2-Day Itinerary: Here’s How You Can Enjoy Busan In 48 Hours During The Blissful Winter

By Fatin Yuhanis | 24, Dec, 2018
2-Day Itinerary: Here’s How You Can Enjoy Busan In 48 Hours During The Blissful Winter

South Korea is all the rage right now, with the increasing popularity of KPOP and Korean dramas. We had the chance to visit Busan thanks to Korea Tourism Organisation Malaysia.

Away from the hustle and bustle of city life in Seoul, Busan is located at the South-eastern tip of the Korean Peninsula. During this trip, we got to feast on an abundance of seafood due to its proximity to the coast.

If you’re looking for where to eatpray and have fun during winter in Busan, look no further. We have put together a 2-day Muslim-friendly itinerary for you!

Day 1

If you’re flying to Busan, get an overnight flight so that you can get your beauty sleep before landing at Gimhae International Airport and start exploring the wonders of Busan.

We flew with AirAsia X and arrived in Busan around 10 a.m. – perfect timing to start the day! We opted for an in-flight meal for breakfast so that we could get going once we land. Clever huh?

1. Check-in @ Ramada Encore Haeundae

You would definitely want to start exploring this amazing city the moment you step out of the airport. However, you wouldn't want to bring your luggage with you throughout this fun-filled experience would you?

So do check-in to Ramada Encore Haeundae right after you touch down in Busan. This classy hotel is just a 10 minutes’ walk from the Haeundae Beach.

If you’re daring enough to brave the winds, you can have a night stroll down the beach before heading to bed. However, it’d be a better choice to wake up early the next day to catch the sunrise.

Address: 9 Gunam-ro, U-dong, Haeundae, Busan, South Korea
Website: 
RamadaEncoreHaeundae

2. Busan Marine Natural History Museum

Start your day by visiting the first and largest marine museum in South Korea – the Busan Marine Natural History Museum.

Be captivated by the exhibitions consisting of more than 25,000 items, including a wide range of aquatic birds, amphibious reptiles and precious fossils.

The museum also houses live snakes, fishes and turtles. It’s a great place to visit with kids as they will get to learn more about marine life.

Address: 175 Ujangchun-ro, Oncheon-dong, Dongnae-gu, Busan
Website:
Busan
Operating Hours: 9AM-6PM (Tues-Sun)
                            *Hours may differ during PH

3. Busan Al-Fattah Mosque

After exploring the museum, perform your prayers at the one and only mosque in Busan, which is just a 15-minute drive away.

Built-in 1980 with funds donated by a Libyan Muslim benefactor, Busan Al-Fatah Mosque becomes the spiritual home of all the Muslims in the South-eastern part of Korea.

The mosque offers religious knowledge classes, Islamic lectures and even English classes for all to attend and learn more about Islam.

You can expect huge gatherings during Eid Al-Adha and Eid Al-Fitr, with Muslims from all over the world including Uzbekistan, Malaysia, Ethiopia, and England.

3. Time For Lunch!

For lunch, you can find Halal food at Cappadocia Turkish Kebab House, which is located just beside the mosque.

Another option would be going for a wide range of Indian and Middle-eastern cuisines at Hello India Al-Waha, which is a 15-minute drive away from the mosque.

We got to try their briyani, tandoori chicken, naan and chicken tikka masala. Out of all those that we tasted, the tikka masala is definite the most outstanding one. It was so good that we had a second serving!

Cappadocia Turkish Kebab House

Address: 30-1 Namsan-dong, Geumjeong-gu, Busan
Operating Hours: 11.30AM - 10PM (Daily)

Hello India Al-Waha

Address: 23-1 Gunam-ro 41beon-gil, Jung-dong, Haeundae, Busan
Operating Hours:
11AM - 11PM (Daily)

*Disclaimer: Hello India Al-Waha serves alcohol

4. Goraesa Fish Cake

After lunch, take a walk down the street to Goraesa Fish Cake for a fishcake-making experience. Fishcake, also known as eomuk, is a very popular ingredient in Korean cuisines.

They are used in soups, gimbap, and various side dishes. During the class, we made our very own eomuk snowman (perfect for winter treat), sushi and gimbap.

It was a fun experience and a great place to show off your artsy skills. If you have none(like me), just have fun and eat what you created!

Address: 14 Gunam-ro, U-dong, Haeundae, Busan, South Korea
Operating Hours: 9.30AM - 9.30PM (Sun-Thurs)
                             9.30AM - 10PM (Fri-Sat)
                             *Hours might differ during PH
                    

5. Shopping!

Before exploring the next destination, you can return to your hotel room to wash up or take a quick nap as Ramada Encore Haeundae is located just across Goraesa Fish Cake!

Now that you're feeling fresh again, head over to BIFF Square, Gwangbok Fashion Street, Gukje market and Jagalchi market. They’re all clustered together and is the heart of fashion, food, culture, and art.

