Two Days in Busan: Itinerary for a kick-ass weekend trip

 

*Be sure to check out our interactive Busan map! Also: getting into Busan is easier than before – take the purple line from the airport to the metro system!

**Note to Seoul-ers – Your T-Cards (subway) WILL work in Busan! The problem is, you can’t recharge/top-up your cards in Busan.

Narrowing Busan down to two days is a bit of a challenge.   While there are relatively few ‘absolutely must see’ landmarks, there are tons of tough to find, but worth checking out spots.  That makes a “best of” listing both difficult and worthy of long debate.  So instead, we’ll just list some places that we think all visitors should see.  Click on the links for maps and more detailed instruction.  If you’ve got any better suggestions, leave us a comment or send an email.

The first step is planning where to stay. We’d suggest either Gwangalli or Seomyeon, since they’re fairly central.  Haeundae and Nampo are a bit further out, but still good.  You’re best to pack light and take advantage of subway station lockers.  Check out our motel guide to find where the clusters of cheap love motels are in each neighborhood.

Day 1

Octopuses at Jagalchi fish market in BusanDay 1: early afternoon – Take the subway from Busan Station (assuming you’ve arrived by train) two stops to Nampo-dong. Whether or not to check out Jagalchi fish market is completely a matter of personal taste. I enjoy it, others I’ve taken, not so much. Regardless, Nampo is a great area to wander around. Enjoy some street food, along with any kind of shopping you could want. Be sure to head into the back streets for some livelier street shopping. Yongdusan Park and Busan Tower is cool, though unless it’s very clear, the view from the top may not be worth the price. You can try the sky garden roof of the Lotte Department store for a lower, but considerably free-er view of the port and other areas of Busan. Stop in for a cupcake at Red Velvet and eat lunch at Farmer’s Burgers.

Beautiful ocean views and cliffs in this scenic Busan parkDay 1: afternoon – Take a taxi or bus south and go hiking at Amnam Park (click the link for directions). There are fantastic ocean views and some nice cliffs along this seaside park. It’s good for either a casual walk or a longer hike. There is an amazing spot to descend some steps and have a picnic and some beer while listening to the waves crash against the cliffs. Also very near Songdo Beach if you feel like a swim. Stop by Songdo Haesoopia Spa on your way down to the beach, on your way back up to Nampo if you’re into that.

Day 1: later – Dinner at the Kyungsung University (KSU) area. Get back on the subway (metro line 1 (orange); transfer at Seomyeon; then line 2 (green) to Kyungsungdae-Pukyeongdae metro stop. (Or take bus 1003 to Kyungsung-dae) for dinner and drinks. There are about 1000 good galbi and samgyeopsal restaurants, as well as any other kinds of food that you’d want. Some cool ones to try: Ayuta Indian pub for some curry, drinks and awesome atmosphere; Siksinga for Korean Barbecue + fondue; or Aussie Burger.

Beautiful Diamond Bridge, Gwangalli Beach, BusanAfter dinner, take a cab to Gwangalli Beach (should only be about 3000-4000 won). No trip to Busan is complete without an evening spent looking at the bridge. There are tons of restaurants and bars with excellent views, or you can just buy a cheap blanket and a lot of beer and chill out on the beach. Stock up on fireworks and enjoy an amazing evening.

 

Day 2

Korea's most famous beach. Haeundae, BusanDay 2: morning - Haeundae: Start the morning off with breakfast and a walk along Haeundae beach. Watch the masses of people and admire the amazing sea of umbrellas. If you’re up for it, a walk around the Dalmaji Hill moon trail or Dongbaek Island can provide some nice views. Some places with a decent brunch are the Wolfhound, Gecko’s on the beach, or Breeze Burn’s.

Beautiful water temple, Haedong Yonggungsa, BusanDay 2: afternoon - Haedong Yongungsa/Songjeong beach: Before you get swept away by the crowds at Haeundae, grab a taxi to Haedong Yonggungsa, also called the water temple. Spend an hour or two wondering the grounds, taking photos, and trying to throw coins in buckets, then head to Songjeong beach. Spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing on this beautiful, and often less crowded, city beach.

Very cool cave bar, Beomil Metro, BusanDay 2: evening – If you’ve got time before your train leaves, Either visit busy & bustling Seomyeon for some shopping and food, or seek out the elusive“Dragon Dream” cave bar near Seomyeon at Beomil (line 1) metro stop (click on the link to see our detailed directions, and scroll down to the comments for some hangeul that you can show to your taxi driver). Get some kimchijeon and a few bowls of dongdongju to help you relax for the long train ride. If you’re short on time, run over to Amby’s, across from Busan station for an exciting mix of people, and the wonderful combination of Russian and Phillippino foods that remind you that you’re in a port city.

Other things definitely worth doing, but time consuming and/or out of the way.
-See a Lotte Giants game
-Geumjeong Seokbulsa Temple Hike
-Visit one of many glorious saunas/jimjilbangs

In case of rain:

-Check out Shinsegae: The World’s Largest Department Store
-Go cafe/bar hopping through either Kyungsung UniversitySeomyeon, or PNU.
-Double or even triple your going home money at one of the casinos (Seomyeon and Haeundae)

Beautiful mountain temple, Seokbulsa, BusanWatch baseball with the best fans in Korea, Sajik, Busan

 

  14 Responses to “Two Days in Busan: Itinerary for a kick-ass weekend trip”

  1. Blowfish is closed. Check your information.

  2. hahahahaha, was i the insperation for this???? Its a good piece thanks for the info, maybe we’ll bump into you at one of the bars or restaurants you recommended this weekend. CHeers

    • haha, well you emailed and then i heard about some other friends-of-friends who were coming down this weekend, so in short, yes! have a rockin weekend

  3. busan was awesome thanks for the tips, cave bar was great and bubble was a good time too. We’re coming down again this weekend. looking forward to the fireworks show! I was reading your review on sintobooli meat rest. whats your favorite restaurant thats on the other side? Any additional recommendations? Thanks.

    • Thanks! Glad you had a good time in Busan. As far as restaurants on the other side of Seomyeon, we usually go to the galbi place right by Bubble Hof. I forget the name, but it’s part of a big chain. There’s also chicken galbi across the street in another chain place. If you explore the alleys nearby there are lots of good smelling meat places, but not sure about any names. Sorry I couldn’t help more, enjoy the fireworks!

      • I believe the galbi place that Tom is speaking of is Donenu. I think their kimchi is some of the best that I’ve had.

  4. You can recharge t-money card in Busan, you just have to go to GS-25 and ask them to do it.

    • Hi…i intend to travel to Busan soon. Any interesting places that we can go as we will be backpacking….we would like to experience Korean homestay…would appreciate for some good tips…thanks

      • I don’t know about homestays, but you can do temple-stays, which are pretty cool. Reply to this if you’re interested, and I can ask a couple friends who have done them before.

  5. Hi, I will be travelling to Busan and from there, I hope to travel to Muju Ski Resort, could you recommend a good way to do this? Most probably buses, could you recommend which company to contact?

    • Hey, here’s the number that I used: +82-051-806-8811. Muju is now under new ownership, I believe, so I don’t know if they use the same bus company. The bus leaves from Seomyeon.

      Check out http://www.koreatransportation.info/ for transfers to Muju otherwise. Note: this will be for the TOWN of Muju, not the resort. The resort is a couple of miles away, and you should be able to get there by shuttle bus or taxi from the town of Muju.

  6. Hi, I’ll be traveling to busan in mid feb, not sure if it’s wise to be heading to beaches in the cold weather. May I know if u have any other recommendations for the places to visit? Thanks!

Leave a Reply