There are so many perfect day trips from Busan that you will find it hard to choose only one or two when you have limited time in the city. After we visited Busan for 3 days we decided to go back and spend almost two weeks exploring its surroundings and the city in depth.
We know that many of you won’t have so much time available for Busan, thus choosing the right day trips is very important. That’s why we put together this comprehensive list of great destinations, easily reached in one day from Busan.
Whenever we choose a day trip, we don’t want to spend too much time on the road, and we also want to have plenty of things to do and see at the destination.
So if you are planning to spend a longer South Korean vacation, here are our favorite day trips from Busan, together with all the information you will need – how to get there, and what to do & see.
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A few useful tips for when you visit South Korea
- Book your AREX Airport Express Ticket,
- Take the Airport Limousine Bus,
- Book a private transfer,
- or read everything about getting from Incheon to Hongdae, Myeongdong, Bukchon Hanok Village, or Gangnam.
Communication and transportation
- Book your SIM Card & T-Money Card with airport pickup
- See if you would rather buy a SIM card or pocket wifi for your trip
- Or get an eSIM card directly in your email, and learn everything you must know about getting around Seoul
Getting around South Korea
- Rent a car in advance – choose an international website where you can use your credit card. Read everything about driving in South Korea
- Travel by fast train and book a multiple-day Korea Rail Pass
Other useful tips & links
- Luggage delivery service – have your luggage delivered from the airport to your hotel and take the all-stop train. It might be cheaper than taking a taxi.
- Luggage storage service
- Accommodation guides: where to stay in Seoul, Busan, and everywhere in between
- Should you get the Discover Seoul Pass? See our analysis and alternatives for saving on your trip
The best day trips from Busan – a complete list
Ahopsan Forest (아홉산숲)
To be fair we had seen a bamboo forest in Boseong only a few months before, but the one at Ahopsan is bigger and much more impressive.
Ahopsan Forest is a beautiful and tranquil spot that covers an area of over 6,000 acres and is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna.
Its lush vegetation includes trees like the Korean pine, fir, oak, and maple as well as various shrubs and wildflowers.
Ahopsan Forest also has many species of birds such as woodpeckers, owls, and eagles that can be seen flying around its sky-high canopy.
In addition to its diverse wildlife population, there are several trails for visitors to explore including one that leads up Mt. Yeongneung where you can take in stunning views from the top of this majestic mountain peak.
At the forest’s entrance, there is a small and simple cafe, surrounded by bamboo trees, offering a stunning view of the mountains.
We started our visit with a coffee and some local rice sweets on their beautiful terrace. Hidden next to the cafe there is also a tiny traditional hanok house, called Gwanmiheon (관미헌). The house is still inhabited, so respect the family’s privacy and keep quiet.
Of course, Ahopsan has been the filming set for many local movies and K-dramas such as Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo or the movie Kundo.
There is a small entrance fee (5000 won when we visited), and they only allow a limited number of people inside at every hour. People don’t speak English and you get a map of the forest which is also only in Korean. However, we didn’t find it hard to visit.
Address: 부산광역시 기장군 철마면 미동길 37-1/ 37-1 Midong-gil, Cheolma-myeon, Gijang-gun, Busan
How to get to Ahopsan Forest
Because we drove from Seoul to Busan for our long vacation, we had our car and we went for roughly one hour from Busan to Ahopsan Forest.
From Busan Central Bus Terminal you can take bus 2-3 from Exit 2 and travel for around 45 minutes to Midong Village.
Maybe our favorite village in South Korea, Gyeongju is easy to visit on a day trip from Busan.
We have a comprehensive guide for visiting Gyeongjy from Busan!
Gyeongju is a city in South Korea that has been described as “a museum without walls”.
It was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Silla, which ruled over much of the Korean Peninsula between 57 BC and 935 AD.
Today, Gyeongju is known for its many historic sites and attractions, ranging from royal tombs to Buddhist temples (Bulguksa Temple, a bit outside of the city). These cultural relics have helped make Gyeongju one of South Korea’s most popular tourist destinations, drawing visitors from around the world who come to see some of Asia’s most impressive archaeological sites.
The city also boasts a vibrant local culture with plenty of opportunities to enjoy a variety of delicious regional dishes. As a matter of fact, in Gyeongju we had some of the best food in Korea – and we had plenty of delicious food there.
On top of it, restaurants are hosted in really nice traditional hanok houses, where you can feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
In the city, you can also find a cafe street, where you can hide from the rain as we did, or enjoy the view on a sunny day.
