Things to do in Busan

Things to do in  Busan

Seoul’s beachy little sister

Known for its beaches, mountains, and seafood, South Korea’s second city offers a first-class range of attractions to suit all travelers. A flight out of Seoul will get you to this beachfront metropolis in just over an hour. You can enjoy the white sand of Haeundae, Korea’s largest beach (one of six official beaches), all year round in Busan. Don’t leave without visiting the renowned Jagalchi Fish Market, where hundreds of fishmongers hawk squirming, swimming wares to both travelers and locals. For street food options, stroll through Gwangjang Market, and for panoramic views of the city, head to the top of Busan Tower in Yongdusan Park.

Top 15 attractions in Busan

Gamcheon Culture Village

Gamcheon Culture Village spills down a hillside in a riot of colors just outside Busan. The village, nicknamed “Santorini on the South Sea” and “the Machu Picchu of Busan,” was once an enclave for refugee members of the Taegeukdo religious movement. Today, the neighborhood attracts visitors with its steep cubicle houses, galleries, and cafés.More

Jagalchi Fish Market

Visitors come from all over to sample the fresh seafood at Jagalchi Fish Market in Busan. The largest seafood market in the country, Jagalchi is unique in that it’s run largely by women—a tradition dating back to the Korean War, when many of the men were off fighting and their wives took over the family businesses.More

Gwangan Bridge (Gwangandaegyo)

The cover star of just about every Busan tourism poster since it opened in 2003, Gwangan Bridge (Gwangandaegyo) is the city's answer to the Golden Gate Bridge. Particularly impressive at night when it's illuminated, the bridge is best viewed from Gwangalli Beach, where you can see the nightly light show.More

Haeundae Beach

Busan’s proximity to the sea is one of its charms, and Haeundae Beach is perhaps the most famous beach in South Korea. Nearly a mile long (1.5 kilometers), this stretch of coastline is lined with some of Busan’s top international hotels, as well as an assortment of restaurants, shops, and the Sea Life Busan Aquarium.More

Gukje Market

During the 1950s, refugees of war-torn Korea began opening small shops to try to earn a living. This modest collection of shops has since transformed into Gukje Market, Busan’s largest traditional market. Today, stalls sell everything from seaweed and street snacks to electronics and hanbok (Korean formalwear.More

UN Memorial Cemetery

The 35-acre (14-hectare) UN Memorial Cemetery is one of Busan’s most peaceful spots. Established in 1951, the quiet park and cemetery honors a total of 2,300 United Nations soldiers representing 16 countries who were killed during the Korean War. Manicured hedges and flower bushes add to the beautiful and somber sight.More

Andong Hahoe Folk Village

Located at a bend in the Nakdong River, Andong Hahoe Folk Village is a UNESCO World Heritage Site surrounded by pine forests, sandy beaches, and dramatic cliffs and offers a glimpse of bygone Korea. Wander the village to learn about South Korean architecture and traditions that date back to the 10th century.More

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple

Built during the Goryeo Dynasty in 1376, historic Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is one of only a few Korean temples on the coast, and it honors Haesu Gwaneum Daebul, a Buddhist goddess believed to live in the ocean, where she rides atop a dragon. Legends aside, the east-facing temple offers a spectacular view of the rising sun.More

Busan Tower

Busan Tower (or Diamond Tower) soars skyward 120 meters (400 feet) from the center of the city’s Yongdusan Park—where you’ll find a forest-covered mountain reminiscent of a dragon’s head. Built in 1973 and modeled on Bulguksa Temple’s Dabotap Pagoda, the tower is an architectural icon of Korea’s second city. From the structure’s observation deck, you can enjoy panoramic views that stretch across both land and sea.More

Dongbaek Island (Dongbaekseom)

Dongbaek Island (Dongbaekseom), considered one of Busan’s most scenic places, isn’t really an island at all. The former island, now connected to the Korean mainland by a land bridge made up of accumulated sediment, gets its name from the abundant camellia (dongbaek in Korean) trees that grow throughout.More

