South Korea’s second-largest city and major port, the port is located in the southeastern mountainous region of the country.

Busan is home to Jagalchi, South Korea’s largest seafood market, and the source of some of South Korea’s most popular snacks and dishes, such as boiled fish paste (omek) and green onion pancakes (dongnae pajeon). Haeundae Beach has a charming stretch of sand surrounded by skyscrapers, while downtown Nampo-dong is a fascinating maze of markets and shops.

In Busan, explore Shinsegae Centum City, the world’s largest department store, explore the city in search of Buddhist temples on the mountain, or travel to Taejongdae on the natural balcony of the Korean Strait.

1. Taejongdae

Yeongdo is connected by a bridge to mainland Busan and downtown Nampo-dong, jutting southeast into the Korean Strait.

The more you travel, the more sparsely developed this mountainous island is, with natural wonders at its tip.

Surrounded by the sea, Teonde consists of dense evergreen forests and rocky coastal landscapes with caves and high cliffs.

There are lighthouses, temples, small amusement parks, wild pebble beaches, cruise terminals, and cliff-top observatories that, on a clear day, overlook Tsushima, about 40 kilometers south of Japan.

If you keep your spirits up in this rugged environment, the road train (Danubi) will take you to the most beautiful places. Hiking trails are also connected.

2. Haeundae Beach

The pick of Busan’s beaches is on the coast of the Haeundae District in eastern Busan.

The great allure of this sandy shoreline has sparked incredible development in the last couple of decades, and the beach is now skirted by a crescent of supertall skyscrapers like Haeundae LCT The Sharp and Haeundae Doosan We have the Zenith, both above 300 meters.

Haeundae Beach is a 1.5-kilometer arc of pale sand, and, unlike the other major beaches in Busan, it faces south, which opens it up to the south wind and creates rolling waves of up to 1.5 meters that break far out in this low-shelving bay.

All summer long there’s a line-up of festivals and events here, like a sand sculpture festival in June and the city-wide Busan Sea Festival in August.

This Opes with concerts and beach-side fireworks display and continues a few days later with a Water Carnival, presenting dance teams and EDM performances.

3. Yongdusan Park

The main park in central Busan is the 50-meter-tall Yongdusan Mountain. Yongdusan is named after the Korean word for the shape of the summit, Yongdu.

It is dotted with monuments such as the 12-meter-tall statue of General Yi Sun-shin, who won the Imjin War (1592-1598), a flower clock, an octagonal pavilion, and a citizen’s bell. pavilion.

At the top is the 120-meter-tall Busan Tower, which is described below.

During the Korean War (1950-53), the entire hillside was a refugee ghetto, but it burned down twice.

After the conflict, Yongdusan was reforested and became a welcome oasis in Busan’s densely populated area, with cherry blossoms blooming in the spring. 

4. Gamcheon Culture Village

Climbing the coastal mountain slopes, Gamcheon Culture Village is a quaint neighborhood of brightly painted houses surrounded by busy lanes and steps.

This area of ​​Guchon-dong began as a shantytown where refugees settled after the Korean War, but by the 21st century, it was neglected and underdeveloped.

Initiatives such as the National Repainting Program, Public Art Commission, and Empty Houses Preservation Project have made the area a vibrant and one of Busan’s most artistic destinations.

Stop by and, take a look around, snap some Instagram-worthy photos of the cityscape and murals, browse the art studios, and get a little background on the neighborhood’s revitalization at the Gamcheon Culture Village Information Center.

5. Haedong Yonggungsa

Easily accessible from Haeundae Beach and East Busan, Haedong Yonggungsa is a Buddhist temple in a beautiful setting, perched on a granite rock facing the sea to the east.

The location is unusual as most temples in Korea are high in the mountains.

The history of the temple dates back to 1376, during the late Goryeo Dynasty, and was rebuilt after being destroyed during the Japanese invasion in the 1930s (1592-1598).

Monuments to discover include the 108 Steps, the Gulbop Buddhist Sanctuary (hidden in a cave), the statue of the Seawater Guanyin Buddha (Great Goddess of the Sea), and his three-story pagoda decorated with four lions. , There is a magical Daoyuden (main). hole). ). If possible, visit at sunrise when she hosts a magnificent lantern show in April or May to celebrate Buddha’s birthday.

