Maritime city Busan is a highly recommended destination for international travelers. The more you get to know about Busan and the more time you spend in this city, Busan’s charm will captivate your heart. Above all, the biggest draw lays in the wide assortment of themed attractions that meet different travelers’ preferences. Themed travels include history and culture, medical tourism, shopping and more. Read on for our recommended 3-day, 2-night itinerary that takes you around this enchanting maritime city, Busan!
110:00 AMTour around Gukje Market and lunch
21:00 PMSightseeing at BIFF Square
32:00 PMBusan Jagalchi Market tour
43:00 PMPhoto mementos at Busan Gamcheon Culture Village
54:30 PMSightseeing at Taejongdae and dinner
Gukje Market is a traditional market and a global multi-cultural attraction that represents Busan. This historical market opened following Korea’s liberation from colonial rule, selling daily goods that were used during wartime. Its maze-like alleys are packed with a variety of stores selling clothing, general merchandise, kitchenware and more, adding the fun of exploring every nook and corner of the market place.
Gukje Market featured in Korean film “Ode to My Father,” which was a big hit in 2014. The film garnered more than 14 million viewers and the market subsequently became a major tourist attraction of Busan.
BIFF Square was created with the opening of the first Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) in 1996. Busan’s major movie theaters are clustered in this district, contributing to the city’s reputation as the center of Korea’s film industry. A wide array of film-related sculptures is installed along the approximately 500-meter long street. Handprints of famous movie stars can also be seen embossed on the ground, entertaining movie fans who come across the street.
Jagalchi Market comes into view right after crossing the crosswalk in front of the BIFF Square. It is one of Korea’s foremost seafood markets, where visitors can vividly soak up the fishing village atmosphere in the urban center. The origins of the market’s name, Jagalchi, are diverse, but the most plausible story is that the market used to take place on gravel (jagal in Korean) and that many of the fish sold here at that time ended with the letter “chi,” such as myeolchi (anchovy) and galchi (cutlassfish).
The market is located inside a large building. The first floor of the building is the main fish market selling a huge selection of sea products, while the second floor contains spaces where you can eat the fresh seafood purchased from the market. In addition, the area behind the market building has a variety of sculptures and it is an ideal spot to watch the sight of fishing boats entering the market dock.
The picturesque Gamcheon Culture Village has earned many nicknames, with a few popular ones being “Korea’s Santorini” and “Lego Village.” Originally a poor hillside neighborhood, the village was given its current name in 2009, when Busan’s local residents and artists began refurbishing the entire neighborhood into an art village.
Rows and rows of small houses closely huddled together along the hillsides, including the empty houses, have been turned into unique works of art to provide cultural and art experiences. Enjoy a wonderful time walking the alleys of this charming village and stop by the Haneulmaru Observation Deck for a beautiful panoramic view of the village. It is also an excellent spot to take pictures against the colorful backdrop of the village.
Taejongdae Resort Park was named after Silla King Taejong Mu-yeol, who was so entranced by its exquisite coastal views that he decided to reside for a while and enjoyed shooting arrows in the area. The harmony of lush forest, rocky cliffs, and the vast ocean unfolds a breathtaking scenic beauty. A number of famous attractions are located throughout Taejongdae including Sinseondae Cliff, Mangbuseok Rock, and Yeongdo Lighthouse, which is considered the iconic symbol of Taejongdae.
There are three ways for travelers to enjoy Taejongdae Park: walking along the road, taking a ride on Taejongdae Danubi Train, and boarding the Taejongdae Gonpo Cruise Boat. Any of the three methods offer the opportunity to absorb in the natural wonders of Taejongdae, but we recommend taking the Danubi Train to save time and money. With a single ticket, you can conveniently hop on and off the train at any stop you want, giving you a greater freedom to explore this scenic place.
19:30 AMExplore Seomyeon Medical Street
211:30 PMLeisure stroll along Gwangalli Beach and lunch
32:00 PMShopping at Centum City
44:00 PMTake souvenir photos at Nurimaru APEC House
55:30 PMHaeundae Beach & The Bay 101 for dinner
Seomyeon district of Busan is more often than not known as the “center of medical tourism.” Around the intersection of Busan Seomyeon district, professional medical facilities, pharmacies, cosmetic and other medical related businesses are gathered here, living up to its name Seomyeon Medical Street. Since the establishment of the first medical building in the 1990s, others began to set up in the vicinity; today, roughly 250 medical related businesses can be found within the area.
Not only is Seomyeon a great place to embark on a medical tour, the place is filled with cafés with great ambiance as well as department stores for those who would rather enjoy a cup of coffee or go shopping.
