Top Things to Do and See in Busan

Busan is a Korean city of dynamic beauty with a rich history and culture
Busan is a Korean city of dynamic beauty with a rich history and culture | © Christian Kober 1 / Alamy Stock Photo
Wing Yan Chan

Shrouded by mountains and edged by the sea, Busan is an interesting city for travellers making their way through South Korea. If you are one of them, take a look at the following must-visit spots to explore the dynamic beauty of this city and dive deep into its rich history and culture.

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United Nations Memorial Cemetery

The United Nations Memorial Cemetery is a burial ground for United Nations soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the Korean War (1950-1953). There are more than 2,300 graves within its boundaries, and it remains the only burial ground dedicated entirely to UN soldiers in the world. The memorial itself is spread over borderless grassland and is comprised of various sites, including the Turkish monument, Greek monument, Australian monument and British Commonwealth monument.

Gamcheon Culture Village

The abundant amount of paintings, artworks and graffiti that decorate this village allow travellers to indulge in taking fabulous photos of Korea’s more creative side. After climbing up the mountain it clings to, you can obtain a sweeping view of the town, decorated with a kaleidoscope of houses. Be sure to grab a map at the entrance – the winding streets here are notoriously difficult to navigate!

Haedong Yonggung Temple

Situated along the coast, this temple built by the great Buddhist teacher Naong during the Goryeo Dynasty is not only an ideal destination for looking out over the ocean, but also a site to showcase traditional Korean religion. During the Buddha month, there are plenty of lanterns hanging around, lending a sense of romance that blends with Korean authenticity. Along the staircases leading to the temple, travellers can get authentic Korean street food like hotteok, beondegi and sausage to boost their energy.

Gwangan Bridge

Stretching across Haeundae-gu and Suyeong-gu, the Gwangan Bridge is the longest bridge in Korea, offering over 100,000 magnificent lighting effects at night to form one of Korea’s finest after-dark scenes. What’s more, a number of bars and restaurants are located along the bridge and provide a wide selection of dining options, ranging from authentic street food to casual meals and even fine dining.

Haeundae Beach

The ideal destination for an idyllic, sun-soaked trip, Haeundae Beach promises to be an exceptional experience combining world-class luxury and untouched nature. Surrounded by deluxe hotels offering immaculate service and a wide selection of activities, guests are able to enjoy some private time while appreciating the unspoiled coastline. Haeundae Beach is also the place where some of the city’s best bars and restaurants are concentrated, making it a fine stop later in the evening.

Dongbaekseom Island

Walking along Haeundae Beach, you eventually come to this splendid peninsula nestled between the coast and Gwangalli Beach, which provides spectacular views that blend the multicoloured night scene of the city with glimpses of the ocean and sweeping views of the famed Gwangan Bridge. Aside from admiring the scenic beauty of Busan, the site, decorated with aromatic flowers and bushy trees, is also an incredible spot to destress and reconnect with nature.

Jagalchi Market

This fish market is a remarkable landmark that appears on every bucket list, providing a rare opportunity for travellers to experience the best of Korean seafood and local culture. Along the main street, a massive collection of food stalls selling authentic street food and traditional drinks attract the attention of foodies. Vendors offering an overwhelming variety of cooked and raw dishes including squid, octopus, crab, starfish, oysters and mussels are scattered inside the market itself.

SEA LIFE Busan Aquarium

This aquarium just around the corner from Haeundae Beach offers an inspiring journey of discovery. The massive collection of sea creatures covering more than 250 species of aquatic life is a window into the untold secrets of the marine world. Divided into eight themed zones, travellers can peep into the mysterious behaviour of the exotic animals here.

Busan Museum

Renovated in 2002, this museum presents the sheer density of Korean history from the prehistoric era, through the Japanese occupation and the post-WWII decades, to the modern day. The range of ancient artefacts includes statues of Korean heroes and reconstructed historical scenes, and you can also try on traditional Korean costumes and participate in tea ceremonies.

Taste authentic Korean cuisine at Dongnae Samgyetang

A trip to Busan would never be complete without a taste of mouth-watering Korean cuisine. A meal at Dongnae Samgyetang, one of the most popular restaurants in Busan, is a wonderful place to begin. Upon stepping into the restaurant, diners are surrounded by classic Korean decor, while dishes like kimchi, pickled cucumber and noodles arrive at the table in no time!

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