Busan – South Korea

Beautiful Busan is one of our favourite places on earth, it’s blend of old and new, city live mixed with beach life, gives you everything you could ever wish for in a city. Busan truly won our hearts unlike any other city so far.

We stayed 5 nights and barely scratched the surface. What’s best is that you don’t need a huge budget to visit Busan, here’s a list of the best things to do for free while in Busan:

Free Things To Do:

1 & 2 – Beaches: Busan has a few beaches, they are all amazing. The most popular beach is Haeundae beach, though it gets really busy, I read online that it receives up to 1,000,000 visitors each day during busy months. There was an amazing sandcastle building competition during our visit. For a more peaceful beach experience visit Songdo beach, you’ll probably have the beach to yourself even during summer months, make sure you check out the Songdo cloud walkway too. All the beaches have good toilet facilities and even have wifi.

3 – Get a view: There are a few places advertised in Busan as being the ‘best’ view, but they aren’t cheap. For a free alternative (and we think it’s just as good as any paid for option) visit the Lotte Mall next to the Nampo station. Go straight to the 13th floor and  spend as long as you like there, we went day and night.

4 & 5 – Enjoy the scenery: Busan is a coastal city, it has a dramatic landscape and enough amazing costal walkways to keep you busy for weeks. Our favourites were the Dongbaek Park and Jeoryeong costal walkway. The Jeoryeong walkway is longer and less crowded, there are a few different observation decks for a rest along the way.

6 – Get your art fix: The Busan Museum of modern art has 3 floors of constantly changing exhibits, if your into art then you could easily spend a full morning here, take subway line 2 to Bexco station.

7 & 8 – Finally, a bit of modern history and politics: The APEC house held the 2005 world summit, it’s based on traditional Korean architecture and is free to enter, you only really need 30 minutes to see where the world leaders sat during the important annual meeting. The Yeongdodaegye bridge is lifted once per day and has symbolic meaning for the locals as it was closed of for years during the war.

9 – Eat till you can’t move: (Not a free one but by far the cheapest place to eat in Busan.) The world famous Jangalchi fish market (Nampo station exit number 2) is an absolute must for visitors, even if you don’t eat fish it’s still great to walk around and take in the sights.

Getting There:

Busan has two main railway stations, Busan station receives the high speed trains and Bujeon station takes the slower local trains. Both stations are on the red subway station (line number 1).

The airport has a monorail station, it will cost you 1,400₩ to get to Sasang station where you can connect to the rest of the subway system (line 2, green line). Busan has a fairly good subway system and a ticket to anywhere in the city costs 1,600₩.

Where To Stay:

We stayed at the K-Guesthouse hotel in the Nampo area, we absolutely loved this hotel, our best in South Korea by far, the hotel is on the 10th floor and has a wonderful view over the bay. Breakfast is a simple continental and there is free laundry facility’s.

As everywhere in Korea the wifi was fantastic and rooms were spotless. The hotel is right next to the Nampo subway station (exit number 1). We paid £31 per night through hotels.com.

We also spent one highly at the O’Happy hotel for £24 in between our flight from Jeju to Osaka, hotel was great for the price and good location for the airport but I wouldn’t recommend it for seeing Busan, it’s a bit far from everything else.

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