26 Best Things to Do in Busan, Gyeongju, and Daegu

26 Best Things to Do in & Near Busan

Check out these awesome activities that definitely deserve a spot on your itinerary!

Despite being an amazing destination in itself, Busan is often overshadowed by its sister city, Seoul. However, take it from us ­— Busan is no less exciting than Seoul. This underrated city is full of fun and awesome things to do, and very much deserves a spot on your South Korea itinerary.

On top of that, if you’re heading to Busan, you’ll be just a hop away from its neighbouring cities of Gyeongju and Daegu, which are also worth exploring. If you’ve never heard of those places before, well, it’s because they are rather off the usual tourist path. Yet, that shouldn’t stop you from exploring the charm of these vibrant cities! Here are the best things to do in Busan, Gyeongju and Daegu that will definitely spice up your trip to South Korea.

Also read: 10 Busan Airbnb Stays for Gorgeous Sea Views & More

Fun things to do in Busan, South Korea

Located at the southern tip of Korea, Busan is heaven for seafood lovers. Besides offering some of the freshest seafood in the region, it promises stunning views, beautiful beaches, as well as villages with a splash of colour.

1. Eat lots of kimchi at Gukje Market

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First off, kimchi. No trip to South Korea is complete without gorging yourself with lots of kimchi. Here at one of the most famous places to visit in Busan — Gukje Market, you can knock yourself out. Pair kimchi with lots of street food in the market for an utterly satisfying meal! 

But of course, other than kimchi, you can also find rows of stalls here selling a diverse array of goods, from fresh food and kitchenware to clothing and cosmetics. After satisfying your taste buds, don’t forget to browse for some souvenirs to bring home!

2. Get lost in Gamcheon Culture Village

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Have you truly been to Busan if you haven’t visited the iconic Gamcheon Culture Village? Known as the Santorini of Korea, it features a delightful maze of colourful murals, winding alleys, and quirky sculptures. Spending an afternoon meandering through the psychedelic streets of this village is one of the best things to do in Busan, South Korea. Remember to take your camera with you, because, trust us — it’s a marvellous sight to behold!

3. Walk among the stars at BIFF Square and shop in Nampo-dong

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BIFF Square is home to the annual Busan International Film Festival. Go starry-eyed as you walk among handprint plaques of celebrities, such as Chinese director Zhang Yimou and Korean actress Hwang Jung-soon. You can also do some shopping at the nearby Nampo-dong: home to a dazzling array of shops and countless street food stalls.

4. Eat fresh seafood at Jagalchi Market

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Jagalchi Market is South Korea’s largest seafood market. Here, you can find endless rows of fish, clams, crabs and other seafood on display. Get ready to sample some of the freshest seafood in Korea, or even try sannakji (live octopus) if you dare!

5. Enjoy the sea breeze at Haedong Yonggungsa Temple

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Feast your eyes on Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, which is uniquely situated along the coast. It is home to several Buddhist buildings, including the Daeungjeon Main Sanctuary, Yongwangdang Shrine, Haesu Gwaneum Daebul (the Seawater Great Goddess Buddha), and Gulbeop Buddhist Sanctum. The Gulbeop Buddhist Sanctum is hidden away in a cave. There is also a three-storey pagoda in front of the main sanctuary that’s home to four lion statues that symbolise joy, anger, sadness and happiness.

This is one of the most popular Busan tourist attractions, drawing many visitors during festive occasions like New Year’s Day and the Buddha’s birthday (on the eighth day in the fourth month of the lunar calendar). During the spring season, this place also transforms into a wonderful cherry blossom viewing spot!

6. Relish the panoramic view from Busan Tower in Yongdusan Park

things to do busan

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The 120-metre-tall Busan Tower is a symbol of the city, standing a proud 69 metres above sea level. Enjoy the breathtaking view from the tower, which gets even better at night! Busan Tower can be found within Yongdusan Park, which also houses one of Busan’s most popular mountains.

