Busan, the second largest city and the number one trading hub in South Korea, has a rich and complex history. The city’s history dates back dynasties and even served as the temporary capital of South Korea after the Korean War. With lush beaches, historic temples, and a rich arts & culture scene, it’s no wonder why Busan has become such a popular tourist destination.

In this guide, we’ll break down what you need to know before you go as well as the must-visit locations Busan has to offer for any type of trip. Click the title below to jump directly to that section and click the up arrow in the right-hand corner to return to the top at any time.


Before You Go:

1. Weather by Season

Busan’s climate is reflective of its proximity to the ocean and is characterized by being cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The average temperature is fairly mild, with lows around 0°C in winter and highs around 29°C in the peak of summer.

Spring (March to May)

Spring in Busan is typically relatively warm, with some chilly breeze and an average annual temperature of 13.3℃.

Summer (June to August)

The average annual temperature in the summer is 23.6℃ for Busan but is often very humid or rainy as it is monsoon season. When the rain has passed, however, sunny days are often joined by cooling winds from the ocean in the afternoons.

Fall (September to November)

Large differences in temperature between day and night are common throughout Autumn in Busan but the average annual temperature is around 17℃. Though typhoons are possible in this season, the rain from summer and fall leaves behind some of the clearest skies of the year.

Winter (December to February)

Along with the chill of winter, the weather in Busan is typically pretty dry with strong winds and an average annual temperature of 4.7℃.

2. Transportation

Flights

Whether departing from domestic or international destinations, flying into Busan through Gimhae International Airport is one of the fastest ways to reach the city. The airport is relatively small compared to Incheon but is well-organized and only about 45 minutes from the city center.

KTX

If you’re traveling to Busan from within Korea, the KTX speed train is the most efficient way to get there. Typically running more frequently and with significantly less hassle than navigating an airport, the KTX is often also less expensive than flying.

Express Bus

The express bus is a great affordable option for traveling to Busan from anywhere in Korea. There are many different routes and various types of bus classes including regular, premium express, & more.

Within Busan (Subway, Buses, Taxi)

Busan also offers various public transportation options including a subway & bus system that operates similarly to Seoul. However, public buses and trains tend to run less frequently and stops may be more spread apart. This is because most Busan city dwellers rely mainly on personal cars and taxis to get around. With this in mind, be sure to double-check your travel time before leaving & give yourself some extra buffer for traffic delays.


Click here for our full blog on public transportation and check out these other options for transportation within Busan:


3. Trip Length

To see the many sights of Busan we recommend a trip of 3 to 5 days. It is more than doable to see the highlights over a long weekend trip but adding an extra day or two to fully enjoy the beaches is never a bad idea.

Check out some of our recommended itineraries including Busan on our blog here:


Where to Visit:

4. Nature Destinations – Beaches & Hiking

Haeundae Beach

Easily one of Busan’s most famous beaches in Korea, Busan’s Haeundae Beach, is over 1.5 kilometers long and is a great place to relax, sunbathe, and take a dip in the ocean. You will also often find visitors lighting sparklers and other fireworks over the water at night. For those looking to explore beyond the coast, Haeundae’s luxurious Marine City is not only home to many of Busan’s tallest residential buildings but also offers the perfect launching point for yacht cruises and more.

Don’t miss the perfect way to take in Haeundae’s beautiful shoreline! The Cheongsapo Railroad Mipo Station in Haeundae Blueline Park serves as the starting point for the famous Sky Capsule ride & beach train. The journey takes about 20 to 30 minutes and covers around 2km of the Haeundae shoreline.


Discover Haeundae for yourself:


Gwangalli Beach

Gwangalli Beach is known for its fine sand and clear blue water, making it a great spot for swimming and water sports like paddleboarding, kayaking, and jet skiing. It is also quite popular for the view of the Gwangan Bridge, which lights up at night providing a beautiful backdrop for evening walks and night-time activities.


Experience Gwangalli:


Taejongdae

 

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Taejongdae is a scenic park found on the rocky cliffs overlooking the sea. The park is very large, featuring several hiking trails, a lighthouse, and a beautiful beach. Visitors are invited to experience the entire park at their own pace with a hop-on-hop-off train called Danubi that operates throughout the area and stops at all the major views. There are also several restaurants and cafes within the park where you can enjoy a light meal.

Oryukdo Sunrise Park

 

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Located in Igidae Park, Oryukdo Sunrise Park, is the best spot to view the sunrise over the ocean in Busan. You can also visit Oryukdo Skywalk, a stunning natural landmark that offers visitors breathtaking views of the ocean and the surrounding cliffs.


Explore Oryukdo Park & more on the BTS Pilgrimage Tour in Busan tour!


Songjeong Beach

 

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Often less crowded than its other Busan counterparts, Songjeong Beach is the ideal location for beginner surfers. Accessible by bus or coastal walk from Haeundae, there are plenty of nearby surf shops and beginner-friendly waves waiting just for you!


