Ultimate Guide to Things to do in Busan [2022 & 2023]

A popular question for visitors is what are the best things to do in Busan. The aim of this article is to help you learn more about the most popular attractions in Busan for tourists to help you plan your visit.

Plan to stay for at least 3 days to make the most of your visit, and preferably longer if possible. Busan is easy to get to from Seoul – the fast KTX trains make the journey in only 2.5 hours direct, or using the cheaper bus option it is a 5.5 hour journey.

Busan is easy to get around on the local metro train system and also using the local bus system, but in our experience you will get a lot more value our of taking a guided tour to learn more about each attraction that you visit. Therefore, as you go through our article below we have also recommended coach, small group and private tour options which will enable you to fully experience each attraction.

These tours can be easily booked through Klook, Trazy and Get Your Guide, who are our recommended online travel agents for South Korea. They have a good reputation and we have worked with each of them for many years now, so have high confidence that they will enable you to have a great experience!

Join the South Korea Travel Planning Facebook Group

You are also welcome to join our South Korea Travel Planning Facebook Group – it is a great resource to enable you to ask questions about your upcoming trip to South Korea!

South Korea Travel Planning

Disclaimer:  This article contains affiliate links.  If you book after clicking on one of these links then we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

About Busan

Busan is located on the south eastern tip of the Korean Peninsula and has a population of over 3.5 million people. The city was previously known as Pusan, however this was changed in the year 2000 to the current day name of Busan. Busan is a major port city in South Korea and also has many beautiful and popular beaches to enjoy! Busan has a great combination of traditional charm combined with modern experiences.

Tourist Map of Busan

To help you better understand where each tourist attraction is located in Busan we have put together a detailed map below. You can zoom in and out, and click on each attraction to see more details without leaving this page.

Busan Tours

When you check out the Busan attractions below, note that there are also several well priced tour options to help you visit the further away locations. Through Klook the following tours are worth checking out and booking:

Klook.com

Major Events in Busan

The major events in Busan each year include the following (note many events were cancelled due to COVID19 are are currently in the process of being re-established):

Busan Markets

Busan is a city of many markets, and fortunately the main ones of interest for tourists are all located close to the Nampodong old downtown area. You can spend many hours strolling through and exploring the markets and shopping areas across a wide range of different types of markets as detailed below. And make sure you eat delicious Korean food along the way!

Jagalchi Fish Market

The Jagalchi Fish Market is a great option to visit the largest fish market in South Korea. The market operates daily from 5am to 10pm, however is closed on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month. Jagalchi Fish Market is located south west from Busan Station in the Nampodong area and is easily accessible by bus or train from Busan Station, a journey of around 20 minutes.

A large variety of seafood is sold daily at the Jagalchi Fish Market, and it is a great experience to stroll through the market for a few hours, and plan to also eat some local seafood dishes.

The market consists of the indoor and outdoor market areas. In the main market building you can visit the the indoor seafood market on the bottom floor. On the upper floors of the market building plan to visit either the restaurants on the second floor, or the seafood buffet on the fifth floor. You can also visit the rooftop terrace to see the views over Busan.

A great option is to purchase fresh seafood on the ground floor and bring it to the second floor restaurants, who will cook your seafood in your preferred manner for an additional charge.

Indoor Market at Jagalchi Fish Market in Busan
Indoor Market at Jagalchi Fish Market in Busan

Around the market building you can also explore the outdoor street market, with many vendors displaying their seafood, which ranges from fresh, dry and raw seafood.

Outdoor Market at Jagalchi Fish Market in Busan
Outdoor Market at Jagalchi Fish Market in Busan

Gukje (International) Market

Gukje International Market is one of the largest markets in South Korea and was started during the Korean War, where Pusan was a safe location for refugees to live. There are many themed sections across a wide variety of products, ranging from kitchenware, clothing, toys and souvenirs to much more! There are also many food options to explore, with both local restaurant and street food options. Gukje Market is open daily from 7am to 10pm, and is closed on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month.