7. Take a step back into nature at Nurimaru APEC House

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Created from the combination of the words nuri and maru (Korean for “world” and “summit,” respectively), the Nurimaru APEC House hosted the 11th APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) Summit in 2005. You’ll find this in Dongbaek Park on Dongbaekseom Island, which is well-known for its rugged coastline and stunning scenery.

Many view this place as a historical building with great significance. It also houses a coffee shop and a bridge leading to the lighthouse. Visiting this place is undeniably one of the best things to do in Busan, especially if you love the splendid vistas. Whether against the backdrop of the beach and cityscape during the day or bathed in the city lights at night, it offers a truly captivating experience!

8. Soak in the sun at Haeundae Beach

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One of the top Busan tourist attractions, this white-sand beach is tremendously popular among locals and tourists alike. Haeundae Beach is the venue for various cultural events throughout the year, such as Korean wrestling. But event or no event, Haeundae Beach is a great place to put your feet up, lie back, and bask under the sun.

9. Take IG-worthy pictures at Haeundae Blueline Park

Hopping on vibrant trains and sky capsules is another activity not to be missed while you’re in Busan. Located in Haeundae Blueline Park, the Haeundae Busan Sky Capsule and the Haeundae Beach Train have become a well-loved attraction among both locals and tourists in recent years. Many often come here to relish the gorgeous vista of Haeundae Beach, while taking pictures with the colourful sky capsules. For more information, check out our full Haeundae Blueline Park guide here.

10. Hike along the cliffs of Taejongdae Resort Park

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At Taejongdae Resort Park, you can enjoy lovely views of the oceans and rugged cliffs. It is named after King Taejong Muyeol, who used the area for archery practice. This Busan attraction is known for its spectacular seascapes with scenic natural cliffs and rock formations, and you can reach here by either hiking or taking the train. 

Don’t miss out on Taejongdae Observatory and the Yeongdo Lighthouse for gorgeous coastal views! What’s more, consider taking a ferry ride or exploring the small gallery and cafe, both providing panoramic vistas of the surrounding ocean.

11. Watch a game at Sajik Baseball Stadium

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Baseball might not be a big deal in other parts of Asia, but trust us when we say that in Korea, it is a big deal. One of the best experiences in Busan would be to catch the Lotte Giants in action! So, why not visit the Sajik Baseball Stadium and enjoy a baseball game? Pack some pizza and soda with you, and soak in the electrifying atmosphere as the game progresses.

12. Get high on the Oryukdo Skywalk

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Oryukdo Skywalk is a transparent glass bridge that extends over the cliffs. It leaves you feeling like you are “walking in the sky” as you immerse in the brilliant blues of the seemingly endless ocean and sky. Before entering the horseshoe-shaped bridge, visitors are given shoe covers to protect the glass from scratches and dirt. 

things to do in busan

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The magnificent views from the skywalk are really a feast for the eyes that makes the trip here well worth it, even though it’s a bit far (about an hour from Busan city centre). We previously visited this gem during springtime, and the hills were carpeted with wildflowers. Such a beautiful sight!

13. Walk by the romantic Gwangalli Beach

things to do busan

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One of Busan’s most well-known beaches, Gwangalli is quieter and more laid-back than its famous neighbour, Haeundae Beach. It’s also extremely clean! Come at sunset to stroll on the soft sand or watch the calm waves from the deck. When night falls, the Gwangandaegyo Bridge lights up to showcase a beautiful light show that changes with the seasons, forming a romantic vista.

You can also enjoy the view from the myriad cafes and bars lining the beachfront. At night, several pojangmacha (street stalls) pop up — from which you can enjoy a bottle of soju accompanied by freshly grilled seafood!