Be sure to give yourself two to three hours to explore this huge area. Try out their local street snacks such as tteokbokki, gimbap, and bungeoppang. We’d highly advise you to ask the stall owners if they use any meat in their fillings or sauce before buying.

Address: 52 Jagalchihaean-ro, Nampo-dong, Jung-gu, Busan

6. End Your Night With A Feast!

To end the day, splurge on snow crabs for dinner as they are in season! Head over to The East in Busan for a crab feast.

Choose from a range of starters such as crab soup, sashimi, sushi and salad to coat your belly before you start on the glorious steamed snow crabs.

The portions were huge and the service was top-notch too! They had servers cracking open the shells for us and even feeding us. We would highly recommend you giving this restaurant a visit!

Address: 266 Gijanghaean-ro, Gijang-eup, Gijang, Busan
Operating Hours: 11AM - 9.40PM (Daily)
                             *Hours might differ during PH

*Disclaimer: This restaurant serves non-Halal meat and alcohol

Day 2

1. Gamcheon Culture Village

Start your day early and visit the Gamcheon Culture Village which is a popular backdrop in Korean dramas and variety shows. However, behind its colourful houses, there is a sad and painful history of The Korean War.

This neighbourhood was restored after the war, with houses built close to each other yet not blocking the front view of the house located behind them.

Immerse yourself in their history as you walk through their colourful alleyways filled with cafés, food stalls and souvenir shops.

Address: South Korea, Busan, Saha-gu, Gamcheon-dong, 10-13
Operating Hours: 9AM - 6PM (Daily)
                             *Hours might differ during PH

2. Cable Car Ride @ Busan Air Cruise

After a morning walk, take in the views of Songdo through a cable car ride at Busan Air Cruise. If you’re daring, opt for the Crystal cable cars that have transparent floors so that you can watch the waters as you ride across the sea.

When you reach the top, you will discover the Songdo sky park and observatory. Spend some time admiring the stunning view from the top before you take a ride back down.

You can also explore the Songdo Skywalk, which is located just across the road from the Busan Air Cruise.

Address: 124-2 Amnam-dong, Seo-gu, Busan, South Korea
Operating Hours: 9AM - 10PM (Daily)
                             *Hours might differ during PH

3. Jjimjilbang

When you’re in Korea, Jjimjilbang is a must visit especially during winter! Head over to Spa Land, located in the largest department store in the world – the Shinsegae Centum City Department Store.

Korean saunas are also a great place to have light lunch by having their popular roasted eggs and shikhye.

Spend at least two hours enjoying their facilities such as massage chairs, saunas, foot bath, ice rooms and many more. It’s a great way to unwind and relax your body after braving the cold winter weather in Korea.

The common areas are shared between men and women. Hence, we’d advise the ladies to bring your inner clothing and underscarf so that you can enjoy the jjimjilbang comfortably.

Address: 35 Centumnam-daero, U-dong, Haeundae, Busan, South Korea
Operating Hours:
6AM - 12AM (Daily)
                             *Hours might differ during PH

4. Namcheon Sutbol Jangeo Gui

If you’re a fan of eels, dine at Namcheon Sutbul Jangeo Gui which specialises in charcoal-grilled eel. Don’t be surprised when they bring live eel for you to cook on your own, as that is the usual style of Korean barbeque.

While you’re there, don’t forget to try other dishes such as maeuntang – satisfying comfort food in winter.

Address: 71-1, Hwangnyeong-daero, 489beon-gil, Suyeong-gu, Busan

*Disclaimer: This restaurant serves alcohol

There you go! Our suggestion for a Muslim-friendly itinerary if you are planning short getaway to Busan! Before you fly, here are some things you should take note of.

Feasting on Halal food in Korea

In terms of food, Busan(compared to Seoul) is relatively new in catering to the Muslim market. However, with its proximity to the sea, you can find an abundance of seafood restaurants for you to dine at.

Alcohol is however served in nearly all restaurants as soju is a huge part of their eating culture. Refer to the image below for a summary of the restaurant categories in South Korea.


Picture: VisitKorea

Look out for these labels when you visit any restaurant in Korea. We’d highly suggest you reaffirm the Muslim-friendly status of the restaurant with the owners before dining in.

Better yet, make your own research before you fly over to Korea to eat with a peace of mind. KTO has compiled a list of Muslim-friendly restaurants in Busan which you can find here.

Where to pray in Korea

It might be difficult to find dedicated prayer rooms in Busan. You can perform your prayers at Gimhae International Airport and Busan Al-Fatah Mosque.

We’d advise you to bring your prayer garments while you’re out and about. Kindly ask the restaurant owners if they have an empty room for you to perform your prayers.

A huge thanks to Korea Tourism Organisation Malaysia for introducing to us the beautiful city of Busan filled with great Muslim-friendly food, beautiful culture and fun attractions.

Now it's time for you to experience Busan with your loved ones!

Read more about Busan