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What is Busan Famous For? 16 Reasons It Is Known For!

Wondering: What is Busan Famous For? Find out in this guide!

If you’re wondering “What is Busan Famous For?” – buckle up because I’ve got the insider knowledge on why this city needs to be on your travel radar, pronto!

Busan was the first city in South Korea on a solo trip, and let me tell you, it stole the show. Seriously, it’s like the hidden gem of East Asia, that needs much more hype. So, if you’re sitting on the fence about your next travel move, take it from me – booking that ticket to Busan is the ultimate decision you won’t regret.

Now, let’s talk about why Busan is the real deal. From its beaches and shopping scenes to food markets and gorgeous temples, this city has it all and then some.

Let’s uncover the 16 reasons Busan is known for and then we will cover the best things to do before wrapping up with some FAQs.

What is Busan Famous For?

So what is Busan famous for? Let’s dive into the 16 things Busan is most known for.

What is Busan famous for? Beaches of course, especially Haeundae beach

1. Beautiful Beaches

Think golden sands and calm waters – Busan is famous for its stunning beaches like Haeundae Beach and Gwangalli Beach. These spots offer are perfect for soaking up the sun, taking a dip, or trying your hand at some water sports.

Now as an Aussie, I am spoilt for beaches back home so my expectations weren’t that high. But I must say, the beaches in Busan exceeded all my expectations. They’re truly fantastic! It’s a great way to escape the city, soak up some vitamin D, and simply unwind with a good book.

2. International Film Festival

Get ready for some cinematic magic at the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF). It’s one of Asia’s biggest film festivals, showcasing diverse movies from around the globe.

And don’t worry there are English subtitles available for some movies, just make sure to double-check when looking at the schedule!

Busan is also famous for the Jagalachi Fish Markets

3. Jagalchi Fish Market

Calling all seafood lovers! Dive into the hustle and bustle of South Korea’s largest seafood market.

Jagalchi Fish Market is a sensory delight in more ways than one, offering an array of fresh fish and seafood dishes.

I didn’t actually eat anything at the markets as I visited around 10 am (fish for breakfast is a bit far for me) but just wandering around the stalls was an experience. It was truly incredible looking at all the produce on offer and watching the locals prepare the seafood.

Just note though, the inside market is closed on Tuesdays so if you want the full experience of wandering around both the inside and outside, avoid Tuesdays.

4. Seafood Cuisine

Speaking of seafood, Busan is renowned for its fresh seafood cuisine beyond just the markets. Everything from grilled fish to exquisite delicacies like sashimi and sushi, Busan has it all.

Don’t miss out on trying local dishes such as eomuk (fish cakes), ganjang gejang (soy Sauce crab), and jangeo-gui (grilled eel).

5. Dynamic Culture and Arts Scene

Experience the heartbeat of Busan’s cultural scene with its theaters, galleries, and performance venues.

From traditional Korean performances to contemporary art exhibitions, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Catch a live performance at the Busan Cultural Center or visit the Museum of Contemporary Art to see a diverse collection of modern artworks by both Korean and international artists.

6. Role in the Korean War

Dive into history and discover Busan’s pivotal role during the Korean War.

As the capital of South Korea when the Northern military invaded Seoul, Busan provided refuge for countless civilians, leaving an indelible mark on its place in Korean history.

Busan is known for Gamcheon culture village a colourful town filled with murals and quirky shops

7. Gamcheon Culture Village

Step into a world of color and creativity at Gamcheon Culture Village. This hillside community is filled with vibrant murals, quirky shops, and art installations, making it a must-visit. Not to mention the views are insane!

Amidst its picturesque streets and artistic flair, you can discover remnants of the village’s past as a safe haven for refugees fleeing the Korean War conflict. Exploring the winding alleyways and hidden corners adds another layer of depth to this incredible city.

8. Shinsegae Centum City

Shopaholics, listen up!

Grab your wallet, because Shinsegae Centum City is the largest department store in the world according to Guinness World Records. From shopping to dining and entertainment, it’s a one-stop destination for all your needs.