14. Have fun cafe-hopping at Jeonpo Cafe Street

things to do in busan

Why not enhance your Busan itinerary with a touch of cafe-hopping? We recommend checking out Jeonpo Cafe Street, an area in Seomyeon which houses some of the best cafes in Busan. This trendy area is chockful of indie boutique stores and quaint cafes perfect for you to recharge over a cuppa after shopping!

Also read: 12 Best Cafes in Busan for Your Coffee & Instagram Fix

15. Hop on a cable car ride at Songdo Bay Station

best things to do in busan

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One of the more famous things to do in Busan is to take a sky tram at Songdo Bay Station. Named the Busan Air Cruise (formerly the Songdo Marine Cable Car), this 1.62km cable car route brings visitors across the sea from Songdo Bay Station at Songnim Park to Songdo Sky Park station at Amnam Park in an enjoyable 15- to 20-minute ride.

Along the way, you can marvel at the panoramic views of several Busan attractions, like Songdo Beach, Yeongdodaegyo Bridge, Namhangdaegyo Bridge, Songdo Coastal Dullegil Road, and picturesque rock cliffs. If you’re looking for a more unique experience, there’s also the Crystal Cabin cable car featuring a transparent glass floor, providing an exceptional and undisturbed 360˚ view! 

Things to do near Busan: Gyeongju

You can reach Gyeongju from Busan via the KTX, it takes only about 28 minutes. Known as the “Museum Without Walls”, this nearby city promises a cultural escapade like no other.

16. Experience a temple stay at Bulguksa Temple


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For a truly authentic Korean experience, why not try a temple stay? UNESCO World Heritage site Bulguksa Temple is located on the slopes of Mount Toham, and it offers a temple stay program. You can choose to enjoy a conversation with a monk over a cup of tea, have zen meditation sessions, or undergo various tea ceremonies. No matter which program you choose, you will have the exclusive opportunity to experience the day-to-day lives of the monks in the temple. 

How to get there from Busan: From Busan Station, take the KTX and reach Singyeongju Station in Gyeongju. Then, take the Gyeongju City Bus 700 to reach the Bulguksa bus stop, walk for about 10 minutes, and you’ll arrive at the temple. 

Alternatively, navigate from Gyeongju Train Station by following Hwarang-ro Street. Then, take bus 10 or 11 from the bus stop in front of the bus office to reach the Bulguksa Temple bus stop. The bus 10 or 11 across the street from Gyeongju Express Bus Terminal can also reach the Bulguksa Temple bus stop.

17. Explore Seokguram Grotto

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While you’re at the Bulguksa Temple complex, don’t forget to explore the Seokguram Grotto, which is yet another UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site worth visiting. Seokguram Grotto is an artificial stone temple made of granite, built back in the Silla Kingdom era. It’s home to a 3.5-metre-tall stone Buddha statue, which is considered one of the symbols of the country’s ancient cultural heritage. 

Come have a calming tour around the temple, and be sure to rise early and catch the sunrise from this spot; it’s said to be a stunner!

How to get there from Busan: From Busan Station, take the KTX and reach Singyeongju Station in Gyeongju. Then, take the Gyeongju City Bus 700 to reach the Bulguksa bus stop, walk for about 10 minutes and you’ll arrive at the temple. 

Alternatively, navigate from Gyeongju Train Station by following Hwarang-ro Street; then, take bus 10 or 11 from the bus stop in front of the bus office to reach the Bulguksa Temple bus stop. The bus 10 or 11 across the street from Gyeongju Express Bus Terminal can also reach the Bulguksa Temple bus stop.

18. Pay a visit to the Gyeongju National Museum

Home to numerous historical and cultural artefacts of the ancient Silla kingdom, another one of the things to do near Busan is visiting the Gyeongju National Museum. All the exhibitions here are informative, with free English tour guides, and even a library within the complex, providing a glimpse into the rich Korean history. The best part? Admission to the museum is free!

