Exploring Korea: Top 16 Busan attractions to visit
Exploring Korea: Top 16 Busan attractions to visit
Busan is full of beautiful sites to see around the city. Here’s the best places to check out during your visit.
Beomeo-sa is one of Korea’s Great 5 Temples. This large, incredibly serene, temple complex is accessible by subway and then a short taxi or bus ride to the foothills. Founded in 678, the temple offers a unique view into the life of Korea’s Buddhist Monks.
The original Beomeosa Temple building was lost during Imjinwaeran Invasion (Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1592) but was renovated in 1713, which remains as it now is. Daeungjeon is one of the most delicate and luxurious architectures of the Joseon Dynasty (1392~1910). There is Iljumun, the three-story pagoda with four pillars, built in the 9th century, and seven royal palace wings, pavilions, three gates, and eleven hermitages. Designated as a natural monument, the wisteria woods and valleys are most beautiful in May.
Address: 546 Cheongnyong-dong, Geumjeong-gu, Busan, Korea
Opening Hours: 08:30 ~ 17:30
Korea’s largest aquarium is conveniently located right on Haeundae Beach. The main tank on level two houses sharks and rays and thousands of other fish in 3,000 tons of water. Enjoy an underwater stroll through the concave shark tunnel. If you miss feeding time, feel free to take a swim at no extra charge. Be sure to check out the wild looking Eagle Rays while you are there.
Address: 1411-4, Jung 1-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan, Korea
Opening Hours: Mon~Fri 10:00 ~ 21:00/Sat~Sun, Holiday 9:00~21:00
Busan Citizen’s Park
With five themes and 29 attractions, the park is the latest in the city’s revitalization projects to attract visitors and establish itself as a world-class city. The site of Busan Citizens Park was a racetrack during the Japanese colonial era, and after the independence of Korea, it became a U.S. military base, Camp Hialeah. In 2010, the area was returned to the Korean government, and then control was transferred to the city.
Address: 73 Simingonghan-ro, Beomjeon-dong, Busanjin-gu, Busan, Korea
Opening Hours: Daily 05:00 ~ 23:00
Located in Yongdusan Park, the 118m tall Busan Tower is the area’s one true tourist trap, but well worth a look due to its central location to other great spots like Jagalchi Fish Market and Nampodong’s excellent shopping. And if you don’t have the energy to make the short hillside hike to the tower base, there is even an escalator to take you up. There are some good views of Busan Port even without going up the tower, and you can buy some corn to feed the local population of pigeons.
Address: 35-18 Yongdusan gil, Gwangbok-dong, Jung-gu, Busan, Korea
Opening Hours: Daily 09:00 ~ 22:00
It’s hip, it’s funky, it’s gentrified, it’s old. It’s that interesting area right next to Haeundae that most people don’t even know about. It is a place where you can get away from it all while you’re still in the thick of it. Upscale cafes, galleries galore, and a taste all together different than the rest of Busan.
On days with clear skies, you can see Japan’s Tsushima Island from the observatory. There is a spa and other facilities nearby. Dalmaji Hill has an 8km driving course and at the peak of Mt.Wau is Dalmaji Hill. On the top of the Hill is a clock tower.
Address: Jung-dong, Jung-gu, Busan, Korea
Opening Hours: Open all year
At 7.42 kilometers from start to finish, the Diamond Bridge is the longest cross-sea bridge in Korea, as well as the first double-decker marine bridge on the peninsula.While out on the bridge, you get outstanding views of the Gwangan Beach coastline, the Oryuk Islets, Mt. Hwangryeong, Dongbaek Island, and Dalmaji Hill. And, if you are witnessing it from the shore, you can oohh and ahhh at the over 100,000 lights, some of which change colors and hues in the evening to give a dazzling effect off the water below.
Address: 203 Suyeonggang Byundae-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan, Korea
Opening Hours: Open all year
Geumjeong Mountain Fortress
Completed in the 29th year (1702) of the reign of King Sukjong the fortress is 17,377m long, and 1.5m~3m high; it is the largest fortress in Korea. The inner and the outer walls were mainly built of natural stones. Where there were weaker portions, the Koreans reinforced the structure with large hand-carved stone blocks. The walls were about 17 kilometers in length and from 1.5 meters to 3 meters in height. The area surrounded by the fortress is about 8.2 square kilometers. The construction of the fortress began in 1701 at the recommendation of Jo Tae-dong, the Governor of Gyeongsang-do province, of which Busan was and is a part, and was completed a year later. In 1707, the walls were built around the main structure of the fortress. It eventually fell to disuse due to the difficulty of maintaining such a large perimeter. After lying empty for a century, it was repaired in 1807, the seventh year of the reign of King Sunjo.
Address: Cheongnyong-dong, Geumjeong-gu, Busan, Korea
Opening Hours: 08:30 ~ 17:30
Jagalchi Fish Market
Formed in the late 19th century, Jagalchi distributes almost half of the total seafood (both dried and fresh) sold in all of Korea. Fresh seafood caught in nearby areas (such as Namhae) is up for sale year round.
In October each year, Jagalchi holds a large seafood festival. This market represents Busan and is famous throughout the country. If you visit you can eat fresh raw fish right at the market. Even these days you can see women selling mackerel, sea squirts (ascidians) and whale meat on wooden boxes along the road.
Address: B37-1 Nampo-dong, Jung-gu, Busan, Korea
Opening Hours: 08:00 ~ 22:00
Nampodong International Market
If you are looking for some good shopping then you have to hit the enormous Nampodong International Market, also known as Guk-je Market in Korean.
