When the movie ‘Train to Busan’ started showing in theatres worldwide, the second-largest city in South Korea started gaining extensive attention from the public and media. From then on, it was established that a trip to South Korea would not be completed without visiting Busan, and recreating zombie scenes on the KTX was a must. Fun fact: this enchanting city was coined the No. 1 travel destination in Asia by Lonely Planet back in 2018.
Busan is also the city where a scene from Marvel’s Black Panther was shot.
Apart from thrilling car chases and an impending epidemic from a zombie virus, Busan is one of our favourite destinations in Korea because of its geographical location – it’s right by the ocean! If you’re one who likes relaxing to the sound of waves crashing onto the shore or by chasing sunsets at the beach – Busan may just be your next ideal travel destination.
Here are some Busan attractions we strongly recommend for that ultimate soul recharge.
Welcome The New Day At Haedong Yonggunsa Temple
One of the most well-known attractions in Busan is the Haedong Yonggunsa Temple. While most temples are hidden within mountainous regions, Haedong Yonggunsa Temple is situated just right along the coastline of Busan.
We knew we had to check this spot out after discovering how locals flock here during the New Year. Making a wish while watching the first sunrise of the year is kind of a thing in Korea. In a few months’ time, it could be you standing there to watch the first sunrise of the new decade!
As we were directly facing East, we had an undisrupted view of the sunrise and it was simply glorious. On top of that, we got to enjoy the sunrise with melodies from nature instead of noisy tourist chatters since it was a weekday morning.
The temple is located slightly further away from the city but a taxi should get you there easily, especially during the wee hours of the morning.
Read more about Haedong Yonggunsa Temple here.
Enjoy The View of Gamcheon Cultural Village in A Prince’s Bakery
Gamcheon Cultural Village is a must-visit for anyone heading to Busan for the first time. We chanced upon Café Prince – a café/bakery that serves luscious pound cakes and milk tea.
Feel like royalty with the staff’s impeccable dressing and pretend to be a fictional character in a fairytale for just a day as you sip on your milk tea and nibble on your pound cakes.
And if you ask us about the highlight of this café? It would be the window that overlooks the entire Gamcheon Cultural Village. The scene out of the window looks like a painting at some museum, but it’s not. We would say, don’t miss the chance to take more photos while you’re there!
Have Lunch at A Place That Serves Ddeokbokki-Styled Bulgogi
There’s a restaurant called ‘구위삶기’ in Korean and they serve huge pots of bulgogi with other ingredients such as squid with a variety of vegetables. Although it’s a chain store, the reviews for this place have been great.
Oh, did we mention that it’s affordable as well? They have a 23,000 won lunch set that serves 2-3pax. It comes with a huge pot of bulgogi, fried dumplings, and fried rice as well.
However, do note that this lunch set is only available from opening till 4 pm.
There’s an outlet at Nampo-dong and one at Seomyeon so no matter what’s planned on your itinerary, it’s really easy to squeeze this place in! *slurps*
Try One of The Best Affogatos at e.c.t Studio
e.c.t Studio is located across the Yeongdodaegyo Bridge, located amongst a sea of apartments and garages. At first glance, you would most probably doubt yourself while making your way down there because it simply doesn’t make sense for a café to be located there.
But that’s the beauty of Korea and its cafes.
What awaits you is an aesthetically pleasing interior with a high ceiling and cute desserts served in Victorian-styled cutlery. And surprise! The industrial-chic-styled café faces a dock filled with ships, making it the perfect backdrop for any nautical-themed photo shoot (attention all instagrammers!)
Make sure to try their Affogato – what sets them apart is the addition of biscuit crumbs and cocoa powder which elevates the entire caffeinated experience.
Free Observatory Points for Amazing Views of Busan
If you decided to walk towards e.c.t, you might realize that the bridge itself is an amazing viewing point. The entire landscape gives off a certain Hong Kong/Sydney vibe.
But did you know that the Lotte Department Store at Nampodong Station has a sky park and an observation deck for one to take in the breathtaking views of Busan and the Bay? The best part is that it’s free. We highly recommend heading up to the 11th and 12th floor for a visit near sunset to check out that amazing sunset glow.
However, if you’re more of a nature-oriented person or one who prefers some solitude, you might prefer heading over to Oryukdo, one of the most scenic and serene places in Busan to view the sunset. Try spotting all six islands and the skyline of Haeundae!
A Seafood Stew That’s Super Value For Money
Are you on a seafood diet? One in which you see food and eat them?
If you’re a real seafood lover, this place would spark your interest.
Located near the express bus terminal in Busan, Dongcheon Seafood Stew Restaurant (동천해물탕아구찜) is a perfect place for lunch or dinner if you decide to drop by any nearby cities. The seafood stew set is reasonably priced between 40,000 to 60,000won, depending on the size ordered.
The seafood stew comes with a side of boiled octopus, abalone sashimi and a huge hotpot filled with abalone, clams, mussels, crabs and so much more. The portions were so generous that we had difficulty finishing the entire meal.
With that being said, make sure you leave stomach space for some fried rice that’s fried using the leftover seafood stew. 🤤
With these Busan attractions in mind, we can’t wait to fly over to Busan soon for some amazing food, views and of course, to recharge our minds and souls.