9. Beomeosa Temple

Busan is also known for the stunning Beomeosa Temple, a sacred site dating back to 678 AD.

When you visit you can take in the beautiful architecture, soak in the peaceful surroundings, and immerse yourself in South Korea’s rich cultural heritage.

10. Significance in Sports

Busan has left its mark on the world stage, hosting major sporting events like the maritime competitions during the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988 and serving as a host city for the FIFA World Cup in 2002.

And fun fact! Did you know that some professional athletes in South Korea are exempt from serving in the military? Yep, conscription is still in full swing here, all able-bodied men must serve for around 18 months.

11. Close Proximity to Japan

With its close proximity to Japan, Busan opens doors to exciting cultural exchanges and economic ties.

Whether you’re exploring Tsushima Island just 50 kilometers away or hopping over to Japan for a getaway, Busan makes exploring the neighboring country a breeze.

12. Attractive Residents…

Get ready to swoon over Busan’s good-looking locals!

With many residents hailed as some of the most handsome in the country, it’s no wonder that Busan boasts an undeniable charm.

From K-Pop sensations like BTS to everyday faces, Busan is home to some pretty gorgeous people.

Wooden bridge at Geumjeong-gu mountains at dawn

13. Mountains and Hot Springs

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and discover Busan’s natural treasures with ease.

Surrounding the city are picturesque mountains offering hiking trails and breathtaking views. After a day out, relax and rejuvenate in Busan’s soothing hot springs, especially if you’re visiting Busan in winter.

14. Chaotic Roads

Busan is known for some pretty chaotic traffic and winding lanes.

Who needs organized lanes and civilized drivers when you can participate in a real-life Grand Turismo? Ok it’s not that bad. But personally, I wouldn’t recommend hiring a car, the subway system is fantastic.

15. Affordable Housing and Accommodation

Looking for a place to stay? Busan offers affordable housing options compared to other major cities in South Korea.

Whether you’re looking for a cozy apartment to rent long-term or a comfortable guesthouse to stay in over the weekend, you’ll find plenty of budget-friendly accommodations to suit your needs.

Check out the safest places to stay in Busan for every budget!

16. Major Port Hub

Last but not least, Busan’s bustling port stands as a testament to its global significance. As South Korea’s largest port and the fifth-largest in the world, Busan’s maritime trade forms a cornerstone of its economy.

You can visit the port to see the day to day happenings of the ships ships – big and small – working round the clock to facilitate global trade and elevate Busan’s international stature.

10 Best Things To Do In Busan

Let’s now cover the 10 best things I recommend you add to your Busan itinerary.

Relax on Stunning Beaches

Spend a day soaking up the sun and enjoying the crystal-clear waters at iconic beaches like Haeundae Beach and Gwangalli Beach.

Then head to one of the cafes and bars along the promenade for a latte or margarita, the choice is yours!

Panoramic views from Busan Tower a key attraction

Visit Busan Tower

Take in panoramic views of the city from the iconic Busan Tower. Trust me, it’s well worth the entrance fee, you can spot the uniform South Korean apartments, Gamcheon culture village, the coastline, mountains and more.

Explore Gamcheon Culture Village

Wander through the colorful alleys of Gamcheon Culture Village, admiring the vibrant street art and quirky shops that make this hillside neighborhood a photographer’s paradise.

This spot was the key reason I visited Busan and it did not disappoint – simply stunning.

Eat Fresh Seafood at Jagalchi Fish Market

Wander around the bustling stalls of Jagalchi Fish Market, where you can sample a wide array of freshly caught seafood delicacies.

Even if you aren’t a huge seafood, I still recommend going to see what it’s all about.

Visit Beomeosa Temple

Escape the city and find tranquility at Beomeosa Temple, a historic Buddhist temple in the foothills of Geumjeongsan Mountain, offering stunning architecture and serene surroundings.

Biff Square is where the international film festival is held

Attend Busan International Film Festival (BIFF)

If you are visiting in October, grab your tickets to Asia’s largest film festivals, where you can catch screenings of diverse films from around the world.

