Busan is South Korea’s second biggest city. Travelers often visit this city to explore the Buddhist temples situated within the mountainous territory of Busan. The Haedong Yonggung Temple is a magnificent temple near the sea. The religious sanctuary is beautiful, peaceful, and interesting to visit. It is a bit far from downtown Busan but the travel is all worth it.
Visit the Tae Jong Dae Lookout Point on a clear day and you will have the best views over the Pacific Ocean with seagulls flying and thousands of tourists admiring the amazing scenery. It is a large park that is famous for its rocky cliffs. From this point, there is a train that connects every curious traveler to other points of interest in Busan City.
When To Go:
The city encounters gentle climate conditions any time of the year and all through its four seasons; summer, spring, season, and fall. The season of spring happens from April to May seeing a huge crowd of tourists exploring this pleasant city. If you are an avid bird watcher, the winter season is the best time to go to Busan City because most of the migratory birds visit from the months of December – March.
If you favor travelling on a clear and sunny sky, September – November is the perfect time to spend holidays in the city. You can likewise watch over 200 movies from everywhere throughout the world at the Busan International Film Festival which usually occurs during the second week of October. If you are so much into seafood, satisfy your palate and delight your tummies while attending the Busan Jagalchi Festival, which is usually celebrated during the first week of October.
In spite of the fact that summers are not the most favorable months to visit this city, try to attend the Busan Sea Festival and the International Rock Festival which is celebrated annually during the summer months of July- August.
These are the things to do when in the spiritual city of Busan, South Korea.
Gamcheon Cultural Village
The Gamcheon Cultural Village is a fascinating place filled with bright and colorful houses. You can wander through the narrow streets for half a day and indulge your senses to the hospitable people and funny side of Busan. You might get intimidated by the huge crowds upon entrance, but if you delve into the passages between the houses there is almost no one and most people prefer to stay indoors. In some areas you can see murals in the form of fish, dinosaur, or birds in bright presentations that highlights the very creative idea and minds of people that reside in this thriving community. There are many points from which you can take good photographs and idyllic views of the village.
This place offers cute houses and corners with childish delight that makes it interesting to wander and make vivid pictures. When you look down from the top portion of the village, the row of colorful roofs create a very beautiful image. Within 2 hours you can visit the entire area and learn a lot about its purpose and the people behind it. Do not forget your camera because this so-called village of art has lots of photo opportunities and a cute café. Be sure not to miss this cultural village in Busan.
Haedong Yonggung Temple
The Haedong Yonggung Temple is located at the seaside, which adds a soothing charm to visitors. The place is really conducive to relaxation, beautiful and relaxing because of the sounds coming from the sea. It is truly one of the nicest temples you can visit when in Busan. The temple on the cliff is easily accessible and lots of options to create beautiful memories and photos.
To enter this temple, you must follow a walking path that is bordered by huge statues representing the Chinese astrological signs, you can take your picture next to your sign or year of birth. Afterwards, you can go to the nearby market where you can buy some souvenirs and to finally enter the temple overlooking the sea, the view is breathtaking and the temple is very old with a gigantic dragon statue watching over the sea and the city.
UN Memorial Cemetery
The UN Memorial Cemetery is a sad but important commemoration of the Korean War. On this site lies buried the soldiers from several countries, including the Canadian servicemen who fought during the horrible war. There is a short presentation on this war which led to the separation of Korea.Apart from the demilitarized zone of Panmunjom and the United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Busan it is one of the most impressive monuments of the Korean War which occurred from 1950 to 1953. The complex is impressive and consists of a large cemetery, a monument, a small chapel – where a short documentary is shown about the Korean War – and a small museum with photo exhibit.
There is a cemetery for more than 2,300 fallen soldiers from various countries who fought under the flag of the United Nations on the South Korean side. The cemetery is not a tourist attraction as such, but a memorial where everyone visits with the necessary respect. The property has a good movie information, documentaries, and rare footages about the war. There is also a hall filled with timeline photographs of the events that lead to the declaration of war which will also make your tour an educational and eye opening experience.It is a very well maintained complex that is occupied by a guard of honor at the entrance. It is a worthwhile visit, especially for people who were affected by the Korean War itself.
The Beomeosa Temple is one of the main attractions of South Korea and one of the largest Buddhist temples in the country. It is located on the Kumjong-san Mountain. The water of the temple based on a Korean legend has magical powers as what some locals will say, but in any case it is just healthy mountain spring water. Every visitor of the temple, must take a sip of this water before it enters the temple to pray. The temple was built during the Silla Kingdom in 678 by Master Uisang (625-702).
The very impressive temple is built on three levels. In order to visit the entire sanctuary, you must climb one flight of stairs to reach the next level. The top level is the main hall, the second level is called the Poje-Ru-hall, and on the lower level is the famous open hall with the statues at the gate output. Also famous is the three-story stupa of the temple. It is about 4 meters high and was built about 830. The temple is very organized, not so crowded and lots of beautiful nature all around. The temple is easily accessible via the metro bus or taxi (or with a hike in the woods if you have enough time), and it is a very peaceful place despite being a well-loved tourist site.
TheDongBaek Island is a great place for walking and an indispensable place to visit for all those who would be in the area of Haeundae. It is a great place to walk, jog, or skate at any time of the day because of the number of illuminated tracks, suspension bridge, the Little Mermaid statue, the lighthouse and the building of the APEC. It boasts spectacular views of the beach and the bridge called the APEC Gwangan.
It is a very peaceful place to enjoy quiet moments, read a book, or take romantic walks with your partner. It has many trees, fresh air, and has very good scenery. Until night it is safe to walk because it is well-illuminated and secured by guards who patrol the entire island. It is also best to schedule your visit during sunset.