Taejongdae Resort Park

The rocky seaside cliffs of Taejongdae Resort Park are situated on the southernmost tip of Yeongdo Island. The area, named after King Taejong of the Silla Dynasty, offers access to a rock beach, a lighthouse, a few temples, an observatory, and plenty of nature trails.More

Beomeosa Temple

Beomeosa Temple was founded in 678 BC by Buddhist monk Ui Sang. Perched on Geumjeongsan Mountain, the current temple complex was built in 1613 after the original was destroyed in the Imjin War with Japan. The complex includes a pagoda, several pavilions, three ornate gates, and 11 hermitages.More

Yongdusan Park

Yongdusan Park, a mountainous park in the center of Busan, is one of the city’s most popular green spaces. Its name translates to “dragon’s head mountain,” as it’s thought to resemble a dragon poking its head above the surface of the sea. Highlights of the park include various monuments to battles and Korean heroes, Busan Tower, and the octagonal Palgakjeong pavilion.More

Haedong Yonggung Temple (Haedong Yonggungsa)

This impressive temple offers travelers an up close look at traditional religious architecture amid the stuffing backdrop of mountains and shoreline. Built in 1376 by a famed Buddhist teacher, Yonggungsa Temple is a rare gem in the landscape of South Korea.Travelers can wander the grounds and explore its structures—which include a sanctuary that was reconstructed in the 1970s. Brilliant colors and a three-story pagoda decorated with hand-carved lions are hallmarks of this traditional sanctum. A tower of 108 stairs and several stone lanterns guide visitors to remarkable views and the meditative sound of waves. Though a popular destination for travelers and locals most any time of year, Yonggungsa Temple attracts more visitors on New Year’s Day, when people gather at sunrise to make wishes for the coming year.More

Haeinsa Temple

Nestled in Gayasan National Park, the colorful Haeinsa Temple complex boasts over 1,200 years of Buddhist history and two of Korea’s National Treasures. Visitors can happily pass a few hours wandering the spectacular UNESCO-listed grounds or, to become more immersed in the setting, experience an overnight temple stay (at an additional cost).More
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All about Busan

When to visit

Summer’s heat and humidity draws the warm-weather crowd to Busan’s beaches, bars, and festivals, while winter sees dry, icy-cold days, ideal for hitting the slopes at nearby Eden Valley Ski Resort. Alternatively, the shoulder seasons of May and September offer fewer crowds, lower prices, and moderate temperatures with enough sun to keep the beaches lively.


People Also Ask

What is Busan famous for?

South Korea’s premier seaside city is most famous for Haedong Yonggungsa Temple—one of the few seaside temples in the country. Busan also boasts the sandy Songjeong and Haeundae beaches, backed by the city skyline; the colorful Gamcheon Culture Village; and a thriving film culture, celebrated during the annual Busan Film Festival.

How many days in Busan is enough?

To experience the best of Busan’s culture and nature, spend between three and five days. You'll have the chance to see top city sights such as Jagalchi Fish Market, Beomeosa Temple, Yongdusan Park, and Gamcheon Culture Village, plus visit further-afield attractions including Haedong Yonggungsa Temple and Taejongdae Resort Park.

What is the best time to visit Busan?

The best time to visit Busan is spring (March-May) and autumn (September-October). Like Japan, South Korea experiences cherry blossom season—the blossoms peak from late March to early April. Busan buzzes in June, when students and locals flock to the city for summer to party and enjoy the beaches.

What is there to do in Busan?

Busan boasts an all-star cast of beaches, museums, temples, and markets. Top Busan attractions include the seaside Haedong Yonggungsa Temple; rainbow-colored Gamcheon Culture Village; Songjeong and Haeundae beaches; Busan Museum of Art; Busan Tower; and Taejongdae Resort Park.

What is the old name of Busan?

The old name of Busan is Pusan. The South Korean government changed the name of Busan to Pusan to make it sound more appealing when pronounced in English.

Which is the best area to stay in Busan?

The best area to stay when visiting Busan depends on what aspect of the seaside city you want to experience. Stay in central Seomyeon for easy access to top attractions; Haeundae is within easy reach of the beach; Nampo is best for shopping and eating; and budget-friendly Kyungsung has a hipster vibe.

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