South Korea, Busan
Busan is the largest port city in South Korea and the second largest metropolis in the country. There are over 3.5 million inhabitants in the city, and over 50 thousand of them are foreigners, who live and work here. “Busan – summer capital of South Korea” is the name the city fully deserves. There are seven wonderful sandy beaches, and on the waterfront, there are luxury hotels with private beaches and restaurants serving the most sophisticated delicacies from around the world. There are many summer festivals and concerts in the city, and there are some districts of the city that “never falls asleep”.
Both: Koreans and Asian tourists love to visit Busan in the summer season. The city is well connected not only with the rest of the country (by fast trains), but also with Japan. For example – a fast ferry to Japanese Fukuoka arrives in less than 3 hours.
Tourists from outside Asia rarely reach the south of Korea. Most of them focus only on visiting Seoul.
The more I am glad that I visited this place. In the below post I will introduce you to several places that will prove to you that Busan is a great tourist attraction. Therefore, I hope that you will find below some reasons why you will not want to miss this place during your visit to Korea. It’s worth to visit it!
Busan – summer capital of South Korea. Where to start?
Gamcheon Culture Village – Machu Picchu of Busan
In the past, this district was inhabited by very poor people who were thrown outside of margins of society. In the 50s of the last century, the situation of this place worsened even more due to immigrants from North Korea settling here. During only three years, the number of homes increased from 20 to 800.
At the beginning of the 21st century, Busan city authorities decided to revitalize this place and make it a tourist attraction. The main purpose of these changes was to create an art district, improve the standard of living of the local population and bring this part of the city back to life.
The district began to change. Artists living here were given a “free hand” in arranging the area. In the abandoned houses, an atelier, small art galleries, cafes and restaurants were built. The local community got jobs, and part of the sales revenue is permanently allocated to the further development of the district. The draft of the changes turned out to be successful enough to be used in other parts of the country as a proven example. What’s more, school children also learn about it and pass the project knowledge exams.
Gamcheon Culture Village today
Today, exploring this part of the city is a must on every tourist route. Countless small street sculptures, colourful houses, flowery squares and narrow streets attract tourists. Several main themes run through the entire district: The Little Prince, animals, people and books. It is worth planning a half day here.
However, the biggest advantage of this place is its location. Called “Machu Picchu”, or “Santorini of Busan” due to the fact that the Gamcheon district is also located on a steep mountain slope, from which there is a majestic view of the bay, port and Busan. The houses, painted in pastel colours, are so placed on the hillside that nobody obstructs the view of the bay. The view – worth a million dollars!
Make sure you have charged batteries in your cameras, because I guarantee you that you will take a lot of pictures in this place!
Gamcheon Village – where to it?
Meolakano Cafe is a place worth visiting. Time stopped here a dozen or so years ago. Around the cafe is a large collection of old vinyl records and everyday objects that can only be seen today in a museum or in the homes of the elderly people. Inside the cafe, on the walls and the ceiling, there are A-4 paper cards with greetings left by other tourists. The owner will ask you where you are from and he will find greetings left by other guests from your country. Who knows, maybe you’ll also find our greetings that we left there 😊.
The cafe impresses with an amazing atmosphere, very tasty, although simple food and very nice service. You can eat there mainly Bibimbap, which is a rice with vegetables, beef and egg, seasoned with chili pepper paste. Don’t miss this place!
Address: 251-4 (No.) 6-880, Gamcheon 2-dong, Saha-gu, Busan
Gamcheon Village – what else is worth to know?
- Most places in the Gamcheon Village are open until 6.00 p.m., but out of season until 5.00. p.m.
- To take a picture of most attractions you must queue up and wait your turn. In Korea, taking a “selfie” is so popular that people line up and do not disturb others. Everyone has their “5 minutes” to take the perfect photo.
- In the Tourist Information office, it is worth buying a map of the area (2000 WON, about 1,8 $) where all city sculptures, art galleries and the most popular viewpoints are marked. The map will also show you 3 walking routes through the town: the longest route (about 2h), medium route (about 1h 20 min.) and the shortest one (about 40 min.).
