Top Sites in Busan (In Order)

Map is embedded at the bottom of the page as well.

1. Jagalchi Fish Market – The largest fish market in Korea is a sight to behold and you DON’T have to wake up at 4am to have an enjoyable experience. Many monsters from various horror movies are sold here. You don’t have to buy anything, and just walking around the stalls you’ll easily fill up your camera’s memory card. If you are hungry, you can choose a fish or two and ask them to cook it upstairs for you. It won’t be the cheapest meal you’ll eat in Busan but it’ll be one of the tastiest and an experience you won’t forget. The food is very reasonably price and you’ll normally be charged a table fee as well but we ate shrimps and all sorts for under £15 a head. Also, I watched the scaling and gutting of Houdini who, try as he might, couldn’t escape the knife.
How to get there: Get off at Jagalchi (Subway Line 1) and follow the signs to the market.
2. Jangsan Mountain Hike – "Wow" is the best word to describe this. Great anytime of year besides if it’s snowing or icy. The views from the peak are unrivalled in Busan and to be honest, the world (based on my experiences so far). It’s the best view I’ve ever seen, and I've been to Tokyo, Vietnam, Cambodia, China and London. Even better than the time I saw boobs…once…in the dark…through binoculars. The hike is relatively easy and mainly involves walking up a path for 2-4 hours, depending on the weather. There were a couple of moments where I had to use my hands to get over some rocks but anyone without major physical problems can handle it. I have also climbed it at night and watched the sunrise, which was awesome. The climb at night took about 2 hours while in the hot summer, it took about 4.
How to get there: Jangsan Station (Subway Line 2), Exit 10. Walk toward Daecheon Park and the mountain (duh!).
Alternative: Don't have the time or energy for Jangsan but want a decent view of the hills, sea, bridge and buildings of Busan? Try Igidae near KSU. It only takes 30 minutes to walk to the top and you are met by some stunning views!
3. Gwangan Bridge – Don’t leave Busan without seeing the bridge at night. This is Korea’s longest two-storey bridge and has an awesome light show throughout the night. The Gwangan area is a great place to relax on the beach and has hundreds of restaurants and bars. In the summer it is a lot less crowded than Haeundae beach, so worth considering.
How to get there: Get off at Gwangan station (Subway Line 2) and follow signs to the beach (walking for about 10 minutes) – you cant miss it! Or for an even shorter walk, get off at Geumnyeonsan Station (Subway Line 2), Exit 3 and do a 180 and walk down the road towards the beach.
4. Dadaepo Musical Fountain – The world’s largest musical fountain. If it wasn't such a pain to get to, it would have been higher on the list. It truly is amazing. I would aim to get there early (7.30pm) because the official webpage seems to have the outdated show times and the seats fill up quickly. There are normally two shows a night and it’s worth staying for both. I have photos and videos, if you click on the "more info" link.
Please note that the fountain is only open from March-November.
How to get there: Get off at Sinpyeong Station (Subway Line 1) and transfer to a bus bound for Dadaepo Beach (Bus #2, 11, 338, 1000, Saha 3-1)

Alternative: There is also another great fountain in the Nampo Lotte department store. This fountain can display words.
5. Haedong Yonggungsa (Temple) – Check out this site for a fantastic blog about temples in Korea (particularly Busan). This is one of my favourite temples in Busan because it is beautiful and quite different from other temples due to its positioning on the cliff. However it is quite crowded at weekends so try to go during the week.
How to get there: Haeundae station (Subway Line 2), exit 7 then transfer to bus 181 and get off at 'Yonggungsa Temple'.

Best Alternative: Seokbulsa is a beautiful temple that has been carved into a mountain (GeumJeongsan). It is really interesting to see and is so quiet as well. I would rate this as my fave temple but I don't want this quiet little gem to get overcrowded with tourists. The lack of people is what makes it so amazing. It involves a bit of a hike (around an hour when you use the cable car) but it's totally worth it.
More Info

Other Alternatives: Samgwangsa and Beomosa are great as well. Samgwangsa had better views of the actual temple but Beomosa had nicer surroundings and the option for a temple-stay. If you are in Busan in the weeks before or after Buddha’s birthday, you’ll have the treat of seeing the temples covered in lanterns as well.
Haedong Yonggungsa