Gukje International Market in Busan
Gukje International Market in Busan

Bupyeong/Tin Can Market Night Market

During the daytime Bupyeong KKangtong (or Tin Can) Market is a market located to the side of Gukje Market. It became known as Tin Can Market during the Korean War, when tinned American food rations were bought and sold in this market. It also was the place to go for foreign goods including electronics and alcohol.

Every evening from 7.30pm to 11pm the night market opens, serving a dazzling array of Korean street food options along the main market street. Just walk and graze to have an amazing food experience. Note that there is limited seating available.

Busan International Film Festival Square

BIFF (or Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF)) Square was the original location for the Busan International Film Festival, due to the close proximity with Daeyeong Cinema and MEGABOX Busan Theatre. In the square you can see the hand prints of well known actors. BIFF Square is also a great location for street food – must tries include the Ssiat Hotteok – Sweet Korean Pancake stuffed with seeds and Tteokbokki – Spicy Rice Cakes.

Yongdusan Park and Busan Tower

Yongdusan Park is a great open area to explore with many attractions including the Busan Tower Observation Deck, statues, museums, a lovely range of tress and flowers and more. Yongdusan Park is open all year round, day and night.

Traditional Korean Bell in Yongdusan Park in Busan
Traditional Korean Bell in Yongdusan Park in Busan

Busan Tower is a very popular attraction as it is well located at 120m high to get great views over Busan, both by day and night. Busan Tower is open from 10am to 11pm daily and refreshments are available.

Busan Tower in Yongdusan Park
Busan Tower in Yongdusan Park

Gamcheon Culture Village

Gamcheon Culture Village is located a 30 minute bus trip south west from Busan Station and is a great option to see the picturesque multi coloured village which appears to be stacked up the hillside, otherwise known as the ‘Machu Picchu of Busan’. The previously deteriorating village was revitalised in 2009 as part of a government art initiative, and since then it has been a very popular destination for tourists.

Enjoy exploring the village alleyways (and get lost!) to find local street and public art – note that you can purchase a local map of the village at the Haneul Maru Tourist Information Center and Observatory before you enter the village. There are also many restaurants, cafes, small museums and workshops to explore.

Colourful Gamcheon Culture Village in Busan
Colourful Gamcheon Culture Village in Busan

Where to Stay Near Gukje Market

In the area around Gukje Market there are several great options to stay with the local markets and food culture on your doorstep. Click here to check out our detailed article on where to stay in Busan.

Our top picks are:


Busan Beaches

In total Busan has seven public beaches, which each have lifeguards during the swimming season and other amenities. Swimming is only allowed during summer, from late June to August. Each beach is also worth visiting at other times of the year to enjoy sunrise, sunset and moonrise over the beaches, other activities and coastal walks.

A great option to visit several beaches is the Busan Night Tour, which includes the Songdo Cable Car, The Bay 101 at Haeundae Beach, Gwangalli Beach and Yeongdo Seaside Park. Click here to check out and book the Busan Night Tour through Klook.

Haeundae Beach

The 1.5km long white sandy Haeundae Beach is the most famous beach in South Korea, and is a very popular destination for both locals and tourists, attracting over 10 million visitors every summer season to swim and sun bathe. Haeundae Beach is located one hour by bus north east from Busan Station.

There are many events held at Haeundae Beach ranging from festivals, performances, markets and more.

View over Haeundae Beach in Busan
View over Haeundae Beach in Busan

A fun activity is to catch the elevated Haeundae Sky Capsule from Mipo at the eastern end of the beach to Cheongsapo, about a 30 minute slow trip further east to enjoy the beautiful scenery. A faster alternative to enjoy the views is the Haeundae Beach Train, which travel mostly the same route underneath the Sky Capsule track.

