Top 10 Things do to in Busan

As one of the Top Destinations in to visit in 2023 according to National Geographic you should definitely check out Busan! Busan, the second largest city in South Korea, is located at the southern end of the country and combines the best of vibrant city life, culture, natural beauty and beaches. So if you don’t want to choose between these things, Busan is the perfect place for you. Just a short train ride from Seoul, the city has so much to offer, whether it’s a short or a longer stay.

1. Haedong Yonggungsa Temple

The historic Haedong Yonggungsa Temple was built during the Goryeo Dynasty in 1376 and is one of the few Korean temples on the coast; most temples in Korea are located in the mountains. It honors Haesu Gwaneum Daebul, a Buddhist goddess who lives in the sea and rides a dragon. Legends aside, the east-facing temple offers a spectacular view of the rising sun. The temple as it exists today was restored in 1970, retaining the colors and details of the original structure.
First of all, the temple is an active place of worship so remember to dress respectfully. It is open all year round. and opens as early as 5 a.m. – which is great for those who want to take pictures for sunrise – and closes at sunset. The admission is free, only if you want to park your car, you need to pay a fee. If you are staying in the Haeunde Beach area, we recommend to take the Bus 1001 to „Yonggungsa-Tempel, National Institute of Fisheries Science“ and walk 10 mins to the temple. Since there are a lot of stairs to climb, so we recommend to wear comfortable shoes and descend a series of 108 steps to reach the temple.

2. Haeunde Sky Capsule

The Haeunde Sky Capsules offer you the most beautiful views of Haeundae and a romantic vibe to enjoy with your loved ones. The 4-seater retro-looking Haeundae Sky Capsule runs on a 2.3km elevated railway 7-10m above the ground alongside Haeundae Beach Train from Mipo Station direct to Cheongsapo Station and back, along the coast. It runs completely automatically with 4 km/h and the ride takes around 30 minutes. The capsules have a bright and color theme of red, yellow, green and blue. The Haeundae Sky Capsules operate as a private capsule, so you can enjoy the ride in your space without the need to share with strangers. There are ticketing Kiosks at Mipo and Cheongsapo stations. You can only buy one-way tickets for the Sky Capsule – for 2 people it’s 35.000 KRW.
We started our trip to Busan by visiting the Cheongsapo Daritdol Observatory and Haedong Yonggungsa Temple. It was quite handy to board the capsule from the Cheongsapo Station and travel back to Busan because it is close to the Cheongsapo Daritdol Observatory. You may take in the stunning coastline and scenery of Haeundae Beach with the buildings in the distance.

3. Haeundae Park Marina

Haeundae Park Marina is a skyscraper complex in the city district Haeundae and an iconic Busan city view. Although there are many lovely places to view the Haeundae Park Marina structures, the view from the port is our favorite. Park Marina is a pleasant 45-minute walk away from Haeundae Beach. To get to the side facing the buildings, circle the harbor. The buildings reflect the light brilliantly at sunrise and dusk.

4. Diamond Tower (Busan Tower)

Located in the Yongdusan Park, the 120m tall Busan Diamond Tower offers 360 degree views of Busan City, Busan Port, sea and surrounding mountains. It was originally named as Busan Tower when it first opened in 1973. After the redevelopment project in 2021, it reopened and renamed as Busan Diamond Tower. Busan Diamond Tower is open all year around. The Observatory is open form 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Last ticket sales 21:30) and adults have to pay an 12,000 KRW admission. To get there, take Line 1 to Nampo Station and walk 15 minutes to the Busan Diamond Tower. We recommend to visit the tower for sunset until it gets dark and millions of lights of the buildings shine like stars. So make sure you check the sunset time before you visit the tower.

