6 Best Cheap Things To Do in Busan, Korea

things to do in busan

Just a 3-hour train ride away from Seoul is the coastal city of Busan— the second largest city in South Korea. Despite being a metropolitan city, the lifestyle in Busan is much more laid back than that of Seoul. It’s most famous for its ̶z̶o̶m̶b̶i̶e̶s̶ beaches and serene hiking spots making it a popular tourist destination during the summer. But no matter the season, there are always plenty of things to do in Busan! Here are 6 of the best cheap things to do in Busan.

1. Visit Gamcheon Culture Village

things to do in busan
Look out for the Little Prince along the way!

This is by far my most favorite place in the whole of South Korea. Gamcheon Culture Village is like an art museum with brightly painted houses, narrow streets, and tiny alleys. It’s a giant art exhibit spread out in a residential area making for a fun experience with locals and tourists! I highly suggest for you to grab a map for 2,000 won (PHP 100 or 2 USD) at the tourist information center right near the entrance. They have a quest where you visit all the landmarks in the map to get a stamp. Not only do you get a postcard for majority of the landmarks on the map, but you get to explore the entirety of Gamcheon Culture Village. This may take the whole day because the area is just massive and walking around under the heat is pretty exhausting. So make sure to allot one day for this! Don’t forget to spot the Little Prince along the way!

2. Find the Mermaid of Busan

things to do in busan
Statue of Princess Hwangok from Naranda in Dongbaek Island
things to do in busan
Take photos with the princess or pretend as if you’re the princess (HAHA)

Also known as the Mermaid of Busan, the statue of Princess Hwangok from Naranda in Dongbaek Island symbolizes the legend of mermaids and tritons that once lived in the sea. It’s the story of how Princess Hwangok longed for her beloved home after moving away to live in the kingdom of the king he married. As displayed by the statue, Princess Hwangok is said to come out every full moon to gaze at the open sea as she yearns for her lost home. The statue actually reminds me of the famous mermaid statue in Copenhagen! Entrance is free so make sure to visit this iconic landmark in Busan.

3. Hike along Dongbaek Island

things to do in busan
Hike along Dongbaek Island and get to learn more about the city of Busan along the way
things to do in busan
Map of Dongbaek Island

One of the things I love about Busan is the seamless combination of the city and nature. On the far side of the beach, there’s a trail that will lead you to different viewing spots of the city. This is actually where you can find the mermaid of Busan. Again, the entrance is free and the walk along the trail is really nice. It’s not exhausting and the views are just spectacular. By the end of the trail, there’s a lighthouse with a view of the beach to your left and the city to your right. It definitely should be part of your things to do in Busan!

4. Eat street food and fresh seafood at tent restaurants

things to do in busan
See those mini aquariums inside the tent? Those are fresh seafood you can eat!
things to do in busan
You can also choose between popular Korean street foods!

Being a coastal city, it’s no wonder that Busan is famous for its mouthwatering fresh seafood. People from Seoul flock to Busan just to have a taste of the ocean. And one of the most popular ways to do so is by eating at tent restaurants. If you’re a fan of k-drama, then you’ve definitely seen this scene a couple of times. Usually set in winter, the main actress drowns herself in soju inside a tent restaurant after being brokenhearted by an arrogant handsome oppa; only to be rescued by another irresistible oppa.

The experience of eating at a tent restaurant was definitely one of the highlights of my trip. Seafood is much cheaper in Busan than in Seoul and of course, it is more fresh and delicious! Better include this in your list of things to do in Busan!

5. Lounge at Gwangali Beach

things to do in busan
Another iconic landmark in Busan is the Gwangan Bridge

After a long day of hiking with a full stomach, it’s best to just chill by the beach. Here in Gwangan Beach, you can get the view of the famous Gwangan Bridge while having a sip of your favorite drink. There are tons of bars and pubs along the streets so if you’re looking for nightlife, then here is the place to be. Although the water here is relatively clean, most people only swim at the next beach in Haeundae in the summer.

6. Watch street performers at Haeundae Beach

things to do in busan
Street performers flock along Haeundae beach as they try their luck for stardom

Haeundae beach is the hottest spot in Busan during the summer season as people all over South Korea come here for the beach. But that’s not the only thing you can do here! Since Haeundae Beach is a touristy area, many street performers come here to try their luck in the entertainment business. You’ll find musicians, poets, boy bands, and all sorts you can imagine! My friends and I once secretly danced silly behind this singer and he called us up in front to dance for him. It was embarrassing but super fun. So make sure to include your visit to Haeundae Beach in your things to do in Busan!

These are just some of the cheap things to do in Busan, South Korea. Of course, there’s more to the city than what I wrote here so I recommend for you to explore it yourself.