- I think that the most attractive route is the longest one. I also suggest you get off the trail as often as you can, because “wandering” around the area will give you the biggest satisfaction.
If you have the opportunity, don’t come here on the weekend, but rather on the weekday. On weekends this place is visited by residents, so it can be extremely crowded.
On the hill towering above the city centre there is the pride and the largest symbol of the city – Busan Tower (TV tower). The tower stands 69 m a.s.l. and is 120 meters high. The roof of the tower was formed in the shape of a pagoda roof located in the Bulguksa Temple, in Gyeongju.
Busan tower is a favourite place not only for city residents, but also tourists. In the tower on the lower floors there is an exhibition hall dedicated to the city. At the top of the tower there are two observation terraces. It is especially worth visiting this place during sunset, because the tower offers a breath-taking view. An additional attraction is a laser show that start after sunset. Projections that simulates fireworks are displayed on the tower windows (inside). This is a fantastic surprise and amazing visual effects!
The tower is open daily from 9.00 a.m. till 11.00 p.m. (last entrance at 10.30 p.m.). More to read on: busantower.net
After sunset, special lighting effects are also displayed on the tower itself. It’s worth to stop for a moment and to watch the show, because it really impresses with ingenuity, colours and form.
This is a place that you have to visit while in the city. From the tower there is a fantastic view of the port, bay and city, and evening shows guarantee an unforgettable experience.
The tower is easy to get to because from Gwangbok-ro street you can take the escalator that leads to the top of the hill. Metro Line 1, Nampo Station (exit 1).
Entrance ticket: 8000 WON (about 7 $).
The Busan Tower is not the only attraction in Yeongdusan Park. There is also a Flower Clock with a diameter of 5 meters – the only object of this type in South Korea, which also has a hand counting the seconds. The flower clock was created in 1973 and is considered as a symbol of this park.
Another attraction and symbol of the city is the great bell: Busan Citizens Bell. The bell can be heard during major celebrations, e.g. January 1 to welcome the New Year, March 1 on Independence Day, and August 15 on Liberation Day.
The park also has a Liberation Monument, a small temple and a monument of the Admiral Yi Sun-shin – fleet commander during the Japanese Korean War.
Beaches worth visiting not only during the summer
As I wrote earlier, the popular name “Busan summer capital of South Korea” is mainly due to the fact that there are wonderful sandy beaches here. There are total seven public beaches in Busan. The most popular one is Haeundae Beach. You can also read more about each of the beaches on the city’s official website: english.busan.go.kr
It is also worth noting that the beaches in Busan are a year-round attraction. In the summer season, you can rent beach beds and umbrellas on the beaches, there are also changing rooms and showers available. In low season, many festivals, concerts and water sports competitions take place on the beaches.
Considered as the most popular beach in South Korea. There are also strong arguments standing behind this statement: 5-star luxury hotels, top level restaurants, the largest aquarium in the city offering swimming with sharks and a yacht harbour. In the summer season, the beach is visited by over a million tourists. Haeundae Beach attracts with many attractions: summer festivals, concerts, themed exhibitions (e.g. sand sculptures). The beach stretches for 1.5 km and a is wide from 30 to 50 m. It is worth visiting and feeling its atmosphere – especially since it is also officially considered the cleanest beach in the city.
In the evening, the beach also attracts tourists, because it is illuminated with a thousand lights. The Haeundae Light Show is an installation that stretches 1.6 km and begins at the Westin Chosun Hotel up to the Corea Condo. Illuminations are visible not only at the coast, but also on the main squares, streets, walking paths, trees and bushes. The light show can be watched all year round, from sunset to midnight, and in the summer until 2.00 in the morning.
Haeundae Beach – what else is worth to know?
- In the summer, between 26th of July and 11th of August, the beach and swimming pool are also open in the evenings! When out of season the beach is open from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m., on the hottest nights of the summer – swimming is possible until 9.00 p.m.
- The beach also has a spa with hot springs (Hot Spring Haeundae). It is the only spa of this type in Korea located on the seafront. It is believed that it has high healing properties and many Koreans come here every year to cure their health ailments. In total, on the Haeundae Beach there are 9 baths offering baths in healing water. They are different not only in terms of the service offer, but also from the price perspective.
