10 Exciting Things To Do In Busan In 2024 + Useful Phrases

Things to do in Busan - A photo of an Asian female in South Korea.

Ready to hear about all the awesome things to do in Busan, South Korea? This city is seriously underrated! Think epic beaches, markets that will make your mouth water, and a whole lot of cultural tidbits hidden in every corner. And get this—it’s totally budget-friendly.

I just got back from Busan in January, and I’m itching to tell everyone about it. Of course, learning useful Korean phrases will turbocharge your Busan adventure, which I will also share with you to help you easily navigate those markets like a local and maybe even discover some off-the-beaten-path spots.

Things to do in Busan - A photo of the Tower of Busan.

1. Climb To The Top Of Busan Tower

You won’t believe the views from the top of Busan Tower! I’m talking 120 meters up—you literally see everything. Beaches, markets, the port buzzing with activity—it’s wild! Plus, the tower is located right in Yongdusan Park, one of the coolest green spaces in the city.

Love history? They’ve got statues, monuments, and a whole museum—perfect for a culture fix after snapping pics from the tower. And speaking of pics, don’t forget to grab a coffee at the café on top—it’s the perfect spot to chill with those incredible views.

Bonus: they have telescopes up there, so you can really geek out and zoom in on all the landmarks. And since it’s smack dab in the middle of Busan, it’s easy to work into your day.

Useful Phrases

If contemporary Korean art is your jam, the Kim Jae Sun Gallery is calling your name. They seriously have a massive collection—everything from big-name Korean artists to the next generation of stars. And they always have new exhibitions rotating through, so it’s never the same experience twice.

I love that it’s got a mix of paintings, sculptures, and even crazy multimedia installations. It’s also in Marine City, which is all sleek and modern, with awesome views of the ocean. Did I mention the best part? It’s free! Budget travelers, unite!

Useful Phrases

3. Wander Through Gamcheon Culture Village

They don’t call Gamcheon Culture Village the “Machu Picchu of Busan” for nothing. Imagine houses painted in every color of the rainbow, stacked up the hillside like a giant art project. And then there’s the street art—murals and sculptures—it’s like an outdoor gallery!

Pop into the quirky little cafés and shops for a break—who knows what treasures you’ll find. This place is Instagram heaven (especially the spots with “The Little Prince” statue). And get this—the whole village transformation was a community effort, which makes it even more incredible.

Useful Phrases

4. Experience The Hustle At Jagalchi Fish Market

The Jagalchi Fish Market is where the action starts before sunrise! Here, you’ll smell the briny, fishy smell filling the air as you walk in at 5 AM. The place is packed with locals, and the energy is electric.

Hear the calls of the “Jagalchi Ajumma,” their voices strong and lively as they sell their day’s catch. These women are legendary in Busan and are known for their sharp wit and tough spirit.

Now, picture rows and rows of seafood you’ve likely never seen before—shellfish of all shapes, wriggling octopuses, and fish with glistening scales. You get to pick your own and have it cooked right there at one of the bustling restaurants lining the market. It’s the freshest seafood experience you’ll ever have!

Useful Phrases

Are you having fun with Korean vocabulary? If so, you should try the Ling app! The Ling app is a fun language app that will help you master 60+ languages in the easiest way possible! You can get it from Google Play and App Store and use it anytime for free!

A photo of Haeundae Beach at daytime.

5. Unwind At Haeundae Beach

After the market’s intensity, Haeundae Beach is a welcome change of pace. Feel the soft sand beneath your toes as you walk along the 1.5-kilometer stretch of golden shoreline. The water is a clear, inviting blue, perfect for a refreshing dip or a try at paddleboarding.

In the summer, the buzzing energy of festivals and concerts fills the air, making it a vibrant hub of activity. But even on quieter days, there’s always a hum, the sound of waves and laughter blending in the east sea breeze.

And you absolutely cannot miss a Haeundae sunset. Watch the sky turn into a canvas of fiery oranges and pink—it’s pure magic! Getting there is a breeze, too—just hop on a train from Busan Station, and in 40 minutes, you’re in beach paradise.

