Busan is a beautiful seaside city. So beautiful that it often tops the list of best expat cities in Asia. There’s a good reason for this. The city has all the fast paced action of a big city, shiny neon and all night drinking places you expect from a city in Asia. But somehow, don’t ask me how because I’ve never encountered this in Asia, the people are relaxed and friendly. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such a large city having such friendly people. These two things just don’t go together. But sure enough, just into the first taxi outside Busan KTX Train Station and I’m greeted by a smile and a friendly chat.
I know there are a lot of nice people in cities across Asia, I’m not knocking them. But in Busan I felt like everyone was my uncle or aunt. These people are great! No wonder so many expat’s live here. Exploring the city was amazing. Miami beaches and Hong Kong skyscrapers mash together to make this amazingly unique city. One of the things you must do here is check out the city views. Between the beaches and the hundred story tall buildings it’s spectacular. Here are five must visit places for the best city views in Busan.
Lotte Department Store Rooftop
Korea has a thing about department store rooftops. Pretty much all of them have parks or hang out areas on the roof top. A great place to have a coffee, beer or just take in the view. You’ll find the Lotte Department Store near Nampodong Station.
You can see a lot of the city from up here, our recommendation is to head up there in the evening. It’s a great romantic spot to see all of the city. You’ll find a lot of things to do in this cool department store too.
Gwangalli Beach is, well, paradise. It’s a stunning long sandy white beach lined with neon, bars and clubs. When summer hits it’s the place for parties and tanning on the beach. But when you’re looking for a view, especially night city views, you can’t beat Gwangalli.
It takes in Gwangan Bridge, the massive suspension bridge that spans the harbor. The bridge lights up in all it’s glory after dark. Our favorite spot is the terrace at Holly’s Coffee.
Dalmaji-gil (Moontan Hill)
The appropriately named Moontan hill is the best place in Busan to get your night tan on. Famous as a great place to watch the moon rise over the beautiful city and ocean. It’s a great place to go for a stroll day or evening. Either way you’ll get one of the best city views in Busan.
You’ll find the hill a short walk from Haeundae Beach. You can find more information here.
Busan Tower (Yongdusan Park)
Busan Tower takes in great 360 degree views of the city. It’s also within walking distance of some of Busan’s best market streets. After taking in the street food in the local markets the walk up to Busan Tower is great to burn off some calories. Or take the escalator if you’ve eaten one snack too many.
The view takes in some of the busiest parts of the city so there’s plenty to see.
Geumjeongsanseong Fortress is one of my favorite places to visit in Busan. Towering above the city it is the tallest peak in the local area and of course has some of the best city views in Busan. Taking a car or bus to the summit is possible but taking the walk up is something for the true traveler (be warned you’ll need to be fit).
But at least if you’ve walked up you will have definitely deserved raman noodles at one of the small truck vendors near the top.
The fortress on the summit is one of the most historically significant places in Busan. It was the spot where fires were lit to send a message to it’s northern neighbors that attackers where incoming. Using this system of fires on mountain tops they could have a direct line of communication all the way up to Seoul.
Looking for more things to do in Busan?
There is a lot to do in this city. Sadly most people I know only set aside a couple of days to visit Busan, but it deserves a lot more. Check out our blog post on things to do in Busan for more information.