Busan is a place renowned for being tourist friendly. Being a well-established port, the city has seen a regularly increasing influx of tourists over the years. With so many visitors coming to Busan, the city has had to rise up to the expectations of the international community and it has managed to do so successfully.
Like most touristic sea ports, Busan has an aquarium and this one is the largest in Korea. The aquarium attracts hordes of tourists all the year and is famous for its 3-D ride. Boasting more than 35,000 different kinds of fish and other marine creatures including varieties of algae, reptiles and amphibians, it is an imposing structure, spanning three floors and with an enormous outdoor garden. The second and third levels are display areas while the first level consists of recreational areas, restaurants and souvenir shops as well as a stimulator that promises a ‘rib-tickling’ experience. The lowest level is an underwater tunnel in which you can view the aquatic life all around as if one is walking along the ocean bed. This place is a must-visit for all nature enthusiasts.
- Location: Heaundae Beach (Line 1-Haeundae station)
- Tel: +82 051-740-1700
Firecrackers and Beer at the Songjeong Beach
This is one of the smaller beaches of Busan and is known as a popular dating spot. Songjeong Beach is also one of the few public places in the country where it is allowed to consume alcohol so you will find vendors selling beer and local/international delicacies. Witness the firecrackers over a few beers.
- Location: Line 2 at Haeundae Station via bus or Jangsan Station via taxi.
Go on a Hiking Tour
Busan is known for its numerous hiking trails and the best part about hiking in Busan is that even if the trail is relatively isolated, safety is not a problem as crime rates here are relatively low. You’ll come across some of the best trails in and around the mountains surrounding the city but the most popular hiking trail starts from the South Gate (reachable by cable car) through to the North Gate and ending at Beomeosa Temple.
Sail at Haeundae Beach
This is one of the most popular summer attractions in South Korea. The beach is home to Busan Aquarium and a number of other recreational areas and tends to get rather crowded during the months of June and July so plan your visit accordingly. Here, you’ll find numerous shops, restaurants and hotels and it is well connected to the rest of the city. One of the most sought-after activities includes sailing as Haeundae is home to the largest leisure marina in the country. The beach also has a tourist centre and several small shops and streets that are waiting to be explored.
- Location: Take the Subway to Haeundae.
Visit Hot Springs and get a Natural Spa Treatment
The Hur Shim Chung Spa is the largest hot springs complex in Asia and it is definitely designed to pamper your senses no matter how choosy you may be about your preferences. The Spa consists of three floors that have hot, tepid, cold and strawberry milk- filled bath areas, an outdoor recreational area and a swimming pool as well. The spa has, apart from other things, a restaurant, an oxygen treatment room and a beauty spa. You will have your own locker but the relaxation area is both for ladies and gents so make sure you are appropriately dressed. There are separate areas that are heated at different temperatures so choose one to suit your mood. The set entry fee allows a stay for as long as one wants.
- Location: Connected to Hotel Nong Shim and reachable by the subway. 137 Oncheon-dong, Dongnae-gu
- Tel: +82 51-550-2100
Visit the Fish Market
If you want to have a firsthand experience of the busy life of a seaport town, there is no better place than its local fish market. The fish market at Busan means more than just a shopping area and offers a lot of insight into local culture. So visit the fish market to get along with the local people, get to know their culture and try some really interesting seafood.
- Location: Near Lotte Departmental Store.