Haeundae Beach Train in Busan
Haeundae Beach Train in Busan

Dongbaekseom Island is located at the western end of Haeundae Beach, and is a great location to walk the easy Dongbaek Coastal Trail and take in the views. Also near Dongbaekseom Island is The Bay 101, a very popular dining area where you can take in the night time views over Busan.

Dongbaekseom Island Pathway in Busan
Dongbaekseom Island Pathway in Busan

The SEA Life Busan Aquarium is located at the eastern end of Haeundae Beach, which is a small aquarium best suited to families. Click here to book your Sea Life Busan Aquarium Discounted Tickets through Trazy.


Where to Stay in Haeundae Beach

Haeundae Beach is one of the most popular areas to stay in Busan. With the easy beachside access and many great food options, activities and walks, you will be pleased to hear that there are many great options to stay with the beach on your doorstep, including luxury, mid level and budget options. Book early for peak season as they will sell out quickly! Click here to check out our detailed article on where to stay in Busan.

Our top picks are:


Gwangalli Beach

Gwangalli Beach is also a famous beach and is the closest public beach to central Busan and is located a 45 minute bus trip east from Busan Station. By both day and night the views over Gwangandaegyo Bridge are spectacular!

A drone show is also held over Gwangalli Beach every Saturday night, although these performances can be cancelled if there is poor weather. See this link for the latest information.

Gwangalli Beach in Busan
Gwangalli Beach in Busan

Along with swimming during the season, Gwangalli Beach has many other great activities to explore, including many events and performances, diverse water sports, cafes, restaurants, and amazing views both by day and night.

View of Gwangandaegyo Bridge from Gwangalli Beach in Busan
View of Gwangandaegyo Bridge from Gwangalli Beach in Busan

Where to Stay in Gwangalli Beach

In the area around Gwangalli Beach there are many great options to stay with the beach on your doorstep, including mid level and budget options. Click here to check out our detailed article on where to stay in Busan.

Our top picks are:

  • Kent Hotel Gwangalli by Kensington is a 4 star rated mid level hotel on the beachfront and with amazing views over Gwangalli Beach from many rooms. Click here to check it out on Agoda.
  • Ocean The Point Hotel is our mid-level pick which is also great for families and is located 50m from the beach, and a short walk to Haeundae Beach. Click here to check it out on Agoda.

Songdo Beach

Songdo Beach was the first public beach in South Korea which opened in 1913, and is located a 35 minute bus trip south west from Busan Station.

Songdo Beach Skywalk and Cable Car in Busan
Songdo Beach Skywalk and Cable Car in Busan

Along with swimming during the season, Songdo has many other great activities to explore, including the Songdo Skywalk and Busan Air Cruise Cable Car overhead, which travels from Songnim Park and Amnam Park, where you can enjoy the coastal walk. Click here to purchase your discounted Busan Air Cruise Cable Car ticket through Klook.

Songdo Beach Skywalk in Busan
Songdo Beach Skywalk in Busan

Where to Stay at Songdo Beach

In the area around Songo Beach there are limited options to stay on the beach, which is great as it is a much quieter beach option compared with Haeundae Beach and Gwangalli Beach. Click here to check out our detailed article on where to stay in Busan.

Our top pick is:


Other Busan Beaches

Dadaepo Beach is located at the junction of the Nakdonggang River and the South Sea, a one hour bus trip south west from Busan Station. Dadaepo Beach has shallow sheltered water which is a great option for families, paddleboarding, kiteboarding and collecting clams and crabs at low tide. At the beach entrance is the sunset fountain which provides a great show of water, lights and sounds each evening from May to October.

Songjeong Beach is the beach to go to all year around for surfers, with many surf shops and surfing lessons available. Songjeong Beach is located a 1:30 hour bus trip north east from Busan Station. There is also an extensive stretch of beach suitable for swimming during the season, and is a great option for families.

