With sea on three sides and a number of major ports, South Korea is fast emerging as Asia’s must visit destination for cruise travellers. The main ports used by international cruise lines are Incheon (near Seoul), Busan and Jeju Island.
Port of Busan
Busan Port is included in the major cruise lines operating from Australia to Asia.
Busan is South Korea’s largest port city and second largest city after Seoul. Busan is the gateway to a fascinating land whose culture is a unique amalgam of old and new.
During the one-day stop at Busan (usually from 9am to 7pm), visitors can enjoy various tourist attractions and cultural experiences of Busan.
There are two terminals at the Port of Busan - Busan International Passenger Terminal and Busan International Cruise Terminal.
Recommended Tourist Attractions in Busan
Gamcheon Culture Village
Gamcheon Culture Village started in the 1950s as a settlement of refugees fleeing from the Korean war. This community spread up the steep hillside, following the natural curves of the mountain to build houses atop houses with narrow streets winding between them. The area underwent an art project to decorate the houses in bright murals, creating a village straight out of a child’s story book. The stacks of houses have also earned the village the nickname “the Santorini of Busan.” The village is dotted with interesting things to see. The narrow alleys offer craft experiences in addition to the colorful murals. Visitors to the village can also enjoy a multitude of street foods and snacks.
Oryukdo Island / Oryukdo Skywalk
Oryukdo Island is named for its changing appearance, seeming to be a grouping of five or six (o and yuk being “five” and “six” in Korean, respectively) islands depending on from where they are seen. The best place to see the islands is Oryukdo Skywalk, built high on a cliff, with nothing but a transparent floor between you and the ocean waters below. The skywalk is a great place to take photos.
Taejongdae Resort Park
At Taejongdae Resort Park, the harmony of lush forest, rocky cliffs, and the vast ocean unfolds a breathtaking scenic beauty. There are three ways for travellers to enjoy Taejongdae Park: walking along the road, taking a ride on Taejongdae Danubi Train, and boarding the Taejongdae Gonpo Cruise Boat. Any of the three methods offer the opportunity to absorb in the natural wonders of Taejongdae, but we recommend taking the Danubi Train to save time and money. With a single ticket, you can conveniently hop on and off the train at any stop you want, giving you a greater freedom to explore this scenic place.
Jagalchi Market is one of Korea’s foremost seafood markets, where visitors can vividly soak up the fishing village atmosphere in the urban center. The market is located inside a large building. The first floor of the building is the main fish market selling a huge selection of sea products, while the second floor contains spaces where you can eat the fresh seafood purchased from the market. In addition, the area behind the market building has a variety of sculptures and it is an ideal spot to watch the sight of fishing boats entering the market dock.
Kkangtong Market opens in the day, but more people visit in the evening, leading some to call this a night market. The market is famous for selling unique, delicious street foods at inexpensive prices. Some of the more unusual street foods for Korea include Scotch eggs, hardboiled eggs wrapped in sausage and bacon before frying; French fries covered in a cheesy sausage sauce; soup served in a bread bowl similar to pane pasta; and steamed corn so addictive it’s earned the nickname “narcotic corn.” All these foods are sold for just 3,000 to 5,000 won
Just a short walk away from Kkangtong Market is BIFF Square Culture Street, a gathering of movie theaters in the center of Busan’s Nampo-dong. In the past, it was the venue of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), and the Star Street is dotted with the handprints of world-famous film directors, producers, and actors. The festival has since moved all film-showings to Busan Cinema Center at Haeundae, but the square is still popular among tourists and crowded with street food vendors both day and night.
As the world’s largest department store, Busan’s Shinsegae Centum City features various brands, including luxury products. Visitors can also enjoy the delicious tastes of some of Korea’s most famous restaurants. In addition to shopping, visitors can enjoy all aspects of entertainment, from a movie theater to a large bookstore, an indoor ice skating rink and even a jimjilbang, a Korean-style spa. The nearby Busan Cinema Center, the venue of Busan International Film Festival, is also worth a visit.
A major attraction of Busan, Haeundae is more than just Haeundae Beach! The area also encompasses the multipurpose Marine City and other skyscrapers, Dongbaekseom Island that bursts with red camellia blossoms in late winter, and Gwangandaegyo Bridge, crossing the ocean landscape like a second horizon line. Marine City serves as a great background for souvenir photographs, and Dongbaekseom Island is perfect for a leisure stroll.
The Bay 101
Frequented by dating couples at late night hours, The Bay 101 is the new up-and-coming hot spot in Busan. Also a yacht club equipped with a gallery and gourmet restaurants, it is an ideal place to enjoy cultural and leisure activities or to dine with spectacular views. Near the yacht club, an array of street food vendors invite visitors to taste fresh seafood while looking out on the night sea.