Station and go out Exit 1. From there walk to Geumgang Park. Once in the park follow the signs to the ropeway (cablecar) and buy a ticket up. You can buy a one way ticket if you want to climb down or buy a roundtrip ticket.


 A Quick Guide to the Best of Busan

Busan University Area

Just one train stops away from Seokbulsa temples is the Busan University area. I love this area because it is what I imagine Asia to be all about- just bustling with people. There are many small side streets with shopping boutiques and a variety of restaurants here. This is a good place to grab a bite if you are sick of kimchi and rice all the time.

How to Get Here:

Walk or take the orange line to Pusan National University stop.

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A Quick Guide to the Best of Busan

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