Busan, another city in South Korea that visitors love, is known for its mountains, temples and beaches. Also due its strategic location as a port city, their seafood is known to be fresh and good. We got there via the KTX from Seoul, which was convenient and scenic no less. Initially we thought a quick 3D2N itinerary could quickly cover Busan, but we were totally wrong. One, the places of interest are not exactly very close to each other. And two, there are so much more that we could do but due to the lack of time, we have to keep it for another trip in future. So in this trip, we tried to plan a comfortable but packed itinerary to make full use of our time there. With this, here’s our list of top 5 places you should go for a 3D2N trip to Busan:
1. GAMCHEON CULTURE VILLAGE
You can’t miss this at Busan, you just can’t. Also known as the Santorini of the East, this village is extremely beautiful. It’s more than just a viewpoint, you can literally hike at this place, climbing hills and challenging yourself to “the stairway to heaven” because it’s literally very long and steep. You could also get yourself a “passport” where you can go around hunting for places and stamp them to show that you’ve checked out that place. However, do note that the visitor centre closes around 5pm so head there slightly earlier to get a map of that place along with a free postcard!
Time spent: 3-4 hours at least
Tip: head there during sunset because it’s the most beautiful
2. BIFF SQUARE
Head to this area after you’re done exploring the Gamcheon Culture Village, as it’s in close proximity, and you’d want to check out the night markets for dinner, shopping, and street snacks. The night markets here are just as happening as those in Myeongdong, albeit a little more squeezy. The prices are approximately the same in terms of shopping as well. So if you’re going to both Seoul and Busan, you may want to skip the ubiquitous shops and opt for those small or random shops that you probably won’t find elsewhere. The food is pretty great as well!
Time spent: 2-3 hours
Tip: always haggle at road stalls!
I was deciding between Taejongdae and Haedong Yonggung Temple (more on that later), but decided to head to Taejongdae due to time constraints. And I dare to say, this place is amazing! I can’t decide if Taejongdae is more beautiful or Gamcheon is more spectacular, but I dare say both are so amazing you just can’t miss them. For the first time, I witnessed a moon so well lit so beautiful at the lighthouse. And the sunset here against the cliff and sea was so breathtaking you just have to go there and witness it for yourselves!
Time spent: 2-3 hours
Tip: You could save money by walking from point to point instead, and the tram’s operation hours ends early (about 8pm). However, if you’re staying late, it’s pretty dark to walk because there aren’t many street lights so that might be a consideration as well.
4.GWANGALLI BEACH / VIEW OF GWANGAN BRIDGE
This is probably the most famous beach in Busan after Haeundae beach that you see on Korean dramas and variety shows where you have a pretty view of the Gwangan Bridge. The place is prettiest and liveliest at night because of the view of the bridge where there’s lightshow, and sometimes even fireworks. You’d see a long chain of restaurants along the stretch of beach as well, mostly selling seafood, which is what Busan is famous for.
Time spent: 1-2 hours
Tip: We chose this over Haeundae because it was winter and Haeundae is definitely a summer location. Given the time constraints, we chose the one best suits the itinerary and weather!
5. HAEDONG YONGGUNGSA TEMPLE
Ending the list with a location that we wanted to go but had no time for. Voted as TripAdvisor’s number 1 attraction of Busan, we thought this place could be really amazing, and has to be no ordinary temple! However a quick check on google maps says it’s a 1.5h to 2h journey from downtown (we stayed near Chinatown, and near the KTX station). So unless we woke up really early on the second day, we wouldn’t be able to cover all 3 locations. Definitely coming back for this, and Haeundae beach for summer!
How about you? Have you been to Busan? Did you go to these places?