I have been up to my neck in my routine day works lately and led a real drag on my blogging. Anyway, nothing could stop me from sharing travel experience and guides here and so is this hot one! Readers have been asking various questions on my Busan travel which made me writing this article: The Top 10 places to visit in Busan.
I wrote about the Korea top 10 places to visit, as well as the top Korean foods to try. These are the 2 momentous stories that could portray my overall impression towards a city. They also summarize my travels experience in any destination. However, it is kind of general towards a country rather than a city. So for those who wish to know more about attractions in Busan, here it is.
A bit of a disclaimer here though. There are literally more than 10 places where travellers can explore in Busan. My pick of these Busan top 10 places is for people planning their first ever trip to Busan, with limited budget and time. So I have considered both the cost and time factor to travel between destinations, before concluding my recommendation here. Of course, being a travel photography hobbyist myself, these are also marvellous destinations with great photo taking opportunities.
Here are my pick of the thrilling Busan’s top 10 places to visit, with the least cost and all reasonable near to downtown, in no particular order.
1) Yongdusan Park and Busan Tower
Located right at the heart of Busan downtown in Jung-gu, Yongdusan is a small hill featuring a leisure park and Busan Tower from where visitors can grab a fantastic great panoramic view to the city.
Having direct access by either motor road or escalator from Gwangbokdong shopping street, Yongdusan Park is definitely worth a visit if you are first time in Busan.
I always love to visit the city’s tower before anything else in order to get an overview of the cityscape. In this case of Busan, you can view all attractions around downtown from the viewing deck at top of Busan Tower.
2) Gwangbokdong and Nampo-dong
Gwangbok-dong is a popular cultural and fashion street in Nampo-dong. Local people and foreign visitors came to hunt for everything or just relax sitting outside of a cafe watching people passes by.
To reach here, you can hop on a subway Line 1 train from any city corner (in our case, we took Line 2 train from Haeundae Beach and transferred to Line 1 at Seomyeon) and get off at either Jagalchi Market station or Nampo station. Both stations can lead you to Gwangbok-dong.
Gwangbok-dong cultural and fashion street is regarded as Myeong-dong of Busan, albeit in a smaller scale in terms of area and volume of crowds.
You can find street foods such as the fish skewers along Guduek-ro, Namp-gil and further up North at Gukje Market. Of course, traditional street snacks such as Tteokbokki (Soft rice cakes) are available here too.
3) Jagalchi Market and Lotte Mall
Jagalchi Fish Market (reach by Line 1-Jagalchi station), is a huge fish market selling all sorts of fresh local seafood. You’ll have to opportunity to eat live squid having them wriggling in your mouth! Try to come really early in the morning to catch how the seafood being dragged up from fishing boats.
It is walking distance from Gwangbokdong and Busan Tower. Don’t miss to visit the Lotte Department store further down the street to enjoy the world’s largest indoor musical water fountain aquatique show, registered in the Guinness World Book of Records.
4) Gamcheon Culture Village
Gamcheon Culture village is one of the newest spots for travel photography in Busan, overseeing Busan harbour and the Jagalchi Market down the hill. It is a small town up the Busan coastal hill of Gamcheon-dong which was once the poorer area of the city.
In 2009, local authority decided to enhance Gamcheon-dong’s cultural image to pose it as a new tourist spot featuring various artistic and cultural attractions which won several travel awards locally and abroad.
The main feature of the town is obviously the hillside brick houses with colourful walls and blue roofs. If you go in the sunny morning, you can capture its picturistic view as seen in the above photo.
No visitors to Busan can ever miss Seomyeon in one way or another. Seomyeon is the transportation hub of Busan where all Busan subway lines meet here. It is also transfer hub for regional buses includes airport transfer located in front of the Lotte Hotel, which is good for travelers wishing to catch their return flights by bus from this area.
Not only that. Seomyeon is the central of shopping, entertaining, night life as well as plastic surgery clinics. There is a huge underground shopping mall which could be accessed from all corners of Seomyeon.