In the vast complex of booths and shops (both above and below ground in the subway station), you can get everything from Western wear to electronics to traditional Korean crafts. The area also has a wealth of great restaurants offering the full spectrum of Korean cuisine, as well as the now famous Kkangtong Night Market.
Whether you want to dress like a rock star, a modern dandy or a Harajuku heroine, Nampo-dong offers a wealth of options to the savvy shopper and the fashionably challenged alike.
Address: 36 Junggu-ro, Jung-gu, Busan, Korea
Opening Hours: 08:30 ~ 22:30
Nurimaru – Dongbaek Island
At one time this “island” was completely separated from the mainland by the surrounding sea. Now one end of the Dongbaekdo Island, Busan is attached to the mainland area and is a short walk from Haeundae beach. It is a popular destination for its trekking and hiking trails.
There is a historic lighthouse as well as a 2.5 m statue of a mermaid. In clear weather, you can see the Japanese Island, Tsushima.
The famed APEC building was the location for a meeting of world leaders several years ago and is still open for tours.
Address: 116 Dongbaek-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan, Korea
Opening Hours: 09:00 ~ 18:00
Oryukdo – Igidae Park
Off the southern part of Busan, depending on the weather, Oryukdo may appear to be five or six islands. Of the five islands branching out from the mainland, all, except the one with the lighthouse, are uninhabited. Grab a spot on the tour boat to get a better look of the islands and the coast.
Additionally, Oryukdo is situated next to Igidae Park, one of the city’s most beautiful nature hikes. Enjoy an afternoon hiking with beautiful views of the Korean coastline, the Diamond Bridge, and on clear days, Tsushima Island in Japan.
Address: 936, Yongho-dong, Nam-gu, Busan, Korea
Opening Hours: Open All Year Around
Well worth the long hike getting there, Seokbulsa is ranked #1 for “must see things” in Busan by Lonely Planet. Also known as Byeongpung-am (Folding Screen Hermitage), the peacefulness is distinctive, like entering an air-conditioned room after roasting in the sweltering heat â calm and contentment just envelope you.
Don’t be misled by the name Seokbulsa is not a temple made of stone, unceremoniously perched on the mountain ledge. It is the mountain – embedded on the side of Geumjeongsan, cradled in the strong rock’s clutch. A massive Buddhist figure stands in front of a polished stone prayer platform. The three sides of the temple are mountain rock transposed into towering walls, 40 meters tall, adorned with intricate carvings of six Buddhist figures. Numerous religious designs are etched directly into the mountain side, staring down at you from tremendous heights. Two small caverns house modest shrines where prayers and offerings can be made. The cave walls are cool and damp, and the darkness is cut only by flickering candles and the sunlight pouring through the entrance.
Address: San 2, Mandoek 1 dong, Buk-gu, Busan, Korea
Opening Hours: 07:00 – 19:00
Song Sang-hyeon Square
The square, which gets its name from a famous local hero from the 16th century, is the largest in Korea.
Song Sang-hyeon Square consists of a Culture Madang, the Dynamic Busan Madang and a History Madang. Madang means courtyard in Korean.
As an open space for citizens, the Culture Madang has a sunken square, a lawn and café. To serve as a venue for celebrations, events and festivals, the Dynamic Busan Madang features a large lawn plaza, a stream and walking path. To provide visitors with a chance to learn about Busan’s rich history, the History Madang includes an old map of the city, which also doubles as a floor fountain, the Forest of History and the Song Sang-hyeon Memorial Square.
Address: Yangjeong-dong, Busanjin-gu, Busan, Korea
Tel: No Number Available
Opening Hours: 24 hours
Located on the island of Yeongdo-gu, Taejongdae is a scenic park with great views from cliffs facing the sea. There is an evergreen forest to wander around in and several facilities for tourists such as an observatory, an amusement park with a full on Ferris wheel, a light house and a cruise ship terminal and, as you can see in the photo below, some funky modern Korean sculpture. The name of the area comes from King Taejong Muyeol (604-661), who liked to practice archery there following the unification of the Three Kingdoms of Korea.
At the entrance, is a monument to the five neutral nations that contributed medical support during the Korean War.
Address: 29-1 San, Dongsam 2 dong, Youngdo-gu, Busan, Korea
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 17:00
UN Cemetery Park
The Cemetery and Peace Park honors UN soldiers from 16 countries that were killed in battle during the Korean War from 1950-1953. This serene park spreads across a grassy plain area of 135,000 square meters.
Some of the sites and memorials include: Memorial Service Hall, Memorabilia Hall, 2 Turkish Monuments, Greek Monument, Australian Monument, British Common Wealth Monument and 2 ponds. There are many annual events held here, some of the key events include: April’s Tributary Ceremony of the Veterans of the Korean War, May’s American Memorial Day, June’s Korean Memorial Day, and October’s UN Ceremony Day.
Address: 93, UN Pyeonghwa-ro, Nam-gu, Busan, Korea
Opening Hours: 09:00 – 17:00
The temple was founded in 1376 during the reign of Goryeo Dynasty of Korea. During the period of Uwang dynasty the great Buddhist preacher Naong founded this temple on the sea shore. The temple was restored in 1970.
Thousands of tourists as well as pilgrims from different parts of the country come to visit Busan Haedong Yonggungsa Temple. The temple is located on top of a huge rock erected from the ocean. Scenic beauty of the place along with the architectural beauty of the temple makes it a fascinating place where you would always like to come back. The sound of the East Sea ocean waves and the melody of sutra chanting from the temple create a magical effect.
Address: 416-3 Sirang-ri, Gijang-eup, Gijang-gun , Busan, Korea
Opening Hours: 04:00 – 19:00
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