There are so many things to see and do in Busan. It is the second largest city in South Korea, known for its beaches, mountains, temples and markets. Located on the southeast coast it is Korea’s main port for international shipping. Busan is a perfect weekend getaway or day trip, only 2.5 hours train trip from Seoul to Busan (on the high-speed KTX). There’s so much to explore, here’s my travel guide of top things to see and do in Busan.
What to do in Busan: the best places to visit
Explore the colourful Gamcheon Culture Village
Gamcheon Culture Village is one of the top things to do in Busan and one of my favourite places to visit. Close to the sea, Gamcheon Culture Village is nicknamed Machu Picchu of Busan or Santorini of Korea. As soon as we entered, we saw an array of beautiful coloured houses on the hillside. It’s filled with so many narrow and colourful pastel pathways throughout the village, we were wandering around for a while. Within the culture village, we explored the narrow streets filled with sculptures, cafes and hidden craft shops, art galleries and teahouses. There are many murals and paintings within the village, and we spotted the fish motif all around the village.
The village is free to walk around if you enter through the main entrance a stamp tour village map is available for 2,000₩.
Where: Busan West, explore the culture village by foot.
10-13 Gamcheon-dong, Saha-gu Busan, 604-070, South Korea
Songdo beach skywalk 송도해수욕장
Songdo beach skywalk is a 365-metre long skywalk that extends from Songdo beach. It has a lovely view of the ocean and Busan City Skyline. The curved walkway is meant to resemble a dragonfly over the sea. As we walked along the skywalk, we were able to see the ocean below through the glass. Along the sky
BIFF Square (BIFF 광장)
Busan International Film Festival Square is an area dedicated to celebrating the achievements in the film industry. Similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame in LA, we found palm prints spotted on the sidewalk of famous movie celebrities and film directors. It stretches 428m long from the Buyeong Theater in Nampo-dong to the overpass in Chungmu-dong.
BIFF is also a shopping square for both local and global brands. At night it lights up as food stalls fill the streets. There was a variety of South Korean street food in the square You will find grilled squid, kimbap, odeng, and more!
Be sure to try hotteok(호떡) – a sweet Korean pancake street snack. It’s filled with brown sugar, cinnamon, a sweet peanut filling, and sunflower seeds, while warm and crispy on the outside. Chewy, crunchy, sweet and salty goodness, it left my taste buds wanting more. I wish I had more than one!
Where: 58-1 Gudeok-ro, Nampo-dong, Jung-gu, Busan, South Korea
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Fresh seafood at Jagalchi Fish Market (부산 자갈치시장)
If you’re a fan of seafood, you must visit the iconic Jagalchi Fish Market. It’s not your ordinary market; it is one of Korea’s largest seafood markets. Famous for selling a variety of the freshest seafood caught that morning. Within the endless rows of stalls, there are many things we wanted to try! It’s a place where you can eat the freshest catches of raw fish, squid, mackerel, octopus and more.
After walking around the marketplace on the first floor, visit the second level for lunch and dine at one of the several small restaurants. They offer to prepare and cook your freshly purchased seafood. Be sure to ask for the costs upfront to avoid being overcharged.
Where: Near Jalgachi Station and walk towards the wharf.
52 Jagalchihaean-ro, Nampo-dong, Jung-gu, Busan, South Korea
Gukje Market (남포동 국제시장)
A market crowded with a labyrinth of stalls, Gukje Market is one for Korea’s largest markets. You’ll be able to find an array of goods from electronics, clothing, souvenirs and food.
Where: 25 Gukjesijang 2-gil, Gwangbok-dong, Jung-gu, Busan, South Korea
Busan is perfect for a day trip or weekend getaway, filled with lots of wonderful places to discover. There are many more places to explore such as Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, Haeundae Beach, Oryukdo Skywalk, Gwangandaegyo Bridge, Taejongdae Park and more. Let me know which places you visit.
→ More: Explore Seoul palaces in Autumn