The Gwangan Bridge is the longest bridge in Busan. It is the best viewing point where you can overlook the Beach of Gwangan. Located near the bridge is the UN Memorial Cemetery. It is best to come in the evening, when the bridge and the entire place get illuminated. The bridge also stands adjacent to the nearby APEC Museum. To see it as a whole, it is necessary to get off at the green metro line and look for “Gwangan Beach” station and alight from there. On the left side there is an embankment repair work.
Therefore, the light shows on the bridge are not quite visible from behind the fence. The small beach overlooks the Gwangan Bridge. From afar, you can see the warm sand, waves and a lot of young people.
It is a two-level bridge with the middle part of the suspension meticulously structured to highlight an amazing piece of engineering in Busan. The bridge is literally littered with electric diodes, which allow you to create high dynamic pictures at night. The spectacle of lights is worth appreciating and taking pictures with. Do not miss it if ever you are in Busan City.
From the Gwangan Beach you can see the Diamond bridge (Gwangan Bridge) that crosses the sea from left to right and at night when fully lit offers a very nice view. To get to this beach, take the green line bus, get off at the Geumnyeonsan station, take exit 3 and go straight. The beach is large and well cared for, surrounded by palaces and buildings (mainly restaurants and refreshment areas).
The main attraction of this beach is the imposing sight of the beautiful bridge in immaculate white and looking very similar to the Golden Gate of San Francisco. It’s too cold if you plan to swim here in March. But there are people strolling there 24 hours a day and this beach with complete infrastructure looks beautiful all the time.
The Haeundae area is certainly one of the most beautiful places in Busan, and the beach is the center. The Haeundae Beach is very nice and busy every day throughout the year. There are lots of nice places around Busan, but on this beach you can enjoy lots of watersports activities or visit the restaurants all around. Haeundae is the most popular and largest beach of Busan. Unfortunately the beach is frequently crowded in summers. But do not mind, because you can even meet some famous Korean movie stars if you recognize them. Due to the many visitors, unfortunately, quite a lot of waste remains lying around.
The beach runs along a multi-lane road, behind which the modern Skyscrapers are strung together, in between lots of restaurants, there are lots of bars, food kiosks, American burger fast food, and café chains. If the weather cooperates, you can enjoy a sumptuous and excellent breakfast by the beach.
On the boardwalk, there are the obligatory cafes like Café Bene, Coffee Bean, and Starbucks, plus, a beautiful view of the bay. The beach has a considerable extent both in length and width. The sand is coarse and the beach is very close to many restaurants and first class hotels. After 6:00 pm it is no longer possible to remain at sea (whether in the sand) because of the incoming high tide. At night it you can enjoy a good walk while watching the local craftsmen and a show of jugglers.
APEC Naru Park
The APEC Naru Park is a pleasant place with a nice historical background. The park consists of roads passing through the gorgeous green park leading to the observation deck with a lighthouse which offers postcard views of the open sea and the magnificent bridge. It is located a bit on the side of the building site, which in 2005 held the APEC summit attended by world leaders and foreign dignitaries.
As a bonus, funny animals in the form of black and white rabbits, which sometimes pop out of the bushes on the track appear at random times to amuse its guests. It is a very nice park for morning and evening runs, a great view of the open sea, the sea air, tour around the park, you can walk out to the parking lot of yachts or take pictures on the background of mirrored skyscrapers.
Geumjung Mt. Fortress
The Geumjung Mt. fortress is nice, but only stay here if you have comfortable shoes and willing to take a walk in the woods. To get to the top you can take a cable car. For this you need to get off the Red Line at Oncheonjang. Outside you will find a map on a billboard, but the road to get there seems unlikely. After a climb of 10 minutes you arrive at the station that will take you to the mountain.
From there, you must get to the south gate and take the challenging hike of 1.3 km. There are actually two possibilities to reach this mountain; if you love trekking and you want to make an excursion along the whole mountain, go to the metro station and take exit 5 (cross the bridge) here is where you can find the bus stop that will take you up to 203 east side of the fortress jump off point where you can start your hike. The other convenient option is to take the Gondola ride.
Haeundae Dalmaji-gil Road
The Haeundae Dalmaji-gil Road in Busan offers a lot of hiking trails; and at the end of one of them – you can find a temple with an unpronounceable name, or rather, the pagoda. And as the road climbs up – the top opens completely to the amazing panorama of the city overlooking the Busan bridges, skyscrapers, and the sea. The place is incredibly beautiful and absolutely free. It is within close proximity to the famous Haeundae Beach.
The Busan Museum is a very informative museum that is filled with several artifacts. There are a few presentations and the museum covers both the old as well as some interesting pieces from the recent Korean War history. It traces the colorful history of the city and the country, including its diplomatic relations with Japan.
The main goal of the museum is to explain to local school children the history of the city, a country, and everything about Korea. It is a conventional museum that is surrounded by a really nice garden filled with blooming peaches and cherries. Right next door (literally) you could find the UN Memorial Park (in fact a memorial cemetery), which is an interesting place to visit as well.
The Busan Aquarium is a good place to spend a few hours watching the fish, otters, penguins, crabs, and other forms of marine wildlife in South Korea. Of course, the main target group is children, but adults can enjoy the space too. The underwater world is represented in different habitats, there are also aquariums with various species such as jellyfish and seahorses in it. One of the interesting highlights of the museum is the pools where you can touch various sea creatures, and the huge tank with sharks, rays, and sea turtles. The walk finally leads to a tunnel in which the fish swim away over the heads of visitors. The obligatory souvenir shop is waiting at the end of the attraction. It is a nice destination for families who want to enjoy their stay in Busan City.