This is the third and last part of my trip to South Korea, which led me to the seaside city of Busan. Just know that I also wrote a comprehensive 3-day visit to Seoul and a 2-day visit to Gyeongju, so if you haven’t read both of those articles yet, go for it and come back here! If you’ve read them already, good job and I love you!
As a reminder, I’ve spent one week in August 2019 in South Korea and it was awesome! Because I loved this country so much (also because I am a kind person), I decided to share with you the itinerary I followed and the activities I’ve done. I left Gyeongju on an early Saturday morning and took the train for approximately 30 minutes to Busan, as these cities are super close to each other.
This itinerary is intentionally starting on a Saturday so make sure to check if monuments are open or not before your visit, as some monuments can be closed on certain days. Opening and closing hours can also vary from summertime to wintertime. All the opening hours you will see throughout the article will be during summertime (June through August).
Because I want to save you some time, here are some currency exchanges just for you to have a little guidance on the worth of the South Korean Won (₩ / KRW):
$10 = ₩12,306
10€ = ₩13,317
£10 = ₩15,216
I hope you guys will enjoy this article and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have further questions or if something isn’t clear for you as always.
Busan in 2 days
Third TIP of this journey: You have the choice to take either the bus or the train to go to Busan. I would recommend taking the train as it is faster (it’s like a 35-minute journey) and it costs around ₩12,000. However, note that you will have to leave from SINGYEONGJU station and not GYEONGJU station (be careful to not mix these two stations as they’re both in Gyeongju). You can also take the bus for 1h and it’s a bit cheaper, but as I said in my Gyeongju article, I am not taking this means of transportation ever again!
There are lots of trains heading to Busan throughout the day, but I would advise you to leave in the morning. Click here to be redirected to the train’s booking website.
I think I booked my train around 10 AM and I arrived 30-35 min later. The time to go to my accommodation (which was located next to Haeundae Beach), do the check-in, blah blah blah, it was almost time for lunch. Therefore, after I did everything I had to do, I took the bus line 1003 for around 30 min to…
Jagalchi Market (자갈치시장)
First stop at the Jagalchi Market! It is located near Nampo Port and it’s the largest fish market in Korea, offering both living and dried fish. Many of the people who sell fish are women, so the merchants there are called Jagalchi Ajumma; ajumma in Korean means middle-aged or married women. At the market, you will have the opportunity to eat fresh raw (or cooked if you insist) fish among other Korean people.
Jagalchi Market (miam!)
Address: 52 Jagalchihaean-ro, Nampo-dong, Jung-gu, Busan
Opening Hours: It is open every day from 5 AM until 10 PM, and it’s closed every first and third Tuesday of every month.
After you’ve eaten fresh fish, you can walk 10-15 min to go to…
Yongdusan Park (용두산공원) & Busan Tower (부산타워)
One of Busan ‘s three famous mountains, Yongdusan Mountain is located next to the Jagalchi Market, in downtown Busan. Fun fact, the mountain is named in this way because its peak is shaped similar to a dragon’s head (yongdu), this dragon defending the city from hostile forces abroad. The mountain welcomes a wide range of monuments including the Cheokhwabi Monument, the Chunghontap Pagoda, the Admiral Yi Sun-shin Statue, and the Busan Tower.
The Bell of the Citizens
Busan Tower was built in 1973 and is among the Busan’s most recognizable symbols. It stands at an altitude of 69 meters and measures no less than 120 meters. The tower’s top is modeled on the Dabotap Pagoda baldaquin in Bulguksa Temple (that you saw in Gyeongju on Day 2). Loved by the people of Busan, the tower offers a breathtaking view and plenty to see for your little eyes.
Address: 37-30 Yongdusan-gil, Gwangbokdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Busan
Opening Hours: The park is open all year round. The Observatory from the Busan Tower is open every day from 11 AM until 8 PM (with last admissions 30 minutes before closing time), except on Saturdays when it is open from 11 AM until 9 PM.
Price: Access to the park is free. For the Observatory, it depends on your age:
- Adults (13 years old and above): ₩8,000
- Children (from 3 to 12 years old): ₩6,000
The next attraction is optional as it depends on your interests, but I would advise you to walk around only 10 minutes to go to…
Bosu Book Street (보수동 책방골목)
Bosu Book Street has a unique context. It was developed as a residential area after Korea’s independence, but bookstores started to open one-by-one, and shortly the street started to be known as Bosu Book Street. The street is famous among booklovers for their secondhand books as well as more recent ones, and the charming ambiance of the street among others. Many young people also frequent the street because there are lots of comic books’ specialty shops.