Other activities worth trying in Gyeongju
Traditional Soju Making Experience – you don’t have to be a huge soju fan to learn how to make it. After all, this is the main drink in Korean culture, and it is always interesting to learn about local traditions. See more about the experience here!
Paint Traditional Folk Illustrations on Folding Fans – this is an experience worth trying when you would like to paint your own fan with traditional symbols. Learn about Korean traditional folk painting, and bring home a souvenir you have worked for. See more here!
Want to learn how to make some of your favorite Korean dishes? Take a cooking class in the charming setting of Gyeongju! Start at the local traditional market, choose the best ingredients, then learn to cook 3 to 4 traditional dishes. The best part? You get to eat it all at the end! See more here!
If you are considering renting a hanbok during your stay in South Korea, the Palaces in Seoul and Gyeongju offer the best setting for unforgettable pictures. Read everything you need to know from our experience and book your hanbok here!
How to get to Gyeongju
The distance between Busan and Gyengju is less than 100 kilometers (between 86 and 96 depending on the route), and you can easily drive there in a little over one hour.
Getting there by train (KTX)
KTX train will take you to Singyeongju Station from Busan Station in roughly 35 minutes.
There are many train options throughout the day, and the only downside is that you will have to take public transportation to get to the tourist area in town.
The train ticket is very affordable, and you won’t have to worry about finding a parking space.
Getting there by bus
With only a few bus options throughout the day, this might be the cheapest option for getting from Busan to Gyeongju.
Go to Kobus.co.kr and search for the date you will like to plan your trip.
Getting there by organized tour
A great option when you don’t want to worry about timetables, having to think about itineraries and top attractions, or anything in between.
Ideal for people visiting the city for the first time, and for those who are not so familiar with South Korea.
A guide will join you on a 9-hour journey to Gyeongju and its most important attractions: Bulguksa Temple, Wolji Pond, and Cheomseongdae Observatory.
Make sure to book in advance, because this is a popular day trip from Busan.
Oedo Island or Oedo Botania (외도 보타니아)
Oedo Island, located in Hallyeohaesang National Park between Tongyeong and Geojedo Island, is a must-visit destination for nature lovers.
The island is surrounded by lush greenery and crystal-clear waters, making it an ideal spot for swimming and fishing.
Oedo Island also has many interesting historical sites to explore, such as the remains of a fort from the Joseon Dynasty era or the ancient burial mounds that were built over 1,000 years ago.
Nearby, you can also take part in cultural activities like traditional Korean pottery classes or visit nearby attractions like Geoje Art Village or Haegeumgang Theme Park.
How to get there
Address: 17, Oedo-gil, Geoje-si, Gyeongsangnam-do
경상남도 거제시 일운면 외도길 17
The island is only accessible by ferry and you won’t be able to stay the night, since there are no hotels.
From Busan Bus Termina, take the bus to Jangseungpo Terminal. From there, take a taxi to the ferry dock. Ferries leave at regular intervals, and the ticket price includes access to the island as well.
An easier alternative would be to join an organized tour from Busan. You won’t have to worry about transportation, timetables, or directions. Additionally, you will be joined by a local English-speaking experienced guide that will tell you everything you must know about the European-style gardens.
Yeosu is a vibrant port city located in South Jeolla Province, South Korea.
It is known for its beautiful beaches and stunning coastal scenery, as well as its rich culture and history.
Yeosu has long been an important port city in the region, with a long-standing fishing industry that dates back centuries.
The city also offers many attractions such as museums, monuments, parks, temples, and more.
Eat at one of the restaurants along the port, take the Yeosu cable car to Dolsan Park and admire the scenery, walk around the Expo, visit Aqua Planet, go to an ocean view cafe, walk over to Odongdo Island (오동도), head to one of the many beaches.
Additionally, it’s home to several universities and research facilities that make it one of the most dynamic cities in the country.
Whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure, Yeosu has something for everyone and is one of the greatest day trips from Busan.
How to get from Busan to Yeosu
Rent a car and drive along the coastline from Busan to Yeosu. Driving in South Korea is easy, roads are very well maintained and you can easily explore the southern part of the peninsula.
Driving is the fastest option and you will be there in roughly two hours, with a distance of roughly 180 kilometers dividing the two.
If you choose to drive, you can also stop at the Suncheon Bay Nature Reserve, Suncheon Bay National Garden, see the German village, Dongpirang Mural Village, and other places along the way.