- The beaches can be reached by subway Line 2 (Haeundae Station, exit 3 or 5), then about 600 on foot to the beach. Along the way, look for signs leading to the beach or just follow the crowd.
- You can read more about current beach events at Haeundae.go.kr.
Songdo was Korea’s first designated swimming area public beach. The beach is also called Island of Pine Trees, because of the neighbouring pine grove.
Today its main attraction is the Songdo Marine Cable. This is the first cable car that goes along the coast, above the sea level. There are 39 cars, where some of them (13) have a made of glass / see-through bottom. You can get on the queue at Songnmim (East Songdo Beach) and get to Amnam Park (West Songdo Beach). The entire route is 1.6 km, and the ride takes 5 minutes.
Price: 13,000 WON one way (about 11,5$). However, I think it is worth buying a one-way ticket. This will allow you to get back on foot through the Amnam Park, which I will describe below. More information about the cable car at busanaircruise.co.kr
An additional attraction is the Songdo Gureum (Cloud) Walk.
This path was opened in 2015 and is the longest one. Worth highlighting is that most of the “Skywalk” trails in Korea are straight shaped. Songdo Skywalk has a curved shape, looking as a dragon’s tail. The path is suspended above the sea, and some of its fragments have a floor lined with glass. A very pleasant place. On the way you will see a monument to the mermaid and fisherman. At the end of the path, just after going ashore – there is an entrance to the cable car.
Beautiful and unspoiled nature
Busan is not only glass skyscrapers, historic temples or sandy beaches. It is also a great place in terms of human contact with nature.
The largest, most popular and at the same time – the most crowded park in the city is the Busan Citizens Park. There are one million trees in the park, including 97 different species. There are several sports fields, numerous fountains, squares, walking paths, cafes and restaurants. You can read more about the park at english.busan.go.kr
In Busan, there are also many places that you can visit today, which still few years ago were inaccessible to visitors. Some of them were unavailable due to security reasons (high cliffs and no walking paths). Some of them were intended for military or security purposes. This means that today most of them have retained their original and almost pristine character. Below I will present some of the most interesting places.
Amnan Park is the place where you will get off the Songdo Marine Cable on its end. Until recently, this place was inaccessible to visitors. The area was completely closed for many years. It was only in 1996 that it was made available to tourists. Today, it impresses with its wonderful nature: pine forest and high cliffs on the seafront.
First, after leaving the cable car building, you will go through the dense pine forest. There are wooden hanging bridges and a path marked out through the forest. Then you will go out to the large car park, which you also must pass. You will see many fishing enthusiasts standing along the waterfront. Your walking path will start on the left side of the car park.
On the route there are several hanging bridges, numerous stairs and descents to the rocky beach. You can relax and legally fish there.
The whole route can be completed in about 20 minutes, but the road is demanding, because most of it must be climbed by many stairs. However, it is worth coming here just before sunset, because during this “golden hour” this place and the view of Busan seem to be unreal beautiful.
View of the path just after sunset.
Seaside path Igidae Coastal Walk
The seaside Igidae path is an unusual attraction, but not very popular among tourists. It was open for visitors only in 1993. Thanks to this, the place is almost unchanged, beautiful, almost empty and providing extraordinary experiences.
Igidae was formed over 80 million years ago, when multiple volcanic eruptions threw volcanic dust and lava into the air. This has flowed from the mountainside straight into the ocean creating high, almost vertical cliffs. For millions of years, this landscape was shaped by waves breaking into the land, creating numerous coves and caves.
Igidae Coastal Walk is amazing
Today, you can walk along the cliffs on a special wooden path, suspended in the air on the ocean shore. On one side there is a cliff slope covered with forest, on the other side there are ocean waves and the contours of the city looming in the distance.
The whole route: the road through the forest and the suspended cliffs will take you about 1 hour. The last part of the path is built of a metal staircase suspended on a cliff, with several bridges and numerous stairs. To pass it – you need to overcome a total of about 120 steps.
A walk along the cliffs provides an amazing experience. Everything is well prepared for tourists, but there are not many of them on the way. Great views of the bay and close contact with nature.
