Hard to find, difficult to reach and a wonder to behold, this hermitage has Buddhist images meticulously etched into stone. Visually powerful in scale and impact, it’s the kind of work that moves visitors to exclaim ‘wow’ as they step back and arch their necks to get the full picture. The quickest route here begins with ride on the Geumgang Park Cable Car; up top, follow the trail signs.

The most interesting – and strenuous – route to Seokbul-sa is to add it to your Geumjeong Fortress hike (carry plenty of water). From Nammun, the path indicated by the Mandeokchon (만덕촌) sign leads to a collection of restaurants and a foot volleyball court. Keep going straight until you can’t go any further, then turn right onto a narrow path. Eventually this leads to a larger path heading down the mountainside. Look for a sign that reads '석불사 입구' (Seokbul-sa entrance), which points you down a steep, rocky trail. Way down at the bottom, turn right at the cement road and walk uphill to the temple.

On the way back, you can either return to Nammun and then follow the signs to the cable car, or keep walking down the cement road from the temple – you’ll end up near Mandeok station on line 3.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Busan attractions

2. Geumgang Park


This park features a cable car, located about 150m from the park entrance; follow the Ropeway signs.

3. Geumgang Park Cable Car

1.37 MILES

Add this cable car to your list of must-do activities. The panoramic view of development coursing through valleys of verdant mountains is breathtaking. On…

5. West Gate

1.81 MILES

An attractive gate on Geumjeong-san, but less visited because it's off the ridge trail.

6. Geumjeong Fortress

2.34 MILES

Travellers climbing Geumjeong-san (금정산; Geumjeong Mountain) expecting to see a fort will be disappointed because there isn’t one. Geumjeong Fortress…

7. North Gate

3.52 MILES

It's a steady climb up to the North Gate from Beomeo-sa.

8. Busan Citizens Park

4.08 MILES

Built on a former US army base, this pleasant city park features nearly one million trees and shrubs of 97 different species. Its paths stretch past…