With almost four million people, the City of Busan is the second largest in South Korea. It is also the country's second biggest seaport. The Port of Busan has some historic sights, but it offers many other attractions like beautiful beaches, healing hot springs, and inspirational nature reserves. Each autumn, the city conducts an international film festival.
Photo by Kok Leng Yeo
The Port of Busan has a coastal culture that is more relaxed than Seoul's busy pace, and it is more affordable than the capital city. Being a major world seaport, it is also more international, regularly hosting sailors and tourists from all over the world. For more information on the tourism opportunities available in the Port of Busan, please visit the city's tourism website.
The Port of Busan has a humid subtropical climate with temperatures that are rarely very hot or very cold. August and September are usually hot and humid, and since it is typhoon season, rains are frequent. October and November are the most comfortable months when pleasant temperatures and clear skies dominate. Winters are cold, windy, and dry, but milder than other places in South Korea. The Port of Busan has less snow than elsewhere in the country, falling only six days a year, but since it is so rare, the city does not cope with it well. Temperatures range from an average high of 29 °C (85 °F) in August to an average low of -0.7 °C (31 °F) in January. Humidity hovers in the low 80% area in July and August and dips to 51% in January.
Beomeo-sa's second gate, Cheonwangmun, or Gate of the Four Heavenly Kings was originally built in 1699 and houses the four kings or divas guarding the entrance of the temple.
Photo by Steve46814
Visitors to the Port of Busan will want to see the Beomeo-sa Temple, one of the country's five Great Temples. Located in the mountains, it seems further from the city than it really is. The temple was founded in 678 AD and, although the buildings have been destroyed and rebuilt several times, they still have a special historic air. The temple can be very crowded on weekends.
Photo by Jens-Olaf Walter
Haeundae Beach is one of the Port of Busan's most popular attractions, and people come from all over the country, particularly in late July and early August. Many hotels are located nearby, and South Korea's largest aquarium, the Busan Aquarium, is "next door." There are also many great restaurants and shops in the surrounding area. Haeundae is also home to South Korea's biggest leisure marina.
The Port of Busan's Hur Shim Chung Spa is a huge hot spring complex with a variety of special baths, saunas, pools, and outdoor areas where visitors can refresh and relax. The facility includes a restaurant, a beauty salon, an oxygen room, and three "igloos" ranging from very hot to very cold. Visitors can stay there as long as they want. Weekends, however, get noisy and crowded.
Gwangalli Beach in the Port of Busan is best visited at night when the nearby Gwangan Grand Bridge is lit up. Smaller and less showy than Haeundae Beach, Gwangalli still has several good restaurants, bars, and shops and several new hotels.
Travelers who want to visit the Port of Busan can find a list of scheduled cruises on the Cruise Compete website.