You can reach Igidae by bus 20, 22, 27, 39 or 131. Get off at Igidae Entrance. Then, walk about 1.8 km (about 15 minutes on foot) to Urban Nature Park. Along the way you pass several direction indicators, so it’s quite easy to reach the destination.
It is worth adding that the coastal Igidae path is on the list of parks classified as Busan’s geological heritage. There are in total 12 such places in Busan. They are valued mainly because of the unusual geological structures and the natural – almost unchanged landscape. You can read more about parks – geologically valuable – at busan.go.kr/geopark_en
Oryukdo Islands and Oryukdo Skywalk
Another geological and tourist attraction of Busan is Oryukdo Islands. The name “Oryukdo Islands” refers to a group of rocky islands off the southern coast of Busan. Depending on the day and the height of the waves – it may seem that there are five or six. There is a lighthouse on one of them. All islands, except the one with the lighthouse, are uninhabited.
Since most of the ships entering Busan port pass by Oryukdo Islands, they are also considered as a symbol of Busan’s cultural heritage.
An interesting fact in this place is Oryukdo Skywalk. It is a footbridge suspended in the air, outstanding deep into the sea. The footbridge hangs 37 meters above sea level and its main attraction is the floor made of glass. After entering the footbridge, you can see the sharp edges of the cliffs underneath and the rough sea hitting them. Note, the footbridge maybe closed for safety reasons (i.e. during strong wind), what happens quite often.
- Opposite the Oryukdo Skywalk and the Oryukdo Islands there is a small hill. On the slope of the hill there is a park and a flower garden created. You can see that this is a favourite place of local residents. It is worth to climb there. A path leads to the top. Along the way, there are several places where you can sit to rest or drink some water from the spring. From the top of the hill there is a fantastic view of the Oryukdo islands and the sea. For me it’s the best attraction of this place!
- You can reach the islands of Oryukdo by bus 227 or 131 (to the loop). Get off at the Oryukdo SK View Back Gate
Unusual temples, architectural treasures
There are many Buddhist temples in Busan, but two of them deserve special attention. Both surprise with their beautiful location and unusual architecture. When we were in South Korea, the Lantern Festival and preparations for the Buddha’s birthday celebrations were underway. On this occasion, all temples in the country were covered with colourful lantern “carpets”. Both the colour of lanterns and their shape matter and can be different in each temple. For example, white lanterns are dedicated to the memory of those who passed away. Lanterns in the shape of lotus flowers mean the removal of ignorance in the light of awakening.
Small paper notes are attached to the lanterns. These are prayers that the faithful make that week with different intentions. There are special people employed to write the prayer on the paper. Also, temple employees then deal with hanging them under lanterns. This is paid service, but all money is intended for the maintenance and renovation of temples.
For this reason, on my pictures from all Korean temples you can see mostly colourful lanterns and almost no buildings or monuments. We were lucky, because temples decorated in this way can be seen only during few days a year. The sight of thousands of lanterns hanging over the roof, makes an amazing impression. When they are additionally turned on and are flashing after dark – the magic begins …
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
Above the main gate leading to the temple buildings, there is an inscription: “The most beautiful temple in Korea”. Even before you will cross it, you know that this inscription was placed there for a good reason. It can’t be denied that the place where the temple was built over 740 years ago still makes an impression. This place makes tourists come here at dawn to be able to see the temple bathed in the first rays of the rising sun. Buddhists also believe if worship is offered in the morning, it is a divine place which receives the good fortune in the evening.
What distinguishes the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple from all others, which are usually located in high mountains – is its location on a steep stone slope, on the shore of the ocean. Many people come here early in the morning to sit on the coastal rocks and listen to the sounds of a day waking up. First it is a sound of the waves hitting the rocks and then the sounds of morning prayer and prayer bells that are coming from the temple.
Haedong Yonggungsa and divine intervention
The temple was built in 1376, but like most temples in Korea, Haedong Yonggungsa was destroyed and, then under reconstructions for years. Haedong Yonggungsa suffered most during the early Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–1598), when it was almost completely destroyed by fire, falling into ruin. The temple stayed in this condition for many years. It was not until the early 1930s that the complex was rebuilt again.