Gwangalli Beach is a 1.5-kilometer long stretch of fine sandy beach. It is touted to be one of the top three beaches in Busan and becomes packed with vacationers during the peak summer season. During the day, the reed parasols along the shore create an exotic scenery. At night, the beach offers marvelous views of the colorfully lit Gwangandaegyo Bridge, the iconic landmark of Busan. The beach takes on an especially vibrant and beautiful look in October, when the annual Busan Fireworks Festival takes place. It is Korea’s largest-scale fireworks festival and visitors flock in from all over the country to take in the splendid fireworks show.
Centum City is where you can enjoy both shopping and Korea’s culture all in one place. This trendy district is filled with modern skyscrapers and uniquely designed buildings. Some of the most notable buildings in the area include Shinsegae Centum City, registered in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest department store in the world; Busan Exhibition & Convention Center (BEXCO), and Busan Cinema Center, which is the venue of the opening and the closing ceremonies of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF).
It takes a great deal of time to look around the Centum City, as there are numerous skyscrapers with spacious interiors. Therefore, it is best to plan your route and set aside a fixed amount of time for shopping.
Designated as Monument No. 46 of Busan, Haeundae Dongbaekseom Island was originally an island and is still referred to as one, but is now connected to the mainland due to years of sedimentation. As indicated by its name, the island is richly covered with camellia trees (dongbaek in Korean).
Also located on this island is Nurimaru APEC House, which is a three-story structure, built to serve as a conference hall for the 13th APEC summit meeting, which was held in November 2005. Its exterior is a modernistic expression of a traditional Korean pavilion, and its interior design is a visual display of Korea’s traditional culture. About 30 minutes to an hour should be adequate to look around this place while taking some photos for memories. In addition, there is a costal walkway in the vicinity, where visitors enjoy the beautiful seascape.
For many Koreans, Haeundae Beach is the first destination that comes to mind when they think of Busan. In fact, it is probably the most widely known beach in the country. High-rise buildings surround this popular vacation spot in downtown Busan and a string of famous hotels stand along the coastline. The most vibrant season of the year at Haeundae is none other than summer! During its peak season, the beach bustles all day and night with people flocking in from all across the country.
Haeundae Beach is not only great for some summertime splash fun, but also offers fabulous night scenery. Frequented by dating couples at late night hours, The Bay 101 is the new up-and-coming hot spot in Busan. Also a yacht club equipped with a gallery and gourmet restaurants, it is an ideal place to enjoy cultural and leisure activities or to dine with spectacular views. Near the yacht club, an array of street food vendors invite visitors to taste fresh seafood while looking out on the night sea.
110:00 AMVisit Haedong Yonggungsa Temple and lunch
21:00 PMPleasant stroll at Songjeong Beach
33:00 PMTea time at Dalmaji-gil Road
Famous for viewing magnificent sunrise, Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is where the sun rises first in the country. Unlike most other temples nestled deep in forested mountains, Yonggungsa Temple is situated on the coast, looking almost like a majestic underwater palace. The temple is also replete with various attractions.
Welcoming visitors at the entrance to the temple grounds are the Sibijisin., otherwise known as the twelve zodiac figures, such as a mouse, cow, tiger, rabbit, etc. Other attractions within the temple grounds include Deuknambul, a Buddha statue that is said to grant the birth of a son if you touch its nose and belly, and the “108 Longevity Stairs,” which is said to make your life longer every time you climb up and down the steps. On Buddha’s birthday, the temple offers a fascinating sight of the colorful lotus lanterns against the ocean scenery.
Located in Songjeong-dong, Haeundae-gu, Songjeong Beach is relatively quiet compared to Haeundae Beach or Gwangalli Beach. As a result, Songjeong Beach makes for a nice place to enjoy a romantic and leisure stroll. The old Songjeong Station near the beach is also worth a visit. Following up the wall next to the station will get you to an abandoned railroad decorated with unique and inspiring sculptures. Take your time to look at the artworks and take pictures against the scenic backdrop. A leisurely walk along the railroad tracks is also worthwhile.
Dalmaji-gil Road, also known as the Montmartre of Busan, is an uphill road extending to Mipo Port and Cheongsapo Port. The road got its name Dalmaji (literally translated as “greeting of the moon”) from the scenic view of the moon over the ocean. It is lined with an array of cozy cafés and restaurants, so you can take your pick to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea.
The charming neighborhood is not only a great place to spend an afternoon teatime, but also worth a visit at night. The brilliant illuminations from cafés and restaurants add a picturesque feel and present quite a different scene from daytime. Make sure to spend some time at Moontan Road if you happen to come here after dark. You can watch the moon glisten on the sea and take a romantic night stroll along the moonlit forest promenade.