Best Things to Do in Busan, South Korea

At the very end of the Korean peninsula, lies Busan - a bustling metropolis with a population of over 3.6 million. As the country's second-largest city, Busan boasts of magnificent beaches, delectable seafood, and is home to beautiful attractions that never fail to dazzle.

Discover the top things to do in Busan for a day!

Explore Busan: Top Things to Do and See for an Unforgettable Trip

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple

This temple complex is a true marvel to behold - grand and imposing, set on the seaside - and one of the few in Korea that can boast such a distinction. Its great immensity is not lost on the multitude of sightseers that visit, seeking to witness the awe-inspiring splendour of this place. Its location, on the east side of Busan and in close proximity to Haeundae Beach, makes it a must-see on any traveller's itinerary.

There is perhaps no better time to visit than during Buddha's Birthday celebration. During this festive occasion, the temple is adorned with paper lanterns, transforming it into a fairytale-like wonderland that is incomparably magical.

It is during this celebration that the temple truly shines, and the beauty of the surroundings is intensified by the legendary Sea Goddess Buddha of Mercy, Haesu Gwaneum Daebul. This incredible aspect of Guanyin is the crowning jewel of Haedong Yonggung Temple, and an honour and inspiration to all those who witness it.

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple in Busan, Korea

Jagalchi Market

This magical fish market is located in the vibrant neighbourhoods of Nampo-dong in Jung-gu. Nestled on the edge of the sparkling Nampo Port and considered to be the largest fish market in all of South Korea, this is a place like no other.

The name Jagalchi is said to have derived from the fact that the market used to be surrounded by gravel, adding to the charming and whimsical atmosphere here. This renowned market is one of the ten landmarks of Busan and draws in visitors from far and wide who come to shop and bask in the bustling energy of this unique marketplace.

Jagalchi Fish Market celebrates the strong and determined “Busan wives” or the beloved Jagalchi Ajumma, who have shown us what true grit is all about. These incredible women work tirelessly to provide for their families, and their hard work and spirit has earned them a special place in the hearts of locals and tourists alike.

For those seeking adventure, the Busan Jagalchi Festival in autumn is not to be missed. With a slogan of “Oiso! Boiso! Saiso!”, it’s a time for singing, dancing, catching fish, and indulging in delectable seafood.

Jagalchi Market
Jagalchi Market in Busan, Korea

Beomeosa Temple

Come along on a magical journey to discover the fascinating Beomeosa Temple located in the eastern side of Geumjeongsan Mountain, one of the most famous mountains in all of Busan.

The temple's storied past was born from the ashes of monk Uisang's vision in 678, during the 18th year of King Munmu's reign in the Silla Kingdom. Today, it is renowned as one of the three most famous temples in the Yeongnam region, along with Haeinsa Temple and Tongdosa Temple.

Though the original Beomeosa Temple site suffered losses during the Imjin War of 1592-1598, it was skillfully restored in 1613 and has remained an awe-inspiring tourist attraction since. The Daeungjeon Hall is an impressive example of delicate and luxurious architecture from the Joseon dynasty that mustn't be missed. Other important sites at the temple include the iconic Iljumun Gate, a three-story pagoda with four pillars that dates back to the 9th century.

Eleven hermitages, pavilions, and gates also await exploration within the temple grounds. The temple also operates a templestay program that enables visitors to immerse themselves in Buddhist culture, truly unwind from the hustle and bustle, and find exquisite peace in the process.

Beomeosa Temple
Beomeosa Temple in Busan, Korea

Gamcheon Culture Village

The wonderfully whimsical Gamcheon Culture Village presents you with a village formed by brightly-coloured houses that have been built in an oh-so-charming staircase-fashion on the foothills of a scenic coastal mountain. It's no wonder that this picturesque village has earned the nickname "Machu Picchu of Busan".

But the magic doesn't stop here - vibrant murals and sculptures that have been created by the village's own residents decorate the many alleys. This vibrant community is a shining example of the artist community that has cultivated the region since it was first established.

Like many things in life, this village's beauty is coming from a place of pain. Gamcheon Village was founded by refugees during the Korean War. These brave souls settled in the foothills of the coastal mountain and cultivated the land with hard work and determination.