Shop ’til You Drop at Shinsegae Centum City

Get lost in Shinsegae Centum City, the largest department store in the world, offering everything from luxury brands to local finds and plenty of dining options.

Hike Geumjeongsan Mountain

Lace up your hiking boots and tackle the trails of Geumjeongsan Mountain, where you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Busan and its surrounding landscapes.

Whilst I didn’t get a chance to do this on my trip to Busan, it’s my bucket list for the next time I visit!

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is one of the best things to do in Busan

Explore Haedong Yonggungsa Temple

Discover the breathtaking beauty of Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, a seaside temple perched on cliffs overlooking the ocean, offering stunning views and a serene atmosphere.

Whilst I did find it a bit of a mission to get here, yes I took 3 wrong buses, the views are worth the trek.

Ride the Haeundae Sky Capsule

See Busan’s stunning coastline from a different perspective. You may have seen these on Instagram, they are colorful mini-train carts that take you along the Haeundae coastline.

Just make sure to book at least 1 week in advance, carts tend to sell out each day.

FAQs: What is Busan Famous For?

Moving onto some commonly asked questions about – What is Busan famous for!

What is Busan best known for?

Busan is best known for its stunning beaches, vibrant cultural scene, and delicious seafood cuisine.

With iconic landmarks like Haeundae Beach, Jagalchi Fish Market, and the Busan International Film Festival, the city attracts millions of visitors each year seeking relaxation, entertainment, and culinary delights.

Why is Busan so special?

Busan is special for its unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and dynamic culture.

From the picturesque coastline and mountains to its bustling markets and lively festivals, Busan offers a diverse range of experiences for travelers. Additionally, its friendly locals and welcoming atmosphere make visitors feel right at home.

What foods are famous in Busan?

Busan is famous for its fresh seafood cuisine, with specialties like grilled fish, sashimi, and seafood stew being popular among locals and visitors alike.

Other must-try dishes include milmyeon (chewy wheat noodles in a tangy broth), dwaeji gukbap (pork soup), and hotteok (sweet pancakes filled with brown sugar and nuts).

What is an interesting fact about Busan?

One interesting fact about Busan is that it’s home to the largest department store in the world, Shinsegae Centum City.

Boasting an impressive array of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options, this mega-mall offers a shopping experience like no other.

Additionally, Busan’s strategic location as a major port city has played a significant role in its history and development, shaping its identity as a hub of commerce and cultural exchange.

✔️ Flights: Book your flights on Skyscanner 

➡️ Car rental: Rent your car on DiscoverCars

✔️ Travel insurance: I recommend World Nomads

➡️ Accommodations: Book your stay at booking.com

✔️ Activities: Arrange your adventure trips and tours

The Wrap Up: What is Busan Famous For?

So, what is Busan famous for? Busan is loved by locals and visitors alike for its stunning beaches, shopping scenes, culture and art scene, temples, and food markets – just to name a few!

Now that we’ve uncovered the 16 reasons why Busan is renowned, along with some top-notch things to do, it’s time to book that ticket and head on your own Busan adventure. Trust me, it’s a decision you won’t regret! I absolutely adored my solo trip to Busan!

Until next time, happy exploring!

Read more about traveling South Korea!

Is Busan Worth Visiting: The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Busan
Seoul or Busan: Which City Should You Visit?
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Busan 5 Day Itinerary: South Korea for First Timers
Day Trip From Seoul to Busan – 1 Day Itinerary
Is South Korea Safe For Female Travellers? A Complete Travel Guide
The Ultimate South Korea Itinerary 10 Days!
How Many Days in Busan Do You Need? The Perfect 4 Day in Busan Itinerary
16 Best Things to Do in Busan in Winter 2024 (+ Interactive Map!)
2 Day Busan Itinerary For First Timers (+Interactive Map)
17 Free Things to Do in Busan, South Korea (+ Hidden Gems!)
Safest Places to Stay in Busan, South Korea (From A Solo Traveller) + A Map

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