Busan Travel Guide

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While Seoul takes first place as being the largest city in South Korea, Busan trails closely behind as the second largest metropolis. Since it’s a port city, you are guaranteed to find the freshest seafood. And when I say fresh, I mean fresh as in ingesting live squirming octopus. Personally not my cup of tea, but for diehard seafood lovers – this is your haven. Make yourself at home at Jalgachi Fish Market and you’ll be happy as a clam (pun intended).

For everyone else, there truly is something for all. I recently went to Busan for my long weekend in early May and did many of the following. I’ve taken it upon myself to break it down into three categories: shopping, things to do, and relax & rejuvenate.

Shopping

Seomyeon | This underground shopping center is paradise for avid shoppers. It’s conveniently located in Seomyeon Station. From clothing to makeup and skincare to accessories, you can find it all and FOR CHEAP (and good quality)!

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Photo cred: pexels.com

Getting there: Seomyeon Station (Line 1 and Line 2 intersection)

BIFF | If you’re looking for more of a brand name shopping experience, then BIFF is where it’s at. BIFF stands for Busan International Film Festival, which is one of the most significant film festivals in Asia. It’s also home to some of the best hoddeok you’ll ever taste. I highly recommend snagging some hoddeok while you’re here!

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Getting there: Jagalchi Station (Line 1) —> Exit 7

Things To Do

Free kayaking | Head to Gwangalli Beach and you can kayak for FREE. Pretty neat and it’s something many people don’t know about. Luckily I had a friend that discovered this online somewhere before our trip! You can register in advance to secure your spot or you can register onsite. If you do want to secure your spot upon arrival, then I’d recommend enlisting the help of a Korean friend or coworker to help you navigate their entirely Korean website to complete your registration.

Oh, and don’t be silly like me and wear jeans…they will get soaked. Definitely something I should have considered while packing…

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Photo cred: Spencer Hamelin

Link to register: http://www.sek.or.kr/bbs/write.php?bbs_id=app01

Hours of operation: 9am – 5pm

Days of operation: Wednesday to Sunday

Getting there: Geumryeon Station (Line 2) —> Exit 1 or 3

Gamcheon Culture Village | Looking for a cultural experience? The Gamcheon Village is your perfect escape to another world. It’s been nicknamed “the Santorini of Korea” and “Korea’s Machu Picchu” for obvious reasons. The hundreds of colorful lego houses attract the eye and surely, you’ll want to stay all day. Don’t worry about food and beverage options because they are limitless. You can grab something quick at a food vendor or indulge in one of the trendy cafes that grace the village.

Getting there: Toseong Station (Line 1) —> Exit 6, then hop on local bus (Saha 1-1, Seogu 2, or Seogu 2-2) and ride until the Gamcheon Elementary School (감천초등학교 – gamcheon chodeung haggyo) bus stop or just take a 5 min. taxi up to the village (감천문화마을 – gamcheon munhwamaeul)

Attend a baseball game | If you’re interested in being entertained and people watching is a pastime of yours, then this the ultimate experience for you. I’ve personally never been to one myself, but I have heard many good things. I do advise you to carefully check the schedule because my friends and I ran into a situation of showing up for the game and realizing that the one we intended to see was away that day in Suwon. So if you’re only going to be in Busan for a short period of time and you accidentally mess up, then you’re unfortunately out of luck. Double, triple, quadruple check!

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Photo cred: pexels.com

Getting there: Sajik Station (Line 3) —> Exit 1

Busan Museum of Art | Is weather hindering your plans? Are you looking for something to help pass the time? No problem! Check out this museum. I’m not a huge fan of art museums myself and my interest and appeal is judged on a case to case basis, but this one was decent. Not my favorite, and again I’m picky, but I enjoyed the do-it-yourself art stations they had. We spent a fair amount of time designing and coloring our own postcards and we all found it incredibly soothing.

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Getting there: BEXCO Station, previously known as Busan Museum of Art Station, (Line 2 and Donghae line intersection) —> Exit 5

Relax & Rejuvenate

Haeundae Beach | This is arguably the most popular beach amongst foreigners and Koreans alike and there’s no doubt in my mind why that is. It’s fairly expansive, just under a mile long, with spectacular views and shallow water, perfect for swimming. It’s a relaxing place to lay out for the day. In addition, you’re bound to come across talented musicians and street acts along the area where the sidewalk meets the beach. As nighttime arrives, many people enjoy setting off fireworks for a beautiful and perfect end to the day.

It isn't a trip to Busan without going to Haeundae beach // #epikprogram #korea #travel #부산 #해운대

A post shared by Danielle Oakes (@hippieseoul) on

Getting there: Haeundae Station (Line 2) —> Exit 5 or 7

Beomeosa Temple | Located on the edge of a famous mountain, Mt. Geumjeongsan, is the majestic Beomeosa Temple. Fun fact, its name’s meaning is ‘fish from heaven.’ There’s something about being in the mountains that elevates the entire experience. I’ve been to another temple in Busan, the famed one on the water (Haedong Yonggungsa Temple), but in my opinion, Beomeosa truly was magnificent and I preferred this atmosphere over Haedong Yonggungsa’s. Definitely add Beomeosa to your list if you’re looking for a serene environment away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

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Getting there: Beomeosa Station (Line 1) —> Exit 5 or 7, then walk for 5 min. until you arrive at Beomeosa bus stop, hop on local bus 90 and ride until Beomeosa Ticket Office bus stop or just take a 5 min. taxi

Drop-in yoga at Kaizen | Since I live in a small, rural town, my yoga options are slim and pretty much nonexistent. As a result, I do yoga at home which isn’t that bad and it’s something I’m used to, but it’s still nice to be in a community setting once in a while. So with that being said, whenever I’m in a place where I can easily seek out a yoga class to attend, I’m on it. There are tons of yoga options in Busan, but I quickly latched onto Kaizen. Kaizen has classes almost every day, so I knew I’d be able to sneak away from the group and find time for yoga. The class was everything I needed. Mindy was one of the best yoga instructors I’ve ever had the pleasure of taking class with. I highly recommend taking advantage of this. Drop-in classes are 20,000 won (approx. $20 USD).

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Photo cred: pexels.com

Kaizen website: http://www.kaizenkorea.com/home

Getting there: Kyungsung Uni. Station (Line 2) —> Exit 5, walk straight past McDonald’s, take a left at ArtBox, walk 3 blocks and Kaizen will be on your left 6 floors up and in the same building as Zebra.


Enjoy your time in Busan!

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Until next time {xo},

hippieseoul

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