One of Bosu Book Shops – Image Source
Address: Bosudong 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Busan
Opening Hours: Most book shops open around 10 AM and close around 8:30 PM.
After that, let’s go to the most stunning and painted village of them all! From Bosu Book Street, you can either walk 25-30 min to the next attraction but careful as you will have to climb! Or, you can walk 10 min and then take the bus line “서구2” from the bus station “Seo-gu Office” for around 15 minutes to go to…
Gamcheon Culture Village (부산 감천문화마을)
The district is famous for its sloping streets, twisting alleys, and brightly painted houses, restored and upgraded to attract tourism in recent years. The Village was established during the 1920s and 30s when the city government of Busan decided to move its poor Korean inhabitants from the mountainside to a place that was not visible to the harbor, but close enough to provide jobs. The inhabitants have transformed the village into one of the most popular tourist attractions in Busan by brightly painting their homes. It is today nicknamed as the “Machu Picchu” of Busan.
Gamcheon Culture Village
Address: 200 Gamnae 1(il)-ro, Gamcheon 2(i)-dong, Saha-gu, Busan
Opening Hours: The village is open all year round but since it’s a residential area, you should be respectful and keep your voice down at any time, especially during non-busy hours. Technically, the operating hours are from 9 AM until 6 PM every day.
Price: You don’t need to pay any fees to access the village.
If you have time, I would DEFINITELY recommend doing the next attraction, as you’ve normally reached the end of the afternoon by now. You can either go have a drink (or rest lol), but if you’re staying only 2 days in Busan, you should check-out the next thing to do. I don’t know where you will be in the Gamcheon Village, but I took the bus line 17 at the station “Yeonghap Clinic” for 10 minutes to “Sinik Apt” and then I walked around 10 minutes to…
Songdo Cable Car
This activity is a cool one to do at the end of the day during sunset. You can do a one-way or return trip, depending on where you are planning to go. I chose to do a one-way trip because my accommodation was near the final stop, plus it was less expensive lol. Some shuttles even have a floor made-of-glass for people who are not too shy of heights! If you are light-hearted, I would, of course, not recommend this activity, I don’t want you to faint in the shuttle lol.
Songdo Cable Car – Image Source
Address: 171 Songdohaebyeon-ro, Amnam-dong, Seo-gu, Busan
Opening Hours: It is open every day from 9 AM until 11 PM.
Price (for the “General Cabin” and a one-way trip):
- Adult (14 years old and over): ₩12,000
- Child (from 3 to 13 years old): ₩9,000
After showering and stuff, I went directly from my accommodation to go do the next activity, which was…
Nighttime Sightseeing Cruise
Doing a cruise is the perfect way to visit Busan at night. Most of the tours on the market are an hour-long, but it can be personalized if you choose to do a private tour. I did a cruise with “Busan Haeundae Cruise (Day & Night)“, which includes, as said, an hour-long cruise, but also snacks and drinks. Moreover, we were less than 10 people on the boat so there were not too many people.
I would recommend doing the 7 PM or 8 PM tour, depending on the time you have left from all the activities you did before.
For more info, click here to get redirected to the website of the cruise I did.
Haeundae Beach at night
Address: Suyeong Bay Yachting Center (수영만요트경기장): 84 Haeundaehaebyeon-ro, U-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan
Opening Hours: General cruises every hour from 5 PM until 8 PM. Private cruises every hour from 10 AM until 9 PM (no cruises at 4 PM).
Price (it depends if you choose to do a day or night cruise, or if it’s a general or private cruise, or even if it’s weekdays or the weekend, but here is the price I paid for my 7 PM general cruise on a Saturday):
- Adult (14 years old and over): ₩27,000
- Child (3 to 13 years old): ₩18,000
After the cruise, you may be super hungry! Therefore, here is an address I could not recommend enough to have dinner at, which is…
Here, you have a variety of seafood hotpots, and you can choose between shrimp, tripe, octopus, or a mix. I went for a mix of octopus and shrimp because it looked delicious (and it was!). As a little tip, you should add instant ramen noodles for an extra of ₩1,500, as it gives more consistency to the hotpot in my opinion.
Octopus and shrimp hotpot – Image Source
Address: 73 Sincheon-daero 62beon-gil, Bujeon-dong, Busanjin-gu, Busan
Opening Hours: It is apparently open 24/7 according to Google lol.
