An Urban Seaside Adventure to South Korea’s Second Largest City: Busan

Busan, officially known as Busan Metropolitan City (부산광역시), is South Korea’s second most populous city after Seoul (서울). Busan is a port city known for its beaches and mountains as well as its seafood and markets. One of the best times to go visit would be around Springtime between April and May, when the weather is still a little cool, with clear skies. By chance, May 5th was a national holiday, thus it gave me the chance to head south and embark on a seaside adventure.

This is an overview map of the main locations I went on this trip:


Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: 

We’ve departed from Seoul at 7:30am in the morning by bus and arrived in Busan at around 3:00pm. The entire trip took longer than expected due to the heavy traffic during a long weekend. The accommodation we stayed at is called Citadines Busan Haeundae Hotel, 5 minutes away from Haeundae Beach (해운대  해수욕장). Due to the large number of people who arrived that day, we could only check-in after 5pm. Thus, we’ve decided to walk around the neighborhood.

My first impression of Haeundae-gu (해운대구) was that the air was much cleaner, with a faint smell of seaside. The streets were also smaller than Seoul, and there were many small local restaurants each with their own distinct theme. The entire neighborhood was rather quiet. We’ve passed by this cute noodle shop and decided to have dinner there.

Later in the evening, we went to Busan Citizen’s Park (부산시민공원)to visit the 2017 Lotus Lantern Festival (부산 연등축제). This festival is an annual tradition for visitors to experience Buddhist culture through the many activities offered. To celebrate Buddha’s birthday, many lotus lanterns structures were put on display. Therefore, the best time to visit them was at night.


Busan Citizen’s Park (부산시민공원)


73, Simingongwon-ro, Busanjin-gu, Busan (부산광역시 부산진구 시민공원로 73 (범전동))

How to get there:

Get off at Seomyun Station (서면역) exit 7.

Take bus 33 at Lotte Hotel Department (롯데호텔, 롯데백화점) and get off at Busan Shimin Gongwon Station (부산시민공원역) (You can also walk to the park, which takes about 10-15 minutes).


Day 2:

For lunch, we headed to the Millak Hoe (raw fish) Center (부산 민락회센타). This is a 10-floor building with a fish market on the first floor. It is considered one of Busan’s premier fresh fish markets where you can choose your own fish and take it to the restaurants in the upper levels and enjoy a delicious meal. You can find raw sea bream, raw flat fish, raw rockfish, raw flounder, grilled eel, raw octopus, and many more. We’ve decided to head to the 8th floor, where we could enjoy a traditional Korean sit-down style restaurant. Moreover, you can have an amazing window view of the Gwangalli Beach while you enjoy your raw fish.

First floor of the Millak Hoe fish market

Lady holding a live raw octopus. You need to pick all your fishes from the same place.


Millak Hoe (raw fish) Center (민락어민활어직판장(부산 민락회센타))


60, Gwanganhaebyeon-ro 312beon-gil, Suyeong-gu, Busan (부산광역시 수영구 광안해변로312번길 60 (민락동))

How to get there:

Get off at Gwangan Station (광안역) (Line 2), Exit 3.

Upon exiting the station, make a u-turn, and turn left at the corner.

Go straight towards Gwangalli Beach (광안리 해수욕장) for about 600-700 meters.

Turn left at the main road in front of Gwangalli Beach.

Continue 400m to arrive at Millak Hoe (raw fish) Center on the right.


After lunch, we decided to take a stroll around the Gwangalli Beach, that is famous for its fine sand and clean water. This beach is 1.4 kilometers long, and is surrounded by many cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy a cool drink by the beachside.

The usual beach swimming period is from July 1st to September, from 9am to 6pm.


Hiking Hwangnyeongsan (황령산) is something to not miss if you want to enjoy an incredible night view of the entire city of Busan. It is in the heart of Busan and has an altitude of 427m, considered the second highest mountain in the Geumnyeon Mountain Range (금련산맥). This mountain would take about two to three hours to hike to the top, but if you plan to go see the night view, I would recommend you to take a taxi from either Geumnyeonsan Station (금련산) on line 2, or Mulmangol Station (물만골) on line 3. It is a 2km, 10-minute ride, so it will not cost you a lot. Once you reach the top, look for the Hwangnyeonsan Bongsudae (황령산 봉수대), which is a beacon fire station that was an important means of communication with the other bongsudaes of the east, west, and north for the military in 1422.

Hwangryeonsan Bongsudae


Hwangryeongsan Observatory

Landmark of the Hwangryeongsan Bongsudae

Nightview of Busan from the top of the mountain

There are few ways to hike down the mountain. You can either call for a taxi, take the bus, or walk down. Walking down the mountain, you will pass by a small cultural village where you can see very traditional Korean houses.

Cultural village mural art

Hwangnyeonsan Bongsudae (황령산 봉수대) (Source: Google maps)



Article by Ruby from Canada

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