How to get there from Busan: It takes about 28 minutes to reach Gyeongju from Busan via the KTX. Gyeongju Express Bus Terminal’s bus lines 60, 61, 601, 603, 604, 605, and 607 partially cover the route through the Gyeongju Historic Area. You can conveniently reach the Gyeongju National Museum through these buses, and it only takes about 10 minutes.

19. Have a history lesson at Cheonmachong Tomb

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Large ancient tombs of kings and nobles of the Silla Kingdom can be found in the Daereungwon Tomb Complex. Among them, only the Cheonmachong Tomb, which also means “Sky Horse Tomb”, is open to the public. Here, take the chance to learn more about the history of these royal tombs and view the various historical artefacts. History buffs will definitely be pleased!

How to get there from Busan: From Busan Station, take the KTX and reach Singyeongju Station in Gyeongju. Then, transfer to the Gyeongju City Bus 60 at the station to reach Cheonmachong. 

Also read: 20 Stunning Hanoks in South Korea You Can Book on Airbnb

Things to do near Busan: Daegu

Daegu, Korea’s fourth-largest city, is a melting pot of culture, tradition, and art. It is about 45 minutes from Busan via the KTX.

20. Go bargain-hunting at Seomun Market

How about a stop at the largest traditional market in Daegu? At Seomun Market, you can find loads of silk, knitted goods, traditional Korean hanbok, dried seafood, traditional wedding food, and more; you name it, they got it! In 2016, the Seomun Night Market was introduced, offering a vibrant nightlife scene along with its delectable food and goods that are available until late at night.

Whether you visit in the morning or at night, spending a couple of hours wandering around the market is worthwhile. You never know what hidden gems you might chance upon!

How to get there from Busan: Daegu is about 45 minutes from Busan with the KTX. Take the Daegu Subway line 2, alight at the Seomunsijang Station Exit 1, and you can easily walk to the market on foot. 

21. Stroll along the artsy Kim Kwangseok-gil Street

Another must-see attraction in Daegu is the 350-metre-long Kim Kwangseok-gil Street. It is chock-full of colourful murals that depict the life and music of the late musician, Kim Kwangseok. Here’s where visitors can marvel at the massive guitar statues and vivid murals. If you happen to visit in autumn, join in the singing contest in the area of Bangcheon Market and Dongseongno Street, too!

How to get there from Busan: Daegu is about 45 minutes from Busan with the KTX. Take the bus 990, 991, 309, 403, 609, 649, 840 or 939 and get off at Bangcheon Market Bus Stop, the street is just nearby.

22. Shop till you drop on Dongseongno Street

Feel young again and shop your hearts out on Dongseongno Street! Stretching 900 meters from the Daegu Station Intersection to Art Square, it is Daegu’s major fashion district. This street not only houses branded shops but is also home to lively performance stages and event squares. Its well-organised layout also makes it easy for first-time visitors who wish to explore the area.

Just a warning though: Come prepared to leave with a considerably lighter wallet, and your hands full of shopping bags. Retail therapy, anyone?

How to get there from Busan: Take the KTX from Busan Station to Dongaegu Station. From Dongdaegu Station Exit 3, walk for 5 minutes to the left and take Dongdaegu Station Line 1 to Seolhwamyeonggok, and alight at Jungangno Station Exit 2.

23. Spend a night at a Korean jjimjilbang


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When in Daegu, go visit a jjimjilbang like a local for an unforgettable experience. Jjimjilbang are Korean bathhouses that are open 24/7 and gender-segregated. These contain both hot and cold soaking pools, various bathing and massage areas, saunas and more! 

Compared to the ones in famous cities like Seoul, the jjimjilbang in Daegu boasts a more authentic and traditional experience, while still providing great modern facilities. Many of these are also family-friendly and offer a more laid-back and relaxing atmosphere overall. These also make for affordable and alternative accommodations, so complete the experience by spending the night in one. We recommend checking out the popular ones in Daegu, like Sungwon Nexus, Goong Jeon Lavender, or Home Spa World.

