Fall in South Korea means two things: great weather and festival season. And among these, the fireworks festivals are very popular to go to.
Among these, you have the Seoul Fireworks Festival and the Busan Fireworks Festival. Both of these festivals are ones you don’t want to miss. To learn more about the Busan Fireworks Festival, continue reading below.
Busan Fireworks Festival
The Busan Fireworks Festival is one of the largest fireworks festivals in the world and the largest in South Korea. Taking place in the water between Gwangalli Bridge and Gwangalli Beach, typically over 80,000 fireworks are shot off in front of audiences well over 1 million people.
This year the festival will take place on Saturday, November 2nd. It’s typically an all day affair and people arrive quite early to stake out a good seat and enjoy the festivities. Below I’ll list some of the best locations to watch the fireworks from.
Places to watch Busan Fireworks Festival
1. Gwangalli Beach (광안리해수욕강)
This is by far the most popular place to watch the fireworks and for good reason. This wide beach has a close up view of the fireworks and is also where you can hear the music and entertainment from the festival.
It fills up quickly though, so I recommend to arrive here at least by mid-afternoon. If you do, you can typically find a good spot to set up your tripod and even put down a mat for you and your friends to sit down on.
There are plenty of food places at the beach and also vendors go around selling food as well to festival go-ers. Bathrooms are easily accessible as well. Just a tip though, that when the festival starts, it gets very very crowded and when it ends, it’s a mad house to get out. If you are bringing young children, look out for them as it may feel very claustrophobic especially when trying to leave.
To get to Gwangalli beach, either exit Gwangan station or Geumryeong station and walk towards the beach. Should be about a 10 to 15 min walk.
Here is a map of where the beach is in Busan:
2. Hwangryeongan/Geumnyeongsan (황령산/금령산)
As a photographer, this was one of my favorite places to take photos of the Busan Fireworks Festival. It’s up on the mountain and thus provides a great vantage point of both the festival area and the city. So at night during the fireworks, you can get awesome photos of the fireworks and cityscapes at the same time. A bit of a challenge to get the photos, but worth it in my mind.
This is probably the 2nd most popular place to go to see the Busan Fireworks Festival, so it fills up fast too. Also, there aren’t a ton of spots to take the photos from, so the best locations fill up fast. Also, there aren’t as many food options and bathrooms are harder to find. So going here on your own is a bit harder.
To get here, you can get off Geumryeong Station and head up the mountain by walking. Takes around 20 minutes depending on your fitness level to get to some of the good viewpoints down onto Gwangalli Beach.
Below is the map of where Hwangyeongsan and Geumryeongsan is. You can also read our article on the 5 Best Nighttime Viewpoints in Busan for a few more details about this location.
3. Jangsan (장산)
Another great spot for photographers is the outcrop on the hillside of Jangsan. Probably the best cityscape view with fireworks you can get. It’s a challenge to get here easily though, and because its such a great place for photographers, you need to get here early to stake out your spot.
Because you are up on the hill, you need to plan in advance for any food you may need and bathrooms are a distance away. So prepare well in advance and this place can be an amazing location to shoot some great fireworks photos.
To get here, please check out our article on the 5 Best Nighttime Viewpoints in Busan.
4. Dongbaek Island (동백섬)
Dongbaek Island, especially the area around the APEC House has a good view and vantagepoint of Gwangalli Bridge. Because of this, it becomes another popular viewpoint to view the fireworks. As you are watching from behind, it gives a different perspective of the fireworks and one I haven’t experienced yet.
To get here, get off at Dongbaek Station and follow the signs to the Island and APEC House. I have a map below of where the APEC House is.
There are other locations from which to watch the fireworks, however, in my mind these are some of the best and easiest to get to.
Where to Stay in Busan
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There are many places to stay in Busan and I highly recommend that if you are coming to Busan for the fireworks festival from outside Busan, that you spend the night.
This way you can calmly leave the festival and not be in a rush through the crowds to get back to the subway and eventually to the train station or something else. I’ll list some of the popular hotels near gwangalli beach and also provide a link to all busan hotels below.
Kent Hotel By Kensington – This hotel is in a prime location and offers great views over Gwangalli Bridge. This will probably book up fast for the fireworks festival. Rooms are beautifully decorated and service is great.
J Stay Guesthouse – A budget priced location that has some rooms that face Gwangalli Beach. Rooms are homey and the host is great.
H Avenue Hotel – This hotel boasts amazing views of Gwangalli Bridge and beach. Nice rooms and service. Probably best to book far in advance though for the fireworks festival. Outside the festival, this is a well priced option for the area.
So there you have the Busan Fireworks Festival. If you have any questions or comments, please let us know in the comments section below!