Generally, the weather in Busan is pleasant throughout the year. But April, May, and October offer the best combination of mild temperatures and beautiful flowers.
The most popular attraction in Busan, Haeundae Beach is a stretch of soft white sand backed by high-rise apartments, restaurants and hotels. In addition to being an excellent swimming spot and a great place for a stroll, the beach also hosts many festivals and cultural events during summer.
Its proximity to the city and its easy access from the subway line makes it one of the best beaches in Korea to take a day out of your vacation. The beach is a top choice for locals and tourists alike to enjoy the warm weather, walk, play sports, eat delicious seafood, and relax on the sand at sunset.
Haeundae Beach is a good place to visit during any season but is particularly good in winter, when it’s less crowded and the views of the coast are spectacular. It’s also a great beach to visit at night, when the illuminations and lighting displays make it beautiful.
A good tip is to visit the area on a Saturday or Sunday when it’s not as busy. It’s also possible to see the full horizon of Daemado Island and Oryukdo Island from the beach, which is a mesmerising sight especially at sunset.
There are many places to eat at Haeundae beach, ranging from street food carts to local restaurants. The area around Haeundae Pojangmachchon, located on the left hand side of the road as you head towards the beach from the metro station, is a hub for seafood restaurants and you will find plenty of locals eating here. Try the eel or codfish soup here for a taste of Korean cuisine.
You can take a boat trip around the area, or even to the nearby Oryukdo Island on a clear day. This is a lovely experience and gives you an opportunity to get some amazing photos of the islands, but be sure to book in advance as they are very popular!
For a more luxurious option, try soaking in Busan’s biggest public bathhouse and spa, the Spa Land Centum at Haeundae Beach. The facility is huge and the facilities are a great place to relax after a long day of sightseeing.
Daejeongdae Archery Park
Taejongdae is one of the most picturesque natural parks in Busan. Located on the southern tip of Yeongdo Island, the park’s cliffs face the open sea. The area was named after King Taejong of Silla Dynasty, who enjoyed the scenery and practiced archery here. The park was officially established in 1967. The seaside location is a popular place for locals to exercise and the park is also visited by students on field trips.
As a result, the park can get very busy on weekends and holidays. It’s best to visit Taejongdae on a weekday to avoid the crowds. The best time of year to see the park is during spring and summer when flowers bloom and the landscape is at its most vibrant.
The park is free to enter and there is an information booth at the entrance where you can grab a map. Visitors can also pay for a ride on the park’s small train, which costs 2000 WON per person (or 1500 WON for youth). This is a great option for visitors who want to skip some of the walking or those who are looking for a more comfortable way to experience the park.
Guests can enjoy once-in-a-lifetime views of the ocean from the top of the park’s observatory deck. If it’s a clear day, visitors can even spot the nearby islands like Tea Kettle Island and Japan’s Tsushima Island. The observatory deck and the train are only part of the experience, though, and walking around the cliffs is just as enjoyable and energizing.
If you’d like to take a tour of the park, it’s easy to do so with Rome2Rio or Klook. You can book a trip to visit Taejongdae, Haedong Yonggungsa, and Jagalchi Fish Market at the same time with a private bus tour that includes transportation, entrance fees, and lunch. You can save W3833 off the tour price if you sign up for Klook first and use my referral code.
The Mandeok area of Busan is located in the Buk-gu district and contains three dong (neighborhoods). The area is famous for its traditional Korean architecture and its hanbok rental shops. The area also houses many museums and galleries. It is a popular shopping and dining destination. There is a large public square in the center of the area that hosts festivals and performances throughout the year.
The area is home to a number of restaurants serving traditional Korean dishes as well as Japanese cuisine. The area is also known for its tteokbokki and kimchi. The food here is quite diverse and the best way to experience it is to visit multiple restaurants and try a few different dishes.
Most of the main sights in the city are clustered together and can be easily walked around, although it is helpful to have a map as the signs are only in Korean and most taxi drivers do not speak English so knowing some simple phrases will help. The bus system is good and you can use the Hanaro card on it.
A number of hotels are located in the area, with most luxury options being along Haeundae beach or near the PNU university area to the north of the city. There are also a few cheap and affordable hostels in the area.
It is a safe city to walk around at night, although the areas surrounding Busan station and some of the bars can be considered seedy at times. It is best to take the metro if you are heading to these areas after dark.
One of the best things to do in Busan is to visit the famous temple called Seokbulsa. The temple is close to Jungkook’s old middle school, Baekyang Middle School. Jungkook auditioned on Superstar K while attending the school and this is how he ended up joining Big Hit Entertainment.
It is not easy to find information in English on the city, but if you are looking for something specific there are some websites that have useful articles. The Busan Haps online magazine is a great resource that covers everything from local events to expat opinions on American politics. The site is aimed at the expatriate community and is updated frequently.
Things to Do in Busan
This is one of the most underrated cities in South Korea. The second largest city has huge beaches, a seriously good food scene and plenty of markets and shops to explore. From a visit to the biggest fish market in the country to an underground photographer’s gallery, Busan has it all.
A visit to Jagalchi Market is a must when visiting Busan. The market is the epicenter of all things seafood and opens at 5am. You’ll find fresh octopus (which will likely still be alive when you eat it) and other seafood to choose from in stalls and then take them to a restaurant to have prepared.
There are also plenty of other restaurants to enjoy here including Twin Pork Soup Restaurant and Wonjo Halmae Gukbap which serves codfish soup. Alternatively try ssiat hotteok which is the Busan version of pancakes.
For those looking to do a bit of shopping there are a number of places to visit including Gamcheon Culture Village. This former slum has been revamped and now is home to pastel painted shops and stores selling everything from food to postcards.
It’s worth spending a few hours at the Busan Museum of Art to get an idea of what Korean modern art is all about. The museum is divided into 5 floors and includes exhibition halls, archives and a sculpture park.
The city’s skyline is dominated by the spectacular Haeundae Beach and Gwangalli Beach. If you are feeling a bit more active then you can hike the many trails in the area or head to one of the many lighthouses.
You can also get your craft beer fix at the Galmegi Brewing Nampo located alongside Gwangalli Beach. They offer a small selection of beers to sample including IPA, Espresso Vanilla Stout and Lighthouse Blonde.
One of the best ways to see all that Busan has to offer is by taking a bus tour or self-guided walking tour. This is a great way to get around and can be easily booked at your hotel. Taking the train is another option and is cheaper than you might think.