The summer is coming. Do you already have any plan how and where to spend this hot season of the year in Korea? If not, how about having a short trip to Busan? It is not only the 2nd biggest city in Korea, but also a wonderful city with many stunning sights. Despite the long distance from Seoul, you can reach Busan within less than 2,5h thanks to the fast and convenient KTX connection.
Here is my suggestion for a 24-hour itinerary in Busan to have a relaxing but interesting tour. It’s also easy to go and suitable for family with kids.
- Day 1: Arrival – relax on the beach – enjoy food at night markets
- Day 2: Taejongdae Park – Fish market – Gamcheon culture village and departure
How to get to Busan?
No matter from where you start, there are many trains (KTX, ITX, local train), domestic flights and also long distance busses from different cities in Korea to Busan. If you travel from Seoul, I recommend to take the KTX train from Seoul Station. By that the trip only takes you a little bit more than 2h, compared to 5-6h driving with car. It’s much faster and more relaxing.
Before weekend or main holiday seasons such as Seollal or Chuseok, train tickets might be sold out. Remember to make reservation in advance. Usually reservation is possible one month prior the travel date. Check this link out if you want to know how to use trains in South Korea.
Relax on Busan’s beaches
After your arrival in Busan, take your swimming suit and go directly to Haeundae or Gwangalli beach. Both have beautiful white sand, crystal clear water and gorgeous view.
Considered as one of the most famous and popular beaches in Korea, Haeundae features a long white sand beach, shallow water and well-organized swimming area. During the hot summer, this beach can be very busy because of its popularity.
In the west of Haeundae Beach you’ll find the Dongbaek island, a small hill park and a nice place to have a short walk. If you stay the night close to Haeundae beach, don’t miss the stunning view of sunset from the pier.
While Haeundae beach is a bit far away from the city center, Gwangalli Beach is much closer. Furthermore, from this beach you can see the Gwangandaegyo bridge directly, which is one of the most beautiful bridges over the ocean.
Especially in the evening, the view is stunning.
Did you know that one of the most significant fireworks festivals in Asia is held at this beach every year in October?
Good things to know for Busan’s beach
- Swimming is permitted from 9 am until 6 pm. There are a lot of clean and free public restrooms with showers along the beaches.
- Sun beds and umbrellas are available for rent.
- Various restaurants, cafés, bar and shops can be found around the beach areas.
- When it gets dark, you may see people launching fireworks or burning sparklers on the beach. Those are available in all convenience stores if you want to light up some.
- And when you stay somewhere close to the beach, wake up early in the morning to enjoy the wonderful sunrise on the beach.
Do you want to see something more in the night? Visit the International Market – 국제 시장 (Gukjesijang) during night time, which is close to the Busan station. Here you will find a lot of local food, clothes, house hold and other decoration items at once.
This market is also famous in Korea through a very famous movie, which has the same name – Gukjesichang (2014), telling a touching story about Korea from the 50’s through an ordinary man, whose life began in this market.
Taejongdae Park is located on the most southern point of the Yeongdo coast, features breath-taking view of beautiful cliff, pine forest and wide-open sea.
You can either explore the park by walking up and down hill (free of charge) or take the Danubi train, which costs around 3.000₩ (~2,5€) per person. Kids will love the colorful trains. Another option to enjoy the view is to have a cruise tour around the half island (start from 10.000₩ per person). More information can be found at the Tourist information booth at the park entrance.
Lunch in the markets
It’s better to return to one of the markets in the city to have lunch. Either in the fish market Jagalchi or in international market Gukjesichang, you will find really yummi and less pricey food.
Since you’re in Busan, seafood and fish cake are must-try. Everything coming from the sea taste much better and fresher.
Gamcheon culture village
After refill your energy, let’s head to the Gamcheon culture village. You cannot miss it because of their blue cottages built as stair-case. It reminds me a lot of the Indian blue city Jodhpur.
Following the culture route around the village, you will find a lot of paintings, sculptures, cute Cafés and stunning view from above.
Especially during the cherry blossom season this place is magnificent.
Do you have more than 24h to spend in Busan? Don’t worry, a lot of more beautiful destinations are waiting for you to discover.
Haedong Yonggung Temple
Haedong Yonggung means the Palace of East sea’s dragon. Do you know that in Asian myths, there were four dragons ruling four seas: North, South, East and West? They were truly mighty and can give you the power to make your wishes come true.
This stunning buddhist temple was built during the Goryeo Dynasty and located directly on the coast. You can come here very early, at 5 am, to watch the first light of the day coming out.
Oryukdo – Skywalk
More granite, garden, water and beautiful scenery…
In case there is some time left for shopping, you will find a lot of stores and things to buy in Busan. Besides the shopping malls and market, try also the underground shopping streets directly at Busan train station or at Seomyeon Station.
What can you buy from Busan? Fresh seafood and fish cake (Odeng or Omuk). Other than that, try Chocopie house’s chocopies in Busan station. They’re amazingly yumi!
Good things to know prior your trip in Busan
How to get around in Busan?
You can easily go from A to B in Busan by bus, subway or Taxi. Hop on, hop off bus is also a good alternative way, if you want to see a lot of sign seeing spots within one day.
To navigate, with car, bicycle, walk or public transportation, use Naver map or Kakao map application on your smartphone to save time.
I also recommend using T-money card for your convenience and saving money.
Where to stay in Busan?
It always depends on your budget, expectation and requirements. For this short trip, I personally think, it is better to stay either close to the Busan station or to the beach.
What to do with the big and heavy luggage?
If you have heavy luggage or huge shopping bag from your tour, you don’t have to carry them with you all the time. Use lockers, that are available at many train stations and parks it.