Busan is a big city with many amazing attractions and in this post, we will highlight 5 attractions that you must see while you are visiting the city.
The Gukje Market in Busan is one of the most famous markets in Korea. Both because of its history and the atmosphere and variety of food that you can experience in the market. The market came into existence during the Korean War when refugees from all over Korea fled to Busan to escape the war sweeping the country from the North. Refugees gathered at the market to try to make a living in the war-torn country. Since then, the market has continued to grow into the largest traditional market in Busan and a central part of Busan culture and history. If you want to get a peek into the history of the Gukje Market, then we recommend watching the movie ‘Ode to My Father’ where the market is a central plot location for the film. You can even visit the market store depicted in the movie. Just try to find a store called ‘Ggotboonyi’ or ‘꽃분이네’ in Korean.
Nowadays, the market is a great place to experience what traditional Korean markets are like. Traditional markets in Korea are full of energy and are built up around many small streets that are filled with stores that sell everything from food, fresh produce, home goods, and souvenirs. The atmosphere at the Gukje Market is truly unique and vibrant, something you have to experience at least once during your trip to Korea.
Where: 25 Gukjesijang 2-gil, Gwangbok-dong, Jung-gu, Busan
Gamcheon Culture Village is a very unique attraction in Busan. The village was built in the 1950s by war refugees as a so-called ‘달동네’ or ‘Moon Village’ which refers to living areas located on mountainsides that often have more cheap housing. Over the years the area has developed into a kind of art installation in itself where all the houses are painted in vibrant colors and the narrow streets and alleys are filled with art projects, murals, cute cafés, and unique stores. This area is a hub for creatives in Busan and would be a great place to find some unique and one of a kind souvenirs to bring home. It is also a great area to snap some beautiful vacation pictures as every street and corner of Gamcheon is picturesque. While you are there you can also go on a stamp hunt that will take you to all the most popular spots while you look for the stamps. Go to the Haneul Maru Tourist Information Center and Observatory and pick up a map for 2000 won. When you have collected all the stamps, you will receive a prize.
Gamcheon Culture Village is open all year round but since it is still a residential area, we advise visitors to be respectful and aware of this fact.
Where: 200 Gamnae 1(il)-ro, Gamcheon 2(i)-dong, Saha-gu, Busan
Taejongdae is one of the top spots in Busan to see the beautiful rocky coastline that consists of eroded land, sea craters, and coastal caves which have accumulated since the Cretaceous period. Taejongdae is an observatory that is located on the southernmost point of the 9.1km Yeongdo coast. From the observatory, you can see Oryukdo Island and Tsushima if the weather is clear. The nature surrounding Taejongdae consists of around 120 species of trees and the peak of the area is around 250m above sea level. To reach Taejongdae, you can either walk or take the Danubi train. The train is a great method to take in the whole scenery and enjoy the ride without using too much energy. If you decide to walk, you can expect it to take around 4 hours to walk up the 4.3 circular roads. So, if you or someone in your group has difficulty walking or children, we recommend taking the train.
Where: 24, Jeonmang-ro, Yeongdo-gu, Busan
One of the most famous and beautiful Buddhist temples in Korea. The temple was founded in 1376 by Nagong Son as 'Bomunsa Temple' to stop the drought in the country. During the Japanese invasion, the temple was destroyed but was restored again in the 1930s. In 1974, the monk Jung-am had a dream where a dragon appeared and decided to rename the temple ‘Haedong Yonggungsa’ which is the name it still has today. What is special about this temple is that it is one of the few temples located by the sea whereas temples in Korea are usually located in the mountains. So while visiting the temple, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the sea while exploring the temple. When you first arrive you will descend a staircase leading you to the temple that is located right at the sea edge.
Where: 86 Yonggung-gil, Gijang-eup, Gijang-gun, Busan
Dongbaekseom is an island in Busan that has been connected to the mainland over the years through sedimentation. Promenades have been created around the island so it is a perfect place to take a stroll. Some of the sights on the island include statues of Choi Chi-won and princess Hwang-ok and the Nurimaru APEC house. Follow the promenade to the observatory and you can see the round roof Nurimaru on the right side, Mipo side coastal line and Moonrise(Dalmaji) Hill on the left side. You can also see Gwangan Bridge, Igidae Park, and Oryukdo Island from the island. A famous feature of the island is its Camelia flowers that bloom around the promenade in the springtime and lasts until winter. Actually the name of the island ‘Dongbaek’ is the name of the Camelia flower in Korean.
Where: U-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan. Behind the Chosun Beach Hotel.