Dive in yourself with this Busan Surf Lesson & Rental (Songjeong Beach) package!  


Dongbaekseom Island

Named for the lush expanse of camellias (dongbaek) and pine trees found throughout, Dongbaekseom is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts. Admission is free and grants visitors access to walking trails featuring various bronze statues and monuments.


Check out these tours to explore even more of Busan’s natural beauty!


5. Historic Sites

Beomeosa Temple

 

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Dating back over 1,300 years, Beomeosa Temple is known for its unique name derived from a legendary golden fish and its tranquil setting amidst the Geumjeongsan mountain. The temple showcases traditional wooden craftsmanship from the Joseon Dynasty and even offers temple stays for visitors to experience Korean Buddhist monastic life.

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is one of the only oceanside Buddhist temples in Korea, with a history dating back to 1376 during the Goryeo Dynasty. The temple’s unique cliffside location offers stunning views of the East Sea and is especially striking when the cherry blossoms bloom in April.

Gamcheon Culture Village

 

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Gamcheon Culture Village, sometimes referred to as the “Machu Picchu of Busan.”, is a colorful hillside village filled with small alleyways, steep staircases, and brightly painted houses. Originally settled by refugees during the Korean War, it was decorated by students, artists, and residents in 2009 as a part of the Village Art Project. The town has since grown into a leading Busan tourist attraction and offers the perfect background for your next Instagram post.


Huinnyeoul Culture Village

 

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Known for its picturesque setting on a high cliff overlooking the sea of Busan, Huinnyeoul Culture Village has earned the nickname “Korea’s Santorini.” The village is a colorful seaside spot adorned with beautiful murals and mosaics, thanks to a 2011 artist revitalization project. Now known as somewhat of a cultural hub in the area, Huinnyeoul Culture Village offers cafes, small museums showcasing films and dramas filmed in the area, and a unique blend of coastal charm and artistic expression.

6. Tourist Attractions

Sea Life Busan

 

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Located on Haeundae Beach, Sea Life Busan Aquarium is home to around 250 different species and up to 35,000 marine animals including sharks, sea turtles, penguins, and more. The aquarium offers many interactive exhibits such as touch tanks and features an 80-meter underwater tunnel for a truly immersive experience.

Museum 1

Museum 1 (Museum DAH) is a media-specialized contemporary art museum established by Kunst 1 in 2019. It features many rotating exhibitions with futuristic and often avant-garde themes and is well known for its unique immersive approach to contemporary art.

Shinsegae Centum City – Spa Land

 

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If you need a place to unwind and relax, make your way to Spa Land, a world-class spa and hot spring facility located in Centum City. The spa features a wide range of amenities and services, including various hot spring baths, saunas, and more, and is known for its incredible views of the Gwangalli Bridge & Haeundae Beach.

Busan x the SKY

 

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The BUSAN X the SKY is an observatory located in Haeundae CT Landmark Tower. At over 410 meters tall, it is the 2nd highest building in Korea and offers stunning ocean and cityscape views. The observatory also features a cafe, restaurant, art gallery, and souvenir shop.

Busan Museum of Moveis & Trick Eye Museum

 

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Dive into the fascinating world of film at the Busan Museum of Movies, where you can learn everything about the history of cinema and experience interactive exhibits. With this combo ticket, you can also visit the Trick Eye Museum on the second floor, which gives you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to literally immerse yourself in art!

Seomyeon

Known for its shopping, food, and entertainment, Seomyeon is one of the most popular areas of Busan. The area offers a variety of cafes, restaurants, and shops including Seomyeon Food Street, and is often compared to Hongdae in atmosphere.

7. Food Markets

Jagalchi Fish Market

 

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Jagalchi Fish Market is the largest fish market in Korea, spanning 3 kilometers. The market boasts multiple floors of fresh fish and other delicacies for sale by the famous “Jagalchi Ajummas”.


Learn Korean recipes with fresh ingredients from Jagalchi Market:


Gukjae Market

 

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The stalls of Gukjae Market were originally set up to sell smuggled or imported goods by refugees after the Korean War. Nowadays aside from the various shopping, the market is a popular destination for street food including kimbap, sundaes & more.

Bupyeong Kkangtong Market

 

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Known for its night market atmosphere, Bupyeong Kkangtong Market is another popular street food spot in Busan. A variety of street food snacks is offered in both the wet & dry sections of the market until around 7pm daily. After which, visitors can enjoy dining at pop-up pocha bars and KBBQ stalls in the dry area of the market.


Looking for more food & drink experiences in Busan? Try these experiences: 

Read about the Top 5 Traditional Markets to Visit in Busan!


We hope this guide has helped you learn more about all the incredible things to explore in Busan. Discover even more things to do in South Korea on Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop!

3 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide to Busan

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