24. Marvel at the Donghwasa Temple

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Situated on the south side of Palgongsan (or Palgong Mountain), the Donghwasa Temple is a quaint complex featuring ancient and reconstructed Buddhist temples, and a large Buddha statue. Its beautiful name, which translates to “the paulownia tree blooms even in winter,” is inspired by the blossoming trees that surround the temple grounds. 

Admire the natural scenery, capture stunning photos with vibrant lanterns, or just enjoy the company of the adorable cats here. Regardless, visiting the Donghwasa Temple promises a relaxing experience.

How to get there from Busan: Take the KTX from Busan Station to Dongaegu Station. Then, take the Daegu Metro Line 1 (red) to reach Daegu Seobu Bus Terminal Station. From Daegu Seobu Bus Station, take Daegu Subway Line 1 (toward Ansim) to Ayanggyo Station. Transfer to express bus No. 1 for 35 minutes and you’ll reach Donghwasa.

25. Immerse in the tranquillity of Suseongmot

One of the best things to do near Busan is to explore the Suseongmot (or Suseong Lake) in Daegu. Originally constructed in 1925 to supply water for agriculture, this man-made lake has been transformed into a peaceful retreat, surrounded by various entertainment options. During the autumn and spring seasons, don’t miss the chance to enjoy a duck boat ride while taking in the breathtaking scenery! 

By the lake, you’ll find the Arte Suseong Land: an amusement park which boasts benches, walking paths, a ferry dock, as well as various entertainment facilities like a Viking ship, bumper cars, and a merry-go-round. Aside from strolling along the lake, there are many cafes, restaurants, and dessert shops around the area, too!

How to get there from Busan: Take the KTX from Busan Station to Dongaegu Station. From there, take the Daegu Metro Line 1 (red) to reach Myeongdeok Station, then take the Daegu Metro Line 3 (yellow) to go from Myeongdeok Station to Suseongmot Station

26. Embark on a thrilling journey at E-World

E-World officially opened its doors in 1995. This European-style theme park with various theme plazas is designed to cater to visitors of all ages. The park boasts a myriad of exhilarating and family-friendly attractions; from exhilarating roller coasters and a charming carousel to a petting zoo, a mega swing, and the all-new snow-sledding range! 

Besides these exciting attractions, the Daegu 83 Tower within the area is also a must-visit. A symbol of Daegu, this 83-storey-tall radio tower features a revolving restaurant, a Sky Lounge, as well as an observatory deck — all providing a picturesque, unobstructed view of the city. Whether you’re travelling with your family or friends, a visit to E-World in Daegu guarantees a fun time.

How to get there from Busan: Take the KTX from Busan Station to Dongaegu Station. Then, take the Daegu Metro Line 1 (red) to reach Banwoldang Station. From there, take the Daedu Metro Line 2 (green) to reach Duryu Station. The theme park is just a five-minute walk away. 

Also read: 15 South Korea Theme Parks & Amusement Parks Worth Visiting

So there you have it — a list of the best places to visit and things to do in Busan, Gyeongju, and Daegu for a fun-filled trip. From exciting experiences to cultural gems, there’s something for everyone. We’re sure that you will make the most of your next adventure in South Korea!

About Authors

Cecelia Chang
Cecelia Chang

Born in a new village in Selangor, Malaysia, Cecelia loves three things in life: Good food, good views, and good deals. She also enjoys exploring new places and experiencing new things on her travels.


E-lyn Tham
E-lyn Tham

Having a strong conviction that getting lost is just another adventure in itself, E-lyn takes particular delight in wandering stranger lands, inhibitions and fears thrown asunder. There’s so much left in the world to see, and there’s nothing she would like better than to spend her days dreaming whimsical, thinking adventure, and laughing curious.


Jennifer Nathania
Jennifer Nathania

Jennifer believes in collecting memories rather than things, she hopes to eat and travel her way around the world and is always ready for her next adventure!