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17 Free Things to Do in Busan, South Korea (+ Hidden Gems!)

Wondering what the best free things to do in Busan are for your upcoming trip? Well, let me tell you, you’re in for a treat! I first visited Busan on a trip to South Korea and Japan, and let me tell you, it quickly became one of my favorite cities of the trip.

Seriously, it’s like a hidden gem just waiting to be discovered. If you’re on the fence about booking your ticket, consider this your sign—go for it! Trust me, you won’t regret it!

I digress, in this post, I’m going to unpack the best free things to do in Busan so you can explore without breaking the bank! From stunning beaches and fantastic city life to epic markets and scenic temples, Busan has it all.

So, whether you’re a beach bum, a foodie, or a culture vulture, there’s something here for everyone. Best of all most attractions are completely free!

Let’s dive into 17 free things to do in Busan so you can create the perfect itinerary.

In a hurry? These are my top picks!

✔️ Get Lost at Gamcheon Culture Village (Must-do!)

✔️ Soak in the Sun at Haeunde Beach

✔️ Watch the Show at Dadaepo Sunset Fountain of Dreams (most underrated!)

✔️ Explore Haedong Yonggung Temple

Busan Travel Essentials

  • Grab the Visit Busan PassVisit Busan Pass exclusively available for international travelers, and save money! Enjoy free access to 40+ attractions, tour buses/trams, and discounts for tours & restaurants. 
  • Now, staying connected is a must, right? Pick up a 4G SIM card with unlimited data (KT) or 4G SIM (SKT) at Seoul or Busan airport. But if you prefer to connect multiple devices, rent a 4G Pocket WiFi. Reserve in advance to save time!
  • Grab your T Money Card from the airport to make getting around South Korea a breeze. Your T Money card is your ticket to Korea’s subways, buses, and taxis. Easily top up your card at the subway station machines. 
  • Buy a discounted KTX pass for unlimited high-speed train rides. It’ll whisk you from Seoul to Busan in under 2.5 hours. Now, that’s the way to travel!
  • Book your airport pickup in advance for a more cost-effective journey. Gimhae Airport is far from the city center and Uber’s aren’t available, plus a taxi will cost you big bucks. 
  • Google MapsRome 2 Rio, and Kakao Maps will be your best friends for getting around South Korea

17 Free Things to Do in Busan

Busan offers tonnes of fantastic free things to do in Busan! Fill your itinerary with these wallet-friendly activities – from relaxing by the beach, window shopping, and visiting temples to some epic hikes.

Haeunde Beach is one of the best free things to do in Busan

1. Soak in the Sun at Haeundae Beach

Spend a day relaxing on one of Korea’s most famous beaches, known for its soft sand and clear water.

Whether you’re lounging with a good book, taking a refreshing dip in the clear waters, or enjoying a cocktail at one of the beachfront bars, Haeundae Beach is one of the most popular free activities in Busan.

Note: Swimming is actually only allowed between the designated swimming season, which usually begins in July and ends in August.

2. Visit Gwangalli Beach at Night

Another beautiful beach in Busan, Gwangalli offers stunning views of the Gwangan Bridge and is a popular spot for evening strolls.

When the sun sets, the Gwangan Bridge lights up, creating the perfect backdrop for a free night out in Busan.

Whether you’re enjoying a romantic evening or simply unwinding after a big day out, add Gwangalli Beach at night is simply gorgeous.

Views from Haedong Yonggungsa temple are free

3. Explore Haedong Yonggungsa Temple

Located along the coastline, Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is a true gem of Busan, renowned for its breathtaking oceanfront setting and remarkable architecture.

Wander through the temple grounds, admiring the intricate details of the buildings and soaking in the serene atmosphere.

Don’t forget to pause and take in the panoramic views of the sea.

While entrance to the temple is free, contributions to its upkeep are welcomed as a gesture of appreciation for this sacred site.

4. Get Lost at Gamcheon Culture Village

Explore this colorful hillside village filled with street art, murals, and unique shops. Gamcheon Culture Village is one of my absolute favorite free things to do in Busan – it is so unique and stunning!

Known as the Santorini of Korea, it’s no wonder this is a great place for taking photos.

The best plan for Gamcheon Culture Village is no plan. Simply lose yourself in the maze-like alleys, stopping at the various few points to soak it all in!

➡️ Prefer to take a tour? Check out this Small Group Busan Tour that includes a visit to Jagalchi Fish Market, Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, and Gamcheon Culture Village.

5. Hike Taejongdae Park

Ready to stretch your legs and soak up some stunning views?

