48 hours in Busan: What to see, eat, and do
MANILA, Philippines – Before you make any Train to Busan jokes, let me stop you right there. Zombie-hunting will not be on this itinerary but there's a lot on this list to keep you busy if you've got 48 hours to spend in Busan.
Gamcheon Culture Village
The village is the perfect stop if you want to experience how residents of Busan live and thrive within their communities. This should be first on your agenda and I recommend dedicating at least half a day for you to really go around, see all the tourist attractions and try the food. I
f you like weekend markets, imagine those, but on a much, much larger scale. The village has everything from sites and artwork for you to explore like the famous Little Prince and Fox statue.
If you're looking to shop for souvenirs, the village also has countless shops for you to explore, offering everything from cute socks, to accessories, as well as handicrafts.
Don't forget to make room in your stomach for the local delicacies and snacks they're selling throughout the village! There are also hanbok rental shops, if you feel like being in costume while you explore.
Gukje International Market
If you're anything like me, skincare was one of the first things that came to mind when I think about Korea. While I've been told that Myeong-dong is the must-visit place to head to if you're looking for Korean skincare brands, Gukje International Market did not disappoint either.
Like Gamcheon village, you'll have to navigate narrow streets when you set foot inside Gukje.
There are several local brands all lined up and it can get a bit overwhelming so I suggest you take your time going around and scouting for the best deals. Some brands have big sales or promos like "Buy 10, get 10" for sheet masks for KRW10000 or roughly P50.
I imagine you would be famished after walking and running around with shopping bags. I know I was! Thankfully Korea's largest seafood market was just across the international market. If you love seafood, this is the best place to gorge on freshly caught crabs and fish. You can pick from the day's catch yourself and eat them outside many stalls that will cook them for you.
Another option is to try out Oase Seafood Buffet. The restaurant has a great view of the pier, and offers a huge selection of dishes for you to choose from.
Busan is Korea's largest coastal city, which means it has plenty of beaches and waterfronts for you to enjoy.
One way to do so is to embark on a yacht tour which shows off Busan beautifully. Bay 101 yacht club and Samju Diamond Bay offer these tours at different times during the day. (We recommend going at sunset!)
Spa Land in Shinsegae Centum City
We're sure you're a bit beat by now so I why not head to the world's largest department store and hole up in Spa Land? For KRW15,000(Weekdays) - KRW18000 (Weekends/Holidays) or P665-798, you can get some much needed rest and relaxation from their many facilities. This is probably the biggest spa I've been to and it boasts 23 types of baths and over 13 themed saunas for you to try out. When you're done with your rest and relaxation, Shinsegae Centum City has plenty of restaurants for dinner.
Night Market at Haeundae Beach
For drinks, you can head to Haeundae Beach and enjoy soju while trying out street food from the night market. My personal favorite: munching on the silkworms. Bay 101 is also nearby if you're looking for your usual pubs or restaurants
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
Start your day with some light exercise by navigating Haedong Yonggungsa Temple's 108-step stairway.
The temple is built on top of a cliff that boasts a breathtaking view of the East Sea.
Find yourself hungry for breakfast after the walk? Don't worry there are food stands nearby where you can grab snacks and a cup of coffee before you head to your next destination. Don't forget to pick up some souvenirs too!
Nurimaru APEC House
Speaking of stunning views, another must-see site is the APEC House, built in 2005 when Korea held the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit. Inside the grounds, check out the deck where you can take photos, take your time walking along the pine tree-lined path, and enjoy the view of Haeundae Beach. Inside, the house offers visitors a little recent history lesson. Nurimaru APEC House was built with a modernized version of traditional Korean architecture, with a terrace that overlooks the sea.
Other places to explore
If you're visiting sometime in October, you can take part in Busan's rich filmmaking history by checking out the Busan International Film Festival. Check out what they have to offer by paying a visit to Busan Cinema Center, and the various theaters and multiplexes around Haeundae.
Getting there and getting around
Philippine Airlines has daily flights to Busan and will be adding a Tagbilaran to Incheon route starting June 22, 2017.
As for getting around, Busan has public city buses, taxis, and the metro. You can purchase day passes for the metro.
This familiarization tour was facilitated by Korea Tourism Organization Manila.