In our view, the train takes a little bit too long for it to be an option for a day trip from Busan. However, if you would like to visit Yeosu and stay the night, taking the train could be an option to consider.
You will need to change the train once in Suncheon Station, and head to Yeocheon Station. All in all, the train ride takes around 3 hours (without taking into account the time needed for the change).
The bus is always a good idea, even though it is slower than driving there yourself. You can take if from Busan Central Bus Termnal, and the ride is around 2.5 hours long.
By organized tour
There aren’t many options, but if neither of the above is an option for you, an organized tour with a group of maximum 7 or 14 people is a great option.
You can choose Yeosu as the destination, and the van option.
Namhae Island (Namhaedo)
Namhae Island is an idyllic paradise located off the southern coast of South Korea.
The island is home to stunning beaches, lush forests, and picturesque views, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
Namhae Island offers something for everyone – from hiking trails through the beautiful countryside to exciting watersports on its many beaches.
It’s also a great place to relax and enjoy some of the best seafood in South Korea
The main attraction on the island is the Boriam Temple, a Buddhist temple set on the top of the mountain, offering breathtaking views (on a sunny day). As we visited after a rainy night, the temple was surrounded by heavy fog. Even so, it is worth going, especially since the hike to the temple is extremely enjoyable.
The Namhae German Village is another top attraction. It is a residential area built and inhabited by Koreans who left in the 60’s and 70’s to work in Germany. Tucked on the top of a hill, overlooking the ocean, here you will not only have the chance to stroll through a German village in the middle of South Korea, but also taste some German beer and sausage.
Drive around the island and admire the rice teraces, spend some time at one of the many beaches (Sangju being the most famous one), or visit the American Village in Namhae. All these make it a perfect destination for a day trip from Busan.
How to get to Namhae Island
The easiest way is to drive there from Busan, also because there are no trains heading to the island.
Namhae Island is roughly 2.5 hours away from Busan.
Boseong Tea Plantations
One of our favorite trips in South Korea, Boseong should definitely be on your list.
The Boseong tea plantations are a sight to behold. Located in the heart of South Korea’s Jeollanam-do province, these terraced hillsides create an emerald landscape that stretches for miles.
The region is renowned for its rolling hills, which are blanketed with lush green tea bushes and bright yellow wildflowers. These beautiful landscapes have made the Boseong area one of South Korea’s most popular tourist destinations.
Visitors come from all over the world to experience the breathtaking views and learn about local tea culture and history.
Just by the entrance there is also a small bamboo forest worth seeing, especially if you haven’t been to Ahopsan.
Also, just outside of the tea plantations, you must stop at the small local restaurant serving traditional food with a green tea twist.
How to get to Boseong from Busan
The only possible way to get to Boseong from Busan (to the main tea plantation in Boseong, Daehan Dawon Tea Plantation) is to drive there.
The plantation is in a remote area and we almost missed it. Look for it on Naver and see the best route from your hotel in Busan.
It is the fourth largest metropolitan area and has a population of over 2.5 million people.
Daegu is known for its vibrant culture, strong economy, and excellent educational institutions.
The city also boasts of numerous festivals throughout the year which attract tourists from all around the world.
Tourists can explore some of Daegu’s many attractions such as historical sites, parks, museums, art galleries, shopping malls and restaurants serving traditional Korean cuisine.
Visit the Donghwasa Temple, explore Daegu Yangnyeongsi Herb Medicine Museum, shop at Dongseongno Market, take in the view from Duryu Park Landscape Garden, go for a stroll at Gyeongsang Gamyeong Park, or go on a hop-on-hop-off tour.
How to get from Busan to Daegu
Daegu is less than 100 kilometers away from Busan, thus driving there should be fast and easy.
Also, KTX links the two important Korean cities. The train ride is anywhere between 45 minutes to 1.5 hours.
Suncheon is a city located in South Jeolla Province, South Korea.
It is known for its stunning natural landscape and traditional culture, and it has become a popular tourist destination with visitors from around the world.
Suncheon Bay National Garden offers breathtaking views of lush forests, wetlands, and waterfalls while the nearby Suncheon Bay Observatory provides an incredible 360-degree panoramic view of the surrounding area.
The city also boasts several historical sites such as the Songgwangsa Temple (송광사 (순천)) which showcases ancient Buddhist architecture.
How to get there from Busan
The distance between the two cities is of 155 kilometers and you can drive, take the bus or the train.