Sunset over Dadaepo Beach in Busan
Sunset over Dadaepo Beach in Busan

Ilgwang Beach combines both traditional culture and new attractions. Ilgwang Beach is located a 1:30 hour bus trip north east from Busan Station. Along with swimming during the season, Ilgwang Beach is a great option for families and also has many diverse water sports and the women’s diving festival each summer.

Imnang Beach is the most eastern Busan public beach and is the only beach which permits camping. Swimming is suitable for families during the season, and this beach is also popular with surfers. You can also walk to both Jangasa Temple and Myogwaneumsa Temple along the coastal trail.

Songjeong Beach in Busan
Songjeong Beach in Busan

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is a unique Buddhist Temple devoted to the Goddess of Mercy, located between Bongrae Mountain and the sea near Songjeong Beach, a 1:20 hour bus trip north east from Busan Station. The temple was first constructed in 1376, and has been reconstructed many times since then as a result of war and fires. You can easily spend 2-3 hours exploring the temple complex to better understand the history and take in the views.

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple in Busan
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple in Busan

Noting that Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is the common furthest point that people will travel to explore Busan, it is worth noting that there are several day tour options which include a visit to the temple and other attractions. Click here to check out and book the Busan Day Tour through Klook, which includes Busan Skywalk, Gamcheon Culture Village and Haedong Yonggungsa Temple.

Klook.com

Coastal Waterway Walks

Coastal Waterway Walks are very popular in Busan, with several options to explore and see the ocean views.

Taejongdae Resort Park

Taejongdae Resort Park is one of the most popular coastal walkways, and is a great location to observe ships and boats entering and leaving Busan Port. Taejongdae Resort Park is located a 50 minute bus trip south from Busan Station. After you hop off the bus, you will arrive at the entrance to Taejongdae Resort Park, where there are many restaurants and shops, great locations to try fresh seafood! This is the best location for food, so plan to stop in for a meal either before or after your visit.

To get around Taejongdae Resort Park you can either walk or catch the Danubi Train, which will take you around the 4.3km / 2.7 mi loop road around the park, with three major stops as detailed below. You can hop on and off the train to explore each location. The Danubi Train typically runs from 9am to 5.30pm, however the train has different schedules depending on the season and weekdays/weekends.

A great option to visit Taejongdae Resort Park is the Busan Top 5 Attractions Day and Night Tour, which includes Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, Oryukdo Skywalk, Taejongdae, Gamcheon Culture Village and The Bay 101 at Haeundae Beach. Click here to check out and book the Busan Top 5 Attractions Tour through Klook.

Taejongdae Observation Deck

Stop 1. The Taejongdae Observation Deck is 3 stories high and provides amazing views towards Japan, and from there you can easily walk to Yeongdo Lighthouse (skip the train for this section).

Taejongdae Resort Park in Busan
Taejongdae Resort Park in Busan

Yeongdo Lighthouse

Stop 2. To get to Yeongdo Lighthouse you need to descend a steep trail to reach the lighthouse. Beside the lighthouse you can see the distinctive “Light Beyond Limitation” red and blue statue. The lighthouse has an observation deck, art gallery and a museum of natural history which you can check out.

Yeongdo Lighthouse in Taejongdae Resort Park in Busan
Yeongdo Lighthouse in Taejongdae Resort Park in Busan

You can also continue walking along the path to visit Sinseon Rock, which enables you to get close to the water.

View of Sinseon Rock and Mangbu Rock in Taejongdae Resort Park in Busan
View of Sinseon Rock and Mangbu Rock in Taejongdae Resort Park in Busan

There are also some tents beside the sea where you can purchase raw seafood to try along with enjoying the views. From here you climb back to the train stop.

Fresh Seafood in Taejongdae Resort Park in Busan
Fresh Seafood in Taejongdae Resort Park in Busan

Taejongsa Temple

Stop 3. Taejongsa Temple is a great stop to explore a small temple surrounded by forest. Every year the Taejongsa Temple Hydrangea Festival is held from late June to early July, which are in full bloom across the temple grounds.