Taejongdae Park has got you covered! If you’re visiting in winter, this is one of the best things to do!

Lace up your hiking shoes and hit the trails, winding your way along coastal cliffs that offer jaw-dropping views.

It’s like stepping into a postcard!

Take your time to explore the park’s pathways, breathe in the fresh sea air, and maybe even spot some wildlife along the way. There are trails for more avid hikers and those who want a more leisurely stroll.

Wandering around Jagalachi Fish markets to experience Busan's vibrant culture

6. Feel the Culture at Jagalchi Fish Market

Alright, get ready to dive into the hustle and bustle of Jagalchi Fish Market, Busan’s ultimate seafood paradise!

This place isn’t just any market—it’s the biggest seafood hub in all of South Korea, and trust me, it’s a feast for the senses.

There are tanks brimming with lively sea creatures, vendors preparing street eats, and the aroma of fresh seafood filling the air.

While grabbing some seafood to cook up your own feast isn’t exactly free, just taking a stroll around here is an experience in itself.

So, even if you’re not planning on buying anything, Jagalchi Fish Market is still a must-visit to get a taste of Busan’s vibrant culture!

Nurimaru APEC House on Dongbaek Island has a free observation deck

7. Escape to Dongbaek Island

Looking for a change of scenery from the city? Dongbaek Island is calling your name!

Tucked away on the southern coast of Busan, you can actually walk here from Haeunde Beach (it’s not technically an island anymore!).

As you wander through the island’s winding trails, keep an eye out for the iconic Nurimaru APEC House where there is a great observation deck.

With its peaceful vibe and stunning views, Dongbaek Island is the perfect retreat for a relaxing day in Busan—no admission fee required! So pack a picnic and grab your camera!

8. Have a Picnic at Busan Citizens Park

Next on the list of the best free things to do in Busan is all about enjoying some greenery in the heart of the city. Busan Citizens Park has sprawling lawns, ponds, and lush gardens to explore.

Pack a picnic basket filled with your favorite snacks and treats, spread out a blanket under the shade, and enjoy an easy afternoon.

So kick back, and let the worries of the world melt away!

9. Soak it all in at Beomeosa Temple

Head to Beomeosa Temple to immerse yourself in centuries of history and spirituality. Located in the foothills of Busan’s Geumjeongsan Mountain, just like Haedong Yonggungsa, the views are worth the trip.

Explore the temple grounds, lined with intricate wooden structures, colorful prayer flags, and meditation halls.

If you only have time for one temple, I’d personally opt for Haedong Yonggungsa for the ocean views.

10. Immerse yourself in History at Busan Museum

If you’re itching to dive into Busan’s fascinating past, the Busan Museum is the place to be.

Wander through a maze of exhibits and artifacts. From ancient relics to modern interpretations, there’s plenty to learn here. And guess what? Admission is totally free, so you can explore to your heart’s content without breaking the bank.

Just keep in mind that if you’re tempted by any special exhibitions, there might be a small fee involved.

11. Wander Along Songdo Beach Skywalk

If you’re craving some light exercise along the coast with stunning views, look no further than Songdo Beach Skywalk.

It’s the perfect spot for a relaxed wander, whether you’re catching up with friends, enjoying a romantic stroll, or wanting to work off that Korean BBQ!

I recommend heading out just before sunset for great weather and even better views!

Oryukdo Skywalk is perched on a cliff and has a transparent walkway for epic views of the sea

12. Feel The Thrills at Oryukdo Skywalk

Speaking of seaside walks, take it up a notch as you walk along the transparent glass pathway at Oryukdo Skywalk.

Perched high above the cliffs of Oryukdo Island, this skywalk might just get your adrenaline pumping, especially if heights make your tummy turn!

And yep you guessed it, it’s free admission so there’s no reason not to take the plunge and feel the thrills at Oryukdo Skywalk!

13. Grab a Bite To Eat at Gukje Market

Feeling hungry and craving some delicious local flavors? It’s time to head over to Gukje Market.

This bustling market is a foodie’s paradise, with an array of stalls offering Korean street food and traditional dishes. From savory pancakes and spicy rice cakes to fresh seafood and savory dumplings.

With affordable prices, free entry, and plenty of options to choose from, Gukje Market is the perfect spot to refuel before continuing your exploration of the city. After all, food is essential!

So come hungry and leave happy at Gukje Market!

14. Watch The Show at Dadaepo Sunset Fountain of Dreams

Moving onto one of the most underrated free things to do in Busan!

Find yourself a comfy spot by the waterfront, kick back, and get ready to be wowed as the Dadepo fountain show kicks off. Enjoy the bright colors, music, and impressive water displays.