At night, tourists can shop at the pedestrian shopping street or dine in one of those countless restaurants and bars lining up streets and lanes of Seomyeon. I stayed in Seomyeon once and can’t wait to stay there again the next time I visit Busan!
6) Haeundae, Busan
The Haeundae Beach is arguably the most famous beach in Korea. It is 1.5 km long, 30~50m wide, and spans an area of 58,400 m². Not merely the beach, Haeundae is also the spot for various cultural events and the local popular getaway spot with full varieties of drinking holes and restaurants.
Though being 15 minutes toward East from Busan central station via metro, Haeundae is a good accommodation location to escape the hustle and bustle of the city with fantastic night walk along the beach. Countless of star rated hotels as well as love hotels for families and couples are scattered in the area.
7) Gwangali Beach
Next to Haeundae station and Centum City station by Metro Line 2, Gwangalli Beach is a huge beach measuring 1.4 km long and 64m wide. It is famous for its fine sand and a popular gathering place for young local people in their 20′s and 30′s.
Located at Gwangan 2(i)-dong, Suyeong-gu, west of Haeundae Beach, Gwangalli Beach Busan sits inside a cove spanned by the gigantic Gwangan Bridge that lit up at night with changing colors. You can enjoy water-skiing, jet skiing, windsurfing, and other exciting water sports.
On the beach there is an outer concert stage where the Busan Ocean Festival and other various events are being held. The area has a cultural center, a museum, theaters for plays and movies, an art gallery, TV station, and famous Korean and non-Korean fashion brand name shops.
Though the beach is some 10 minutes walk from the station, you can drop by one of the best Korean BBQ restaurants midway for your dinner.
8) Busan Cinema Center, Shinsegae Department Store and Centum city
Located in Centum City of Busan (Line 2 Metro Centum City station), Busan Cinema Center is an official venue of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), one of the most popular film festivals in Asia. It has become a symbol of the festival itself. From an architectural perspective, the center is a historic work that embodies the theories of deconstructivism while exhibiting a sense of formative beauty.
The center’s ‘Big Roof’ is the largest roof in the world (2.6 times larger than a soccer field) and comes complete with 42,600 LED lights, which help create an unforgettable scene along with Suyeong River and Naru Park.
Right above the Centum City metro station is actually the world’s largest shopping mall, the Shinsegae Department Store. You can easily spend a whole day here!
9) Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is a Buddhist temple complex spreads along the shoreline on steep rock. This is unique in Korean standard as most temples are sitting on mountains instead.
It is located further East of Haeundae and visitors can reach there by Bus 181 from Haeundae station in 20 minutes.
First built in 1376 by the great Buddhist teacher known as Naong during the Goryeo Dynasty, Yonggungsa temple is a popular destination during lunar New Year when people comes here to wish as the sun comes up.
10) Oryukdo Islets
The Oryukdo Islets are a group of rocky islets located Southeast of Seongdumal region of Busan, Korea. They were designated as National Heritage No. 24 by the cultural Heritage Administration on October 1, 2007. Because of the strange shape of their peaks and mountain standing side by side, the Oryukdo Islets seem to have six peaks seen from East and five peaks from the West.
Oryukdo means five six islands in Korean, or 五六岛 in Chinese. There is also saying that because of the double peaks of one of the stone islands Usakdo, people will either see five or six islands in different time of day with different tide level.
I took this photo from the Oryukdo Skywalk, a cantilevered glass viewing platform stretching out to the sea for better vantage point.
View all my photos of Korea and Busan in full resolution on my Flickr’s Korea Album. You can also get more information on each of the above destination on the official Korea Tourism Organization website.
These are the top 10 exhilarating places to visit in Busan. I hope any holiday maker who loves to experience Korea and Busan with cost and time constraints would find this enlightening. If you wish to know more on each of these destination, watch out future sharing on this travel photo blog or subscribe the feed. – Travel Feeder, your travel photo blog