The second largest city in the nation just after Seoul, Busan is a city of delicious foods and modern buildings standing tall beside the beautiful ocean. Within this coastal city are dozens of fun ways to enjoy a budget-friendly vacation. Follow our guide to explore all Busan has to offer for just 10 dollars!
* Exchange Rate as of July, 2019
10USD ≒ 11,000KRW ≒ 9EUR
* Related Column
Enjoy Seoul on a 10 Dollar Budget!
Gamcheon Culture Village started in the 1950s as a settlement of refugees fleeing from the war that would eventually split Korea in half. This community spread up the steep hillside, following the natural curves of the mountain to build houses atop houses with narrow streets winding between them. The area underwent an art project to decorate the houses in bright murals, creating a village straight out of a child’s story book. The stacks of houses have also earned the village the nickname “the Santorini of Busan.”
The village is dotted with interesting things to see. The narrow alleys offer craft experiences in addition to the colorful murals. Of the many crafts, writing a personal message or creating a special drawing to put on a bracelet is a popular one, both special and inexpensive. Visitors to the village can also enjoy a multitude of street foods and snacks.
A great way to explore the village fully is to take part in the Gamcheon Culture Village Stamp Tour. Maps can be purchased from the tourist information center at the entrance of the village for just 2,000 won. With map in hand, follow the winding course to each of the stamp locations. A completed stamp tour shown to the staff at the final location will be rewarded with a souvenir postcard of Gamcheon.
* 10 Dollar Budget for Gamcheon Culture Village!
Stamp tour 2,000 won + personalized bracelet experience 4,000~6,000 won + street food 3,000~5,000 won
Oryukdo Island is named for its changing appearance, seeming to be a grouping of five or six (o and yuk being “five” and “six” in Korean, respectively) islands depending on from where they are seen. The best place to see the islands is Oryukdo Skywalk, built high on a cliff, with nothing but a transparent floor between you and the ocean waters below. The skywalk is a great place to take photos and on clear days, you can even see as far as Japan’s Tsushima Island.
A coastal walking trail connecting Oryukdo Skywalk with Igidae Park offers stunning views of the sea and the city of Busan. Built along the sharp cliffs above the ocean, the approximately 4 kilometer-long trail features various sections, including a cloud bridge, wooden deck, stone pathway, and trails through the forest.
The main starting point is Igidae Park but many people also start from Oryukdo Skywalk. If the full 4 kilometers seems too long, walk a short bit to the section of your choice before turning back. To enjoy a relaxing view of the ocean, a small coffee shop next to Oryukdo Haeparang Trail Tourist Information Center is a must. But strolling along a section of the coastal trail with a cup of coffee in hand is enough to create a beautiful and romantic memory of your time here.
* 10 Dollar Budget for Oryukdo Skywalk & Igidae Park!
Beverage at a café 4,000~6,000 won
Geumgang Park, located at Geumjeongsan Mountain, serves as a rest area for Busan citizens throughout all four seasons. The lush forest threaded with beautiful birdsong provides a refreshing feeling. A ropeway connects Geumgang Park to Geumjeongsanseong Fortress. Riding in the ropeway also offers fantastic views of Busan and the mountainside.
Busan Marine Natural History Museum displays over 25,000 items related to the natural history of marine life. Among the exhibition items are giant clams, whale sharks, piranhas and more. In addition, the museum houses live alligators, turtles, anacondas, and other exciting creatures, sure to please children.
* 10 Dollar Budget for Geumgang Park & Busan Marine Natural History Museum!
Geumgang Park Ropeway round-trip 9,000 won
A major attraction of Busan, Haeundae is more than just Haeundae Beach! The area also encompasses the multipurpose Marine City and other skyscrapers, Dongbaekseom Island that bursts with red camellia blossoms in late winter, and Gwangandaegyo Bridge, crossing the ocean landscape like a second horizon line. Marine City serves as a great background for souvenir photographs, and Dongbaekseom Island is perfect for a leisure stroll.
Originally an island off the coast near Marine City, Dongbaekseom Island has since been connected to the mainland due to a build-up of sediment. The island’s Nurimaru APEC House was the site of the 2005 APEC Summit. Open to the public for free, visitors can see the meeting room set as it was for the summit, as well as the banquet for those who attended.
Just a short walk away from the beach is Haeundae Traditional Market. Despite the small size, visitors can fill up with tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), twigim (fried food), eomuk (fish cake), mandu (dumplings), dak gangjeong (glazed fried chicken bites) and other popular street foods.
* 10 Dollar Budget for Haeundae!
Street food 3,000~10,000 won
Kkangtong Market opens in the day, but more people visit in the evening, leading some to call this a night market. The market is famous for selling unique, delicious street foods at inexpensive prices. Some of the more unusual street foods for Korea include Scotch eggs, hardboiled eggs wrapped in sausage and bacon before frying; French fries covered in a cheesy sausage sauce; soup served in a bread bowl similar to pane pasta; and steamed corn so addictive it’s earned the nickname “narcotic corn.” All these foods are sold for just 3,000 to 5,000 won.
Just a short walk away from Kkangtong Market is BIFF Square Culture Street, a gathering of movie theaters in the center of Busan’s Nampo-dong. In the past, it was the venue of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), and the Star Street is dotted with the handprints of world-famous film directors, producers, and actors. The festival has since moved all film-showings to Busan Cinema Center at Haeundae, but the square is still popular among tourists and crowded with street food vendors both day and night. The more popular street foods include ssiat hotteok (sugar-filled seeded griddlecake), dak kkochi (chicken skewers), tteokbokki, and croquettes.
* 10 Dollar Budget for Kkangtong Market & BIFF Square!
Street food 3,000~10,000 won
* This column was last updated in July 2019, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details before visiting.