Rin asked in TravelAsia PacificKorea · 2 months ago

Anyounghaseyo Everyone. What are some good places to visit / things to do in Busan, South Korea?

Help, Im heading to my first trip to Korea at the end of September or beginning of October 2020. It would help me tons to have some ideas on what to do with myself during my 2 weeks there. I'm hoping to fly into the airport closest to Busan, and making that my 'base' during my stay. Day trips to any part of South Korea would be a treat, but Any suggestions you may have would be welcome.

Thanks so much in advance,

Asha

1 Answer

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  • Andrew
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Pusan is all right, but it's definitely not a place where you'd want to spend two entire weeks. You can see everything that's worth seeing in only a few days. 

    If you'll be there in October they hold a fireworks festival at Gwanggalli Beach which is worth it. With the bridge in the background it's actually quite beautiful, but have a plan worked out for afterwards because it will be very crowded and every bus stop and train station will be packed to capacity for hours afterwards and you won't be able to find a taxi anywhere, so think about booking a cheap motel room or jimjilbang close by so that you don't wind up walking for hours when it's over. 

    The aquarium is worth seeing, it's not very big and you can see everything in an afternoon, but it's worth a visit. There's also Texas Town/Texas Street, which used to be fairly raunchy, but it's mostly Chinese restaurants and shops now. Get some hoe and makgeolli at a beachfront restaurant or do some cho-ge-gui and soju.  

    If you've got two weeks then you might as well see some of the country. You can get a KTX train from Pusan to Seoul, it takes about three hours and costs about W50,000. In Seoul, see the National Museum, stroll through Insa-dong and Myeong-dong, if you're into crowds and want to be around large groups of people Hongdae is popular with twenty-something Koreans and Itaewon and Haebangcheon are popular areas for nightlife where you can meet a lot of foreigners. COEX has an aquarium and lots of shops, there's Lotte World - an indoor amusement Park. 

    If you've got the time and you're so inclined, you can book the USO tour of the DMZ. It's an all-day affair, pick-up in Seoul, a couple of hours on the bus, but you can tour the DMZ, see North Korea and tour the UN buildings right on the MDL, but if you do it, follow the guidelines when it comes to dress code and don't forget your passport, they're very strict. 

    Incheon has an interesting Chinatown that's worth seeing and it's only a short distance from Seoul by Subway. 

    You can visit the Independence Museum in Cheonan.

    Jeonju has a folk village where you can walk around and take some photos, buy some souvenirs and eat bibimbap - go for the yuk-hoe (raw beef flavored with sesame) bibimbap. 

    Andong has a smaller, but better folk village, and you can eat the traditional "King's food" which is essentially just a slew of different kinds of banchan (side dishes), but it's a pretty boring town other than that. There's a very disappointing soju museum, but the footbridge spanning the river is actually quite nice. 

    A lot of side trips are harder to do without access to a car. 

    You could opt to hike Seoraksan or Jirisan, both are very picturesque, but they're not simple hikes and the accommodation at Seoraksan is extortionate. 

    Geoje Island is close to Pusan and that's worth it. You can do a boat trip out to some of the islands there, some of them have been made into botanical gardens and they're nice for a stroll. 

    You must of course visit Gyeongju City. It's essentially an outdoor museum, there are the burial mounds and the museum has artifacts from many different periods of Korean history. 

    There are a few temples worth seeing if you're into that. 

    If you've got a full two weeks, why not plan to do two or three full days each in Seoul and Pusan seeing everything you can, go to the top of Namsun Tower and see Haeundae Beach and all that, that's a week right there...

    Then fill the rest of the time doing day trips, head out to Cheonan, see the Independence Museum, check out the department stores...

    Suwon Fortress is worth a day and the area around Suwon City Hall has some nice restaurants and it's surprisingly walk-able by Korean standards...   

    If you ant to experience a bit of the traditional culture, flip a coin between Jeonju and Andong. Jeonju is definitely easier to do in a day - especially if you arrive by train, Andong is a bit harder to get in and out of and much smaller and more spread out, so expect to pay a lot more with taxi fares and whatnot factored in...

    Since you're seeing Pusan there wouldn't be much point in traveling up the East Coast. Donghae is a nice little town with good seafood but it's far from everything and would eat up a lot of time...

    Daecheon Beach isn't as nice as Pusan but it's a lot more laid back and much cheaper. You could shoot out there for a day from Cheonan/Asan and just get some seafood and play some games along the strip. I like to head out there for a night every two or three months, set off some fireworks and drink beers on the beach, maybe rent a little scooter and go puttering along the beachfront road...

    Dedicate at least one or two days to Gyeongju and you're all set. 

    Enjoy yourself.     

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