Busan Tourism Information
Busan is South Korea's second largest city and largest seaport. Busan is known for its beaches, hot springs and nature reserves. Busan is a good destination for those seeking a more laid back atmosphere than Seoul. Located at the southern tip of the Korean peninsula, Busan's important port gives the city an international flair, with sailors from around the world trooping through and a growing number of tourists visiting the area also thanks to it's warmer climate and beaches. Visitors will notice immediately why it's so relaxing to come to Busan, as the city is full of coffee places, bakeries and snack stalls, whilst walking around the city.
Unlike the rest of the Korean Peninsula, Busan enjoys a humid subtropical climate. Summers are hot and humid, bringing perfect beach-going weather and temperatures between 18°C and 32°C.
Winters are dry with cold winds whipping through the city. Winter temperatures average between 2°C and 15°C. The temperature rarely drops below freezing and snow in Busan is relatively uncommon.
Busan experiences cool springs because it is situated on the coast. Typhoon season starts in late summer and continues until the end of September. Autumn is the most comfortable month in Busan, with warm, mild temperatures and very little rain and wind.
Arriving at the airport is convenient, thanks to the link of the Light Railway which links with the subway. To get it just walk outside of the arrivals terminal, cross the road and turn right for 100m you will see the Station. It costs 1.400₩ to go to the nearest metro station (Daejeo Line 3). From there you need to pay another ticket to your final destination. (About another 1.500₩). You can use T-money card or the mobile APP on the Busan Subway! There is also a bus named "limousine bus" which takes you from the arrivals level(stop 2 and 3) into the city centre and reaches popular places like Haeundae Beach and Busan Station amongst other stops near main Hotels, which costs 7000₩.
Alternatively if you are arriving by Train (KO Rail) into Busan Main Station, you need to follow exit 7 and after you go down the escalators you will see the Metro Station just in front of you. From Busan Station you can also take many busses around the city.
Once in the city, Busan is well connected. The metro is easy to use. Yo can buy a prepaid top up card (T-Money card), which costs 6000₩ upfront, and then use the card on all means of transport. You can top it up with desired amounts at metro stations and it has the added benefit of saving you money, when transferring from Metro to Bus (or Vice-versa) within 30 min. If the distance is longer, you only pay some extra when you tap in again. If you get the bus the flat rate in cash is 1200₩ payable to the driver, or via the card tap machine. The busses are modern, with digital stop information in English. Remember to tap out on all busses so you can transfer within 30 minutes!
To check the metro map click on the link below:
✔️Tip: When using public transport, the easiest way to travel around is to download the T-Money APP, which can be used on all busses and subway lines in Busan! (except the light-rail line from the airport). You can make an itinerary to see different things in Busan, and use the transport as a Hop-on Hop-off system! As long as you transfer between transport modes within 30 minutes, you will always pay one single fare!
Busan has got more popular and now is a modern city, with both tourist attractions and traditional places still to visit. Of the many attractions that Busan has to offer, its beaches remain at the top of the list of things to see. Koreans and foreigners alike flock to Busan during the summer vacation period to enjoy the city's beautiful beaches and extensive range of delicious seafood options.
Haeundae and Gwangalli are the two most well-known beaches in Busan. However, for a slightly less crowded day at the beach, visitors should take a taxi to Songjeong Beach or try the even more outlying Dadaepo Beach.
Keeping to the oceanic theme, Busan's other great tourist attraction is its aquarium, which is the largest in Korea and has an impressive variety of marine life on display. The gorgeous and very popular Jeju Island is also just a ferry ride away from Busan!
Abundant local markets, malls and shops will keep you entertained which ever season you decide to come! Below you can read more details of the main highlights in Busan:
- Haeundae Beach and Market: located at Haeundae station, it is the city's most popular resort both for locals and tourists, the beach is sand kissed with low waves and a great setting in which to walk, tan, bathe or just see. Around it, plenty of restaurants, markets and stores to keep you busy. Also you will find the Haeundae Market, this local market boasts a variety of fish alongside meat, fruit, clothes and miscellaneous items. Nice to visit during the week but extremely busy and packed at weekends with thirsty spenders, the market gives tourists an insight into the more rural side of Busan.
Haeundae Beach Extra Pics ▼
- Haedong Yonggungsa Temple: The Buddhist temple was built beside the shore, as it's main attraction. The temple has a long history which dates back to the Goryeo Dynasty in 1376. The temple is located on rocks that are facing the ocean. Scattered around the temple you will see many different statues, sculptures and a stone pagoda. It's a worth visit both for its culture value and the views. To get there take metro line 2 to Haeundae station, exit 7. Take bus 181 and get off at Haedong Yonggungsa Temple. You will see the signs for it just before the stop. Bus trip takes just under 30 min. Admission to the Temple is free of charge.
As you come back from the Temple, you can walk down to a nearby mall (Lotte Mart complex), recognisable by it's blue lantern-house tower. As well you can continue walking for 15 min and reach Songjeong Beach, a calm beach with shops, restaurants and cafes dotted around. From here you can then take the same bus 181 back to Haeundae Beach or Centrum City metro stations.
- Gamcheon Cultural Village: Formed by houses built in staircase-fashion on the foothills of a coastal mountain, earning this village the nickname of the "Machu Picchu of Busan." The many alleys cutting through this community are vibrantly decorated with murals and sculptures created by the residents. The many alleys are easy to walk around and they always take you to a main road eventually, so there is no getting lost in this maze of little alleys. there is plenty to see, eat, relax and shop. Normally weekends are always busier so going in between the week is suggested. To get there you should take the metro line 1 to Goejeong Station exit 6. Walk straight up as you exit and the bus stop is located 1min walking. Take local bus 1 or 1-1 to Gamcheon Elementary School Bus Stop. (fare is 1.200₩ one way ).