In 1974, when the newly appointed main monk of the Jeong-am Temple was meditating, he had a vision in a homesickness dream. He witnesses the white-robed, Buddhist Goddess of Mercy ascending to heaven by riding a dragon. After that vision, the monk changed the temple name of the Buddhist temple to Haedong Yonggung Temple, which means “Korean Temple Palace of the Sea Kings.”
Today, Haedong Yonggungsa still maintains its unique religious traditions, as well as harmony with nature, and is one of three temples dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy.
The statue of the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy stands on a hill, over the main temple buildings.
Haedong Yonggungsa – religious symbols
On the temple grounds there are many places of great importance to the followers of Buddhism. The temple’s motto is: “At least one of your wishes will be answered here through your heartful prayers.” The faithful come here all year round.
Worth noting here is, for example, a three-story pagoda with 4 lions, standing right in front of the main building of the temple. Four lions (standing for the symbol of joy, anger, sadness and happiness respectively) are supporting the pagoda on the 4 corners of the first story.
There is also a Buddha statue, which has the ability to heal people from their physical and mental diseases (Yacksayeorae Healing Buddha). Buddhists believe that this Buddha has wonderful power. The Buddha statue is also known as the stone Buddha in Gat. Gat is a Korean traditional hat with wide round.
Interesting is also the golden monument of Jijangbosal. Prayers are worshiping here for the release of all the captive animals in the world.
On the way
The main road to the temple is also extremely interesting. On the main path through the forest there are figurines of Twelve Zodiac Animal Deities. Their task is to avoid evil spirits and welcome happiness. According to the Chinese calendar, each animal reigns for one lunar year.
There is also the Traffic Safety Wishing Tower. It is a tower for praying for the prevention of the traffic accidents and for the safe driving.
The road to the main buildings leads through 108 stone stairs, caused by the 108 Passions It conveys a deep meaning of sublimating the 108 Passions while climbing by one step at a time. At the end of the road there is a Stone bridge, considered as the most beautiful bridge in Korea. It is believed that it is the first gateway for coming into the world of the heavenly truths from the world of the people and the world of the suffering. At the bridge you can throw a fortune coin. Whether or not one will find love, or whatever the fortune of the day is. Worth to try!
Haedong Yonggungsa – how to get there?
The temple can be reached by public transport. Metro, Line 2 to Jangsan Station. Then bus No. 181 or No. 9 to the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple stop. From the bus stop to the temple you need to walk about 600 meters. Note that from the city centre one-way trip will take you about 1.5 hours. There are long distances in the Busan city and a visit to this temple must be well planned in time.
You can read more about the temple on the website yongkungsa.or.kr
The Beomeosa Temple is located in the Geumjeongsan Mountains, in Busan. It was built in 678, during the Kingdom of Silla. Like other temples, Beomeosa was also almost completely destroyed during the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–1598). However, this temple was rebuilt quite quickly, as early as in 1613. It has survived to this day in an unchanged form.
Currently, it is considered as one of the 25 most important Buddhist temples in the country. Beomeosa also owns 11 hermits located high in the mountains and over 200 temple branches spread all over the country.
The temple has buildings dated back to 1614. They are inscribed on the list of National Treasures of Korea: Jogyemun Gate and Daeungjeon Hall (Great Hero Hall). They are particularly valuable because of the architecture, typical of the Joseon dynasty.
In addition, it is also worth paying attention to two buildings erected in the ninth century:
- three-story pagoda
- stone lantern – symbolizing the light of wisdom dispersing ignorance.
The Beomeosa Temple is above all close contact with the beautiful nature. From the temple there is a breath-taking view of the mountains.
The forest surrounding the temple is considered a natural monument. There is a habitat in the forest – a grove, which is considered a primary forest. There are over 6,500 wisteria vines growing in the grove, beautiful lilac flowers falling in clusters. It is a rare flower – almost not found in other regions of the country. Wisteria is mainly valued for its longevity. It is worth coming to this place in late April / early May, when wisterias are in full bloom. In addition, more than 280 species of other rare plants and trees grow here.
