Best 13 Things to Do in Busan, South Korea.
Explore the vibrant city of Busan with these top 13 things to do! From stunning beaches and cable car rides to delicious food and unique cultural experiences, this list has something for everyone. Discover the best places to visit and must-try activities to make the most out of your trip to this beautiful city in South Korea.
Hello everyone! I got married in Busan, South Korea in December 2022, which is about a 2.5-hour train ride from Seoul. If you prefer flying, there's also an airport in Busan that you can consider.
During my stay in Busan, I found using taxis to be the most convenient way of getting around. A 50-minute car ride only cost us about 25 minutes by taxi. Unlike Seoul, Busan doesn't have an extensive subway system, so it may take you a long time to get anywhere by subway. I recommend using Navermap to look up restaurants and addresses, and using Kakao T (a Korean ride-hailing app) to request taxis. Although there are usually taxis waiting in popular areas, you'll often need the address in Korean to communicate with the driver, so it's best to rely on Kakao T to set the way point automatically for you.
Without further ado, here are the top things we did in Busan!
1. Gamcheon Cultural Village
One of my absolute favorite things that I did in Busan was visiting a residential district that was completely remodeled by a group of artists. The entire village is filled with art in every nook and cranny, and there's plenty to explore.
I highly recommend visiting this place in the morning and spending the entire day exploring. However, please be mindful that people live here, so be respectful of their privacy and property. It's also easy to get lost, so be sure to keep track of your location.
Most of the stores in the village close around 6 pm, so it's more of a daytime destination. If you visit the information building at the entrance, you can purchase a scavenger hunt map. The map highlights different attractions in the village where you can collect stamps. If you complete the map and return it to the information building, you can win a prize. It's a fun activity that adds an extra layer of enjoyment to your visit!
I suggest eating before visiting this place since there aren't many food options available, except for a couple located at the very end of the village. Most of the souvenir shops are located near the entrance, so be sure to check them out before exploring further. Once you pass the Little Prince and the Fox, the area becomes mainly art and alleyways.
Don't miss out on visiting the Love Lock Cafe and purchasing a love lock! It's a must-see spot that adds a romantic touch to your visit.
2. SpaLand and Centum City Mall
Did you know that Centum City Mall holds the world record for being the largest department store in the world? It's an impressive feat that you can experience firsthand when you visit.
One of the highlights of the mall is the huge food court, which features a wide variety of delicious food options. And if you have a sweet tooth, be sure to check out the dedicated pastry area outside of the food court. It's a pastry lover's paradise!
Centum City Mall has an incredible number of stores, categorized by luxury goods, casual goods, a kid's section, and separate sections for men and women. If you're a shopping enthusiast, you'll love exploring this mall and discovering all the different stores it has to offer.
While you're here, I highly recommend checking out Spa Land. It's a great way to unwind after a long day of shopping and indulge in some well-deserved relaxation.
Spa Land is like a mini resort, complete with saunas, massage areas, and a full bath house. The experience starts with the saunas, followed by a trip to the bath house where you'll disrobe in front of strangers. But don't worry, it's a normal part of the experience and no one is there to judge.
If you're looking for a unique and invigorating experience, I highly recommend paying for the $40 full body scrub, which is available inside the bath house area. Although it can be a bit painful, the result is incredibly smooth and soft baby-like skin, which is totally worth it!
3. Museum One
If you're in the Centum City area and looking for a unique art exhibition, I recommend checking out Museum ONE. It's conveniently located within walking distance and admission costs around $12-13 per person.
The museum features several digital art exhibits, including a large central exhibit that changes every few minutes. While the experience is certainly cool, I have to admit it wasn't quite amazing. Nonetheless, if you're a fan of digital art, it's definitely worth a visit.
4. Sea Cable Car (Songdo Bay Station)
If you're planning to visit the Gamcheon Cultural Village, I recommend checking out the Sea Cable Car, which is conveniently located nearby. I suggest going there either before or after your visit to the village.
When we went around noon, there was a short line, but it wasn't too bad. The cost for the glass bottom was about $20 per person, and it included the trip back down. At the top, you'll find street food stalls, hiking trails, and amazing views!
Overall, it's a neat experience that offers a unique perspective of Busan, and I highly recommend it!
6. Bupyeong Kkangtong Market
Out of all the night markets I visited in Busan, this one was my favorite. However, I should note that it can get extremely crowded, which can be a bit overwhelming.
That being said, the market offers a fantastic selection of street food, making it an excellent spot for first-time visitors looking to try out different Korean dishes. Just be sure to bring plenty of cash with you, as most vendors do not accept cards.
7. Haeundae Beach and BIFF Square
When you visit Haeundae Beach, it's like stepping into a mini Times Square by the sea. The area is teeming with a wide array of restaurants, popular stores, and bars, making it a hub for both locals and tourists.
If you're a foodie, you'll definitely want to check out the numerous street food stalls, which offer a tantalizing selection of Korean snacks and dishes. And if you're feeling competitive, there are also carnival games to test your skills.
During Christmas time, the area is especially festive, with lots of decorations and holiday cheer.
8. Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, Busan
This temple calls itself the most beautiful temple in Korea! It's located by the ocean and leading up, there's a lot of street food stalls and gift shops.
The actual temple itself is pretty small and you can probably view the whole thing in 30 min to an hour. There's multiple Buddha statues and a neat stall at the top where you can light a candle and make a wish for a fee.
It's quite far from most of the main parts of Busan but worth the detour.
9.Park Hyatt Hotel
If you're staying in Busan, I highly recommend the Park Hyatt hotel. The service is amazing, and I particularly enjoyed the stunning view from the Marina Suite. The hotel is located near Centum City, but it's about a 15-minute drive from Haeundae Beach. I also recommend trying their breakfast while you're there!
10.Trying all the Fresh Seafood
I highly recommend trying the fresh seafood in Busan, which is known for its variety and quality. However, I personally got food poisoning from sushi I ate at a beach-side stall, so it's important to be cautious and choose reputable vendors.
One of the best meals we ate was at this clam shop called "Happy Restaurant" (행복식당회조개구이곰장어해물탕)! Alot of restaurants in Korea have set course menus!
11.Trying Seed Hotteok
Seed Hotteok is a special type of hotteok from Busan that I highly recommend trying. Hotteok is a traditional Korean street food that's typically enjoyed in the winter. It's a fried pancake stuffed with sweet fillings such as honey or red bean paste. The seed and honey filled hotteok in Busan are particularly delicious and can be found at street stalls throughout the city.
MilMyeon is a must-try dish unique to Busan. The noodles have a distinctive texture, and the dish is served cold with a spicy and slightly acidic sauce. I highly recommend the MilMyeon at the restaurant in Centum City, as it was delicious and had the perfect balance of flavors.
13.Pig Feet Alley
Pig Feet Alley is located near the Bupyeong Kkangtong Market and is an entire alley dedicated to serving a unique Korean delicacy: pig feet. The meat is sliced thin and served with a variety of side dishes, and is typically eaten wrapped in lettuce like ssam. I highly recommend trying it!
Sea Capsule - Haeundae Blueline Park
Unfortunately, we weren't able to experience this attraction despite having tickets. It's highly recommended to purchase tickets in advance as they tend to sell out quickly. The attraction takes you on a slow and colorful cable capsule ride along the beach, providing spectacular views.