Busan might not have everything that Seoul has, but it has a helluva lot of character! My favourite neighbourhoods were Haeundae, Dongnae, PNU, Haeundae, and Kyungsung, Gwangalli, Nampodong, Seomyeon, Taejeongdae, the seafood market across the street from Nampodong, and Texas Street. I also lived in the Mandeok/Deokcheon area, and although there’s not much to see in these neighbourhoods, I really liked them. Actually, if you want to see a really “typical” working-class neighbourhood, you might like a stroll through this area. Near the Deokcheon subway station is a dog market, which is really interesting to see (though not for the faint-hearted).
You have mountains and beaches in the same city, so what’s not to love? There is some amazing graffiti underneath the PNU and Jangjeon subway stations, and it’s a very nice walk under the subway stations (you can continue all the way to Dongnae, and then the trail continues even further on, but no longer under the subway). Beomeosa temple is really nice to visit, and it’s also a popular beginning point for the hike up the mountain behind Beomeosa, which is a nice half-day activity. Locals in Pusan have kind of a rough-n-ready reputation, and even Koreans from other part of Korea can find them rude, but if you feel unwelcome at all in Pusan as a traveler, just try to remind yourself that Busanites treat each other the same way that they are treating you. And also, for every person who is rude to you, there is a friendly old ajumma willing to hand-feed you freshly filleted raw seafood— I promise! And if you don’t find that there are at least a few freindly Koreans living in Busan, at least try not to let it spoil all the fun things there are to see and do in Pusan, but if you do end up finding that you really don’t enjoy Pusan and would rather be in Seoul, well, it’s only a three hour KTX ride away!over 4 years ago