5. Gamcheon Culture Village

Gamcheon Culture Village with its rows of colorful terraced houses standing along the mountainside is one of the main attractions in Busan. The Village is famous for its colorful houses and murals and interesting sculptures, that beautifully decorate the village. The Village Art Project which was started by local artists and villagers to preserve these characteristics and historical values of Gamcheon and became a stepping stone for the Gamcheon Culture Village project. Explore the many alleyways, staircases and winding streets of the picturesque village. One of the popular ways to enjoy the village is to drop by one of their lovely cafes and enjoy the pleasing scenery over your favorite drinks and desserts.
To get there, take Line 1 to Toseong Station and transfer to the bus Sakha 1/1-1 to Gamcheon Culture Village stop, which takes about 10-15 minutes. If you want to walk from the Toseong Station you have to walk up a steep mountain, so we really recommend to take to bus for the last bit.

6. Ride the Songdo Cable Car

Hop on one of the 39 cable cars of Busan Air Cruise and enjoy the ride across the stunning Songdo Beach. The ride takes around 10-15 minutes and takes you from the Songdo Bay Station to the Songdo Sky Park Station and back. It‘s especially beautiful at sunset, when the lights of the city twinkle against the colorfully lit sky. The cable car operates from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. You can choose between a capsule with closed or transparent floor, but in our view the one with the closed floor is sufficient as the glass is too scratched to see through. The roundtrip costs 15.000 KRW for an adult.
In the surroundings of both stations you have other attractions you can visit, so you can actually plan a whole day in this particular area: In the east you can visit Songlim Park, Songdo Beach and Songdo Cloud Trails and in the west the obervatory of Songdo Park Station, the Dino Adventure Square and Amnam Park with the spectacular Songdo Yonggung Suspension Bridge.

7. Hike the Igidae Trail

The Igidae Trail, built along with the coastline, offers a gorgeous seashore scenery with beautiful views of the city in the distance like Gwangan Bridge Marine City, Dongbaekseom Island, Nurimaru APEC House, and Haeundae Beach, but also the spectacular scenery made by coastal cliffs and the wave-built terraces with the Oryukdo Islets as a highlight.
You can walk the trail from both sides. We decided to start at Oryukdo Skywalk and took the bus to the stop with the same name. The Igidae Coastal Trail is 4.7 km long and takes around 2,5 hours. Make sure to wear walking shoes suitable for uneven terrain and don’t forget sun protection and drinking water.

8. Haeundae Beach

When people mention Busan, the first thing that comes to mind is the sea! Among Busan’s various beaches, Haeundae Beach is the most famous beach. The white sand beach is roughly 1.5 kilometers long, over a 30- to 50-meter wide area, creating a beautiful coastline before a shallow bay, making it perfect for swimming. The beach is well equipped with shower booths, changing rooms, drinking fountains and more. Haeundae Beach is also famous for various cultural events and festivals held throughout the year. Haeundae Beach is also packed with exciting attractions including Dongbaekseom Island, Busan Aquarium, a yachting dock, BUSAN X the SKY, or sea cruises departing from Mipo Quay.

9. Cafe 220 Volt

If you are a fan of beautiful Cafes, you definitely need to visit Café 220 Volt when you are in Busan. The cafe with a showroom has its own industrial charm with a lot of plants and incredibly delicious and pretty pastries. Coffee lovers can select from a variety of coffee blends, but they also offer refreshing self-made lemonades.

10. Dongbaek Island

Dongbaek Island is an island located off one end of Busan’s famous Haeundae Beach and used to be an island, but is now part of the mainland. It is easy to navigate thanks to the walking paths that are built around it. There are 2 easy walking trails, the whole walking course takes about 30-50 minutes. The island has several attractions including Nurimaru APEC House, Lighthouse Observatory and Carved Stone of Haeundae Observatory. Dongbaekseom Island is also popular for its beautiful sunset, particularly the views of the sun setting over the horizon. It can also be visited during night time with trail lights available. This is probably one of the best places to view the brilliant night lights of Haeundae Beach and Gwangandaegyo Bridge. When you are visiting Busan in Winter, make sure to visit Dongbaekseom Island as the islands camellia flowers will be in bloom around December to March.

Busan - Top 10 things to do
Busan - Top 10 things to do

You may also like