Located in South Korea, Busan is a popular city that offers rugged mountains, gorgeous beaches and a world-famous film festival. It's also a great place for shopping and has a lot to offer in terms of cultural activities.
It's the perfect destination to spend a day and discover what makes this beautiful city so special! Check out our list of top things to see and do in Busan below.
1. Seokbulsa Temple
Busan is home to several Buddhist temples, each with their own unique features. While some, like Beomeosa Temple in Geumjeong-gu, are easy to reach by foot or bus, others are a bit harder to find, such as Seokbulsa Temple in Buk-gu.
Unlike most other Korean temples, however, this one is set atop a steep cliff that looks like a giant folding screen! And not only is it one of the best places to see rock carvings in Busan, but it also offers awe-inspiring views of the city.
Hiking to the awe-inspiring rock carvings of Seokbulsa Temple is an unforgettable experience! And combined with the awe-inspiring city views, it makes a half-day trip from Busan that is not to be missed.
2. Geumjeongsanseong Fortress
The Geumjeongsanseong Fortress is a great place to take a walk along a historic wall. It was once the largest fortress in Korea and its history has been rich and complex.
The walls are built of natural stone and reinforced with hand-carved stone blocks. They are a must-see for anyone visiting the city.
You can hike the fortress on a half-day tour and get an incredible view of the city below. It is a scenic walking course with a landscape that changes with the seasons.
A walk through the fortress will give you an insight into the history of Korea and its people. It’s also an excellent way to get a feel for the nature of the country.
3. Jagalchi Market
Located in the city of Busan, Jagalchi Market is a must-visit attraction for seafood lovers. The largest fish market in South Korea, it offers a huge variety of living and dried sea creatures.
There are also plenty of seafood restaurants serving local delicacies on the first floor of the market. If you’re not into seafood, it is still worth a visit to see the market and take in its atmosphere.
The main attractions of this market are its stalls where you can buy all kinds of sea life, including fresh fish and octopus, along with dried ones such as cuttlefish and squid. The majority of vendors are women who are called Jagalchi Ajumma and have earned their nickname.
4. Busan Tower
If you’re looking for a fun and engaging place to visit, Busan Tower is the perfect option. This popular tourist attraction offers stunning views of the city and its port, along with a variety of other landscapes including limestone mountains, expansive valleys, and hills with temples that once stood on them.
Located in Yongdusan Park, this 120-meter-high tower was first built in 1973 and is a symbol of Busan. Unlike many other towers, this one doesn’t have any transmitting equipment and is only used for entertainment purposes.
5. Beomeosa Temple
Located amongst the stunning mountain scenery of Busan, Beomeosa Temple is one of the most important and respected temples in South Korea. Surrounded by hiking trails, woodland and striking mountain views, this peaceful temple is an absolute must-see for any visitor.
Founded in 678 by the monk Uisang-daesa, Beomeosa is a spiritual centre for serious Buddhist practice and one of the most prominent temples in South Korea. Set on the slopes of Geumjeongsan mountain, this temple is a must-see for anyone visiting Busan.
The original temple building was destroyed during the Japanese invasion of Korea in 1592 but it was restored in 1613, restoring some of its key structures such as the Daeungjeon Main Hall and One Pillar Gate. It is also home to four Korean Treasures and a Natural Monument.