Tongyeong is a beautiful coastal city located in the south of South Korea. It is known for its stunning natural beauty, including rugged cliffs, lush green forests, and picturesque beaches.
Tongyeong is also home to many famous festivals throughout the year like the Mireuksan Mountain Festival and Chilseok Festival.
You can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities such as biking along trails or sailing around islands dotting the coastline. Also, you can take a cable car on top of Mount Mireuksan, go for a stroll in Nammangsan Park, and do more activities in nature.
This is a destination for nature lovers, and not only.
How to get from Busan to Tongyeong
The best way to travel from Busan to Tongyeong is by car or bus, with a distance between the two of less than 2 hours.
If you don’t want to worry about driving or taking the bus, we suggest you book a guided tour from Busan.
Taejongdae Resort Park (태종대 유원지)
The park overlooks the sea with stunning views and offers visitors a variety of activities to enjoy.
It’s also home to many species of birds, making it an ideal spot for bird watchers. Taejongdae boasts lush forests and picturesque coastal scenery that make it one of the best places in Busan to explore nature up close.
Head to Taejongdae Observatory and Yeongdo Lighthouse for some of the best views, take a picture with the “Light Beyond Limitation” statue, visit one of the temples, eat some seafood at one of the food stalls, or take the Danubi train and get to see a big part of the park in a shorter time.
How to get to Taejongdae Resort Park from Busan
The easiest way is to take the bus from Nampo subway station exit 6. Either one of the buses 8, 30, and 113 will take you there in roughly 40 minutes. Get off at Taejongdae/Taejongdae Hot Springs (태종대/태종대온천) bus stop.
You can also go on a Busan Drama & Movie Filming Place Day Tour + Taejongdae Cruise.
Haedong Yonggung Temple (해동 용궁사(부산))
Haedong Yonggung Temple is a unique and beautiful temple located in Busan, South Korea.
Built on the rocky shore of the East Sea, it stands out from other temples by its stunning views of the ocean.
The temple was built in 1376 during the Goryeo Dynasty and has survived many wars, natural disasters, and renovations over time. It features several traditional Korean buildings that are decorated with intricate carvings and vibrant colors.
Inside these structures, you will find statues of Buddha as well as many other Buddhist artifacts such as scriptures and paintings.
Visitors to Haedong Yonggung Temple can also experience a variety of cultural events held there throughout the year including festivals, music performances, martial arts demonstrations, and more.
If you happen to be in Busan for New Year’s Eve, come here for sunset and make a wish.
How to get there from Busan
Address: 86, Yonggung-gil, Gijang-gun, Busan
부산광역시 기장군 기장읍 용궁길 86
The temple is close to the city, but you will still need to travel by public transportation to get there. Bus 181 leaves from Haeundae subway station and will take you to the temple in around 45 minutes.
Another way of visiting the temple and learning about its history and present is by joining one of the many tours that include it on their itinerary. Busan top 5 attractions day&night, the East Busan day tour, or a private day tour, will all take you there.
The vibrant port city is located on the southeastern coast of the country, and it has served as an important hub for trade and commerce since its founding in 1938.
It is home to numerous cultural and historical sites, including Ulsan Grand Park, which was once part of a royal palace complex during the Joseon Dynasty.
The city is also renowned for its industrial heritage; it boasts one of the largest shipbuilding yards in Asia as well as some of South Korea’s most advanced automotive factories.
Beyond these economic achievements, Ulsan offers visitors plenty to explore and experience – from traditional markets filled with local delicacies to stunning temples tucked away among lush green gardens.
Explore Daewangam Park, Ulsan Grand Park, or Taehwagang River Grand Park. Climb the Ulsan Bridge Observatory and take in the view, spend some time at the beach, check out the Ulsan Hyundai Motors Plant, or visit Seoknamsa Temple. There are so many things to do and see in Ulsan you might need more than one day.
How to get from Busan to Ulsan
The easiest way to get from Busan to Ulsan is by KTX. The ride takes around 30 minutes, and there are plenty of trains throughout the day.
Geoje is home to several large industrial complexes such as the world’s largest shipyard, Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI), which produces some of the most advanced ships in the world. Other industries include engineering, electronics, and petrochemicals.
The city also has many tourist attractions such as Haegeumgang Island and Oedo Botania Garden which attract visitors from all over Korea year-round due to their unique scenery and cultural heritage.
Visit Gujora Beach, have a coffee and take some pictures at the Oedonursery Cafe, go for a walk and climb Gyeryongsan, or take a picture with the famous windmill.