After that, if you’re not too tired, I would recommend staying around the restaurant, as you will be in the amazing district of…
Seomyeon is more of a traditional downtown area, as opposed to Haeundae and Gwangalli districts. Here, you will find many izakayas (it’s a Japanese style bistro/pub let’s say) coupled with a bunch of Occidental bars and restaurants. In this district, clubs often find themselves in the most unusual places, from grimy underground caves to rooftop getaways. Tripzilla.com actually recommends two places that I agree you should give a try.
The first one is SKÖLL Gastro Beer Pub, which should please beer enthusiasts looking to get drunk for a big night out, or maybe just for chilling like normal decent human beings. It is open until 1 AM every day, except on Sundays when it closes at 10 PM. After that, you can go to Output, which mainly plays EDM and hip-hop kind of music. The club is open until 5 AM so you’ll have time to party!
Seomyeon at night – Image Source
I hope you enjoyed this first day in Busan. Be ready for the next day, as we still have lots to do in this incredible city!
Haedong Yonggungsa (해동 용궁사)
Haedong Yonggung Temple is a Buddhist temple founded during the Goryeo Dynasty in 1376. After the Japanese incursions in Korea (1592–98), it was ravaged but restored in the 1930s (the temple said “and I oop”). The temple complex is super vast and is one of the very few to be set on the seaside in Korea, as most of them are set in mountains. As such, the temple is popular with tourists, as per its proximity with Haeundae Beach and the east side of Busan.
Fun fact, the Haedong Yonggung temple slogan is: “At least one of your wishes will be answered here through your heartful prayers.” So pray my friends, pray!
Address: 86 Yonggung-gil, Gijang-eup, Gijang-gun, Busan
Opening Hours: It is open every day from 5 AM until 7 PM.
Ok now, to go to the next attraction, you will need to leave the temple and take the bus line 1001 at the “Yonggungsa Temple” stop. Then, you take the bus for approximately 15-20 minutes to the stop “해운대도시철도역” and walk 5 minutes to go to the…
Sea Life Busan Aquarium (부산아쿠아리움)
Over 250 species and up to 35,000 marine animals are on display at the Busan Aquarium, from large sharks to sea turtles, starfishes, sea horses, and elegant stingrays. Don’t worry animal lovers, as reported on their website, the aquarium is dedicated to preserving marine resources. There is even a super cool tunnel where you can walk in with many sea animals swimming above you.
Scary Shark at the Busan Aquarium – Image Source
Address: (612-846) Haeundae-gu, Haeundae Haebyeonro 266 (Jung-dong), Busan
Opening Hours: It is open from Monday to Thursday from 10 AM until 7 PM, and it is open from Friday to Sunday from 9 AM until 9 PM.
- Adults (13 years old and over): ₩29,000
- Children (from 3 to 12 years old): ₩23,000
- Disabled people (with welfare card): ₩17,000
- It is free for children under 3 years old
I think you might be a bit hungry as it may be time to have lunch. I have actually a very good address to recommend you, which is…
I think you may have noticed I tend to try lots of different culinary experiences during my trips and especially in South Korea. Now, it’s time for you to experience a full Korean BBQ. They offer pork and beef options for those who may not eat one or the other. The staff is super attentive, kind, and was always happy to help novices (like me). The menu is a bit limited but hey, if you have friends like mine who take forever to choose what they’re going to eat at the restaurant, bring them here! To sum up, it’s a traditional South Korean BBQ and at a reasonable price.
Obanjang’s Raw Meat (that’s what she said) – Image Source
Address: 20 Gunam-ro 24beon-gil, U-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan,
Opening Hours: According to Trip Advisor, it is open every day from 9 AM until 9 PM.
You literally need to walk 5-10 minutes to the next attraction. If you are a lazy ass like me and it is summertime, why won’t you take the opportunity to go rest a bit and swim at the stunning beach of…
Haeundae Beach (해운대해수욕장)
It’s not every day you can say you swam in the East Sea (also called the Sea of Japan), right? So, take this opportunity to rest, tan, swim, build sandcastles, whatever you feel to do. I personally spent the whole afternoon there.
Often considered as one of the most popular and famous beaches in South Korea, Haeundae Beach is Busan’s most renowned beach. This beach is also renowned for hosting different cultural festivals and events that take place across the year, such as the “Polar Bear Club,” where participants are bathing in nearly icy water every year since January 1988.
Address: 264, Haeundaehaebyeon-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan
Opening Hours: It is open every day from 9 AM until 6 PM, but I think it’s probably regarding swimming times and when lifeguards are around.