Make sure you are there before 5pm to get the best views of the village with the sun shining as soon after everything starts closing.
If you have time, another option is to take the road up, next to the Gamcheon Elementary School, (where busses are parked), and walk up the mountain side to the top, to appreciate some great views of the city of Busan. The walk will take 20 minutes and at the top you will find a flat area where locals come to practice sports and do exercise.
- Taejongdae, natural park of Busan, with magnificent cliffs facing the open sea on the southernmost tip of island Yeongdo-gu. To get there take the Metro Line 1 to Nampo Station, exit 6. From there take bus 8, 30, 66, 88 or 186. From Busan Station, you can take Bus 66, 88 or 101. Alternatively from Haeundae Subway (exit4) get express bus 1006. Get off at the last stop and walk straight ahead for the entrance of the Park. The park is very large and can be done entirely for free, including visiting all the attractions (Temples, Observation deck and Lighthouse), there is a train which can take you to each sight, for only 2000₩ round trip, and use it as a hop-on/off bus. Alternatively if you feel like walking, it's a good 30min walk uphill. (Take the road which goes uphill first so the rest of the walk is downhill).
- Busan Tower, a 118-metre-high tower at Yongdusan Park, built in 1973. To get there get Metro Line 1, to Nampo, exit 1. As you leave the station take the first street on the right. As you walk to the main shopping street you will see in front of you the stairs which take you to the top of the park.
- Busan Cinema Center, is the official venue of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), the building has become a symbol of the festival itself.The center’s ‘Big Roof’ is the largest roof in the world (2.6 times larger than a soccer field) and comes complete with 42,600 LED lights, which help create an unforgettable scene along with the Suyeong River and Naru Park, both near by. The Cinema Center consists of 3 buildings: Cine Mountain, BIFF Hill, and Double Cone. The main building, Cine Mountain, has 3 theaters for screening movies and one performing arts theater, called ‘Haneulyeon’. Best to visit by night to see the roof in colour. Take metro line 2, get off at "Centrum City" station.
- Gwangalli Beach, another popular beach area full of Hotels, restaurants, bars and nightlife entertainment (best to visit at night). Gwangalli Beach is 1.4 km long, and is famous for its fine sand. From here you can photograph great views of the the Gwangandaegyo or Diamond Bridge (a suspension bridge, it connects Haeundae-gu to Suyeong-gu. The bridge as a whole spanning 7,420 meters. It is the second longest bridge in the country after the Incheon Bridge.
Gwangalli Beach is a popular gathering place for young people in their 20s and 30s as there are lots of bars and clubs. To get there take metro line 2 to Gwangan, exit 3 or 5 and walk to the beach within 5 minutes or Geumnyeonsan subway exit 1 or 3.
- Chinatown, located across the street from Busan Station. In this Chinese-style street you can see the Shanghai Gate established by both Busan City and Shanghai City. Mainly packed with many Chinese restaurants, China Town attracts Korean, Chinese as well as many foreign tourists. Get off at Busan Station Exit 5.
Gwangalli is the area to be after sunset, Seomyeon and Haeundae also remain fairly busy. Places shift from one year to the next, although Thursday Party and HQ Gwangan seem to have been able to maintain their customer base through the years. Galmegi Brewing and Gorilla Brewing are favourites for craft beer.
For a more local feel you can hit the streets behind Nampo area where local street vendors come to fill the streets with their carts and food stalls! There is a big night market but lots of local restaurants, bars and cafes are open till late here!
Busan is full of shopping options for those looking to splash the cash on practically anything you wish! You can find international brands, boutique shops and stylish department stores on the high-end of the market right down to market merchandise and souvenirs.
For quality shopping, in a mega store building, visit the Shinsegae shopping mall at Centrum City. Here all the top brands can be found and international boutiques. For a more informal shopping experience head to Nampo station where you will find on Gwangbok street all the outlets, local and international shops for all ages as well as music, beauty and entertainment shops. Also for general shopping you can find Lotte Mall, big department stores where you can find anything you need in one big space. These malls are several spread around the city.
Nearby from Jagalchi station (exit 7) you can find the Gukje Market, mainly local foods, clothing and general merchandise. Last but not least, you can visit Bujeon, (Bujeon Metro LIne 1 ) for more local market experience, specialising in produce, seafood and knick-knacks.
Busan is generally much cheaper than Seoul, but saying this if you stay near the beach are expect to pay high Hotel prices. The budget advice is to stay within reach of a metro station and stay in secondary hotels or guesthouses which are much cheaper.(starting at €20 a night). Also you can find cheap Airbnb accommodation.
Be aware that if you are staying in the more popular area of Haeundae Beach, travelling into the city centre will add an hour of travel time by subway!
Busan has a lot of scenery and beautiful views to explore and visit if you are into hiking and walking! But aside from the nature, the city is visited more for its abundant nightlife, seafood restaurants and beaches! If you are coming to relax and want to unwind a weekend would be perfect!
But if you are an avid traveller and want to see all the highlights, you can be kept pretty busy, so a good 3 to 4 nights would be enough to see the most important places and enjoy some calm evenings as well!
Take note that travelling from one side of the city to the other, there is much time spent on travel and taking the subway or busses so this should be taken into account also.
Busan Photo Slide 📷