Busan: Things To Do In South Korea's Port City

Busan, often likened to Los Angeles, captivates with its distinct charm, offering stunning beaches, temples, and diverse seafood. Whether you seek hiking, beach bliss, or historical exploration, Busan caters to all interests
Busan Things To Do In South Korea's Port City
Busan Things To Do In South Korea's Port CityUnsplash

Often compared to the vibrant city of Los Angeles in the United States, Busan has a unique charm of its own. Its beautiful beaches, temples, and diverse seafood make it a destination that should not be missed. Moreover, Busan caters to various interests and preferences. If you enjoy hiking, you can find challenging trails to satisfy your adventurous spirit. For beach lovers, there are sandy shores and opportunities for surfing. History enthusiasts can explore the remarkable temples amidst the surrounding mountains. Here are the top things travellers must do when in Busan.

Head To The Beaches

Haeundae Beach in Busan City, Korea.
Haeundae Beach in Busan City, Korea. yuseokoh/Wikimedia Commons

While Busan may not offer luxurious beachfront resorts or white sand beaches like some Southeast Asian destinations, it still provides a unique and worthwhile experience with its intriguing blend of city and coastline. One of the popular spots is the renowned Haeundae area, where you can enjoy activities like renting an inner tube, basking in the sun, and playing Frisbee in the pleasant shade of the Park Marina complex. Other popular beaches include Songjeong Beach and Gwangalli Beach, known for their quieter locations.

Explore the Many Temples 

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
Haedong Yonggungsa TempleDaniel Bernard/Unsplash

The numerous trails in Busan will interest both hiking enthusiasts and those interested in Buddhism. The city has many stunning temples within or around the mountains that adorn the landscape. For a challenging adventure, you can venture up Mount Jangsan, be rewarded with gorgeous sights, and encounter remnants from the Korean War, such as landmine warnings that serve as necessary safety precautions. Along the way, you'll come across Seongbuk Temple, a small yet exquisitely adorned temple featuring a magnificent golden Buddha, which can be spotted peering out from the forest long before the temple itself comes into view. Other temples worth visiting are the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple perched on jagged rocks along the coast and the Beomeosa Temple along the densely forested mountain slope.

Visit Gamcheon Culture Village

Gamcheon Culture Village
Gamcheon Culture VillageAhmed ABOUELLEIL SAYED/Unsplash

Once a hillside slum occupied by Korean War refugees living in makeshift homes, Gamcheon has undergone a remarkable transformation. Today, it has become a popular attraction for tourists wielding selfie sticks. Inspired by the religious principles of Taegukdo, the homes in this community are strategically built to ensure unobstructed views, earning it the nickname "Machu Picchu of Busan." Exploring Gamcheon is a must-do, as it unveils incredibly detailed alleyway murals, numerous sculptures, and captivating art installations, with "The Little Prince" being a favourite among visitors. Remember to wear comfortable shoes for walking and, of course, bring your camera to capture the beauty of this unique place.

Relish Seafood

Jagalchi Market, Busan
Jagalchi Market, BusanDaniel Bernard/Unsplash

Busan has earned its reputation as one of the world's seafood capitals, and rightfully so. Known for its abundant squid offerings, the city offers a variety of seafood sourced from the Pacific Ocean. At Jagalchi Market, a popular destination, you can explore a wide selection of ocean delicacies, including octopus, squid, and various fish, all neatly presented. For a satisfying sushi experience, Sushi Berry near Haeundae Beach comes highly recommended. Dongnae Halmae Pajeon is famous for its traditional Korean green onion pancake, where you can enjoy a delicious blend of squid and octopus. If you're in the mood for street food, Seomyeon's food street offers numerous stalls to satisfy your cravings.

Getting There

There are direct flights from India to Busan's Gimhae International Airport. Indian nationals are required to obtain visa before travelling to South Korea.

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