Hello! We are Antonia & Leito, originally from Romania, and currently living in Leeds in the UK. We’re a creative, fun-loving, energetic and active couple and our favorite words in any language are: “please proceed to your gate for departure”. We’ve been bitten hard by the travel bug and have been lucky enough to visit over 30 countries, including amazing places like Busan.
We started our Instagram (@letsjustgoaway14) four years ago and it didn’t take long for our page to grow. We absolutely love creating content about traveling, having new experiences and trying delicious food. Nothing compares to the allure of exploring new cultures, experiencing diverse landscapes and creating lasting memories. Today, we have over 31,000 followers and hope to share our content with more people in the future.
It was a recent dream of ours to take a long trip in Southeast Asia and we decided that South Korea would be the best starting point. We travel quite fast, as we want to experience as much as possible in a short time, so we allocated 16 days for South Korea. We decided to visit Seoul, Busan and Jeju Island – and they all turned out to be fantastic destinations.
Our favorite moments in Seoul included visiting the pink muhly field, donning traditional hanboks, immersing ourselves in the culture at the Royal Palace (Gyeongbokgung) – and enjoying a K-drama inspired date with a tandem bicycle ride, chicken picnic on the Han River and a romantic evening at Seoul Tower where we celebrated our love with a padlock.
In Jeju Island, the vibrant night market – with its diverse food options and lively atmosphere – was a major highlight. We also cherished shooting our own fireworks on the beach, visiting the Sanbanggulsa Temple, relaxing on Jeju Island’s lush beaches and sipping refreshing tangerine juice.
Our inspiration to add Busan onto our itinerary was the fact that Antonia is a fan of K-Drama and Busan has been mentioned in quite a few dramas she enjoyed. When we were discussing our trip, she mentioned it, and so we did some research and the captivating photos we saw further convinced us to explore this enchanting city. In the end, Busan definitely exceeded our expectations and we would give it a rating of 4.6/5.
5 Best Things To Do in Busan
1. Explore the Gamcheon Culture Village
Our favorite memory from Busan was our visit to the Gamcheon Culture Village. In our view, it’s the number one thing to do. We sipped on delightful drinks at a cafe with a stunning view of the village before exploring. The village is adorned with colorful buildings, cute art and cool food stalls offering everything from corn dogs to candy floss.
Learning about the history of the village was fascinating, and we even sent postcards to our future selves from a charming shop that creates and sends them on a preferred date. With numerous Instagrammable spots, Gamcheon is perfect for capturing plenty of photos.
2. Bathe in a “Jjimjilbang” at Spa Land Centum City
Next on our list of the best things to do in Busan is to visit Spa Land Centum City. If you’re a fan of K-dramas, you’ve likely heard of “Jjimjilbang” – traditional bathhouses and saunas. This experience felt luxurious. Keep in mind that the initial section is segregated by sex, offering various pools for enjoyment, but bathing is done naked (as is customary in a Jjimjilbang).
Following this, there’s a common area you can head to where you can wear the provided pajamas and explore different saunas. There area also features restaurants where you can savor noodles or the popular boiled eggs. We wish we could’ve extended our time here as it was that good.
3. Take a Trip on the Busan Sky Rail
We recommend the Busan Sky Rail but just make sure to purchase tickets in the morning. By 11am, only evening slots were available. Despite that, we enjoyed the ride. We can only imagine how superb it must be during the day when you can appreciate the views. The retro capsules are different colors and the sunset view, with its own unique colors, would be incredible.
4. Visit the Jagalchi Market for its Seafood
Despite not being seafood-lovers, we genuinely enjoyed visiting the Jagalchi Market (the largest seafood market in Korea). Exploring the stalls and encountering a variety of sea life was interesting. We even dared to try the raw moving squid – an experience we wouldn’t repeat but it was intriguing anyway. If you decide to try it, ensure it’s cut into small pieces and chew thoroughly. As we discovered, it can be quite risky afterward.
5. Stroll through the Streets at Night
The final item on our must-do list is strolling through the streets at night, soaking in the glow of neon lights and relishing the vibe around the food stalls. There’s a unique charm to wandering through Busan after dark – with the energy of street vendors, the tempting aroma of dishes and the mesmerizing play of lights creating an unforgettable experience.
Tips for Your Visit to Busan
If you’re in the planning phase of a trip to Busan, we recommend staying at a hotel with a nice view over the city and sea. We stayed at La Valse Hotel and it provided us with both. Located on the Busan Port and downtown, La Valse Hotel makes it easy to explore the city’s main attractions.
For a cost-effective and time-efficient option, we suggest flying to Busan. Booking tickets in advance can make it nearly as affordable as the train but with significant time savings. We paid £41.40 for both plane tickets through Trip.com and the flight only took an hour. You can also arrive by train or bus. So, if you’re afraid of flying, it’s good to know there are other options.
The best times to visit Busan are in spring (from April to June) and autumn (from September to November). These months boast a mix of mild weather and breathtaking landscapes. We visited at the end of October and the weather was perfect. Try to plan your trip around these times if you can.
Don’t forget to pack your comfiest shoes, as you’ll be doing a lot of walking. Public transport is reliable and budget-friendly, and taxis are quite affordable as well. Indulge in Busan’s famous seafood at Jagalchi Market. Be sure to try local specialties like Dwaeji Gukbap (pork soup with rice) and Ssiat Hotteok (sweet pancakes) from street vendors. Our top food recommendation is Woojung’s Bibimbap, serving the bibimbap since 1979!