Budget-Friendly Accommodation

If you haven’t found accommodation yet, I suggest the following:

For solo travelers: Hostel is the way to go. Not only is it the cheapest option but it’s also the best place to make new friends. You get to meet travelers from all over the world and most of them are traveling solo too! I have an affiliate link with hostel world and if you book through the link, you can get a discount!

korea budget travel
Click the link to book at Hostelworld.com

Alternatively: If you’re traveling in a group and want more privacy, you can stay at a hotel and split the costs. This may be cheaper for you. You can find great deals at Booking.com and if you click on my link, you can get 10% OFF! It’s an affiliate link so you get a 10% discount and I also get a small amount in return. It’s a win-win!

But Airbnb can even be cheaper! You can get both privacy and cheap prices when booking with Airbnb. I personally prefer using Airbnb since I usually stay at apartments of locals so the locations are fantastic. If you don’t have an account yet, click here to sign up and get up to $40 credits after booking your first trip!

Click this link to sign up for an Airbnb account and get up to $40 OFF!
Click this link to get 10% OFF your hotel accommodation from Booking.com

 

If you have any more suggestions, feel free to comment down below. Have fun in Busan!

24 Comments

  1. Cris
    June 27, 2018

    Everything is so beautiful!!! That street food looks so delicious!

    Reply
  2. Nicole Lutzy
    June 27, 2018

    What stunning views! I bet my girls would love to find the mermaid. They are all into mermaids! Looks like lots of family friendly things to do and see!

    Reply
  3. Heidi
    June 27, 2018

    What a beautiful place to visit. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to Korea, but if I do, I’ll definitely have to try these places.

    Reply
  4. Kristen K
    June 27, 2018

    The Mermaid of Busan is so cool! I would love to see that some day. I never realized that there were such great beaches in Korea.

    Reply
  5. Ally
    June 27, 2018

    I would be so interested in going on that hike! It looks like you had a great time visiting Busan, I hope I get the chance to visit someday.

    Reply
  6. Tamara
    June 27, 2018

    Look at those beach views! WOW. My kids both agree that should we go, we’re finding that mermaid. So cool!

    Reply
  7. Tara
    June 28, 2018

    I had never really thought of visiting Korea, even though my car and appliances are from Korea :). The Gwangali Beach is so beautiful. All your photos are amazing from your trip.

    Reply
    1. christinewillgo
      June 29, 2018

      Thank you so much! Gwangali Beach is super beautiful at night and so lively too!

      Reply
  8. Lala Kerry
    June 28, 2018

    I have never been to Korea before. It looks so interesting, I will add this to my travel bucket list. I’m sure the scenery there looks really beautiful too. The one that attracts me the most is the Haeundae Beach!

    Reply
    1. christinewillgo
      June 29, 2018

      It is amazing! I hope you can visit it soon!

      Reply
  9. Shanab
    June 28, 2018

    Korea sounds magical. Always wanted to go. Some great ideas here. Love the photos!

    Reply
  10. Akamatra
    June 28, 2018

    If I was to visit Busan I would do exactly what you describe! I love to learn about a place by walking around!

    Reply
  11. Kusum
    June 28, 2018

    Busan looks like a lovely place to visit. It has so much to offer, people could spend a lot of time exploring that place.

    Reply
  12. Evelyn, PathofPresence
    June 28, 2018

    The coast is more enchanting with the Little Prince and the mermaid. This is a new discovery for me and I am liking what I see. My fave are the portable restaurants – a hungry traveler will sure find some yummy food there!

    Reply
    1. christinewillgo
      June 29, 2018

      The queue to take a photo with the Little Prince was pretty long but looking it from afar was already awesome. Glad you found this helpful!

      Reply
  13. Angela Ricardo Bethea
    June 28, 2018

    Great tips! Traveling can get real pricey and it’s good to know this kind of stuff to save up some cash. I’d always try to eat local food in every place I travel to.

    Reply
    1. christinewillgo
      June 29, 2018

      I absolutely agree! Safe travels!

      Reply
  14. Kiwi
    June 28, 2018

    Great travel guide on what to do in Busan. I never heard of Busan but I would love to visit S.Korea.

    Reply
    1. christinewillgo
      June 29, 2018

      I’m glad to hear that! Hope you have fun.

      Reply
  15. betzy cuellar
    June 28, 2018

    Visiting other countries and learning about their culture is priceless.

    Reply
  16. Heather
    June 28, 2018

    It’s absolutely beautiful there. I would love to visit one day.

    Reply
  17. Christiana Acha
    June 29, 2018

    The street food already got Me hungry. I do hope to visit South Korea someday, hopefully soon and get to see all of these exciting places for myself.

    Reply
  18. Ruth I.
    June 29, 2018

    I’ve been wanting to travel to South Korea and Busan is the top place to visit. Love all these suggestions and tips!

    Reply
  19. Dana Brillante-Peller
    June 30, 2018

    Dongbaek Island looks like a dream. I love places where there are so many rocks by the sea.

    Reply

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