In 2009, students, artists, and residents of the village launched the Village Art Project and began decorating the town in a colourful and wondrous way. Since then, Gamcheon Culture Village has become a must-visit tourist attraction in Busan, delighting visitors with its quirky charm and creativity.

Gamcheon Culture Village
Gamcheon Culture Village in Busan, Korea

Oryukdo Skywalk

Oryukdo Skywalk construction began in 2012 in the Seungdumal area, which is considered the dividing point between the East and South Seas, with the theme of "walking over the sky." Iron columns were installed over a 35-meter-high coastal cliff, and a 15-meter glass bridge shaped like a horse's hoof connected the iron columns.

The glass flooring was constructed using four layers of 12-millimeter glass panels coated with a bulletproof film for a total thickness of 55.49 millimetres, making the structure extremely safe.

Visitors will be enthralled by the view of the waves through the transparent floor. The sea stretches out ahead of the skywalk, making for a great photo opportunity.

Oryukdo Skywalk
Oryukdo Skywalk in Busan, South Korea

Taejongdae Resort Park

The stunning natural park of Taejongdae is located on the southernmost tip of the island of Yeongdo-gu in Busan. Marvel at the breathtaking cliffs that stare out into the open sea, surrounded by dense evergreen trees. This magnificent spot is a representative visitor attraction of Busan that combines natural beauty with several fun-filled facilities for tourists.

Sights to discover at Taejongdae include an observatory with views to die for, an amusement park that will bring out your inner child, a lighthouse that illuminates the way to your dreams, and even a cruise ship terminal that promises to take you on a journey of a lifetime.

Legend has it that King Taejong Muyeol - the 29th king of the Silla Kingdom, and quite the talented archer - enjoyed practicing his craft here after the unification of the Three Kingdoms of Korea which undoubtedly adds to the whimsy of this magical place.

Taejongdae Resort Park
Taejongdae Resort Park in Busan, South Korea

Busan Tower

When it comes to the ultimate view of Busan, there is one place that stands head and shoulders above the rest: Busan Tower! Towering 120-metres high, this incredible structure is located at Yongdusan Park in the heart of Jung-gu, Busan, South Korea.

Since its construction in 1973, Busan Tower has been a shining beacon of entertainment for both locals and tourists alike with no transmitting equipment.

The panoramic view from the tower's deck is unparalleled, offering visitors breathtaking 360-degree views that will take your breath away. While there, be sure to delight in a cup of steaming hot coffee from the small on-site café.

The base of the tower is interlaced with a series of galleries and souvenir shops that offer a unique and enjoyable experience. It is easy to see why the tower features in so many of Busan’s tourist guides: the view of the city's port from the tower is unparalleled! Two high-speed elevators make getting to the tower deck a breeze—no matter your mobility challenges make it accessible.

Busan Tower
Busan Tower is one of the most popular attractions in South Korea

Busan Air Cruise

Looking for a unique way to experience the beauty of Busan's Songdo Beach? Look no further than the Busan Air Cruise, formerly known as the Songdo Marine Cable Car. After a 29-year restoration project, the cable car was reopened in June 2017 in hopes of bringing tourists back to the area.

Hop aboard one of the 39 eight-seater cabins, featuring the latest model in Korea and ample space for comfort. The cable car travels 1.62km across the ocean at a height of 86m, taking approximately 15-20 minutes to reach Songdo Sky Park at Amnam Park.

As you travel, you'll be treated to panoramic views of Songdo Beach, Yeongdodaegyo Bridge, Namhangdaegyo Bridge, Songdo Coastal Dullegil Road, and rock cliffs. For the ultimate viewing experience, try the Crystal Cabin with its transparent floor offering an undisturbed 360 degree view.

Busan Air Cruise
Busan Air Cruise in Busan, South Korea

With a packed itinerary, squeezing in a day trip from Seoul to Busan may seem daunting, but it's worth it. Not only will you get to explore a new city, but you'll also indulge in one of the greatest pleasures of visiting Korea and discover the best things to do in Busan.

Wanderlust and delicious food are two of life's greatest pleasures. Share your adventures with us on Instagram by tagging @rollinggrace or using #RollingGrace. We can't wait to see where your travels take you!


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