If you’ve come to know Busan from its recent hit thriller K-movie featuring a zombie apocalypse (like us) – then here’s a chance to (finally) suss out its charm for yourself. Though it’s no dramatic fight for survival, exploring Busan is exciting and a definite once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Here’s what to see in the scenic port city in under one day:
Address: 266, Haeundaehaebyeon-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan, Korea
Opening hours: Mon to Thu, 10am – 8pm; Fri to Sun, 9am – 10pm.
Home to a plethora of stunning coastlines, begin your seaside escapade at the swanky SEA LIFE Busan Aquarium. Wander down the ramps around this colossal 40-exhibit ocean realm, which is home to more than 35,000 underwater species. With animals from all the way in deep ocean trenches to the murky waters of the Amazonian river, the aquarium offers a magnificent feast for your eyes. Get your tickets at 20% off retail price here!
2. Haeundae Beach
Address: 264, Haeundaehaebyeon-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan
Opening hours: Daily, 9am – 6pm.
Next, breathe in the freshest crisp air along the shore of the most famous beach in busan. About 1.5km long and 40m wide, the Haeundae Beach is a hot spot for local festivals and great for summer dips in the water.
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3. Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
Address: 86, Yonggung-gil, Gijang-eup, Gijang-gun, Busan
Opening hours: Daily, 5am – sunset.
While most temples in Korea sit atop mountains, the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is situated on a scenic shore. Aside from the magnificent Buddha statues and shrines, don’t miss the three-story pagoda with lions, and the 108-step stairway.
4. Gamcheon Culture Village
Address: 203, Gamnae 2-ro, Saha-gu, Busan
With multi-coloured houses stacking up the mountain, Gamcheon Culture Village is quite a sight to behold! In fact, the vibrant colours and fun murals give this cultural city a cheery, holiday vibe reminiscent of the famous Santorini. Originally called Taegukdo Village, the “staircase” arrangement of the city gave it its modern local moniker “Machu Picchu of Busan”.
5. Jagalchi Market
Address: 52, Jagalchihaean-ro, Jung-gu, Busan
Opening hours: Daily, 5am – 10pm. Closed every first and third Tuesday of the month.
As night falls, give yourself a hearty treat at this fresh seafood market! The hawkers are affectionately known as “Jagalchi Ajumma” (they’re mostly middle-aged women), and can be seen selling their catches in rustic wooden boxes along the shore. One the first floor you will find the live seafood, and on the second floor is where the restaurants and dried foodstuff are. For a buffet, head to the fifth floor. Done with dinner? Head to rooftop sky park for some fresh air (seventh floor).
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