One Day (and Gluten Free!) in Busan, South Korea

Busan (pronounced Pousahn), is South Korea’s second largest city, and is at the southern end of the country, opposite of Seoul. It is boasted for having some of the best seafood in the country, and the largest geothermal spa in Asia. It is also just three hours by ferry from Fukuoka, Japan. In spending a couple of days there, I got down some of the must-do’s in this city.

 

Transportation

If you arrive in the Busan Train Station, then I recommend using public transit or grabbing a taxi to get to the city center of Busan. From there, a lot is in walkable distance.

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Breakfast

 

Park Hyatt Busan

I didn’t get to eat here, but apparently, they have gluten free bread, which is quite hard to come by in South Korea.

 

Coffee

Starbucks

I don’t know why Starbucks tastes better and has better cups in Korea, but it does. I recommend the Cherry Blossom Latte with soy milk, if it’s available. This specific location is three-stories.

 

Lunch

Jagalchi Fish Market (Largest Fish Market in South Korea)

A fish lover’s heaven. This is the largest fish market in South Korea, and I think I could live here? Each vendor has a different set of fresh fish to choose from. So here’s the deal. You choose the kind of fish and how much of it you want. Then you pay an extra $5 per person for them to prepare it and bring it across the street to an ‘informal stall’, where they provide the fish and other little plates to eat, like rice and drinks (all for extra $$$ though). P.S. BYOGFSS—Bring your own gluten-free soy sauce.

 

Dinner

Shinsegae Centum City Food Court

Yes, this is the largest department store in the world, and yes, this is where Spa Land is located, BUT it’s also home to a food court of your dreams. EVERYTHING you can possibly think of to eat is right here. See below for more details.

 

Punjab Indian Restaurant

If you’ve got a hankering for Indian/Pakastani food, then this is your spot. And they’ve got gluten-free options.

 

What to Do

Shinsegae Centum City Department Store

Largest department store in the WORLD. Need I say more?

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Spa Land at Shinsegae Department Store

Spa Land is located in the largest department store in the world, and is the largest hot spring spa IN ASIA. It’s like the Disneyland of spas. I could also live here. I was so impressed by the amount of pools, and types of sauna-like rooms they had. Take me back!!!

 

Gukje Traditional Market

Street food AND shopping? This is your place! Endless stalls of the most random items to buy. Thanks to this market, I am now a proud owner of a selfie/belfie(?) Cam.

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Gwangalli Beach

This the main beach in downtown, where you can walk on the boardwalk and check out all of the sun-worshippers not wearing bathing suits. I also recommend checking out the shops around the boardwalk.  Also, I've never seen so many cute dogs. 

 

Some other recommendations from a South Korean friend of mine:

  1. Daejeo Ecological Park (대저 생태공원)

  2. Gamcheon Cultural Village (감천문화마을)

  3. Samgwangsa Temple (삼광사)

  4. Haedong Yonggungsa (Temple on the ocean --- 해동 용궁사)

 

BONUS TIP

As previously mentioned, Fukuoka, Japan is just a three-hour ferry ride away from Busan. Some Koreans will take a ferry over just to get ramen, or vice versa, some Japanese will take the ferry over for shopping.

 

As always,

Buen Camino!

 

P.S. Nervous to travel overseas with allergies? Check out my article on how to make it
possible!