Useful Phrases

6. Feast On Gwangbokdong Food Street

Gwangbokdong Food Street is an explosion of flavors and aromas. The street is a riot of colorful signs and tempting displays, making it hard to decide where to start. The dumplings or mandu in Korean are a must-try, with endless varieties to explore.

But don’t stop there! Sample the spicy heat of tteokbokki, those chewy rice cakes coated in a fiery sauce. Or go for the crispy, savory goodness of haemul pajeon, the seafood pancake packed with ocean goodness.

Gwangbokdong isn’t just about the Korean dishes, though. It’s the lively chatter of locals, the sizzling of grills, and the clinking of glasses as people come together over shared plates. This is where you taste Busan and experience the joy of its communal food culture.

Useful Phrases

7. Discover The Charms Of Seomyeon Food Alley

Okay, if you’ve worked up an appetite, Seomyeon Food Alley is calling your name. This place is a foodie paradise! The whole alley is packed with tiny restaurants and food stalls dishing up everything you could crave.

Hotteok (those sweet, syrupy pancakes), spicy tteokbokki, skewers of grilled meat… the aromas will drive you crazy (in a good way!). The alley is always buzzing with energy, too—locals are grabbing dinner after work, and groups of friends are sharing soju.

No doubt, it’s the perfect place to dive into Busan’s nightlife scene. My advice? Come hungry, and don’t be afraid to try everything—you may discover your new favorite Korean food!

Useful Phrases

8. Enjoy Craft Beers At Galmegi Brewing Co.

Ditch the mass-produced beer and head to Galmegi Brewing Co. These guys are all about small-batch, American-style brews—bold IPAs, rich stouts, the whole shebang. The brewery itself has a hip, industrial vibe that’s just so cool.

And the food? Think classic American comfort dishes to perfectly complement your pint. It’s the perfect spot for a chill night with friends, especially after a long day at the beach (hint: it’s right near the famous beach of Gwangalli Beach!).

Useful Phrases

9. Experience The Busan International Film Festival (BIFF)

The Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) is a must if you’re in town in early October. This is the big film festival in Asia—tons of international movies, indie flicks you’ve never heard of, and hot new directors making their debut.

It’s located near the massive Shinsegae Department Store (the biggest in the world!), so you know it’s a major cultural hotspot. BIFF is incredibly glamorous, with red carpets, screenings, and a chance to spot your favorite Korean actors.

BIFF takes place in Centum City, right next to Shinsegae, so it’s super easy to get to by subway. Here’s a pro tip: download the “Subway Korea” app before you go. Switch it to English, and boom! You’ve got directions, maps, and all sorts of helpful info right in your pocket.

Useful Phrases

10. Relax At Songdo And Songjeong Beaches

Songdo Beach is a total classic—beautiful golden sand. It was actually Korea’s first-ever public beach, so it’s got some history. Want a unique view? Check out the Busan Air Cruise cable car! It goes way out over the water—like 1.62 kilometers!—and super high up for those amazing ocean views.

Songjeong Beach, on the other hand, is all about the waves! Surfers love it because the water’s clear, and the waves are perfect for riding. Don’t worry if you’ve never surfed before—they’ve got many of surf schools right there on the beach.

Songdo has some fantastic bonus features, too, like the Cloud Walk for scenic strolls and those awesome summer festivals they’re famous for. Songjeong is more laid-back, perfect for sunbathing, playing beach games, and maybe even catching an epic sunrise.

Best part? Both beaches are super easy to reach by public transit. Songdo’s a quick trip from Central Busan, while Songjeong’s got a super scenic coastal route. Honestly, you can’t go wrong—they’re the perfect way to mix some chill time into your Busan outdoor adventure!

Useful Phrases

Go And Experience The Thrilling Things To Do In Busan!

So, Busan explorers, what are you waiting for? There are so many amazing things to do in Busan—beaches, markets, culture, and more—all on a backpacker’s budget!

Remember, a little Korean goes a long way—annyeonghaseyo (hello) and kamsahamnida (thank you) are your friends. Now, go create that epic Busan adventure and make some incredible memories!

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