What to do in Busan: 11 attractions!
What to do in Busan? We wondered the same thing when we visited the city for six days with our daughter during our world trip. We found Busan a very nice city (perhaps even nicer than Seoul and Jeju Island). You certainly have some nice sights in Busan to keep you entertained for a few days. Following our visit to Busan, we list the best sights below.
Table of contents
#1 Haeundae Beach
Perhaps the finest beach we have been to in all of South Korea. Haeundae beach is large, has fine sand and there are plenty of facilities in the area. By subway you get off at the beach subway station (Haeundae) and from there you can walk to the beach in a few minutes (it is very well marked at the subway station).
We visited the beach on a very sunny day in September and therefore the beach was very crowded. Keep in mind that Koreans are not huge sunbathers and most Koreans just walk the beach in clothes and are mostly busy taking pictures, but there are plenty of Western people who do sunbathe on the beach in swimwear.
In the street from the metro station to the beach there are lots of restaurants and also there is a foodstreet with all kinds of fish stalls for lovers, so in terms of food and drink you have plenty of options here. We initially wanted to take the Haeundae Blue Line at this beach, but due to mediocre online reviews, we did not.
With the Blue Line, you can take a route along the coast in a kind of little train. Especially the first part is beautiful, but most people found the rest of the route boring. You can also walk this stretch by yourself along the little train. If you are looking for a nice place to relax on the beach for a few hours, Haeundae Beach is really a very good option!
#2 Gamcheon Culture Village
This colored district is also really a very nice sight to visit in Busan. You reach this district super easily by taking the metro to Toseong station and from there you walk out of the metro (it’s marked which exit) and then you walk around the corner past some kind of hospital and you can take the bus there to the district.
This bus takes about ten minutes and then you are at the viewpoint. You can also walk of course from the metro station, but the bus is free if you come by metro and otherwise it’s quite a hike up. We were glad we took the bus to the viewpoint.
The viewpoint is top notch and you can take beautiful pictures here. After that, you can also walk down a very touristy street, where they have created all kinds of colorful photo spots for the tourists (as Koreans love taking pictures). You spend about an hour doing this. You do have to keep in mind that the subway does take a fair amount of time to get around the city.
#3 Jalgachi Fish Market
You obviously have many different markets in South Korea, but we found the Jalgachi Fish Market to be one of the nicest markets we visited. In any case, it made a big impression on our eight-year-old daughter. The market is not super big, but there is plenty to see.
For example, at the market you have lots of tanks with all kinds of different fish. You can buy fish here, but you can also order fish and then eat the fish in the restaurant above the market. The fish and other sea creatures come directly from Busan harbor, and South Koreans love them.
The surrounding streets of the market also have lots of stalls and plenty to see as well. For example, walk to BIFF square (this is a kind of hall of fame of all kinds of Korean stars) you also have lots of nice stores and stalls. We found it very atmospheric here. They were still building up all kinds of things for the evening and we can imagine that in the evening it is really fun to visit this part of town.
#4 Lotte World Adventure Busan
If you are visiting Busan with kids, the Lotte World Adventure Busan amusement park is a fun option. This amusement park is located in the east of the city, and you can reach the amusement park very well by public transportation. You take the metro to Osiria and from there it’s a few minutes’ walk to the amusement park.
We visited the Lotte World amusement park in Seoul and found it to be a very cool amusement park (it was a bit like Disney). We did find this amusement park a lot less fun than the one in Seoul, but definitely fun to visit for a day. However, most attractions are geared toward young kids.
Still, there are enough attractions to keep you entertained for a whole day. What we found to be a very cool attraction was the Giant Splash. This is sort of a combination of a roller coaster and an attraction where you can get wet. In addition, you also have a parade through the park at this amusement park. We bought tickets through Klook in advance. We received three codes through the mail that were scanned at the entrance. All fine.
#5 Beomeosa Temple
You can also visit an ancient temple in Busan. The Beomeosa temple is one of the most important temples in the region. You can visit this temple for free. You then take the metro to the Beomeosa stop and get off at exit 5 or 7. Between these two stops is a street and you walk into it for part of the way. From there you can see the bus stop, where the bus passes by that passes by the temple. The 3 kilometer walk to the temple is also possible, if necessary, but it is a pretty tough climb up the mountain.
The temple consists of several beautiful historic buildings, where you can see people meditating and praying everywhere. The temples are very photogenic and you do have a view of the surrounding area from the temple. You can also visit and meditate along for an entire day if you are interested in temples.
We were at the temple for about an hour. Of course, keep in mind that public transportation will take you some time to travel and it will still eventually take you 2.5 to 3 hours to visit the temple.
#6 cable car at Songdo Beach
We did not have Songdo Beach on our list of what to do in Busan, but got this tip from a follower on our Instagram channel. Songo Beach is also a beautiful beach near downtown Busan. You can get off at exit 7 from Busan Station subway station and then walk to the bus stop nearby. Here you can take bus lines 26, 61 and 17 to the beach. You will be at the beach in about 15 minutes.
Near the beach is a nice cable car, where you go over the water to the other side. Here you can choose from a tray with or without a glass floor. The crossing takes about 15 minutes. On the other side you can walk and you also have a kind of viewing platform by the water, where we took some more pictures. There are also some playground equipment for kids.
We were there on a very sunny day, yet the beach was definitely not crowded. It seems like Koreans are not really beach lovers, because there were hardly any. The sea here is very calm and definitely suitable to go with kids.
Other Busan attractions
In addition to the sights in Busan mentioned above, you have a number of things to do in this second city of South Korea. We briefly list them below.
#7 Citizen Park: this is a very cool city park that you can definitely visit with kids. There is all kinds of things for kids to do here throughout the park. Especially many playgrounds. We thought there was a really nice atmosphere in this city park. You get off at the Bujeon metro station and from there it’s a few minutes’ walk to this fun park.
#8 Taejongdae Park: this park is located on an island and you can take a nice walk of about 4 kilometers along the coast here. There is also a little train running around the island if you don’t feel like hiking.
#9 Oryukdo Skywalk: this is a 15-meter glass bridge near the sea. We found this Skywalk quite far away and therefore did not visit this skywalk.
#10 Busan Tower: The city of Busan also has a viewing tower with a great view of the city. We did not visit the tower, but we did visit the area around the tower with its various markets, which is definitely recommended. Therefore, we cannot say anything about what the view of the tower is like. The tower is 120 meters high.
#11 Trickeye museum: this is another museum especially suitable for families with kids. You can take fun pictures here using all kinds of 3d illusions.
Where to stay in BUsan?
We spent the night in Busan at the Notte La Mia hotel. This hotel has a very reasonable price per night and is near the central station. From here it was easy to visit all the sights in Busan by subway and bus. You can book additional breakfast at the hotel, but we did not opt for that. We did check out breakfast and it was fine (not spectacular).
Of course, you have plenty of other options in Busan. Both cheaper options and some more luxurious options. We’ve listed two options that score a generous eight, letting you know it’s a very good option for in Busan.
Budget option hotel Busan: ibis budget Ambassador Busan Haeundae
Busan luxury hotel: Grand Josun Busan