An hour away from Daegu, Busan is the second largest city in Korea. It’s actually dubbed Korea’s San Francisco. Home to raw fish markets, colorful neighborhoods, and sandy beaches, Busan is perfect for a weekend getaway.
I recently had a 4 day weekend in Korea, and had the idea to visit Busan for the weekend with a few friends. Unfortunately, everyone else and their mother had the same days off and the same vacation plans. Busan was PACKED. However, I still managed to do a lot on my short trip.
Getting around isn’t the easiest feat in Busan. It’s a large sprawling city, and the subway isn’t nearly as convenient as in Seoul. It’s best to do both subway and bus combinations, as many of the popular tourist attractions are quite a hike from the subway stops.
Haeundae Beach is a great place to chill out and people watch. It can be very crowded during the day, but it’s fun to observe the Korean couples in their matching outfits and people oiling up to tan (very rare for Korea!).
At night time, people light off fireworks and drink soju on the beach. We bought sparklers from a street vendor (although one of them failed to light properly.)
Getting there: Take the subway to Haeundae Beach Station (Line 2).
Gamcheon Culture Village
Known as Korea’s Santorini, the Gamcheon Culture Village was my favorite part of my trip to Busan. This village is known for its colorful buildings overlooking the sea, winding roads, and quaint cafes. Although very picturesque, this place was still incredibly crowded. I would recommend coming here on a weekday, and not a holiday if possible.
Getting There: Take the subway to Toseung Station (Exit 6) and then change to a local mini bus or a taxi. Take the local bus Saha 1-1.
Interesting fact: There were actually lines for photo opportunities at this village. Not being one to wait in line for the same picture as everyone else, we broke the rules and climbed up on a random building for this picture. After Koreans saw us doing, they all starting queuing for their turn at a little rule breaking.
HaeDong Yunggunsa Temple
Haedong Yunggunsa Temple is located on the coastline overlooking the East Sea and Songjeong Beach. This temple is also called the ‘Water Temple,’ for its location and seaside views. This temple was just as busy as the rest of Busan, but still well worth the visit. It was also Buddha’s Birthday when I went, so that led to it being more crowded than it typically is. Don’t forget to keep your eye out for the giant gold Buddha that overlooks the temple from the shore!
How To Get There: Head to Haeundae Station and take exit 7. Take bus 181 and get off at Yunggunsa Temple Stop.
As many of you know, there are few things I enjoy as much as exploring a crowded market. There is something about the cacophony of sights, smells, and sounds that I just adore. If you are brave, try the live octopus at the Jagalchi Fish Market. I opted for some noodles at the Gukje Market.
Overall, I enjoyed my weekend trip in Busan, but probably wouldn’t return. Did I miss any must-see sights here? Let me know!