If you haven’t heard of Busan, this is South Korea’s second city, sitting on the south-eastern edge of the country’s main island. It’s the perfect mix of Seoul’s dynamic, vibrant city vibe and Jeju’s relaxing atmosphere and gorgeous coastal landscapes. Busan has so much to offer, you can easily spend a few days here. But if you are short of time, here’s how you can spend 1 Day in Busan.
1 Day in Busan – How to get around?
Going around Busan is really simple and easy. The public transportation is fast and efficient and as long as you know your stops, you won’t have difficulty finding your way around.
It’s economical to get yourself a T-Money card when you are traveling in Korea. This card enables you to travel around Korea using all kinds of public transportation. It saves you the hassle of finding small changes and it’s also cheaper as compared to buying a single ticket each time. You can get them in any train station top-up machine or most convenient stores.
1 Day in Busan – How to stay connected?
Before you start your journey, it’s important to get yourself a local SIM + Data card. We got ourselves an Unlimited Data 10-DAY SIM card from Link Korea at a cost of $35 USD, as soon as we touched down in Seoul Incheon Airport. I find this SIM super useful as my fiancé and I got to surf unlimited Internet at 4G speed throughout our 10 days trip in Korea. If you are flying to Busan directly, they also have a counter in the Gimhae International Airport. You can pick up your SIM without hassle.
1 Day in Busan – Taejongdae
Imagine: endless views of the deep blue sea, stunning rocky cliffs, and fresh seafood. This is what a trip to Taejongdae has to offer.
Over there, you’ll discover the harmony of luxuriant forest, rocky cliffs, and the vast ocean unfolds a breath-taking scenic beauty. Myth has it that even gods and goddesses come here to relax, specifically on Sinseon Rock just under the lighthouse of the resort complex.
You can go around Taejongdae using the tram pass at 2000 KWR. This pass allows you to hop on and off the train and visit all attractions in Taejongdae. But if you’re up for some moderate walking, you can also walk along the trail.
We took a stroll along the jagged coastline, admiring the trees dotted with pops of autumn colors, as we made our way to the famed lighthouse.
This is where you can admire the beauty of the costal formation and embrace the sea.
We actually wanted to go down to the rocks at the bottom. However, the walking trail was closed, probably due to safety reason. But should it open again, I highly recommend you to go there and take some selfies!
Taejongdae is a bit off-center and may take up to an hour’s ride to get to, but the amazing vistas make the trip all worth it. There are buses to the Taejongdae Cliff Bus Stop coming from Nampo Subway Station and Busan Station – look for bus numbers 8, 30, 88, or 101.
From Busan station, take exit number 7, walk straight to the third bus stop, and take Bus 101. Travel time is about 45 minutes. You can get back to Busan or Nampo station via the same buses (8, 30, 88, 101).
I also made a VLOG on my Busan trip. Check out the video now to discover its beauty!
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1 Day in Busan – Gamcheon Cultural Village
In the afternoon, it’s time to explore another unique site of Busan – Gamcheon Cultural Village. The picturesque Gamcheon Culture Village has earned many nicknames with a few popular ones being Korea’s Santorini” and “Lego Village.”
Over there, you will find rows and rows of small houses closely huddled together along the hillsides. The chaotic colours surprisingly co-exist with each other harmoniously.
However, this beautiful village has a not-so-rosy history. During the Korean War, makeshift houses were erected to serve as living spaces for refugees. But when homes in the village became abandoned, local artists saw this as an opportunity to turn these empty spaces into galleries and charming cafes. And after many years of effort, the village has indeed transformed.
Take your time to explore every corner. You will always be delighted what you are about to discover.
Be sure to climb up to the ‘Haneulmaru Observation Deck’ for a beautiful panoramic view of the village. It is also an excellent spot to take pictures against the colorful backdrop of the village.
If you are craving for some pasta, there’s one very good pasta café right beside the entrance. Although the restaurant doesn’t have fancy decoration, the place is very cosy.
Most importantly, the pasta is rich and yummy! The owner takes 15 mins to cook the pasta patiently and carefully.
It’s just awesome when you can savour the creamy pasta while enjoying the beautiful view of the colourful village.
Head to Nampodong Station and go to the bus stop opposite Lotte Department Store. Hop on any one of the following buses: #8, 13, 30, 88, or 101 and take it to the last stop. Walk in the direction of the main park gate you are there.
1 Day in Busan – Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
Famous for its magnificent sunrise, Haedong Yonggungsa is a temple where the sun rises first in the country. Unlike most other temples nestled deep in forested mountains, it is situated on the coast, looking almost like a majestic underwater palace.
By the time we got there, it was getting really dark. So I highly recommend you to get there an hour before sunset, so that you can fully take in the view.
Alight Haeundae Station (Line 2), Exit 7. Take Bus 181 and get off at Yonggungsa Temple for 1,200 won each.
1 Day in Busan – Where to stay?
If you are wondering which area to stay in Busan, Seomyeon is the one! As one of the busiest streets in Busan, Seomyeon is a district that never sleeps. You can find all the local food along the streets and shopping all around! It’s convenient, lively and most importantly, it’s very central!
Check out the vlog I made to discover the beauty by yourself!
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Depending on how much time you have, there are many other attractions in Busan. But if you only have 1 full day to spare, the above 3 attractions are the must-go. Next week I will share about my Jeju trip, the heaven island of Korea. Stay tuned for more!