I think a cool activity you should try to do while you’re there is learning how to surf! I didn’t take apart in this experience and I regret it a lot. As I don’t want YOU to live a life full of regrets, just do it, my friend. If I thought about it earlier, I would have booked it through Airbnb experiences. Here is one that speaks English and Korean, and that I would have probably booked if I was aware of it. You should do the 4 PM booking as it ends at 6 PM and it’s $44 per person.
Here is a cool picture of a dude not surfing!
After spending the afternoon at the beach, I went back to my hotel, showered, and then went to have a couple of drinks to…
Again, it’s another recommendation I took from Tripzilla.com before my visit, and I don’t regret it, as the beers were really good (I’m not paid by tripzilla to promote them, I’m just giving credits where it’s due lol!). They are present in 6 different places throughout Busan, but I would suggest going to their Gwangalli location, as it’s the first one that opened in 2014 (and the venue is large).
A selection of beers from the place
Address: 58 Gwangnam-ro, Namcheon-dong, Suyeong-gu, Busan
Opening Hours: It is open from Sunday to Thursday from 5 PM until 1 AM, and Fridays and Saturdays from 4 PM to 2 AM.
After that, you should walk around 5-10 minutes to go have diner to…
Bollywood Indian Restaurant and Bar
I think by now and throughout my articles, you noticed I like to vary what I eat and drink, even abroad. Some of you might say: “Gneu gneu gneu I’m not here to eat Indian,” well you do whatever you want as I don’t really care to be honest! For those of you who want to try something else, I would recommend this restaurant because it’s simply super good! There is a menu in English, the prices are decent, and there are many vegetarian options! I would especially recommend the butter chicken curry and the naan to try!
Butter Chicken & Naan
Address: 9 Gwangnam-ro 130(baeksamsip)beo, Gwangan 2(i)-dong, Suyeong-gu, Busan
Opening Hours: It is open every day from 11 AM until 10 PM, except on Tuesdays when it’s closed.
Now that your belly is full, you may want to stay in the district of…
Gwangalli (광안리 해수욕장)
If it’s the case, you can either go back to Galmegi Brewing, or try another address like SOL Taphouse (Suyeong-gu, Gwangan-dong, Gwanganhaebyeon-ro, 153 4층) that has an incredible view on the Gwangan Bridge.
Then, if you want to pursue the night and party on your last night, you can go to Thursday Party (Yongso-ro 13beon-gil, Daeyeon 3(sam)-dong, Nam-gu) and get drunk! It’s open until very late hours in the evening and there are two outlets, right next to each other! Therefore, if you’re not enjoying music in one of the outlets, you can just switch to the other and vice-versa!
Gwangan Bridge at night
You can go to a more relaxing and stressless place (which I did). From the Indian restaurant, I took the bus line 39 for 15 minutes to go to…
SPA Land (스파랜드 센텀시티)
Spa Land is located in the mall of Shinsegae Centum City near Haeundae. It is composed of 22 spas that are sourced by two types of natural spring water, pumped up from 1,000m underground (yes sir!), 13 distinctly thematic Jjimjil-bangs, saunas, and an open-air spa. A jjimjilbang is a large South Korean public bathhouse, furnished with hot tubs, showers, Korean traditional kiln saunas, and massage tables. Also, know that you will be fully naked for the first part of the sauna!
SPA Land – Image Source
Address: 35 Centumnam-daero, U-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan
Opening Hours: It is open every day from 6 AM until midnight, with final admissions at 10:30 PM.
- Adults: Weekdays: ₩17,000 / Weekends & Public holidays: ₩20,000
- Students: Weekdays ₩13,000 / Weekends & Public holidays: ₩16,000
- Early morning / nighttime ticket: Weekdays: ₩12,000 / Weekends & Public holidays: ₩15,000
I paid the nighttime Sunday ticket as I arrived around 9:30 PM. Also, the ticket you buy is valid for 4 hours, and you pay ₩3,000 for every hour you add after 4 hours.
Sadly, this is the end of this incredible trip to Busan, and in South Korea in general. I had a blast there and I would put this country in my top 3 ever visited! I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I enjoyed writing it and don’t hesitate to comment and share it with your friends, family, lovers, pets…
My next article will be about my 10 favorite restaurants in South Korea! If you enjoy the content of my blog, don’t forget to follow A Gourmet Vagabond on WordPress and my social media channels, to be updated about new upcoming articles and other fun stuff!
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