Located in the southeast region of the Korean peninsula, Busan is the country’s largest port city and boasts an abundance of coastal tourist attractions, historical and cultural sites, and trendy shopping areas. The city has a well-developed public transportation system, but for a more convenient and all-inclusive tour, hop aboard the Busan City Tour. The Busan City Tour is comprised of a variety of one-day courses that cover some of the area’s major attractions (Haeundae Beach, Taejongdae Resort Park, BEXCO, Jagalchi Market, Dalmaji-gil Road, etc.). The Circulatory Tour covers Taejonogdae Resort Park and Haeundae Beach; the History and Culture Exploration Tour includes major historic sites; the Natural Ecology Tour introduces the rich ecosystem of Busan; the Night View Tour shows some of the city’s most fascinating nighttime attractions. Each seat on the bus is equipped with an individual TV screen, providing visitors with information about the stops along the way in a presentation of images, video clips, animation, and more. For international travelers, audio services are offered in English, Japanese, and Chinese. For the circulatory tour course, visitors can purchase an all-day ticket to get on and off a bus at any time throughout the day. Embark on a Busan City Tour bus and learn more about the best sights Busan has to offer!
☞ Busan City Tour Bus Information
Haeundae & Taejongdae Tour (circulatory tour)
At the Busan Museum, collections of local artifacts and documents tell the history of the Busan area—from prehistoric times to the modern era. The museum also runs hands-on traditional cultural programs and folk classes to share the proud legacy of Korean traditional culture with museum visitors.
Sandwiched between Haeundae Dalmaji-gil Road (on the right) and Dongbaekseom Island (to the left), Haeundae Beach is an expansive, white-sand beach that is one of the most popular tourist sites in Busan. The beach is easily accessible via public transportation and is an ideal festival venue, hosting events like The New Year Festival, Busan, Polar Bear Swimming Contest, Haeundae Sand Festival, and other celebrations throughout the year. In late fall, the beach serves as one of the stages of the famous Busan International Film Festival (BIFF). Beloved by travelers for its convenient location, this gorgeous stretch of sand is particularly alluring at night when the light from the nearby buildings sparkles off the ink-black waves.
Located in the southernmost region of Busan, Taejongdae Resort Park stretches for 9.1 kilometers and boasts an area of 440 acres. The top of the highest cliff (250 meters above sea level) is home to about 120 species of trees and plants. On clear days, you can see as far as Tsushima Island in Japan, almost 56 kilometers away! Often frequented by poets and artists (not to mention throngs of tourists), the striking landscape of the park is rife with sharp cliffs and gnarled rock formations.
Named after the colony of pine trees on nearby Geobukseom Island (Turtle Island), Songdo Beach ('song' meaning 'pine trees' in Korean) was redeveloped into a coastal park that is now open year-round. Here, you will find a number of sculptures rising proudly out of the water, including that of a whale that looks as if it's ready to breach. The underground breakwater, fountain, and sculptures give this whimsical coastal park a beauty all its own. For an even more open view of the ocean—and to breathe in a fresh sea breeze—make sure to visit Songnim Park.
The Theater District in Nampo-dong has been the venue for the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) since 1996. Following the festival's initial success, the theater area was refurbished and renamed the BIFF Square. The 428-meter-long street that runs from the old Buyeong Theater in Nampo-dong to the Chungmu-dong Bridge is divided into the Street of Stars and the Street of Festival. Every year, handprints of the stars are added to the walkway as the BIFF gets underway with an opening gala packed with special events and films. Not just a prime location during the festival period, BIFF Square bursts with youthful energy and glamour all year round, offering a veritable medley of cinemas, shopping centers, and nightclubs.
☞ Go to BIFF Square
The Jagalchi Market is the largest fish market in Korea. Every day, loads of fresh fish and shellfish are brought into the market and the voices of shoppers and vendors mix to create a pleasant cacophony. The Jagalchi Market is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Busan and is a must-see for international travelers. Come and get a glimpse into the lives of the Busan people. In mid-October of every year, the Busan Jagalchi Festival is held with an array of hands-on programs and cultural performances that celebrate the colorful market and its unique place in history.
[Photo courtesy of Seo-gu Office, Busan Metropolitan Government] Amnam Park sprawls across Jinjeongsan Mountain in Amnam-dong and offers a spectacular view of the sea out past groves of thick trees. For a closer look at the ocean, walk along the high coastal path or stop by the observatory to get a panoramic view of the sea. While at the observatory, don't forget to look for Dudo (a small island that seems just an arm's-length away) and its picture-perfect, white lighthouse. The regal combination of the park's mountains and seascapes, not to mention the free admission, make this park a highly recommended travel destination. It only takes around 1 hour to walk along the whole park.
☞ Go to Busan Amnam Park
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple was first built in 1376 by Naong Hwasang, the great Buddhist teacher of the king in the Goryeo Dynasty. (918-1392). A legend has it that those making a sincere prayer at the temple will see their wish come true. The name of the temple means 'Palace of the Dragon in the East of the Sea.' As the name implies, the temple is stunningly located by the seashore. The way to the temple is awesome, as it is like going into a palace in the sea. The temple features Daeungjeon prayer hall, a three-story stone pagoda, a 108 staircase, a 10-meter high Haesu Gwaneum Daebul (statue of the seaside Goddess Buddha), and a mineral spring.
The habitat of migratory birds of Nakdonggang River estuary is of such high environmental merit that it has even officially been designated Natural Monument No. 179. Therefore, Nakdong Estuary Eco-Center was built to exhibit numerous materials showing the evolution of the estuary and the types of migratory birds that live there. One side of the building is made of glass and boasts a bird's-eye view of the estuary. In addition to exhibits, the center offers interactive programs such as a plant observation program, a field investigation tour of the estuary, and an activity in which participants can build a shack of reeds for bird observation.
Gwangalli Beach in Suyeong-gu covers an ample space measuring 1.4 kilometers in length and 25 to 110 meters in width. The crescent-shaped beach is covered with fine powdery sand and is only a few meters away from a network of sidestreets lined with coffee shops and over 300 restaurants selling raw fish, eonyan bulgogi, and bean sprout haejangguk. At night, the beach takes on an even more vibrant aura as the sparkling lights brighten the night sky and young visitors flock to the area.
Affectionately called the Montmartre of Busan, Dalmaji-gil is a road that stretches from Haeundae Beach to Dalmaji Hill. Dalmaji-gil gets its name from the romantic view of the moon that seems to rise over the hill as you reach the end of the street ('dal' meaning 'moon' in Korean and 'maji' meaning 'greeting'). All along the road you will find clusters of galleries, unique coffee shops, and restaurants beckoning to you as you stroll past. The area is a popular filming location.
Located in Suyeong-gu standing proudly at 415 meters above sea level, Geumnyeonsan Mountain is home to the remains of the Banyaam Hermitage and Baramilda Temple. The view of the Busan Port and Gwangalli Beach from atop the mountain at night is so beautiful that many people visit the mountain for this view alone. On the mountain you will also find the Youth Training Center, a well, and a hiking trail.
☞ Go to Geumnyeonsan Mountain
<Last updated on August 13, 2014>