Things to Do in Busan

Busan is a popular getaway for Koreans and expats living in Korea, and makes for the perfect place to spend a few days enjoying the beaches and the very best of Korean culture.
The city is visually stunning – especially once you get away from the main confines of the central business district; there’s so much unspoilt coastline surrounding Busan that the area reminded me a little of Northern California and The Big Sur.

You certainly won’t be short of things to do, but if you are needing some inspiration, I’ve compiled a little list of my favorite things to do in Busan.

1. Haedong Yonggung Temple 

Things to do in BusanThings to do in Busan

Things to do in Busan

On the Northern outskirts of Busan, you can find Haedong Yonggung temple – a beautiful Buddhist temple on a cliff top setting. A little out of the City, but worth it for the breathtaking views.

There’s also a great local market (none of your typical tourist tat and clutter I promise!) at the entrance selling weird and wonderful local delicacies – seasoned snails, insects and Bondaegi (boiled silkworm pupae – yum!). Sadly I wasn’t brave enough to try but it was fun to force my friend to and watch him gag at every bite (evil).

From Haeundae station (Subway line 2, Exit 7) take bus 181 and get off at Yonggungsa temple.

Allow a little extra time as traffic in Busan can be painfully slow moving.

2. Igidae Park Coastal Path/ Oryukdo Skywalk

Things to do in Busanthings to do in Busan

If you’re looking for “off the beaten track” things to do in Busan then you’ve got that here.
In all, this is a beautiful 5KM coastline walk spanning Gwangan Bridge, Haeundae Beach, Baeksan and Jangsan Mountain.

The southernmost part of Igidae park is a nice spot, looking out at the five islands of Oryukdo. If you so wish, you can take a ferry across to Oryukdo.  Alternatively, the “sky bridge” is free entry – a glass bottom walkway where you can stroll out to the Middle of the Sea.

Things to do in Busan

This is an area that has escaped the eyes and footprints of tourists – probably because it’s such an arse of a faff to get to but for the patient and outdoorsy you have a couple of options:

  • Take bus 131 from Kyungsung University or Busan City Hall – get off at SK view apartment complex.
  • Take bus 27 from Busan Station – get off at SK view apartment complex.

Due to their close proximity to each other, you can tie in a visit to Haedong Yonggung Temple and Igidae park in one day. The two will probably take about half a day and then you can head out for Korean BBQ – A perfect itinerary, no? These two are arguably two of my favorite things to do in Busan.

3. Haeundae Beach

Things to do in BusanThings to do in Busan

Undoubtedly, hanging out at the beaches will be high on your list of things to do in Busan.
Just look at that… need I say more? Busan’s beaches are so pretty they would rival Los Angeles or Miami.
There are numerous great food markets by Haeundae station too (always with the food…)

4. Jagalchi Fish Market

In a word: Splashback.. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Things to do in Busan
Things to do in Busan

Being a port town, of course Busan was going to have a fish market.
‘Fresh’ is the key word here and you can watch fishermen bringing in their latest catches and fish being sliced, diced, chopped and splayed (that’s a word? Well I like how it sounds) in ways you didn’t think possible – just make sure they’re not still wriggling around when you put them in your mouth (except for the Octopus – it’s O.K. to slice off a cheeky bit of tentacle and eat them live here… in fact it’s kinda the in thing)

5. Beomeosa Temple

At the edge of Mt. Geumjeongsan, the nice thing about Beomeosa is that it’s surrounded by walking trails and hikes, so it’s a little more than ‘just another’ Buddhist temple.
Beomeosa also participates in the Temple Stay program if you fancy a cuppa with the monks and all that lark. (Take a look at my temple stay program review for more info on this)

Things to do in Busan

Take the Subway to Beomeosa Line 1, Exit 5 – take a right and continue that path (about 3 mins on foot) until you arrive at a Bus Depot. Take the Number 90 bus to Beomeosa Temple (approx 10 mins)

6. Shopping in Nampo

Shinsegae Centre is perhaps the most notable mall in Busan (it has 14 floors!) but eh, nothing to write home about and chances are, if you’ve spent some time in Korea already, you will have already been faced with a bunch of mega malls. Nampo area is great though, not too far from the horror scenes of Jagalchi, there’s a lot of great quirky boutiques  and the area just has a different kinda feel to it too, an International vibe if you will. If you’re feeling a little tired of your bibimbaps and your spicy foods, there’s some great Italian and French restaurants here.

7. Gamcheon Culture Village

Things to do in Busan
Life on the edge!

Of course you have to come here! I won’t repeat myself though – have a look at my ‘moon villages of Korea’ post for info on Gamcheon & other Korean Dal Dongnae

What were your favorite things to do in Busan?

  1. Oh my goodness! These photos are beautiful; I feel like I was actually there! Thanks for that, since I never go anywhere at all. And thanks for the like! You’ve got an awesome blog here, Melissa! 🙂

    1. Aw thanks so much 🙂 I enjoyed reading yours too. It’s funny I hadn’t even thought about blogging until the other week but it’s addictive! I just love reading people’s posts and stories!

  2. I am totally putting South Korea on our Asian itinerary, your pics just made my day! I also like your website design! Makes me feel I read a travel diary 🙂

  3. South Korea is definitely still on my list and I’m adding Busan right away! 🙂 The Skywalk looks impressive and you rock those shoe covers girl :p

  4. That looks like a fun place to visit. Do they go to the beach a lot like here in the US? I have heard beaches are mostly empty there. I would never even think of eating something alive! Just to imagine it I feel sick of my stomach ha ha

    1. It was really lovely! The beaches were completely empty whilst I was there – not sure if that was just because it was off season but because their cosmetics market does so many whitening products, I think they don’t like to tan either? If I lived there I’d be on that beach every day ha.
      Oh my gosh I know! I’d love to be brave enough to try these things but ughh!

  5. Wowww your blog is awesome! It makes me want to go to Asia more! I follow these Korean-Australian vloggers on youtube and they’re always taking trips to Busan and it looks gorgeous! I love your detailed posts, perfect for the next time I travel anywhere!

  6. One thing I’ve always admired about you, is how genuine you are. There are many blogs that I used to read that I no longer do because they seem to have become all about this giveaway or that sponsored post, but your approach to monetization has never rankled. You’re up front about who you are and where you’re going and I’m happy to be along for the ride.

Follow the adventure from the comfort of E-mail!

Follow the adventure from the comfort of E-mail!