6. Gukje Market – This market is a great place to find cheap clothes and imitation goods. Not as cheap as Thailand but you can still expect to get some good bargains here. Also Koreans don’t really haggle that much, which is great because they start low. The asking price is normally very reasonable (£5 for a “Lacoste” polo shirt for example) and you can get a discount if you buy more than one.
More Info + MAP
How to get there: Nampo Station (Subway Line 1)
7. UN Memorial – On a nice day, a stroll around here will encapsulate what the country went through during the Korean War. It’s a lovely open space and can be a welcomed break from the busy city. The memorial is practically empty on a weekday and entry is free everyday.
How to get there: It’s quite easy to get to. I got off at Kyungsung Station (Line 2) and walked about 15 minutes, following the road signs (in English) with a rough idea of where the memorial was. Look here for a google map of the location. You might also want to consider getting a taxi – taxis are very cheap in Korea.
My friend tells me that walking from Daeyeon station, exit 5 or 3 (it's labelled) is easier. Head South down the main road and it's right by the Busan history museum.
Official Link
8. Taejeongdae - What a dae you can have in this cliffside neighbourhood. Very relaxed and there are some good sites to see, including a lighthouse and a pebble beach. This is just a nice, calm area on the coast of a bustling city.
How to get there: Busan Station (Subway Line 1) and get bus 88 or 101. Bus takes around 40 mins.
9. Busan Aquarium – Best aquarium in Korea (apparently) and we loved it. Highlight for us was the sun fish and there is an opportunity to go shark diving (although we didn't).
How to get there: Haeundae Station (Subway Line 2) and follow signs to the beach. The aquarium is along the beach – you cant miss it!
10. Kyungsung University Area – An area full of lots of bars, restaurants and expats and is an example of the brightly lit Asian city you'd expect to see in East Asia. This is where the most happening nightlife is.
How to get there: Kyunsung University Station (Subway Line 2[MAP]
11. Seomyeon – This is our favourite place to go out. We love the bars and restaurants and the street food is good too. There is also a cheap, fashionable underground shopping mall and a huge department store for shoppers.
How to get there: Seomyeon Station (Subway Line 1 and 2) [MAP]

12. Gupo Market – See every animal you can think of in a cage, including dogs – infamous in Korea and you wont find too much info on any official sites. It has some cheap imitation items but shopping is better at Gukje market or in the nearby Deokcheon underground shopping mall (entrance in Deokcheon Subway Station). I wouldn't recommend Gupo for shopping, it's just interesting to see this busy market in action
More Info + MAP
How to get there: Deokcheon station (Subway Line 2 and 3), Exit 3. Turn right at the first street and then left at the next street. It’s pretty well signposted and the pungent smell should give you a hint. The dog cages are round the back side near the main road that links Deokcheon station and Gumyeong station.
13. Heosimcheong Spa - This is my favourite jimjilbang (spa) in Korea. It is reportedly the largest spa in Asia - a fact I found out while writing this. What makes it stand out for me is that it is very cheap (8000 Won = ~£4) and it has a HUGE selection of baths. It's best bath is a waterfall where warm water falls from a large height and hits you with a force that emulates a strong massage. You must bathe nude so it is not recommended for shy people.
How to get there: Oncheonjang Station (Subway Line 1) then get a taxi. Or try and figure out a way of walking using this map.
Photo is borrowed from Google images
14. Busan Tower – If you can't be bothered with a hike to see the city then go up Busan tower. It is located near Gukje market and Jagalchi fish market. The views are decent and you can go up at night. During the day, you can see Jagalchi fish market in action. However seeing the hills next to a thriving metropolis is a spectacular view and is better enjoyed from Jangsan or Igidae.
How to get there: Nampo Station (Subway Line 1), exit 7. The tower is located in Yongdusan park. Go 350m on Gwangbok-ro street towards the park escalator on the right.
15. Haeundae – This is low down for a reason. I personally think the area is overrated and a bit hyped up. Along with being ridiculously busy in July and August, it’s also the most expensive place in Busan. Having said that, don’t miss the sand festival if it is on – that was unbelievably awesome!
How to get there: Heundae Station (Subway Line 2)
Alternative: Try Gwangali beach for a similar but cheaper experience. Personally Songjeong beach was my fave, although its location might put people off who are less willing to travel.
16. Pusan National University – PNU as it is known to most westerners. This is a great place for shopping, eating and drinking. Probably the cheapest place for clothes besides Nampo.
How to get there: Pusan National University (Subway Line 1) [MAP]

17. Shinsegae Department Store - The world's largest department store. It has designer brands and is generally quite expensive for your average backpacker. It is definitely worth a visit for the huge food court and Spaland. Spaland is another jimjilbang that is very nice with a larger sauna selection but fewer baths.
How to get there: Centum City Station (Subway Line 2).

We would recommend visiting all these sights if you have the chance. There are also many more hikes that you can enjoy in Busan. By the time we leave, in March, we will have lived in Busan for over 12 months, so if you have any questions please ask in the comments and we will answer as best we can.

View Top Sites in Busan in a larger map

Do you disagree with our choices or have any questions? Tell me in the comments.