5 Things to Do in Busan
Plan your Busan itinerary with a help of this list of 5 unmissable things to do when visiting Korea's summer capital city. Suitable for a short stay and any season.
Welcome to Busan, the second-largest city in South Korea and a hidden gem of East Asia! This bustling port city offers a perfect mix of traditional and modern experiences that will leave you captivated. From cultural attractions to scenic landscapes, there's plenty to see and do here, making it a must-visit destination. In this blog post, you can find the top 5 things to do when first visiting Busan. Be it for a weekend trip or a longer stay. Look out for my 💡 TIPS to get the most out of your Busan experience.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and I am not receiving any compensation for writing this. Any links included in this post are not affiliate links and I only include them for the reader's convenience. I am writing this because I want to share my experience with you.
1. Gamcheon Culture Village (부산 감천문화마을)
This vibrant neighbourhood is a true cultural gem in Busan. The colourful houses, cobblestone streets, and street art create an Instagram-worthy backdrop that you won't want to miss. Take a guided tour to learn about the village's history and its residents, or simply grab a map from the tourist centre, wander around and explore on your own.
부산 감천문화마을 Gamcheon Culture Villiage or "Machu Picchu of Busan” got an influx of new residents in the 1950s during the Korean War when people flew from the north. The area grew quickly when people hurriedly built houses piled on top of each other on the hillside. Over time, people started leaving the area and abandoning the houses, which together with the lack of basic infrastructure (running water, sewer system, etc.), gave it a rundown look.
The village was included in the urban renewal process which includes improving the infrastructure and turning abandoned buildings into community places like museums and art galleries. Shops, cafés restaurants, galleries, crafts workshops and hotels also stimulate the local economy.
Make sure to grab a stamp map from the visitor centre. The map serves as a guide around the village. Collect the stamps on your way around the village and exchange them for free postcards.
Entry to the village is free of charge but if you want to get the map it will cost you 2,000₩. Sales of the map go towards the development of the local community.
The map offers three self-guided paths you can take. Purple main street round-trip course (A, 40 minutes), orange basic course (B, 80 minutes) and blue stamp course (C, 2 hours). I recommend the orange (B) tour course as it takes you through all the village highlights whilst sparing you some of the steep climbing.
💡TIP: Finish your visit to the village at Avant Garde Cafe, which offers the most scenic view of the whole village.
📍Address: 카페아방가르드, 부산광역시 사하구 감천2동 10-3 2F
2. Haedong Yonggungsa Temple (해동 용궁사(부산))
For a touch of spirituality and tranquillity, visit the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple. The most beautiful temple in Korea is located on a cliff overlooking the sea. This temple offers breathtaking views and a peaceful escape from the city. Take a moment to meditate and enjoy the beautiful view.
📍Address: 부산광역시 기장군 기장읍 용궁길 86
💡TIP: Light a wish candle for 5,000 KRW. Pick a candle in the shape of your Chinese zodiac animal, write your name and a wish on the cup, light the candle, place it in the candle cupboard and enjoy the view.
3. Haeundae Sky Capsule - Blueline Park (해운대블루라인파크)
One of my favourite things I’ve done in Busan! Are you looking for a unique way to see Busan’s coastal line? Check out the Haeundae Sky Capsule ride. Self-driving capsule will take you along the 2 km-long Haeundae coastal path, travelling at a slow speed of 5km/h. The ride takes around half an hour one way and you have plenty of time to enjoy the breathtaking views. This activity is perfect in any weather and season as the capsules are closed so you won’t be exposed to the elements.
💡TIP: Cheongsapo Station is usually a less busy one. Take a capsule ride on the way back to Busan after visiting Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
📍Address: 해운대블루라인파크 청사포정거장, 부산광역시 해운대구 청사포로 116
💰30.000 KRW one-way for 2 people (capsule can fit up to 4 people, 44.000 KRW one-way)
4. Cafe Magnate (메그네이트)
A must-visit for any Army when in Busan! This stylish and spacious cafe owned by BTS Jimin’s dad is a perfect place to catch up with friends or to enjoy yourself on your own. Take a break and enjoy a cup of coffee at Cafe Magnate after a busy day of exploring. Cakes are delicious and drinks are good as well!
📍Address: MAGNATE 메그네이트, 부산 남구 진남로 135 B동 1층, 10am-10pm
📸 Instagram: @magnate_official_
5. Gwangbokdong Food Street Market (광복동 먹자골목)
Last but not least, every visit to Busan would only be complete with trying some of its delicious food. Nestled in the heart of Gwangbok-dong, the food street market is a highly sought-after destination in Busan. Surrounded by iconic tourist hotspots like Gukje Market and Nampo-dong, this bustling street boasts a collection of over 20 historic restaurants.
In addition to the dining options, you can indulge in a variety of delicious street foods, prices starting from KRW 1,000-2,000. With its unbeatable combination of scrumptious cuisine, affordable prices, and friendly street vendors, the food street market is a must-visit if you are seeking a taste of authentic Busan.
In conclusion, these are just a few of the many amazing experiences that Busan has to offer. Whether you're a culture buff, a foodie, or just looking for a unique destination, Busan is sure to impress.