From Taejongsa Temple it is a 1.3km walk back to the park entrance, or otherwise you can catch the Danubi Train.

View of ships from Taejongdae Resort Park in Busan
View of ships from Taejongdae Resort Park in Busan

Other Coastal Viewpoints

Apart from Songdo Beach and Taejongdae Resort Park which are described above, there are two other coastal observation points you can explore to see the amazing views as detailed below.

Oryukdo Skywalk

The Oryukdo Skywalk is located at Seungdunal, which is the dividing point between the South Sea and the East Sea, with great views towards Japan with six islands close by. The Oryukdo Skywalk is located a one hour bus trip east from Busan Station. The Oryukdo Skywalk is a 15m long horseshoe shaped walking platform with a glass floor which extends from the cliff, 35 meters above the sea.

A great option to visit the Oryukdo Skywalk is the Busan Top 5 Attractions Day and Night Tour, which includes Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, Oryukdo Skywalk, Taejongdae, Gamcheon Culture Village and The Bay 101 at Haeundae Beach. Click here to check out and book the Busan Top 5 Attractions Tour through Klook.

Oryukdo Skywalk in Busan
Oryukdo Skywalk in Busan

Cheongsapo Daritdol Observatory

The Cheongsapo Daritdol Observatory is located east from Haeundae Beach, and you can get there easily by walking or catching the Haeundae Beach Train or Haeundae Sky Capsule from Mipo to Cheongsapo. Travelling from Busan Station to Cheongsapo Daritdol Observatory is a 1.30 hour bus trip north east from Busan Station.

The Cheongsapo Daritdol Observatory is a 72.5m long and 20m high long curved observation platform with a glass floor (in sections only) where you can see beautiful coastal and sea views of Busan as well as the water below.

A great option to visit the Cheongsapo Daritdol Observatory is this day tour through Klook, which includes Haedong Yonggung Temple, Cheongsapo Daritdol Skywalk, Ssangdoongi Dwaeji Gukbap (Lunch), Songdo Cable Car, Songdo Skywalk and Gamcheon Culture Village. Click here to check out and book this day tour through Klook.

Cheongsapo Daritdol Observatory in Busan
Cheongsapo Daritdol Observatory in Busan

Geumjeong Fortress

Geumjeong Fortress sits in mountains behind Busan and are a very popular location to see the views over Busan and also do some hiking. All that is left of Geumjeong Fortress today is the 19km / 12 mi long fortress wall, four gates and four watch towers.

The fortress is easily accessible via the Geumgang Park Ropeway which enables you to quickly ascend to the fortress. At the peak you can take either easier or more difficult hiking trails according to your preference and time available. The Geumgang Park Ropeway is located a 45 minute bus trip north from Busan Station.

UN Memorial Cemetery

The United National Memorial Cemetery in Busan commemorates the UN soldiers from 16 countries who were killed in battle during the Korean War 1950-1953. The memorial is a park with 2,300 graves, and includes monuments from many countries. The UN Memorial Cemetery is located a 45 minute bus trip east from Busan Station.

Visit a Jimjilbang or Korean Spa

Visiting a Korea Spa or Jimjilbang is a unique Korean experience that you need to try during your visit. In Busan there are two main options as follows:

  • Spa Land Centum City is located near Haeundae Beach, and is a 50 minute bus trip north east from Busan Station. Plan to visit for 4 hours to make the most of this experience. Spa Land Centum City has 13 themed sauna rooms, all at different temperatures – note that you wear the supplied outfit in these rooms. There are also gender separated spa baths (no clothing), where you can also experience a Korean style exfoliation scrub before relaxing in the various spa pools. They also have many food options available as well as other entertainment options.
  • Heosimcheong (or Hurshimchung) Spa is located a 40 minute bus trip north from Busan Station, and is also close to the Geumgang Park Ropeway to visit Geumjeong Fortress, if you want to combine activities for a day trip. Your entry ticket enables you to visit for up to 5 hours, so plan to make the most of this luxurious experience. There are 40 themed hot springs to enjoy, and there is also the Jjimjil (sauna) facility onsite – however most recently this section has not been open. Click here to purchase your Hurshimchung Spa Experience tickets through Klook.
  • There are several other private and public spa options in the Haeundae Beach area. The Haeundae Spa Center, the Haeundae Hot Spring Footbath near the Haeundae Beach Tourist Information Center and Cimer Spa, where you can soak outdoors while enjoying the views over Haeundae Beach.
  • At Gwangalli Beach you can also check out the Aqua Palace Water Park and Spa.

Lotte World Adventure Park

Lotte World Adventure Theme Park in Busan opened in March 2022, and is an exciting addition to things to do in Busan. It is actually four times the size of Lotte World in Seoul! It has 17 rides and many other attractions and daily parades, so a great day out for young and old. Lotte World Adventure Theme Park is located a 1:15 hour direct bus ride north east from Busan Station, and is located near Haedong Yonggungsa Temple.

Click here to check out and book your Lotte World Adventure Busan Experience Day Pass through Klook

Lotte World Adventure Busan - Giant Digger Rollercoaster. Courtesy of Lotte World
Lotte World Adventure Busan – Giant Digger Rollercoaster – with 4 inversions! Courtesy of Lotte World

Gijang Haenyeo (Women Divers) Village

For a quieter day out in Busan a great option is to visit Yeonhari, a small fishing village and also the home of the Haenyeo Womens Diver Village. The Women Divers sell their own freshly caught seafood, and you can purchase a selection of local raw seafood to try, along with abalone rice porridge. Yeonhari is a 1:45 hour bus trip north east from Busan Station.

Gyeongju

Gyeongju, which is known as ‘the museum without walls’, was the capital city of the ancient Silla Kingdom, which ruled over a large part of the Korean Peninsula for 1000 years, roughly from 57BC to 935AD. As a result there are a large number of historical sights, with many UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Gyeongju is located a one hour bus trip north of Busan.

Cheomseongdae Observatory in Gyeongju
Cheomseongdae Observatory in Gyeongju

To visit Gyeongju as a day trip from Busan, the best option is to book a one day tour to make the most of your visit. There are several day tour options available through Klook as follows:

  • Visit Yangdong Village, Anapji Pond, Bulguksa Temple and the Seokguram Grotto. This tour is available on Thursday each week. Pick up and drop off from KTX Busan Station, Seomyeon Station and Haeundae Station. Click here to check out and book this tour through Klook.
  • Visit Cheomseongdae Observatory. Daereungwon, Hwanglidan Street, Gyochon Traditional Village, Woljeong Bridge, Bulguksa Temple and Night view of Anapji Pond. This small group tour is available on Tuesday and Friday each week. Pick up and drop off from Seomyeon Station or Ulsan KTX Station. Click here to check out and book this tour through Klook.
  • Visit Bulguksa Temple, Seokguram Grotto, Anapji Pond, Cheomseongdae Observatory, Gyeongju National Museum, Cheonmachong Tomb and Yangdong Folk Village. This private tour (up to 8 passengers) is available every day and will pick up and drop off at your hotel. Click here to check out and book this tour through Klook.
Klook.com

Busan Tours

When you check out the Busan attractions below, note that there are also several well priced tour options to help you visit the further away locations. Through Klook the following tours are worth checking out and booking:

Klook.com
Things to do in Busan

Join the South Korea Travel Planning Facebook Group

You are also welcome to join our South Korea Travel Planning Facebook Group – it is a great resource to enable you to ask questions about your upcoming trip to South Korea!

South Korea Travel Planning

Disclaimer:  This article contains affiliate links.  If you book after clicking on one of these links then we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.