Busan is the go-to city when you’re in need of a breather from the relentless exuberance of Seoul. South Korea’s second largest city is not just known for its beaches; it is a city where contemporary and tradition perfectly coexist. That is why Busan is perfect for a laid-back weekend escape.
Feb and I finally went to visit Busan for a quick getaway of 1 night and 2 days last autumn. Probably too short to explore all of amazing places Busan can offer, but just right amount of time to appreciate the perfect juxtaposition of its vibrant villages, glossy skyscrapers and quaint shorelines.
How to Go
KTX Trains’ being the fastest and most convenient way to travel is the most favored mode of transportation when going to Busan from Seoul. Globally referred to as Train to Busan (as popularized by a movie of the same name) Feb and I were really looking forward on the train ride, zombies or no zombies. Read the full guide here on buying KTX tickets to Busan using KORAIL Pass.
Where to stay
1. Nampo-dong Area – My choice of area in Busan. First, it’s only 2 stops away from Busan Station. Second, Buses to/from Taejongdae and Gamcheon Cultural Village (with a little walking) have stops in the area. Lastly, it is walking distance to Jagalchi Market where you can seafood your way to destruction and stone throw away from BIFF Square where you’ll find the yummiest Hotteok in town.
We’ve stayed in K-Guesthouse Nampo 1 while in Busan. It’s located right outside the exit of Nampo Station – Busan subway line 1. The beds are so comfortable and the reception/dining area has a breathtaking view of Busan Port. We’ve paid KRW 49,000 for a night’s stay.
2. Busan Station Area – Need I say more? Being the center hub of transportation, it is the most convenient place to stay in Busan, top pick of tourists because of the accessibility.
3. Haeundae Area – Beach person? This place is your best bet as Haeundae is one of Korea’s most famous beachfront. They have a coffee street where you can hangout and chill, couple of restaurants for your food-trip and most importantly it is only 3 subway stops away to the worlds most largest department store – Centum City, Shinsegae.
What to do
1. Seafood galore in Jagalchi Market – known as the biggest Seafood Market in all Korea, the diverse display of seafood you’ll find here will keep you in awe. The best thing is, you can buy any seafood of your choice from the stalls and have it cooked in the restaurants around the area.
2. Get lost in a labyrinth of colorful alleyways of Gamcheon Cultural Village – no one does Art Villages better than South Korea. This former slum was artfully transformed into a magnificent gem of a village. Not visiting Gamcheon while in Busan is like not visiting Eiffel Tower while in Paris (maybe I’m pushing it a bit too far but still this place is a must visit!).
3. Night walk at Gwangalli Beach – Fancy a walk to the beach or in mood for coffee coma? Here you’ll experience seaside busking with an amazing view of Diamond Bridge – Korea’s second largest bridge light up at night. Also, the neighboring street offers vast collection of café’s, restaurants and bars. Perfect for however you want to spend your nightcap.
4. Hike with a view at Taejongdae Resorts Park – embrace your inner ocean child with the rocky ocean cliffs of Taejongdae. Breathe in the Amazing, amazing (worth repeating) vistas of the ocean and nature combined. This is my favorite place to visit in Busan.
5. Be fearless in Oryukdo Skywalk – challenge yourself and walk the transparent floors over the cliffs of Oryukdo Skywalk. Soothe your soul with the panoramic views of endless ocean blues and the ever-mysterious Oryukdo Islands.
6. (Bonus) Heotteok food-trip at BIFF Square – just right across the street from Jagalchi Market, BIFF Square was the former official venue of Busan International Film Festival before it was transferred to Centum City. Here you’ll find lots of movie theaters, shops and food stalls.
Note: This is a developing article. I’m currently writing an individual blog posts about these amazing places in Busan. Watch this page for updates. 🙂