Beomeosa Temple – what else is worth to know?
- Beomeosa is also a year-round monastery, where the monks receive comprehensive teaching.
- You can also come here for a short “Templestay” program, considered one of the main tourist programs in Korea. The program aims to spread Korean culture and knowledge of Buddhism
- The Geumjeongsan Mountains are also a great place for hiking. There are several hiking trails here. However, you should be well prepared before you enter the mountains, because the road on the trail is quite demanding.
- The path that leads to the temple from the bus stop is ideal for a walk and rest. The road is long, it takes about 25-30 minutes, but the views are fantastic, so this time is not lost.
Beomeosa Temple – how to get here?
The temple can be reached by metro and bus. Metro Line 1, Beomeosa Station stop (exit 5 or 7). Then follow the main road (approx. 5 min) to the Samsin Transportation Bus Stop. The bus stop has a big sticker with the bus number and information that it goes to the temple (it’s hard not to see it). Bus No. 90 – go until the end of the route. The bus ride takes about 12-15 minutes, but there is all the time a winding road uphill. It’s worth taking a seat in a bus, because it’s easy to lose your balance. On the way back, at the bus terminus you must stand at the end of the queue. Everyone in the queue is waiting for the same returning bus.
At the Beomeosa Station metro station (at exit 6), there is a small exhibition dedicated to the history of the temple. The exhibition is open from 9.00 to 17.00, free admission. It is worth to visit this place, because there is among others model of the temple. There are also copies of royal litters and a miniature Korean army. There are also stories told with a brush and beautiful paintings on silk scrolls. You only need 10 minutes for this place, but it’s worth visiting to broaden your knowledge horizons.
You can read more about the temple on the website beomeo.kr
Local cuisine, where to taste the flavours of the city?
Busan has many restaurants offering fresh fish and seafood.
The most popular and largest place where you can eat literally everything that the sea has to offer is the Jagalci Market. It is worth coming there even if you are not going to buy anything. The market gives an amazing opportunity to see all “sea creatures” up close. Large aquariums display freshly caught mussels, octopus, snails, crabs and impressive size eels. Both fresh and dried fish are sold here. The attraction of this place is the opportunity to see how the fish and seafood selected by us are prepared for eating on site.
Due to the huge popularity of this place, it can be very crowded. Therefore, you can go to another place, i.e. Haeundae Market, which also offers similar services.
- Jagalci Market is open every day from 5.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. The main part of this market is located within the 7-story building – Hoe Center, which is open from 9.00 a.m. On its individual floors there are numerous restaurants where you can eat fresh fish and seafood. Note, the market is always closed on the first and third Tuesday of each month. Metro Line 1, Jagalchi Station (exit 10), 300 meters on foot.
- Haeundae Market is a street market, open daily from 9.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. Haeundae Station, Line 2 (exit 3) and approx. 4 min. on foot. This market is located near Haeundae Beach, so you can come here on the way to the beach. You can eat not only fish and seafood there. He can eat traditional Korean dishes as well, including traditional soup and delicious dumplings – stuffed for example with kimchi or shrimps.
Check in Busan
Near Yeongdusan Park (Jungang Station metro station) there is a very interesting place. It’s worth coming there for breakfast, brunch or simply – a cake with coffee. This is the Check in Busan cafe, where you can buy small souvenirs from the city: mugs, fridge magnets or postcards. You can also buy a postcard here and send it to your family or friends right away.
The cafe staff speak English. At the ticket office you can ask for a small map of the area (free), and the staff will give you some hints about topics we are interested in. They will help you get to your destination and not get lost in the nearby area.
It is an interesting place, very international, because many foreign tourists come here. It’s also easy to make international friends here. The cafe is open every day from 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m., on Tuesdays until 2.00 p.m.
Address: 14 Gwangbok-ro 97beon-gil, Donggwangdong 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Busan
Transport in the city
In Busan, like in Seoul, public transport is well organised. There are four metro lines (Busan metro map), 1 light rail transit system and well-organized network of bus connections.
Buses in Busan are marked with colours and, like in Seoul, they mean the type of service offered. So, there are city buses running on short routes, as well as express buses going to the outskirts of the city.
