Looking for a weekend getaway in Korea? Busan is the perfect place to spend a weekend for a change of scenery from Seoul, Pyeongtaek, or Daegu.
If you’re in the Seoul area, the best way to get to Busan is by KTX/SRT, these are the fast bullet trains that operate in Korea. A return KTX ticket from Seoul Station to Busan Station costs roughly about ₩108,600 ($90, €78, £71). This isn’t cheap but it’s the most efficient way of travel, so I believe it’s worth the price.
Book your tickets in advance on LetsKorail.com.
Once you’ve arrived at Busan Station it’s time to head to where you’re staying. I personally think the Haeundae Beach area is the best area to stay in, there are plenty of options for cheap motels all within walking distance of the beach. To get to this area take the 1003 bus from outside Busan station and it will take 50 minutes to get to Haeundae Beach. Then it’s time to grab a late dinner, head to Spain Club for some tapas and wine.
A lie-in will do you good or you could choose to go for an early swim to perk you up. Either or, a good brunch is next on the agenda for your weekend in Busan. Take the subway to Lian_Gwang, a brunch place that serves excellent coffee and the most delicious eggs benedict.
After exploring the Gwangalli Beach area, head back to the subway station, but instead of heading back to Haeundae, get off at Centum City. Here you will find the largest department store in the world. You could spend a full-day here alone but a few hours is just enough time to browse your favourite stores.
Once you’ve spruced up, it’s time to head to the Park Hyatt Hotel for dinner in the Dining Room restaurant, which is on the 32nd floor. This definitely does not suit every budget, but it’s a treat and a beautiful dining experience. I suggest you book a table by the window and go at the same time as sunset. This way you can watch the beautiful sunset overlooking Gwangan Bridge. Order some meats, sides, and enjoy a delicious glass of wine with it.
Once you’ve finished dinner take the long way home, by walking along the pier back to Haeundae Beach, for beautiful and peaceful views.
Start the morning with another morning swim perhaps? You will have probably worked up an appetite. Head to the Wolfhound for an Irish breakfast (yes, I’m aware this is an Irish pub, and I am Irish but sometimes you just want a big feed of sausages, bacon, and eggs). They also do mimosas, so indulge yourself. It is YOUR weekend in Busan after all.
After this, it’s time to head to Gamcheon Cultural Village. This is sometimes dubbed as Korea’s Cinque Terre. You can take the 1003 bus here from Haeundae but you will have to walk a little to get there once you get off the bus. Once you’ve arrived, just explore the area, walk around, get lost in the alleys, and check out the cafés. But most importantly respect the area because residents actually reside in the village. They paint their houses bright colours to attract tourists. The houses are specifically built so that each house does not block the view of another house, that’s what creates the staircase effect.
By now, you must be hungry so head to Jagalchi Market, the largest seafood market in Korea. From Gamcheon you can take the Seogu 2 bus, it will take 12 minutes for you to get to the market. Here you can pick the fresh seafood that you would like and then go upstairs and have it cooked for you. This is a great place for a seafood lover, if you don’t love seafood, unfortunately, there are little to no options for food here.
Once you’ve feasted on seafood, it’s time to head back to Busan station, take the 27 bus and it will take 9 minutes to get to the station. Once you hop on the KTX back to Seoul, that concludes your perfect weekend in Busan.