6. Busan Tower

The 120-meter-tall tower in Busan’s landmark Yongdusan Park has stood here since 1973. Unlike many towers of this type, it was built purely as a tourist attraction without any broadcasting equipment.

There are souvenir shops, an aquarium, and a science exhibition hall at the foot of the Busan Tower, and the observatory on the top floor is his second floor.

First-time visitors to Busan should not forget to take the elevator to the top, especially when the sky is clear.

At night, the panorama of the harbor, Busan Bridge, Jagalchi Market, and, if conditions permit, even Japan’s Tsushima in the Korean Strait is spectacular.

7. Gwangalli Beach

Gwangalli Beach is 1.4 kilometers long and over 100 meters in diameter in some places, with soft, fine sand and high-quality water thanks to recent improvements.

With more than 300 restaurants, cafes, and sushi restaurants just a step away, you’ll never go hungry at Gwangalli Beach.

What immediately captivates you is the view of the gigantic Gwangandaegyo Bridge that spans the bay a few hundred meters into the sea.

The coast here is a great place to watch the bridge’s LED light show after dark.

One of Asia’s biggest fireworks events, the Busan International Fireworks Festival, will take place over two nights at the end of October.

8. Seokbulsa

Like Beomeosa Temple, this temple is located just outside of town, perched high behind the west side of Geumgang Park in Buk-gu.

The easiest way to get there is to take the park’s cable car and hike from the hill station through the beautiful evergreen forest through the south gate of Geumjeongsan Castle to this tranquil mountain oasis.

The cable car in particular offers a photo-worthy view of Busan surrounded by trees.

The name Shibutsu-ji (石Buddha Temple) likely comes from the 10-meter-high rock wall behind the temple, which is carved into reliefs of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and muscular guardians.

These are must-see sites in the Stone Buddha Temple, the rock-carved main hall houses his single Shakyamuni Buddha (historic Buddha statue) on the first floor and hundreds on the second floor. It has a small Buddha statue. Here, the Birojana Buddha (Buddha of Cosmic Energy) is at the center of the main altar, flanked by Munsubosar (Bodhisattva of Wisdom) and Bohyeonbosar (Bodhisattva of Strength).

9. BIFF Square

Also located in Nampo-dong, this restaurant, shopping, and entertainment district is named after the Busan International Film Festival, which was established in 1996. His 10-day festival each October got off to a good start, showing hundreds of films from dozens of countries and welcoming notable international guests from Ennio Morricone to Wim Wenders.

The festival transformed his BIFF Square, creating a modern film district filled with new cinemas.

Roll calls of directors and actors leave their handprints on this 428-meter street sidewalk, and there’s plenty of shopping between cinemas.

This is also the place to eat proper Busan street food. Local specialties are sweet pancakes filled with pine nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, brown sugar, and cinnamon, a treat to warm up on winter nights.

10. Gwangandaegyo Bridge

At 7.42 kilometers in length, it is South Korea’s second-longest bridge, connecting the massive Centum City urban development project with Suyeong-gu in central Busan.

Across the mouth of the Suyeongcheon, this massive structure took nine years to complete and has two floors, with one-way traffic reversing each floor.

Tens of thousands of LED lights provide a seasonally changing light show from sunset to midnight or early morning.

After crossing the bridge, you can enjoy a wonderful view of the Republic of Korea Strait, Gwangalli Beach, Hwangryeongsan Mountain, Oryukdo Island, Dongbaekdo Island, and Moonmi Hill.

11. Shinsegae Centum City

A good reason to go to Centum City is that it’s officially the world’s largest department store.

Shinsegae Centum City has been the Shinsegae chain’s flagship store since 2009, over Macy’s Herald Square in New York.

The surrounding Centum City is an urban renewal project of the former Suyeong Airport, now housing offices, exhibition halls, and a large shopping area, all connected to Busan Subway Line 2.

Especially looking up at the atrium, Shinsegae Centum City boasts amazing proportions.

There are 10 shopping levels with clothing, cosmetics, accessories, sportswear, shoes, and groceries, and an upper-level cinema complex and ice skating rink.

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