Located within a three hour bullet train ride from Seoul, Busan is a city that often gets ignored by visitors to Korea, yet it has plenty of worthwhile attractions that make it worth a visit.
In this article, we’ll go over several attractions you can’t afford to miss on a trip to Busan.
1) Ascend Busan Tower
Like many cities in South Korea, Busan is a heavily populated center filled with scores of commercial and residential towers.
In order to get a proper sense for the scale of this place, heading up to the observation deck of the Busan Tower is a must.
Standing 120 metres high, you will be able to see a sea of buildings spreading out in every direction until they meet either the sea or the mountains to the north.
Once you have gotten your fill of pictures, head down to the base and check out the World Musical Instruments Museum, which boasts an enviable collection of implements that have helped humans express themselves creatively over the ages.
2) Spend a day on Haeundae Beach
During the summer months, South Korea can get uncomfortably hot and humid – fortunately, Busan is home to a number of excellent beaches where you can cool off and socialize with the people of this fine city.
To be truthful, Haeundae Beach is not a great place for the claustrophobic or those who crave space. This gathering place attracts quite a crowd in peak season, but if you are into urban beaches, you will love this place.
From your sun lounger (complete with a massive parasol), you can purchase hot food from the roving delivery people that offer menus and take orders.
In about 15 minutes, you’ll have pizza, fired chicken, or freshly prepared seafood dropped off at your lounger, allowing you and your traveling companions to enjoy an awesome picnic at one of Korea’s best-loved beaches.
3) Tour the Jagalchi Fish Market
Koreans are enthusiastic consumers of seafood; accordingly, there are plenty of fish markets around the country, but none are as big or well-known as Jagalchi Fish Market.
Here, you’ll find everything from massive groundfish to clams and lobster being kept as fresh as possible until chefs from around the city can select the best specimens for their restaurant’s kitchens.
If you want to sample one of the freshest seafood meals in your life, head upstairs, as there are countless restaurants that will cook you up dishes made from ingredients that were just pulled from the ocean hours before.
4) Explore the grounds of Haedong Yonggung Temple
While not directly in Busan, hopping on a city bus and riding it a short distance outside the city limits to the gates of Haedong Yonggung Temple will prove to be well worth the trouble.
A seaside Buddhist temple built on the granite rocks just above the East Sea, it is often shrouded in fog, but this will only add to the sense of mystique as you explore its pagodas and shrines.
Enjoy your visit here, but be sure to dress appropriately: cover your knees and shoulders (wear pants and a shirt/sweater), and you’ll be showing the proper respect for this holy place.