You can move around the city with the same city cards as in other parts of the country. Both Cash bee and T-money cards work here. You can also pay in cash with the driver, but only in coins. It is worth remembering that when traveling around the city with a city card, it should be used both when getting on and off the bus. Thanks to this, the appropriate value will be calculated for the distance covered. A discount may also be applied in the event of a transfer, if it occurs within 30 minutes of leaving the last means of transport.
Getting around the city by metro is very easy. All stations are well marked and described with clear connection maps. Destination announcements are made in Korean, English, Japanese and Chinese. The sound of a bird is used for stops that are transfer points, accompanied by announcements also in 4 languages. Really traveling by subway in South Korea is a pure pleasure.
However, traveling by bus should be learned. This is not an easy task since most stops do not have descriptions in English. Also, as a rule, drivers do not speak this language a well. What’s important, it’s also not worth counting stops along the way. It is because – usually drivers don’t stop at most of them when nobody is waiting on there. However, there is a way to deal with it.
Busan – how to get around the city
To use the bus transport and not get lost in the city, we used the Naver Map. Before getting on the bus you need to search for connections that suits you to get from point A to B. The map often shows that we have several bus lines to choose from.
After getting on the bus, you need to select its number on the map. Make sure you are online and have GPS enabled. Let the map lead you along your bus route to your destination. You will see on the map all the time your current location and distance to point B. Before the end of the route, you can enlarge the map. That will allow you to see the outline of buildings and the exact number of stops remaining to the end of the route. When you see that the bus has passed the penultimate stop, turn on the STOP button. You will be sure that the driver will not pass your stop.
We travelled in this way by buses in Seoul, Busan and Daejeon, and this method always worked great. What’s more, we also saw other tourists driving with GPS enabled and Naver Map, and local tourists from Korea. This is definitely a very popular and proven way. In my opinion, the only one that will allow you to get anywhere and at any time.
Busan – summer capital of South Korea. Why is it worth coming here?
Busan is a great city. Although the city is called the summer capital of Korea, it is teeming with life all year round. Part of the city is state-of-the-art and impresses with glass skyscrapers. The port – the largest in Korea guarantees excellent communication by sea and daily fresh supply of fish and seafood. In Gamcheon Village you can find the past: colourful houses, cobbled streets and kimchi pickled in barrels placed in gardens and on terraces.
Wide and sandy beaches and numerous forests, parks and walking paths give you the opportunity to rest and relax from the hustle and bustle of the city. In addition to the coast surrounded by islands, the city is also surrounded by mountains. There is the Jirisan National Park located – which is one of the most beautiful one in the country.
Public transport is well organized and thanks to it you can get everywhere. Local cuisine guarantees a culinary experience at the highest level. Street food – just like in Seoul, delights with simplicity and taste.
Busan has been hosting the BIFF International Film Festival for many years. This event attracts movie stars from all over the world. The festival takes place in December and lasts four days. You can read more on busanartfilmfest.org
For how many days is it worth to come to Busan?
Many people ask if it is worth coming here only for one day from Seoul. No, if you only have one day, better to skip Busan. There are many other places around Seoul where you can spend such a day.
It is worth coming to Busan for a min. 3 days. There are large distances between some attractions in the city. It is not worthy to be in a hurry here. And what is worthy? Worth to stop for a moment, relax, notice what surrounds us. Admire close contact with nature – especially since in many places it is unique. It is also worth to note the differences between Seoul and Busan, visible not only in architecture in both cities. Busan also has a greater diversity of foreign languages. For example, at Busan Station there is a small China Town, inhabited by ….. the Russians, so you may hear mainly Russian language there.
Busan is a wonderful melting pot of diversity. It is worth feeling it on your own skin.
Where to find more news about Busan
If you are looking for more information about Busan: about festivals, concerts or cultural events, check below official pages. There you will find a lot of information about tourist attractions, many maps and folders to download – all in English. There is also a large section about health tourism in Busan, including a special offer dedicated to foreigners.
SOUTH KOREA – MY OTHER POSTS
I also encourage you to read my other posts about Seoul and South Korea: