In Busan, we split our hotel stays into two areas – one in Seomyeon, one in Haeundae. Initially, we thought it would help us save time as Busan is a sprawling city with its attractions dotted on varying places.
We kept reading different reviews and blogs and decided to split the stay. Turned out it wasn’t a very bright idea. Staying put in Seomyeon was enough due to its central location. As you can see from the map I plotted, most of the to-go places are located either on the Orange or Green Line.
Our trip in Busan was 3 days. As the sun sets early in winter, we felt as though we were racing against time to finish sightseeing. We still missed out quite a few spots – notably Oryukdo Skywalk and Beomeosa Temple. Busan is fronted by the sea and backed by the hill – do expect to hike/walk (marked √ ) a lot and needing down time after that.
– Arrived at noon, checked in, have lunch.
– Gamcheon Culture Village √
– Seomyeon for dinner and window-shopping
– Taejongdae in the morning √
– Early lunch at Jagalchi Market
– Napped → BIFF Square
– Haedong Yonggunggsa Temple in the morning √
– Busan Art Museum
Gamcheon Culture Village (Toseong)
Station: Toseong Exit 6 → On the intersection, turn right and walk uphill. See hospital and a cancer research center on your right→ Bus stop – take Bus 8, 30, 66, 88
Jagalchi Market (Nampo)
You can choose to drop off at Nampo or Jagalchi as essentially, the market is in between the two stations (slightly closer to Nampo).
Station: Nampo Exit 1 or 3
Taejongdae Recreation Area (Nampo)
From Exit 6 of Nampodong, go towards the second bus stop (the one further away from you). Taejongdae is at the last bus stop of the route.
Station: Nampo Station Exit 6 → Bus 8, 30, 66, 88 → Taejongdae Terminus
Lotte Deparment Store (Nampo)
The department store is directly above Nampodong. There’s a LINE store here!
BIFF Square (Nampo)
BIFF Square is akin to Seoul’s Myeongdong. It litters with retail shops (from clothing, accessories to the eponymous beauty houses) and cafes + restaurants. I highly recommend you to try out Paik’s Pan – dakgalbi – when you are in Busan.
Station: Nampo Exit 1 or 3
Jagalchi Exit 7, cross the street and the square will by on your left OR opt for the underground shopping or
Seomyeon is also another popular shopping spot – it seems to be even more crowded than BIFF Square and has tonnes of street food in the alleyways if you take the effort to explore them.
Station: Seomyeon Exit 1 or 2
I was exposed to two islands while growing up – Taiwan and Malaysia’s Penang. Haeundae Beach was not impressive – especially in winter. I can’t say the same for summer but I liked the fact that Haeundae has quite a number of art galleries around. The Busan Art Museum is also nearby too.
Station: Haeundae – Exit 5
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple (Haeundae)
Located by the sea and the fact that is a sacred religious place, Yonggungsa Temple seems divine. You get similar views like the one in Taejongdae – both endless sky and sea merging. There’s no sharp cliffs here though – what you get is a form of “healing” with the seemingly zen-like qualities of the place.
Station: Haeundae, Exit 7 and take bus 181 OR grab a cab for a 15-20 minute ride (approx 10,000won)
Busan Museum of Art (Busan Museum of Art)
If you are an arts-junkie and like contemporary art, this is the place.
Direction: Busan Museum of Art Exit 5 – walk approximately 100m
Centum City (Centum City)
Shinsegae Centum City is the largest departmental store in the world. It also houses Spaland, one of the most impressive Jjimjil-bang ever with 22 spas, traditional saunas (they have a Roman and Finnish one) and countless facilities.
Busan Bus Terminal (Nopodong)
If you are taking the bus into Busan, you probably stop here in Northen Busan, at the end of Line 1. Store your luggage and take visit Beomeosa Temple (something we didn’t do, unfortunately) as it is highly unlikely you will travel this far for one temple.
Beomeosa Temple (Beomeosa)
We didn’t visit this temple but we have heard extremely good reviews about it. Also, there are lots of reviewers that suggest heading to Gijang Crab Market after Beomeosa Temple. It is supposed to be significantly cheaper than Jagalchi Market, especially the Snow Crabs / King Crabs.