Grab a snack, snag a spot, and get ready for an evening you won’t forget.

15. Hike Geumnyeongsan Mountain

Let’s head over to Geumnyeongsan Mountain for an epic hike! With its winding trails, lush forests, and breathtaking views, this mountain offers the perfect escape from city life.

Strap on your backpack, pack some snacks and plenty of water and get ready to hit the trails.

As you make your way up the mountain, keep your eyes peeled for hidden gems like serene temples, viewpoints, and maybe even some wildlife along the way.

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking for a fun way to spend the day outdoors, Geumnyeongsan Mountain is worth checking out.

Wandering around Biff Square watching them set up for a film festival

16. People Watch at Biff Square

This bustling pedestrian street is the perfect place to spend an afternoon of people-watching and window shopping. Find a cozy bench or grab a seat at one of the outdoor cafes, and get ready to watch the world go by.

And with plenty of street performers, vendors, occasional festivals, and quirky shops lining the square, there’s never a dull moment at Biff Square.

17. Window Shop at Shinsegae Centum City Department

Lastly, indulge your retail cravings at Shinsegae Centum City Department Store, which is registered in the Guinness World Records as the largest department store in the world!

This mega shopping complex is not just any department store—it’s got everything from high-end fashion to quirky souvenirs. Take your time strolling through the aisles, admiring the latest trends and eye-catching displays.

Even if you’re just window shopping, there’s plenty to see and discover. And with its convenient location in Centum City, you can easily spend hours exploring.

So grab your wallet (or leave it at home, if you dare), and let’s go on a shopping adventure!

⭐ Love my travel guides and itineraries? I’m here to design a custom itinerary tailored to your travel dreams! Fill out the contact form below, and let’s plan your dream trip! ⭐

⏬ Custom Travel Itineraries Enquiry Form ⏬

➡️ Learn more about my custom travel itinerary services here.

FAQs: Free Activities To Do In Busan

Moving onto some commonly asked questions about the free things to do in Busan.

Is 1 day in Busan enough?

While one day in Busan allows you to have a taste of some of its highlights, it’s undoubtedly a tight squeeze to experience everything this incredible city has to offer fully.

That being said if you only have 1 day, perhaps you’re taking a day trip from Seoul, with careful planning, some prioritization, and comfortable shoes, you can still make the most of your visit!

If you can spare an extra day, check out my 2 Day Busan Itinerary For First Timers.

Is 3 days in Busan enough?

Three days in Busan allows you to delve deeper into its rich culture, visit more attractions, and even venture beyond the city to nearby areas.

With three days, you can travel in a more relaxed space or pack more hidden gems and wonderful attractions into your itinerary. It’s up to you!

How much does it cost per day in Busan?

The cost of a day in Busan is actually pretty cheap! Most attractions are free or very affordable, plus accommodation in central locations is very reasonable.

On average, budget travelers can expect to spend around $40 to $75 per day, covering accommodation, meals, transport, and any additional sightseeing expenses.

However, costs can vary significantly based on factors such as accommodation choice and how often you eat out, you can certainly splurge on some luxury here.

Is it expensive to take taxi in Busan?

Taxis in Busan are much more affordable compared to many other cities! Although costs can add up, especially for longer journeys or during peak hours.

I recommend checking the taxi fares beforehand on the Kakao taxi app.

The metro and public buses are excellent and much more affordable. Mixing public transport and taxis is the best way to go.

Is Busan walkable?

Busan is a pretty large city with neighborhoods and attractions quite spread out.

While some areas, such as Seomyeon, and beachfront districts like Haeundare, are walkable, your itinerary almost certainly will include catching public transport or hopping in a taxi.

Is shopping cheaper in Busan or Seoul?

Both Busan and Seoul have an excellent shopping scene, with a wide range of shops, markets, and malls.

While prices can vary depending on the specific items and locations, you’ll often find Busan to be more affordable, particularly local products and seafood.

However, Seoul has a larger variety of luxury brands and international retailers, so if that’s more what you’re after, you can’t go wrong in the capital!

The Wrap-Up: Free Things To Do In Busan

Alright, we’ve reached the end of our journey through the best free things to do in Busan, and what a ride it’s been!

From stunning beaches to epic hikes and serene temples, we’ve covered it all. I hope this guide has inspired you to explore this hidden gem of a city and make the most of your trip whilst keeping your wallet intact.

Get ready for an adventure of a lifetime in Busan. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Happy trip planning!

Keep reading about Travel in South Korea!

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