How to get from Busan to Geoje
The fastest and easiest way is to drive there, but there is also a bus departing from Busan Sasang Bus Terminal and arriving at Geoje Gohyun Bus Terminal. The drive will be of around 1 hour.
Hadong Agyang Village – 경남 하동 악양 [슬로시티])
A small village surrounded by mountains and split in two by a river, come here during the persimmon harvest, or to taste some local tea.
How to get there from Busan
From Busan Bus Terminal, take the bus and get off at Agyang Bus Terminal.
Eden Valley Sky Resort
Eden Valley Ski Resort, situated in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnamdo, is the furthest south ski resort in Korea. With Busan just a short distance away, it’s no surprise that the ski resort is frequented mostly by Busan locals and people from surrounding areas.
The resort features a variety of ski slopes for all levels of skiers, ranging from beginner to expert. All the ski lifts and cable cars are brand new and highly efficient, ensuring that you get up the mountain quickly and safely. Furthermore, it also has snow-making machines available on some slopes in case of low natural snowfall.
Nestled atop the majestic Sinbulsan Mountain, Eden Valley Ski Resort offers breathtaking views at a staggering 1,209 meters of elevation.
With 7 magnificently groomed slopes for all levels of experience, beginners can take advantage of two novice slopes and three intermediate runs, while experienced skiers can challenge themselves on two challenging advanced trails.
With three lifts accommodating up to 6 persons at once, you’ll be able to enjoy the slopes with ease!
How to get from Busan to Eden Valley
Address: 1039 Dae-ri, Wondong-myeon, Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do
Drive there or take bus Nnumber1000 near Yangsan Station (Busan Subway Line 2) exit 1 and get off at Eden Valley Ski Resort Bus Stop.
Or go on an organized day tour from Busan with sky lessons included.
Tsushima Island (Japan)
Yes, you read that right, because of its location between South Korea and Japan, you can easily visit this island on a short ferry ride from Busan.
Remember this island is in Japan so you need a visa if you are required one to visit the country.
It is an important part of both countries’ histories and has been fought over many times throughout history.
The island has a rich cultural heritage, with ancient shrines, temples, tombs, and other historic sites scattered across its landscape.
Today it remains an important point for trade and travel between Japan and South Korea.
Tsushima Island also offers visitors stunning natural beauty – from beaches to mountains to forests – making it one of the most beautiful places to visit in East Asia.
Take in the stunning view from Mount Eboshi-dake and visit the Wildlife Conservation Center in Saozaki Park.
How to get there from Busan
Take the ferry, the ride takes around 1.5 hours.
Igidae Costal Trail
The Igidae Coastal Walk is a breathtakingly beautiful 3.6 km long trail along the coast of Busan.
The trail offers spectacular views of the ocean and nearby islands, as well as plenty of flora and fauna to explore. Along the way, visitors will find several cultural heritage sites such as an old fortress wall, traditional Korean homes, and temples that were built hundreds of years ago.
For those looking for more active pursuits during their visit to Busan, there are also plenty of opportunities for swimming or fishing in the area’s waters.
The coastal walk links Dongsaengmal Trail – Global Gathering – Nongbawi Rock – Eoulmadang – Oryukdo Quay and the full walk takes around 2.5 hours.
How to get there
Take subway line 2 from Kyungsung University, exit 3 and take bus number 22 straight to Igidae Coastal Walk.
Other Busan FAQ
Where is Busan?
Busan is a city located in the southeast of South Korea on the Korean Strait.
It is South Korea’s second-most populous city after Seoul, with a population of over 3.5 million inhabitants.
Busan has become a major international port city, and its metropolitan area is home to some of the largest ports and businesses in South Korea as well as numerous cultural attractions.
How to get to Busan?
If you are traveling from Seoul, you will have plenty of options to get to Busan.
You can read the complete guide here, including getting there by plane, bus, train, or car.
The fastest way to get from Seoul to Busan is by KTX – you take the train from Seoul Station and you get to Busan Station in around 2.5 hours.
The cheapest way to travel from Seoul to Busan is by bus. However, taking the bus is an option when you have more time to spend in the city because the ride takes around 6 hours.
Flying from Seoul Gimhae Airport to Busan Nahmea Airport is also an option. The airport in Seoul is closer than Incheon, and in Busan, you have a direct subway line that will take you to the city. However, you need to factor in the extra waiting time at the airport. The flight time is less than one hour.