Busan is the best city for cruise tourism in Korea. Busan Port International Cruise Terminal is always bustling with people going on overseas tours from Busan and people arriving at Busan from all over the world. If you’re staying in Busan for just a short period of time, take the city tour bus and if you’re staying a little bit longer, try getting to know Busan through shopping, cultures, activities and flavors the city offers.
Best Things about the City
Busan Station is so close to the Cruise Terminal you can walk to the station. The most time efficient way to look around the city is to get on the city tour bus. The bus stop is just in front of Busan Station and you can freely hop on and off at the bus stops on the red, green, blue and yellow lines with a 1 day pass. You have to make a reservation to get on the night tour bus but during the day, you can simply purchase the pass from the bus driver (KRW 15,000 for adults, KRW 8,000 for children). I got on the red line tour bus which goes through Haeundae Beach which is one of the most popular sites in Busan. The bus tour on the red line takes about 2 hours and you can visit a majority of the most popular sites in Busan on this line. On the bus, you’ll hear the audio guide kindly explaining the sites you’re passing through. I felt so close to the sky on the 2nd deck of the double-decker tour bus. It almost felt I am riding a roller coaster when the bus was moving on the Busan Harbor Bridge.
The driver did all the driving but I suddenly felt really hungry after the tour. Busan is famous for its traditional markets and Gukje Market is the one I visited to have the famous pork and rice soup. This dish you must have when you’re in Busan dates back to post Korean War when refugees started making soup with pork bones and other ingredients that were easily available at the time. After a satisfying meal, I felt like going to Yongdusan Park. Yongdusan Park is where the Busan Tower stands and it is very popular among tourists. And last July, a cool place opened for the first time. It’s the hanbok experience hall. Hanbok which is the traditional costume of Korea is known for its simple yet elegant design. Hanbok, Busan Tower, a sunsetting evening and the ocean somehow seemed to go well together. When you rent a hanbok (90 min, starting at KRW 20,000), the staff will help you get dressed from head to toe. Busan has so much more to offer. A town called Namcheong-dong is filled with the best bakeries in the city and there is also an enchanting book alley called Bosu-dong Book Alley. Also, a multi-cultural space called F1963 shows the real beauty of urban rehabilitation. Visit Busan and you’ll have a trip you’ll never forget!
By Sang-mi Jung, Photography by Hyo-tae Lee